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Lemon Crinkle Cookies | The Recipe Critic

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Lemon crinkle cookies are thick, soft pillows of lemon deliciousness! They have a refreshing flavor with an irresistible chewy texture. The perfect balance of sweet and tart make these a welcome treat for any occasion!

Lemon-flavored desserts are delightful anytime of year, but I always crave them the most in the springtime! For some more delicious lemon treats, try making this Glazed Lemon Bread, this Lemon Tiramisu, or these Lemon Cheesecake Bars!

4 cookies stacked on top of each other. One is broken in half.4 cookies stacked on top of each other. One is broken in half.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies Recipe

All you lemon lovers, get ready to be obsessed with these lemon crinkle cookies! They have a delightful brightness from the fresh lemon zest and juice, and the most wonderful texture. With soft, chewy, extra thick centers and slightly crisp edges, these will melt in your mouth in the most dreamy way!

Like my chocolate crinkle cookies, these are rolled in granulated sugar and confectioners’ sugar before baking. Then, while the cookies bake and get nice and puffy, the sugar coating cracks and leaves a gorgeous crinkled top. Even though these are great all year round, I especially love to bring them to celebrations in the spring and summer, like bridal showers, baby showers and Easter and Mother’s Day gatherings! They’re a hit with everyone who tries them!

Ingredients Needed

This lemon crinkle cookie recipe calls for most of the same ingredients you will find in other cookie recipes with the addition of our star ingredient, fresh lemon! All individual measurements can be found in the recipe card below.

  • Sugar: 1 cup granulated sugar will perfectly balance the tangy lemon taste.
  • Lemon: Just the right amount of fresh lemon zest and fresh lemon juice give these a citrus flavor without being overly tart or sour.
  • Butter: Make sure your unsalted butter is at room temperature, so it will smoothly combine with the sugar.
  • Egg: One large egg to help bind the ingredients.
  • Egg Yolk: Using an extra egg yolk will create a chewier texture.
  • Vanilla extract: For extra flavor and sweetness.
  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour for that perfect tender texture.
  • Cornstarch: Just 1 tsp will yield a thicker, softer cookie. 
  • Baking essentials: Be sure to use fresh baking soda and baking powder for proper baking. If your baking soda has been opened for longer than 3 months old, you probably need to buy a new container. Baking powder typically lasts about 6 months.
  • Salt: To bring out and balance all of the amazing flavors in this recipe.
  • For rolling: A simple combination of granulated sugar and powdered sugar will create a sweet sugar coating making these absolutely irresistible!
All of the ingredients for the lemon crinkle cookies separated into glass bowls.All of the ingredients for the lemon crinkle cookies separated into glass bowls.

How to Make Lemon Crinkle Cookies

This lemon crinkle cookie recipe is really easy to make! Just plan ahead for the necessary chilling of the dough. It’s an essential step that can’t be skipped!

  1. Mix Zest, Sugar and Butter: Add the sugar and lemon zest to a large bowl and use a fork to combine them until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and use a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to beat the sugar and butter together on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add Egg and Vanilla: Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl before adding the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until just combined.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until just combined. Cover the bowl and chill for at least 2 hours.

Shape, Coat and Bake

  1. Make the Topping: After the dough is done chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar with powdered sugar in a shallow dish, like a pie dish or a wide bowl.
  2. Scoop and Roll Cookies: Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop about 1 ½ tablespoon of dough for each cookie, rolling each in your hands to form a uniform ball. Roll the dough in the powdered sugar until fully coated.
  3. Bake: Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheets leaving 2 inches between each of them. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until the edges of the cookies have set and the centers just begin to lose their shine.
  4. Cool: Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Helpful Tips

Here are some helpful tips for baking the best lemon cookies with a beautiful crinkly surface!

  • How Many Lemons: You will need one to 2 lemon(s) for this recipe. One regular-sized lemon typically contains 2 tbsps of zest and 2 tbsps of juice.
  • Measuring Flour: Using too much flour is a common baking mistake and will leave your baked goods dry and crumbly. Whisk the flour, then spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the top (without shaking the measuring cup).
  • Chilling the Dough: It’s important to chill the cookie dough for at least 2 hours. This will not only maximize the delicious flavors, but it also prevents spreading, and makes the dough easier to scoop and roll.
  • Plenty of Powdered Sugar: Roll the cookies into the powdered sugar, generously. This will ensure a pretty white layer among the cracks and crinkles.
  • Other Citrus Flavors: Try this base crinkle cookie recipe with grapefruit, orange or lime.

Top-down view of the lemon crinkle cookies, garnished with lemon slicesTop-down view of the lemon crinkle cookies, garnished with lemon slices

Storing Leftover Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Lemon crinkle cookies store really well in the fridge and the freezer. You might even want to double the batch, so you can have them on-hand anytime you have a craving!  

  • In the Refrigerator: Once the lemon cookies have cooled, store them covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  • In the Freezer: Place baked cookies in an airtight container or ziplock bag and label it with the date. They will keep fresh for up to 3 months in the freezer.

The crinkle cookies on a wire rack. Some have a bite taken out of them or are broken in half.The crinkle cookies on a wire rack. Some have a bite taken out of them or are broken in half.

More Delicious Lemon Desserts

Lemon desserts are so delightful and refreshing! It’s one of my favorite flavors and I have plenty of tried and true lemon recipes to share. They’re all so incredible! Which one will you make first?

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  • Add the sugar and lemon zest to a large bowl and use a fork to combine them until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and use a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to beat the sugar and butter together on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy.

  • Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl before adding the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until just combined.

  • Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and baking powder to a medium bowl and whisk to combine. Add to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until just combined. Cover the bowl and chill for at least 2 hours.

  • After the dough is done chilling, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line 2-3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar with powdered sugar in a shallow dish, like a pie dish or a wide bowl.

  • Use a medium cookie scoop to scoop about 1 ½ tablespoon of dough for each cookie, rolling each in your hands to form a uniform ball. Roll the dough in the powdered sugar until fully coated.

  • Place the balls on the prepared cookie sheets leaving 2 inches between each of them. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until the edges of the cookies have set and the centers just begin to lose their shine.

  • Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for at least 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Calories: 143kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 98mgPotassium: 25mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 139IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 8mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.





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