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These Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies are soft, perfectly chewy, and flavored with plenty of lemon zest and juice. Your family will love these bright sugar cookies!

Stack of chewy lemon sugar cookies. The top cookie has a bite taken out of it.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made these Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies in the past 10 years, but it’s been a lot.

I originally posted this recipe in 2010 after finding it on Rock Recipes and after 10+ years, I thought it was time to share them again with new photos and updated text.

These Chewy Lemon Cookies are simple to make and bursting with lemon flavor, which in my opinion makes them the perfect cookie for summer!

Ingredients for chewy lemon sugar cookies arranged on a gray countertop

I love citrus in my desserts and baked goods. 

Whether it’s lemon in Lemon Blueberry Bread and No-Bake Strawberry Lemonade Cheesecakes, orange in Orange Scones and Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake, or lime in Key Lime Pie Bars and Key Lime Pie Ice Cream…I love it all. 

And I really, really love my Chewy Lime Sugar Cookies. So you know I had to try the recipe with lemon instead of lime. 

Chewy lemon sugar cookie dough in a metal mixing bowl

And these cookies are so good! I might still prefer the lime version…but I’ll probably need to try them both again to decide for sure. You know, for science.

Now I love basically every type of sugar cookie. Decorated sugar cookies? Soft sugar cookies? Sure! 

But there’s really something special about a crinkly, chewy sugar cookie. Especially one that has a bright lemony flavor. 

I also love that you don’t have to let the dough chill before baking, because sometimes I just want cookies right now.

I had to give most of these cookies to a friend in order not to eat them all myself. 

Ball of chewy sugar cookie dough being rolled in granulated sugar


To make these chewy cookies, you’ll need:

  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of one large lemon, finely grated or minced
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Chewy lemon sugar cookie dough balls on a baking sheet, ready to bake

Yep, you’ll use the zest of a large lemon and ¼ cup of fresh lemon juice in these cookies. When we go for lemon flavor, we go hard. 

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a bowl and set that aside.

Beat together the softened butter and the sugar until light and fluffy, then add in the egg, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice.

Baked chewy lemon sugar cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet

Once the wet ingredients are well combined, add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

No chilling required! I like to use a medium cookie scoop to portion out the dough, then roll the dough into balls and roll them in some more granulated sugar.

Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, until they are just set in the center and barely golden. 

Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Overhead view of chewy lemon sugar cookies on a wire cooling rack


I love freezing cookies. They’re one of the easiest baked goods to freeze.

If you want to freeze the dough before baking, check out my tutorial on how to freeze cookie dough. Just roll the dough balls in sugar just before baking, after you take them out of the freezer.

Chewy lemon sugar cookie balanced on the rim of a glass of milk

If you want to freeze the baked cookies, layer cooled cookies in a freezer-safe airtight container with parchment paper between the layers or place them in zip-top freezer bags. 

Freeze for up to 3 months. They’ll thaw quickly at room temperature, so take them out a couple of hours before serving them at a party or grab a few whenever a cookie craving strikes.

Chewy lemon sugar cookies in a stack. A cookie with a bite out of it is leaning against the stack.
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Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies

By: Jamie
4.38 from 225 ratings
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
These Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies are soft, perfectly chewy, and flavored with plenty of lemon zest and juice. Your family will love these bright sugar cookies!


  • 2 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Zest of one large lemon finely grated or minced
  • 4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup sugar for rolling cookies


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • Using a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and very fluffy.
  • Beat in egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.
  • Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and roll in sugar. Place on lined cookie sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.
  • Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.


Adapted from Rock Recipes.


Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 188kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Trans Fat: 0.3g, Cholesterol: 27mg, Sodium: 107mg, Potassium: 23mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 247IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

4.38 from 225 votes (219 ratings without comment)

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  1. Megan says:

    3 stars
    They are OK in term of texture – but even with double the zest i found these lacked the lemon kick I was looking for