Lemon Crinkles

I had no idea what a sensation these lemon cookies were making around the internet (and what I subsequently was missing out on), until Bri, a sweet MKC follower, emailed me alerting that she had made them twice and was thoroughly in love.

When someone with good food taste recommends something and uses the term “in love,” well, you know you have no choice but to make the recipe. Sadly, it still took me weeks to get to them but when I did, I was wishing I had tried them ages ago!

Light and buttery with tremendous fresh lemon flavor, these cookies are thin and chewy and utterly irresistible. They remind me of a drop sugar cookie completely amped up with lemon zest and zeal. The danger is that they are so tasty and refreshing that you think you can get away with eating, say, half a dozen. Let’s all repeat together: a cookie is a cookie is a cookie. So don’t blame me when you blow your no-cookie-eating New Year resolution on these babies. (And if you really did make such a goal, well, a) I think you are crazy while b) alternately admiring you and c) won’t tell a soul when you eat one or ten of these.)

Not only are these cookies perfect to eat just about any day and for any occasion, I think they would be particularly stellar amongst the lighter fare of a baby or bridal shower. Deliciously appropriate when you need to serve a sweet treat and want something a bit…well, cutesie and bright. And just so you know, despite the “cuteness” of these cookies, my not-so-concerned-about-cute-desserts husband still managed to down several of the cookies and didn’t feel a bit less manly because of it.

Lemon Crinkles

One Year Ago: Cowboy Dinner
Two Years Ago: Kitchen Tip: Menu Planning 101
Three Years Ago: Peanut Butter Crunch Snack Balls

Lemon Crinkles

Yield: Makes 2-3 dozen cookies

Lemon Crinkles

Note: the recipe calls for a teaspoon of lemon zest. I didn't really measure, I just grated the zest from the lemon I was using and threw it in there. My guess is it was more like 2 teaspoons.


  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, from about 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheets with silpat liners, parchment or lightly coat with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice and mix well, scraping down the sides as needed. Add the dry ingredients (except the powdered sugar) and mix until just combined. Place the powdered sugar on a large plate or shallow pie dish. Roll tablespoon-size balls of dough in the powdered sugar to coat. Place on the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
  3. Bake the cookies for 9-11 minutes. The cookies will not be browned on the edges but they will have lost a bit of their shininess on top. Don't overbake! Cool the cookies on a cooling rack and store in an airtight container or eat immediately.

Recipe Source: from Lauren’s Latest

102 Responses to Lemon Crinkles

  1. Karen says:

    I just made these and loved how they turned out! I liked how subtle the sweetness was and the lemon flavor was the perfect balance. Interestingly..I don’t exactly feel that guilty for eating like six of these cookies in one go… haha. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. J C says:

    Thought these were made with Splenda?

  3. Robyn says:

    I made these once for a piano recital, and people loved them so much I am now making these cookies for an open house. I am attempting to make them bite sized. Do you know if these cookies can be frozen?

  4. Allison says:

    I came to your site (like always) for a lemon recipe for RS tonight. It is DELICIOUS and when I got up to leave and take the last plate of cookies for my boys a bunch of women jumped up to get a few more before I left. LOL. They are THAT good. Thanks for another winner! You rock.

  5. Anissa says:

    I made these with lime instead of lemon. MMMMMMMM yummy good!

  6. […] These lemons cookies are so, so, so good. I’m definitely a chocolate lover, but these cookies don’t make me miss chocolate chips. These cookies have a shortbread quality to them, and when paired with the fresh lemon flavor, they are the perfect dessert. Photo from original recipe, Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  7. A says:

    Oh my goodness! These are divine. I’ve been wanting to make these for a while and I was so pleased with the outcome. I am a lemon lover so I dripped a few drops of lemon juice on the top after baking-not sure if that’s against any rules, but it tasted so good! Also I used hard cocoanut oil and half butter, which I really liked.
    Thank you so much for sharing!


  8. Michele says:

    Loved the Lemon Crinkle Cookies. Just a question as I have had the same problem with Chocolate Crackle cookies. My cookies don’t have much crackle. The sugar seems to get absorbed. Do I need to press the sugar in more? Is my dough too wet? We love your recipes Mel.

  9. Jen says:

    Thanks Terry,
    My brother-in-law walked in the door tonight and promptly inhaled 4 of them…

  10. Terry A. says:

    Jen, those look great!

  11. Jen says:

    Hi Mel,

    It’s me again. So I decided to spend the day in the kitchen. Used your Lemon Crinkle recipe and substituted 1 tbsp orange juice concentrate for the lemon & lemon rind. Bake the cookies, allowed them to cool. Topped them with semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate, and Health brand English Toffee Bits. Outstanding!!!!

    Thanks again for the website!!


    PS I have a picture of them, but can’t seem to upload it – help…

  12. Jen says:

    Hi Mel,

    This is the first time I have posted, but not the first time I have been on your site. The lemon crinkles are great. Although, (yes I am always tinkering with recipes) I beat the ingredients together, but saved the flour and hand stirred that into the batter. My Kitchen Aid Mixer has a tendency to over beat (too much power I guess). I also upped the oven temp 10 degrees and cut the bake time to 7-8 minutes, they turned out crunchy on the outside and wonderfully soft on the inside.

    Thanks for the website!


  13. […] index for an easy and tasty treat. I love anything lemon flavored, so when I found the recipe for Lemon Crinkles, I was sold. As I have mentioned before, baking is not my forte, but trust me when I say these […]

  14. Jill says:

    Make these today! You and your site never fail me when I am looking for something delicious! They are the perfect summer cookie.

  15. expresso says:

    don’t know what I did wrong, but the dough was much too soft to roll – but tasty 🙂

  16. Trish says:

    I made these for a St. Patrick’s day party and did half lemon & half lime (and dyed them green for the party). They tasted great! This is one of my favorite recipes.

  17. Terry A. says:

    I made these today, but I won’t say how many I’ve already eaten. Delicious!

  18. Tyler says:

    I had a chance to make these cookies and took them to my office for an afternoon snack. I almost didn’t want to take them but having them around the house would have been a bad idea. You really can’t just eat one of these…… By the way, have you ever tried this recipe with limes or yuzu or any other citrus fruits? I assume it would be just as good if not another great addition to anyone’s recipe collection. Thanks for another keeper!!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Tyler – I’ve never tried this with anything other than lemons but I think limes would be delicious, too. Your coworkers are a lucky group!

  19. […] it in the Florida heat) and topped with some chocolate Lego men.  Done.  I did bake some Lemon Crinkles and made some popsicles (I bought cheap molds, pureed some frozen strawberries from when we went […]

  20. Diane K says:

    I had some serious spreading going on, and I think I would definitely chill mine for a while before baking in the future. What was interesting to me was the almost complete lack of “crinkle” in my crinkle cookies. I’m not entirely sure what makes them look the way they do, but I guess I messed up somewhere.
    I don’t care, though – these are some seriously tasty lemon cookies. Definitely making these bad boys again.

  21. Tyler says:

    Damn!! These sound AMAZING!! I can already imagine the tart, tangy, sweet cookie in my mouth. DROOLING to try these out later in the week!! Thanks….you have no idea how much time I am wasting in the office scanning all of your recipes. One more recipe for the “must try” list.

  22. Barbara A. says:

    If it weren’t almost bedtime I’d be making these right now. Today I bought lemons, and I also have the KAF lemon powder, so I guess these are meant to be! I’m in a senior living facility, so there are always plenty of folks ready to scarf cookies. However, if these are as good as everyone says, maybe I’ll keep them a secret!

  23. Julie says:

    These are so beautiful!

    I only had limes on hand and they turned out so yummy! Oh, and I have a bag of KAF lemon concentrate powder – I mixed a tablespoon of the powder in with the powdered sugar. Wow. So lemony, citrusy, and delicious!

  24. Mel says:

    Guzi – I haven’t tried that. Sorry!

  25. Guzi says:

    Hi, is it possible to reduce the amount of granulated sugar in this recipe?

  26. Piper says:

    A-MAZING! These are like a lemon bar, my favorite. While they’re awesome on their own- I made the unbelievable carrot cake for Easter and had some leftover cream cheese frosting so I spread a (generous) layer on one and wow! Takes them to WHOLE new level- you have to try it!

  27. Madeline says:

    The cookies looked too tempting so I went ahead and baked them off anyway — what a treat! Also, I skimped a couple T of flour to thin ’em out as recommended to an earlier commenter — good call on your part, Mel.

    Thanks for the reply — I had asked because earlier in the week I was making a Greek soup and learned about tempering an egg and just wanted to know if a similar technique was called for when baking.

  28. Mel says:

    Madeline – sorry for the delay in responding. It is normal for the batter to look a bit curdled after mixing the first few ingredients together. After adding the dry ingredients, it all comes together and works out. Hope you liked the cookies (if you stuck with it!).

  29. Madeline says:

    Hey fellow Meyer Lemon Crinkle lovers,

    Question from a novice baker: I added the vanilla, egg, and lemon zest + juice as called for in the recipe … but I’m looking at what I’ve got and concerned about a curdled egg. Any thoughts? I don’t want to add all my dry ingredients if this batch is going to be screwed, would rather cut my losses, throw it out, and start over.

    Any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

  30. Jeri says:

    I have been baking these for a couple of weeks now. Tonight I got brave and tried Splenda in place of granulated sugar. That’s the only change I’ve made from the original recipe and they turned out like biscuits. Didn’t flatten out, the batter isn’t very sweet or lemony. I’m hoping the lemon drizzle I put on them will redeem them. I even burnt the last batch (on parchment paper even). I’m perplexed. I tried cutting the baking time like the Splenda suggest, but it didn’t really do much.

  31. Eva says:

    I had the same problem as a couple of other people with the cookies not flattening out. Pressing the dough ball slightly with the back of a teaspoon did the trick! Yummy!!

  32. melanie says:

    These look fabulous! I also love the flavour combination of lemon and rosemary, so may experiment! thanks for sharing

  33. Mel says:

    Brett A – glad you liked the cookies! I don’t think overmixing would make a huge difference in the texture being cakey vs thinner and chewier. What altitude do you live at, out of curiosity? Just wondering if that would make a difference. I think pressing down on the dough balls slightly could help the cookies flatten, but you also might try decreasing the flour by a few tablespoons to see how that works out.

  34. Brett A says:

    Mel – delicious as always.

    Mine didnt turn out nearly as flat as yours, though. Should I flatten out the balls, or am I mixing the dry ingredients too much? Mine were just much more cakey than cookie. Still yummy though!

  35. Irene says:

    Hi, dear Mel!:)
    I had made these DELICIOUS cookies and really didn’t expect that I would eat so many from the first batch. Would you believe………..8 of them?? LOL! I had no willpower to stop. The lemon taste was absolutely perfect!! So, not only did I make the first batch that was nearly gone, but I had to make them 3 more times. They were that DELICIOUS!!! Everyone raved about them!! Thank you so much!!!

  36. Thoughts on lemon crinkle cookies | A Tale of Twins says:

    […] Adapted slightly from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  37. ankerah05 says:

    I substituted 6 tbsp oil for the butter b/c of dairy allergies and these cookies were awesome! Thanks for all the great ideas.

  38. d. barrus says:

    wow! have been enjoying your yummy dishes brought to Dana!!! I feel like I have been eating at. a five star restaurant. you are my new favorite blog. thanks so much for taking care of my daughter and baby. d. b.

  39. Dena says:

    These cookies are single-handedly ruining my diet. I used a Meyer lemon. Oh. My. Goodness. I need an intervention Mel.

  40. Ann says:

    This are delicious. I have made them many times. Check out Laurens Latest and try her Peppermint ones. Same recipe but with candy canes added instead of lemon and they are EVEN BETTER!

  41. Mel says:

    Melanie – these cookies are on the thinner side so perhaps you didn’t do anything wrong! If they are flatter than normal, try chilling the cookie dough balls for 15-20 minutes before baking.

  42. lori says:

    cant wait to try these, my mouth is watering…..

  43. Melanie says:

    These just came out of the oven and I’ve already eaten 3 of them! They taste incredible, but half of mine seemed to flatten out too much. Any ideas on how to prevent this?

  44. Pauline says:

    I made these yesterday and I agree with you: DOUBLE the zest and juice if you prefer a tart lemon flavor. Wonderful.

  45. Melanie says:

    These cookies were AMAZING!!! Thanks for a great recipe!

  46. Jill says:

    made them and loved them! I was making them for a friend, but they were so yummy, I ended up eating almost the entire batch and had to made a second batch for a friend. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!!

  47. Mel says:

    Not at all, Katie – I think it’s a great idea, especially if you love a lot of lemon flavor!

  48. Katie says:

    My hubby and I just got some lemon extract and have been looking for a way to use it. These look amazing and I was thinking about subbing our lemon extract for the vanilla. Do you think it would make them too lemon-y?

  49. kim h says:

    I made these last night and they are really good!

  50. Oh, the reader who sent me the cookies, her name is Katie Magin from Virginia.

  51. I have this recipe saved-it is all over Pinterest! And you know what? Lucky me got some cookies baked by Lauren (the creator of this recipe) herself! I participated in the Great Blogger Cookie Swap and she was one of the ones who got my name. And you know what else? This is something I meant to tell you almost TWO MONTHS ago but in my own cookie swap, the one you helped me with, I got one of your readers who sent me two different recipes of your cookies-the peanut butter chocolate chip and the ones with coconut and maybe oats and she used cranberries and white chocolate in place of whatever was supposed to be there. The peanut butter chocolate chip were like the best cookies of my LIFE! They were so good. I’m so glad I never got around to making them (although I still have the recipe saved) b/c the batch would never get any further than my own mouth. I’d eat every single cookie. They are sooo good.

  52. Lisa says:

    Oh, man! I just made these, and they were SUPER good. I used the zest of a whole lemon and all the juice from half a lemon (maybe 2 1/2 teaspoons). I could have used even more lemony-ness. The best part, if you use a tablespoon to scoop them out, they’re 100 calories each. I only ate one and then rolled the rest and froze them. Now I can have a treat each night! Yummy!!

  53. Yvonne says:

    So glad I have lemons in the fridge so I can give these a try! Found the recipe on Pinterest and just had to pin it! Thank you for sharing!

  54. Jennifer G. says:

    I live at a high altitude and found these cookies can be hard as rocks unless I underbake them. As soon as they loose their shine on top I take them out. I like them a bit chewy. I also subbed half of the vanilla extract for some Penzey’s pure lemon extract I had. They are really good.

  55. Amber Smith says:

    A similar recipe is flying around my ward. But with a few changes that I really like. We’ve taken a bag of lemon candies and crushed them up and thrown that in the dough. That bumps the lemon up like crazy with some nice texture too. For the glaze, melt a little bit of lemon juice and white chocolate together and sprinkle on top.

  56. Mel says:

    Tanya – I’ve never made these with orange…interesting idea although they may be a bit on the sweet side.

  57. tina says:

    Just checking back in, and wanted to tell you I made these today, and OH- MY- WORD, this recipe is a KEEPER!!! They look divine, they taste divine, and even my whole kitchen SMELLS DIVINE!!! Thanks again for the recipe! Dear Son absolutely loves them too! ~tina

  58. Tanya says:

    Thanks! They are SO good! Have you tried it with orange? I usually have more of those around.

  59. Julia says:

    I just made these for the first time a couple of weeks ago and they are SO good. Light and yummy and fresh and oh so tasty! I could have sat there and ate the entire batch myself fresh from the over! Yum!!

  60. becky says:

    I’m making these now. They’re AMAZINGLY good!! Thanks for posting this. And I did double the recipe after I saw how little dough was in my kitchenaid!

  61. Rachel Moody says:

    I was really worried about posting this, but after reading others comments about how to improve/add to this recipe I guess I don’t feel so bad. I made these cookies last night, and as I went to grab the vanilla, I saw my almond extract. Ooooh, almond extract with lemon – awesome! So, I used almond extract instead of vanilla. Wow, talk about a great bump in flavor! I’ve never thought I (little ol’ me) could improve on MEL’s recipes, but I think I just did 🙂 They were yummy! Plus, the best part? I was eating one when I opened the blog to type this comment. It’s great to be eating something that you’re looking at! 🙂

  62. Cassidy davis says:

    I just made these and they are AWESOME!!! I couldn’t stop eating the dough, it was fabulous! They cookies (once I quit eating the cookie dough) turned out so YUMMY! Al l I would say is DOUBLE the recipe, believe me, you’ll need it. Thanks for the great recipe.

  63. We have all the ingredients already. My Little Chefs are going to want to make these when I show it to them…since they are the ones cooking this year! One in particular really likes the lemon flavor!

  64. My husband was just complaining last night that our local Girl Scouts do not have the lemon cookies he loves so much. I think I’ll surprise him with these this weekend. Perfect timing! 🙂

  65. Shannon says:

    These cookies look and sound awesome. I love lemony sweets. I bet this would be good with lime too!!

  66. my mouth is watering just looking at these cookies! I made sugar cookies last night but now I really am wanting these lemon goodies!

  67. Kimiko says:

    These cookies look so perfect! Lately, I’ve been craving all things lemon, so this is definitely a recipe I’ll have to try.

  68. Mel says:

    Luda – I definitely think Meyer lemons would work but you’ll probably have to do a fair amount of tasting as you go to gauge if you need more lemon zest or juice. Let me know if you try it!

  69. Mel says:

    Lorrie – do you have a box grater for grating cheese? If so, there is usually a side that has a finer set of grating holes. You can use that, just take care not to grate into the rind of the lemon (only grate the yellow lemon peel, not the white rind) so you don’t get a bitter taste.

  70. Rachel R. says:

    I just made these. They are as or more delicious as they look and sound.

    Thanks Mel.

  71. April says:

    I saw these over on For The Love Of Cooking blog and made them this weekend. They are fabulous. I highly recommend using 3T lemon juice for a really lemony cookie. I’ll be making these again soon.

  72. Lorrie says:

    What is the easiest way to zest a lemon if you dont have a zester?

  73. tiffany street says:

    i made these this past weekend and LOVED them!! the recipe i found was with a comment saying not enough lemon flavor, so i added more juice and zest…and instead of the powdered sugar i made a fresh lemon glaze and put on top.. talk about a rush of flavor!! they were very good and flavorful with the added glaze

  74. cara says:

    I saw this recipe the other from lauren’s site and knew I Must make them soon! I adore lemon cookies and these look wonderful!

  75. Luda says:

    Mel- What do you think about using meyer lemons to make these? I have a few left over and wondering if I need to adjust the amount of lemon juice since meyers are a little less sour.

  76. heather bell says:

    I have been feeling lemon cookies lately, so these look great!!

  77. Chrissy Larson says:

    Just made these and they are yummy! Mine, however did not flatten out. Next time maybe less flour. It wont deter me from making them again!

  78. Oh how I love a lemon flavored dessert!

  79. Jésabelle says:

    Try them with Lime juice and Lime zest instead of the lemon… mmmmm!

  80. Sheila says:

    I guess I don’t have friends who like lemon because I haven’t seen these around the web {on Pinterest or other blogs}, but I’m a huge fan of lemon goodies. Glad you posted them {and now they are on my pin board}.

  81. Melissa H. says:

    Just made these over the weekend and they are fabulous and scrumptious and tasty and refreshing and just plain one of my new favorite cookies! They lasted 2 days here and were as good the 2nd day as the 1st. Cookie bliss!

  82. Mel says:

    Liz, I wish I could say but we didn’t have any leftover after sharing with neighbors!

  83. Trish says:

    Just had to hop back on here to say I made these, and they are fabulous. It’s taking a lot of self control to not eat them all!

  84. Jackie says:

    Mmm sold.on my to do

  85. Danielle says:

    I have made these cookies on several occasions. They are delicious and one of my go to cookie recipies. Thanks Mel!

  86. Judy F. says:

    We also have been making these for awhile – they are so good. We wanted some the other day but only had limes in the house. Needless to say they were also a little bit of heaven. Laurel’s changes with the glaze and crushed candy is a total winner if you want to punch up the flavor a bit. I also add a little zest to the glaze for color and pop. Try it – they are new favorites right up there with Chewy Chocolate chip cookies.

  87. Laurel says:

    I’ve been making these for a long time now, family favorite. They are dangerous to have in the house. You never eat one. Usually 10 with out thinking. My added change is: take the Remaming lemon juice add a little powder sugar top each cookie with the glaze and sprinkle crushed lemon drop or heads on top of the wet glaze. Amazing!! Trust me!

  88. Jnl2211 says:

    Yep, I made these as soon as I saw them on pinterest. They were a bit sweet for me but not rolling them in the powdered sugar fixed that. I love the fresh lemon-y goodness 🙂

  89. I live for lemon desserts! The tarty lemon flavor is so great with a little sweetness. And then as a crunchy cookie? I’m sold!

  90. Brittany C. says:

    I am so making these! I have been wanting to try my hand at lemon cookies, just one more way to use up the bazillions of lemons on our tree, but didn’t know what recipe to use. Thank You for posting this, I already know it’ll be great. We made the greek pastisio last night, aside from me forgetting the salt (who does that??) it was awesome! We all, even the kiddos, gobbled it down.

  91. Karen says:

    I made these after I made your lemon cupcakes and had a ton of leftover frosting. Best mashup ever.

  92. Bri says:

    I got an email from a dear friend (Allie) of mine that I was mentioned on your website…YAY!!!!!!!!!! I’m flattered! So glad you loved these! I need to make them again, yet am afraid to for the very reason you mentioned. I have already gained WAY too much weight in this pregnancy and I’m only 5 months along….YIKES! Thanks for the shout out. You are my favorite!

  93. These have been on my to-try list for a while. Glad to see they are worth making!

  94. Trish says:

    These count for breakfast, right? I was looking for some kind of muffin or sweet bread to make this morning to go along with coffee since my sister is coming over. I saw these, and they grabbed me! Cookies it is! My in-laws will love these as well the next time they’re in town since they love all things lemon or lime.
    Thanks for sharing.

  95. tina says:

    Oh, these sound REALLY good!… and nice with tea too, you think? Actually, when you mentioned bridal shower, there WILL BE a bridal shower in the not-too-distant future! My daughter is planning her wedding right NOW, so I will not only keep this recipe in mind for that, but I will definitely be baking up a batch TOMORROW, just for ME! (I suppose Dear Son can have a few.. ha! ha!)…. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  96. Liz says:

    Love your recipes! How do these taste the next day?

  97. ann says:

    I am tempted to call in sick to work so I can make these asap!!!!!

  98. Kim in MD says:

    YUM…I love lemon in baked goods! I agree that this cookie would be perfect for a bridal or baby shower, Mel. I saw this recipe on Pam’s blog, For The Love Of Cooking, a few days ago, and printed the recipe to make a.s.a.p.! If you and Pam both love this cookie, I know I will!

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