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These Lemon Sugar Cookies are sweet and crunchy on the outside and soft and lemony on the inside! You’ll want to make room on the cookie tray for these fantastic cookies!

Lemon Sugar Cookies - A Family Feast


When it comes time to bake for our holiday parties and cookie swaps, I always like to offer a variety of cookies on our dessert tray. Some of our guests love chocolate, others are huge fans of peppermint, and some always go for the Italian classics.

As for me – more often than not – I gravitate towards the sugar cookies. And – if the sugar cookies on the tray are Lemon Sugar Cookies – I just might try to eat the entire tray!

Not really… but I’d definitely be tempted! 😉

Lemon Sugar Cookies


Seriously – there is something about a sweet and lemony cookie that really makes my taste buds so happy! And these Lemon Sugar Cookies have an extra crunchy outside from the sparkling sugar that we used.

After mixing up a simple lemony cookie dough that is flavored with lemon juice, lemon extract, and lemon zest (plus the perfect hint of nutmeg), we rolled the dough into balls – then rolled the dough in white sparkling sugar.

As the Lemon Sugar Cookies bake, that sparkling sugar stays intact and crunchy on the outside of the cookies. (The glisten from the sparkling sugar is so pretty too!)

These Lemon Sugar Cookies are sweet and crunchy on the outside and soft and lemony on the inside! You'll want to make room on the cookie tray for these fantastic cookies!

There are lots of other uses for that sparkling sugar beyond these Lemon Sugar Cookies – we used it on these Blueberry Ginger Lemon Scones and muffins too – so we really recommend buying a jar here if you can!  But if you can’t (or don’t want to), simply roll these Lemon Sugar Cookies in granulated or demerara sugar instead. The texture won’t be as crunchy, but the cookies will still be delicious!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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Lemon Sugar Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: Approximately 40 cookies


1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 ½ teaspoons lemon extract

Zest from 1 lemon

3 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 ½ teaspoons baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

Small pinch of fresh nutmeg (a few grates of a whole nutmeg against a microplane)

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup white sparkling sugar


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 3 cookie sheets with a sheet of parchment paper.

With a mixer, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes on high).

Add eggs to the butter and sugar mixture and mix to combine.

Add lemon juice, lemon extract and lemon zest and mix again.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk until ingredients are well combined.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined.

Place the white sparkling sugar in a small, flat bowl.

Using a small cookie scoop, measure out and form a ball of dough with your hands. Then roll each dough ball in the sparkling sugar, coating well.  Place the coated dough balls on the prepared cookie sheet, about 2 inches apart. (about 12-15 per pan)

Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the cookie sheet(s) from the oven but leave the oven on.  Carefully press down on each cookie with a flat-bottomed glass so that the cookie flattens a bit and the outer edges of the cookie crackle a little.  Bake for 2 additional minutes. Baking multiple pans at once may extend baking time.

Carefully remove each cookie to a wire rack to cool completely.


Adapted from The Restless Chipotle

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These Lemon Sugar Cookies are sweet and crunchy on the outside and soft and lemony on the inside! You'll want to make room on the cookie tray for these fantastic cookies!

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  • Linda R wrote:

    Merry Christmas Martha,
    Now I have another cookie to make for the holidays…this one will be a favorite of my lemon loving husband. Any dessert that has the word lemon in the description catches his eye. His favorite hot tea is “Lemon Lift”.
    By the way, I made the meatloaf with the yummy sauce you posted a while back, its now his favorite…mine too.
    Wishing you a blessed Christmas.

    • Martha wrote:

      Merry Christmas to you too Linda! I think these cookies will be terrific with the lemon tea! So glad you are enjoying the recipes. And thank you, as always, for taking the time to write to us – we so appreciate it! Best, Martha

  • Altie wrote:

    Are there a few steps missing in the instructions? I’m guessing you add the dry ingredients to the wet until well mixed.

    • Martha wrote:

      Oh gosh – yes! I left that step out – but I’ve fixed it now. Thank you for letting us know about the error. We hope you enjoy the cookies!

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