Don't forget to check out the Tips & FAQ section in the post!
These easy and soft lemon cookies are moist, chewy and covered in a yummy lemon glaze. They’re super easy because the recipe calls for lemon extract. No need to buy lemons or juice and zest them.
Table of Contents:
Sometimes you just don’t have time to deal with lemons…juicing them or zesting them. These cookies are a quick and delicious way to get lemon cookies without all the fuss because you’ll be using lemon extract instead of lemons…that’s what makes these so quick and easy.
These iced lemon cookies are super soft and melt-in-your-mouth good. They remind me a bit of a teacake, but they’re really just a soft lemon cream cheese cookie you’ll adore.
Let’s talk a little bit about just some of the ingredients in these cookies. The full list of ingredients will be in the recipe card below.
Lemon extract: These cookies are super easy because they only rely on lemon extract for their lemon flavor. There’s no worrying about being out of lemons, juicing lemons, or zesting lemons.
Make sure to use actual lemon extract and not just lemon juice as the extract is much stronger.
Unsalted butter: This recipe calls for unsalted butter. It’s easier to predict the amount of salt added to a recipe when using it, rather than salted butter. Make sure to let this come to room temperature before mixing the dough.
Cream Cheese: Everything is better with cream cheese, right? This will give the cookie flavor and softness. Make sure to let the cream cheese come to room temperature before mixing.
The full instructions will be in the recipe card below.
These lemon cookies are easy to mix up and since you’re not having to juice lemons or zest them, it should go really fast.
The important thing is to go ahead and set out the butter and cream cheese several hours ahead of time because you want them to be at room temperature. You can go ahead and set out the egg as well since it will mix better if it’s not cold.
To mix this cookie dough, you’ll cream the butter, sugar and cream cheese together until fluffy. Next, you’ll add the liquid ingredients, mix, then add the dry ingredients.
The dough will be thick at this point.
Once the dough is mixed, let it chill in the fridge for about an hour. This will help the cookies to spread less, which will then make for a thick and soft cookie.
Once the dough is chilled, use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to add the dough to the baking sheets. The cookies should be about ping pong ball size.
Then bake them in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 12 minutes.
After the cookies have baked, add them to a rack and let them cool fully.
Once the cookies have baked and cooled, you can mix up the glaze.
Then just spoon the glaze onto the top of each cooled cookie.
Easy & Soft Lemon Cookies with Glaze
For the cookies:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)
- 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature (1/2 of an 8 oz. block)
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons lemon extract (not juice…extract is stronger)
- 2 tablespoons milk or cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4-5 drops liquid yellow food coloring or a small amount of gel food coloring (optional)
For the glaze:
- 2 ½ cups confectioner's sugar
- 3 tablespoon milk or cream
- 1/4 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup (optional, but will allow the glaze to firm up)
For the cookies:
- In a large bowl, cream the sugar, butter and cream cheese on medium high for two minutes.
- Add the egg, lemon extract, milk, vanilla extract and optional yellow food coloring and mix until well combined. If dough clumps up, it’s okay.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then mix again, until well combined. Dough will be thick.
- Cover the cookie dough and chill it in the refrigerator for about an hour.
- After dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchement paper.
- Use a cookie scoop or spoon to measure out the cookie dough and add to the cookie sheet. Cookies should be about the size of ping pong balls. No need to flatten out cookies.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven for 12 minutes. Place cookie sheet on a wire rack to cool for about 5 minutes, then take the cookies off the baking sheet and let them cool completely on a rack before adding the glaze.
For the glaze:
- Add all of the glaze ingredients and mix well. It will be thick at first, but keep mixing until well combined before adding any additional milk as that could make it too thin. If once mixed, it’s still very thick, add in another teaspoon to tablespoon of milk. You want the glaze a thicker consistency though, so that it doesn’t run off of the cookies.
- Add glaze to the cookies, once they’re completely cooled. The glaze can be added using a spoon or just dip the top of the cookie into the glaze.
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Tips & FAQs:
Unsalted butter is best, but if you cannot get it, use salted, but omit any other salt that the recipe calls for.
Make sure to set these out early so they can come to room temperature before mixing. It’s also helpful to set the egg out as well.
This recipe is written specifically for lemon extract as it is much stronger than lemon juice. If you use juice instead, it won’t have enough lemon taste.
No, you can omit it if you don’t have it. The food coloring just gives it a nice lemon yellow color.
No, but it’s really good if you can get it as it will help firm up the glaze.
You can freeze either the cookie dough or baked cookies. Make sure to cover the dough with plastic wrap, then add to a freezer bag.
To freeze the baked cookies, add to a freezer bag or an airtight container and freeze. Allow to fully defrost before serving. It’s best to freeze without the glaze and add it after the cookies have defrosted.
These cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 5-6 days.
These cookies are perfect for a nice spring or summer treat.
Supplies used for these cookies:
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- Lemon extract
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Silicone spatula
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Cookie scoop
- Cookie sheet
- Cooling racks
- Yellow gel food coloring