These Lemon Cookies are super soft and bursting with lemon flavor. These cookies are incredibly easy to make and the perfect treat for anyone who loves lemon desserts!
Even though I absolutely love chocolate, I’ve always been a huge lemon lover too. There’s just something that’s so refreshing when lemon is added to just about anything.
I originally published and shared this delicious lemon cookie recipe back in 2016, but I’ve updated it to make it even better! Not only are these lemon cookies incredibly soft and delicious, but they’re also:
- Easy to make
- Packed with lemon flavor
- Perfect topped with a lemon glaze!
In today’s post, I’m breaking down everything you need to know about how to make these incredible lemon cookies. I guarantee that if you love lemon desserts, you will adore this recipe!
To make these soft lemon cookies, you’ll need just a few simple ingredients. Here’s what you will be using to make them:
- All-Purpose Flour: This provides the structure for your cookies so they don’t fall apart when you pick them up. To ensure that they turn out right, make sure to use the spoon and level method when measuring your flour. Too much flour = cakey, crumbly cookies.
- Baking Soda & Salt: The baking soda helps to lift the cookies and the salt brings out the flavors.
- Unsalted Butter: I always recommend unsalted butter when it comes to baking. If using salted butter, reduce the salt in this recipe to a tiny pinch.
- Granulated Sugar: I love to use brown sugar in cookie recipes whenever possible, but for these cookies you will only be using granulated sugar. The granulated sugar allows the lemon flavor to really shine through, sweetens the cookies, and helps them spread as they bake in the oven.
- Egg: To help bind the cookie dough together. A room temperature egg is best to ensure that it mixes together properly in your dough.
- Lemon Juice & Zest: Fresh lemon juice is always best, but bottled should be fine here too. One medium lemon will yield about 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.
- Lemon Extract: This helps to enhance the lemon flavor in these cookies even more! Don’t have any on hand? See my FAQ section for how to adjust the recipe.
How To Make Lemon Cookies
To make these lemon sugar cookies, you’ll start out by whisking together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set the mixture aside and then mix up the wet ingredients.
For the wet ingredients, start by beating the softened butter and the granulated sugar together for 1 to 2 minutes or until they’re well combined. Next, mix in a room temperature egg until it’s fully incorporated into the creamed butter and sugar. I always stop and scrape down the sides of my bowl and mix again to ensure that the egg is thoroughly combined.
Then, mix in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract until fully combined. The mixture may look a little curdled at this point because of the acidity of the lemons, but this is okay. Mix in the dry ingredients until they’re just combined into the dough.
Finally, cover the cookie dough and let it chill for at least 30 minutes. This will help ensure that the cookies stay nice and thick and don’t spread too much in the oven. I also recommend preheating your oven to 350°F (177°C) while the cookie dough is chilling.
For these cookies, I like to use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop (#40 scoop) because it creates the perfect size cookie. Just scoop the dough onto a couple of baking sheets lined with parchment paper and bake the cookies for 10 to 13 minutes. I recommend letting them cool on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, then transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Can you replace the lemon extract in these cookies?
If you can’t find any lemon extract, I suggest adding an additional 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of lemon zest to enhance the lemon flavor.
Can you freeze lemon cookies?
Yes, you may freeze these cookies! Once the cookies have cooled, freeze them in a freezer bag or container for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to enjoy the cookies, place them on the counter and let them come to room temperature.
You may also scoop the cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze the balls of cookie dough. Once frozen, store the cookie dough in a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. You can either thaw the cookie dough overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed in the recipe or bake from frozen for an additional 1 to 2 minutes.
Can I add a glaze on top of these cookies?
These cookies are fantastic with a lemon glaze! To make it, simply whisk together 1 cup (120 g) of powdered sugar and 1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) of fresh lemon juice. I recommend starting with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, then adding 1/2 teaspoon at a time to thin out the glaze. You want the glaze thin enough to drizzle on top of the cookies, but thick enough to stay in place.
Quick Tip: Make sure the cookies have cooled completely before you add the glaze!
- I recommend zesting your lemon first, then juicing it.
- To get the most lemon juice out of your lemon, roll it on the counter firmly with your hand, then cut it in half, and squeeze out the juice.
- It’s best to use a room temperature egg in this recipe. If you forget to set it out ahead of time, simply place your egg in a bowl of warm water for 5 to 10 minutes.
More Lemon Recipes To Enjoy!
- Mini Lemon Blueberry Cheesecakes
- Classic Lemon Bars
- Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake
- Lemon Snowball Cookies
- Lemon Pie
- 1 and 3/4 cup (220 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter softened
- 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg at room temperature
- Zest of one medium lemon
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
- Optional: 2-3 drops of yellow food coloring
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using a handheld mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar together for 1 to 2 minutes or until well combined. Add the egg and mix until fully combined.
- Mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon extract, and yellow food coloring until fully combined, making sure to stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Cover tightly and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator. Using a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop balls of the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheets, making sure to leave a little room between each one.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the tops of the cookie are set. Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheets for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Oh these lemon cookies look divine!! I am such a sucker for lemons!
Thank you, Annie! I’m such a sucker for lemon too 😉
We are twinning with the lemon desserts! These cookies look so pillowy and delicious- so perfect for spring! 🙂
We definitely are! I just checked out your mug cake and it looks sooooooo good!
I’m with you – if I eat a lemon dessert, I want it to taste a whole lot like lemon! These cookies look so delicious!
You must know that lemon desserts are my WEAKNESS! These look SO delicious, and now I’m craving cookies!
It’s my weakness too, Denise! Thank you 🙂
My cookies did not come out like the picture showed
Hi, Joyce. Did the cookies turn out flat or too thick? Or was something else wrong with them?
I scoop cookies with smallest scooper and they dont flatten out at all…..did not chill either….
Sorry to hear that, Karen. Did you make sure to spoon & level your flour? If you’re having issues with the cookies not spreading, you can also flatten them some before baking and that should help.
These are perfect for spring!!
perfect cookies for lemon lover, these are look so delicious 🙂
Hi Danielle, do you know any substitute for the lemon extract? I can’t find it where I live 🙁 thank you, I adore all your recipes, they always turn perfect!
Hi Cristina! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the recipes, your comment made my day 🙂 I think it would be just fine to omit the lemon extract. They won’t be quite as lemony, so maybe try adding a little more lemon zest.
My lemon extract says that 1/2 tsp extract= about 1/2 tsp lemon zest. So maybe try an extra 1/2 tablespoon of lemon zest if you decide to add more. You could also add a lemon juice and powdered sugar glaze on top too! Hope that helps 🙂
Thank you so so much!! I did both, triple lemon zest plus a double lemon glaze and they are delicious, i love lemon as you can see haha, i made them super tiny since they have such a powerful flavor. Love them! Thank you again for your quick response 🙂
Yay! So glad to hear that you enjoyed them, Cristina! Happy to hear that the changes worked, it will be helpful for others for can’t find the lemon extract too 🙂
Mine are in the oven…. Didnt have lemon zest so I added the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Looking forward to it. Thank you so much for the recipe!!!
Hope you enjoy the cookies, Lily!
These are so good! I didn’t have any lemon extract, so I just used extra lemon juice, and it turned out great. They were super easy and delicious. Thanks!!
So glad you enjoyed the cookies! And glad to hear the lemon juice turned out great too!
Can I use lemon oil instead of the extract? How much should I use?
I haven’t tried it yet, but that would be probably be fine. Lemon oil is much stronger than extract though, so I would start with a small amount and add more as needed. Everything I’ve found says 1/8 teaspoon lemon oil = 1 teaspoon lemon extract, so maybe start there. Hope that helps!
OH MY!! These are the absolute BEST lemon cookies I’ve EVER made! I did have to do a little tweaking due to food allergies, but these are beyond awesome. I had to make sure all items were gluten-free, used a flax egg and added a smidge more lemon everything than called for (the hubs loves lemon); other than that, I followed the recipe to a T. Before baking them, I did roll them in sugar and that took them to the next level. I will def be making these again!
So glad you liked the cookies!
I was looking around for a lemon cookie recipe and ended up deciding to try this one.
I can honestly say that these are probably some of the best cookies I’ve ever tried. After eating one, I actually had tears in my eyes. Thank you so much for sharing this!!
I’m so happy to hear that! 🙂
Delicious!!! So light and lemony! I didn’t have any lemon zest, so used orange zest instead, which worked great!. 🙂
So glad you liked the cookies, Marty!
These are absolutely the best lemon cookies I even had. I made an ate the entire batch. Thank you so much for sharing.
I’m glad you liked the cookies, Angie!
I’m gonna make these cookies tonight! After reading the reviews I can wait to eat them. I’ll let you know!
I’d love to hear how they turn out, Linda! 🙂
Oh my god! I made these today, and they were so delicious! I gave some to my teacher, and she liked them too. This is and awesome recipe. Thank you!
So nice of you to give some to your teacher, Fotima! I’m glad you both liked the cookies!
Best Lemon Cookies! Made them right now! Definitely a keeper! Keep using your talents to inspire others and God!!
Thank you, Ashley! I’m glad you liked the cookies!
Yum! These turned out great. Added 1 t vanilla, zest and juice of an entire lemon and baked for the full 12 mins. Beautifully cracked and moist out of the oven and amazomg delicate flavor. I think these are gonna be a new snack stand by in my house.
Thanks for the recipe 🙂 it was easy and fun to make!
So glad you liked the cookies! 🙂
Are these cookies really soft or is there any way to make them a bit crispy? I want to try and maje them this week. Thanks!
They’re soft, but they’re not cakey. You could try baking them a little longer if you want them crispier.
I made these and they where divine! I wanted some lemon cookies that didn’t have too much sugar, because for some reason I had a few lying around. I added some chia seeds to get some fibre and omega three and that’s where delicious! Would make again for sure xx
Chia seeds are a wonderful idea, Kayleigh! So glad you liked the cookies.
These were a hit!! Everybody I shared them with absolutely love them! I made them straight on your recipe – perfect! I wouldn’t change a thing! I don’t see the nutrition listed and was a bit curious. Can you share? Thank you!
So glad everyone liked the cookies, Sue! I’m not sure on the nutritional information, but you can plug it into an app/website like My Fitness Pal to get an estimate.
These lemon cookies are delicious! This is my eighteenth time making them. When the cookies are out of the oven, I like to add confectioners sugar on top. Thank you for making this recipe!
I’ve made these three times……yummy…..this round (they bake as I speak) I rolled the dough balls in granulated sugar, then icing sugar then placed them on the baking sheet. I can see, already, they are baking out with the most amazing baked-on sugary coating. Can’t wait to taste them.
Tried these with subbing coconut sugar, vegan butter, and w/o a hand mixer (I don’t have one) and they still turned out amazing! Def keeping this recipe on hand for whenever I have fresh lemons in the house.
I’m 14 years old and saw someone make lemon cookies as a dessert and I immediately wanted some. I found this recipe and tried it and these are my new favorite cookies! I have had about 7 today and will probably have more tomorrow. Absolutely amazing!!
Followed as directed and the cookies came out too fluffy and like biscuits ?the taste was spot on but the texture was off
Sorry to hear that, Nikki. Did you make sure to spoon and level the flour?
I tried this recipe and turned out amazing! Very nice and clear!
It was a lot of fun to make, and they taste really good. They were good when we cooked them for about 15 minutes. Really good and easy to make!
I’ve tried this a couple times now, and don’t find the method of creaming the butter and sugar to produce the texture I like for my cookies. Not a fault of just this recipe, more of a personal preference. So I combine this recipe with a technique for making Madeline’s.
Instead of creaming the butter and sugar I whipped the eggs with the sugar and lemon stuff to get some air in there. Then I will either mix in the softened butter and flour mixture. Or I will brown the butter before adding it in but then you need to either chill the butter before adding it or the chill the cookie dough for longer before baking. 15 mins in the freezer seems to do the trick or an hour in the frig.
I think I messed up. My cookies don’t have have the cookie texture and are too fluffy as if they’re muffins.
Sorry to hear that, Jon. Did you make sure to spoon & level your flour? Or did you make any adjustments to the recipe?
My cookies came out really bland and a bit dry…any suggestions?
Sorry to hear that, Kate. Did you make any adjustments to the recipe? And did you make sure to spoon & level your flour?
Have been looking for a good lemon cookie that I can add lemon chips and/or pecans to and think this will really work. Thanks for all the great recipes.