The BEST Lemon Powdered Sugar Cookies

4.97 from 28 votes

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Sweet and tart crinkle cookies bursting with bright lemon flavor.

lemon crinkle cookies on a plate

Welcome to #LemonWeek 2021 hosted by me! What better way to welcome summer than with over 50 recipes featuring bright and sunny lemons? Come join me and my fellow Lemon Week bloggers as we bring you recipes from appetizers to drinks to entrées and desserts!

And so continues lemon week, because I LOVE LEMON in just about every dessert form there is.

I’m talking in the form of biscotti, truffles, curd, bars, mousse, and macarons.

But a cookie? Not many lemon cookies exist in this world (though check out my lemon pepper slice and bake cookies which are a unique kind of treat), so many years ago, I sought to create a lemon cookie recipe that was free of any kind of pudding of cake mix.

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a stack of lemon crinkle cookies on a plate

You will love this Lemon Crinkle Cookies Recipe- made without pudding or cake mix!

What I wanted in a lemon cookie was true, natural, unadulterated lemon flavor. The juice, the zest… I wanted it all! And I found it in a recipe from Lauren’s Latest.

It seemed it was going to fit the lemon bill, but I amped up the lemon flavor a bit more, because I really do feel like you just can’t ever have too much lemon flavor. And this cookie has since lived on my blog and gotten RAVE reviews wherever they go and/or are baked.

lemon crinkle cookies on a plate

In fact, a friend/fan claims they have a cult following from her kitchen, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen these lemon crinkle cookies come out of her oven. Surely more times than they’ve come out of mine, and that’s saying quite a bit.

I am so glad that I stumbled upon Lauren’s easy lemon cookies recipe and made it my own, because these cookies are lemony lemon and so delicious and maybe you put your local grocery store out of stock of lemons for the rest of time because they seriously are that good.

lemon crinkle cookies on a cooling rack

Lemon Cookies with Powdered Sugar = Lemon Crinkle Cookies

So have you ever made crinkle cookies? I think they’re so cute and a fun way to add some pizzaz to traditional cookies (see my red velvet crinkle cookies, gingerbread crinkle cookies, and orange creamsicle crinkle cookies for other crinkly cuties).

a stack of lemon crinkle cookies on a plate


Are you perhaps wondering what a crinkle cookie is? It’s pretty much a basic cookie, but the dough gets rolled in powdered sugar before it gets baked.

hand rolling a lemon crinkle cookie dough ball in powdered sugar

As the dough bakes, it flattens out and the surface cracks, exposing the dough under all that powdered sugar and leaving patches of white powder on the tops.

Crinkles! They’re just so darn pretty.

lemon crinkle cookies alternating with slices of lemon

The batter for these easy lemon crinkle cookies is super uncomplicated. We’ve got the usual suspects (flour, sugar, butter, etc), but we’re using almost all of the lemon! The whole zest and a Tablespoon and a half of the juice, freshly squeezed.

I always add a few drops of yellow food coloring to my cookie batter to make them extra yellow, but this is 100% completely optional.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies Recipe substitutions and variations

If you’re really wanting a super punch of lemon flavor, you can consider adding 1 teaspoon of lemon extract in addition to the 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

How to make Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Once your cookie dough is together, you’ll need to refrigerate the cookie dough, but only for an hour. When it’s ready to go, pour your powdered sugar onto a medium size plate or into a bowl, roll the cookie dough into balls, and then coat each dough ball in a ton of powdered sugar.

I mean… Coat those bad boys. I typically wind up with a small heap of powdered sugar on the top of each dough ball because as the cookie flattens, the powdered sugar will do its magic and form those adorable crinkles.

lemon crinkle cookie dough balls coated in powdered sugar on a baking sheet

Once they’ve cooled, watch out. I guarantee you have a hard time stopping yourself from grabbing more cookies!

At first bite, the powdered sugar coating melts in your mouth, and once you sink your teeth into the actual cookie– mannnn oh MANNNN the lemon flavor just completely takes over.

They are pretty sweet, given all of the sugar involved on the inside and the outside of the cookie, but the lemon flavor is tart and bright and blends so well with all that sweet. The perfect lemon complement.

lemon crinkle cookies on a plate

This recipe yields soft lemon cookies with slightly crispy edges, and each bite is packed with so much lemon flavor. They really remind me of lemon bars, but without all the gooeyness and crust.

I am a big fan of cookies that can last year round, and I’ve used this lemon crinkle cookie recipe for both summer time cookie baking as well as Christmas cookie baking (a lemon Christmas cookie– how does that sound??). There’s never a bad time for lemon or cookies, so you better just tuck it away in your “all the time” cookie recipe bank.

lemon crinkle cookies on a cooling rack

Plus, maybe you’ll gain a following like my friend! That’s not a bad title to have, Lemon Cookie Queen/King. But if you find yourself in that title with my beloved lemon crinkles… Invite me over for a taste, would ya?

Powdered Lemon Cookies storage

These lemon crinkle cookies will last well over a week if stored at room temperature, covered tightly, without sacrificing any of the flavor or texture.


Crinkle cookies do not need to be refrigerated.

Lemon Powdered Sugar Cookies FAQs

If your crinkle cookies aren’t crinkling, you may not have rolled them in enough powdered sugar. The cookies will absorb some of the powdered sugar during baking, so it’s important to really load them up when you roll the cookie dough balls. I always make sure there is a little pile on top of each cookie dough ball before they go into the oven.

As crinkle cookie dough bakes, it flattens out and spreads, creating “cracks” in the powdered sugar coating.

You likely overbaked your crinkle cookies. You want to look for the edges to be just set. The cookies will look underbaked and puffy but will continue to bake and deflate when they come out of the oven.

Crinkles were allegedly invented by Helen Fredell of St. Paul, Minnesota and originally of the chocolate variety.

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lemon crinkle cookies on a plate
4.97 from 28 votes
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Lemon Crinkle Cookies Recipe

Sweet and tart crinkle cookies bursting with bright lemon flavor.
Prep Time15 minutes
Bake Time14 minutes
Chilling Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 29 minutes
Recipe Author Lynn April
Servings: 18 cookies


  • 1 and ½ cups (180g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature1
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and ½ Tablespoons (23mL) fresh lemon juice2
  • zest of one lemon
  • 4 drops yellow food coloring if desired3
  • ½ cup (60g) powdered sugar


  • In a medium size bowl, toss together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl with a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (approximately 2-3 minutes). Add the egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest and beat again until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as necessary.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture. Add the food coloring, if using. Mix until just combined. Cover bowl and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. If chilling longer than 1 hour, allow to sit at room temperature about 15 minutes before rolling into balls.
  • When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  • Pour the powdered sugar onto a small plate. Using a cookie scoop (I use this #50 cookie scoop for all of my standard size cookies), scoop the dough out of the bowl and roll into a ball with your hands. Roll the ball of dough4 generously in the powdered sugar. Place no more than 8 balls of dough on a baking sheet at one time (4 rows of 2). Chill dough you are not using.
  • Bake cookies for 13-14 minutes or until cookies look mostly matte (not wet or shiny). Remove cookies from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature up to 10 days. Baked cookies freeze well, up to 2 months. Rolled cookie dough can be frozen up to 3 months. Roll in powdered sugar before baking and bake frozen. Add another 1-2 minutes to baking time.


  1. Room temperature egg: it is always a good idea to use room temperature eggs when using room temperature butter. It incorporates into batter much more easily.
  2. Fresh lemon juice: do not use bottled lemon juice for this. If you want to really amp up the lemon flavor, you can also add 1 teaspoon of lemon extract.
  3. Food coloring: this is totally optional, as the cookies are yellow as is. Adding color brings a brighter and richer yellow to the cookies.
  4. Rolling the dough: I like to roll all of my dough before coating in powdered sugar to minimize mess (otherwise, I get a lot of powdered sugar in the cookie dough bowl and all over my cookie scoop).
Adapted from Lauren’s Latest
Did you make this recipe?Mention @freshaprilflours on Instagram or tag #freshaprilflours!

Nutrition Disclosure

All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 143kcal | Carbohydrates: 22g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 18mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 171IU | Vitamin C: 0.5mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. 5 stars
    I made these cookies but added a 3/4 teaspoon of lemon extract. They were absolutely delicious! Next time I will make a double batch.

  2. 5 stars
    I loved these lemon cookies, I will be making them for a long time, thank you for sharing, looking forward to trying more of your recipes, Lori

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks for the recipe, it’s the perfect treat to brighten this quarantine holiday <3
    In case this helps anyone, I made 2 batches: the first went flat, didn't crinkle, and the icing sugar melted into the cookie; the second batch worked a bit better.
    The changes I made were BIGGER cookies, as well as chilling the dough for an hour, rolling the balls, and then chilling again before powdering (since the rolling part took a while for me and my hands were warm). Also using more powder when rolling.
    I'm really excited to share these with my friends 😀

  4. I like that these are homemade crinkles! SO many are from mixes. Plus who can resist that lemon??

  5. 5 stars
    I could eat these cookies all day. They have such wonderful texture and flavor. An easy recipe to always have in your repertoire.

  6. 5 stars
    I LOVE Crinkle Cookies! This recipe is fantastic. I made a double batch and threw the extras in the freezer.

  7. 5 stars
    The powdered sugar exterior of these cookies is so addictive. I seriously can eat, like, 8 of these without even blinking an eyelid.

  8. Can I add more lemon juice for tartness without ruining the dough? If that would mess it up, how could I best adjust the recipe to allow for more fresh lemon juice?
    Thank you in advance! I’m so SO excited about this recipe!!

    1. Hey, Brooke! I would not add more lemon juice. If you really want to amp up the lemon flavor, I suggest a tiny bit of lemon extract.

  9. 5 stars
    These cookies are awesome. I made them for the first time today and I fully expect them to become part of our holiday cookie tradition.They have the look and flavor of a complicated recipe, but were super easy to make. Lynn’s clear directions were simple to follow, even as a toddler and three dogs ran circles around the kitchen. Thank you!

  10. 5 stars
    This was such an excellent recipe–simple, flavorful, great texture and deeply satisfying, yum! I enjoyed making these today and will be doing so again soon. Thank you!

    1. Hey, there! Thanks for visiting my site for my FREE recipes. If you click “print recipe,” it will take you to an ad-free experience where you can copy, paste, and print to your heart’s desire. Enjoy!

  11. 5 stars
    Made these today and they are absolutely delicious! Love that juicy lemon flavor and sweetness of powdered sugar 🙂 have to make these soon again!

  12. 5 stars
    These cookies are easy to make and sooooo good! Light, fluffy and delicious. Everyone in my house and at work was raving about them.

  13. 5 stars
    I made these for the first time this past Christmas. They ended up being everyone’s favorite. I did add extra lemon juice and some lemon extract, they came out great.

  14. 5 stars
    These are really good! I made them with dairy free margarine and they were delicious.Both chewy and crunchy, they disappeared very quickly.