Homemade and simple is how we describe our lemon crinkle cookie recipe. We used fresh lemon juice and zest to create these adorable crinkle cookies!
I started making lemon crinkle cookies a few years ago. At first glance, Kim didn't seem interested.
She prefers our soft sugar cookies. However, after one bite, she was hooked. Now, we make them from time to time as a treat.
In fact, she wanted to share her adaptation of my lemon crinkle cookie recipe. While the recipes differ slightly, the outcome is very similar.
Her cookies feature fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. As well as, the perfect balance of sweet and tart.
How do you make lemon crinkle cookies from scratch?
First, start by removing the butter from your fridge to let it soften. Honestly, it needs to sit at room temperature for at least an hour.
After that, when the butter has softened, place it and ¾ cup of granulated sugar into a bowl. Next, beat the ingredients together until the butter and sugar have, "creamed," together.
Meaning, after 3 minutes (on medium speed) the mixture should be light and fluffy. Now, add in a cracked egg, a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, a tablespoon of lemon zest, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Continue beating the mixture on low speed until all the ingredients have been combined. At this point, you can start adding the dry ingredients.
Pour in 2 cups of flour, a teaspoon of baking powder, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon of baking soda, and 2-3 drops of yellow food coloring.
- The food coloring is completely optional. Between you and me, if I were making this for my family, I would skip it. All it does is add a little yellow color to the finished product.
Once you have the dry ingredients and food coloring added, beat the mixture on low speed until all the ingredients are combined.
Afterward, when lemon crinkle cookie dough is mixed, cover it and place it into your fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
The butter needs time to harden before the next step. If not, your cookies will flatten out during the baking process.
About 15 minutes before you remove the cookie dough from your fridge, preheat your oven to 350° F, and line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper.
Then, grab a small mixing bowl and add 1 cup of powdered sugar to the bowl. When dough has finished chilling, it's time to dip the lemon crinkle cookies.
Take a pinch of the dough (about 1 teaspoon) and quickly roll it into a ball. Dip the ball into the powdered sugar and place it on a sheet pan.
Make sure to leave enough room between each lemon crinkle cookie. At least 1-inch of space on each side. Use the photos above and below as references.
Continue the process until all the lemon crinkle cookie dough is gone.
Place the sheet pan into the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes. They won't cook all the way through in the oven.
Once the lemon cookies finished baking, leave them on the sheet pan for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
That's it, your lemon crinkle cookie recipe is done! Kim and I hope you enjoy this treat and wish you all the best 🙂
Why are my crinkle cookies flat?
Typically, cookies bake up flat because the butter was too soft. This happens when softened butter is not re-chilled after being incorporated into the dough.
In other words, after you mix a cookie batter, it needs to go back into the fridge to chill and firm up before baking. If you skip this step, then your cookies will, “melt,” or flatten out when baked.
Can you freeze the dough?
The dough for this lemon crinkle cookie recipe is rather sticky, but it can be frozen. Wrap it in freezer paper or wax paper and thaw it in the refrigerator when you’re ready to bake it. That way you’ll be able to roll it into balls and dip it in powdered sugar.
It can also be cut into circle while frozen. Although, dipping in powdered sugar isn’t as easy. The dough should stay good in the freeze for about 2 months.
Recipe Card with Ingredient Amounts and Instructions
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 ½ drops yellow food coloring, optional
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add in the egg, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Continue beating until on low speed until well combined.¾ cup granulated sugar½ cup unsalted butter1 large egg1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice1 tablespoon lemon zest1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Next, add the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and food coloring. Beat on low speed until no flour patches remain.2 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking powder½ teaspoon kosher salt¼ teaspoon baking soda2 ½ drops yellow food coloring
- Chill the dough for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator. Then, preheat the oven to 350°F, and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Set aside.
- After the dough chills, roll it into teaspoon-sized balls and dip each ball into the powdered sugar. Heavily coat each ball with powdered sugar (don’t shake off the excess sugar), and place them on the prepared baking 2-inches apart.1 cup powdered sugar
- Bake in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned. The centers will still appear somewhat soft. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days.