Lemon Sugar Cookies

Quick Summary

Lemon Sugar Cookies-soft and chewy sugar cookies bursting with lemon flavor. If you like lemon, you are going to love this sugar cookie recipe!

lemon sugar cookies

I love all kinds of cookies, but traditional sugar cookies with frosting have never been my favorite. I am just not a frosting gal. (If you put a frosted sugar cookie in front of me, I would eat it, but they just aren’t my absolute favorite.)

I do adore these Lemon Sugar Cookies. They are soft, chewy, and bursting with lemon flavor. They are rolled in sugar which creates pretty sugary tops that are oh so sweet!

The cookies are soft and chewy in the middle with slightly crisp edges. Even though the cookies are “sugar” cookies and rolled in sugar, they aren’t overly sweet-making it easy to eat cookie after cookie:)

These cookies are simple, elegant, and perfect for baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, or any party. They are also a great cookie to whip up on any old day. Cookies are always a good idea, especially when they are easy to make. I love that you don’t have to worry about frosting these sugar cookies. They are perfect without frosting, I promise!

easy lemon sugar cookies

If you bake regularly, I bet you have all of the ingredients to make these delightful lemon cookies!

You will need all of the basics:

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking soda and baking powder
  • salt
  • granulated sugar
  • unsalted butter
  • egg
  • vanilla extract

The recipe also includes lemon zest and fresh lemon juice which gives the cookies the BEST lemon flavor.

lemon sugar cookie recipe

How to Make Lemon Sugar Cookies

Are you ready to bake cookies? I sure am! Let’s get this sugar cookie party started!

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking mats. Set aside while you make the dough.
  •  In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant. This will make the zest come to life and add more lemon flavor to the cookies!
  • Make sure your butter is at cool room temperature and not super soft or melted. If your butter is too soft, your cookies will be flat and we don’t want that!
  • Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar with the lemon until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the egg, vanilla extract, and fresh lemon juice. Mix until combined.
  • Add in the dry ingredients and mix until JUST combined. Don’t over mix.
  • Roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls and roll in sugar. Make sure the cookies are well coated in sugar, you want then to be pretty and sweet!
  • Place on prepared baking sheets, about 1 ½ inches apart.
  • Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are slightly brown around the edges and slightly set, but still soft! Don’t over bake or you will have crisp cookies. We want them soft and chewy!
  • Let cookies sit on the baking sheets for two minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

How to Store

Place cooled cookies in an airtight container and keep on the counter for up to 4 days. You can place a piece of bread in the container to keep the cookies super soft. The bread will get hard as a rock, but the cookies will stay soft. It’s magic!

You can also freeze the baked cookies for up to 3 months. Freeze in a freezer bag or freezer container.

If you want to freeze the cookie dough, roll them in balls and place on a tray or baking sheet. Freeze the balls for 30 minutes or until firm. When firm, transfer to a freezer bag or freezer container and freeze for up to 3 months. Remove from freezer when ready to bake. You don’t have to defrost the dough. You can re-roll them in sugar if the sugar has faded. Add a few minutes to the baking time.

chewy lemon sugar cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies-soft and chewy sugar cookies bursting with lemon flavor. If you like lemon, you are going to love this sugar cookie recipe!
4.86 from 7 votes

Ingredients
  

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of 2 large lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, for rolling cookies

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  •  In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Rub together with your fingers until fragrant.
  • Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugar until smooth and creamy.
  • Add the egg, vanilla extract, and lemon juice. Mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Don't over mix.
  • Roll rounded tablespoons of dough into balls and roll in sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets,  about 1 ½ inches apart.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are slightly brown around the edges and set. Let cookies sit on the baking sheets for two minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Notes

*To keep cookies soft, store cookies with a slice of bread in an airtight container. 

Nutrition

Calories: 125kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 18mg, Sodium: 65mg, Potassium: 19mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 164IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 6mg, Iron: 1mg

Have you tried this recipe?

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Photos by Baked Ambrosia

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Maria

I'm Maria and my husband is Josh. We share a love of cooking, baking, and entertaining. We enjoy creating recipes that are simple, fresh, and family friendly. We love sitting around the table with good food, good conversation, and good friends and family! Our kitchen is always open!
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  1. YES! This is the recipe I’ve been looking for! If you don’t have silicone mats, you can just lightly oil a traditional cookie sheet (or the bottom of a large rectangular cake pan) and lightly dust with flour.

  2. @ Jenny, if you used margarine or other vegetable spread instead of real butter, they will melt into each other like that.

  3. I am on a strict cleanse and I adapted this recipe to fit my diet. It was incredibly delicious and I really felt like I was cheating! I substituted the Perfect Flour Blend (gluten free AND whole grain brown rice) for AP flour and Xylitol for sugar, all equal substitions. Amazing!

  4. Maria:

    I finally got around to baking these Lemon Sugar Cookies. Mine were Lemon-Lime with freshly grated peel mixed with the sugar. Excellent cookies – better than the Cook’s Illustrated recipe! Looked just like the photos. Perfect! I plan on making an Orange-Cardamom version as well as Vanilla Bean. Easy, too!

  5. 5 stars
    These are one of my husband’s favorites.  So delicious.
    Can I freeze this cookie dough?  How long will it keep in the freezer?

  6. 4 stars
    Mine ended up a bit flat, for some reason. But they tasted amazing. So lemony. Will be trying different variations to see if I can get them to stay fluffy.

  7. 5 stars
    My Husband got home hooked on anything lemon but he’s pretty picky when it comes to lemon desserts and I have tried many lemon cookie recipes and all didn’t quite fit the bill (either too sweet, too dry etc) but these are PERFECT! They are not too sweet and have a much more real lemony taste than other lemon cookies. They are the perfecy tart, sweet and fresh 

  8. 5 stars
    You are the cookie master! Love all your cookie recipes. These were wonderful, with just a hint of lemon flavor.

  9. I like your all recipes
    You are not only putting indigents you are putting in it your love.
    Regards
    ogustos.com

  10. Delicious! I actually found myself wanting even more lemon flavor (I really like to be hit with lemon), so I might try adding a bit more zest next time.

    How did you get yours so yellow? Mine were still more pale like sugar cookies with lemon zest flecks in it.

    Thanks!

    1. You can certainly add more zest if you want them super lemony. They really aren’t yellow, just a hint of yellow. Sometimes computer screens adjust colors:)

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