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

Trust me, you’re going to want to try this lemon cookie recipe ASAP. Here’s what you need:

  • All-purpose flour makes the base of the dough.
  • 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.
  • Lemon juice and orange and lemon zest make them bright, fresh, and citrusy.
  • And an egg puffs them up and perfects their moist, chewy middles.

That’s it! Let’s bake.

Lemon cookies on a cooling rack

These photos actually 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.

Lemon cookies with tea

More Favorite Cookie Recipes

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

Lemon Cookies

rate this recipe:
4.71 from 17 votes
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 12 mins
Total Time: 32 mins
Serves 12 large cookies
This yummy lemon cookie recipe is from The Minimalist Kitchen Cookbook by Melissa Coleman.


  • 2 1/4 cups-all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 cup sugar, more for sprinkling
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  • 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 to 13 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.



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Tony Baas

    5 stars
    I bake a lot of cookies, and go through a lot of recipes… This is a wonderful cookie! I’m so used to heavy cookies, and this is the complete opposite. The texture is on point, the flavor is great. (Agree with some previous comments about a lemon glaze on top) I did make them with a 1 oz. scooper and reduced the cook time to 10 minutes, and they are absolutely amazing! Perfect for a summer/spring day. Will definitely be making these again! Thank you for sharing this with everyone!!! 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them as much as I did!

  2. Jeanett

    3 stars
    I was hoping for a more pronounced zesty lemon flavor but they were good.

  3. Sheila

    5 stars
    I made these today and they were delicious. The texture is my favorite. Soft on the inside and a slight crisp on the outside. I love anything lemon. I made 1/2 exactly as written. And added a lemon glaze on the other 1/2. Both were great! My family can’t get enough. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  4. carina

    5 stars
    Amazing! So delicious!
    I love the olive oil , I can actually taste that a little bit. The two citruses is so smart. Mine didn’t flatten as much and therefore I may have felt they needed to cook a little longer so they have a little more resemblance of a scone. That happens to be our favorite so THANK YOU !! This will be a go to for ever

  5. DAVID from factarticle.com

    5 stars
    This is an awesome article .. Thanks a lot man

  6. Shai

    Hi, this looks like. I have a quick question.
    Can I use cornflour instead of cornmeal? Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Shai, no, I’m sorry, the texture of the two are too different.

  7. Sara

    4 stars
    I have veganized the recipe using margarine and a flax egg and they’ve come out great!

    As someone already mentioned, their flavour is quite subtle, so next time I would probably add a bit more zest and juice as well.

    Thanks for the recipe! These cookies are making me happy in these crazy times.

    Greetings from an all but locked down Switzerland.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Sara, I’m so glad you enjoyed the cookies!

  8. Christine

    5 stars
    I’ve been waiting to make these until the weather got nicer in Chicago. I made these over the weekend for my sister’s bridal shower. They were a hit at the party and with me! I would recommend you try them! Easy and delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them! I’m absolutely obsessed with them too 🙂

  9. A

    Can I sub earth balance margarine for the butter if I want to veganize this recipe? And do you know if I would use the same amount if I did that? Thank you! 🙂

  10. C

    I couldn’t find poppy seeds at my local grocery store, could i use chia seeds instead? Or best to leave it out altogether?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’d just leave them out – I’m not sure what chia seeds will do since they have a way of thickening when mixed with liquids. I think the cookies will still be terrific without the poppy seeds. Hope that helps!

  11. S

    Which kind of cornmeal is used?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      just regular plain cornmeal – I get mine in the bulk bin at whole foods, I’m not sure if it has a brand name.

  12. This looks delicious! I am sure I would try this at home when I have some free time and my small children would love them!

  13. diane

    4 stars
    Just baked these and I would rate them pretty good at first attempt. For me they did not have enough citrus flavor. For my taste I’d cut back on the sugar a bit (maybe 3/4 cup) and use more zest and lemon juice, or a drop of lemon oil in the dough. The texture is really nice but when it says “take them out even though they look like they need another minute”, they mean it. They can overbake quickly. Next time I might also try brushing them with a lemon juice syrup glaze for extra lemon flavor.

  14. Natalie from lilcookie.com

    5 stars
    I love citrus and poppy seeds combined! These cookies look so delicious and perfect for Christmas too!

  15. Evelyn

    5 stars
    These are five-star cookies! Easy and so good.

  16. Lisa Ellsmore

    These are very tasty and it was nice to make something other than chocolate chip cookies! I used whole wheat flour and a flax egg and they turned out great!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lisa, I’m so glad you loved them! Thanks for letting me know that it worked with a flax egg – did you use vegan butter?

      • Lisa Ellsmore

        Nope,I stuck with real butter for the flavor.

  17. Gaby Dalkin

    These sound DELISH!

  18. Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite

    I love the idea of lemon poppyseed cookies! So unique and creative!

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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.