Lemon Sugar Cookies

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A spin on the classic sugar cookie, these Lemon Sugar Cookies are buttery, soft, and full of lemon flavor. These summery cookies have a delicious glaze on top, and are impressive to serve for all the things!

Looking for more of a classic sugar cookie? Look no further! Try my Super Soft Sugar Cookies or my Easy Cut Out Sugar Cookies. My Mom’s Chewy Sugar Cookies are also a huge hit in our household!

Several lemon sugar cookies with glaze, and one cookie in half.

Welcome to #LemonWeek 2021 hosted by Lynn from Fresh April Flours!  What better way to welcome summer than with over 50 recipes featuring bright and sunny lemons? Come join me and my fellow Lemon Week bloggers as we bring you recipes from appetizers to drinks to entrées and desserts!

Glazed Lemon Cookies

It’s no secret that I’m a HUGE lemon fan. For more inspo, take a look at my Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream Frosting or my Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake. More recently, I shared my Blueberry Lemon Scones, Lemon Cake From Scratch, and my Summer Pasta Salad (with Lemon Vinaigrette)!

Ahhh lemon. How I love you so!

These cookies are 1) soft and buttery, 2) full of lemon flavor, and 3) topped with the most delicious glaze. They can also be easily frozen (without the glaze) or froze in cookie balls before baking. There is nothing better than a freshly baked, warm lemon sugar cookie!

Lemon sugar cookies glazed and zested.

Ingredients needed

The ingredients are classic pantry staples that you probably already have PLUS fresh lemons.

  • Butter – Unsalted butter at room temperature.
  • Sugar – Granulated sugar.
  • Egg – Just one egg is needed.
  • Vanilla – A teaspoon of vanilla.
  • Lemon Juice – Please use FRESH lemons and squeeze them.
  • Lemon Zest – You’ll need to zest the lemons before squeezing them. It’s MUCH easier that way.
  • Flour – All-purpose flour required.
  • Baking Soda – The ingredient needed for leavening.
  • Salt – A tad bit of salt is required.
  • For the glaze – Just some more fresh lemon juice plus powdered sugar!

How to make Lemon Sugar Cookies

  1. Prep lemons. It will depend on the size and juiciness of the lemons to determine how much you’ll need. Start by zesting about two large lemons to get approximately two tablespoons of zest. You’ll need a bit more as well to top the glazed cookies if desired. Then squeeze the lemons to get about two tablespoons of juice (plus more for the glaze).
  2. Combine butter and sugar. In a large standing mixer, combine the softened butter and sugar together until creamy. You can also use a hand mixer to combine.
  3. Add in wet ingredients. Add the egg, vanilla, and fresh lemon juice and mix again.
  4. Combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and fresh lemon zest.
  5. Combine wet and dry. Pour the dry ingredients into the mixer, and combine until just mixed. Don’t over-mix. It’s ok to have some small clumps of flour.
  6. Chill. Chill the dough for at least an hour or so before baking. This will help prevent the cookies from over-spreading.
  7. Roll. Roll the dough into about 18 balls. You can either bake immediately, or refrigerate again.
  8. Bake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the cookies, about 8 at a time, on large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake until they start to slightly brown on the bottoms, approximately 12-13 minutes or so.
  9. Let cool. Let the cookies sit on baking sheets for about 5-6 minutes. Then remove to cooling racks to finish cooling.
  10. Prepare glaze. Combine the lemon juice and powdered sugar. Whisk well, and drizzle on cooled cookies.

Pro-Tip: I recommend glazing only the cookies you plan on eating that day. You can store the unused glaze in the refrigerator and let it come to room temp before using.

Freshly baked lemon sugar cookies, next to a bowl of icing.

Tips for making the best lemon cookies

  • Use room temperature butter for better creaming of the butter and sugar.
  • Carefully measure the flour using the spoon and sweep method. Makes a huge difference when baking!
  • Chill the cookie dough for at least an hour before baking. This helps the cookies from over spreading.
  • Let cookies cool slightly before moving them to cooling racks.
  • Add glaze when they are nearly cooled.
Close up of a lemon sugar cookie, with glaze.

How to Save Cookies that Spread Too Much

If you see your cookies are spreading too much and are getting too flat, do the following. (Confession…I do this all the time and it works like magic!)

  1. Take the cookies out of the oven before they are fully cooked (or when you see them getting flat).
  2. Use a spatula to gently push the sides of the cookies inward, reshaping the cookies.
  3. Place the cookies back in the oven and continue baking. Repeat as necessary.

Storing Lemon Cookies

Store lemon cookies in an airtight container on your kitchen counter for up to five days. It’s better to glaze only the cookies you plan to eat that day. But they are also delicious without the glaze!

How to Freeze Lemon Sugar Cookies and Dough

  • You can freeze the baked cookies (without glaze) for up to three months.
  • You can also freeze lemon cookie dough balls. Just roll the balls, place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and do a quick-freeze for about 30 minutes. Then place the cookie balls in a freezer bag and place in freezer. These are good for about three months as well.
  • To bake frozen cookie dough balls, remove from freezer and place on cookie sheet. Bake as directed, but add a couple of minutes to baking time.

I’m participating in Lemon Week with some fabulous food bloggers. So LOTS more fabulous recipes are listed below!

Side shot of lemon sugar cookies, glazed.

Please let know if you try this recipe. Be sure to comment and leave a review on the blog so I can see what you think. You can also like my Facebook Page, follow me on Pinterest, and catch me on Instagram.

xoxo ~Sue

Several lemon sugar cookies with glaze, and one cookie in half.

Lemon Sugar Cookies

A spin on the classic sugar cookie, these Lemon Sugar Cookies are buttery, soft, and full of lemon flavor. These summery cookies have a delicious glaze on top, and are impressive to serve for all the things!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon glaze, lemon sugar cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes
Servings: 18 cookies
Calories: 254kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter – softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice – freshly squeezed
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the glaze:

  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice – freshly squeezed
  • 1 ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • top with extra lemon zest

Instructions

  • (You'll need about three large lemons for this recipe.)
  • Prep lemons by zesting two large lemons. Then squeeze them to get some fresh lemon juice. You'll need two tablespoons of zest and two tablespoons of juice, plus more for the glaze.
  • In a large standing mixer, combine the butter and sugar and mix well. Then add in the egg, vanilla, and fresh lemon juice. Mix again.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest. Pour into the mixer with the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  • Chill dough for at least an hour before baking. Then roll into about 18 even dough balls.
  • To bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheet with parchment paper and place eight cookie balls on each tray. Bake for 12-13 minutes, or until they are slightly browned on the bottoms.
  • Let the cookies sit about 5-6 minutes before moving them to cooling racks. Then place on cooling racks to finish cooling.
  • Prepare glaze by mixing the fresh lemon juice with the powdered sugar. Drizzle the cookies with the glaze.
  • I recommend only glazing the cookies you plan to eat that day. These cookies are also delicious without the glaze! The glaze can be store in the refrigerator and then taken out and brought to room temp before glazing additional cookies.

Notes

  • To save flattened cookies: Take the cookies out of the oven before they are fully cooked (or when you see them getting flat). Use a spatula to gently push the sides of the cookies inward, reshaping the cookies. Place the cookies back in the oven and continue baking. Repeat as necessary.
  • Store lemon cookies in an airtight container on your kitchen counter for up to five days. It’s better to glaze only the cookies you plan to eat that day. But they are also delicious without the glaze
  • You can freeze the baked cookies (without glaze) for up to three months.
  • You can also freeze lemon cookie dough balls. Just roll the balls, place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and do a quick-freeze for about 30 minutes. Then place the cookie balls in a freezer bag and place in freezer. These are good for about three months as well.
  • To bake frozen cookie dough balls, remove from freezer and place on cookie sheet. Bake as directed, but add a couple of minutes to baking time.

Nutrition

Calories: 254kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 132mg | Potassium: 33mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 331IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 1mg

Monday #LemonWeek Recipes

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