The best recipe for soft lemon cookies

Overall time: 32 minutes

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This is serious The best recipe for soft lemon cookies at all! With a soft lemon candy and a creamy lemon cream cheese frosting, this is a citrus treat with a strong lemon flavor and a perfectly chewy texture!

More cookies this way! Try my favorites Super Soft Peanut Butter Cookies, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, Soft and Chewy Snickerdoodles, and Chunky Monkey Banana Cookies.

lemon cookies with frosting and lemon slices

Why this recipe works

Great for lemon lovers: The combination of lemon zest in the cookies and lemon juice in the frosting makes this the ultimate recipe for soft lemon cookies for all lemon lovers out there! No need for lemon extract, these have the perfect amount of lemon flavor using fresh lemon!

Chewy & Delicious: My recipe for soft lemon cookies is really the best because the cookies are so chewy and delicious! They have a slightly crispy exterior with a soft and tender interior. Topped with homemade lemon cream cheese frosting, they are a truly delicious treat!

Simple: This is a super easy cookie recipe that gets its lemony flavor purely from fresh lemon zest. No need to refrigerate the dough! Simply roll it into balls and bake, leaving plenty of space between each cookie. You can eat the lemon cookies as they are or decorate them with homemade lemon cream frosting to die for!!


ingredients for lemon cookies

For lemon cookies

  • Sugar: Regular, granulated sugar works well here!
  • Lemon peel: You will want the zest of two lemons. That’s where all that tangy lemon flavor comes from!
  • Butter: Room temperature butter is needed here!
  • Egg: One egg is added for moisture and texture.
  • Flour: All purpose flour works great. For gluten-free lemon cookies, use a gluten-free substitute flour!
  • Baking powder: Baking soda helps the cookies rise a bit in the oven.
  • Salt: Salt is added to balance the flavors!

For lemon curd frosting

  • Butter: It is important to use room temperature butter for the frosting!
  • Cream cheese: Just a little cream cheese adds a creamy and savory flavor.
  • Icing sugar: Icing sugar perfectly sweetens and thickens the icing!
  • Lemon juice: The lemon juice is what makes this cream cheese frosting super tasty. You can use the juice from the lemons you peeled for the cookies!

Here’s how to do it

Step by step instructions

The first six steps to making a lemon cookie recipe
  1. Preheating and preparation: Preheat oven to 320F and line two extra large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Mix sugar and zest: Mix sugar and lemon zest together and rub the zest into the sugar with your fingertips to release the lemon oils.
  3. Beat the sugar and butter: Beat the butter into the lemon sugar until light and fluffy. Beat the eggs.
  4. Add the dry ingredients: Slowly mix in the flour, baking powder and salt until you have a soft cookie dough.
  5. Roll & Bake: Roll the dough into 1 1/2-inch balls and space them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Bake until edges are lightly golden, about 12 minutes.
  6. Remove and cool: Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. Make the frosting: While the cookies are cooling, make the frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth, then add the icing sugar and lemon juice.
  8. Ice & Enjoy: Using the back of a dessert spoon, pipe the frosting on top of each cookie. Let the frosting set slightly before serving and enjoy!
the last four steps of the lemon cookie recipe

Tips for experts

  • Do not mix the dough too much! Once you have added the tested ingredients, simply stir until the ingredients are combined. Avoid over mixing or you could end up with tough cookies!
  • Measure the flour carefully! If you get too much flour, you can end up with dry or dense cookies. To measure correctly, pour flour into the measuring cup and level the flour with the flat edge of a butter knife!
  • Avoid lemon extract! I wouldn’t replace the lemon zest with lemon extract in this recipe because they have two very different flavors.
  • Impose: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days!


Can I freeze cookie dough?

Definitely! This cookie dough is great for freezing. I recommend rolling the dough into balls and then freezing in a freezer container such as a freezer bag for up to 4 months. When you’re ready to bake, bake them straight from frozen!

lemon cookies with frosting and garnish with lemon zest

Have you tried this recipe? FANTASTIC. Please rate the recipe below and don’t forget to tag me on social media when you share a photo of your CDLC creation!

lemon cookies with frosting and lemon slices

The best recipe for soft lemon cookies

This is serious The best recipe for soft lemon cookies at all! With a soft lemon candy and a creamy lemon cream cheese frosting, this is a citrus treat with a strong lemon flavor and the perfect chewy texture!