Cookies Sweet

Lemon Sugar Cookies: April’s #cookiesandkindness Recipe

April is the month we can usually, almost always and kind of reliably count on the arrival of Spring.  That said, our son, Joshua, was born on April 6 and it’s snowed in New York City on about 50% of his birthdays!  Still, it will be spring sometime this month and so I’ve chosen a spritely cookie for April’s #cookiesandkindness recipe.

The cookie, Lemon Sugar Cookies from Dorie’s Cookies, is an easy one – scoop, round between your palms, roll in sugar and bake – and a sweet beloved by all who enjoy the bright flavor of lemon.  I use lemon zest and juice to get a nice, not-too-bold flavor, but if you want more pop, add about 1/4 teaspoon of pure lemon oil or extract to the dough.

And remember: Share your cookies!  That’s what cookies are meant for and that’s what we bakers do.

If you post what you bake and share, please hashtag it #cookiesandkindness and tag me @doriegreenspan so that I can cheer you on.

Bake, share, post, enjoy – xoDorie 

Photograph by Davide Luciano for Dorie’s Cookies 

Dorie Greenspan

Lemon Sugar Cookies

From Dorie’s Cookies 

Makes about 60 cookies 

23/4 cups (374 grams) all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 or 2 lemons

11/2 cups (300 grams) sugar

2 sticks (8 ounces; 226 grams) unsalted butter, and cut into chunks, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Sugar, for dredging


Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat it to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Whisk the flour, baking soda and baking powder together. Finely grate the zest of 1 lemon and squeeze the juice. If you don’t have 1/4 cup, squeeze the juice from the second lemon.

Put the sugar and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl in which you can use a hand mixer. Using your fingertips, mash and rub the ingredients together until the sugar is moist and fragrant. If you’re working with a stand mixer, fit it with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and salt to the bowl and beat on medium speed until the mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla and lemon juice. Turn off the mixer, add half of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until they’re almost incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl, add the rest of the flour and beat on low speed until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Pour some sugar into a bowl. Using a small cookie scoop, scoop out level portions of dough or use a teaspoon to get rounded spoonfuls. Roll each portion into a ball between your palms, drop into the sugar, roll it around to coat and place on the baking sheets. These cookies spread dramatically, so make sure to leave about 2 inches between them.

Bake the cookies for 8 to 14 minutes, rotating the baking sheets top to bot- tom and front to back at the midway mark. If you bake them for 8 to 10 minutes, you’ll get pale cookies that will be chewy; bake them for 12 to 14 minutes, until they’re barely golden around the edges (the bottoms will be lightly browned), and you’ll get cookies that are chewy in the center and crisp around the edges. The cookies will be crackle-topped and too soft to lift from the baking sheets. Transfer the baking sheets to racks and let the cookies cool completely before you move them. Repeat with the remaining dough, always using cool baking sheets.

Storing: These keep in a tightly covered container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Packed airtight, they’ll be good for up to 2 months in the freezer.

#cookiesandkindness, bake and s, Claudia Ficca, cookbook, Davide Luciano, Dorie's Cookies, homebaking, homemade, Katje Sabin, lemon, scoop cookies

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  1. I’ve made these a few times now and they are so delicious. I started rubbing the lemon zest from the extra lemon in the rolling sugar and it is quite good!

  2. I’m a cookie baker, not buyer. Still– I’ll admit I’ve a time or two bought a tasty and crunchy little inexpensive lemony wafer type cookie for a song at Whole Foods–for some project or other. But they’re tasty and I’ve never tried a recipe to replicate them. This sounds kind of close or at least lemony enough to work. I teach the brunch class Friday and there’s no time to make dessert within the time frame, though we will make cheese!! I think I’ll get a batch of these ready and take them so we have a little Springish sweet nib to finish things off with. Thanks, Dorie! #justaddtea

    1. Alyce, I always love to hear from you. You’ll make cheese in the class?! What are you making? I’m thinking ricotta, but …
      Hope you like the lemon cookies – xoDorie

  3. These are delicious! I actually made and shared these a couple of weeks ago. I love the smell of the sugar and lemon zest – that is my favorite part (well, except actually eating them).

    1. So happy you like the cookies and yes, the squishing-the-zest-and-sugar part of the recipe is my favorite part too.

  4. Just made these this morning, because i really like lemon, i added the 1/2 tsp lemon oil, and since i had grated 3 small lemons for the zest & juice -added 2 Tbsp zest to the sugar i rolled them in. Yummy. Because i live in south, gulf coast, texas – I form my cookies, freeze then and then bake at 325 degrees for 16 – 18 minutes turning the pan midbake. These are so wonderful, my 93 year old father ate 2 while still warm and pronounced them tolerable- which means definitely make again.

    1. Zlanie – glad you liked the cookies and love your father’s response. Thank goodness you know that ‘tolerable’ means ‘make again’ 🙂

  5. These cookies are delicious, buttery with a twist of lemon. Generally I am a crisp, no chewy, person but in this instance think that the chewy iteration brings out the flavor better. I am writing to share my view that a slightly underbaked (to some!) cookie is the way to go here. And many thanks for the recipe.