Lemon Sugar Cookies

Hey friends, festive sugar cookie decorating season is among us! I suggest you celebrate making it through one of the toughest years of all time by enjoying some delectable lemon sugar cookies!! Keep reading to learn how you can make these at home.

1-inch lemon sugar cookie balls rolled in sugar ready to go in the oven for baking

1-inch lemon sugar cookie balls rolled in sugar ready to go in the oven for baking

While this recipe is pretty basic, it’s wonderful how a little lemon zest (and juice) has such a big impact on a classic! I think lemon makes everything better, so if you’re a lemon lover like me you’ll definitely appreciate this recipe.

Let me just share a few things about the process. First, it is extremely important to chill cookie dough in the refrigerator. The chilling time allows for the fat to solidify, therefore, determining how little or how much the cookies will spread during baking. The longer the dough chills (and the firmer the dough when placed in the oven), the thicker your cookie will be. I chilled my dough for the full 60 minutes and put them in the oven firm. As the first picture shows, my cookies didn’t spread much at all. While they still taste absolutely perfect, I actually prefer a flatter sugar cookie. If you do too, I recommend only chilling your dough for 30 minutes and letting it sit at room temperature for just 5 minutes before baking. The extra yolk in the recipe will keep the cookies chewy even if they’re a little flatter (i.e. rolling out the dough for decorating).

sugar cookie dough balls prepared for storage in the refrigerator or freezer

sugar cookie dough balls prepared for storage in the refrigerator or freezer

This recipe makes 24 lemon sugar cookies. Quite a bit to eat fresh in one sitting (although, it will take all your might to resist!). Once you roll as many of your one-inch dough balls into the sugar and line them on your baking sheet, I suggest rolling the remaining dough and storing them in a freezer bag (do not roll them in sugar pre-freezing). This will allow you to make fresh lemon sugar cookies whenever you crave them, yumm!

Looking to make this recipe for festive sugar cookie decorating instead? No problem. Just flour a rolling pin and your work surface, remove your chilled dough from the refrigerator and roll it out to about 1/4-inch thick. Grab your winter-inspired cookie cutters, your favorite icing and get creative!



2 sticks (1 cup – 230 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 & 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar

3 tbsp lemon zest

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 large egg, + 1 extra yolk

3 cups (375 grams) all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup (50 grams) sugar, for rolling cookies


  1. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest with an electric mixer for 1-2 minutes.

  2. Add in the lemon juice and egg, beat again to combine.

  3. Gradually add in the flour, baking soda and salt, mixing by hand with a spatula until combined.

  4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.

  5. Remove the dough from the fridge. Pre-heat the oven to 350ºF. Place 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl for rolling the cookies.

  6. Use a cookie scoop to form balls, rolling each ball into the sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart on a silicone lined baking sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the edges have a faint golden color.

  7. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

*recipe slightly modified from this source.

Please share your reviews or ask any questions in the comments. I’d love to see how your cookies turned out and I’d especially love to see them if you decorated them for the holidays. Be sure to tag @baking_bucket #bakingbucket on Instagram so I can share your posts!