Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Soft, chewy lemon sugar cookies are perfect with a tall glass of milk or an afternoon cup of coffee.

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Lemon Sugar Cookies

There is something so relaxing for me about making cookies. Especially cookies that only require a bowl and a spoon. There’s something meditative about measuring the ingredients, pouring them in the bowl, and stirring them together until they become something different altogether.

Lemon sugar cookie dough

Let’s talk ingredients:

  • Butter and vegetable oil– why? Because the vegetable oil is 100% fat and helps reduce the spread of the cookies and adds chewieness rather than tenderness to the dough. We melt the butter so the water in the butter can react with the flour and create a little but more gluten and give us a chewier cookie.
  • Granulated sugar only-why? Because we don’t want the molasses flavor in brown sugar to muddle the clean lemon flavor. We roll the balls of dough in a little bit of sugar before baking to create a nice crunchy crackly surface.
  • Egg-binds ingredients together.
  • Lemon zest-lemon zest is the flavor power of the lemon. When zesting your lemon, take care to only get the yellow skin and not zest any of the bitter white pith beneath it. I find using a lemon zester to be very very helpful. Seems like kind of annoying to have a kitchen tool that only does one task, but man, it does it well and for less than ten bucks, it’s worth it. A fine cheese grater will also work.
  • Lemon juice-in times like these, we are definitely going the use the whole lemon. We’re using the lemon juice like we would an extract, to add flavor and liquid to the dough. I used to simply squeeze my lemons by hand, but then I was gifted this juicer, and it has made all the difference. Be sure to pick out the seeds.
  • Baking soda and baking powder– leveners. More baking soda because we’re working with acidic ingredients.
  • All purpose flour-nothing fancy here. We’ve all probably got a bag of this floating around our pantry.
lemon sugar cookie

Tips for success when making lemon sugar cookies:

Don’t overbake-these cookies are best when soft and chewy so take them out of the oven right when they no longer look wet but are not very brown on the bottom.

Don’t skip the zest-I know it seems like a pain, but the flavor of the lemon is in the zest.

Allow to cool completely-because we want these to be soft cookies, they will be super soft right when the come out of the oven. Put you cookie sheet on a cooling rack and wait until they are almost completely cool before removing them from the pan so they don’t break.

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings 22 Cookies
Author Heather


  • mixing bowl
  • mixing spoon
  • cookie sheets


  • 8 tablespoons butter melted (1 stick)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar plus an additional 1/4 cup for rolling
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice juice from 1 large, well squeezed lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest zest from 1 large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease or line 2 cookie sheets with parchment.
  • In a large mixing bowl, melt butter. Add in vegetable oil and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Stir to combine.
  • Zest lemon into the mixing bowl. Then cut and squeeze the lemon juice into the bowl taking care not to let any seeds fall in. Stir to combine.
  • Add in baking soda, baking powder and flour. Stir to combine. Dough will be soft.
  • In a separate small bowl, add 1/4 granulated sugar (or sanding sugar if you have it).
  • Scoop dough by the tablespoonful and roll into a ball. Roll the dough ball in the sugar and place on cookie sheet.
  • Once your cookie sheet is full, bake cookies at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. You want them to puff up but not get super brown on the bottom or they will be crunchy when cooled.

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Happy Baking!

Happy Baking!


The Perfect Cookie