How to Make Lemon Cookies So They’re Perfect Every Time

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Lemons are versatile fruit found in various drinks, dishes, and desserts. From classic lemon bars to lemon meringue pie, there is always a place for a bit of tartness with your sweets, especially lemon desserts.

If you’ve never thought about making lemon cookies, they should be next on your list of lemon treats to bake. Wondering how to make lemon cookies? Keep reading to find a simple recipe that will come out perfect every time and that you can easily switch up to make your own. 

The Texture

Making lemon cookies right is all about the texture. You want your cookies to be soft and chewy for the best flavor.

What you don’t want in your cookies is a cakey texture. While a cakey texture works for some types of cookies, lemon cookies taste best when they are slightly dense and there’s something to sink your teeth into. 

The Flavor

Your lemon cookies should be bursting with lemon flavor, and there are several ways to do that. However, everyone has a different preference for how much lemon flavor they prefer in their cookies. 

If you’re looking for a deep lemony flavor, you should integrate lemons into your recipe in several ways – lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract. If, instead, you prefer a more subtle lemon flavor, you can choose to integrate lemons in just one form. 

Moreover, lemon is a fruit that works well with other flavors. You may want to experiment and add other flavorful ingredients to your recipe. Here are some ideas for inspiration:

Stack of homemade lemon cookies on white plate with lemons beside

The Ingredients

The way to make lemon cookies isn’t too different from how you’d make other simple cookies, such as sugar cookies. The best part is that you likely already have all the wet and dry ingredients in your cupboard. 

Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make lemon cookies:

  • All-purpose flour: Make sure not to use more flour than necessary to avoid cakey cookies.
  • Unsalted butter (room temperature): Your butter must be at room temperature to get the right texture for your cookies. If you use salted butter, reduce the additional salt you add to the recipe.
  • White granulated sugar: It’s better to use granulated sugar instead of brown sugar in this recipe to allow the lemon flavor to shine.
  • egg: For best results, the egg should be at room temperature. 
  • Lemon juice and zest: It’s best to use both the juice and zest of the lemon to enhance the flavor of your cookies. For a more subtle flavor, you can omit the zest. 
  • Lemon extract: Gives your cookies a deeper flavor. Omit for a more subtle flavor, or substitute with vanilla extract
  • Baking soda.

Now it’s time to find out how to make lemon cookies!

How to Make Lemon Cookies

To make the lemon cookies, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl using a hand mixer until softened to make the lemon cookies. Add in the eggs, lemon juice, zest, and lemon extract (if using). From there, add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight. This gives the flavors time to deepen and ensures that the dough stays thick enough not to spread in the oven. 

While the dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Once the dough is chilled, use a quarter cup scoop to scoop out a portion of dough at a time. Roll the dough into balls and add them to the baking sheet. Bake the cookies for 10 minutes or until the edges are completely set. 

Remove the tray from the oven and let your cookies cool on a wire rack before digging in!

Lemon Glaze Topping

An option to bring your cookies to the next level is to top them off with a glaze after they’ve cooled. 

Making a lemon glaze is simple. All you need is powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice. Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice to a cup of powdered sugar and mix. Increase the lemon juice as needed, but avoid making the glaze too runny.

Drizzle the glaze on top of your cooled cookies, and enjoy!

Pile of fresh lemon cookies with glaze on white plate

Lemon Cookies Recipe


  • ½ cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon extract
  • The zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • Pinch of salt


  1. Combine the dry ingredients – flour, baking soda, and salt – in a medium bowl and set aside. 
  2. Combine the butter and sugar in a large bowl and mix with a hand mixer until creamed together.
  3. Add the egg, lemon juice, lemon zest, and lemon extract and mix until combined.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently combine.
  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Once the dough is cooled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Take a quarter cup of dough at a time and roll it into a ball. Place balls on a prepared baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until the edges are cooked.
  9. Remove cookies and let cool on a wire rack before serving. 

Lemon Cookies Are a Simple Treat

This easy cookie recipe is for all the lemon lovers out there. The best part about this recipe is how simple it is to make your own by adding a few additions, omitting some of the ingredients, or adding a glaze. 

When life gives you lemons … make lemon cookies!