These lemon crinkle cookies are soft, chewy and full of tart, fresh lemon flavor. They’re so easy to make in less than 30 minutes and are perfect for both summertime and holiday cookie exchanges.
Lemon crinkle cookies are a delightful and citrusy twist on the classic crinkle cookie. The powdered sugar coating gives them their beautiful crinkled appearance when baked.
Why This Recipe Works
- These cookies are made with both lemon juice and the zest of a whole lemon!
- The sweet powdered sugar coating tastes so good with the tart lemon flavor.
- You probably have all the basic ingredients needed to make these cookies and they’re made without any special equipment.
- Lemon cookies are perfect for both summer baking and holiday cookie exchanges!
Below are useful notes about some of the ingredients.
- Unsalted butter: Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, you should take take butter out to room temperature about an hour before you make your cookies.
- 1 egg: Use one large room temperature egg.
- Lemon zest and juice: These cookies get their tangy lemony flavor from 1 medium lemon. I recommend using organic lemons, if possible. They tend to have a stronger lemon zest flavor since they don’t have the same wax coating regular lemons have.
- Yellow food coloring: A few drops of yellow food coloring gives the cookies their yellow color. Yellow gives people a hint that the cookies are lemon-flavored. If you don’t want to use food coloring, you can omit it.
See the recipe below for the full list of ingredients.
Step 1: (Picture 1 above) Combine the sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar. This intensifies the lemon flavor.
Step 2: (Picture 2 above) Cream the sugar and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the egg, lemon zest, lemon juice, food coloring and vanilla and beat until combined.
Step 3: (Picture 3 above) Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until combined.
Step 4: (Picture 4 above) Scoop out a tablespoon of cookie dough. Roll dough balls in granulated sugar and powdered sugar.
Step 5: (Picture 5 above) Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 11-13 minutes.
Step 6: (Picture 6 above) Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Crinkle cookies get their unique appearance from being coated in powdered sugar before they bake.
Store lemon crinkle cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Yes. Freeze lemon crinkle cookies for up to 3 months. You can also freeze unbaked cookie dough balls (not coated in powdered sugar) for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for at least 30 minutes then roll in powdered sugar and bake.
- Tip #1: Scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl. This ensures that all ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Tip #2: Chill your cookie dough. Chilling the dough isn’t necessary, but it does help the flavor develop.
- Tip #3: Coat the cookie dough balls completely with powdered sugar. Resist the urge to shake off excess before putting them on the cookie sheet.
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Lemon Crinkle Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest from about 1 medium lemon
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¾ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 drops yellow food coloring optional
Powdered Sugar Coating
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and lemon zest. Rub the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingertips to help the zest release its oils. Alternatively, you can beat the sugar and zest together with a mixer until combined.
- Add the butter to the lemon sugar and mix with an electric mixer with the paddle attachment or with a handheld mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about two minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the egg, lemon juice, food coloring and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
- With the mixer on low speed add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Pour the powdered sugar into a shallow bowl or pie plate. Add the optional additional granulated sugar to a seperate shallow bowl.
- Scoop out a tablespoon of cookie dough. Roll into a ball. Roll the cookie dough balls in the optional additional granulated sugar to coat. Next, roll the ball into the powdered sugar. Coat them completely with the powdered sugar. Place cookies at least 3 inches apart on the baking sheet.
- Bake 11-13 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before then transferring them to a rack to cool completely.