If you like lemon flavored goodies, you will love these soft Lemon Cookies! They’re easy to make and packed with bold lemon flavor (thanks to the fresh lemon zest and juice)!

A pile of lemon cookies on a small cooking rack.

I’m in the mood for lemon these days! Earlier this week I shared a Lemon Jello Cake (it’s super moist and yummy).

But that’s not all, I have a handful of lemon-y goodness on the blog. If you’re in the mood for baking try Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake, Lemon Zucchini Bread, and Lemon Ricotta Cookies. If you prefer lemon in savory dishes, I got you 👊🏼 check out these recipes: lemon pasta, lemon honey glazed salmon, and salmon burgers with a lemon dill sauce. Lemon is so versatile, I love it!

Back to our current recipe, it’s similar to a lemon crinkle cookie, as you can see in the photos there’s a slight crinkle appearance to it.

These cookies are very soft, sweet, and have a true lemon flavor to them.

Ingredients

This recipe uses (mostly) basic pantry ingredients. You need 1-2 lemons to add the lemon flavor, but other than that you should have the ingredients already on hand.

  • Butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Egg
  • Lemon zest & juice – about the zest of 1 lemon.
  • Salt – for flavor.
  • Baking powder – a leavening agent.
  • Baking soda – reacts with the acid (lemon juice) to create lift in the cookies prior to baking.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Powdered sugar – for rolling the cookies in prior to baking.

How to make Lemon Cookies

  1. Make the dough by creaming the butter and sugar for several minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Sugar and butter creamed together in a glass bowl.
  2. Add the vanilla, egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, and mix again. Overhead photo of creamed butter and sugar with vanilla, eggs, and lemon zest in the bowl.
  3. Add the dry ingredients: salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour. A glass bowl with lemon cookie dough in it.
  4. Roll the dough into 1 1/2″ inch sized balls. A cookie scoop with lemon cookie dough in it.
  5. Roll each dough ball in the powdered sugar then place on a baking sheet. A ball of dough in a bowl of powdered sugar.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350°F or until cookies are set.
  7. Remove from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Overhead photo of a stack of lemon cookies surrounded by lemons and white flowers.

FAQ and Tips

Do you have to roll the cookie dough in powdered sugar before baking? You don’t have to, in fact you can roll them in granulated sugar if you’d like. I didn’t want the crunchiness of the sugar so I decided to use powdered sugar.

Rolling the dough in the sugar accentuates the crinkle appearance.

Can I add lemon extract to the recipe? Yes you can. These cookies already have a really nice lemon flavor to them, but if you want them to be extra lemony the addition of lemon extract will up that flavor. Alternatively, you can add more lemon zest to get a more pungent lemon flavor. If adding lemon extract, you can forgo the vanilla extract in this recipe.

Make sure you spray the cookie sheet with cooking spray. These cookies are more apt to stick to the tray. You can also use parchment paper or a silicone baking mat in leu of the cooking spray.

Can you make the dough with a hand mixer? Yep!

A pile of lemon cookies with 1 cookie having a bite taken out of it.

More Cookie Recipes

A small stack of lemon cookies on a white background.
Print Review
5 from 1 vote

Lemon Cookies

These soft lemon cookies are the perfect citrus cookie!
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 22 cookies

Ingredients
 

  • 1/2 cup butter - at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest - ~zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 2/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, set aside.
  • In a large bowl (or bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment), cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  • Add the vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix until combined, about 1 more minute. 
  • Add the salt, baking powder, baking soda, and flour. Mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
  • Place the powdered sugar in a bowl.
  • Scoop the cookie dough into 1 ½ inch sized balls. Roll the dough balls in the powdered sugar then place on the baking sheet, leaving 2 inches between each ball.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are set.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Nutrition

Calories: 122kcal (6%)Carbohydrates: 19g (6%)Protein: 1g (2%)Fat: 5g (8%)Saturated Fat: 3g (15%)Cholesterol: 21mg (7%)Sodium: 80mg (3%)Potassium: 23mg (1%)Fiber: 1g (4%)Sugar: 12g (13%)Vitamin A: 143IU (3%)Vitamin C: 1mg (1%)Calcium: 8mg (1%)Iron: 1mg (6%)
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
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