Sweet, chewy, and bursting with bright lemon flavor, Lemon Sugar Cookies are a springtime favorite! Whip up a batch now to brighten your day!
This easy sugar cookie recipe is a lemon lover’s dream. The cookies have so much lemon flavor (the recipe uses lemon extract AND fresh lemon zest). I especially love that you can see the little flecks of lemon zest in the cookies.
The edge of the cookies is a bit crispy but the inside is perfectly soft and chewy. The chewiness lasts a few days too (no need to eat them all in one day)! If you’re a fan of homemade sugar cookies, but NOT a fan of lemon, check out this plain Sugar Cookie recipe. You won’t be disappointed!
LEMON SUGAR COOKIES
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Spring has officially sprung and I couldn’t be happier about it. While we had a relatively mild winter this year, it still seemed to last forever. The cold, dreary, gray skies were kind of a downer. BUT, with spring comes chirping birds, blooming flowers, and LEMON COOKIES!
For whatever reason, I always save my favorite lemon recipes for spring and summertime. Something about the citrus zing hits me just right in warm weather. (I live off of pumpkin and peppermint in the fall and winter!) Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, Lemon Bars, Lemon Blueberry Icebox Cake – my list of lemony favorites goes on and on and on.
My boys and I love making homemade lemonade every year. The taste of these delicious lemon cookies reminds me so much of our fresh lemonade. The perfect amount of sweet with a pop of zesty citrus. YUM!
Whether you need cookies for a bake sale, for sharing with a friend, or simply for your own enjoyment – Lemon Sugar cookies are sure to be your new favorite!
Ingredients for Lemon Sugar Cookies
- Granulated sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Lemon extract – not fresh lemon juice. If you don’t have lemon extract available, substitute more lemon zest instead. Use 2 teaspoons of zest for every 1 teaspoon of extract.
- Lemon zest
- Baking soda
- Baking powder
- All-purpose flour
One of my dreams has always been to have my own lemon tree. Imagine it… fresh-squeezed lemonade whenever I wanted it? Heavenly.
But, I’m not the best with plants. So instead of pulling a lemon from my dream tree, I grab a lemon or two from the grocery store make these cookies. Everything else you need for this easy sugar cookie recipe is a pantry staple!
How to Make Sugar Cookies
Lemon Sugar Cookies are simple, quick, and so worth the wait. With about 15 minutes of prep, 15 minutes of baking, and 5 minutes of cooling, you’ll have yourself a batch of the perfect springtime treat!
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Then line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and set it aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and flour.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. (I like to use my stand mixer for this step so that I can continue prepping, but a hand mixer works just as well).
- Add egg, vanilla, lemon extract, and lemon zest. to the creamed butter and sugar.
- Next, add the flour mixture, a cup at a time, and stop once combined. You don’t want to over-mix the dough or the cookies won’t be as chewy as you want them to be!
- Now, roll 2 tbsp of dough into a ball and place onto the baking sheet. Be sure to keep the cookies about 2 inches apart. They do spread a bit as they bake!
- Bake for 13-15 minutes or until just lightly browned on the bottom.
- Allow the cookies to cool on a wire cooling rack. Yes, it’s hard to wait because the scent of these cookies is going to make your mouth water!
Can you freeze Sugar Cookies?
YES!!! Sugar cookies are some of the BEST cookies to freeze!
You have two options: freeze the dough before baking it OR freeze your already baked cookies. (Then you have cookies on demand!)
- To freeze the dough: follow the recipe instructions through step 5. Once all the dough is combined, roll it out into a disk and wrap it with plastic wrap. Pop it in the freezer and you’re good to go!
When you’re ready to bake your lemon sugar cookies, pull out your dough and let it thaw on the counter for a few hours. Then start back up with step 6!
- To freeze baked cookies: allow your cookies to cool completely. Once they’ve cooled, place them in layers (separated by parchment paper) in an air-tight container.
Now you’ve got delicious lemon sugar cookies whenever you get a craving! If you’ve got the time, allow the cookies to defrost on the counter for a few hours. If you’re in a rush – pop a cookie or two in the microwave for a few seconds!
Looking for more springtime inspired treats? Check out these other Real Housemoms classics!
- White Chocolate Cherry Pudding Cookies
- Chewy Monster Cookies
- Strawberry Jello Cake
- Lemon Cake
- Keto Chocolate Chip Cookie Fat Bombs
- more DESSERT recipes…
Tools used to make this Lemon Sugar Cookies recipe
Stand mixer: I love my stand mixer. It’s a gorgeous countertop item and it is super useful! While not a necessity for this recipe, it definitely makes life easier.
Mixing bowls: You’ll need a medium bowl and a large bowl for this recipe. (Unless you’re using the bowl from your stand mixer!) This set of nesting mixing bowls is perfect!
*This post originally posted on 04/12/2014.
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup butter softened
- 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add egg, vanilla, lemon extract, and lemon zest to the butter mixture and mix until combined.
- Add the flour mixture, one cup at a time, to the wet ingredients mixing until just combined after each addition.
- Roll 2 tablespoons of cookie dough into a ball and place onto the baking sheet, keeping them 2 inches apart.
- Bake cookies for 13-15 minutes or until just barely browned on the bottom.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. (If you can wait that long!)
Mona Gersky says
Thank you for posting this delicious and decadent recipe. I used a tablespoon scoop and will easily get almost 70 cookies. We shared them with friends and they also loved them. From now on, I’ll probably only bake six cookies at a time but will go ahead and scoop them for freezing then will bury them in the lowest corner of the chest freezer so we have to work hard to get them! They are that irresistible. I completely appreciate your time and effort with sharing this recipe.
Amanda May says
I didn’t have any lemon zest so I doubled the lemon extract (4 tsp!) It was delicious.
Sandra Cohen says
I made this recipe twice. Briefly, no such thing as 2 tablespoons equals 48 cookies. Then I made them a second time, and 1 tablespoon also didn’t make 48 cookies. I pre-measured the Pure Lemon Extract, and it was dissipated before I could use it. There is no flavor in lemon extract. I used lemon juice in my second try, but the dough was tooooo sticky to roll. Very disappointed in this recipe. I was looking for something good that was lemon!
OR how about orange zest??… lol will that be weird. ??
Jennifer Kimmel says
Hey Lydia! That might change the flavor a bit but might be worth a try!
I don’t have any lemons, could I just not use lemon zest??.. will that make a difference??.. I’ll probably just go and buy a lemon lol just wondering
Jennifer Kimmel says
Hello Lydia! Lemon zest is from the actual lemon so you would need that.
Larry Lentz says
Excellent cookie! Very lemony taste! Will be making this recipe often.
Aubrey Cota says
One of my absolute favs for that reason exactly! Thank you, Larry.
Great recipe! Everyone loved these and said they were so good they tasted store bought! (and that’s even without the glaze, too!) (i didn’t have any fresh lemons on hand, so i just put 1 teaspoon lemon extract. i probably would have put a little more, since we like our cookies very lemony!)
Aubrey Cota says
Thank you! I love a nice lemon cookie with lots of lemon flavor too.
The recipe says 3 cups of flour. I had only put in 2.5 c and it started to fall apart. I salvaged it with lemon juice to hold together. came out great. so the recipe should say 2-3 cups flour, jus t till it holds together?
I made these for a class project and they were a big hit! Everyone loved them! Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe!
These are the best sugar cookies I’ve made yet! So quick and easy. I didn’t have the lemon extract, so I substituted lemon juice and added zest and they are delightful! Thank you ?
I’ve made this recipe many times and everyone loves it! I love the sweet and tart combinations and it’s so easy to make!
Aubrey Cota says
One of my favorites as well!! Thank you Brittany.
The cookie is great, but not very lemony. I will make again, but will increase the lemon extract by 1/2 tsp., and add more lemon zest.
Aubrey Cota says
That’s the trick! Thanks Barb.
Great recipe. I added about one and a half cups of white chocolate chips.
Even more yummy.
Julie @Real Housemoms says
Ooooo! I’ll have to try that next time!
So so so good. I didn’t have any lemon zest on hand and didn’t feel like going to the store so I used 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice instead. I also used 1/2 tsp butter flavor extract and 1/2 tsp vanilla since I was almost out of the vanilla lol. (Spontaneous cookie baking at its best lol) anyway…I did chill the dough for about an hour because it was just a little wet due to the lemon juice. Then I used the lemon extract to flavor some sugar and rolled the balls in that before baking. Omg so so so good! Thank you for the recipe!
Michele Smith says
I made these cookies and I used lemon, maple extract and lemon zest. I rolled them in colored sugar and they came out great.
Judy Piotrowski says
I put lemon zest and Lemon extract in ours