lemon sugar cookies with lemon slices on white plate on blue background

Soft and Chewy Lemon Cookies are a crowd favorite that you can make anytime of the year. These lemon sugar cookies are thick and chewy and easy to freeze. Easy to make in one bowl with fresh lemon and everyday ingredients!

I spent a whole week baking lemon cookies. The first batch failed miserably. The cookies were paper thin and see through!!

The batches got better as I made small tweaks to the recipe. By the time I was happy with the recipe, I had made it 5 times – that’s about 2 dozen cookies per batch, or 120 cookies in total!

Ryan took a lot of those with him to work. He said a few coworkers asked him if we had an industrial sized oven ?

lemon cookies on white plate with glass of milk on blue background

I wanted these lemon sugar cookies to be soft, but chewy – this is the ultimate cookie dichotomy! Isn’t it weird how both of those characteristics can be true of a cookie at the same time?

They are chewy on the outside and soft on the inside. And they are just puffy enough! And the lemon flavor is everything you’d want it to be in a cookie.

Easy Lemon Cookie Ingredients

  • unsalted butter: adds flavor and and tender texture
  • granulated sugar: adds sweetness, flavor and encourages browning
  • lemon zest and lemon juice: adds that fresh lemon flavor
  • egg: binds the cookies together by providing structure
  • all purpose flour: flour is necessary to build structure in cookies
  • baking soda: helps to leaven and lift the dough, affects browning and flavor
  • salt: enhances the other flavors in the cookies
how to make lemon sugar cookies collage with text overlay
 

How to Make Lemon Cookies

  1. Cream the butter, granulated sugar and lemon zest together with a mixer.
  2. Add in the fresh lemon juice and egg, beat again until smooth.
  3. Gently add in the dry ingredients, mixing on low or by hand just until combined.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
  5. Use a cookie scoop to form dough balls, roll the balls in sugar then place on a silicone mat lined baking sheet. Bake and Cool.

How Long Does it Take to Make Chewy Lemon Cookies?

  • 10 minutes to make the cookie dough
  • 30-60 minutes to chill the dough in the fridge
  • 11-13 minutes to bake the cookies
  • 15 minutes to cool the cookies
lemon cookie dough balls on baking sheet with parchment paper

Why Refrigerate Cookie Dough?

The King Arthur website explains, “Chilling cookie dough before baking solidifies the fat in the cookies. As the cookies bake, the fat in the chilled cookie dough takes longer to melt than room-temperature fat. And the longer the fat remains solid, the less cookies spread.”

Refrigerating the cookie dough will help produce cookies that are chewier and softer because they won’t spread as much.

But I get it. Sometimes I really dislike chilling dough. So here’s my suggestion – if you can fit it in, refrigerate the dough, even for 15 minutes. If not, at least refrigerate the dough between baking batches. For example, if you can fit 8 cookies on one baking sheet, bake those and put the dough in the fridge while you’re waiting.

How to Store Lemon Cookies

Store lemon crinkle cookies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days.

lemon sugar cookies with lemon slices on white plate on blue background

How to Freeze Lemon Cookie Dough

  • Drop cookie dough balls onto a silicone mat lined baking sheet. You can place the dough balls close together since you won’t be baking them.
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer until the cookies are frozen solid, about 1 hour.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the freezer and transfer the frozen cookie dough balls to a ziplock freezer bag. Label the bag with baking directions.
  • Freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months.
  • To bake: remove the dough from the freezer. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Roll the balls in sugar and bake for 13-15 minutes. Frozen cookies may need to bake for 1-2 minutes longer than non frozen cookies.

How to Make Gluten Free Lemon Cookies

I have made these cookies multiple times with King Arthur’s Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour with great success.

hand holding lemon sugar cookie with cookies in background

Tips for Making Lemon Cookies

  • Properly measure the all purpose flour using the spoon and sweep method.
  • Use room temperature butter for easier creaming of the butter and sugar.
  • Refrigerate the cookie dough for 30-60 minutes. I’m telling you, this helps to make the best thick & chewy cookies!
  • Use a cookie scoop to form cookie dough balls.
  • Bake cookies on a silicone baking mat.

More Cookie Recipes

Peanut Butter Cookies
Classic Monster Cookies
Black Forest Cookies
Maraschino Cherry Chocolate Chip Cookies

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For a step-by-step of how to make this lemon cookie recipe, watch this short video:
Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 22 minutes

Soft and Chewy Lemon Cookies are a crowd favorite cookie that you can make anytime of the year. These lemon sugar cookies are thick and chewy and easy to freeze. Easy to make in one bowl with fresh lemon and everyday ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (1 cup - 230 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 cups (375 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar, for rolling cookies

Instructions

  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add in the lemon juice and egg, beat again to combine.
  3. Gradually add in the flour, baking soda and salt, mixing by hand with a spatula until combined.
  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
  5. Remove the dough from the fridge. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Place 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl for rolling the cookies.
  6. Use a cookie scoop to form balls, rolling each ball into the sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on a silicone lined baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the edges have a faint golden color.
  7. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes

Refrigerating the cookie dough will help produce cookies that are chewier and thicker because they won’t spread as much. But I get it. Sometimes I really dislike chilling dough. So here’s my suggestion – if you can fit it in, refrigerate the dough, even for 15 minutes. If not, at least refrigerate the dough between baking batches. For example, if you can fit 8 cookies on one baking sheet, bake those and put the dough in the fridge while you’re waiting.

This recipe turned out great using gluten free flour too! We love King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure Flour.

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