BEST Lemon Cookies Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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Learn how to make the BEST Lemon Cookies! These cookies are delicious plain, or add a lemon glaze for a boost of lemony flavor! This is a soft and chewy cookie recipe everyone will love.

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Stack of five lemon cookies

Best Homemade Lemon Cookies

The best cookie recipe is an easy one, and these lemon cookies are exactly that! I’ve been working on this recipe for YEARS and finally perfected it!

  • They are light, lemony cookies that are perfect any time of year – no one can resist these cookies!
  • They have lemon extract and zest in the dough and then are rolled in granulated sugar before baking. It gives them a lightly crispy, sugary coating that is so good.
  • You can keep them plain or add another punch of lemon with a simple lemon glaze.
Overhead shot of lemon cookies mixed with lemon slices and iced lemon cookies

Ingredients

Butter: Make sure to use softened unsalted butter

Granulated Sugar: You’ll need it for the dough and for rolling

Brown Sugar: I tried making lemon cookies without brown sugar many times but honestly these are better. The brown sugar helps keep them soft!

Lemon Zest: While you might wonder why there is no lemon juice in the cookies don’t worry! The lemon zest is where all the flavor is! Learn how to zest a lemon!

Egg: I always use large eggs in my baking

Lemon Extract: This is a MUST. Without it the cookies won’t have the punch of lemon flavor you expect from a lemon cookie.

Baking Soda, Salt, All-purpose Flour: Normal for almost all cookie recipes.

How to Make Lemon Cookies

1. Cream: Beat the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl until the mixture is creamy and fluffy. Learn how to cream butter and sugar!

2. Mix: Mix in the egg, lemon extract, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour and mix until the dough comes together.

3. Roll: Pour some granulated sugar into a bowl. Form two tablespoons of the cookie dough to form a ball and roll it in the sugar until it’s evenly coated. Place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough.

4. Chill the cookie dough balls for at least 30 minutes before baking them.

5. Bake: Transfer the chilled cookie dough balls to a prepared cookie sheet. Space them two inches apart and bake them t 350°F for 11 to 14 minutes. Cool the cookies before serving.

Overhead shot of lemon cookie dough balls on parchment paper before being cooked

Optional Lemon Glaze

These cookies are fantastic plain but I also love icing them with a simple lemon glaze to amp up that lemon flavor.

To make the glaze: Simply whisk powdered sugar, lemon juice and milk or heavy cream in a small bowl then drizzle it on the cookies.

If you’re using milk, you’ll need less than if you’re using cream. The glaze will also be thinner and more runny. If you want it to be more of a set glaze, use the cream.

Stack of lemon cookies with icing on the top cookie

Tips

  • Other Topping Idea: You can drizzle the cookies with melted white chocolate, too. Just melt it in the microwave and then drizzle over the cookies.
  • How to store lemon cookies: You can store cooled cookies in an airtight container for up to three days.
  • How to freeze cookies: Freeze them for up to two months. I prefer freezing them unfrosted.
Stack of five iced lemon cookies with top on cut in half

FAQ

Do you have to chill lemon cookies? 

Yes, for the best results, freeze the dough for at least 30 minutes. This will firm up the butter, so your cookies don’t spread too much while they bake.

Why did my cookies not flatten? 

Most likely, it’s because there was too much flour in the dough. When you measure flour for cookies, use a kitchen scale or spoon and level method to get the right amount.

Can you freeze cookies? 

Yes, they freeze great! Place them in a freezer bag or container, and they will keep well in the freezer for up to two months. When you’re ready to serve them, thaw them at room temperature.

How do you add lemon flavor to cookies?

To get a punch of lemon flavor it’s best to add a lot of lemon zest and lemon extract to the dough. Adding lemon juice to a glaze adds even more lemon flavor!

I just love the bright lemon flavor in these cookies! You will, too, so be sure to give these fantastic homemade lemon cookies a try. I know you will love them!

More Lemon Dessert Recipes You’ll Enjoy

Lemon Cookies Recipe

The PERFECT lemon cookie! These cookies are good plain or made extra lemony with icing.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 12 minutes
Yield 25 cookies
Serving Size 1 cookie

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • cup (134g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (50g) packed brown sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ cups (186g) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar, for rolling

Optional Glaze:

  • ¾ cup (85g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) lemon juice
  • 2-3 teaspoons (10-15ml) milk or heavy cream

Instructions

  • Place butter, ⅔ cup granulated sugar and brown sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Beat with a hand or a stand mixture for 2-3 minutes, or until creamed and fluffy.
  • Mix in egg, lemon extract, baking soda and salt, then mix in flour until cookie dough forms.
  • Place remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar in a small bowl. Scoop 1 tablespoon sized cookie dough balls and roll in sugar, then place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. No need to space; we are chilling the dough.
  • Chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line another cookie sheet then spread cookies at least 2-inches apart. Bake for 11-14 minutes or until they just lose their glossy sheen. Cool before frosting, if using.
  • To frost: whisk powdered sugar with lemon juice and 2 teaspoons milk, adding more milk as needed for consistency. Drizzle over cookies and let set (it semi-sets, so hard on top but drippy underneath the top layer of icing).
  • Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 months.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 115kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 17mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 129IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 5mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information not guaranteed to be accurate

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chewy cookies, cookies with lemon, lemon cookies, lemon flavored cookies, soft cookies
Stack of lemon cookies with icing on the top cookie and recipe title on bottom of image

Lemon Cookies are perfect for anyone who loves lemon! They are so easy to make, soft, chewy and turn out perfect every time.

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4 CommentsLeave a comment or review

  1. Thank you for sharing “how-to zest lemons” with us readers. The tips are helpful for new recipes as I have been baking since I was a child. New ideas can be very helpful.

  2. These are delish! Makes the perfect amount and so easy to mix up and bake. Good without frosting but we preferred it with the frosting.
    Keeper and will be making these often.

  3. One tablespoon or two of the dough to make the balls? The recipe says one but the preceding text says two.