Lemon Crinkle Cookies
These Crumbl Lemon Crinkle Cookies are way better than Crumbl’s! This lemon crinkle cookie recipe uses fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest to provide a natural and punchy lemon flavor!
I’m loving these fresh spring and summer flavors in dessert recipes for this time of year! Crumbl Key Lime Pie Cookies is another great cookie recipe that uses fresh juice and zest of limes! For some more fun summer cookie recipes, try my Crumbl Mint Chip Ice Cream Cookies, Crumbl Sugar Cookie Recipe, and my Crumbl Pink Velvet Cookies!
Why This Recipe Works
- Better than Crumbl Lemon Crinkle Cookies. I’m going to be honest, the lemon crinkle cookie from Crumbl was meh. They used a yellow cake mix (why they didn’t use a lemon cake mix at least is beyond me!) and lemon extract. Not good. The lemon wasn’t super strong and it was artificial tasting! These lemon crinkle cookies use fresh lemons!
- Double the lemon flavor. These lemon crinkles not only use fresh lemon juice, but lots of fresh lemon zest and a smidge of lemon extract. These three lemon elements combine to produce a delicious Crumbl lemon cookie recipe!
- Crinkle cookie effect. The trick to getting the crinkly exterior on these lemon crinkle cookies is to roll the dough in granulated sugar then in powdered sugar. The granulated sugar will caramelize and crystalize in the oven, creating the crackly look, while leaving the powdered sugar for the added look and glaze-like texture. If you don’t roll in granulated sugar first, the powdered sugar will all absorb in the dough while baking.
- Granulated Sugar: The cookies are a type of sugar cookie base, so we won’t use brown sugar. The granulated sugar is also used for rolling the dough prior to baking. We want to roll in granulated sugar before the powdered sugar to enhance the crackle look and to make sure the powdered sugar stays visible after baked.
- Fresh Lemon Juice: In order to get the freshest and boldest lemon flavor, use fresh lemon juice! Crumbl didn’t use any fresh lemons in their cookies and it really affected the flavor of the lemon crinkle cookies! Choose fresh lemons, ok? 😁
- Lemon Zest: Now if we are going to be using fresh lemon juice, let’s put all that delicious lemon zest to good use! Adding lemon zest is a huge game changer when it comes to enhancing the lemon flavor without liquifying the cookie dough by adding just lemon juice.
- Lemon Extract: This is just a smidge of lemon extract to really hit home the flavor. It doesn’t come out artificial because we have all that fresh lemon juice and lemon zest in the dough.
- Yellow Food Coloring: I used a bit of yellow food coloring to really enhance the lemon look of the cookies. If you don’t want to use food coloring, it won’t affect the texture or flavor of the lemon crinkles if you omit it!
- Powdered Sugar: The powdered sugar look on the cookies is so fun! It really brings out that lemon crinkle look. To ensure this, roll in granulated sugar first, then double or triple roll in powdered sugar!
- Cream the wet ingredients. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, lemon extract, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and yellow food coloring (if using) and mix until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the dry ingredients. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until combined.
- Portion into dough balls. Using a 1/4 cup, portion into dough balls.
- Roll in sugars. Roll each dough ball in granulated sugar then in powdered sugar (I rolled in powdered sugar a few times to make sure it’s really covered!).
- Bake. Place 6 dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press down gently on each dough ball so they resemble thick disks. Bake at 350°F for 11-14 minutes or until the edges are set and the centers don’t look doughy. The cookies should have a crackly look.
- Let cool. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
Rolling the dough in granulated sugar before rolling in powdered sugar is important! This will help give the crinkle look for the lemon cookies. It also helps form a protective layer so the powdered sugar doesn’t get all absorbed into the dough while baking.
Do not over bake the cookies. Remove them from the oven when the edges are set and the centers no longer look doughy. Remember, the cookies will continue to bake a little and will set up while cooling for the 5 minutes on the baking sheet.
Use fresh lemons! You really won’t get the fresh and strong lemon flavor if you don’t!
I rolled each dough ball in powdered sugar a few times to make sure it is heavily coated.
When zesting the lemons, try not to get too much of the lemon pulp under the skin. We just want that fresh lemon zest because that is where all the sharp lemon flavor is!
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
If making the dough ahead of time, store the dough in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Remove and let come to room temperature or until able to roll into balls. Then continue with the instructions from there.
Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for 4 days at room temperature or in the fridge for 5-6 days.
To freeze, wrap each baked cookie in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container or Ziplock bag in the freezer for 1-2 months.
To freeze lemon crinkle cookie dough, roll the dough into balls, roll in the two sugars and then flatten into thick disks. Flash freeze on a baking sheet until firm, then transfer to a Ziplock bag or airtight container and freeze for 2-3 months. Remove and bake from frozen. You may need to add an additional minute to the bake time.
My post on Freezing Cookie Dough goes through everything you need to know about storing cookie dough, freezing cookie dough, and baking frozen cookie dough!
Yes you do! If you read above, Crumbl didn’t use any fresh lemon in their Crumbl Lemon Crinkle Cookies recipe. Because of this, the lemon flavor really suffered. In order to get the strong lemon flavor, you’ll need fresh lemon juice and fresh lemon zest!
No you can’t. This lemon crinkle cookie recipe from scratch is just that – from scratch! This gives us a fresh flavor and gives us the change to use fresh lemons!
Roll the dough in granulated sugar first, then roll in powdered sugar. When baking, the granulated sugar will caramelize/crystalize and help provide the crackly crinkle cookie exterior. It will also form a barrier for the powdered sugar so it doesn’t get absorbed while baking.
More Lemon Desserts
- Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake
- Lemon Powdered Sugar Cookies
- Lemon Ricotta Cookies
- Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins with Sour Cream
- Lemon Swiss Roll
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter - softened
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 4-6 drops yellow food coloring - optional
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside. Place the 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup powdered sugar in separate bowls. We will roll the cookie dough in each prior to baking.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, lemon extract, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and yellow food coloring (if using) and mix until combined. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and mix until combined.
- Portion the dough into ¼ cup sized balls. Roll each ball of dough in the granulated sugar followed by the powdered sugar. Be sure to press and roll the dough into the powdered sugar so that it’s heavily coated.
- Place 6 dough balls on the prepared baking sheet and gently press down on the tops of each dough ball with the palm of your hand. The dough should resemble a very thick disk. Bake for 11-14 minutes or until the edges are set, the centers no longer appear doughy, and the cookie has a crackled appearance.
- Remove from the oven and let cookies cool on the pan for 5 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.