Soft and Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

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Lemon sugar cookies on a plate surrounded by ingredients.

These homemade lemon sugar cookies are perfectly soft and chewy! Bursting with fresh lemon flavor, you’ll love these bright summery cookies!

Lemon sugar cookies on a plate.

Lemon is most definitely Shane’s favorite dessert flavor. “It tastes like lemon!” is truly high praise from this man. Needless to say, I’ve made all sorts of lemon desserts for him.

He loves, and I mean LOVES, these lemon sugar cookies. These are gone as soon as I make them, and I’m sure you’ll love their bright, crisp, buttery flavor, too.

Lemon sugar cookies on a plate surrounded by ingredients.

How to make lemon sugar cookies:

First, you’ll cream together butter and granulated sugar using either a stand mixer or using a handheld mixer. Mix the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Sugar and butter in mixing bowl.

Add in the egg, pure vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix together until it’s fully combined.

Lemon cookies wet ingredients in mixing bowl.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and fine sea salt.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. If using a stand mixer, pulse the ingredients a few times until the risk of the flour flying everywhere has subsided. Mix everything together until the flour mixture is just barely fully incorporated.

Lemon cookies dry ingredients in mixing bowl.

Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. This is an important step because these cookies are more delicate, fluffy, and buttery when they’ve been chilled.

Lemon cookie dough in mixing bowl.

Using a #50 cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto a parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking sheet (each dough ball is roughly 1.2 Tablespoons). Place the dough balls 2” apart to allow room to spread. Sprinkle a little bit of sugar on top of each cookie.

Bake the cookies at 350 F for 9-11 minutes, or until they have a crispy edge but still have a chewy center. 10 minutes was perfect with my oven. These cookies taste AMAZING when they’re still chewy, so be sure not to overbake them!

As soon as you remove them from the oven, sprinkle each cookie with a little bit of sugar. This gives them a perfect crunch.

Lemon sugar cookie dough balls on baking sheet.
Lemon sugar cookies on a plate surrounded by ingredients.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

I highly recommend using an air insulated baking sheet. I use these for all of my cookies because they create a more even baking environment for the cookies, which helps with the dreaded problem of a burned bottom with a doughy middle. Using these baking sheets allows your entire cookie to cook evenly.

I always use a #50 cookie scoop for drop cookies. It keeps all of your cookies the same size, which makes such a difference in even baking. It’s the perfect size for this type of cookie and I definitely recommend having one on hand if you love baking cookies. It’s an affordable tool that’s definitely worth it!

The last tool that you’ll need for this recipe is a zester. The lemon zest adds such a strong lemon flavor to these cookies that makes a world of difference in the flavor. Zesters can be a little frustrating to work with, so having a good one makes such a difference. I love this one and it’s so easy to use.

How to make GLUTEN FREE LEMON COOKIES:

I’ve made these cookies with regular flour and with gluten free flour and they turned out beautifully both ways.

I recommend this gluten free flour blend above all others. It makes the most amazing baked goods, and I can always count on my recipes turning out well when I use it. This is flour I used for this recipe, so I can only vouch for how the recipe will turn if you use it, too.

Yield: 30 cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

These homemade lemon sugar cookies are perfectly soft and chewy! Bursting with fresh lemon flavor, you'll love these bright summery cookies!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • ½ cup cold unsalted butter (cubed)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (plus more for sprinkling)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lemon (about 2 ½ Tablespoons)
  • 1 ½ cups flour or gluten free flour blend
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

Instructions

  1. Using either a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar for three minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the egg, pure vanilla extract, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Mix together.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour or gluten free flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, and fine sea salt.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. If using a stand mixer, pulse the ingredients a few times until the risk of the flour flying everywhere has subsided. Mix together until the flour mixture is just fully incorporated.
  5. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  7. Using a #50 cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto a parchment paper or silicone mat lined baking sheet (each dough ball is roughly 1.2 Tablespoons). Place the dough balls 2” apart to allow room to spread.
  8. Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until the cookies have a crispy edge but still have a chewy center. 10 minutes was perfect with my oven. These cookies taste amazing when they're still chewy, so keep an eye on them so that they don't overbake.
  9. Sprinkle each cookie with a little bit of sugar immediately when you remove it from the oven.
  10. Let cookies cool completely on a cooling rack before serving.

Notes

I used this gluten free flour blend.  I haven’t tried other blends and can’t vouch for how well they would turn out.  This gluten free flour blend has a delicate flavor profile and is my favorite mixture for this type of baking.

If you don’t chill the dough, the cookies will be thinner and spread more, but the lemon flavor will be stronger. If you take the time to chill the dough for 30 minutes, the cookies will have crispy edges with a soft center. They are more delicate, fluffy, and buttery when they’ve been chilled.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

30

Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 79 Total Fat: 3.3g Carbohydrates: 11.6g Fiber: 0.2g Sugar: 6.7g Protein: 0.9g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

Please let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments and on Instagram! @keytomylime #keytomylime

Be sure to pin this recipe for later!

Looking for more lemon desserts? Delish has an article of 30+ lemon desserts that look amazing.

Try making these lemon sugar cookies!

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