Lemon Sugar Cookies

Are you in the mood for something sweet, tangy, and irresistibly delicious? Look no further than this delightful recipe for Lemon Sugar Cookies, topped with a zesty lemon frosting that will make your taste buds dance with joy. Perfect for any occasion, these cookies are sure to become a favorite among friends and family. Let’s dive into the recipe and baking tips that will ensure your cookies turn out perfect every time.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • For the Cookies:
    • 3/4 cup butter, softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
    • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
    • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp salt
  • For the Lemon Frosting:
    • 1/2 cup butter, softened
    • 4 cups powdered sugar
    • 1 dash salt
    • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
    • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
    • 1-2 Tbsp milk, if needed

Directions to Sweet Success:

  1. Preparation: Start by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). This ensures your oven is at the perfect temperature for baking your cookies.
  2. Cookie Dough: In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar until smooth. Add in the eggs, lemon juice, and zest, beating until well combined. Gradually mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt until a soft dough forms.
  3. Shaping: Roll the dough into tablespoon-sized balls and place them on lightly greased cookie sheets. For a professional touch, flatten each ball with a glass dipped in sugar to give them a beautiful, even shape.
  4. Baking: Bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes, or until they are just barely light brown on the bottom. This short baking time is the secret to soft, chewy cookies. Let them sit on the pan for 3-4 minutes before transferring to cooling racks.
  5. Frosting: For the lemon frosting, beat together the softened butter, powdered sugar, salt, lemon zest, and juice until creamy. If the frosting is too thick, add a tablespoon of milk at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
  6. Decoration: Once the cookies have completely cooled, spread or pipe the lemon frosting over each cookie. The zesty frosting not only adds flavor but also makes these cookies visually appealing.

Nutritional Information:

  • Calories: 198 kcal per cookie
  • Servings: Makes about 24 cookies

Serving and Storage Tips :

After you’ve baked a batch of these delightful Zesty Lemon Glazed Sugar Cookies, you’ll want to ensure they’re served at their best and stored properly to maintain their freshness and flavor. Here are some expert tips for serving and storing your cookies to make the most out of every batch.

Serving Tips:

  • At Their Best: These cookies are best enjoyed the day they are frosted. The frosting sets slightly, giving a perfect texture contrast to the soft, chewy cookie beneath.
  • Presentation: For an added touch of elegance, garnish with a small sprinkle of lemon zest or a thin slice of lemon on top of the frosting before it sets. This not only enhances the visual appeal but also hints at the zesty flavor waiting to be enjoyed.
  • Pairing: Serve these cookies with a cup of tea or a glass of cold milk to complement their zesty sweetness. For adults, a crisp, dry Prosecco or a light Riesling can be a delightful pairing that balances the sweetness of the cookies.

Storage Tips:

  • Room Temperature Storage: If you plan to consume the cookies within 2-3 days after baking, you can store them in an airtight container at room temperature. Place a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper between each layer of cookies to prevent them from sticking together.
  • Refrigerating Your Cookies: For longer storage, the frosted cookies can be refrigerated. This is particularly helpful in warm climates where the frosting might soften too much at room temperature. Store them in an airtight container with layers of parchment paper between the cookies. They can last up to a week in the refrigerator.
  • Freezing for Longevity: Both unfrosted cookies and the frosting can be frozen separately. Wrap the cookies well in plastic wrap and then place them in a zip-top bag or airtight container. The frosting should be stored in an airtight container. When ready to use, thaw the cookies at room temperature and the frosting in the refrigerator before bringing it to room temperature to re-whip for spreading.
  • Refreshing Cookies: If the cookies have been stored and feel a bit less fresh, you can revive them by popping them in a 300°F oven for 5-7 minutes. This can help them to taste freshly baked again. If they have been stored frosted, a quick blast of cool air from the refrigerator or even a few seconds in the freezer can help the frosting firm up again.


Exploring variations of a classic recipe can bring new life to your baking adventures. With Zesty Lemon Glazed Sugar Cookies as our base, let’s dive into some creative twists that cater to a wide range of taste preferences and occasions. Each variation maintains the integrity of the original recipe while introducing new flavors or textures.

1. Orange Glazed Sugar Cookies

Swap out lemon juice and zest for orange in both the cookie dough and frosting. The result is a sweeter, slightly less tangy cookie that’s bursting with the essence of fresh oranges. Garnish with a small piece of candied orange peel to elevate the presentation.

2. Lime and Coconut Sugar Cookies

Incorporate lime zest into the dough instead of lemon, and add 1/2 cup of finely shredded coconut for a tropical twist. Use lime juice in the frosting and finish with a sprinkle of lime zest and toasted coconut flakes on top. This variation offers a refreshing and exotic flavor profile.

3. Raspberry Lemonade Cookies

After the cookies have cooled, spread a thin layer of raspberry jam on them before adding the lemon frosting. The jam adds a layer of fruity sweetness that complements the zesty lemon. For a more pronounced raspberry flavor, you can also mix freeze-dried raspberry powder into the frosting.

4. Herb-Infused Lemon Cookies

Add finely chopped fresh herbs such as rosemary or thyme to the cookie dough for an aromatic twist. These herbs pair wonderfully with the brightness of the lemon, offering a sophisticated flavor suited for adult palates. It’s a great way to bridge the gap between sweet and savory.

5. Lemon and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fold in 1 cup of white chocolate chips into the cookie dough before baking. The creamy sweetness of the white chocolate chips complements the tangy lemon flavor, adding a delightful texture to the cookies. Omit the frosting for this variation, or drizzle with a simple lemon glaze for an extra lemony kick.

6. Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies

Make the recipe vegan-friendly by using plant-based butter and replacing the eggs with your favorite egg substitute (such as flax eggs or commercial vegan egg replacer). Ensure the powdered sugar is vegan (some are processed with bone char). This variation allows everyone to enjoy the zesty sweetness of these delightful cookies.

7. Gluten-Free Lemon Sugar Cookies

Substitute the all-purpose flour with your favorite gluten-free flour blend. Make sure it’s a 1:1 baking blend to ensure the cookies maintain a similar texture to the original recipe. This variation makes the cookies accessible to those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.


1. Can I make the cookie dough ahead of time?

Yes, you can prepare the cookie dough in advance. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. When ready to use, let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes to soften slightly for easier handling.

2. How can I ensure my cookies are soft and chewy?

To keep your cookies soft and chewy, avoid overbaking them. They should be just lightly browned on the bottom. Also, storing them in an airtight container with a slice of bread can help maintain their soft texture.

3. Can I freeze the baked cookies?

Absolutely! The baked cookies freeze well. Place them in a single layer on a baking sheet to freeze them individually, then transfer them to a zip-top bag or an airtight container. They can be frozen for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature before serving.

4. Is there a substitute for lemon juice in the frosting?

If you’re out of fresh lemons, you can use a high-quality bottled lemon juice or even lime juice for a slightly different but equally delicious flavor. Alternatively, orange juice works for a sweeter, less tangy frosting.

5. Can I use margarine instead of butter?

While butter is recommended for its flavor and texture, you can use margarine in a pinch. Opt for a high-quality margarine with a high fat content to ensure your cookies don’t spread too much and maintain a good flavor.

6. How do I prevent my cookies from spreading too much while baking?

Ensure your butter isn’t too soft or melted, and chill your dough for at least 30 minutes before baking. This helps prevent the cookies from spreading too much and losing their shape.

7. Can I add nuts to the cookie dough?

Yes, you can add finely chopped nuts to the dough for added texture and flavor. Almonds or pecans would complement the lemon flavor nicely. Add up to 1/2 cup of your chosen nuts to the dough.

These Lemon Sugar Cookies with their zesty lemon glazed frosting are not only a treat to your palate but also a feast for the eyes. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a newbie in the kitchen, this recipe is straightforward and foolproof. Perfect for tea parties, holiday gatherings, or as a weekend baking project with the kids, these cookies are bound to impress. Get ready to indulge in the ultimate citrusy treat that promises a burst of flavor in every bite!