Soft and Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

The perfect soft and chewy lemon sugar cookies that stay soft! A must make dessert for Spring or any time!

Perfect soft and chewy lemon sugar cookies that stay soft! Recipe from @bakedbyrachel

I’ve never been super artsy in the sense of drawing or painting. But, for some reason yesterday I got this idea in my head that I’d love to try. I saw a child finger painting on canvas and that made me want to do it. It looked fun. So, then I started doing what I occasionally do when I get random crafty ideas in my head… I ran off to do Google searches for inspiration. That lead me to watch a video of an artist, finger painting the most beautiful field of flowers. I wish I had those skills. So the next logical step was to see what painting studios are around. You know, the ones that are popular for girls nights out, painting and wine… that kind of thing. It looks fun. But in reality, I doubt I’ll ever go. Have you ever done one of those classes or attempted any painting projects without any previous skills?

Also, I just discovered Jessica Jones on Netflix. It kept coming up as a suggested show to watch, but I’d never heard of it outside of that, which makes sense because it’s only on Netflix. I finally gave it a try and I’m completely hooked! The only problem is there’s only one season so far and I’m almost done! But, a second season has been confirmed. The only question is when it’ll become available. If you like any of the other Marvel shows, you should definitely give it a try.

Perfect soft and chewy lemon sugar cookies that stay soft! Recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Coooookies. Everyone loves them. And, seeing as it’s been a good while since I last made some, it was clearly time to whip up a new batch.

These are am-aaazing.

You’ll want to make a double batch because they’re just that good. My family was sad when they were all gone. Good thing the dough is super easy to whip up! I may have to make another batch for the weekend.

Absolute PERFECT soft and chewy lemon sugar cookies, that stay soft!

A guaranteed family favorite that will be requested time and time again. Be sure to add these fun cookies to your Spring baking plans!

Perfect soft and chewy lemon sugar cookies that stay soft! Recipe from @bakedbyrachel

Soft and Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

The perfect soft and chewy lemon sugar cookies that stay soft! A must make dessert for Spring or any time!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time13 minutes
Total Time2 hours 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cookie, Lemon
Servings: 24 cookies


  • 1/2 C unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/4 C granulated sugar divided
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 Tb lemon juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 C all purpose flour


  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream together butter and 1 cup granulated sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Mix in zest, lemon juice, egg and vanilla. Scrape bowl as needed. With mixer running on low, slowly incorporate baking soda, salt and flour. Continue mixing until well combined and no streaks remain. Transfer batter to a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, roughly 2-4 hours or overnight. 
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. 
  • Use a medium scoop to portion dough. Shape into smooth balls. Coat well in remaining 1/4 cup granulated sugar. Space 3 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes. Allow cookies to rest on the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store cooled cookies in an airtight container for up to several days. 


Recipe yields roughly 2 dozen cookies.
An original recipe from Baked by Rachel

Items used in this recipe:

This post contains affiliate links.

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79 Responses to “Soft and Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies”

  1. #
    allie @ Through Her Looking Glass — March 31, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Love the crinkly tops on these lemon sugar cookies Rachel! These would disappear fast at my house!!!

    • #
      Rachel — April 10, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      Thanks so much Allie!

  2. #
    Lisa — March 31, 2016 at 7:47 am

    I am going to make these gorgeous lemon cookies and check out Jessica Jones or some other Netflix movie this weekend. Who needs popcorn when you have lemon cookies! Thanks for the recipe!

    • #
      Rachel — April 10, 2016 at 6:43 pm

      I hope you love them just as much as we did! :)

  3. #
    Marye — March 31, 2016 at 8:24 am

    These look so yummy, I love lemony sweets!

    • #
      Rachel — April 10, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks Marye!

  4. #
    Maria — March 31, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Yum! I am always looking for perfect sugar cookie recipes. Looks like I found yours!:) I have to bake these asap, they look to soft and I love the crinkle!

    • #
      Rachel — April 10, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      You definitely need to give them a try! :)

  5. #
    Catherine — March 31, 2016 at 10:53 am

    Dear Rachel, these lemon cookies sound delightful. I love lemon desserts…this is right up my alley. A perfect spring treat. xo, Catherine

    • #
      Rachel — April 10, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      Thanks so much, Catherine!

  6. #
    Tamra — April 20, 2016 at 11:48 pm

    I made your lemon cookie recipe and they tasted so good! However, because I absolutely love lemon, I may add more lemon juice and/or add a little lemon extract next time for an even more enhanced lemon flavor. This is a keeper that I will be sharing. Thank you for the recipe!

    • #
      Rachel — April 21, 2016 at 7:18 am

      So glad to hear you enjoyed them, Tamra! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  7. #
    Letty — May 17, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I have been searching for an old fashioned, soft, sugar cookie that my grandparents used to make. No one in the family has the recipe : (. There was a hint of lemon in them. I can’t wait to try your recipe!

    • #
      Rachel — May 18, 2016 at 7:05 am


  8. #
    Sarah — May 17, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    I made these into thumbprint cookies with lemon curd and they were amazing!!!

    • #
      Rachel — May 18, 2016 at 7:05 am

      So glad you enjoyed them, Sarah!

  9. #
    Lee Ann — June 8, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    Made these today for story time treat as we were reading a book about a lemonade stand…they were a hit. Moist and delicious and I studded mine with bkueberries!

    • #
      Rachel — June 9, 2016 at 7:28 am

      So glad everyone enjoyed them! Love your addition of blueberries! :)

  10. #
    Trevor — July 20, 2016 at 11:46 am

    Thanks for posting this! I made them with my step mom and they where soooo good! The lemons really made it superb!

    • #
      Rachel — July 20, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      So glad you both enjoyed them, Trevor! Thanks for sharing! :)

  11. #
    Mel — July 22, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    Hi Rachel, first time on your site! Love the recipe, just mixed it up and it’s chilling right now. Can i ask, why the chill? And can I add more flour to get thicker cookies? I know nothing bout baking so i you could answer that would be great!

    • #
      Rachel — July 25, 2016 at 9:36 am

      Chilling the dough will prevent it from spreading too much and too quickly in the oven. You want them to gradually spread throughout the baking process, not immediately. I hope you enjoyed them! :)

  12. #
    Char Yates — August 17, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    Looks good and simple. Thank You. But why not include yield of the recipe?
    I have to assume, looking at ingredients that the recipe yields 2 dozen cookies.
    Need to try so that I can multiply the recipe.

    • #
      Rachel — August 19, 2016 at 10:22 am

      The yield is already stated in the recipe information. It’s listed as 2 dozen cookies. Enjoy! :)

  13. #
    Kim Hill — October 12, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    I just made these and they were amazing! just so darn good! So glad I found this recipe! I will look to see how I can follow your blog. thanks so much for posting this recipe. It is a keeper.

    • #
      Rachel — October 13, 2016 at 7:29 am

      So glad you enjoyed them, Kim! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

  14. #
    Milan — December 15, 2016 at 8:40 pm

    This looks like a great recipe! I’m going to try it this weekend! Would it be okay to substitute the regular sugar to roll it in confectioner’s sugar? Looking to get that classic lemon cookie crinkle look with the powder top.

    • #
      Rachel — December 16, 2016 at 7:39 am

      You could certainly try that, but I can’t promise it will offer the outcome you’re looking for. Good luck!

  15. #
    Lillith — December 17, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    These are going in the oven at the moment, I just know they’ll be awesome and thanks for the recipe !! I love using fresh fruits for recipes like this. I’m going to add my whipped lemon topping to them and see how it works out,

    • #
      Rachel — December 18, 2016 at 9:51 am

      Enjoy! :)

  16. #
    MmmCookies — May 30, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    These are amazing! My new favorite :)

    • #
      Rachel — May 31, 2017 at 7:19 am

      Thank you! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed them :)

  17. #
    Chubs — June 17, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Hello Rachel,

    I would love to try these for my husband. However, I need to use oil and spenlda do you have suggestions?

    Thank you

    • #
      Rachel — June 19, 2017 at 7:27 am

      I haven’t personally tried substituting those in this recipe, so you’ll have to give it a try and see how it goes. But typically splenda is a 1:1 substitute. Oil can be a bit different, typically you would want to use slightly less oil but you’d have to play around with it to see. It may or may not turn out but I do wish you luck!

  18. #
    Briggsmo — June 26, 2017 at 8:14 am

    We tried these yesterday. Turned out great. We did add a little extract as well and would probably increase the amount to a 0.25 teaspoon if we made these again.

    • #
      Rachel — June 28, 2017 at 7:28 am

      So glad you enjoyed them!

  19. #
    April — November 5, 2017 at 3:47 am

    Thank you, these came out perfectly! I tried a recipe beforehand that called for cold butter, but for some reason that didn’t work out well for me at all… So I searched for another and found these. Love them.

    • #
      Rachel — November 9, 2017 at 6:59 am

      So glad you enjoyed them, April! :)

  20. #
    Kerry — January 1, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Great sugar cookie recipe but my turned out kind of bland with not enough lemon flavor. Any suggestions (I followed your recipe exactly). Just looking to boost the lemon flavor.

    • #
      Rachel — January 2, 2018 at 6:40 am

      For additional flavor you can add more zest or a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract. :)

  21. #
    Mary — March 16, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Made them e lemon sugar cookies. They were so tasty and yummy. Came out perfect. Wilk make again.👍

    • #
      Rachel — March 21, 2018 at 6:59 am

      So glad you enjoyed them, Mary!

  22. #
    Courtney — May 23, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    Can you freeze?

    • #
      Rachel — June 25, 2018 at 7:48 am


  23. #
    Julie — March 1, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    If you don’t happen to have a scoop around, medium or otherwise, how big should the balls of dough?

    What should the cookies look like when they are done? You say to bake for 12 to 14 minutes. At 12 minutes, how will you know if they are done, or if they need more time?

    How many cookies does this make?

    • #
      Rachel — March 5, 2019 at 6:26 am

      If you don’t have the correct scoop, you’ll need roughly 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough per ball.

    • #
      TRICIA — February 15, 2021 at 8:34 pm

      Strange. I tried this recipe today and they cookies never got flat. They almost stayed in a ball. I refrigerated the dough for 3 hours and followed the recipe. Hmmm… will have to try again. :( bummer. I was waiting for the lemony fresh flavor.

    • #
      Rachel — February 18, 2021 at 9:20 am

      You may have had too much flour in your batter. Be sure to fluff your flour prior to scooping and leveling or before spooning into your measuring cup and leveling.

  24. #
    Bonita — March 10, 2019 at 7:03 pm

    Ok girl. Take the paint class, its fun, I am not artisy either, but we all had a great time. Can wait to make these yummy cookies. Glad I found you!

    • #
      Rachel — March 11, 2019 at 7:09 am

      I hope you enjoy them! :)

  25. #
    SR — April 13, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    Can you use cookie cutters for shaped cookies?

    • #
      Rachel — April 15, 2019 at 6:26 am

      I haven’t tried them as a cut-out recipe. If you do, make sure the dough is chilled enough to roll without being sticky. You may also want to consider reducing the overall amount of baking soda, to prevent spreading. Good luck!

  26. #
    Nan — May 19, 2019 at 4:14 am

    This is an easy recipe that bakes up wonderfully. I tried it with limes, and folks raved about how amazing the tasted. This has become one of my favorite cookie recipes!

    • #
      Rachel — May 20, 2019 at 6:05 am

      So glad everyone enjoyed them! :)

  27. #
    Candyce — May 22, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    My batter was extremely dry. It might be due to that fact that I substituted the butter for oil but I did that correctly (the measurements I mean) but it cane out tasting and looking fine, thought It was a little nutty tasting

    • #
      Rachel — May 24, 2019 at 6:23 am

      It sounds as though your flour may not have been measured properly. In general, it should be a spoon and sweep or fluff the flour first, then scoop and sweep method.

  28. #
    Rebekah — August 25, 2019 at 12:58 am

    I made these cookies and they were amazing, they went so fast at my house. So soft and with such a nice crispy top. Not too lemony,, either. I’ll definitely make them again in the future.

    • #
      Rachel — September 9, 2019 at 8:36 pm

      So glad everyone enjoyed them! :)

  29. #
    Zach — October 27, 2019 at 12:06 am

    Hi! This recipe was posted several years ago but I feel obliged to offer my appreciation as I have probably baked this recipe 6 or 7 times already! The cookies always turn out delicious and all you need in the kitchen are basic staples and a lemon. I like to add a large sprig of finely chopped fresh rosemary to the dough. Thanks for posting this simple and fail safe recipe, it has brought a lot of joy.

    • #
      Rachel — November 5, 2019 at 7:26 am

      So glad you’ve enjoyed the cookies so much! Thanks for sharing! :)

  30. #
    Katrina — December 8, 2019 at 7:18 pm

    Can you use cookie cutter designs with these?

    • #
      Rachel — December 10, 2019 at 5:47 am

      I wouldn’t recommend that with this particular recipe.

  31. #
    Jennifer M Knotts — February 3, 2020 at 5:21 pm

    Great recipe! Thank you, for sharing. I used 1 TB lemon extract + 1 TB water, bc I had no fresh lemon. Still turned out chewy and delicious. They were quick, easy, and a hit with my family.

    • #
      Rachel — February 9, 2020 at 7:49 am

      So glad everyone enjoyed them!

  32. #
    Terri C. — February 11, 2020 at 2:42 pm

    Excellent recipe, just like your slice and bake cranberry ones. I just baked some the day after making the dough. I used a 1 T./1.5″ scoop and got 29 dough balls. I used equal parts lemon and lime zest and juice. I wanted them crispy on the outside and chewy inside but they were a little overcooked at 8.5 minutes so will bake the rest for 8 minutes. I also weighed out the flour (240 grams) too.

    • #
      Rachel — February 13, 2020 at 7:27 pm

      So glad you enjoyed them, Terri!

  33. #
    Natalia — April 5, 2020 at 7:28 pm

    I just made this and they were amazing! Thanks for this great recipe!

    • #
      Rachel — April 8, 2020 at 8:13 am

      So glad you enjoyed them, Natalia!

  34. #
    Melissa — April 28, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    I just made these last weekend and they are a big hit! Next time I will use more lemon zest for a stronger lemon flavor.

    Have you made a chocolate version? I’m wanting the exact same consistency only with chocolate flavor. All the chocolate sugar cookie recipes I’m finding are vastly different from this, so I’m wondering your thoughts on adapting this exact recipe for chocolate.

    • #
      Rachel — May 2, 2020 at 8:46 am

      So glad you enjoyed them, Melissa! I don’t have a chocolate version at this time, but you could absolutely play around with adding cocoa powder or melted chocolate to the recipe.

  35. #
    Sharon Shockley — May 12, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    Sounds absolutely delish! Can’t wait to try these this weekend! Thank you for sharing!

    • #
      Rachel — May 13, 2020 at 8:23 am

      Enjoy! :)

  36. #
    Linda — December 19, 2020 at 10:36 am

    These were a total waste of my ingredients. I had fresh lemons from a neighbor and was looking for a recipe when I came across yours. It looked good and I had all of the ingredients, but something is wrong with the recipe. I followed it step by step but I think there might be too much flour, because when I began adding the flour, by the end my mixer was having a hard time. I didn’t even and it all. I couldn’t have used a scoop the next day because the dough was so stiff. The cookies don’t look anything like the picture.
    I tried to look at other comments but couldn’t figure out how. I guess I now know why they’re hidden.

    • #
      Rachel — December 19, 2020 at 10:47 am

      I’m sorry you had difficulty with the recipe but the amounts are correct as written. It sounds as though your measurements were off or did not measure the flour properly. Others have had great success, time and time again. As far as comments go, they’re not working properly on desktop at this time but they are viewable on mobile. Merry Christmas and happy baking! :)

  37. #
    hi — February 26, 2021 at 1:28 pm

    its greattttt

  38. #
    Jennifer Kincaid — May 12, 2022 at 10:01 am

    Just ran across your recipe for these cookies. I live to bake but never been a fan of baking cookies. Boyfriend asked for lemon cookies so I have a batch cooling now! I’m going to make a lemon glaze to put on top. So excited for him to try.

    • #
      Rachel — May 14, 2022 at 8:23 am

      I hope you both enjoyed them! :)

  39. #
    Donna — September 14, 2022 at 11:22 am

    These are the best lemon cookies ever! I’ve made them countless times and y always bake up perfectly. However, I have someone asking for lemon poppyseed cookies, do you think it would be ok (maybe about 1 T) or would the poppyseeds dry out the cookie too much? Thanks for the recipe!

    • #
      Rachel — September 17, 2022 at 8:42 am

      So glad you’ve enjoyed them! As far as adding poppy seeds… I’d cut it down to 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons for the dough. You can always add a bit to the sugar you’re going to roll the dough balls in for an extra touch if you think they need more. Good luck!

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