Best of Swanky Recipes/ Cookies/ Desserts

Glazed Lemon Sugar Cookies

The BEST soft and chewy Glazed Lemon Sugar Cookies with icing. You’ll want to bake these lemon citrus cookies this summer. Each bite is delicately crisp on the outside, soft, chewy, and cakelike inside.

Lemon Sugar Cookies - Lemon cookies in a stack of 4 with icing dripping and tied in pink and white twine. Displayed on beige burlap.

Lemon desserts and sugar cookies are my two favorite types of desserts. This luscious cookie is packed with plenty of lemon flavor. Made from scratch, this quick and easy cookie is one of my most requested summer recipes. These cookies pair nicely with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream toppings.

If you are looking for a way to make the most out of your lemons this season, use fresh lemon juice in place of extract flavors. By doing this, the cookies will have a subtle floral flavor instead of tasting like regular sugar cookies with any artificial flavor. Along with the tart flavor, we also add lemon zest for texture and citrus notes.

I use fresh lemon juice and zest instead of extracts in my recipe. The cookies are very soft and moist. The technique I use is to roll the drop dough and bake it at 350°F for about 9-11 minutes or just until the edges turn brown. I recommend greasing a baking sheet or using a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to prevent spreading.

Glazed Lemon Sugar Cookies - Lemon Sugar cookies served on a plate in a stack with icing dripping.

I list two ways to make these cookies. I have a homemade version that uses fresh ingredients like fresh lemons, and butter and I have an easier version to make a quick lemon cookie recipe. I prefer the homemade version because fresh lemons are amazing, but I’ve also made the cake mix cookie version when I just didn’t have all the ingredients and was short on time.

Lemon Cookie Ingredients

☑ LEMON: I used fresh lemon juice and zest instead of extracts to get the best flavor.

BUTTER: Adds flavor and moisture which results in a cookie chewy.

SUGAR: I use granulated sugar in my sugar cookie recipes. Using this sugar also helps sweeten the lemon juice so it’s not tart.

FLOUR: All-purpose flour.

EGG: Helps bind the ingredients.

How to Make Lemon Sugar Cookies

  1. Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.
  2. Stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Roll 1-inch balls of cookie dough.
  4. Bake in 350°F oven for 9-11 minutes.
  5. Mix together water and powdered sugar. Drizzle the glaze over the cookies using a spoon.
Lemon Cookies - Lemon sugar cookies in a stack of 3 on a plate with burlap and icing dripping from them.

Easier Lemon Cookies – Made with a Cake Mix

Looking to make these luscious lemon cookies but don’t have the time or all of the ingredients? These Lemon Sugar Cookies can be made an alternative way and come out just as good and mix up in half the time. Using pre-made boxed cake mix is a super simple way to bake desserts ranging from this Peach Cobbler Delight to this Strawberry Shortcake Muddy Buddy recipe. A box of lemon cake mix from your grocery store will yield delicious lemon sugar cookies in just a few easy steps.

Ingredients

  • Lemon Cake Mix, I like Pillsbury
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°F.  
  2. In a medium bowl, place all of the ingredients together.  
  3. Using a spoon, fold ingredients together until dough forms and everything is well incorporated.  
  4. Grease a cookie sheet and form 1 inch round balls and flatten slightly.
  5. In a small bowl, roll the top of the cookie in powdered sugar.
  6. Bake for 5-6 minutes, don’t allow to turn golden brown.
  7. Mix glaze together and drizzle over cooled cookies.
Lemon Cookies - Worlds BEST chewy sugar cookies with real lemon. From scratch lemon cookie recipe and an easy cake mix cookie version. Lemon cookies in a stack with icing dripping from them.

For more cookie recipes, try my Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies. These cookies bake up thick and chewy, with just the right about of lemon notes, and remind me of bakery-style cookies.

The ultimate soft and chewy lemon cookies are great for any occasion. You are not done with summer until you have baked a batch of these decadent and cheerful sunshine cookies. Simply add poppy seeds for extra flavor and texture.

I can't tell you how many times hosts have thanked me for bringing a different cookie flavor. That's right, we've all looked at cookie platters and sampled a few bites of cookies before vowing that we're done with them for the season. This year, intrigue those around you. Bake a batch of these Lemon Sugar Cookies. Lemon desserts are a thing. Especially during the party packed celebration season.

Glazed Lemon Sugar Cookies

The BEST soft and chewy Glazed Lemon Sugar Cookies with icing. You'll want to bake these lemon citrus cookies this summer. Each bite is delicately crisp on the outside, soft, chewy, and cakelike inside.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon cake mix cookies, lemon sugar cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 122kcal

Ingredients

For the Cookies

  • ½ cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

For the Glaze

  • tbsp water
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease cookie sheet.
  • In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar.
  • Beat in vanilla, egg, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
  • Slowly stir in flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir well to combine.
  • Roll dough into 1-inch cookie balls.
  • Roll dough in powdered sugar.
  • Bake at 350° for 9-11 minutes, or until center is set and crackly.
    After a couple minutes, remove to cooling racks to cool completely.
  • Mix powdered sugar and water until smooth. Drizzle over cookie with a spoon. TIP: Mix in an additional ¼ cup powdered sugar for a thicker glaze.

Notes

EASY LEMON SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE USING LEMON CAKE MIX
An easy alternative to making lemon sugar cookies in half the time using boxed cake mix.
Ingredients
  • Lemon Cake Mix, I like Pillsbury
  • 2 eggs
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
Directions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.  
  2. In a medium bowl, place all of the ingredients together.  
  3. Using a spoon, fold ingredients together until dough forms and everything is well incorporated.  
  4. Grease a cookie sheet and form 1 inch round balls and flatten slightly.
  5. In a small bowl, roll the top of the cookie in powdered sugar.
  6. Bake for 5-6 minutes, don’t allow to turn golden brown.
  7. Mix glaze together and drizzle over cooled cookies.

Nutrition

Calories:122kcal | Carbohydrates:21g | Protein:1g | Fat:4g | Saturated Fat:2g | Trans Fat:1g | Cholesterol:17mg | Sodium:68mg | Potassium:19mg | Fiber:1g | Sugar:14g | Vitamin A:128IU | Vitamin C:1mg | Calcium:6mg | Iron:1mg

updated 6/2021

81 Comments

  • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
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    Cat
    07/07/2018 at 8:46 pm

    5 stars
    These turned out wonderful. I used extra lemon juice to make the glaze instead of water, they are so good!

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    Jodi
    09/16/2018 at 11:27 am

    Can the lemon cookies be mailed?

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
      Reply
      Jessica Knott
      09/17/2018 at 12:57 pm

      Yes! Just be sure to stack them between parchment paper and paper towel for any extra space.

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    Michelle Francis
    12/13/2018 at 3:19 pm

    Do you sift the powered sugar before measuring it? Most recipes call for doing that.

    • Avatar for Swankyrecipes
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      Jessica Knott
      12/14/2018 at 6:45 pm

      No, I just spooned it in for this recipe. However, if yours is really lumpy, go ahead and sift it.

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    Cassidy
    12/19/2018 at 4:22 pm

    These look amazing! Can you make these ahead of time, freeze them, and then let them thaw before adding the glaze?

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    Amy Raymond-Horton
    10/12/2020 at 8:36 am

    5 stars
    EVERYONE loves these. If you like lemon, you must add to your list. They are easy to make (from scratch).

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    Alfie mulligan
    10/19/2020 at 3:12 pm

    5 stars
    Can these be made with orange cake mix and orange glaze?

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