Lemon Cookies: Delicious Homemade Sugar Cookies!

Easy Lemon Cookies are a soft and chewy cookie to fall in love with. An old fashioned sugar cookie, zesty with fresh lemon, and delicious!

Closeup view of homemade Lemon Sugar Cookies on a White Lace Cakestand

I make these by the dozens, especially in the spring, and I promise, they freeze really well. Make ahead for the season or a special event.

You’ll be so glad you did!

Testing Lemon Cookies

Though I’ve made these cookies for years, I decided to test a couple of theories. As a result, I ended up with dozens of cookies in the freezer. All a bit different… but all incredibly delicious.

I tested adding one egg or two, chilling the cookie dough before baking, and varying amounts of lemon juice.

This is the recipe I ended up with. And while the differences are slight degrees different, I’m happy with the result.

These Lemon Sugar Cookies are different from our Butter Lemon Tea Cookies but are similar in flavor. I always love my tea cookies to be thin. This recipe results in a loftier cookie, much like a traditional sugar cookie.

Long view of Lemon Sugar Cookies with milk on a turquois cloth napkin

Simple Lemon Sugar Cookie Ingredients

The ingredients are simple and ones you likely have on hand. Be sure you have one medium-size fresh lemon. Here’s a list of the other ingredients needed:

Pantry:
All-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, and salt. I use a sanding sugar to roll the cookies in just before baking, but granulated sugar works fine too.

Refrigerated:
You will need two sticks of butter or 1 cup, one large egg, and one fresh lemon. 

That’s it. Pretty simple!

How to Make Lemon Cookies

Cream the butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest together with a mixer. A handheld electric mixer works great but a stand mixer is just fine too.

Once the butter mixture is light and fluffy, add lemon juice and an egg; beat until the batter is smooth.

Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt at low speed, or even by hand, until there are no dry threads of flour showing in the batter.

Cover and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the cookies to have a higher loft when baked and help prevent additional spread. 

Once chilled, use a cookie scoop to portion dough evenly, roll into a ball, and then into additional rolling sugar. Place on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. 

Vertical closeup of a plate of Lemon Sugar Cookies

Chilling Lemon Cookie Dough

I wish I could say it doesn’t make a lot of difference. I’m not very patient at waiting for cookie dough to chill.

But, it honestly does make a difference.

When you chill cookie dough, this solidifies the butter in the batter. When you bake chilled cookie dough, it takes longer for the butter to melt in the oven. This results in a chewy cookie with more body and less spread.

Try to chill at least 15 to 30 minutes before baking. You’ll be glad you did. 

Chilled dough is more difficult to roll into a ball than room-temperature dough. Here’s a tip that makes it super easy. Instead of chilling the dough, make dough balls, and freeze. 

How to Freeze Lemon Cookie Dough

  • Scoop dough, roll into a ball, dredge in sugar, and place close together on a parchment-lined baking sheet. 
  • Freeze the cookies on the baking sheet until solid, about 1 hour. 
  • After they are frozen solid, transfer the cookie dough balls into an airtight freezer container and label them. 
  • Freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months.
  • To bake the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Roll the frozen cookie balls in sugar and bake for about 15 minutes. 

Lemon Sugar Cookies on a cakestand on my kitchen counter with tulips in the background.

MORE COOKIE RECIPES

Peanut Butter Cookies
Giant Spiced Ginger Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

3 Homemade Lemon Sugar Cookies on a White Plate with a Bite Missing

Easy Lemon Cookies

Yield: 24 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 22 minutes

Easy Lemon Sugar Cookies are a soft and chewy cookie to fall in love with. Old fashioned, homemade, zesty with fresh lemon, and oh-so-wonderful. 

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup sanding sugar (or granulated sugar)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest until light and fluffy; 1 to 2 minutes. Then add the lemon juice and egg; continue beating to combine. Fold in the flour, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until chilled; about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Add 1/4 cup of sanding sugar to a bowl and set aside. This sugar is for rolling the cookies before they bake.
  4. Using a cookie scoop, form balls of cookie dough, roll each in the sanding sugar, and place on the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
  5. Bake for 11-12 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack.

Notes

How to Store Lemon Cookies

  • Store lemon crinkle cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 185Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 141mgCarbohydrates: 27gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g

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