Love Chocolate Crinkle Cookies? Then you will go NUTS over this soft pillowy Lemon Crinkle Cookies Recipe. Lemon Cookies are a perfect surprise to brighten holiday cookie platters!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies stacked on top of each other on a white plate.

Lemon Cookies Recipe

If you are looking for a simple, yet slightly unique, holiday cookie recipe, today is your lucky day. Our Best Lemon Crinkle Cookies Recipe is an absolute winner!

Crinkle Cookies are one of my all-time favorite holiday cookies. They were invented by Helen Fredell in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and later made popular by one of Betty Crocker’s early 1950’s publications, the Cookie Carnival.

Crinkle Cookies are soft pillowy cookies with a distinct crackle appearance on the surface.

This decorative flourish is created by rolling the cookie dough balls in powdered sugar before baking. As the cookies expand in the oven, the powdered sugar pulls apart in an irregular pattern.

Lemon cookies lined up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies Vs Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Helen’s original Crinkle Cookie Recipe was for Molasses Crinkles. However, nowadays, Chocolate Crinkle Cookies tend to be the most popular variety, especially around Christmas.

However, I’m a big fan of Lemon Crinkle Cookies.

Although chocolate might be a more obvious flavor for the holidays, lemon cookies stand out on any cookie platter as a vibrant beacon of fresh citrus flavor! In other words, they offer contrast, so that all your heavier chocolate and caramel cookie creations don’t all end up tasting the same.

The lemon cookies act as a palate cleanser. In my opinion, you need them!

Lemon cake cookies stacked in a tower.

Recipe For Crinkle Cookies

Our Lemon Crinkle Cookies Recipe is moist and tender on the inside, with a pop of citrus flavor from fresh lemon juice and zest. Some recipes call for lemon extract, yet we feel this gives the cookies a “boxed” flavor.

These lemon crinkle cookies are lightly crisp on the outside, with a thick speckling of powdered sugar over the surface.

We always chill the dough before baking crinkle cookies so the cookies are puffed, instead of flat. However, if you prefer flat cookies, you can bake the cookies immediately after mixing.

Lemon cookie with a bite taken out of it with more lemon cookies stacked in the background.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies Ingredients

  • Unsalted Butter Soften the butter so it blends easily with the sugar. Using unsalted butter allows you to control the sodium a little better. It also tends to be fresher than salted butter, because salt is a preservative, so salted butter has a longer shelf life.
  • Granulated Sugar I usually go with superfine cane sugar.
  • EggsTo bind and lift the dough.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice & ZestFrom 1-2 lemons, depending on how juicy they are. Make sure to zest before squeezing!
  • Vanilla ExtractFor deep rich flavor.
  • All-Purpose FlourWhen measuring flour for any recipe, unless it gives you specific instructions about the flour, always stir the flour in the bag, spoon the flour into the measuring cup, and then level the cup.
  • Baking Powder & Soda You need both to create light fluffy cookies, due to the acid in the lemon juice.
  • SaltAll baked goods need a little salt to bring out the best flavor.
  • Yellow Food ColoringThis is an optional ingredient that will make the cookie a bright color.
  • Powdered Sugar To create the “crinkle” crust!
lemon crinkle cookie dough in a large mixing bowl.

How To Make Crinkle Cookies

  1. Cream the Butter and Sugar Together. Creaming butter and sugar together refers to beating the ingredients on high, until the sugar crystals break down into the butter, creating a light fluffy texture. This determines whether your cookies and cakes are light or dense. Do not ever skip the creaming step! After it beats for 3-5 minutes, scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  2. Add All Wet Ingredients. Turn the mixer on low and mix in the eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla.
  3. Add Dry Ingredients. Mix in one-third of the flour, followed by the baking powder, salt, baking soda, and food coloring. Once combined, mix in the remaining flour. As soon as the dough is smooth, turn off the mixer.
  4. Chill. Cover and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Roll. Set out a bowl of powdered sugar. Portion the dough into 1-tablespoon balls. Then roll each ball in powdered sugar.
  6. Bake! Bake until the edges are just golden brown, and the center looks slightly underbaked.

Tips & Tricks

  • Don’t over mix the batter! Over mixing cookie batter once the flour is added to the mix can result in dense and tough cookies.
  • Make sure to chill the dough! This dough needs to be chilled at least 30 minutes or up to 1 day in order to ensure the cookies don’t spread to much in the oven.
  • Don’t over bake! The cookies will look slightly underbaked but will set more on the baking sheet and on a cooling rack!

Get The Full (Printable) Lemon Cookies Recipe Below. Enjoy!

Cookie dough balls being rolled in powdered sugar.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Do These Lemon Cookies Last?

These cookies can be stored at room temperature for 4 to 6 days. Store in an airtight container to keep them soft.

Why Didn’t My Cookie Dough Spread During Baking?

If the cookie dough didn’t spread this could mean that there is too much flour in the dough, or that your oven temperature might be running too hot. Make sure to stir the flour, scoop or spoon it into the measuring cups, then level the cups. It’s also a good idea to use a hanging oven thermometer to test the accuracy of your oven. Most ovens offer a way to manually calibrate them to the accurate temperature, if they have become too hot or too cool over time. (Check youtube for a video on your specific oven.)

Why Do I Have To Chill The Crinkle Cookie Dough?

The cookie dough is very soft and delicate. Therefore it’s messy to work with if not chilled, and will spread too much in the oven.

Chilling the dough makes the whole scooping and rolling process much easier. Plus, it makes the cookies puffy! You do not have to chill the dough. Yet, you will get better results if you do!

As mentioned above, the dough needs to be very cold when it goes into the oven so the cookies don’t spread too thin. If the dough was well-chilled and the cookies still spread, it might mean you mis-measured the flour and there is too little flour in the dough, so the fat ratio causes spreading.

Cookie dough balls dipped in powdered sugar and placed on parchment paper to be baked.

Lemon Crinkle Cookie Variations

Gluten-Free Crinkle Cookies

Yes, you can make this lemon sugar cookie recipe gluten-free! Simply swap the all-purpose flour for Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour Mix.

Lime Crinkles

You can also use any type of citrus fruit you like, instead of lemons. Limes and oranges are great options, yet grapefruits work as well! You can also mix the citrus for a well-rounded citrus flavor!

Crinkle Cookie Recipe Add-Ins

Chunky cookie lovers, feel free to add in white chocolate chips, chopped nuts, sprinkles, or dried fruit.

Freezer Cookies

Can you freeze the cookie dough to make quick freezer-to-oven cookies? Absolutely! Simply follow the recipe up until it’s time to pop them in the oven.

Instead of baking, place the cookie sheets in the freezer. Once all the balls are frozen, you can move them to a freezer bag. Then you can take a few cookies out of the freezer at a time and bake them fresh. Each frozen batch will take 11-13 minutes.

soft lemon cookies after being baked lined up on parchment.

More Lemon Cookies Recipes

lemon cookies on a large serving plate.

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Lemon Crinkle Cookies Recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Love Chocolate Crinkle Cookies? Then you will go NUTS over this soft pillowy Lemon Crinkle Cookies Recipe.
Servings: 45 cookies



  • Place the butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Turn on high to cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Scrape the bowl with a rubber spatula.
  • Turn the mixer on low and beat in the eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla. Scrape the bowl again. Then on low, mix in 1 cup of flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and food coloring. Once combined mix in the remaining 2 cups of flour, just until smooth. (Do not overmix the dough!)
  • Cover and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes. (The longer you chill the dough the better for puffy cookies.) Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Once the dough has chilled, set out a small bowl of powdered sugar. Use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to portion the dough into balls. Roll each ball in powdered sugar, then set on the baking sheets, 2 inches apart. (Make sure the cookies have a generous coating of powdered sugar. Do not shake them off.)
  • Bake for 9-10 minutes, until the edges are just golden brown, and the center looks slightly underbaked. Cool on the baking sheets so the centers continue to bake as they cool.



Storing Tips: Place the cookies in an airtight container and leave at room temperature. Eat within 7-10 days.
Citrus Swaps: You can use lime or orange juice and zest in place of the lemon. You can also mix lemon and lime for a unique flavor twist!


Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 111.13kcal, Carbohydrates: 16.94g, Protein: 1.22g, Fat: 4.42g, Saturated Fat: 2.68g, Cholesterol: 20.22mg, Sodium: 36.45mg, Potassium: 22.58mg, Fiber: 0.24g, Sugar: 10.44g, Vitamin A: 139.67IU, Vitamin C: 0.43mg, Calcium: 7.72mg, Iron: 0.44mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Sommer Collier
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