Lemon Crinkle Cookies

4.88 from 282 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 282 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




484 Responses
  1. Pam L.

    5 stars
    I made these cookies tonight and we love them. We love strong lemon taste so the only difference I did was I used the whole large lemon for zest and they were perfect for our taste.

    Thanks for such a yummy recipe!

  2. Talsy

    Hi! These cookies look great!
    I plan to make these over the weekend but would you know if the dough would keep well in the freezer and still taste great if i bake them a couple of days after?

    1. Lauren

      I’ve never tried freezing the dough, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. Give it a whirl and let me know!

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  4. Coco Cors

    5 stars
    These cookies are amazing!!! I made them a couple weeks ago and am addicted. I was apprehensive about rolling them in the powdered sugar, but I think that is what makes the cookies- definitely add a lot of the powdered sugar 🙂 Making them again today!

  5. Liezl

    I made these cookies last night and they didn’t resemble yours one bit. The first batch came out like balls (truffle shaped). The second batch i squished down by hand before baking but they didn’t spread out like yours did. Am i doing something wrong?

    1. elle

      I have had the SAME issue and reducing the flour does not change anything. I am so frustrated! I wonder what type of flour the recipe author used. I have been using Gold Medal all-purpose. I have also measured out a teaspoon exactly and then added a small amount to create the heaping teaspoon and that was also a fail. The wording for the ingredients has me thinking now. Maybe it is 0.5 cup of flour and not 1.5 cupS – the recipe says 1-1/2 cup (singular). Maybe that’s the problem. Would be nice to have them turn out the way the photo looks!

      1. Lauren

        The recipe is correct! 1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour. Try reducing the flour by 1/4 cup. I’m puzzled why your cookies aren’t flattening out! I’ve made these time after time and they never fail. There’s gotta be a reason….

        1. elle

          I am sure there is a reason but I just cannot figure it out. In my forty years of baking, I’ve never had a recipe fail like this. Now, I am wondering about my oven….thanks for clarifying the 1.5 cups of flour which I will reduce to 1.25.

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  7. Courtney

    Hello! I found these amazing cookies on Pinterest and made them this weekend. I posted about it on my blog – and I was sure to give you credit and link back. 🙂 In case you are interested: http://cookingmisadventures.com/2012/06/25/lemon-crackle-cookies/
    Thank you!

  8. Michelle W.

    5 stars
    I NEVER leave comments about recipes I’ve tried. I had to leave a comment on this one. I LOVE these cookies. Thank you for coming up with the recipe! They are the best I have ever made!

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  12. Kelly

    Made these today. Delicious, but really sweet… I was expecting a little more of a lemony zing. I think when I make them again, I will add more zest and lemon juice and either not roll them in the powdered sugar or just very lightly dust them. Thanks for the recipe!

  13. Sarah from 52 Cakes

    Found this recipe through Pinterest and since I looove lemons, I just had to make them (today). They look very different to yours but they sure are tasty 🙂

  14. stacey

    the recipe is correct as written. one and one half cups flour. the people having problems with the cookies staying in balls are either adding too much flour (packing it into the measuing cup or using a liquid measuring cup will give you a stiff dough), using shortening or margarine instead of butter or using too much baking soda or baking powder.

    this dough is very soft, use a spoon to scoop a tablespoon or so of dough and drop it into the dish of powdered sugar, the push the dough around in the sugar until it’s coated and gently form it into a ball between your hands. if it’s too soft, chill it for 15-30minutes instead of adding more flour.

    nice little refreshing cookies Lauren 🙂

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  16. MegMac

    Absolutely delicious! I found my batter was a bit dry, and my cookies also didn’t flatten, so next time I will decrease the flour. But still absolutely de-lish! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Ashleybobbi

    I am so making these for the upcoming holidays! I’m going to add some white chocolate chips to them, I think the mix of acidic and sweet will do wonders together… Mmmmmmmmm!

  18. Lori Woerner

    5 stars
    Lauren, I just want to tell you how absolutely in love I am with these lemon crinckles. I made a batch of them Saturday night, and this morning on Monday amy cookie jar only had 2 left. Needless to sayhter does know not to leave the cookie jar empty when I have just made a new batch of cookies. I also want you to know that instead of making the single batch as it showed I doubled the recipe how glad I am that I did. I went back to 1 of my lady friends Facebook to find out the post to go back to another website to find the recipe so I wrote it down just a few minutes ago. I want you to know how pleased I am with this recipe and how glad I know that I am NOT the only 1 that ate half a dozen of them coming out of the oven warm

  19. Haley

    5 stars
    I literally read this recipe, stopped doing my hw, and made these cookies. And let me tell you, my tummy and my familie’s tummies were very grateful. Very simple and easy to make. Totally worth pushing the homework off! They came out so cute and little. Perfect for a tea party! Thank you for the recipe (:

  20. Valerie

    5 stars
    I made these tonight and they were delicious —- my husband often prefers raw cookie dough (I know, I know…) to the baked cookie, but not this time. {grin} I made per the instructions, but added 1/2 tsp. real lemon extract in addition to the zest and lemon juice. I love the freshness of lemon!!

    1. Debbie Traynor

      What a great idea, using the lemon extract! When I made these…they turned out perfect (just like the picture) but I would prefer them a tad bit more lemony. I will try what you did on my next batch…which should be very soon… 😉

  21. Kaitlin

    5 stars
    Got the link to this from Fervent Foodie’s mention. THESE ARE SO GOOD- I should’ve read the recipe (I bought a bag of lemons when it needed one lemon).
    My boyfriend and I loved them.

    Thanks for an awesome recipe. I like the yield amount also- not a ton but just enough.

  22. Katie

    5 stars
    I was intrigued when I read about this recipe in LDS Living Magazine’s cookie bake-off. I finally had a chance to make them, only I swapped lime for lemon (and doubled both the zest and juice called for in the recipe–when I go for citrus flavor, I like it to come across loud and clear!). Delicious Lime Crinkles! You’re right that the key is to not overbake–take them out of the oven just as soon as they’re cooked enough that they won’t fall apart.

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  24. Ashley

    I made these for a cookie swap with my Supper Club, and they turned out fantastic! These are definitely going to be made again and again in my house. I posted it with a link back to your blog over on mine. Thanks for sharing!! 🙂

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  26. Maria-Greece

    5 stars
    These cookies are just epic!!!Saw the recipe through pinterest and just made them!!!They look just like yours and taste devine!I reduced the sugar a bit and added white chocolate drops!!!Thanks thanks thanks!!!

  27. Jessy!

    Hi!

    I’ve tried twice making these cookies- I read all the comments, made sure I follow the recipe to a tee- but they still came out in ball shape and did not flatten out like shown in the picture. They taste great though, but they are crunchy… How do they suppose to taste like texture-wise? soft and chewy?

    Thanks!

      1. Jessy!

        Thanks Lauren. I just wanted to know how they are supposed to taste like in terms of texture (soft and chewy or light and crunchy- mine came out latter) so that I get an idea when I play with the amount of flour.

  28. Megan

    Absolutely delicious! Made them with grapefruit instead of lemon and in mini form with grapefruit icing in between. We keep them in the refrigerator because they are so good chilled. Blogged about it here: http://bit.ly/grapefruitcrinklecookies

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  30. Andrea

    5 stars
    I just tried these and they are yummy. Two notes:
    1. Make sure to loosen them before they cool and sit on the cookie sheet too long. If you don’t, they are difficult to remove and break apart.
    2. I didn’t use anywhere near 1/2 c confectioner’s sugar for the coating, so I decided to coat them a second time after they cooled. Tasty!

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  33. Ann

    5 stars
    Made your lemon crinkle cookies today!! LOVE them!! My husband and kids (11 & 12 yr.) love them too!! I had to hide them b/c they were eating them all!! 😉