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These Lemon Sugar Cookies came about because I don’t like sugar cookies isn’t that funny? There is something just isn’t right with normal sugar cookies, I never enjoy the taste, they remind me of sugared cardboard a bit, I don’t know, I can’t quite put my finger on it.

Stack of Lemon Sugar Cookies, fresh lemon on the side

There wasn’t a good lemon sugar cookie recipe out there that I could find, way back in 2009 ( yes, this is how old this recipe is! I have been using it for 9 years! I’m an old school blogger, I tells ya!) so I just went ahead and created my own lemon sugar cookies, the idea for which has been rattling around in my empty noggin like a metal ball in a pinball game.

The secret to baking amazing lemon cookies?

Lemon. Lots n’ lots of lemon zest. For I am of the humble opinion that lemon zest fixes everything and it is exactly what plain, boring vanilla sugar cookies needed. The oils in the lemon zest is what really works it’s way through the cookies, imparting that luscious lemon flavour that makes these lemon sugar cookies so darn amazing!

close up stack of Lemon Sugar Cookies
Lemon Sugar Cookies

Yes, this lemon sugar cookie dough will roll out and make the cutest cut out cookies! Now way back in 2009 I cheated when I first wrote up this post and I simply just patted these into my Halloween pan, which is a lifesaver and I love love love it! I might even look into the Christmas version. Oh who am I kidding, with a 40% Micheals coupon in my hand, nothing is safe around me!The only drawback is that it obviously cooks one sheet at a time.

There are three options for baking these lemon sugar cookies:

  1. You can chill the dough then roll out the cookies. Use cookie cutter and then bake on cookie sheets.
  2. You can buy a pan like the one pictured below and simply press the lemon sugar cookie dough into the pan. These pans are amazing and make cookie baking and decorating so easy!
  3. You can roll the sugar cookies into small balls and just bake them into normal cookies, like the other photos show.
lemon sugar cookies in cookie pan of different spooky shapes
lemon sugar cookies in cookie pan
Spooky shaped lemon sugar cookies with lemon sugar icing
Lemon sugar cookies (with lemon sugar cookie icing!)

As you can see, I have been making these for years! These old photos are from 2010! I only wish I could find the original photos and make them larger, I loved making these lemon sugar cookies for Halloween with the kids!

 Lemon sugar cookies with lemon icing decorated in Halloween Shapes
Lemon sugar cookies decorated in Halloween Shapes

Happy baking you guys!



Lemon Sugar Cookies

4.92 from 12 votes
Prep Time
40 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Total Time
55 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


Lemon Sugar Cookie Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups butter softened
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • zest of one whole lemon
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Sugar Cookie Icing Ingredients

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
  • assorted icing coloring


  • Cream the butter and sugar together well, then add in your eggs. Beat until fully incorporated, then add in the vanilla.
  • Zest an entire lemon into the dough, then mix in.
  • In another bowl, whisk together your dry ingredients.
  • Mix together in a bowl. The key here is to not use a mixer as it will make the dough fluffy. Work those arm muscles and incorporate all of the flour into the dough.
  •  Form into a ball and place in a plastic sealed bag. Refrigerate for an hour.
  • A handy tip for cutting out sugar cookies is to roll the dough onto your parchment paper about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, cut out your shapes, then remove the excess dough, leaving the shapes untouched and unmoved on the parchment, then just lift and place onto a baking sheet. Easy!
  • Bake in a 350 degree oven until the edges just barely start to get brown, about 6-8 minutes.
  • Remove and cool completely on the sheets.
  • For the icing, whisk together all of the ingredients.
  • In order to get thinner icing I added a little more milk until I could dip my cookies into the icing, and let them drip off, getting this beautiful glazed coating below. Do NOT put in more corn syrup, it will never harden and set properly. So add milk very little by little until you get the consistency you need.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 216kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 138mg, Potassium: 48mg, Sugar: 20g, Vitamin A: 255IU, Calcium: 17mg, Iron: 0.9mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Delicious Lemon Sugar Cookies that you can roll out and cut out and decorate with icing if you want! #cookies #lemoncookies #lemon #icing #frosting

Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Wendy Brady says

    What it the best zester for lemons? The one that I have is hard to get the zest out.

  2. Linda Reinhardt says

    when you say “white sugar’ in ingredient list, do you mean white granulated sugar or confectioner’s sugar?

    • Mr. Kitchen Magpie says

      Granulated unless otherwise specified.

  3. Jordan Rivers says

    These cookies are delicious! My new favorite flavor of sugar cookies. One thing though, even after freezing them for an hour before baking, they didn’t hold their shape very well. They spread out a good bit. Maybe the kind of butter used might make a difference (I used Great Value Walmart brand). I did add a bit more extract to the icing too for a stronger lemon flavor. Thank you for the recipe!4 stars

    • Karlynn says

      I’m so glad you liked these! They are one of my favourite sugar cookies!5 stars

    • Kat K0 says

      These were exactly what I was looking for! Perfect texture, perfect taste… I’vebeen looking for a good lemon sugar cookie, and this is the one!! Admittedly, I didnt use the frosting as I prefer to use a glaze, but the cookies themselves are to die for!5 stars

  4. Karlynn says

    Actually, adding the lemon was BAD. I now eat them, when before, I could completely ignore plain sugar cookies. These…I snack on. Bad. Very bad. Thankfully there were only 4 left from the party this morning! Mmmm lemon cookie and hot tea….

  5. Kandice says

    Ooooo, that is one nifty pan, I may have to take a trip to michaels myself. Great idea adding the lemon!

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