Buttery and tender lemon cookies rolled in powdered sugar. These Lemon Snowball Cookies are so easy to make, incredibly delicious, and don’t require any dough chilling!
Have you ever made snowball cookies? If you haven’t, imagine a rich and buttery cookie coated in powdered sugar that literally melts in your mouth. And yes, they’re just as delicious as they sound.
I actually got the idea for these lemon snowball cookies after I posted the recipe for these pecan snowball cookies last year. So many of you loved the recipe that I decided to switch it up and make a lemon version for spring.
And if you’ve never made snowball cookies, I can promise they’re probably one of the easiest cookies you’ll ever make. You just need a few simple ingredients and you don’t even have to chill the cookie dough!
To make these cookies, you’ll start by creaming together some unsalted butter and powdered sugar until they’re well combined. Why powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar? Unlike granulated sugar, powedered sugar prevents cookies from spreading very much. Powdered sugar is typically used in snowball cookies so they bake up thicker and rounder.
Along with the butter and powdered sugar, you’ll be using some fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract. I did test these cookies with just lemon juice, but found that the cookies spread too much and were too crumbly.
So, I opted to use some lemon extract because it’s much stronger and you don’t need as much to get that delicious lemon flavor. If you don’t have any lemon extract, I suggest buying a small container of it to keep on hand. It’s perfect to use in other desserts and for glazes and frostings instead of fresh lemon juice.
Lastly, you’ll be mixing in some all-purpose flour and a little bit of salt. When measuring your flour, be sure to spoon and level it versus scooping it from the container. If you scoop the flour from the container, it can become packed inside your measuring cup and you can end up with too much flour. You want the right amount of the flour in these cookies so they’re soft and tender, not crumbly.
If you want to add a little pop of yellow to these cookies, you can add a few drops of yellow food coloring or a little bit of gel food color. This step is completely optional, but I love to add 3-4 drops of food coloring so it’s more obvious that these cookies are lemon flavored.
The cookies may crack slightly in the oven as they’re baking, this is okay. You’ll be covering them with powdered sugar so you won’t even be able to tell once they’re finished.
Once the cookies have cooled for 5-10 minutes, roll them in some powdered sugar while they’re still warm. The first coating of powdered sugar won’t completely cover the cookies, but you’ll be rolling them a second time to coat them better.
Baking Tips for Lemon Snowball Cookies
- When measuring your flour, don’t scoop it out of the container with the measuring cup. Instead, stir the flour around, spoon it into your measuring cup, and level it off with the back of a knife.
- Make sure to measure the cookies correctly. You’ll only need about 1 tablespoon of dough per cookie. A tablespoon cookie scoop or measuring spoon works great!
- You can add 3-4 drops of yellow food coloring or food gel to make the cookies a little more yellow like the pictures. This step is completely optional!
- 1 cup (230 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 and ½ cups (180 grams) powdered sugar, divided
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) fresh lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 1 and ½ teaspoons lemon extract
- 2 and ¼ cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Optional: 3-4 drops of yellow food coloring
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and ½ cup (60 grams) of powdered sugar (set the remaining 1 cup aside to roll the cookies in) for 1-2 minutes or until well combined. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract and mix until fully combined. Mix in the flour and salt until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. If using food coloring, mix in a few drops until just combined.
- Using a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop (or measuring tablespoon) scoop out the cookie dough, roll into balls, and place on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake in separate batches at 350°F for 14-15 minutes or until the cookies are set.
- Allow cookies to cool slightly for about 5-10 minutes, then roll each cookie in the remaining 1 cup (120 grams) of powdered sugar while they're still warm. Allow to cool completely and roll all of the cookies one more time in the powdered sugar.
Freezing Instructions: Cookies will freeze well for up to 3 months stored in a freezer bag or container. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight, then bring to room temperature before serving. Roll in additional powdered sugar if needed once the cookies have thawed.