This is seriously the Best Soft Lemon Cookies Recipe ever! Featuring a soft lemon sugar cookie and creamy lemon cream cheese frosting, these are a citrusy treat with bold lemon flavor and a perfectly chewy texture!
Why This Recipe Works
Great for Lemon Lovers: The combination of lemon zest in the cookies and the lemon juice in the icing makes this the best soft lemon cookies recipe for all the lemon lovers out there! No need for lemon extract, these have the perfect amount of lemon flavor using fresh lemon!
Chewy & Delicious: My soft lemon cookies recipe really is the best, because the cookies come out so chewy and delicious! They have a slightly crispy outside with a soft and tender inside. Topped off with the homemade lemony cream cheese icing, these are truly a delicious treat!
Simple: This is a super simple sugar cookie recipe that gets its lemon flavor purely from fresh lemon zest. There is no need to chill the dough! Simple roll it into balls and bake, making sure to keep plenty of space in between each cookie. You can eat the lemon cookies as is, or top them with a homemade lemon cream cheese icing that is to die for!!
For the Lemon Cookies
- Sugar: Regular, granulated sugar works well here!
- Lemon Zest: You will want the zest of two lemons. This is where all of that tangy lemon flavor is going to come from!
- Butter: Room temperature butter is needed here!
- Egg: One egg is added for moisture and structure.
- Flour: All-purpose flour works great. For gluten-free lemon cookies, use a gluten-free replacement flour!
- Baking Soda: Baking soda helps the cookies to get a little fluffy in the oven.
- Salt: Salt is added to balance the flavors!
For the Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
- Butter: It is important to use room temperature butter in the icing!
- Cream Cheese: Just a bit of cream cheese adds a creamy and tangy flavor.
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar will make the icing perfectly sweet and thicken it up!
- Lemon Juice: Lemon juice is what makes this cream cheese icing super flavorful. You can use the juice from the lemons you zested for the cookies!
Here’s How to Make It
Step by Step Instructions
- Preheat & Prep: Preheat the oven to 320 F and line two extra large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Mix Sugar & Zest: Mix together the sugar and lemon zest, rubbing the zest into the sugar with your fingertips to release the lemon oils.
- Beat Sugar & Butter: Beat the butter into the lemon sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg.
- Add Dry Ingredients: Slowly stir in the flour, baking powder and salt until you have a soft cookie dough.
- Roll & Bake: Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and space them 2 inches apart on a baking sheet. Bake until the edges are slightly golden, about 12 minutes.
- Remove & Cool: Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the Icing: While the cookies are cooling, make the icing. Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth, followed by the powdered sugar and lemon juice.
- Ice & Enjoy: With the back of a dessert spoon, swirl the icing on top of each cookie. Allow the icing to set slightly before serving and enjoy!
- Don’t over mix the dough! Once you add the try ingredients, simply mix until the ingredients are combined. Avoid over mixing or you might end up with tough cookies!
- Measure your flour carefully! If you get too much flour, you might end up with dry or dense cookies. To measure correctly, spoon your flour into the measuring cup and use the flat edge of a butter knife to level off the flour!
- Avoid lemon extract! I wouldn’t substitute lemon extract for lemon zest in this recipe, since they have two very different flavors.
- To Store: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days!
Frequently Asked Questions
Definitely! This cookie dough is a great one to freeze. I recommend rolling the dough into balls, then freezing in a freezer safe container like a freezer bag for up to 4 months. When you are ready to bake, bake them straight from frozen!
More Cookie Recipes to Try
- Soft & Chewy Snickerdoodles
- Cowboy Cookies
- Snow-Capped Lemon Cookies
- Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Easy Sugar Cookies
Did you try this recipe? FANTASTIC. Please rate the recipe below and be sure to tag me on social when you share a photo of your CDLC creation!
Best Soft Lemon Cookies Recipe
For the Lemon Cookies
- 3/4 cup sugar
- zest of 2 lemons
- 8 oz butter - at room temperature
- 1 egg
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
For the Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
- 4 oz butter - at room temperature
- 1 oz cream cheese
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tsp lemon juice
- Pre-heat the oven to 320F and line 2 extra large baking sheets with parchment.
- Mix together the sugar and lemon zest, rubbing the zest into the sugar with your fingertips to release the lemon oils.
- Beat the butter into the lemon sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg.
- Slowly stir in the flour, baking powder and salt until you have a soft cookie dough.
- Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and space them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake until the edges are slightly golden, about 12 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- While the cookies are cooling, make the icing. Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth, followed by the powdered sugar and lemon juice.
- With the back of a dessert spoon, swirl the icing on top of each cookie. Allow the icing to set slightly before serving.
Cookies adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod