These powdered sugar lemon cookies are bursting with lemon flavor and coated with powdered sugar and these soft-baked-bites will just melt in your mouth. These little treats are chewy and gooey, and the crinkle print of the cookies will make you fall in love with them. Enjoy the melt-in-the-mouth cookies with tangy lemon-ish flavor and sweet tartness. Love lemons? Try Lemon Yogurt Cake, Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, Blueberry Cake with Lemon Glaze and Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze.
This traditional recipe goes by different names such as Lemon Crackle Cookies, Lemon Cookies with Powdered Sugar and Lemon Whippersnappers, and technically they are all the names of the same cookies.
These lemon crinkle cookies are easy to bake, have a golden bottom with a fudgy crumb loaded with sweet tartness of lemons and powdered sugar.
Table of Contents
Why This Recipe Works?
- Zesty Lemon Flavor: These cookies are soft-pillowy little bites with crunchy corners are made from fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. So, they are loaded with fresh lemon flavor.
- Refreshing Summer Delights: These cookies are loaded with tangy and sweet flavor and their unique crinkle print make them desirable.
- Easy to Bake: These cookies look fancy, but they are easy to bake. Just follow the tips and recipe card to get the perfect results.
- Christmas & Holiday Cookies: Make these cookies any time of the year but they will look fabulous on your holiday and Christmas dessert corners. Impress your guests.
What are 'Crinkle Cookies'?
The crinkle cookies get their name because of the way they look – crinkled. Once the sugar rolled cookies are placed in the oven they expand and react with heat, raising in height and consequently cracking, displaying the dough beneath. This process gives the crust of the cookies the beautiful crinkle effect.
According to the blog ‘A Spicy Perspective’, these cookies were invented by Helen Fredell in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The recipe was then published by Betty Crocker’s in the 1950’s, which made it popular.
Pro Tip # 1 - Room Temperature Ingredients
Always use room temperature ingredients (unless otherwise specified) for baking. Ingredients such as butter, eggs and other dairy ingredients like milk, sour cream, yogurt form an emulsion by trapping air inside the batter. The trapped air expands in the oven resulting in perfect baked treats.
- All- Purpose Flour: The flour gives structure to the cookies.
- Castor Sugar: Sugar will bring sweetness and enhance the tangy lemon.
- Butter: Use room temperature butter for this recipe for best results.
- Baking Powder: The baking powder will give these cookies its height.
- Baking Soda: The baking soda helps will expansion of the cookies.
- Egg: The egg will help to bind the dough. Use it at room temperature.
- Lemon Zest and Juice: Use fresh lemons to get the best flavor in these cookies.
- Vanilla Extract: Will add extra flavor to the cookies. (Optional)
- Confectioners’/Icing Sugar: To roll the cookies to get the crinkle effect.
- Salt: is to enhance the flavor of the cookies and to balance the sugar in the dough.
Important Note: The cookie batter will be soft and a little sticky as well. That is why chilling in the fridge is very important. To work easily with the cookie balls, grease your hands with a few drops of oil, which will help to handle the batter.
Pro Tip # 2 - Digital Scale
Use a digital scale to measure all-purpose flour and other dry ingredients. To measure with cup, fluff up the all-purpose flour container using a spoon, then scoop out the flour with spoon into the measuring cup. Never scoop out of the container. It may result in more flour than required resulting in dense bakes.
These are basic process shots for this recipe. For detailed instructions refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Whisk together the dry ingredients and rub the sugar with lemon zest to infuse zesty lemon flavor.
Beat butter and sugar together until the butter turns pale and fluffy. Add in vanilla, egg and lemon juice to the batter.
Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat at slow speed only until just combined. Do not overmix. Cover the dough bowl with a plastic wrap and place in fridge for an hour.
Using and ice-cream scoop, scoop out the balls, give them a good roll on the icing powder.
Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheet and bake for 10 – 12 minutes until the bottom and edges turn slightly light golden.
Let the cookies sit on the baking tray for 3 – 5 minute until slightly cool. Then transfer the cookies to the cooling wire rack.
- You may use any other citrus instead of lemons for this recipe such as orange, grapefruit or clementine.
Chilling the Dough: Remember that chilling the dough in the fridge for an hour is crucial for this recipe. If you skip the step, you will get flat cookies that will spread too much with no powdered sugar crinkle effect that we want to achieve.
Apply Oil on Hands: While making the balls of the dough just grease your hands a little with a few drops of oil. It will help you to easily handle the batter. Once you make the balls of equal sizes, give it a good roll in the powdered sugar.
Infusing Sugar and Lemon Zest: When you rub the sugar and lemon zest, the sugar will get fragrant with lemon flavor as the lemon will infuse its oil. This will ensure an overall strong lemon flavor of the cookies.
Do not Over-mix: While mixing the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, make sure to not mix it for too long. Over-mixing will result in tough and dense cookies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes – absolutely, you may use the sharp yellow food color (just 3-5 drops) to give dark yellow hue to the cookies.
Yes, this is a fool proof recipe and you may easily double or triple the quantity, and will achieve the same results.
I would say prepare the dough a day ahead of baking the cookies. Keep the dough in an airtight jar in the fridge and they should be fine the next day.
Yes, prepare the dough and cover it an airtight jar. It will stay fresh in the freezer for 2-3 months.
How to Store?
- Place the cookies in an airtight jar for up to 2 days. These cookies will stay good in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- You may also keep the cookies in the freezer in a Ziploc bag for 3 – 4 months.
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More Recipes You'll Like
Looking for other lemon recipes like this? Try these:
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
- 2 Baking Tray
- 2 Silicon Sheets
- 1 Electric Mixer
- Digital Scale
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Ice-cream scoop (3 tablespoon)
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour (180 g)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 g)
- ½ cup unsalted butter (113 g)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (2.5 ml)
- 1 egg (large)
- ¼ cup lemon juice (58 g/ml) (1 - 2 large lemons)
- 2 teaspoon lemon zest (4 g) (1 large lemon)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder (1.25 g)
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda (0.62 g)
- ½ cup powdered sugar (50 g)
- Take a medium sized bowl and sift together all-purpose flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk and set aside.
- Take a large bowl and combine sugar and lemon zest together until the sugar is fragrant with lemon flavor.
- Now add the softened butter to the mixture and beat using an electric mixer until the butter turns pale, light and fluffy.
- At this point add in the vanilla, egg and lemon juice to the batter. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat at slow speed only until just combined.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill it in the fridge for an hour. Check – you want to make sure that the butter presses easily but it does not slide through the dough.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the baking tray with parchment sheet. You will need two trays.
- Using an ice-cream scoop, scoop out the balls, give them a good press on the icing powder.
- Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheet and bake for 10 – 12 minutes until the bottom and edges turn slightly light golden.
- Let them sit on the baking tray for 3 – 5 minute until slightly cool. Then transfer the cookies to the cooling wire rack.