Baking/ Cookies/ Desserts/ Recipe

Lemon Sugar Cookies

June 28, 2019 (Last Updated: February 12, 2020)

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Lemon sugar cookies are a soft cookies with a burst of 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 tall stack of cookies on a blue plate.

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.

Cookie broken in half and held in one hand.

What ingredients are used in lemon sugar cookies?

  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Lemon zest
  • Lemon juice
  • Vanilla
  • Eggs
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Baking soda

Why do you 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 to make these cookies?

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 lemon sugar 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 the cookies?

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. 

Lemon cookies on a baking rack.

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 to make these cookies?

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Here’s what I use to make these cookies:

Other Great Cookie Recipes

Here are some of my favorite cookies:

Lemon Sugar cookies arranged in a circle on a cake platter.

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! A tall stack of cookies on 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

5 from 6 votes
Cookie broken in half and held in one hand.
Lemon Sugar Cookies
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
12 mins

A soft sugar cookie with a burst of lemon.

Course: Cookie, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Cookie, sugar cookies
Servings: 36 Cookies
Calories: 116 kcal
Author: Kathy
  • 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
  1. Cream butter in a bowl with a mixer

  2. Add sugar and cream together

  3. Add lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla. Mix until combined

  4. Add eggs and combine

  5. Add flour, salt and baking soda. Combine

  6. 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.

  7. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

  8. Allow cookies to cool slightly (1-2 min) and then remove from baking sheet and place on a cooling rack.

Recipe Notes

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

Nutrition Facts
Lemon Sugar Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 116 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 23mg8%
Sodium 95mg4%
Potassium 15mg0%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 170IU3%
Vitamin C 0.7mg1%
Calcium 5mg1%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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  • 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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