Lemon Crinkle Cookies

4.88 from 284 votes

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These award-winning cookies will make you an addict. Lemon Crinkle Cookies are chewy, soft, and bursting with hints of lemon in every bite!

I made these Lemon Crinkle Cookies for a recipe contest and won! Approved by all who taste them, these lemon cookies are soft, but still slightly crunchy, tart, but still really sweet. I bet you have all the ingredients too. Easy to make, made with simple ingredients, and done in 30 minutes, this recipe is made for the novice chef.

lemon crinkle cookies on baking sheet

Lemon Lover

I think we all can agree that I am a lemon freak. I love love love lemon ridiculously. It’s in the genes. My Mom is the same way. Lemon and I are buddies, especially when it comes to lemon desserts— my thighs can prove it. I have made a Lemon Cream Pie that’s to die for. Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake Muffins? Oh, mama. And traditional but Perfect Lemon Bars!

But these cookies……ohmygoodgravy–they caught me at a moment of weakness and I ate them up. Fresh out of the oven, they taste like lemon bars. But they are still super good a day or two later. Let me give you some advice. Run, don’t walk to your kitchen. Make these cookies today if you can.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

As said above, Lemon Crinkle Cookies use simple, everyday ingredients to make the most delicious lemony treat. You should have most if not all of these ingredients already on hand.

  • Butter – use real butter, nor margarine for these cookies. Some readers have had problems making these and it’s because they used margarine.
  • Granulated Sugar – to sweeten.
  • Vanilla Extract – this is a super nice complimenting flavor to the lemon.
  • Egg – for structure and texture.
  • Lemon Zest – a lot of commenters said that they’d prefer more lemon flavor, so feel free to add in more zest.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice – you can use store-bought lemon juice if you like. It’s just not as fresh.
  • Salt – balances out the sweet and sour.
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda – this gives the cookies their rise and texture.
  • Flour – this fills the cookie out and gives them some structure.
  • Powdered Sugar – rolling the dough in powdered sugar puts the crinkle onto these lemon cookies.

Lemon Cookie Dough

How to Make Lemon Crinkle Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Or cover with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice. Scrape sides and mix again.
  3. Stir in flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder slowly until just combined. Scrape sides of the bowl and mix again briefly.
  4. Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on the baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
  5. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool lemon crinkle cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
*If using a nonstick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes.
Lauren’s Latest original recipe! You saw it here first, folks!!

Cookie Dough

My cookies won’t spread!

A lot of you have mentioned to me that these cookies don’t spread. This problem happens because there is too much flour in your cookie dough!

Fluff up your flour, spoon it into your measuring cup and then level the top. That is the correct way to measure flour and how I measured it for this recipe. So be careful when measuring and you’ll have perfect lemon crinkle cookies.

My cookies spread too much!

A common problem when making these Lemon Crinkle Cookies is that they flatten out way too much! Why?

Butter.

This recipe calls for softened butter, not melted butter. The best way to get softened butter is to plan ahead. A couple of hours before you make these cookies set 1/2 cup of butter on the counter. As it sits there is will soften.

But if you are in a pinch you can microwave butter to soften it instead. Microwave in 5-second intervals rotating your cube of butter each time. Please please please use caution when softening this way. It can easily go from solid to melted in seconds! And in turn, your cookies will spread way too much.

Lemon Cookies rolled in powdered sugar

My cookie dough is sticky!

If you already used melted butter instead of softened butter, and your lemon crinkle cookie dough is sticky don’t worry! You have two options to fix this.

Pop your dough in the fridge for 30 minutes to solidify the dough a bit.

OR

Add in small amounts of flour until your cookie dough comes together better. Definitely use my photo of the cookie dough above to base your cookie dough off of.

Freeze These Cookies

Luckily these cookies freeze super well. This is a great way to make Lemon Crinkle Cookies ahead of time.

To freeze, simply follow the directions, including rolling the dough in powdered sugar. Don’t bake! Instead flash-freeze on a parchment paper-lined plate. After an hour, stick all the dough balls in a freezer-safe bag. You should be able to keep these in the freezer for about 2 months before you want to use them.

To bake, put them directly on the cookie sheet and pop them in your preheated oven. Sometimes the cookies need an extra minute or 2 to bake correctly as well so check them often!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Variations of Lemon Crinkle Cookies

This post was originally posted in 2011! Since then I’ve received over 300 comments about how amazing these lemon cookies are. In some of these comments, I’ve noticed people putting their own spin on things, which I love! You are making these cookies for you, your family and friends so make it your way! I thought I’d share some of my favorite renditions of Lemon Crinkle Cookies below.

White Chocolate Chips. Add some creamy chocolatey-ness to your lemon crinkle cookies by mixing in white chocolate chips. Yum!

Gluten-Free. Yes, you can make these cookies gluten-free. Simply replace regular flour with your favorite, gluten-free flour blend (same amount needed). So easy, so thank you faithful and adventurous readers who did the experimenting for us.

Glaze. Either top with a simple vanilla glaze or with a lemon glaze. Mix together milk, powdered sugar and your choice of flavoring.

Different Citrus.  You can use an entirely different citrus to make these cookies. Think of the possibilities. Lime, Orange, or Grapefruit flavored crinkle cookies.

More Cookie Recipes to Try!

4.88 from 284 votes

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

These award-winning cookies will make you an addict. Lemon Crinkle Cookies are chewy, soft, and bursting with hints of lemon in every bite!
servings 24 cookies
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 11 mins
Total Time 21 mins

Ingredients

  • ½ cups butter softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoons salt
  • ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease light colored baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Or cover with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Whip in vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice. Scrape sides and mix again.
  • Stir in flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder slowly until just combined. Scrape sides of the bowl and mix again briefly.
  • Pour powdered sugar onto a large plate. Roll a heaping teaspoon of dough into a ball and roll in powdered sugar. Place on the baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough.
  • Bake for 9-11 minutes or until bottoms begin to barely brown and cookies look matte {not melty or shiny}. Remove from oven and cool cookies about 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

Notes

*If using a non stick darker baking tray, reduce baking time by about 2 minutes.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 105kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 64mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 118IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Cookies, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Crinkle Cookies, Lemon Cookies, Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Polaroid photo of granola bars

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Recipe Rating




486 Responses
    1. Taylor Metzler

      4 stars
      So far so good.

      My main issue though with the recipe is it was not clear how to measure the flour – scoop or spoon?

      My main issue with your site is all the videos. Like one video just followed me around everywhere, preventing me from even reading the recipe until I figured out that I could move the screen just a bit and find the close button. Too many ads, too much fluff.

      1. Lauren

        If you let the site load for 5 seconds and press the close button on the video, it won’t follow you around. Also, the ads help me offer all of my recipes for free online. The annoyance of ads is a small price to pay to get everything for free.

        1. muppi

          5 stars
          I had no problems with the site and understand how ads on free sites help pay to offer free content. So I don’t complain, instead I say THANK YOU for this recipe that takes me back to when I lived in Santa Cruz, CA. There is a cookie store there that sells these lemon cookies of the devil LOL Now I can make them here now that I live in France!!!

      2. Court

        To measure the flour, spoon it into the measuring cup. So you’re measuring it with the cup but instead of digging that into the flour, you use a spoon to gently place the flour into the cup

        1. Nada

          Hey, thank you for sharing this recipe. My only problem was that it was too sweet, is it possible if i lowered the amount of sugar??

    2. Brittany Naeckel

      5 stars
      These were so good! I added the juice and zest of a whole lemon and they were nice and lemony but not too strong. I will definitely be saving this recipe to make again in the future. So soft but a but chewy and I baked mine on a dark grey sheet on parchment paper for 10 mins and they were perfect. Thank you for the recipe.

    1. Sam

      5 stars
      I made these already and they were delicious . I put a little twist to mine, after I get the dough rolled in powdered sugar, i push down the center of the cookie, making a well, and added a dash of fresh lemon juice!! (not to muchmaybe1/8 tsp) The Results were great . It added an extra zesty bite the cookie!

  1. Marjory Betchkal

    Oh, I am definitely making these. I have to get lemon, I am out, but I do have fresh lime. hmmm, maybe I will try that flavor as well?

  2. Cookin' Canuck

    I know what you mean by those insatiable cravings after an evening workout. These cookies look like they’d spark a craving at any time of day.

    1. Sarah M

      I LOVE these cookies! 🍋 These are the best lemon cookies EVER. Anytime I hang out with my dad he will ask if I brought any Lemon Crinkles. Lol.

  3. marla

    5 stars
    Arghhh, going to the gym late is awful for so many reasons.
    These lemony cookies look wonderful. We are both on the same page – just whipped up a few batches over here too. Think it might be one of my favorites ever 🙂

  4. Yolond

    Lauren, I tried the Lemon Crinkle cookies and they turned out tasty. I did not think I was going to add the vanilla, for I thought it would take away from the lemonie taste, but it worked out very well. I also had not came across a recipe that put powder sugar on before cooking, so I tried a few cookies without and the favorites were with the powdered sugar. I think my husband ate a dozen even before the 2nd batch came out of the over :).. Thanks for sharing

    1. Darlene

      A heaping teaspoon of dough or tablespoon of dough? A teaspoon seems awfully small. In the picture there’s a cookie scoop which would be more like a tablespoon of dough.

      1. Patricia

        5 stars
        OMG, one bite into the sweetness followed by the tart taste of lemon and I’m hooked! I used a heaping teaspoon of the dough and cookies are perfect. Doubled the recipe and got 6 1/2 dozen nice sized cookies! This recipe is a keeper. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Amy from Chicago

    If only I had a lemon, I would be making these right now. What a cruel cruel world to be reading this on a Sunday, inaccessible to any lemons. These look divine!!!

    1. Bee in LA

      I have a tree brimming with lemons. If you lived near me you could have as many as you want! But alas, I see you’re in Chicago.

    1. Lauren

      I haven’t really baked at a high altitude since I live at about 600 ft above sea level. Here’s a good link with lots of info on baking cookies and adjusting the recipe: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/high-altitude-baking.html . Hope that helps!

      1. Emily

        3 stars
        Hmmm, not sure what happened. The dough was the perfect consistency, and I added three times the zest and three times the juice..but they still taste dull with little lemon flavor! The texture is nice-soft and chewy and they look good with the crinkles. Just wished they tasted lemony! I will salvage with a lemon glaze 🙁

        1. Beth S

          That was my experience too – I put in a lot of lemon zest (3 tsp? 1.5 lemons’ worth) and the cookies are nice but not that lemony. I’m hoping a lemon glaze won’t ruin their texture. :-/

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  7. Karen

    5 stars
    I think I’m in LOVE!!

    Oh my gosh. I don’t usually leave comments but, oh my gosh, I stumbled across your site yesterday and found this recipe, made them when I got home from work and WOW! I made them small – 40 cookies – brought 30 of them to work and it’s just past 9:30 am and they are almost gone!! And there are only 8 people here today, and I haven’t had any….

    I used all the zest off of one lemon which was more than 1 teaspoon and about 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice. I will definitely add these to my list of favorite recipes.

    Thanks!

    1. Dan

      5 stars
      Agree…good cookie…I had Limes and they were great! Next time I will double the juice and the zest. Being we were in lockdown and without a mixer…I made these old school with a wooden spoon and a bowl. Dough was a bit denser so I made the balls…rolled in regular sugar (no powder in store) and smashed down with the bottom of a glass. They turned out great…baked 12 minutes in the Pacific NW. They had a crisp bottom and chewy center….big hit!

      1. LoriZ

        5 stars
        This is THE lockdown cookie recipe. I am making them once a week in New York City. My daughter in Santa Fe is making them. My daughter in Boston is also making them. They are an East/West coast delight!

  8. Renee

    5 stars
    Made these last week, they are my new obsession. I love anything lemon and these are definately top of the list, thanks again for sharing….having an awesome time exploring your blog. : )

  9. ann

    I just tried these cookies and although they were still very good they dis not have that yellow look to them and they were a lot smaller than your picture. Maybe I messed something up but I followed to a t. They did not make too many either. What happened???

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  11. Michelle

    I just made these and they aren’t nearly as beautiful as yours. Mine never flattened. They are still little half domes. Maybe because I don’t have an electric mixer? I might have overworked the dough?

  12. Leximom

    5 stars
    I baked a double batch of these extraordinary cookies tonight and tho I am not a cookie freak…..these could make me a cookie freak!! Major cudos for the recipe and congrats on the award for them,,,,it:s well deserved. My daughter in law will really love doing these little beauties as she is the cookie queen in our family.
    Thanks for sharing……

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  14. Alyssa

    So I just made these tonight, and they didn’t turn out quite right. 🙁 Do you use real butter? I always use margarine, Blue Bonnet to be exact, and did with these as well. The dough was really soft and even after freezing until able to make a ball and roll in the sugar, they just flattened out and all connected together. They also baked all the way through, so there was no “mock lemon bar experience”. Again… 🙁 the butter/margarine thing is the only thing I can think of that might have caused this, but I wanted to ask first.
    On the bright side, they were still really good (aka I still ate them to the point of a tummy ache), and I couldn’t stay out of the dough!

      1. Alyssa

        I’ve finally gotten the chance to make them again with real butter, and that was definitely the problem! They came out perfect and are so good! …and the dough is… Well, after making the last cookie and scraping the remaining dough in my scooper, I realized that the exact amount I had already eaten would have made it a full cookie’s worth of dough. I couldn’t have a mini cookie, nor could I waste it, so… Admittedly I ate a whole cookie in the form of dough. I don’t regret it 🙂

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  16. Terry

    Hi, I made these cookies and they did not flatten out like the picture shows they still look like balls. 🙂 Did I do something wrong. I followed the recipe exactly as printed. Did I need to flatten before baking and should I shake off excess powdered sugar? The balls taste good just very doughy.

    THANKS!

    1. Lauren

      The only thing I can think of is the flour. Sometimes if you don’t fluff your flour first you can pack it in too tight, therefore adding too much. That is so strange! Sorry they didn’t work! :S

    2. Marla

      I suggest you check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer. My SIL always asks for my cookie recipes and swears she does everything correctly, yet EVERY SINGLE BATCH comes out looking almost like raw dough, still in the shape they were when she dropped them on the sheet, no matter what kind of cookie she tries. After a few years of this, I came across someone with similar woes and she found out her oven was about 20 degrees (F) off (too cool). I told my SIL and when she checked hers it was 45 (FORTY FIVE!!!!) degrees (F) too cool. This means that the chemistry of the butters, sugars and other ingredients are not reaching critical temperatures to make them react correctly. Now her cookies are beautiful!!

  17. Vivian thiele

    I made this cookies and they were very yummy. I hope that you don’t mind that I posted on my blog giving you total credit for these delights and links to your fabulous blog..

  18. Abra Alani

    5 stars
    I came across these on Pinterest, I’ve made Chocolate Crinkle Cookies before, but not lemon, so I tried them. So good! I’m so happy to have an easy non-chocolate cookie to add to my repertoire! Thanks for posting!
    Also, I will also be posting this recipe on my blog. Of course with a link here!

  19. Karen

    These cookies are awesome! I added some lemon frosting for good measure, because why not 🙂 I blogged about them here: http://thefoodcharlatan.wordpress.com/2012/02/08/lemon-crinkle-cookies-with-lemon-frosting/

  20. Erica

    Just tried making these cookies and the batter was really runny, I couldn’t roll them into balls at all. I tripled checked my measurements, too. Any idea what went wrong?

    1. Lauren

      Maybe a touch too much flour. Mine get pouffy in the oven but once I pull them out and cool them on the baking sheet first, they shrink right down.

  21. Ashley

    5 stars
    Made these today…I made a lemon glaze to put on the top of them. Powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest…they were delish and the glaze added that little extra zing! =)

  22. Hayley

    5 stars
    These are AMAZING. Lauren, you are a lifesaver. I needed a tasty springtime cookie to make for a bake sale and these turned out perfectly! I am adding them to my collection of recipes. 🙂

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  24. Lynn G.

    SO very delicious! Thanks for a great recipe! I shared my results on my blog: http://butyoucancallmecrazy.blogspot.com/2012/04/lemon-crinkle-cookies.html. Thanks again!

  25. PeggyR

    5 stars
    I just baked these cookies and they are so very delicious! They turned out perfectly. I am taking them to a reception and know they will be gone in a flash. This is a recipe I will make over and over. Thank you, Lauren!