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Lemon Sugar Cookies

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close up shot of Lemon Sugar Cookies stacked on top of each other on a cooling rack
These are the most delicious, soft, and flavorful lemon sugar cookies you could hope to bake!
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Table of Contents
  1. Lemon Sugar Cookies Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Lemon Sugar Cookies Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Delicious and easy to make, this lemon sugar cookies recipe is baked from scratch to create a unique flavor. Our family is crazy about this old-fashioned classic recipe and thinks the soft and chewy texture with slightly crispy edges is hard to beat. 

close up shot of Lemon Sugar Cookies stacked on top of each other

Lemon Sugar Cookies Ingredients

Lemon Sugar Cookies raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

  • 2¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1½ cups sugar, divided into 1¼ cups and ¼ cup
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 1 egg

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

CITRUS: You could replace the flavor of lemon in this lemon sugar cookie recipe with other citrus flavors such as orange or lime. Just substitute orange or lime juice and orange or lime zest for the lemon equivalents.

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How To Make This Lemon Sugar Cookies Recipe

STEP ONE: Start by whisking together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. 

STEP TWO: In a large bowl with a hand mixer on medium speed, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and 1¼ cups sugar until it’s smooth and creamy. It should take about 1 to 2 minutes.

butter, cream cheese, and sugar blended together in a bowl

STEP THREE: Once mixed, you’ll add vanilla, lemon juice, and fresh lemon zest, and then beat in one egg. 

STEP FOUR: Slowly add your flour mixture to the butter mixture, just a little at a time, until just combined. 

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Do not over mix the batter. Over mixing can result in crumbly cookies.

flour added to the cream cheese mixture in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Wrap the bowl with the plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. 

PRO TIP:

Do not skip the chilling step, this is important to get the best texture for these delicious cookies.

STEP SIX: Preheat your oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

STEP SEVEN: Scoop dough into balls and roll dough in sugar until coated all over.

PRO TIP:

You can use your hands to roll the dough into balls, but a cookie dough scoop will keep your hands clean and help to form the balls into a uniform size.

STEP EIGHT: Bake the lemon sugar cookies for 10 minutes, until the edges just start to brown. 

scoops of cookie dough placed on a baking sheet then baked

STEP NINE: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for five minutes, and then move to a wire rack to finish cooling. 

How To Serve

Serve these chewy lemon cookies for a delicious snack. They also make excellent treats for friends, and coworkers, to take to a playdate, or bake sale. I’m sure they’ll disappear quickly, so you might want to make a double batch of these cookies. Or triple!

These chewy lemon sugar cookies are always a hit on cookie trays or for family gatherings. For all those lemon lovers, you have to try our other luscious lemon desserts such as our lemon lasagna or the crowd favorite, lemon cheesecake bars.

Storage

ON THE COUNTER: Once the cookies are completely cooled, you can place them on a plate and then wrap them tightly with plastic wrap.

IN THE FREEZER: Once the cookies are completely cooled, wrap your cookies in plastic wrap and then place them inside a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. This lemon cookie recipe will last for up to three months in the freezer if properly stored.

overhead shot of Lemon Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack with slices of lemon

The bright flavors of these lemon sugar cookies make for the perfect summertime cookie or treat for family and friends. Everyone will be asking for this perfect cookie recipe to make them for themselves!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use bottled lemon juice instead of real lemon?

Real lemon will give you the fresh lemon flavor but you can use bottled lemon juice instead in these lemony cookies.

Can I substitute lemon extract for lemon juice in these cookies?

Yes, you can substitute lemon extract for lemon juice. Since the lemon extract is far more concentrated than lemon juice, you will only need a couple of drops of the extract to replace the lemon juice.

Can I freeze these cookies?

You can freeze these cookies stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

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close up shot of Lemon Sugar Cookies stacked on top of each other on a cooling rack

Lemon Sugar Cookies

5 from 18 votes
These are the most delicious, soft, and flavorful lemon sugar cookies you could hope to bake!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 24

Ingredients
  

  • cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • cups sugar, divided into 1¼ cups and ¼ cup
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 1 egg

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • In a large bowl, beat butter, cream cheese, and 1¼ cups sugar until smooth and creamy, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Mix in vanilla, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
  • Beat in the egg.
  • Slowly add flour mixture, mixing in a little at a time, until just combined.
  • Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scoop sugar cookie dough into balls and roll in sugar until coated all over.
  • Bake cookies for 10 minutes, until the edges just start to brown.
  • Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and move to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Video

Notes

  • Do not over mix the batter. Over mixing can result in crumbly cookies.
  • Do not skip the chilling step, this is important to get the best texture for these delicious cookies.
  • You can use your hands to roll the dough into balls, but a cookie dough scoop will keep your hands clean and help to form the balls into a uniform size.

Nutrition

Sodium: 179mg | Calcium: 10mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Vitamin A: 278IU | Sugar: 13g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 29mg | Cholesterol: 30mg | Calories: 180kcal | Saturated Fat: 5g | Fat: 9g | Protein: 2g | Carbohydrates: 24g | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Debi says

    5 stars
    I made these today. Well actually made them yesterday and left in the refrigerator overnight. Baked some today and froze the dough for later in the week. These will be my go to cookies! Very very flavorful. Now I did add more lemon peel double. And I added lemon extract. Probably a teaspoon. But these were soooo good. Soft but chewy around the edges. I will be making many of these.

  2. Terrie says

    These cookies are very good and quite easy to make. Thanks you for the recipe ❗️
    I do have a suggestion for those who want to use bottled lemon juice. Since 95% of the bottled juice is from concentrate with additives, I found a pure fresh squeezed lemon juice with nothing but lemon. It’s on Amazon and comes in two large plastic bottles by Kosher Select, or Lakewood Organic lemon juice in glass containers. I only buy a couple of fresh lemons to use for the zest which I freeze. With these two products I never run of of lemon juice for other recipes , such as homemade cheese which needs real lemon juice.

  3. Anita D'Break says

    5 stars
    I’ve made these cookies several times. They look like ordinary sugar cookies. But, when a guest bites into them, they always exclaim how delicious they are. This recipe stays on my Pinterest cookie board! Thanks for sharing this recipe <3

  4. Stephanie M says

    5 stars
    These cookies are so soft, chewy and baked beautifully! My only comment is that they didn’t come out as lemon-y as I wanted but I’ll try using lemon extract instead of fresh lemon juice next time 🙂

    Highly recommend adding white chocolate chips (1 cup)!

  5. Richard Oxx says

    5 stars
    Hi,. I can’t get my cookies (including this recipe) to flatten out as completely as photos show. I start with a 1 inch ball. The bottoms are nice and brown and your recipe turned out soft and chewy as described. Thanks.

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