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A plate piled with freshly baked lemon sugar cookies.
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4.67 from 3 votes

Lemon Sugar Cookies Recipe

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.
Prep Time12 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Cool Time3 mins
Total Time27 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 168kcal


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 lemons zest
  • 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 cup 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.


Serving: 24g | Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 104mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 269IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg