The tart and sweet flavor combination in these Raspberry and Lemon Cookie Sandwiches is great for Spring! Soft and buttery cookies are flavored with raspberry powder, then sandwiched together with a butter-free buttercream. Lemon zest brightens the icing for the perfect cookie bite.
Raspberry and Lemon Cookie Sandwiches
It’s officially Spring, and you know what that means! Desserts with bright fruit flavors, lemon and lime in just about everything, and cookie cutters in the shape of flowers and birds. At least that’s what it means for a food blogger … 🙂
In celebration of the warm weather and the snow melting, I’m sticking to what is expected with these Raspberry and Lemon Cookie Sandwiches. Tart and sweet freeze-dried raspberries flavor soft butter cookies. And what may be the best part is the butter-free vanilla frosting sandwiched in the middle. The raspberry cookies with lemon icing may be on the tarter side of the dessert spectrum, but the vanilla frosting balances all of that out.
The cookie result?
- Soft, butter cookies
- Sweet and tart raspberry flavor
- Caramelly vanilla frosting
- Bright lemon icing
- Sweet and Tart Spring (or Summer!) Dessert
Raspberry Butter Cookies
The raspberry in these butter cookies comes from freeze-dried raspberries. The completely dehydrated fruit is then pulsed into a powder and mixed in with the flour. Using freeze-dried fruit is an excellent way to impart fruit flavor without having to worry about the texture of the dough being compromised with more moisture.
What do freeze-dried raspberries taste like?
- Raspberry (obviously) – And I’m talking a strong, pronounced raspberry flavor. Unlike frozen fruit, which sometimes seems to lose it’s fruit ‘punch’, freeze-dried fruit has an elevated flavor of the fruit.
- Crunchy – More of a texture, but you could certainly munch on the fruit like a snack. Moisture has been completely removed from the fruit for a sweet and crunchy bite.
- Tart and sweet – Just like a fresh raspberry, the freeze-dried version is still the perfect mix of tart and sweet.
Where can you buy freeze-dried raspberries (or any freeze-dried fruit)?
I get mine at Target. But I feel confident in saying that any grocery, Nut store, or online store will have their own version. In person, they are usually found in the nut/snack aisle.
This is technically a butter cookie recipe. Does it still taste good with raspberry?
Yes. Not sure how else to phrase it.
In my recipes, a butter cookie is basically a shortbread cookie with a little extra fat added. In this case, an egg yolk. So it is not like eating a stick of butter with a side of raspberries. The butter in the cookies makes them tender. Translation – the cookies are not too soft and not too crunchy.
And with a flavor base as versatile as a butter cookie, the cookies can take on any flavor addition and showcase that flavor. It also doesn’t hurt that freeze-dried raspberries have a robust raspberry flavor.
What You Need To Make Raspberry Cookie Sandwiches
- All-Purpose Flour
- Freeze-Dried Raspberries
- Granulated Sugar
- Unsalted Butter
- Vanilla Extract
- Egg Yolk
- Canned Coconut Milk – For the frosting filling
- Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil – For the frosting filling
- Any Kind of Milk – For the icing
- Powdered Sugar
- Lemon Zest
- Stand-Mixer – I find this to be the easiest way to mix the dough. And if you want to stock your kitchen with small batch equipment, I use my regular size KitchenAid with a 3 Quart Mixing Bowl.
- Blender or Food Processor – To grind the freeze-dried raspberries to powder.
- Mixing Bowls – For the filling and icing.
- Cookie Decorating Supplies – i.e. cookie cutters, piping bags and tips, sprinkles. All totally optional.
Tips For Making Raspberry and Lemon Cookie Sandwiches
- Use freeze-dried fruit – Using fresh or frozen raspberries would add (unwanted) moisture to the dough. The freeze-dried fruit gives the fruit flavor without impacting the texture of this dough.
- Grind the freeze-dried fruit to a powder – Unless you want chunks of freeze-dried fruit in the cookie, the fruit powder is what makes the cookies taste like, well, fruit.
- Use room temperature butter – It is easier to mix with the sugar when it is not ice cold.
- Add the flour mix in increments – Avoids a mess and allows the butter to moisten the flour in batches.
- Dough expectations – The dough for these cookies is on the drier/crumbly side. Which is fine. You will give it a few kneads to get it shaped into a disc.
- Chill the dough – I like to chill this dough for 2 reasons:
- It allows all the flavors to develop.
- It needs time to set up to make rolling it out easier.
- Roll and Cut to your preference – I like to roll cut-out cookies to a 1/4 of an inch thick. You can roll the cookies thicker, you will just need to watch the bake time. And, use any cookie cutter shape and size you like.
- The filling is optional – You can use the Butter-Free Frosting recipe I included, or use a store-bought frosting, or none at all.
- Adjust the icing flavor as you like – I’m no royal icing expert, and the recipe I’ve included is pretty basic. Feel free to add more/less/no zest. Or any other flavors you like.
- Try other freeze-dried fruit flavors – You will find that there is a flavorful variety of freeze-dried fruit.
Let the Spring baking begin!
More Cookie Recipes
- Healthier Thin Mint Cookies
- Strawberry Shortcake Biscuit Cookies
- Almond Flour and Maple Cookies
- Soft Apple Cookies With Caramel Icing
- Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies
Raspberry and Lemon Cookie Sandwiches
- 3 tablespoons freeze dried raspberries, ground to powder (approx. 1/3 of a 1.25 ounce bag)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1/4 cup + 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
Butter-Free Buttercream Frosting
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened canned coconut milk, full fat (refrigerated overnight)
- 2 tablespoons cold pressed refined coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 – 8 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2-4 teaspoons milk, any kind
- zest from half a lemon (more or less to taste)
- Freeze-dried raspberries – In a blender or food processor, add about 1/3 of a 1.25 ounce bag of freeze-dried raspberries, and pulse until turned to powder.
- In a small bowl, add the flour and raspberry powder and whisk to incorporate.
- In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment – Add the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until light an fluffy. Add the egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated – scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Turn the mixer down to low speed and sprinkle in the salt, then flour mix in a few increments – letting the flour mix in before adding the next increment. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. After adding the last increment of flour mix, let the dough mix for about a minute until it starts to form a rough dough. The dough will be crumbly.
- Turn off the mixer and gently knead the dough together with your hands until it forms a ball. Place the dough ball on a piece of plastic wrap and shape it into a disc. Wrap the dough in the plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for at least one hour, or overnight.
- 15 minutes before you are ready to bake the cookies – preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position.
- Roll the dough to 1/4 inch thick in between the two sheets of parchment paper you will use to line the baking sheets. Use a cookie cutter of choice to cut out the dough. Re-roll and cut any scraps. Line the baking sheets with the parchment paper and place the cookies about 2 inches apart. Note – These cookies will not spread. The number of cookies you yield from the dough will depend on how thick you roll the dough and the size/shape cookie cutter you use.
- One baking sheet at a time – bake the cookies for 7-9 minutes, or until the edges just start to golden. High altitude – check the cookies at 7 minutes as they may not take as long to bake. Note – while the first baking sheet of cookies are baking, refrigerate the other baking sheet of cookies until ready.
- Cool the cookies on the baking sheet set on a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes, then transfer to the cooling rack to cool completely.
Butter-Free Buttercream Frosting
- While the cookies are done baking and cooling, make the frosting. Or the frosting can be made the day before.
- Note – Refrigerating the can of coconut milk overnight causes the liquid and coconut solids to separate – we are only using the coconut solids to make the frosting. You will have extra coconut milk solids and liquid which can be used in smoothies.
- In a small saucepan, add the coconut milk solids and coconut oil. Heat over medium-low heat until the mixture has melted. Do not boil.
- Transfer the mix to a small mixing bowl and add the vanilla extract. Cool for about 5 minutes in the refrigerator or on the counter.
- Add the powdered sugar in increments (to avoid mess!) – Using a handheld mixer, beat until the frosting is light and fluffy – about 3-5 minutes, and until you reach your desired consistency. If you prefer a stiffer frosting, add more powdered sugar a teaspoon at a time.
- The frosting is ready to use right away, or it can be refrigerated. If refrigerating, transfer to an airtight container and the frosting can be kept for up to a week. When ready to use, allow the frosting to come to room temperature to loosen up.
- In a small mixing bowl, add the powdered sugar, lemon zest, and 2 teaspoons of milk. Add more milk, a teaspoon at a time, to get your desired consistency.
- Assemble the cookies – Pipe or spoon the frosting onto half of the cookies, and top with the remainder to make the cookie sandwich. Decorate the cookies with the Lemon Icing, and Enjoy!
- This cookie dough is versatile and can be: sliced and baked, or spooned for drop cookies. For drop cookies, bake time will be about 8-10 minutes. Watch for cookie doneness when the edges start to turn golden.
- The number of cookies can vary, however this is still a small batch. Depending on how thick you roll your dough and the size/shape of cookie cutter, you can get more or less cookies.
- The buttercream frosting is totally optional. You can use store-bought, just the icing, or a simple glaze on these cookies.