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These soft lemon cookies are full of lemony goodness! Made with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest, these citrus cookies have a soft and chewy texture. They’re made in one bowl and ready in 20 minutes!
These chewy lemon cookies are based off of my delightful lemon cheesecake cookies! Just like those cookies, these soft lemon cookies pack a punch thanks to lemon juice and lemon zest.
You can easily make these lemon cookies dairy free and gluten free, so they’re the perfect cookie to make if you have food allergies!
Why You'll Love These Soft Lemon Cookies
- You can make these lemon cookies from scratch in just 20 minutes!
- You only need 10 simple ingredients that you probably already have in your pantry.
- The cookies use natural lemon flavor from real lemon zest and lemon juice, so they are packed with lemoney goodness!
- These chewy lemon cookies are extra soft - not cakey or crispy!
- I’ve developed this recipe so it doesn’t need any dough chilling, meaning you get cookies in the oven and ready to eat asap.
- Butter: you can use regular butter or vegan butter if you’re dairy free.
- Flour: I’ve tested this recipe with all purpose flour, but feel free to use gluten free 1-1 all purpose baking flour if you’re gluten intolerant.
- Lemon Juice: you can use store bought lemon juice if you prefer, but since you’re zesting lemons for these lemon cookies anyway, you can just use the juice from the lemons!
- Sugar: we’re using a combination of granulated sugar and light brown sugar. Using both will give us a soft and chewy texture with a slight crunch on the edges.
Step by Step Instructions
Note: Full ingredient measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350°Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, combine the butter with the granulated sugar and light brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and add the lemon zest and mix again.
Step 2: Add the egg, lemon juice, and vanilla extract, mixing until well combined. Stir in the flour, salt and baking soda. As soon as there are no more streaks of flour, stop mixing!
Repeat with the remaining cookie dough. Bake the lemon cookies for 8-10 minutes, the edges should have just set and the tops will remain a pale color.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Because we’re using baking soda in these lemon cookies, we need something acidic to react with the baking soda. If you use lemon extract instead of lemon juice, you might not get that reaction and you won’t have soft and chewy lemon cookies.
You may have added too much flour or over-baked the cookies. Make sure you weigh the flour and it is better to under-bake these cookies, since they continue baking on the pan once removed from the oven!
Yes, you can drizzle the cookies with the glaze from my lemon shortbread recipe!
- Make sure you use a food scale to measure your flour! Or if you’re using a measuring cup, use the scoop and level method. Adding too much flour to these lemon cookies will make them dry and crunchy, instead of the soft lemon cookie you’re looking for!
- I recommend under-baking these cookies rather than over-baking. Under-baking the cookies will give you a softer cookie that will stay soft for days. Remove the cookies from the oven when the edges are set but the tops still look soft.
- Use a medium cookie scoop if you want all your cookies to be the same size and shape!
Storage and Freezing Instructions
I recommend storing these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4-5 days.
To freeze, place the cooled cookies in a freezer safe ziploc bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Let the cookies thaw at room temperature before enjoying.
More Lemon Recipes You'll Love
Soft Lemon Cookies
- handheld mixer or Standing Mixer
- Mixing Bowls
- 1 cup butter, softened regular or vegan
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 2½ Tablespoons lemon zest (around 2 lemons)
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ Tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2¾ cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat your oven to 350°Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a handheld mixer, combine the butter with the granulated sugar and light brown sugar until light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and add the lemon zest and mix again.
- Add the egg, lemon juice, and vanilla extract, mixing until well combined. Stir in the flour, salt and baking soda. As soon as there are no more streaks of flour, stop mixing!
- Using a medium cookie scoop or a tablespoon, scoop out 1.5 tablespoons of cookie dough and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
- Bake the lemon cookies for 8-10 minutes, the edges should have just set and the tops will remain a pale color. Let cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
The calorie information provided for this recipe is an estimate. The accuracy of the calories listed is not guaranteed.