Bursting with lemon flavor, these Lemon Sugar Cookies are soft, chewy, and easy to make. You’ll just need a few pantry staples and fresh lemons! With their bright citrus flavor, they’re perfect for all occasions from spring holidays to summer get-togethers. Easy to freeze too.
Love lemon? Then you need to try Lemon Bars Recipe with Shortbread Crust (6-ingredients)
Soft & Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies
These lemon sugar cookies are the perfect combination of sweet and tangy. Each bite is infused with fresh lemon flavor, from both lemon juice and zest, and each dough ball is rolled in a delightful lemon sugar mixture just before baking.
Inspired by my classic sugar cookies recipe, these lemon cookies are chewy in the center with the softest texture. Each bite is perfection!
These tend to disappear quickly no matter when I make them but have been particularly loved at Easter, spring gatherings, baby showers, wedding showers, and more. The lemon flavor makes them versatile for so many occasions!
What You’ll Need
You’ll just need a few pantry staples and fresh lemons to make these chewy lemon cookies.
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder & baking soda
- Butter – Since we’re adding salt, be sure to use unsalted butter.
- Granulated sugar – Granulated sugar is used both in the dough and to roll the dough balls in before baking.
- Vanilla extract – Adds a light flavor that complements the lemon.
- Lemon – You’ll need both lemon zest and lemon juice for these cookies. Zest the lemons before squeezing them for the juice.
Do I Have to Use Fresh Lemon for Lemon Cookies?
I definitely recommend using fresh lemon. It will give you the best flavor to add both the lemon zest and the lemon juice. However, in a pinch, you can use lemon juice concentrate or lemon extract to the dough. Do not add it to the sugar mixture that you plan to roll the dough balls in.
How to Make Lemon Sugar Cookies
These lemon cookies are quick and easy to make. From start to finish, you can have freshly baked cookies in about half an hour.
- Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Beat the sugar and butter. Beat the sugar and a cup of the sugar until light in texture. Add the lemon juice, vanilla, and egg, along with the zest of 2 lemons. Mix until just combined.
- Combine the ingredients. Gradually add the flour mixture, stirring until well combined.
- Make the lemon sugar. In a separate small bowl, combine the remaining sugar and lemon zest.
- Form the dough balls. Use a cookie scoop to form balls of sugar cookie dough. Roll each one in the sugar/lemon mixture.
- Bake. Bake for 10 to 11 minutes, until cracks start to form. Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Tips for Success
Here are a few tips for making these irresistible lemon cookies.
- Don’t overmix the ingredients. Like with almost all baked goods, mix just until the wet and dry ingredients are well combined.
- Don’t press down on the dough balls. For this recipe, there’s no need to flatten the dough balls once you have them on the baking sheet. Not doing so helps the centers stay thick and chewy.
- Avoid overbaking. 10 to 11 minutes tends to be the perfect bake time. You want the tops to look dry and slightly cracked but avoid overbaking which dries out the cookies.
- Cool on the baking sheet. Since these cookies will still be quite soft when you pull them from the oven, allow them to sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes. They’ll continue cooking and the bottom will firm up a bit, allowing you to move them without them cracking.
How to Store Sugar Cookies
These chewy lemon cookies will stay fresh for 3 to 5 days in an airtight container at room temperature. To keep them soft and chewy, you can put a slice of fresh bread in the container with them. The bread gets hard but the cookies will stay soft and chewy!
You can also freeze these cookies for up to 3 months. Just allow them to cool and transfer them to a freezer-safe container. Thaw on the counter before enjoying them(it only takes a few hours)!
Can I Freeze Lemon Sugar Cookie Dough?
Yes, you can definitely freeze this lemon cookie dough! I recommend freezing the shaped cookie dough balls. Follow the instructions as normal then flash-freeze the cookie dough balls on a baking sheet until hard. Transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
You can bake the lemon cookie dough from frozen, you’ll just need to add a few minutes to the baking time.
More Sugar Cookie Recipes:
- Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies
- Circus Animal Sugar Cookies
- Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies
- Strawberry Sugar Cookies
Easy Lemon Sugar Cookies Recipe
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a larger bowl, beat the butter and 1 cup sugar until the mixture is combined and light in texture. Pour in the lemon juice, vanilla and add in the egg. Add in the lemon zest from 2 lemons and mix until just combined.
- Slowly add in the flour mixture, mixing between each addition, until both mixtures are well combined.
- In a small bowl, mix together the 1/2 cup sugar and the zest from the 3rd lemon.
- Using a cookie scoop, form the dough into tablespoon sized balls and roll in the sugar/lemon mixture. Place on the cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10-11 minutes, until the tops are no longer wet looking and cracks start to form. Allow the cookies to cool for an additional 5 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack or wax paper.
- Store in an airtight container.