Easy Lemon Sugar Cookies

We’ve talked before about how I love sugar cookies, but the whole extensive sugar cookie process means they pretty much never happen for me. The chilling. The rolling. The cutting. The rolling of the scraps. The decorating. The mess. The older I get, the more I’m like, “Cookies and Netflix now, please.”

Not only are these lemon-kissed sugar cookies delicious (like, seriously amazing–I adapted them from America’s Test Kitchen Baking Book, so you know they’re going to be awesome), but they a) are done, start to finish, in 30 minutes and b) are made by hand–no need to pull out the mixer, all you need is a sturdy wire whisk and a silicone spatula. It doesn’t get better than this.

Easy Lemon Sugar Cookies from Our Best Bites

You’re going to need all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, table salt, butter, vegetable oil, a small lemon, cream cheese, and an egg.

lemon sugar cookies

Imagine there is an egg and cream cheese in the above picture.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment sheets and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

lemon sugar cookies-2

Set aside.

Place the 1 1/3 cups sugar and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.

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Using a metal whisk, stir until combined.

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Pour the melted butter over the mixture, then add the vegetable oil, egg, lemon zest, lemon juice,

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and milk.lemon sugar cookies-7Whisk until combined.

lemon sugar cookies-8

Stir in the flour mixture with a silicone spatula until the dough is cohesive and smooth (it will be very moist.)

lemon sugar cookies-9Using a standard cookie scoop (which is 1 1/2 tablespoons), generously scoop the dough (you want about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and roll into the reserved sugar.

lemon sugar cookies-10

Evenly space 12 cookie balls on the sheet

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and flatten the dough balls with a drinking glass (to about 1/2″ thick).

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repeat with the other baking sheet. Bake for 6 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 5-6 minutes or until set around the edges. Repeat with the second pan. Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes on the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Easy Lemon Sugar Cookies from Our Best Bites

Try not to eat ’em all at once…

Easy Lemon Sugar Cookies from Our Best Bites

Easy Lemon Sugar Cookies

4.50 from 4 votes
Light, delicate, crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, with a hint of lemon, these super-easy lemon sugar cookies don't require any chilling, rolling, or cutting!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings24

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups 11 1/4 ounces all-purpose flour, lightly spooned into measuring cups and leveled with a knife
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 1/2 cups 10 1/2 ounces sugar, plus 1/3 cup for rolling
  • 2 ounces full-fat cream cheese
  • 6 tablespoons butter melted and still warm
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • Zest of 1 small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment sheets and set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Place the 1 1/3 cups sugar and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl. Using a metal whisk, stir until combined. Pour the melted butter over the mixture, then add the vegetable oil, egg, lemon zest, milk, and lemon juice. Whisk until combined. Stir in the flour mixture with a silicone spatula until the dough is cohesive and smooth (it will be very moist.)
  • Using a standard cookie scoop (which is 1 1/2 tablespoons), generously scoop the dough (you want about 2 tablespoons of dough per cookie) and roll into the reserved sugar. Evenly space 12 cookie balls on the sheet and repeat with the other baking sheet. If desired, sprinkle cookies with remaining sugar. Bake for 6 minutes. Rotate the pan and bake for another 5-6 minutes or until set around the edges. Repeat with the second pan. Allow the cookies to cool for about 5 minutes on the pan and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Author: Our Best Bites
Did You Make This Recipe?Snap a picture, and hashtag it #ourbestbites. We love to see your creations on our Instagram @ourbestbites!
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Meet The Author

Sara Wells

Sara Wells co-founded Our Best Bites in 2008. She is the author of three Bestselling Cook Books, Best Bites: 150 Family Favorite RecipesSavoring the Seasons with Our Best Bites, and 400 Calories or Less from Our Best Bites. Sara’s work has been featured in many local and national news outlets and publications such as Parenting MagazineBetter Homes & GardensFine CookingThe Rachel Ray Show and the New York Times.

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Questions & Reviews

  1. Hi! We love this recipe so much. My daughter made some to give to people as a thank you for help during ward youth conference. At our last meeting everyone was saying they want her to bring them again. I just wanted to let you know that when you double the recipe the instructions for the amount of sugar doesn’t change in the step by step instructions. My daughter made a couple of different batched trying to figure out what went wrong and she finally realized that the ingredient list and instructions weren’t the same. Just thought we’d give you a heads up. Thank you so much for such amazing content.

  2. 5 stars
    THESE. ARE. SO. GOOD. Instant family favorite and so easy to make. Love them!! I’ve never had anything from Our Best Bites that I didn’t love.

  3. 4 stars
    These were good, but they were more like scones than cookies. They weren’t very sweet either, but it tasted fine with the sugar on top.

  4. Just made these with lime because that’s all I had and was too lazy to go to the store. Little party in my mouth right now!

  5. Omg these look amazing, I am making these today with my daughter and my niece! I have some lemon icing left over from making a zucchini cake last week so I might even put a little drizzle on top of these cookies!! Yummy we can’t wait!! Thank you for the recipe!!

  6. I just made these, totally yummy! I wanted to mention 2 things about the recipe. 1. Press the cookie balls with a glass. It is included up in the step by step but not in the recipe directions. 2. The sugar measurement is confusing because it seems like the ingredient list has you using 1 1/2 cups sugar in the dough but the instructions say to use 1 1/3 cups in the dough. ( I use 1 1/2 cups in the dough & thought the cookies were perfect)

    1. I made these as well and found the same error except I had my dough mixed when I discover I only used 1 1/3c sugar in the dough so I added the remaining sugar at the end. My batter/dough was VERY moist and loose so I added another 1-2 Tablespoons of flour. It was still very soft and not easy to roll in the sugar but I went with it. I baked 2 test cookies and they were very good with just a subtle lemon flavor but I like a little more so I added an extra 1/2 tsp of lemon zest to the remaining dough.

  7. These look so tasty! I don’t really think that sugar cookies are a big thing here in the UK, but I see them a lot online and they always make me drool haha. Plus, I love lemon in anything sweet (lemon drizzle cake is just about my favourite thing in the world). So, I shall definitely have to give these a go at some point!

    I feel like they would taste great with a cup of tea (as though I didn’t make it obvious enough that I was British yet ha).

    Bethany | Curly and Wordy

    1. “Give these a go” has to be one of my favourite things about you Brits. 🙂 Next to my OBB addiction is my love for House Hunters International, hoping for a UK city! Sorry for the ramble away from sugar cookies. Cheerio!

  8. These look delicious, they’re a perfect cookie for my kids as I welcome them home from their 1st week back in school.

  9. These sound amazing. If I didn’t already have half of a birthday cake and half a batch of cookies sitting on my counter I would ignore everything I’m supposed to do today and make these. I feel like they need to go with strawberry ice cream, though, because I don’t know if you can dip lemon cookies in milk.

    1. Agreed!!! I mean, they’re delicious with milk, but they would be amaaaazing with strawberry ice cream.

  10. Oh, yum! Thank you! I was going to make sugar cookies today but didn’t want the plain old version. This is perfect!

    1. 4 stars
      Yummy but not enough lemon flavor for us. Will amp it up next time with more zest and a drop or two of lemon extract. We did not press the dough with the glass and they spread perfectly. Frankly our dough was so wet the idea of them not spreading on their own is very funny.

  11. Thank you! My three year old son keeps asking to make sugar cookies in his sisters little girl scout oven and these will be perfect! I didn’t want all the steps either!