Lemon Cookies

Lemon Cookies flavored with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest are soft, sweet, and PERFECT for making ahead of time and pulling out when you need them!

Cookie season never ends in our kitchen, and today we’re busy baking up our favorite cookie recipes, Dark Chocolate Crinkle Cookies, Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies, and Black and White Cookies.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Lemon Cookies are one of my absolute favorite cookies to make because they’re a little bit chewy, and little bit sweet, and full of that lemony goodness you’d expect from the fresh lemon juice and zest.

Some people also refer to these cookies as Lemon Crinkle Cookies, but with as many lemon cookie varieties as I’ve eaten these are the most lemon-y ones I’ve ever had, so they qualify as my classic version.

I make these all year round because while cookies are amazing during the holidays, lemon is also one of best flavors to bring out in the springtime and summer. Given the weather right now I need all the spring and summer I can muster!

You can also make this ahead of time and chill or freeze the cookies until you’re ready to serve, making them perfect to pull out when you’re entertaining on busy days!


Lemon cookies are considered a drop cookie, which means that they have a lot of sugar in the dough, causing them to drop down and flatten really fast. This happens even more-so when the butter in the cookies is warm and already melty.

It is really important to refrigerate the dough for this cookie recipe, because you’re giving the butter and sugar a chance to get really cold. Then when they hit the heat of the oven, it will take longer for the cookie to drop than it does for the dough to cook through, leaving you with the chewy soft amazing texture that we’re looking for here.

Refrigerate this dough for a minimum of two hours, but preferably overnight, to make sure it’s as cold as possible. If you go straight from mixing to the oven, you’re running the risk of flat crunchy cookies.


This cookie recipe will keep on the counter in an airtight container for 8-10 days. I recommend layering the cookies with parchment paper to stop them from sticking together.

Or, the more likely case is they’ll last about an hour. 😉

Lemon Cookie


You can freeze lemon cookies for a few weeks when sealed tightly and layered with parchment or wax paper. Defrost at room temperature for a few hours before serving.

You can also freeze the dough. Either roll it in plastic wrap tightly and seal the whole thing in a plastic bag, or scoop it into tablespoon sized balls, freeze the balls initially on a baking sheet, then transfer to an airtight container. You can go right from the freezer to the oven when you’re ready to bake.



  • Start with either lemon cake mix or white cake mix.
  • Mix cake mix with 2 eggs and ½ cup of vegetable oil.
  • If you’re using lemon mix, add zest only, or it will be too lemony. For white, add both lemon zest and lemon juice.
  • Scoop onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for a total time of 8-10 minutes, or until they are cooked through.
  • Dust with confectioner’s sugar or top with glaze or frosting once the cookies have completely cooled.


  • These cookies drop, so we’re only looking to scoop about a tablespoon of dough to roll in the sugar. You can find tablespoon-sized ice cream scoops with a release button that make this part a lot faster and easier.
  • I recommend using fresh lemon juice instead of bottled. The fresh juice just tastes better and doesn’t have any added ingredients that can mute the flavor of the cookie.
  • You can use a lemon zester to get the skin off of the lemon, but honestly I just use a small cheese grater and it does the job just as well.
  • These lemon cookies bake really fast, so watch them closely! They will still be really soft when you remove them from the oven. The cookies will firm up as they cool off. You can lightly tap them to see if they’ve firmed up or if they need more time.
  • Instead of rolling them in sugar, you can also top these cookies with a simple glaze. Or, dust them with powdered sugar after they’ve cooled down.

Lemon Cookies with powdered sugar

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Lemon Cookies

Lemon Cookies flavored with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest are soft, sweet, and PERFECT for making ahead of time and pulling out when you need them!
Yield 24 cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • Cream the butter and sugar in your stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes then add in the lemon zest, vanilla, egg and lemon juice and combine fully.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together then add it to the stand mixer on medium speed and mix until just combined.
  • Wrap the dough in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours (preferably overnight), then when you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using a tablespoon scoop, drop tablespoon amounts into powdered sugar and roll until well covered then place onto a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes, do not brown the cookies, they'll be soft when they come out and harden as they cool.


Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.


Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 30mg | Potassium: 52mg | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 1.2mg | Calcium: 19mg | Iron: 0.6mg
Keyword: lemon cookies

Easy Lemon Cookies

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the upcoming cookbook: Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients which is being published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

Dinner, then Dessert, Inc. owns the copyright on all images and text and does not allow for its original recipes and pictures to be reproduced anywhere other than at this site unless authorization is given. If you enjoyed the recipe and would like to publish it on your own site, please re-write it in your own words, and link back to my site and recipe page. Read my disclosure and copyright policy. This post may contain affiliate links.


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  1. Good flavor, very light, but a little crumbly. They stuck to my non-stock cookie sheets. I like them a light brown on the edges and crispy. Cooked 20 min. Best lemon cookie recipe so far although they did’t appear crinkled. I would appreciate feed back.

    1. I realize this comment is very old, so I am so sorry for the delay in replying.

      Did you have any issues with the mixing? I have had that turnout when I mixed mine a bit too much. Also cooking that long can dry them a bit more which could cause sticking. I would use a parchment paper lining and it would alleviate a lot of the issues.

  2. My daughter is on a strict Low Fodmap diet, and she could eat (and enjoy) these cookies. I followed the recipe exactly, even using the yellow food coloring (I needed 4-5 drops). I prepared the dough, chilled it a little bit, then used a small ice cream scoop to measure and put the drop cookies on a non-stick cookie sheet. I froze all the cookies and put them into a large plastic bag with the powdered sugar. After shaking the bag to distribute the sugar, I put the bag full of cookies back into the freezer. When I took them out to bake, still frozen, they didn’t spread at all. I was careful to underbake them just slightly. They were absolutely melt-in-the-mouth delicious! Thank you, Sabrina! I’m looking forward !to trying more of your recipes.

  3. Although the amount of lemon juice and zest may seem like a lot, the lemon flavour really decreases when you bake them so don’t be afraid to add more! I also added yellow food colouring as I wanted them to be yellow for a friends birthday present and they turned out just like the pics! I would also recommend really coating the dough in icing sugar to get the crinkle affect. Thanks for the recipe, my friend and I loved them!

    1. Do I need to adjust to high altitude for this recipe? I Live over 6000 ft and tried your
      Applesauce Banana Bread which took over 2 hours to bake. Drop cookies are even harder to bake since the sugar, flour and liquid need to be just right for them to spread and crinkle. Any suggestions for me before I forge forward? P.S. I would love High Altitude changes in All Baking Cookbooks….it would be so gratefully appreciated from all of us who spend hours kneading & and waiting for rise times for all their efforts to fail.

  4. I made these cookies on the weekend and brought them into work. Literal rave reviews across the board! These cookies were SUCH a hit. Absolutely going to make them again! Thank you!!!

      1. Hi I made this and when I added in the eggs vanilla and lemon it started to get curdled. Any advice? Is that normal??? Please help

        1. Sometimes, citrus added with dairy can curdle. Next time, try mixing the vanilla and the lemon together first before adding it with the other ingredients. Hope this helps!

    1. Happy to hear that you liked them! Sorry to hear that they didn’t crinkle! If you want to troubleshoot, shoot me an email at contact @ dinnerthendessert .com

  5. Hi! They look great! Quick question though- should the butter be straight out of the fridge/ room temperature /melted? Does it matter?

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. You can use either straight out of the refrigerator or at room temperature butter because the dough will get put back into the refrigerator to really get cold. I hope you enjoy them!

  6. Oh my goodness! They are delicious and my family loves them. “Soft and not too sweet” were the comments. I pretty much have to make them for every party now. Question: your cookies are so yellow, mine were pale…did you add food colouring or is that a filter?

  7. These turned out so good! They were soft and light and made a perfect snack!

    I think your time estimation is a bit off though – 10 minutes to zest lemon, juice lemon, mix together the dough, and roll each cookie individually? And in my opinion, chilling time should be included in the total time – after all, I want to know how long it’ll take before I can enjoy the cookies and if you say 20 minutes I’ll expect them to be finished 20 minutes after starting, haha.

    Thank you for sharing, I’ll definitely be making these again and next time I’ll try to double the batch so I’ll actually be able to throw some in the freezer to save!

  8. These cookies are so delicious!!!
    I’ve just made them but unfortunately I’m from germany so i usually bake after grams.. I’ve googled “teaspoons” and “cups” and it said, per teaspoon 14g and 1 cup is about 340g. Is that right? My dough was not very soft after adding so much flour. Still tastes amazing, just wanted to ask!! Xx

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Each recipe card has the option to change to metric vs US customary measurements. This should help to adjust in the future.

  9. I have tried to save recipes by creating an account as you describe above, when I log in to the account it says ‘no saved recipes’. Can you tell me how I operate your ‘saving’ system? I was trying to save the chicken and sugar recipe, but when logged into my newly created account it was not there? Any advice? I would love to keep my own favourites, but don’t know where to go from here. Many thanks.

    1. Oh no! If you’re still having the issue please email me at contact @ dinnerthendessert .com so I can help you out.

  10. Delicious!!! So light and lemony! I didn’t have any lemon zest, so used orange zest instead, which worked great!. ?

      1. Why is your recipe page so difficult to get to the recepies. All the ads and crossover ads are entirely too much and to many. If you don’t want to share don’t but your maze is crazy. Only self centered people with braces is n their brains do this. Terrible surprise and insulted with this. Bennett

        1. And yet you were able to find your way to the comment section Bennett. Sorry a blog page is “insulting”.