The Easiest Lemon Butter Cookies

If you need a fast and easy dessert, then it is time to make your mouth water with these chewy lemon butter cookies. They have the perfect balance of flavors. A bright lemon flavor cuts through the buttery base. This is sure to become a favorite in your cookie jar.

stack of lemon cookies on white plate

Lemon Butter Cookies

Lemon sugar cookies or lemon butter cookies are a personal favorite. I’ve made them for many years, and they are that perfect easy cookie that you don’t need fancy ingredients for. Instead, the only item you may not have on hand is fresh lemon!

This recipe is nothing new or different than what you have had in the past, it is just easier and softer. I love the addition of extra fresh zest and baking powder for keeping them brightly flavored and chewy.

white plate on counter topped by lemon cookies


The measurements and details can be found in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post. This cookie recipe uses basic pantry ingredients you likely always have on hand.

  • Unsalted butter
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Egg yolk
  • Lemons
  • Baking soda and powder
  • Salt
white plate of cookies on table by blue and white striped napkin


Start by preheating the oven. to350°F. I also like to line my baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat for easier cleanup. Then, I always recommend measuring out your ingredients ahead of time so you just dum[p into the bowl and mix.

In a small bowl, you will combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk or sift this together then set it aside.

In a new bowl, you will cream the butter, brown sugar, and 3/4 of the granulated sugar until it is light and fluffy. You want it all combined and light yellow. This takes 3 to 4 minutes with a hand mixer.

Add the lemon juice and zest, egg, and vanilla extract, and beat until combined.

Then you’ll add the dry ingredients you mixed earlier. Be careful to not overmix the ingredients. Just beat until combined. Now, I like to cover the dough and refrigerate it for about half an hour, but you don’t have to. Just remember if chilled they will puff up more and spread out less.

Once ready to cook, roll the dough into 1″ balls and roll those into the reserved 1/4 cup of sugar from before.

Place the cookies onto the baking sheet about 2″ apart and bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Let them cool on a wire rack before eating.

lemon crinkle cookies on white plate by white and blue striped napkin

What are some variations of lemon butter cookies?

One of the best things about this recipe is that it is a perfect base for a soft buttery cookie that can be customized. In the list below, you will find great ideas to update your cookies. Remember, you can add up to 1/4 cup of mix-ins with this recipe.

  • Use orange juice, lime juice, or grapefruit juice in place of lemon juice
  • Add sprinkles instead of granulated sugar before baking
  • Glaze with a simple powdered sugar glaze – add lemon instead of milk for brightness
  • Add white chocolate chips, cinnamon chips, or butterscotch chips
  • Mix in 1/4 cup finely diced pecans, walnuts, or macadamia nuts
  • Make them cakey with another 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

Storing Lemon Cookies

Once the cookies have cooled, store them in an air-tight container. They will stay fresh for up to 1 week at room temperature or 3 weeks if stored in the refrigerator.

You can also freeze the cookie dough before baking. Just scoop the dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes until solid. Transfer frozen cookie dough balls to an air-tight container or freezer bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When you are ready to bake, place the frozen cookie dough balls onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake as directed. Add an additional 2 to 3 minutes to the baking time to account for the frozen texture.

stacked lemon butter cookies on white plate


Why do my lemon butter cookies spread too much?

If your cookies spread too much while baking, it’s likely because the dough was not chilled. Always chill cookie dough before baking to prevent spreading and ensure that the cookies are nice and chewy.

Additionally, make sure the butter that you add to the batter is not melted. You want the butter to be soft so that it blends in well but is not melted. If the butter is melted, it results in a thinner cookie.

How do I make sure my lemon butter cookies are soft and chewy?

To make sure your lemon sugar cookies are soft and chewy cook them just until done, but not browned. You can also add an extra ½ teaspoon of baking powder to the recipe.

This will help create a softer cookie that won’t be too crispy. Also, remember to chill your dough before baking as this will prevent the cookies from spreading too much while baking.

How do I make my lemon butter cookies more lemony?

For an extra lemony kick, increase the lemon zest in the recipe until it is enough to give your cookies that tang you’re looking for. You can also add a few drops of lemon extract to the cookie dough. This will give a delicious lemon punch.

If you like this recipe, then check out my cookbooks. I’ve created 4 books filled with delicious recipes that are easy to make, packed with flavor, and ideal for a new cook!

Lemon Sugar Cookies | Lemon Butter Cookies
Yield: 18

Lemon Sugar Cookies | Lemon Butter Cookies

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Experience the tangy delight of our Lemon Butter Cookies, baked to perfection. A burst of citrusy freshness combined with a buttery melt-in-your-mouth experience awaits.


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, more or less as needed
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. In a bowl, sift 1 cup of flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. If you want extra chew cookies, add a full 1 teaspoon of baking powder. For traditional cookies, use only 1/2 teaspoon.
  2. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and 3/4 cup granulated sugar. When using a hand mixer, this should take around 3 minutes. By hand, around 5 minutes. You want the mixture to be light and fluffy.
  3. Now, to the wet mixture, beat in the egg, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
  4. Next, combine the wet and dry ingredients, just until combined. If the dough seems too wet, add the remaining 1/4 cup of flour. Once combined, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Scoop 1" balls of dough out, and then roll them in the granulated sugar you set aside earlier. Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.


  • Use a small cookie scoop to make it easier to keep the cookies consistently spaced.
  • Add extra zest for a stronger lemon flavor.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 127Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 79mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 12gProtein: 1g

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