Soft Lemon Cookies

These lemon cookies are soft, tender, and not overly sweet – the best cookie for a cup of coffee or tea in the afternoon. Soft lemon cookies are easy to make and are freezer-friendly if you want to make them ahead.

Lemon cookies on a black plate with slices of lemon.

When I first moved to Italy, I had to adjust to what Italians consider sweet from the very sweet desserts I grew up with living in Canada.

Italians not only like things less sweet, and this goes for cookies, too. Soft lemon cookies are a good example of this – they are soft and lightly sweet, but also anything with lemons, such as a Homemade Lemon Curd, or this Lemon Layer Cake or even this perfect anytime Lemon Bundt Cake.

They don’t have a thick frosting or super sweet glaze. No, these cookies are so simple, but this allows the bright lemon flavor to really shine through. When they bake, they crack on top a lot like crinkle cookies.

Buttery and soft these cookies go best with a cup of coffee or tea for a treat in the afternoon. Or make a batch to share with family and friends. No one ever turns them down when I make them.

Lemon cookies on a black plate with slices of lemon.

Ingredients

This not a complicated cookie recipe and proof that you don’t need a pile of ingredients to make a wonderful batch of cookies. I bet if you check, you might already have the ingredients in your kitchen.

  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Softened butter
  • Granulated sugar
  • Large egg at room temperature
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
Lemon cookies on a black plate with slices of lemon.

How to Make Lemon Cookies from Scratch

Whisk the dry ingredients in a medium-sized bowl.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. After two to three minutes, it should be smooth and creamy. At this point, add the egg, lemon juice, and zest. Beat the mixture until it’s well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat to combine. Cover the bowl and chill the dough for 30 minutes.

The butter creamed with the sugar & the flour added to form a dough in a silver mixing bowl.

Scoop enough dough to form a golf ball-sized dough ball. Place it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Preheat the oven to 350F (180C). While the oven heats, chill the cookie dough balls for 15 minutes.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes or until they are lightly golden. Leave them on the cookie sheet for five to ten minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.

Cookies on a cookie sheet before & after baking.

Recipe FAQ

How long do they keep at room temperature?

Once the cookies are cooled, store them in an airtight container. They will keep for two to three days at room temperature.

Can I freeze lemon cookies?

Yes, these cookies are freezer-friendly. Place the cooled cookies in a freezer bag or container. You can separate the layers with wax paper to keep them from sticking too much. Freeze them for up to two months.

Can I freeze the dough?

Yes you can, it’s probably better to freeze the dough already shaped into balls, place them on a cookie sheet, then freeze until firm, transfer them to a freezer safe bag or container. They will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.

How do you keep homemade cookies fresh longer?

Air is the enemy and is what will dry out your homemade cookies. So, to keep them as fresh as possible, you need to store them in an airtight container. Also, cookies should be completely cooled before storing them.

If you’ve been looking for a new easy cookie to try, these soft lemon cookies will not disappoint. Brew some coffee or tea and treat yourself to one or a few. I think you will really enjoy them.

Lemon cookies on black board.
Lemon cookies on a black plate with slices of lemon.

Soft Lemon Cookies

These lemon cookies are soft, tender, and not overly sweet. The best cookie for a cup of coffee or tea in the afternoon.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Chilling Time 45 mins
Course Cookies
Cuisine American/Italian
Servings 21 cookies

Ingredients
 
 

  • 2 cups + 1 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ½ cup butter (soft)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg (room temperature)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • zest of 1-2 lemons

EXTRAS

  • 4-5 tablespoons powdered/icing sugar

Instructions
 

  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar, approximately 2-3 minutes, add the egg, lemon juice and zest beat to combine. Add the flour mixture and beat to combine, cover the bowl and chill for 30 minutes.
  • Roll into balls (golf ball size), roll in powdered sugar and place on parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Refrigerate for 15 minutes while the oven is pre-heating.
  • Pre-heat oven to 350F (180C).
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!
Keyword homemade cookies, lemon cookies, soft lemon cookies
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

4 Comments

    1. Hi Tina, yes you can, it’s probably better to freeze the dough already shaped into balls, place them on a cookie sheet, then freeze until firm, transfer them to a freezer safe bag or container. They will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer. Hope this helps.

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