Lemon Sugar Cookies
These soft, chewy lemon sugar cookies are perfect for spring! They’re made with lemon zest and lemon oil which gives them perfect amount of lemony flavor.
I just thought you should know, you need these cookies in your life. Like ASAP!! This recipe comes from my favorite drop sugar cookies (don’t worry, I plan on updating the photos/text for that real soon). Only this time I upped the lemon flavor big time! THEY ARE SOOO GOOD! We couldn’t stop eating them. The entire batch was gone in 2 days… TWO DAYS.
These lemon sugar cookies have a few things going for them:
- They’re super easy to make. Like really, so, so easy!
- They don’t require any dough chilling.
- You don’t have to roll or cut them out.
- They bake up beautifully every time.
Have I convinced you that you need to run to your kitchen and make them yet? I hope so! If not, keep reading! 🙃
What special equipment is required for this recipe?
Nothing too “special.” You’ll need either an hand or stand mixer, a microplane zester or a box grater, and a cookie scoop (you can also portion the dough out my measuring 1 1/2 tablespoons)
How to make lemon sugar cookies:
To start, you’ll want to cream the butter until it’s nice and smooth. This takes about 1 minute if your butter is nice and soft. It also requires a little less time in a stand mixer.
Next, you’ll add the sugar and lemon zest and beat until the pale and fluffy. Adding the lemon zest in this step helps release the natural oils from the zest, which helps enhance the flavor.
Add the vanilla extract and lemon oil.
Why use lemon oil?
Lemon oil is more concentrated and pure. It doesn’t have the alcohol that lemon extract does, thus the taste is slightly more appealing (IMHO). You can find it at restaurant supply/baking stores or online at places like King Arthur Flour, Sur La Table, Williams-Sonoma, or Amazon. If you cannot find it, extract will work, however, you will need to increase the amount as stated in the note section of the recipe below.
Add the milk and egg yolks, mixing well after each addition.
NOTE: this recipe calls for 3 egg yolks. No whites. It helps make the texture of these cookies nice and chewy.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Cream of tartar gives these cookies their unique bakery style flavor. It’s an ingredient you don’t want to skip!
Once the thick dough forms, use a standard size cookie scoop to form 24 balls of dough. You can either drop them straight onto the lined pan or smooth them in your hands and place them onto the pan. The cookies in the pictures have been rolled.
Bake for 11-12 minutes. The cookies will look soft but should firm as the cool. Do not overbake!!
I don’t make sure cookies often, but these will definitely be on repeat this spring. I can totally see us adding some chopped white chocolate to them or drizzling some on top. These lemon sugar cookies are absolutely divine! 😇
LOOKING FOR MORE LOVELY LEMON RECIPES? TRY THESE:
- Lemon Bundt Cake
- Lemon Poppy Seed Pancakes with Raspberry Syrup
- Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
- Perfect Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Heavenly Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
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- 1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp. lemon oil OR 1 1/2 tsp. lemon extract*
- 1 tbsp. milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 2/3 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1/2 tsp. salt (I use coarse sea salt)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mats, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute on medium speed. Add the sugar and lemon zest, beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until pale and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract, lemon oil (or extract), milk, then one egg. Mix on low until combined, then add remaining eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt. Gradually pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until a thick dough forms.
- Using a standard size cookie scoop (#40 or 1.5 tablespoons), scoop to form balls. Roll in hands to smooth or place directly on the prepared baking sheet.
- Place in the oven and bake for 11-12 minutes. Cookies will look soft but will be fully cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
*I prefer using oils over extracts if possible because of their intensity and pure flavor (no alcohol). You may also substitute the oil for 1 1/2 teaspoons of lemon paste, a Nielsen-Massey product.