Bursting with lemon flavor, these two-bite cookies are slightly crisp on the outside, light and soft on the inside. Cream cheese and plenty of lemon zest make these cookies perfectly refreshing!


Recipe Summary

20 mins
10 mins
1 hr
1 hr 30 mins
2 dozen cookies


Original recipe yields 24 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Combine sugar and lemon zest in a food processor and pulse several times to bruise lemon zest. Transfer 1/2 cup sugar mixture to a bowl.

  • Beat butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl until creamy and well-combined; mix in remaining lemon-sugar mixture, egg, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Use an electric mixer to beat baking powder and salt into moist ingredients; gradually beat flour into mixture to make a dough. Freeze dough for 1 hour.

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a baking sheet.

  • Shape dough into 1-inch balls and roll in reserved 1/2 cup lemon sugar. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet. Press cookies down slightly to flatten and sprinkle each cookie with about 1/8 teaspoon of the remaining lemon sugar.

  • Bake in the preheated oven until cookies are firm on bottoms, 10 to 12 minutes.

Cook's Notes:

Mixing the lemon zest and sugar in the food processor is optional but highly recommended. It releases more of the lemon flavor than simply mixing the two together.

If desired, refrigerate dough 2 to 3 hours instead of freezing. Depending on the stickiness and softness of dough, chill time may vary or may not be necessary at all. Dough may be chilled overnight or frozen for future use.

Nutrition Facts

106 calories; protein 1.3g 3% DV; carbohydrates 18.7g 6% DV; fat 3g 5% DV; cholesterol 15.5mg 5% DV; sodium 78.6mg 3% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (6)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
Absolutely fantastic you can add 1/2 a cup more sugar if you want more lemon flavor. You can sprinkle some sugar Read More
10 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 9
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
Absolutely fantastic you can add 1/2 a cup more sugar if you want more lemon flavor. You can sprinkle some sugar Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Love it! These cookies are wonderful. Will be making them again (my family really enjoyed it). Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Save yourself some trouble and just go ahead and double this recipe. These cookies are fantastic. I was craving a lemon cookie and these are divine. I did omit the vanilla and add more lemon juice in its place because I really wanted the lemon to pop. My husband rated these cookies with one word. "Mmmmmmm" Read More
Rating: 4 stars
great crispy edges & chewy middle - easy to make but a little light on lemon flavor - will need to perk it up a bit - will omit vanilla & double up on lemon juice- maybe add some extra zest (I have lemon zest powder) to the dough for extra zing but overall a nice cookie. definitely do the extra sugar sprinkle on top! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
These were awesome. The only change I made was I doubled the zest blended with the sugar. I did not put the dough in the freezer. I popped it into the fridge for about twenty minutes and found that the dough was firm enough to scoop up and roll in the sugar. These cookies stay soft which is how my family likes their cookies. I can t wait to make these again and next time I will double the recipe. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Doubled the recipe because I love lemon. Made these as directed. Delicious! Read More