This Lemon Cookie Recipe Is So Easy, You Can Make It on a Weeknight

Celebrate the upcoming warmth of spring and summer with these refreshing lemon cookies! They’re soft and chewy with the perfect amount of zing. This easy lemon cookie recipe can surely brighten up any day and make any tummy smile.

Lemon cookies

The easiest lemon cookies ever

I consider these cookies “weekday cookies” since they’re so easy. The trick is to make the dough ahead of time and allow the flavor to meld and deepen before baking. In other words, you make the dough and forget about it for a while. No pressure with having to rush and getting them baked within a short time frame!

Tip: I typically portion out all the dough with a cookie scoop after about 2 or 3 hours of chilling in the refrigerator. Place the portions in an airtight container in the fridge a little longer to chill some more. They don’t have to look perfect — just throw them in there so the portions are ready to go. This way they’re ready when you are and you can pull out a dozen at a time to bake and only bake a dozen if you wish! The dough will keep in the fridge for four or five days.

Lemon Zest

Your only challenge in this easy recipe is zesting lemons. Make sure you’ve got a microplane zester, and don’t forget to wash your lemons! When zesting, you only want the yellow skin parts — don’t include the pith (the white, spongy part).

Let’s get started!

Soft Lemon Cookie Recipe

Easy lemon cookie recipe

Makes about 40 cookies


  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1½ tablespoons lemon extract
  • Zest of 2 lemons (about 2½ tablespoons)
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon yellow food coloring (optional)
  • 2¾ cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda


creaming together fats and sugars

Step 1:

In an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the sugars, butter and shortening until light and fluffy.

Batter for Lemon Cookies

Step 2:

Add eggs and beat until combined and fluffy.

Step 3:

Add lemon zest, lemon extract and yellow food coloring (optional). Beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and get all that lemony goodness mixed together nicely.

Add flour and salt into the bowl.

adding baking soda to lemon juice

Step 4:

In another small bowl, mix lemon juice and baking soda together. It will bubble like an elementary school volcano science project. If it doesn’t, your baking soda is old and needs to be replaced. Place the mixture into the mixing bowl and mix on low speed until everything is combined.

Finished Lemon Cookie Dough

Step 5:

Refrigerate cookie dough for 6 – 8 hours or overnight. Refrigerating them is very important! This dough is really soft after combining all the ingredients, and we need it to become firm. This also allows flavors to deepen.

How to bake the cookies

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Use a cookie scoop to portion the dough so you get evenly sized cookies. Like I mentioned earlier, you can portion these out ahead of time if you wish but it’s not necessary.

Roll lemon cookie dough portions in sugar

If desired, roll the portions into balls and coat in sugar. This gives them a little sparkle, but it’s totally optional!

Lemon cookie dough rolled in sugar

Place up to 12 portions on a cookie sheet and bake for about 12 minutes. When finished, place on a rack to cool.

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