Lemon crinkle cookies are soft, chewy cookies that are coated in confectioners’ sugar. Fresh lemon zest and juice adds plenty of flavor!

lemon crinkle cookies with confectioners sugar piled on wire rack

Lemon desserts are some of my favorite desserts. They have a zesty flavor that is irresistible to the tastebuds. These lemon crinkle cookies are no exception. They are soft and chewy with a generous kick of lemon flavor. The coating of confectioners’ sugar make the cookies “crinkle” and reveal cracks as they bake.

Why this recipe works: Lemon crinkle cookies has lemon zest rubbed into the sugar to increase the citrusy flavor. The dough is chilled so the cookies are guaranteed to turn out chewy and with the signature crinkles.

lemon crinkle cookies ingredients in bowls

How to make lemon crinkle cookies

  1. Make the cookie dough. Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. Combine sugar and lemon zest, then beat in melted butter until absorbed. Add eggs, vanilla and lemon juice and mix until combined. Finally, mix in dry ingredients just until combined.
  2. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. This step is really important to guarantee crinkles and good texture!
  3. Roll the dough into balls and generously coat each ball in confectioner’s sugar. I like to use a medium cookie scoop for this step for equally sized cookies.
  4. Bake the cookies at 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are set and the cookies crinkle.

Don’t have time to chill the dough? Roll the dough into balls (the dough will be soft) and place on a cookie sheet. Freeze for 15 minutes while the oven preheats. Right before putting the cookies into the oven, roll them in confectioners’ sugar.

photo collage demonstrating how to make lemon crinkle cookies in a mixing bowl
cookie scoop scooping lemon crinkle cookie dough and rolling in confectioners' sugar

Helpful tips

My best tip for this recipe is to rub the lemon zest and sugar between your fingers to increase the lemon flavor in the cookies. I do it for all my lemon recipes! It’s necessary to chill the dough. It makes all the difference in texture and guarantees cracks in the cookies for the crinkle effect. When rolling the dough into balls, work quickly so the dough doesn’t get too warm before baking. Finally, be generous when coating the confectioners’ sugar on the cookie dough balls. The dough will absorb some of the sugar while baking, so really cake it on!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use store-bought lemon juice?

I do not recommend bottled lemon juice. It doesn’t have nearly enough flavor, plus you’ll need a lemon for the zest anyway.

Why didn’t my cookies crinkle?

There could be a couple reasons for this. The first culprit is usually the dough is too warm. Either it wasn’t chilled long enough or the dough got too warm while you rolled the dough into balls. You have to work quickly in this step! If working in batches, keep any remaining dough in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Another reason could be there wasn’t enough confectioners’ sugar caked on the cookies. Be generous as the dough will absorb some of the sugar.

Can I make the dough ahead of time?

Yes, the dough will keep in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. You can also freeze the cookie dough for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before scooping into balls and baking.

How do you store lemon crinkle cookies?

Keep lemon crinkle cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

lemon crinkle cookies on wire cooling rack with lemons

Lemon is a fantastic baking ingredient. My most loved recipe by friends and family are my mom’s lemon bars. They are gooey and sweet with a buttery shortbread crust. Also popular are my recipes for lemon poppy seed muffins and lemon poppy seed bread.

If you’re looking for more crinkle cookie recipes, try my red velvet crinkle cookies (great for Valentine’s Day!) They have that unique red velvet flavor and taste just like the cake. Around the holidays one of my favorite cookies to bake are gingerbread crinkle cookies. They are oh-so-chewy thanks to the molasses!

stack of four lemon crinkle cookies with confectioners' sugar

Lemon crinkle cookies will brighten your day instantly. Be sure to use fresh lemon juice and zest for the ultimate flavor! I love baking lemon cookies when friends are visiting (the cookies are always a hit!) What occasion will you be baking lemon crinkle cookies for? Tell me in the comments when you leave a review and tag @ifyougiveablondakitchen on social media!

lemon crinkle cookie propped up on more cookies

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Lemon crinkle cookies are soft, chewy cookies that are coated in confectioners’ sugar. Fresh lemon zest and juice adds plenty of flavor!
5 from 1 rating

Ingredients

  • 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons (265 g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (60 g) confectioners’ sugar for coating

Instructions 

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add sugar and lemon zest. Rub the sugar and zest between your fingers to increase the lemon flavor. Add melted butter to the bowl and use an electric mixer to mix until butter is absorbed. Add egg and egg yolk and mix until combined, then mix in the lemon juice and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
  • Cover the mixing bowl and refrigerate the dough for at least 2 hours. When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and use a medium cookie scoop to scoop dough and roll into balls. Work quickly so the dough stays relatively cold before baking. Roll each dough ball in confectioners’ sugar (really cake it on!) and place on prepared cookie sheet about 3 inches apart.
  • Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are set and the cookies have cracks showing. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Store lemon crinkle cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Make ahead tips: Cookie dough may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Cookies didn’t crinkle? It’s likely that the dough was too warm. Work quickly when rolling the dough into balls and if you are working in batches, keep the dough in the refrigerator between batches. Also, be generous when coating the cookies in confectioners’ sugar as the dough will absorb some of it during the baking process.
Recommended tools: Kitchen scale, hand mixer or stand mixer, medium cookie scoop, baking sheet.
Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 144kcal, Carbohydrates: 23g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 90mg, Potassium: 31mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 167IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg

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