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Lemon Sugar Cookies

5 from 14 votes

posted: 07/17/17

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

Lemon Sugar Cookies are crisp on the outside, soft on the inside with the perfect hint of lemon and a simple lemon icing on top. They’re melt in your mouth delicious!

The Lemon Sugar Cookies has a pale white color with a crispy exterior.

These lemon sugar cookies are soft, perfectly lemony and really easy to make! They start out with a simple sugar cookie recipe but we just switch out the vanilla for lemon extract. I made them the first time with lemon juice and I didn’t love the outcome. This version keeps the cookies soft on the inside and slightly crispy on the outside. And then we top them with a really simple and really delicious white chocolate lemon glaze. You can skip that if you like, but why would you?

I’ve gotten so much positive feedback on this post! If you have tried these delicious treats and want to share your thoughts, please leave me a comment below.

A stack of Lemon Sugar Cookies with a pale crispy outside.


  • Start with room temperature butter. You should be able to push your finger into it and make a small dent but not go all the way through. Want to make that go faster? Cut your butter up into 1 inch pieces and leave it on the counter for a half hour.
  • Your eggs also need to be room temperature. Want that to go faster? Fill a bowl with lukewarm water and leave them in there for a few minutes.
  • It’s really important to measure your flour correctly. Scoop the flour into the measuring cup and level it off. If you scoop right out of your flour container using your measuring cup, you will end up with significantly more flour.
  • Make sure you cream your butter and sugar together for at least three minutes. It needs to not just be mixed, it needs to be light and fluffy. The sugar actually beats air into the butter and that’s key in baking.
  • Keep your pans cool. If you are baking in batches and need to use your baking pans more than once, you need to make sure that they have cooled before you put more dough on them. You can make this happen fast by just running them under cold water and drying them off. Speaking of pans, I love these! And I love using these with them.
  • This isn’t essential, but I find that using a scoop helps to keep all your cookies the same size, for consistent baking and it also makes the process of getting the cookies into ball form so much faster! I love this scoop.


These gorgeous little drops of Heaven are perfect as is, or you can take it to the  next level with this really easy lemon icing. It comes together in just three ingredients:

  • White chocolate chips
  • Milk
  • Lemon extract

Melt all the ingredients together in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well in between, and drizzle over the cooled lemon sugar cookies. Simply divine, I tell you!

A stack of Lemon Sugar Cookies are shown, and the most top cookie has a small bite into.


If you’re crazy about lemon like I am, try some of these mouthwatering recipes that are in constant rotation around here:

The Lemon Sugar Cookie has small bite with a crispy outside and soft chewy inside.

I hope you love these lemon sugar cookies with icing as much as I do! They’ve been proven in our house to lift sad spirits and make days better. Please make a batch for your sweet ones today and then let me know what you think! I love hearing feedback from you, my friends. Please leave me a comment below and enjoy these delicious lemony morsels.

5 from 14 votes

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Serves: 28 cookies
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Lemon Sugar Cookies are crisp on the outside, soft on the inside with the perfect hint of lemon and a simple lemon icing on top. They're melt in your mouth delicious!


  • For Cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 14 TBSPS unsalted butter 1 3/4 stick at room temperature
  • 2 tsps lemon extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • For Icing
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 tsps milk
  • 1/4 tsp lemon extract


  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • With your mixer on medium, mix together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the eggs (one at a time) and then the lemon extract until well combined.
  • Slowly mix in the flour mixture until well combined, with your mixer set to low. Scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  • Roll the dough into one inch sized balls. (Optional: Roll in sugar) Place on a parchment lined baking sheet or silicon mat and press down slightly. Space the cookies about two inches apart.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking. (I baked mine in three batches)
  • Let cool on the pan for about two minutes before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • After cookies have cooled, melt the icing ingredients together in the microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between. Melt until smooth. Drizzle over cookies and allow to cool.
Serving: 1cookie Calories: 154kcal (8%) Carbohydrates: 21g (7%) Protein: 2g (4%) Fat: 7g (11%) Saturated Fat: 5g (31%) Monounsaturated Fat: 2g Cholesterol: 29mg (10%) Sodium: 92mg (4%) Potassium: 9mg Sugar: 13g (14%) Vitamin A: 200IU (4%) Calcium: 10mg (1%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

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Lemon Sugar Cookies

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Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. Judy says

    Save a cookie or piece of cake made without minutes of mixing fats and sugars so you can see and taste the difference. Then make a batch mixing X number of minutes. I set the timer on the microwave and let the Kitchen Aid do it’s thing. It really does make a difference!!

  2. Lynda Edmonds says

    Can juice from lemons be used instead of the lemon extract, we have lemon trees.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Sure! The lemon extract is pretty concentrated lemon flavor without any bitterness that I sometimes get from fresh lemon juice. So the level of flavor might be a little different, but still delicious.

  3. Charity says

    Can I substitute the milk for almond milk and the butter for dairy free butter? Allergic to anything dairy.. but love anything lemon

    • Lisa Longley says

      You definitely can substitute the milk for almond milk in the glaze. I don’t, however, have any experience baking with butter substitutes, so I can’t tell you how that will work in this particular recipe. I do know that there are some great vegan butters out there, so I would read up on them and figure out which one lends to the best results.

  4. Donna Collins says

    Baking soda or baking powder? One recipe says soda one says baking powder?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Good catch! Sorry about that! Baking powder.

  5. Adrienne says

    5 stars
    I made these for my brother last month. He texted me today and told me “DO NOT LOSE THIS RECIPE! These are the cookies I want from now on!”☺️

    Rare unsolicited compliment from him to me!

    Thanks for a recipe I’ll be making forever!

    • Lisa Longley says

      As a little sister, that seriously is the BEST compliment ever!! So glad you both liked them.

  6. Suzzette MacKay says

    5 stars
    I made these today as lemon or any citrus really are my favorite things to bake with. I have a lemon tree and I’m always looking for new ideas. I put zest in while mixer butter and sugar. These really are delicious. I had a little trouble with the icing at first, but once I figured it out it went fine and they are a big hit. This is definitely going into the recipe box. Thx

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you liked them, Suzzette!

  7. Kelly says

    Do you use salted butter or unsalted butter?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Unsalted! Thank you for catching that!

  8. Jennifer Platt says

    5 stars
    This was easy and delicious!

    • Lisa Longley says

      So glad you liked them, Jennifer!

  9. Sabina says

    Has anyone tried to make these cookies with gluten-free flour? They look delicious but, I have Celiac so just wondering if I can substitute with an all-purpose GF flour. Thank you!

  10. Evie says

    5 stars
    Great yet easy recipe over all a little flat but really good taste!!!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m glad you liked them!

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners



5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners