Lemon Cookies

These yummy lemon cookies have delicious chewy middles, crisp edges, and a sweet citrus flavor. I love them with tea for an afternoon treat!

Lemon Cookies

These lemon cookies are my new favorite treat! They have that bakery-perfect chewy middle with a lightly crisp edge and a lovely balance of light and bright citrus flavor. I’ll be making them on repeat throughout the holiday season, but honestly, these lemon cookies are so delicious that I would happily take one any day of the year.

This lemon cookie recipe comes from my friend Melissa Coleman’s book The Minimalist Kitchen. You may know of her blog, The Faux Martha. If you don’t, go check it out – you’ll absolutely love her. She has wonderfully approachable mealtime recipes, highly do-able organizational tips (check out her pretty pantry), and, man, can that girl bake.

Lemon cookie recipe ingredients

Lemon Cookies Ingredients

This lemon cookie recipe is an excellent example of Melissa’s baking prowess. It’s SO delicious! Here’s what you need to make it:

  • All-purpose flour makes up the base of the dough. Spoon and level it to avoid packing too much into your measuring cup!
  • Cornmeal and poppyseeds give these cookies substance and contribute to their delectable crisp/chewy texture.
  • Baking soda helps them rise.
  • Sea salt highlights the lemon flavor.
  • Sugar sweetens them up.
  • Butter and olive oil combine to add richness and accent the citrus essence.
  • Fresh lemon juice and orange and lemon zest make them bright and citrusy. Skip the orange zest and use all lemon if you prefer!
  • And an egg puffs them up and perfects their moist, chewy middles.

That’s it! Let’s bake.

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Lemon cookies on a cooling rack

How to Make Lemon Cookies

This lemon cookie recipe is simple to make—you don’t even have to chill the cookie dough! Here’s how it goes:

First, combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, cornmeal, poppy seeds, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.

Next, mix the wet ingredients. Cream the butter, sugar, and citrus zest in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the oil, egg, and lemon juice and mix until pale and well combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Then, combine the wet and dry. Add the flour mixture to the creamed ingredients, and mix on low speed until just combined.

Finally, scoop and bake the cookies! Use a 1/4-cup cookie scoop to scoop the dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, leaving an inch or so between each scoop. Sprinkle the tops with sugar, then bake at 350°F for 12 minutes.

Let cool on the pan for 1 minute before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

These photos make these lemon cookies look kind of small, but made with a 1/4-cup cookie scoop, they’re a perfect 1-cookie afternoon indulgence with a cup of coffee or tea.

Recipe Tips

  • Underbaking is the secret to soft lemon cookies. The cookies might seem underdone when you check them at the 12 minute mark, but take them out of the oven anyway! As they cool, they’ll set up with perfect crisp edges and soft, chewy middles. If you bake them longer, the middles will have a cakier texture.
  • A lemon glaze makes the citrus flavor pop. For an extra-lemony treat, drizzle these cookies with my quick lemon glaze. It’s easy to make with just 2 ingredients: powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice!
  • These cookies freeze perfectly. Stash them in an airtight container in the freezer for an easy dessert down the road!

Lemon cookies with tea

More Favorite Cookie Recipes

If you love these lemon cookies, try one of these favorite cookie recipes next:

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Lemon Cookies

rate this recipe:
4.73 from 47 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Serves 12 large cookies
This yummy lemon cookie recipe is from The Minimalist Kitchen Cookbook by Melissa Coleman.



  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, poppy seeds, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, and zests on medium speed until well combined. Add the oil, egg, and lemon juice. Continue mixing until pale and evenly combined, about 1 minute, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients, mixing on low speed until just combined. The dough will be somewhat dense.
  • Using a 1/4-cup sized cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet (note: these cookies will spread, so leave some room in between each one), and sprinkle the tops with sugar. Bake for 12 minutes. The cookies will seem like they need a minute longer, but take them out anyways. Let cool on the pan for 1 minute before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.


Tip: to bring butter to room temperature more quickly, cut it into skinny shreds, exposing as much of the surface area as possible.



4.73 from 47 votes (27 ratings without comment)

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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Staci

    5 stars
    Yum! These were exactly what I was looking for, and they came out perfectly! I only had medium grain cornmeal, and ran it through the food processor and sifted out the biggest pieces to get more of a fine grain based on some of the reviews. Could have been overkill, but they turned out great. I also added 1/4 tsp vanilla extract because we like vanilla and lemon together. I used all lemon as that’s what I had. No other modifications, and the temp & time were spot on. I baked half of them in our air fryer toaster oven at 325* for 11 mins with convection (the built in “cookie” setting) and those also turned out perfectly. When I make these again, I’ll probably make them smaller and top with a lemon glaze. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Staci, I’m so glad you loved them!

  2. Lisa

    Can you use lavender instead of the poppy seeds?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      that would be wonderful!

  3. Carolyn

    1 star
    Didn’t like this recipe. The cornmeal makes the cookie taste “grainy” even when I used fine cornmeal and the sea salt left you biting down on large pieces of salt.

  4. Margaret M

    4 stars
    These have a delicious flavor, but I wish the recipe had specified fine cornmeal. I used a medium/coarse cornmeal that I use for cornbread and the texture of the cookies was kind of gritty. Not pleasant to chew. Next time…

  5. Carla

    Hi! I made these last night and everyone loved them! I’d like to try them for a friend who is gluten-free. Do you think they’d work with a GG all purpose flour like Bob’s or Cup-4-Cup? Thank you ou!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Carla, I’m so glad you enjoyed them. I haven’t tried them with GF flour so I’m not sure. Let me know if you give it a go!

    • Ana

      I’m gluten-free and would love to know if you tried making these cookies with a gluten-free flour alternative.

  6. Josh Gutierrez

    3 stars
    I made these last night and my family liked them; however, next time I will definitely use more lemon zest than recommended as you don’t get much of the lemon taste, and I will leave them in the oven an extra 2 minutes.

    Thank you for the recipe and Merry Christmas.

  7. Ellen

    Hi there,
    I purchased 3 of your books in hope your lemon and pumpkin recipes from this site would be in one of them (pumpkin muffins, lemon cookies etc) but sadly I couldn’t find any similar recipes in any of the books, aw.

    Are the recipes on your site not the ones in your books?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Ellen, that’s right! The cookbook recipes are unique to the books, with the exception of a very few we’ve posted on the blog. I’m sorry for the disappointment, but I hope you enjoy the books!

  8. Hettie

    5 stars
    Fantastic cookies! I made them for my husband and he said they’re the best lemon cookies he’s ever had. It’s the poppyseeds. They take it to a whole new level. Thanks for sharing!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Hettie, I’m so glad the cookies were a hit!

  9. Claire

    Have never been inspired to leave a comment on a recipe site. However! These are the perfect lemon cookies! Added a bit more zest. And. Just because! I swapped out the poppy seeds for minced preserved lemons. Amazing combo of sweet and salty.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Claire, I’m so glad you loved them!

  10. Jennymay

    These look delicious I will have to try them out.

  11. Marcus

    4 stars
    Very tasty, very easy to make, which is just what I need, being brand new to baking. Only criticism I have is that I wish I had used regular salt instead of sea salt. Thank you for a great recipe!

  12. AK

    5 stars
    I’ve never left a comment on a recipe before but these were really great! I used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, reduced the sugar a bit, added 1.5 tsp extra zest and the juice of 1.5 lemons per other comments around flavor and they were perfect. Thank you for this recipe – I never would have thought to use cornmeal in a cookie and it was great!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  13. Cheryl

    Hi Jeanine,

    I would love to try this recipe. Is there anything I could substitute fir the cornmeal? My son is allergic to corn.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Cheryl, I haven’t tried so I’m not sure.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hmm, that’s a tough one. I think semolina would have a similar texture (I realize it might not be at most stores). Additional flour might work, but I’m not sure how much.

  14. June

    5 stars
    Just baked these cookies and they taste great! I put in a little more lemon juice and zest as I like the kick, but I was very puzzled why the cookie didn’t flatten out at all in the oven (I used an ice cream scoop to portion them out) – they looked like scones that tasted like cookies. For the second batch, I flattened out the dough with a spatula, looks much better.

      • June

        I used the metric grams conversion instead of cup. But the next time I make it, I’ll try cup measurement! Thanks for the reply!


        I add an extra egg and 1/4 cup more olive oil. This is the 3rd time making them. Seems to do the trick

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.