These glazed lemon cookies are soft baked sugar cookies topped with a fresh lemon glaze. The perfect light and sweet dessert for spring and summer. These are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
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Lemon Sugar Cookies
As much as I love plain soft sugar cookies and these Swig sugar cookies, there’s just something a little more special when you add the fresh lemon flavor. It gives it a bright and refreshing taste and leaves a zesty zing of citrus on the tip of your tongue.
These lemon cookies are bursting at the seams with bright Spring flavors. The freshly squeezed lemon juice adds just the right amount of tartness to nicely balance out the sweetness of the soft sugar cookie. They are so light and fluffy and the powdered sugar icing really takes them over the top.
These cookies will literally melt in your mouth. They are definitely a new favorite in my house…we all absolutely LOVED them!
Easy Lemon Cookies Ingredients
Take your sugar cookies and lemon and mix them together to make the best lemon cookies ever! These have all the zest and flavor you need for a light and tasty cookie. These cookies are so simple to make and won’t last long!
Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.
- Salted butter: This gives a richness, tender cookie, and structure to the dough while it is being baked.
- Sugar: Added for sweetness! It also locks in moisture and keeps the cookies softer.
- Egg yolks: Acts as a binder to hold the cookie dough together and forms the shape when baking.
- Vanilla extract: Mainly added in for flavor and gives a sweet and savory balance to the cookies.
- Grated lemon zest: This is best fresh. Use a grater to lightly shave the outside of the lemon skin. It will be a fine lemon zest. You will be able to smell the lemon and feel its softness from the lemon.
- Lemon juice: Fresh is best for lemon juice! This will give it that beautiful flavor from the lemon of sweet and zesty.
- Salt: It is a flavor enhancer as well as makes the cookies tender.
- All-purpose flour: Thickens the cookies and helps them raise in the oven as they are baking.
How to Make Glazed Lemon Cookies
Combine the ingredients together to make a light and tasty lemon cookie drizzled with a glaze over top! This combination is so tasty and delicious. The fresh lemon juice really adds so much flavor!
- Mix. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt. Then slowly mix in flour. Mix just until combined.
- Refrigerate. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Bake. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Roll the cookie dough into a 1 1/2-inch ball. Then press down with a cup. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until the bottoms are lightly golden. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
- Lemon glaze. To make the lemon icing for cookies, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon zest, and juice in a medium size bowl. Add a teaspoon of water at a time, until you reach a nice and smooth glaze. Then drizzle or spoon on top of the cookies. Allow the glaze to set before serving. Enjoy!
Fresh is best with this recipe! These cookies are bright and sunny with so much flavor. Follow along for the best baking tips to learn what will make these cookies bake and taste even better. This lemon cookie recipe is one you will want to keep!
- Fresh lemons. Use REAL lemon juice and zest (instead of lemon extract). It makes all the difference and gives these cookies the absolute best flavor. Learn how to zest a lemon for the best flavor.
- Chill the dough. It’s important to chill the dough in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. This keeps them from spreading in the oven and helps make a thick and delicious cookie.
- Press the dough down. Instead of rolling out the dough, scoop it into balls and then use the bottom of a cup to press the cookies down. The edges will crack a little, but that’s totally okay. Just make sure not to press down too hard…we don’t want thin cookies!
- Don’t overbake. These are definitely not the crispy type of sugar cookies. They should be super soft and almost melt in your mouth when you take a bite. Bake them until the centers are set and the bottoms are lightly golden. They’ll continue to cook and set up as they cool.
- Let cool. Make sure to let the cookies cool completely before adding the glaze on top. If they are still warm, the glaze could melt.
- Glaze. There are several ways to drizzle the glaze over the cookies. You can spoon it on top of the cookies, use a whisk to drizzle it over or use a piping bag (or plastic baggie with the corner snipped off). You can even dip the tops of the cookies in a bowl of glaze.
If you are in need of making some changes, substitutions, or learning some variations, then this is the place to come. There is always going to be a need for variations I would love for you to do it the best way possible. Follow these variations for more ideas!
- Omit the glaze for a cookie that’s a little less sweet.
- Mix in white chocolate chips for a fun twist.
- Roll the cookies in powdered sugar before baking.
- Spread a classic buttercream or lemon cream cheese frosting on top. A coconut frosting would also pair wonderfully with the bright lemon flavor!
- Try substituting different citruses such as orange juice and zest to mix up the flavor.
Storing + Freezing
Make sure the glaze has dried completely, then place it in an airtight container or bag. If stacking in layers, use a piece of parchment or wax paper in between to avoid sticking. They will stay fresh at room temperature for about 5 days. If your kitchen is humid, you may want to store them in the fridge so that the glaze doesn’t soften. You can also freeze the cookies for up to 3 months.
More Desserts to Try
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- ¾ cup salted butter , at room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 3 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1-3 tsp water
- Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, lemon zest, lemon juice and salt. Then slowly mix in flour. Mix just until combined.
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Roll the cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Then press down with a cup. Bake for 10-13 minutes, or until the bottoms are lightly golden. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack.
- To make the lemon icing for cookies, whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon zest and juice in a medium size bowl. Add a teaspoon of water at a time, until you reach a nice and smooth glaze. Then drizzle or spoon on top of the cookies. Allow the glaze to set before serving. Enjoy!
Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.
Did you make this recipe? Don’t forget to give it a star rating below!
Great “melt in your mouth”. 😋
I followed the recipe exactly but I found they came out a bit dry. The dough was kinda crumbly. Maybe 1 3/4 cup of flour instead of 2 cups?
These are so delicious. Delicate and a hint of lemon.
Easy, fun and great taste.
I didn’t think they tasted like a sugar cookie per se, more like a short bread cookie. Thought this recipe would be great as a crust for a fruit tart.
Absolutely the best Lemon cookies ever!!
I’m so glad you love them, Patricia! :)
Woops! I left out the *good in the first sentence. Sorry 🙃
So good used 2tbs of lemon juice and 1 TVs of water in icing plus 1tsp corn strup
Thanks for sharing your modifications, Michelle! So glad you liked them :)
They were very. I was afraid the lemon would over power them so I did go a little light on the lemon in the cookie. I also added a touch of vanilla to the glaze cause I thought it tasted to much like the powdered sugar. Overall though, I really liked them.
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe, Marci! Thanks for your comment :)