Lemon Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

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Sugar cookies are so simple but so amazing! These cookies have been around for a long time and you just can’t go wrong with them. And, these Frosted Lemon Cookies take your traditional and simple cookie to a whole new level!  Full of lemon and topped with cream cheese frosting, these cookies will quickly become a family favorite!

Lemon Sugar Cookies on a serving plate.

Frosted Lemon Cookies

These Lemon Cookies with a cream cheese icing to top them off, are so delicious. This recipe is easy to make and you will fall in love with the bright color and how pretty they turn out. These will be a great addition to a dessert buffet or to show off to your friends and family. Be sure to save this one to your favorites!

Old-fashioned sugar cookies have been such a staple forever! Don’t get me wrong, those cookies are simply divine, however, sometimes it’s fun to twist things up a bit. And believe me when I say that I have a few sugar cookie recipes that we’ve taken up a notch that are definitely worth making for your family!  If you love the circus, then my Circus Animal Sugar Cookies are a must-try. Another family favorite cookie recipe is my Lemon Sugar Cookies. This recipe is very similar to this one, however, this one doesn’t have a frosting made out of cream cheese.   And lastly, another fun twist on a sugar cookie are my Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Butter– Use unsalted butter to control the amount of salt in the recipe.
  • Vegetable Oil- You can use canola oil as a substitute.
  • Sugar- Every great dessert uses sugar in the recipe.
  • Powdered Sugar– This sugar is perfect for homemade icing.
  • Water- This water will be mixed into the batter.
  • Lemon Juice- Use fresh lemon juice for the best taste.
  • Lemon Zest– Be sure to zest your lemons before juicing.
  • Eggs- Use eggs that are at room temperature.
  • Neon Yellow Food Coloring Gel- Be sure to use the gel and not the liquid.
  • Baking Soda- This will allow your cookies to rise in the oven.
  • Cream of Tartar- This will help with the consistency of the icing.
  • Salt- This will bring out the flavors in the cookies.
  • Flour- Be sure to use all-purpose for the best results.
  • Cream Cheese- Use softened or room temperature cream cheese.
  • Vanilla- Use pure vanilla for the best flavoring.
A stack of Lemon Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting on a table

How to Make Lemon Cookies

  • Add the butter, oil, sugars, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs, and food coloring gel into a mixing bowl of a standing mixer and combine until fully incorporated.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt into another bowl.
  • In two to three additions, add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and blend until you have a smooth dough.
  • Use parchment paper to line a cookie sheet and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Using a tablespoon, place the dough into sugar and arrange onto the prepared pan.
  • Use the bottom of a glass to press the dough down to form a cookie shape. Bake for 12-13 minutes in your oven or until a light brown on the edges.
  • Take out and place onto a wire rack to cool thoroughly.

How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Add the cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla into the bowl of a standing mixer and blend until smooth and creamy. A little at a time, add powdered sugar into the mixture and beat until fully combined.
  • When the cookies cool, place some of the icings into the middle of each cookie and top with some lemon zest. Let the cookies sit for 1 hour before serving.
Lemon Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting on a rack

Do I Have to Refrigerate These After Iced?

For this Lemon Sugar cookie recipe, you will need to place it in the fridge. You will need to seal correctly in an airtight container for storage. These cookies are placed in the fridge because they use cream cheese. If left out, the cookies will go bad.

Lemon sugar cookies on a serving plate with full lemons behind it and extra cookies on a wire rack.


Lemon Cookies
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Lemon Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Oh my, these lemon cookies with gooey cream cheese icing are so good you won't be able to stop eating them! They're really easy to make, and they are so bright and pretty, they would brighten up any buffet table, a cookie table, or make a fabulous hostess gift, or cookie exchange cookie. Make sure to save this recipe, because you'll want to make it again and again,
Servings: 36
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 13 minutes
Total: 23 minutes


  • 1 cup Butter softened
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup Sugar – plus another 1/4 cup reserved
  • 3/4 cup Powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
  • 2 Eggs
  • Several Drops of Neon Yellow Food Coloring Gel
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 5 1/2 cups Flour


  • 1 package of Cream Cheese – 8 ounces – softened
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 5 cups Powdered sugar


  • In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, place the butter, oil, sugar, powdered sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs, and several drops of yellow food coloring gel Mix until all ingredients are blended. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Add flour mixture to mixing bowl, in two or three additions, blending between each addition. Blend until dough is smooth.
  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and set the oven to 350 Degrees. Roll the cookies into Tablespoon size balls, and roll them in sugar, and place them on the cookie sheet. Smash the cookies, gently, with the bottom of a glass, and place them in the oven for 12 – 13 minutes or until cookies are lightly golden brown around the edges.
  • Remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. While cookies are cooling, make the Icing. In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, place the softened cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and blend until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar a little at a time, until all the powdered sugar has been added, blending between additions.
  • When cookies are completely cool, fill the center of each cookie with the cream cheese Icing, and sprinkle with lemon zest. Allow cookies to sit for about an hour for Icing to set.
  • Serve and Enjoy!

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Calories: 272kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 26mg | Sodium: 87mg | Potassium: 35mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin A: 211IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg


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