17 Perfect Lemon Cookie Recipes

Photo: Jason Varney

These bright, citrus-flavored sweets will put you in a sunshine state of mind.

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Lemons in Black Bowl on Table
Johnny Miller

Lemon cookies are one of life's simplest pleasures, and so many people count them as a favorite for a reason: With subtle hints of citrus and a light, delicious taste, they're easy to enjoy and even easier to make, especially when you use our collection of recipes as a guide. All of our lemon cookies are easy to make, balance sweet and tart flavors, and are can be served as an everyday dessert or for a more special occasion.

Looking for a basic recipe? Start with our Old-Fashioned Lemon Sugar Cookies, which are a great entry-level lemon treat. Lemon zest is mixed with softened butter and then a combination of granulated and light brown sugars. Then, eggs and lemon juice are added to the mix. The mixture is combined with the usual dry ingredients—flour, baking soda, and salt—then rolled and baked to perfection.

For a more festive treat, try these Meyer-Lemon Shortbread Wreath Cookies, which are perfect for the holiday season. Instead of regular Eureka lemons, we used Meyer lemons, which have a flowery aroma and hint of sweetness that you won't find in most tart citrus. They're decorated with small candies and fresh rosemary sprigs to echo the red and green colors of Christmas.

When the warm weather rolls around, there's no recipe that will put a spring in your step quite like these Easter Chick Cookies. The dough is a basic shortbread cookie recipe, but the glaze is mixed with six tablespoons of lemon juice for a simple, tart finish. Decorated with colorful sprinkles, they're a delightful way to welcome the arrival of warmer weather and fresh blooms.

Whether you keep it simple with a basic sugar cookie recipe or go for gold with festive holiday cookies full of flavor, these lemon cookie recipes are totally delicious.

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Perfect Sugar Cookies

Perfect Sugar Cookies assortment of three
Lennart Weinbull

Upgrade basic sugar cookies—ours are extra soft and chewy thanks to the inclusion of sour cream—with a lemon glaze and candied citrus.

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Meyer-Lemon Shortbread Wreath Cookies

meyer-lemon shortbread wreath cookies
Mikkel Vang

Citrus is in season in winter, so why not let it shine bright in these Christmas cookies? Meyer lemons, which are more aromatic and a touch sweeter than Eureka lemons, are used in both the cookie dough and glaze for these adorable wreath cookies.

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Poppy-Seed Cookies with Meyer Lemon Curd and Swiss Meringue

John Kernick

Theses triple-tiered cookies are totally epic and super flavorful. Buttery poppy seed cookies are the base for this dessert. They're topped with a spoonful of curd made with nearly a cup of Meyer lemon juice and spirals of Swiss meringue, which is torched until lightly browned.

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Sparkly Lemon Cookies

sparkly lemon cookies dusted with sanding sugar
Lennart Weibull

Coarse sanding sugar gives soft lemon cookies a shimmering appearance that's so enticing. The zest of three lemons is mixed into the dough and topped with a sweet lemony glaze.

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Lemony Brown-Butter Crinkle Cookies

Stephen Kent Johnson

Brown butter adds a rich nuttiness to these cookies, which is accented by ground cinnamon and dark brown sugar. Each ball of dough is rolled in powdered sugar before being baked.

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Citrus Ornament Cookies

ornament cookies
Louise Hagger

Spread holiday joy with these cookies flavored with a combination of lemon, lime, and orange zest in both the dough and the glaze. Candied citrus zest is the bright garnish we can't get enough of.

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Easter Chick Cookies

easter chick and egg cookies
Chelsea Cavanaugh

Basic shortbread cookies are buttery and delicious on their own, but when decorated with lemon icing and cut out in the shape of Easter chicks, they're the perfect springtime bite.

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Lemon-Ginger Cookies with Mint

Marcus Nilsson

Lemon and crystallized ginger are a soothing duo of flavors that are a welcome combination in these cookies. A few tablespoons of mint leaves not only add color, but also bring a touch of freshness to these treats. We dare say they're the perfect tea cookie.

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Crisp Lemon Cookies


Everyone loves lemon poppy-seed muffins, so we made a genius batch of cookies inspired by the beloved breakfast treat. This recipe calls for lemon juice and lemon zest, plus a tablespoon of poppy seeds that are mixed in the dough and sprinkled on top.

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Old-Fashioned Lemon Sugar Cookies


Perk up with this easy lemon cookie recipe. Granulated sugar, light brown sugar, and lemon zest are mixed together to create the base for these classic cookies.

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Embellished Wreath Cookies

embellished wreath cookies
Mike Krautter

Delicate pastel garnishes like candied ginger, candied citrus, chopped pistachios, and sugared flowers top these buttery citrus cookies. A bit of orange zest in the cookie dough and lemon juice in the glaze add a brilliant touch of brightness.

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Glazed Lemon Cookies

glazed lemon cookies
Raymond Hom

This easy cookie recipe has a double dose of lemon that we can't get enough of. Lemon zest and juice are mixed into the dough; once baked, each cookie is topped with a lemon glaze that's sweet as can be.

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Lemon Icebox Cookies


The ultimate make-ahead cookie dough recipe, these lemon cookies get a touch of tartness from plenty of lemon juice and zest. The dough is rolled into a log, frozen until firm, then sliced into rounds of buttery cookies.

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Umbrella Sugar Cookies

Umbrella Sugar Cookies
Victor Schraeger

April showers bring these adorable umbrella-shaped cookies. A half teaspoon of lemon zest is a delicate, delightful flavor that takes these sugar cookies to the next level.

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Pink-Lemonade Thumbprints

Jason Varney

Pink lemonade is a refreshing summer beverage that is totally timeless. We've turned that flavor into a sweet dessert by mixing fresh raspberries into the lemon glaze, which is the filling for these simple thumbprint cookies.

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Lemon-Poppy Seed Cookies


Another recipe inspired by lemon poppy-seed muffins, these cookies are made with egg yolks, which keeps them rich and chewy, plus finely grated lemon zest, poppy seeds, and vanilla extract.

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Lemon Drop Wafers


A combination of lemon zest and lemon drop candies brings lots of citrus flavor to these sweet sandwich cookies. A dusting of powdered sugar on top is the perfect finishing touch.

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