Pillowy, citrusy Lemon Crinkle Cookies strike a perfect balance! This drop cookie recipe is lemony and fabulous for sharing for holidays, birthdays or any occasion. Makes 44 cookies.
What are Lemon Crinkle Cookies?
These soft, citrusy, delicious cookies are rolled in confectioners’ sugar before baking.
The tops are crackly and lovely once baked, and they’re pillowy, cloud-like cookies that are bursting with lemon flavor.
They’re sometimes called Lemon Crackle Cookies.
Why I love this recipe:
Lemon desserts are one of the things that became appealing to me as I grew older… and I’m now that person who’d always like a lemon dessert recipe.
These lemon cookies are special because they’re a nod to the classic Chocolate Crinkle Cookies my family baked every holiday season when I was a kid.
They also call for simple ingredients and do not require lemon cake mix.
They’re wonderfully lemony, getting their flavor from lemon zest, lemon extract AND lemon juice.
When I brought them to soccer practice to share with friends, I was told that these cookies were cloud-like
More cookie recipes to bake this season: Snowball Cookies | Potato Chip Cookies | Shortbread Brown Butter Cookies | Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Blossom Cookies | Browned Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies with Bourbon and Walnuts | Drop Sugar Cookies
Need more baking inspiration? Check out my Cookie Recipe Index for some ideas!
Let’s talk about The Sweetest Season and Cookies for Kids Cancer!
The Sweetest Season is my annual holiday cookie week.
In 2011, I decided it would be fun to share my favorite Christmas cookies… then I invited other bloggers to join me. The celebration grew, we changed the name to make it more inclusive (because that matters!), my friend Susannah stepped up to assist with all the things and the rest is history.
And now, every year, food bloggers get together to share new holiday cookie recipes to make and give.
This year, we’re raising money in support of Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, which is a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for new, innovative and less-toxic treatments for childhood cancer.
Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has granted nearly $18 million to pediatric cancer research in the form of 100+ research grants to leading pediatric cancer centers across the country. More than 35 treatments that are available to kids battling cancer today have been stemmed from these grants.
We’d love for you to help us raise money for this important cause! You can donate through our fundraising page.
Another exciting thing is that Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is in a matching window with their friends at OXO, meaning OXO will be matching every dollar raised through the end of 2022, up to $100,000. Whatever money we raise will automatically double on our fundraising page!
What you’ll need to make this recipe:
The Speckled Palate participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information about these affiliate programs.
- Rimmed sheet pan, baking sheet or a cookie sheet
- Nonstick baking mat or parchment paper
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Mixing bowl
- Rubber spatula
- Cookie scoop
Let’s talk ingredients!
In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter — this is the fat for our cookie recipe. I like to bake with unsalted butter so I can control the amount of salt used. Set it out the butter 30-45 minutes before you plan to mix the batter so it blends easily.
- Granulated sugar — also known as white sugar, this adds a nice sweetness to our cookie dough.
- Eggs — not only do they give our cookies some structure, but they also help give the cookies a little rise, too.
- Vanilla extract — if you can afford it, the real deal kind is where it’s at!
- Lemon extract — this gives our cookies even more lemon kick.
- Fresh lemons — we need both the zest and juice for this cookie dough. Purchase two.
- All–purpose flour — we keep unbleached AP flour at our house, but you can use the regular kind, too.
- Baking powder — this is our leavener and will cause our cookies to be fluffy. Be sure that yours are fresh. It is not the same as baking soda.
- Kosher salt — I like to use a medium grain kosher salt here. You could also use a similar size of sea salt, too.
- Milk — we keep whole milk at our house, but you can use whatever type of milk you have at your house in this recipe. You’ll just need a singular tablespoon.
- Powdered sugar — also known as confectioners sugar or icing sugar. We’ll need this to roll the cookie dough in before baking. You may sift yours if there are chunks in it.
How to make this Lemon Crinkle Cookie recipe:
Cream the butter and sugar together until light yellow using a hand mixer or a stand mixer (with the paddle attachment) in a large bowl.
This will take a few minutes. I suggest starting at a lower speed and turning it up as the ingredients incorporate.
Measure in the eggs, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon zest. Mix until incorporated and fragrant, then scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Next, blend the flour, baking power and salt with the wet ingredients. You may stir these dry ingredients together before adding to the wet ingredients so that the incorporate evenly.
Once incorporated, measure the fresh lemon juice and milk into the batter and stir until just combined.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour.
It’s important to chill the batter because this affects the texture of the cookies. If the cookie dough is too warm when it goes into the oven, the tops of your cookies will not be crackly. You’ll get the best results if your cookie dough is cold.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats. Set aside.
Scoop the cookies into 1-tablespoon dough balls with a cookie scoop.
Use your hands to round out the cookie dough balls, then roll in powdered sugar until coated. Do this fast, as your hands will warm the dough!
Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, and bake for 15 minutes (or until cookies are set) in the preheated oven.
Cool on a wire rack and then enjoy!
Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips
There’s nothing like homemade cookies for the holidays… or any kind of gathering, especially ones that involve kids.
I love these easy Lemon Crinkle Cookies because they’re fun to bake and also a more unique treat to share with friends and family.
Here are some tips and tricks to making the best Lemon Crinkle Cookies for any type of gathering:
- Bake the cookies in advance. These cookies are delicious at room temperature, so bake them early and don’t fret!
- Double or triple the recipe for a crowd,. You can always send friends home with extra cookies if you don’t want them in your house.
- Serve them a cookie exchange. You could also serve them as a little sweet treat at a cookie decorating party.
Frequently Asked Questions
The chill helps the crinkles. If your dough is too warm, it will spread too quickly and the texture will be lost. Also, if you work the dough in your hands for too long, the same result will happen.
You might have measured the ingredients incorrectly or your dough might be too warm.
Quick tips and tricks for making the best Lemon Crackle Cookies
- Let the cookie dough chill. This allows the butter to solidify and gives the flour a chance to hydrate. These two will affect cookie’s texture. Chilled cookie dough leads to fluffier cookies that spread less and also helps the texture.
- Use a cookie scoop. Your cookies will be a more uniform size.
- Don’t skimp on the lemon. The combination of the lemon extract, zest and juice gives these cookies extra lemon flavor.
- How to store: Once completely cooled, place in an airtight container. Keep on the countertop for up to a week.
More lemon cookie recipes:
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
- ½ cup unsalted butter , softened (1 stick, 113g)
- 1 ¼ cup granulated sugar 250g
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest from 1 large lemon
- 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 330g
- 2 teaspoons baking powder 10g
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt 3g
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar 125g
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light yellow using a hand mixer or a stand mixer in a large bowl. This will take a few minutes.
- Measure in the eggs, vanilla extract, lemon extract and lemon zest. Mix until incorporated and fragrant.
- Next, blend the flour, baking power and salt with the wet ingredients.
- Once incorporated, measure the lemon juice and milk into the batter and stir, until just combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
- Scoop the cookies into 1-tablespoon dough balls with a cookie scoop.
- Use your hands to round out the cookie dough, then roll in powdered sugar until coated.
- Transfer to the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake for 15 minutes (or until cookies are set) in the preheated oven.
- Cool on a wire cooling rack and then enjoy!