Baking/ Cookies/ Desserts/ Recipe

Lemon Sugar Cookies

April 18, 2020 (Last Updated: May 1, 2020)

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Lemon sugar cookies are a soft cookie  bursting with lemon flavor. The vibrant lemon flavor comes straight from fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice. These are a family favorite perfect for serving to guests or packing in a lunch box. 

A glass container filled with lemon cookies.

I love baking cookies and my kids love eating cookies! It’s a good cookie relationship! This time I made lemon sugar cookies and they have a burst of lemon flavor! 

These sugar cookies are super delicious and disappear quickly. 

A cookie broken in half and held in one hand.

Why use lemon zest?

Lemon zest is really where all the lemon flavor comes from. The lemon peel contains natural oils that’s packed with flavor. When zesting a lemon, you just want the peel and not the white pith just under the peel. The pith contains bitter flavors. 

I use a fine grater to get just the lemon peel. 

How many lemons do I need?

I used two lemons for these cookies. Each lemon gives you approximately 1 tablespoon of grated lemon zest. This recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of zest and 2 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice. You will not use all the lemon juice in this recipe. 

What can I do with the extra lemon juice?

You can make a sparkling lemonade. You could also freeze the extra lemon juice to use for later. 

How do I make these cookies?

  • Start by creaming the butter and the sugar together

Creamed butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.

  • Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla 

A small white bowl filled with lemon zest.

  • Mix in the eggs
  • Add flour, salt and baking soda

Cookie dough in a mixing bowl with flour mixture being added.


  • Mix well

A mixing bowl filled with cookie dough.

  • Form dough into balls and bake

A scoopful of lemon sugar cookie dough on a baking sheet.

How long do you bake?

Bake the lemon sugar cookies in a 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.  When you remove the cookies from the oven, allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet. Then remove to a baking rack to continue to cool. 

A baking rack filled with freshly baked sugar cookies.

Are the cookies baked on a greased pan?

These cookies tend to stick to the pan. Use a lightly greased pan or use a silicone baking mat. You could also use a piece of parchment paper. 

What equipment do I need?

Here’s what I use to make these cookies:

A tall stack of sugar cookies on a blue plate.

Other Great Cookie Recipes

Here are some of my favorite cookies:

Cookies arranged on a white cake stand.

How do I store cookies?

Allow cookies to fully cool on a baking rack. Place cookies in a zip top bag or in a storage container.  Store cookies at room temperature.

Can I freeze cookies?

Yes, I often freeze cookies. When I need a large batch of cookies for a big family event or party, I make all the cookies ahead of time and store them in the freezer. The day of the event, I remove the cookies from the freezer and allow them to thaw. 

To freeze cookies, make certain cookies are completely cooled.  Then stack three to four cookies together and place in a freezer safe zip top bag. Place bag flat in freezer. If cookies are a bit sticky on the bottom, like with my carrot cookies, place one full layer of cookies in bag and then place a sheet of waxed paper on top. Then place another layer of cookies. This will help prevent cookies from sticking together.


Don’t forget to PIN for later! Seven cookies stacked on top of a blue plate.

If you make this recipe, Iโ€™d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below or snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

Check out all my delicious baking recipes!

Cookie broken in half and held in one hand.

Lemon Sugar Cookies

A soft sugar cookie with a burst of lemon.
5 from 9 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Course Cookie
Cuisine American
Servings 36 Cookies
Calories 116 kcal


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  • Cream butter in a bowl with a mixer
  • Add sugar and cream together
  • Add lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix until combined
  • Add eggs and combine
  • Add flour, salt and baking soda. Combine
  • Use a scoop or a spoon to create balls of dough. Place on a lined baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. You may also lightly spray cookie sheet instead of lining baking sheet.
  • Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.
  • Allow cookies to cool slightly (1-2 min) and then remove from baking sheet and place on a cooling rack.



If cookie dough is very soft, cover and place in refrigerator for 15-30 minutes before baking.ย 


Serving: 1cookieCalories: 116kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 95mgPotassium: 15mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 170IUVitamin C: 0.7mgCalcium: 5mgIron: 0.5mg
Keyword Lemon Cookie, sugar cookies
Tried this recipe?Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

This recipe was originally published in June of 2019. The photos and post have been updated. 

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  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    April 21, 2020 at 9:23 am

    5 stars
    I’ve never met a lemon dessert I haven’t loved and these cookies will be no exception! Delicious Kathy!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    April 20, 2020 at 3:34 am

    5 stars
    Speaking of lemon desserts, these cookies are totally calling my name! I love a good sugar cookie, and the lemon twist on these is perfect for Spring. The only problem is the batch would disappear too quickly! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    July 2, 2019 at 3:17 am

    5 stars
    Perfect looking cookies, I would love some. And I am sure my children would love them as well, they like anything made with lemons.

    • Reply
      July 2, 2019 at 5:52 am

      Mind kiddos are the same! Well actually I think they love anything with lemons and anything that’s sweet!

  • Reply
    July 1, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    5 stars
    These cookies look light and airy – like cake. And in my family, lemon ties with chocolate for best desserts. ๐Ÿ™‚ My kids love when I make cookies, too. And like you, I love making them. ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    July 1, 2019 at 2:29 pm

    5 stars
    I would love the entire stack Kathy! Lemon desserts are my favorite. Even more so than chocolate!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    July 1, 2019 at 5:15 am

    5 stars
    Freezing these cookies? Yeah, right! That assumes there are cookies leftover. I don’t know what leftover cookies are around this house! Haha. Seriously, though, these cookies sound amazing. I love lemony desserts in the summer, and a batch of these cookies just needs to appear in my kitchen! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      July 2, 2019 at 5:58 am

      They disappear quickly in my house too!

  • Reply
    Alexandra @ It's Not Complicated Recipes
    July 1, 2019 at 12:54 am

    5 stars
    I love lemon so much – I really think it makes just about everything better! These lemon cookies would make me very happy ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      July 2, 2019 at 5:58 am

      I think you’d better bake a batch! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    June 29, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    Can I sub orange. My husband fondly remembers an orange cookie from his youth but the recipe is lost

    • Reply
      June 30, 2019 at 6:40 am

      Hi Nora,
      I think you could substitute orange juice and peel for the lemon. That should make a delicious cookie! Let me know how it turns out.
      Happy Baking! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Reply
      June 30, 2019 at 6:40 am

      Hi Nora,
      I think you could substitute orange juice and peel for the lemon. That should make a delicious cookie! Let me know how it turns out.
      Happy Baking! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    June 29, 2019 at 8:59 am

    5 stars
    A good relationship indeed ๐Ÿ˜‰ I love baking and especially love enjoying the delicious results! Speaking of which, these cookies! Love anything with citrus zest, especially lemon so I would pretty much devour these! Perfect sidekick with a tall, cold glass of milk. Hope you’re having a lovely weekend, Kathy!

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