4.58 from 42 reviews

The Best Lemon Cookie Recipe

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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. They are soft, chewy, and have a cake-like texture.

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

Scroll down to the recipe card for the full list of ingredients and measurements. 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! Be sure to scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe instructions.

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.

How do we feel about lemon desserts?

Before You Begin! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

a freshly baked cookie on parchment paper with lemon zest on top
4.58 from 42 reviews

The Best Lemon Cookie Recipe

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

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (8 Tbsp.)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon zest (or more for more lemony flavor)
  • 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
  • 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

For the lemon glaze (optional)

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

Last step! If you make this, please leave a review and rating letting us know how you liked this recipe! This helps our business thrive & continue providing free recipes.

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.
    1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (8 Tbsp.), 1 cup granulated sugar, 1 Tbsp. lemon zest (or more for more lemony flavor), 1 tsp. cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1/2 tsp. salt
  • Beat in the egg, sour cream, lemon juice, lemon and vanilla extract.
    1 large egg, room temperature, 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature, 1-2 Tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. lemon extract, 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Turn the mixture down to medium speed and gradually add in both flours.
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 1/2 cups cake flour
  • Add in the white chocolate chips just until combined.
    3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 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 ~12-14 cookies)
  • Bake in preheated oven for 11-13 minutes or until lightly browned on the sides. The centers will still look very soft*. (See tip below)
  • Make the optional lemon glaze while the cookies are in the oven. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the sugar and lemon juice.
    1/4 cup granulated sugar, 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • Brush the tops of the warm cookies with just a little bit of the the lemon glaze. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10-15 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!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 298kcal (15%), Carbohydrates: 40g (13%), Protein: 4g (8%), Fat: 14g (22%), Saturated Fat: 8g (50%), Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 44mg (15%), Sodium: 178mg (8%), Potassium: 82mg (2%), Fiber: 1g (4%), Sugar: 24g (27%), Vitamin A: 323IU (6%), Vitamin C: 4mg (5%), Calcium: 54mg (5%), Iron: 1mg (6%)

Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is automatically calculated. It should only be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Kroll’s Korner can’t make any guarantees to the accuracy of this information.

Krolls Korner

Krolls Korner

Welcome to my tiny “korner” on the Internet! I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist who loves cookies as much as kale. (OK, maybe I like cookies a little bit more but shh, don’t tell anyone). I am so glad you’re here! Follow along for hassle free, realistic and approachable recipes.

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21 Comments
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SugaredNSpicedBakery

I made this recipe for the first time. The dough was very soft. I had to add another 1 1/4 c white chocolate chips to give them structure and baked large 4 oz dough balls from frozen. After brushing on the lemon glaze I drizzled with a powdered sugar lemon drizzle and sprinkled on a bit of lemon zest. Everyone thought these were so good!

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Krysten

Hey! I have made many of your cookie recipes before and have never been disappointed – excited to try these for my husband whose favorite dessert flavor is lemon! Can I substitute sour cream for greek yogurt? (I do in a lot of recipes but wasn’t sure with desserts.) Thanks!

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Karen

Just wondering- is the metric equivalent for flour correct? I’m thinking 1 1/2 cups flour equals 188g. I’m trying to make these delicious looking cookies and want to get it correct

Natalie

These did not turn out right. The dough was VERY wet so I had to add more flour. 2 tbsp of each flour and had to chill the dough. Unfortunately, they turned out more like biscuits than cookies. Very disappointing.

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Yael

Not really what I expected. They have the texture of a cake rather than a soft cookie. Could also use more chocolate, and probably be better to make smaller scoops as the cookies don’t flatten much

Michele

Can you leave out the white chocolate chips if there is an allergy? What would that do or would they still bake right?

Barbara

Tasty soft cookie. I always make your cookies smaller to cut the calories but they bake just fine with your instructions. I’m not a big fan of lemon extract so I reduced the amount a little and replaced it with vanilla. Turned out great.

Taylor

Hi! These look incredible! I cannot wait to try! If possible, can you provide both flour measurement in grams?

Karla

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!!!

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Philip Conley

Typo in step 8. Lemon juice not lemon sugar?

Philip Conley

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.