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Lemon Cut Out Sugar Cookies

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It’s spring, and Easter is around the corner. Which means it’s the perfect time to celebrate with Lemon Cut Out Sugar Cookies! They are delicious, buttery, sunny and bright with lemon flavor, and super easy to make in any shape you want.

Side view of shaped Lemon Cut Out Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing ready for serving

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Fun shapes add a touch of whimsy to any springtime gathering. Whether you’re celebrating Easter, hosting a garden party, or just looking for a fun baking project, these cut-out lemon sugar cookies will surely be a hit.

This is my favorite cut out sugar cookies recipe, brightened up for spring. I hear from many of you during Christmas that it’s also one of your favorites.

Now… we can make them for spring too!

Side view of Lemon Cut Out Sugar Cookies in Easter Bunny Shapes on a white cake stand

What to Love About Lemon Cut Out Sugar Cookies

  • Easy to make without chilling the dough
  • Perfect for cut out shapes or icebox cookie style
  • Butter and delicious with a handful of ingredients

Ingredients for Lemon Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Specific ingredient measurements are in the recipe card below.

Here’s all you need to make these simple cookies:

  • Butter, softened to room temperature
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemon (zest for the cookies, juice for the icing if making)
  • Large egg
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder plus salt

Lemon Royal Icing

As you can see in the photos, I don’t ice all of my cookies. We have friends and family in both camps of loving frosting, and the not-so-much crowd.

Here are the ingredients for the Royal Icing.

  • Powdered sugar
  • Meringue powder
  • Lemon juice (from the zest lemon in the cookie recipe)
  • Water as needed for consistency

For these cookies, I make the icing closer to flood consistency, which means it’s not too stiff but not watery either. More details are in the recipe card below, but essentially I dip the front of the cookie into the icing, let the excess run off and then let harden on the counter.

Top view of Easter Bunny Lemon Cut Out Sugar Cookies with Lemon Royal Icing on a pink and white plate

Tips for Making Lemon Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Here are a few tips to help make these sugar cookies as effortless as possible and delicious too!


I like to use a stand mixer (or electric mixer) to cream the butter and sugar together. It’s a quick and easier way to make this dough.

Dough Consistency

A little like shortbread dough, be sure to mix until the dough comes together, which could take a minute or two.

Top view of cookie dough cut into Easter bunny shapes

Rolling the Cookies

I like cut-out sugar cookies on the thicker side, so I roll the dough to about 1/4 inch thick. Be sure to flour the surface before rolling the dough, the cookie cutter, and your rolling pin.

Top view of unbaked Lemon Cut Out Sugar Cookies on a parchment lined sheet pan

Chilling the Dough

While most sugar cookie dough requires chilling for a couple of hours, this recipe does not require lengthy chilling. I like to place the cutout cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop them into the refrigerator to chill while the oven is reheating. A second batch is waiting in the fridge while the first batch is baking.

Top view of Easter Bunny shaped Lemon Cut Out Sugar Cookie on a pink and white plate with a ribbon

While I absolutely love my copper cookie cutter, I purchased it several years ago and am trying to remember where I found it! Here are some cute spring shapes at Amazon.

  • Easter Cookie Cutters Set (Williams-Sonoma)
  • 5-Inch Easter Bunny Shape (Amazon)
  • Spring Flower Garden Cutters Set (Amazon)– super cute!


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Top view of bunny shaped Lemon Cut Out Sugar Cookies with a pink ribbon on a pink and white plate

Lemon Cut Out Sugar Cookies

Celebrate spring with Lemon Cut Out Sugar Cookies; delicious, buttery, sunny and bright with lemon flavor, and easy to make in any shape.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Author: Stephanie Wilson


  • 1 cup butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Lemon Royal Icing

  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 teaspoons meringue powder
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • water as needed for consistency


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla; beat to combine.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and combine. Continue to beat until the dough comes together, pulling away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Divide the dough in half and roll out on a floured surface to about 1/4-inch thick. Cut into shapes and transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Refrigerate cut-out cookies on the baking sheet for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cold.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • Bake cookies for 9 to 10 minutes, or until set and light brown around the edges. Let sit on the baking sheet for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack.

Lemon Royal Icing

  • Combine the ingredients in a bowl and stir until smooth.
  • Add water as necessary, about 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until the icing is the right consistency. I like to run a spatula through the icing. For me, I like the consistency when it takes about 10 seconds for the ripples to disappear and the icing is flattened.
  • Dip each baked cookie, one at a time, in the frosting by holding onto the edges and dipping in just the surface. Let the excess icing drip back into the bowl and then quickly flip the cookie right side up and lay it on a flat surface.
  • Using a toothpick, you can guide and spread frosting into any gaps. Let the icing dry before storing. Depending on how thick the frosting is, this could take several hours.



Icebox Variation: This dough works great as an icebox cookie too. Instead of forming the dough into a disk, form it into a log, wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate until ready to bake. Then, simply slice and bake. 


Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 130mg | Potassium: 23mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 10g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe? Pin it Today!Follow me on Pinterest for more and use the "Pin" button at the top of the recipe card.
Course: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cut out cookies, sugar cookies, cut out sugar cookies, lemon cut out sugar cookies


  1. I am making this recipe for the first time and doubling it. Your amount of butter says 2 cups, but notes 2 sticks, not 4. I doubled the butter so hope it come out!

    1. Hi Victoria! You’re right, when using the doubling feature on the recipe card, it doesn’t double my “note section” in the ingredient field. I will have to think about how to write that in the future. It definitely is 2 cups of butter when doubling the recipe and will be 4 sticks. Thank you for letting me know this!

  2. We loved them! The lemony taste is different, I brought some neighborhood kids, and we baked 3 doz. We used bunny’s, eggs, tulip cut outs. Anything 🌼🌱Spring thx for your recipes.love your bows

    1. Love this so much! I’m so glad you invited the neighborhood kids– it makes it even more fun! So glad you enjoyed them (and the bows too!).

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