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You’re going to love these easy lemon cookies. With a slight crisp on the outside and a wonderfully soft, chewy center, they are bursting with sweet, zingy lemon flavor.

A stack of lemon cookies. The top cookie has a bight taken out of it.
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Looking for a perfect, any-time-of-day cookie to brighten up your mood and satisfy your taste buds? This is it. These easy lemon cookies are loaded with sweet, zingy flavor and have the most incredible texture to them. Soft and chewy yet with just the slightest crunch. It’s a recipe you’ll come back to over and over again.

Why You’ll Love This Lemon Cookies Recipe

Searching for reasons to play hooky for a little bit and make cookies? I’ve got a few for you right here. Here’s why you need to make these tasty treats ASAP.

  • Texture. These cookies have a slight crisp on the outside but then your teeth sink into this gloriously soft, chewy inside that’s just so delightful.
  • Serious lemon flavor. Mostly real lemon too! I used a tiny bit of lemon extract but most of the lemon flavor comes from real lemon zest and juice. And man does it come through. Lemony but not bitter, these are the perfect sweet, citrusy treat.
  • Simple and easy. I love how straightforward this recipe is. In just a few simple steps (and only 15 minutes of active time) you will be on your way to light, bright, lemony cookies.
Ingredients for lemon cookies.

What You’ll Need

Here’s what you’ll need to make this lemon cookies recipe. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card below for exact measurements.

  • All-purpose flour – A 1:1 gluten-free flour would also do the trick.
  • Cornstarch – The cornstarch gives these cookies a nice soft, chewy center and helps prevent them from spreading.
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter – Allow your butter to soften at room temperature before beginning. If it’s too cold or too melted it will not cream properly with the sugar.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs – The eggs should be at room temperature. They will incorporate into the batter more smoothly and easily.
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh lemon juice – I mean it when I say fresh. None of that bottled stuff, please.
  • Lemon extract
  • Yellow food coloring – This is purely for aesthetics. You can leave the food coloring out if you’d like, but it does make these cookies look extra lemony.
  • Powdered sugar

How to Make Lemon Cookies

Ready for a quick overview of how to make lemon cookies? Here it comes! Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

  • Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.
  • Combine the wet ingredients. Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then beat in the egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract.
  • Put it all together. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  • Chill. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30-60 minutes.
  • Prep. Preheat the oven to 350°Fahrenheit and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Bake. Form the dough into 1.5 tablespoon-sized balls and arrange them on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  • Slam. Remove the cookies from the oven and slam the baking sheets on the counter a couple of times.
  • Cool. Cool the cookies for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
  • Garnish. Dust with powdered sugar.
Dusting lemon cookies with powdered sugar.

Tips for Soft & Chewy Lemon Cookies

Want to get this recipe for lemon cookies right the first time? Here are a few simple tips and tricks to set you in the right direction.

  • Room temperature ingredients. Be sure that your butter and eggs are at room temperature. Butter that is too cold or too melted will not cream properly with the sugar (see my next point). Eggs that are too cold will not incorporate with the other ingredients as easily, which can lead to over-mixing.
  • Look for light and fluffy. When beating together the butter and sugar, do so until the mixture has significantly lightened in color and become fluffy. This process incorporates are into the dough which helps ensure that your cookies don’t turn out overly dense.
  • Don’t over-mix. When incorporating the wet and dry ingredients, it is important not to over-mix as this can cause the glutens in the flour to overdevelop which, in turn, can end you with unpleasantly tough cookies.
  • Equal size. Try to keep your cookie dough balls as equal in size as possible. Otherwise, they will finish baking at different times.
  • Room to spread. Keep in mind that these cookies do spread. So leave an inch or two of space between each.
A stack of lemon cookies.

Proper Storage

Allow the cookies to cool to room temperature before sealing them in an airtight container. I like to use parchment paper to separate any layers. You can store them at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

I do not recommend refrigerating lemon cookies. They will dry out.

Lemon cookies spread out over parchment paper. One has a bite taken out of it.

Looking for more delicious ways to fill up your cookie jar? You came to the right place. Here are some other recipes to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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5 from 6 votes

Lemon Cookies

These lemon cookies are so easy to make. They're bursting with sweet, zingy lemon flavor and they have this wonderfully soft, chewy center that's just to die for. You have to try them.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 27 minutes
Servings: 16 cookies

Ingredients 

  • 1 ¾ cup (219 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (114 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon extract
  • Optional: 2-3 drops of yellow food coloring
  • Powdered sugar, for topping

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.
    Whisking together dry ingredients for cookie dough.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract, and beat until fully combined.
    Wet ingredients for lemon cookie dough beaten together.
  • Add the flour mixture in increments and mix until fully combined. Mix in the food coloring, if using, and mix until all is combined and no streaks remain.
    Mixing together wet and dry ingredients for lemon cookie dough.
  • Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 350 °F (177 °C) and line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • Scoop dough with a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie dough scoop and place onto prepared baking sheets with space in between each scoop.
    Scooping lemon cookie dough into cookies.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the tops are just set. Remove from oven and slam the baking sheets on the counter to get a nice crinkle top effect. Allow to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet then remove and place onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
    Lemon cookies on a cooling rack dusted with powdered sugar.
  • Put a little powdered sugar into a mesh strainer and tap against it over the cookies, if desired.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie (35 grams), Calories: 142kcal, Carbohydrates: 20g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 25mg, Sodium: 76mg, Potassium: 23mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 9g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.

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