The Best Lemon Cookie Recipe

Desserts  |  Published Mar 31, 2022  |  Updated Mar 31, 2022  |  By Tawnie

a freshly baked cookie on parchment paper with lemon zest on top

Literally though, I am not kidding when I say this recipe is the best lemon cookie recipe.

It’s hard to believe me when people in the food world always call their recipe the best, but these are an exception! They are super soft and chewy cookies made with fresh lemon juice, white chocolate chips and a simple lemon glaze are full of lemon flavor and turn out perfect every time!

This cookie recipe is one of the rare cookies on my site that calls for softened butter and room temperature ingredients.

a bite taken out of a lemon cookie with lemon zest on top

My lemon crinkle cookies and lemon blueberry cookies are perfect examples of my typical cookie base.

I made a few tweaks to this cookie because I was looking for soft and chewy and a little less cake-y.

You’ll absolutely love their tangy flavor, the simple lemon glaze of sugar and lemon on top and you will for sure want to double the recipe to have extra!

Ingredient Notes

For this lemon cookie recipe you’ll need:

ingredients to make cookies divided in small bowls on a baking sheet
  • All-Purpose Flour & Cake Flour: If you’ve been around my site for any length of time you know I love making my cookies with a combination of cake flour and all-purpose flour. Cake flour is finer, softer and lighter than All-Purpose Flour and I find using a mix of both types of flour results in the most perfect cookies. You can find cake flour in most grocery stores, usually on the top shelf.
  • Room temperature butter: Use unsalted butter that is room temperature. You’ll know it’s at room temp when you press it, your finger will make a slight indent. I usually remove butter from the refrigerator just 1 hour prior to baking and it’s perfect.
  • Sour cream: My new secret is out! Adding sour cream to your cookies makes them stay extra soft, super moist and creates a melt in your mouth cookie. And no, you won’t be able to taste the sour cream at all! Lastly, just like the butter, be sure to take the sour cream out 1 hour prior to baking so it comes to room temperature.
  • Egg: Also needs to be at room temperature.
  • Lemon: To make these cookies extra lemon-y I’m using fresh lemon juice., lemon zest and lemon extract.
  • Other ingredients needed: baking soda, baking powder, cornstarch, salt, sugar, vanilla extract.

Step by Step Directions

Preparing these cookies is pretty standard! Besides a stand mixer you won’t need any fancy tools to whip these up. And yay for no chill time!

raw lemon cookie dough in a mixing bowl and on a baking sheet
  1. Remove the butter, sour cream and eggs from the fridge 1 hour prior to baking.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  3. Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer for 30 seconds on medium-high speed.
  4. Add in the sugar, lemon zest, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Beat in the egg, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon and vanilla extract.
  6. Turn the mixture to medium speed and gradually add in both flours.
  7. Add in the white chocolate chips just until combined. Drop dough onto prepared baking sheet.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 11-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will still look very soft.
  9. Brush the tops of the warm cookies with the lemon glaze.
  10. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Garnish with more lemon zest and enjoy.
a freshly baked cookie on parchment paper with lemon zest on top

Expert Tips

  • Make sure you’re using freshly squeezed lemon juice for the cookie dough and the glaze. Pre-bottled lemon juice doesn’t compare, so go ahead and buy a few lemons if you plan on making these cookies.
  • Let the cookies rest: If your cookies are turning out too gooey, let them rest longer. I recommend at least 15 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Your cookies aren’t ruined, just let them rest!
  • Make homemade cake flour if you can’t find it in stores. Homemade cake flour: 14 Tbsp. All-purpose flour and 2 Tbsp. corn starch. Mix these together and sift them twice to get them fully mixed and aerated. This will make ~1 cup flour.
  • Bake cookies just until edges are golden brown. To keep these cookies soft and delicious, you’ll want to be sure not to over bake them. I always say slightly under-baked is best. (Baking time can also vary depending on size of cookies).
  • Use a large cookie scoop to make even cookies, I usually use a 3 Tbsp. cookie scoop for these.
a freshly baked cookie on parchment paper with lemon zest on top

FAQ

How do I store them?

Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. I usually store in a ziptop reusable bag.

Can I make the dough in advance?

Yes! Make the cookie dough, roll or scoop into balls and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Or freeze the dough for up to 3 months and bake when ready. (Bake a minute or so longer since they’re now frozen).

How many lemons do I need?

1-2 lemons is enough. I use the zest from 1 of the lemons which is ~1 Tbsp. zest and you’ll need 4 Tbsp. lemon juice which you might get from 1 lemon, depending on the size.

HUNGRY FOR MORE? If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow me on Pinterest or Instagram. Sign up for my email list, too!

How do we feel about lemon desserts?

a freshly baked cookie on parchment paper with lemon zest on top
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The Best Lemon Cookie Recipe

The BEST soft and chewy lemon cookie recipe made with fresh lemon juice, white chocolate chips and a simple lemon glaze.
4.72 from 7 reviews
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Cooling time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 36 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies
Calories: 298kcal

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (8 Tbsp.)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

For the lemon glaze

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats and set aside.
  • Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds on medium-high speed. Add in the sugar, lemon zest, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
  • Beat in the egg, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon and vanilla extract.
  • Turn the mixture down to medium speed and gradually add in both flours.
  • Add in the white chocolate chips just until combined.
  • Drop dough onto prepared baking sheet. I like to use a 3 Tbsp. cookie scoop for this because the batter can be very fluffy/sticky. (recipe will make ~11-12 cookies)
  • Bake in preheated oven for 11-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will still look very soft.
  • Make the lemon glaze while the cookies are in the oven. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the sugar and lemon juice.
  • Brush the tops of the warm cookies with the lemon glaze. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack. Garnish with more lemon zest, if desired, and enjoy.

Video

Notes

  • Tip: While the cookies are still warm, place a circular cookie cutter or a circular drinking glass around one of the cookies (it should be larger than the cookie so you don’t cut off any edges) and give the cookies a spin. Swirling the cookie should help to smooth out any uneven edges to make the perfect circular lemon cookie!
  • Make sure you’re using freshly squeezed lemon juice for the cookie dough and the glaze. Pre-bottled lemon juice doesn’t compare!
  • Storage: Cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. You can also freeze them for up to 3 months. I usually store in a ziptop reusable bag. 
  • Make ahead: bake and cool the cookies as directed but do not glaze them. Place in a container in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw cookies for 20 minutes, brush glaze over and enjoy!
Find Kroll’s Korner on Instagram!Mention @krolls_korner or tag #krollskorner

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 298kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 44mg | Sodium: 178mg | Potassium: 82mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 323IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 1mg

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6 Comments
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Karla
17 days ago

I love all lemon recipes yet I’ve never tried one. This was the first and wow so good!!!! They don’t look as pretty as hers haha but they taste good!!!

0568458F-9F0A-45CA-8053-1533DE4BEB0B.jpeg
Philip Conley
1 month ago

Typo in step 8. Lemon juice not lemon sugar?

Philip Conley
1 month ago
Reply to  Krolls Korner

Made this morning. They are absolutely the best lemon cookies ever!! Big lemon fan so I added a little extra zest. The white chocolate is the perfect addition. Love your recipes — thank you for sharing.

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