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.