Lemon Sugar Cookies

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These chewy lemon cookies use fresh lemon juice; An easy lemon sugar cookie recipe for summer.  You’ll love this lemon cookie!

Lemon Sugar Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com - a very light lemon flavor makes these cookies a great choice any time!I bought myself a new maxi dress, so I guess I’m ready for summer.

I hope it helps, because this summer is just about more than I can handle already.  My 16 year old is taking summer drivers ed and holding down 2 jobs, which is a lot, considering he can’t drive himself to these jobs, and my summer was already full before it even began.

I’m going to have to get myself some habits to keep it together… like carrying one of those sticks of sunscreen and some lipgloss and sunglasses everywhere I go.

And planning ahead so I’m not writing my recipe posts the night before they are to be published.


The worst part about that is that my first batch of lemon sugar cookies was a bit below my standards. Ugly, too soft, hard to make, sub-par.  It’s a miracle I had time to photograph them!

Lemon Sugar Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com - a very light lemon flavor makes these cookies a great choice any time!

Why does lemon seem so summery?  Some fruits can feel at home in any season, but plain old lemon is a summer as it gets.

The lemon flavor in this cookie is subtle.  I personally think it’s perfect the way it is, but if you like a little extra lemoney kick, you can whip up some lemon glaze by mixing powdered sugar and lemon juice.  Just drizzle it over the top.

Lemon Sugar Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com - a very light lemon flavor makes these cookies a great choice any time!

I love that freshness that the lemon flavor gives.  These cookies are just perfect for a summer picnic, barbecue, or potlock.  There’s nothing about them that melts or that has an overpowering flavor.

By the way, these are great with other citrus flavors, too.  I have made these with fresh oranges and with fresh limes as well.  Maybe next time, I’ll try it with grapefruit!

Grapefruit cookies and grapefruit lip gloss, that sounds like a great summer day to me!


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4.4 from 18 reviews
Lemon Sugar Cookies
Cook time
Total time
A sugar cookie with a light lemon flavor.
Category: cookies
Yield: 5 dozen
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 3-4 T.) (*see notes)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 cups flour
  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Add lemon juice, salt, soda, and baking powder and mix well.
  3. Add flour and mix until combined. Dough should be thick and crumbly.
  4. Drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
This cookie has a VERY mild lemon flavor. Do NOT add extra lemon juice, or it will affect the texture of the cookie. For a stronger lemon flavor, add the zest of one lemon, or ½ teaspoon of lemon extract. You can also add a simple glaze made with lemon juice and powdered sugar.

 If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy:

Lemon Lavender Shortbread from Pastry Affair
Glazed Lemon Cookies from Cooking Classy
Meltaway Lemon Cookies from The Novice Chef

lemon cookies

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  1. These look like my very favorite type of sugar cookies. Hint of lemon and soft and tender!

  2. Jackie H says:

    Lemon Cookies are my favorites besides sugar cookies. You can do so much with them and they aren’t overly sweet. I will try making these soon. Thanks for sharing, Jen!

  3. My daughter and I are doing a “Summer of Cookies” ~ one new recipe a week while she is home from college. We want to try this, but want to know if they tend to be crunchy or soft. Thanks!

  4. Jackie H says:

    This is my type of cookie. I love lemon anything and sugar cookies are also my favorite. Thanks for sharing.

  5. We made the cookies today and oh so perfect for a warm summer afternoon. We opted for the drizzle which did give them a real burst of lemon flavor. Thanks for sharing. This is going in our “Summer of Cookies” recipe book!

  6. Stephanie says:

    Jen, I came across your website via Pinterest, as I am looking for a cookie recipe to make for welcome bags for our upcoming wedding. As it’s a DIY wedding, I need a cookie recipe that would keep for 5-7 days (as I won’t have time to bake them the night before!)
    Would this recipe fit the bill? If not, any suggestions?

    • Sorry for the delay getting back to you. I think this cookie would be an excellent choice for the wedding! They should keep fine in a container with a lid, especially if you freeze them. I also have an Orange Sugar Cookie version of this recipe, and that would also work nicely. They taste great frozen, or you can thaw them a few hours before serving. And congratulations on your wedding!

  7. Raiza Warren says:

    making these at the moment! but I failed to see that this recipe makes 5 dozen lol could I freeze the left over dough?

    • Raiza, I’m sure you could freeze the dough just fine. It’s probably best to let it come to room temperature before baking though.

  8. Raiza Warren says:

    Thank you, they are delicious=D

  9. I just made these and they were so yummy! I found the recipe on Pinterest. I ended up freezing half of the dough so i don’t eat them all at once 😉 then i did half on a cookie sheet and half on a stone & the cookie sheet was way better. the stone made them puff up and took way longer to bake inside. I think the next time i make them i might add lemon zest to make them even more lemony! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    • Jen, I’m glad you liked them. These are such a deliciously simple cookie! If you like a little more lemony punch to them, you might also consider adding a glaze. Mix some lemon juice with powdered sugar and drizzle it over the top of the cookies. It adds a lot of flavor!

  10. Thank you so much for posting this cookie recipe. I never baked sugar cookie kinds but this was very easy for even me to follow. It seems a few too many cookies at this moment, but I’m sure they’ll be all gone in a few days. Maybe I’ll just freeze half for later, I do have a question tho. I used lemon juice from a container you know the yellow lemon looking bottle. Would it be why I don’t smell much lemon??

    • This recipe has a very subtle lemon flavor. If you like something stronger, there are two ways you can punch it up. One is to add a little lemon zest to the cookie. (You’ll have to buy real lemons for this!) The second is to make a simple icing with lemon juice and powdered sugar to drizzle over the top. I did this with Orange Sugar Cookies and the punch of orange in the icing was wonderful!

      And if you do end up with a few too many cookies, they should freeze really well in an airtight container or ziploc bag.

  11. YUM! These look so tasty, I love lemon everything. Lemon + sugar cookies just seem like the ideal cookie. I’m new to the blogging world, I’m finding it to be a test of patience. I’m sure you’re busy, but I’d like to know what you found to be the toughest hurdle with starting your blog?

  12. I have madre this recipe 2 times. First batch turned out flat. Spoke to an expert from Chicago on what I could do to make the recipe better. He said the first batch I had the butter too soft. I made sure the second time that the butter was soft but not mushy. I tried it again and they are flatter than the first batch. Im done! Tasted ok but looked like a 3rd grader made them. Can’t give them away and I don’t need them. Bummer!

  13. I had some leftover lemons that were on their way to spoiling and I came across this recipe on Pinterest. Wow! This was delicious, soft, and had the right amount of lemon. I did make a few modifications, some lemon zest, more fresh lemon juice, and a little lemon drizzle on top but kids had nothing but thumbs up on this one.

  14. Jen,
    Is there a way that I could use lemon emulsion to intensify the lemon flavor?

    • Jann, I’ve never used an emulsion before, but I don’t see why you couldn’t. If you do try it, please let me know how it turns out!

  15. Hi, just wondering how much zest I should add? I liked these but like more of a lemon flavor

  16. Oh my goodness these are amazing! That’s all I have to say

  17. Oh my goodness! These are the best sugar cookies I’ve EVER had! I just love the lemon flavor and the softtexture of these cookies. It really does take me back to my childhood. I would just like to say I really just stsrted cooking and baking within the last 7 or 8 years. I LOVE to cook and bake when my schedule allows me to. Jen, thank-you for the excellent recipes!

  18. Oh yeah, I was excited that I forgot to rate your recipe!

  19. I made these cool cookies and they turned out real tasty. I modified the recipie by reducing sugar to 1 1/2 cup and adding 3 spoons of desiccated coconut. The only thing was that the cookies were raised and did not flatten out as shown in the picture. Any idea if I should be doing something different.

  20. Just made these. They are perfect! I’ll never need another sugar cookie recipe again. Thanks! ♡

  21. These are good, but I added zest of a whole lemon. Otherwise they’d have been not lemony enough for my sour-tooth. 😉

  22. I’m sorry, but I didn’t like this as a lemon sugar cookie. It came off more like a shortbread cookie instead of a sugar o lemon cookie. On the positive side, which is why I rated it three stars, they baked marvelously; just very plain tasting. I may experiment with this and see if I can infuse a different flavor into it.

    • They do have a very mild flavor. Perhaps you could try them again, adding the zest of one lemon? I’ve found that that gives it a much stronger flavor. You can also make a glaze with lemon juice and powdered sugar to drizzle on top.

  23. Awesome cookies. I added lemon zest, and it really adds an extra kick.
    Also, made them bigger, so they took around 15-17 minutes to bake.

  24. Courtney says:

    I am a 14 year old who love to cook! ANd these are just perfect for the lemonade stand that me and my brother have
    Thank You so Much for this recipie!

    • Courtney, I’m so glad you liked them! They’re great for road trips, too, since they don’t crumble and there’s nothing in them that melts. 😉

  25. Cassy Taylor says:

    I just made these with my daughter and we both loved them! Easy to make and hard to mess up. They definitely need the added lemon zest, in my opinion, and even then it’s not a very strong lemon flavor. I will probably try the glaze next time as well. I am all about texture with my cookies and these have perfect texture-chewy and soft!. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  26. Tannia Sherriff says:

    Absolutely love these cookies!!!! We are doing a fundraiser for a children’s hospital my daughter has unfortunately has to visit a lot for Drs appointments. We are making and selling lemon treats, including these cookies, to our family, friends and school community. They are so easy to make and are delicious!!

  27. Sally Jenson says:

    Quick question, please- My dough this time is not crumbly like it was the last time I made these, but smooth. Should I refrigerate it, or add more flour?

    I made these cookies a month ago, added zest of 2 lemons, and indented center when they came out of oven with a melon baller. Once they cooled, I added reduced/thickened raspberry jam that I had simmered on low heat. I let the cookies dry up a bit in a cool room for a day, then sprinkled powdered sugar on top to be sure they were dry enough to mail to my son.

    Forty-four years of baking, they were the best cookies I have ever made. My son texted that they were the best cookies he’s had.

    Thank you, Jen.

  28. Sally Jenson says:

    Five Stars


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