For the love of cookies

Soft Lemon Cookies

Soft Lemon Cookies

Bakery style soft lemon cookies with fresh lemon zest, juice, and a bright and tangy lemon glaze. These cookies have a secret ingredient in them to keep them soft and chewy for days!

soft lemon cookies
Soft Lemon Cookies with a tangy lemon glaze.

We are now in March, and if you also have tiny humans in your dwelling, you might be recovering from the millionth cold a tiny one has brought back from daycare. This is my life now, all the while I am also tackling a new level of spring allergies from the weather warming up. Lovely! I love spring!

Toxic positivity and sarcasm aside, this recipe is easy to make, packs a whole lot of flavor, and as a bonus stays soft and fresh for days. They say lemon is great for colds, right? Serve the cookies without the glaze and dusted with powdered sugar for an even easier topping. In my opinion, the glaze is what really makes this cookie POP.

I have a few other lemon cookie recipes I will share later this spring, some with dreamy lemon curd, some with pecans. Some of my recipes can be  quite involved and not very quick to put together. So, I am kicking off my Spring citrus menu with a soft lemon cookie that is easy to make with a bonus of being big on lemon flavor.

Happy March everyone!

Need more citrus recipes?? Look no further, here are my faves:

Why I Love This Recipe

Flavor-This cookie has several layers of lemon flavor. Fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon extract, and lemon instant pudding are used to create a supremely lemony cookie. The glaze is made with powdered sugar and lemon juice. Super easy to whip up and also packs a wonderful tangy punch to the tops of the cookies. The cookie is finished with a grating of fresh lemon zest to add to the brightness of the cookie.

Your nose will taste this cookie before your tongue does. The fresh zest hits the senses with a pop of sun shining, lemon brightness, followed by the wonderful smell of lemon, sugar and butter. The flavor of this cookie is best described as a glazed lemon pound cake, meets lemon bar, meets cookie. It’s not quite a cake cookie but is soft, chewy, and will have your mouth watering after every tangy bite. If you want to add more lemon flavor, you can serve these cookies with a quarter slice of fresh lemon on top.

Texture-Soft with a tender crumb, these cookies lend their wonderful texture to a packet of instant lemon pudding mix added to the dough. My secret ingredient to soft and flavorful lemon cookies. I cut back on the amount of flour I usually add to pudding cookies to preserve a chewier texture instead of cakey texture. This results in a softer cookie that spreads slightly while baking creating crisp and chewy edges. The glaze on top sets up to have crisp exterior and a melt in your mouth texture along with the soft and chewy lemon cookie underneath.

Hello Spring-When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. Pffft, that saying is so outdated. Let’s fix it. When life hands you lemons, make a cookie so delicious it punches you in the mouth with orgasmic fresh flavor. Better? Eh, I’ll keep working on it. Anyway, the flavor of this cookie is sweet but incredibly tangy with the glaze on top, and a bright lemon-y flavor that will (hopefully) chase all of your blues away. It’s hard to be crabby with a soft lemon cookie in your hand is all I’m saying. Life is good.

soft lemon cookies
These Soft Lemon Cookies are sure to brighten your day.

Ingredients You Need

-Butter-room temperature but not too soft. I leave my butter on the counter for 25-30 minutes so it is soft but still firm.

-Granulated Sugar

-Brown Sugar


-Lemons- I used two medium sized lemons plus a third to grate the extra zest on the cookie tops. I used half of the juice of lemon for the dough and the other half for the glaze.

-Lemon Extract-I used McCormick lemon extract in this recipe. Honestly? You could go without, but I have been trying to use up all of my extra baking ingredients I have in my pantry. You can also substitute vanilla or almond extract in this cookie with great results.

-Baking Soda

-Baking Powder

-Instant Lemon Jello Pudding-This will add a muted yellow color to your cookies, add lemon flavor, and keep the cookies pillow soft. If you do not want to use instant pudding, add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and an extra teaspoon of lemon extract.

-Salt-for flavor.


-Powdered Sugar-for the glaze.

soft lemon cookies
A perfect cookie for Spring.

Lemon-y Goodness Up Ahead

I am using my stand mixer for this recipe. The reason is I want to cream the butter, sugar, and eggs very well to create a thick and soft cookie. A handheld mixer would work great, and you can also achieve this by hand, but it will require some seriously strong arms. I believe in you if that’s the case.

In a stand mixer combine butter and both types of sugar on medium high speed for at least 5 minutes. I let mine go for 6 just because I wanted a whipped and creamy mixture.

I add in the eggs and continue to mix on medium high speed for another 1-2 minutes. It will be well incorporated and light in color.

Next, I zest both lemons then juice them both. I add all the lemon zest and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice along with a teaspoon of lemon extract to the mixing bowl. I mix this on medium speed until it is mixed through.

Next, I add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, instant lemon pudding mix (just the powder DO NOT prepare the pudding) and salt to the bowl and mix on low until it comes together into a soft dough.

I place the whole bowl into the fridge to set up and to allow the instant pudding mix to absorb into the dough for 30 minutes. If you want, you can scoop the dough onto a baking sheet and refrigerate up to 3 days in the fridge. The longer it chills in the fridge the better the flavor of the dough, but I was pressed for time this week, so I opted for 30 minutes here.

I took the dough out of the fridge, lined two baking sheets with parchment, and preheated the oven to 375*F.

Using a 2-ounce cookie scoop, I portion out 12 rounds of dough. I was able to get a small one-ounce ball of dough, so the recipe technically makes 13 cookies. Well, 12 and a half cookies.

I place 4 cookies on each baking sheet and bake them one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes. The cookies are done when they are puffy in the middle and the edges are golden brown.

I let the cookies set up on the baking sheet for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. This usually takes around 30 minutes.

While the cookies are cooling, I make the lemon glaze.

soft lemon cookies
Buttery, soft, and full of bright lemon flavor! These soft lemon cookies will have you swooning with delight.

Lemon Glaze

This glaze is super easy to make but packs a wonderful and tangy punch of lemon flavor.

In a bowl I combine the powdered sugar and lemon juice. The glaze will be quite thick, very similar to thick honey.

If the glaze is too thick you can thin out with a teaspoon of water. If the glaze is too thin, you can thicken with a ¼ cup of powdered sugar.

I like the glaze on the thicker side because it sets up with a nice crust on the edges and is smooth underneath.

After the cookies are cooled to room temperature, I dip each cookie in the glaze. Carefully I wipe the excess glaze on the edge of the bowl then place the glazed cookie back on the wire rack with a catch pan underneath. The glaze will drip so you want to set your rack back on top of the baking sheet to catch the drips and to cut down on mess. I repeat with the remaining cookies until they all have a glorious coating of shiny lemony lacquer.

You can also drizzle the glaze on top or skip the glaze and go for a dusting of powdered sugar.

The glaze will need to set before you can store them. I am in a humid hot climate, so this took upwards of 2 hours. This is a long time. If you are in a less humid climate this time can be greatly reduced or if you have a small fan on low setting it will let them set up quicker. You can definitely eat these beauties without the glaze setting up, but don’t try to store or package if it hasn’t yet. It will be a hot mess and ruin the presentation of the cookies and your packaging. Trust me.

I like to finish my cookies with a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest. It not only looks cute with a pop of yellow, but it also adds just a teeny bit more lemon flavor into this flavor packed cookie.

Store these cookies in a single layer in a tightly closed container. If you are going to layer them with the glaze, I recommend placing a slip of parchment paper in between layers so the glaze doesn’t stick to the bottoms.

There you have it, a simple and delicious soft lemon cookie with a tangy lemon glaze. A perfect way to say, ‘Farewell dreary winter weather’ and ‘Welcome Spring.’ These cookies would also be a great addition for your Easter menu. Don’t forget, it’s coming early this year!

If you try this recipe and love it as much as I do, please tag, follow, and like @sunshinetxcookies on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and TikTok. New posts every Thursday so be sure to follow me for more delicious cookie recipes. Happy Baking!

Soft Lemon Cookies

Chrissy Grundy
These soft baked lemon cookies are packed full of lemon flavor and topped with a tangy lemon glaze. Perfect spring cookie.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chill Time 30 minutes
Course Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 2 sticks Butter room temperature but still firm.
  • ¾ cup Granulated Sugar
  • ¼ cup Brown Sugar
  • ½ tspn Salt
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tbsp Lemon Zest zest of 2 medium lemons.
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice juice of ½ medium lemon.
  • 1 tspn Lemon Extract optional, adds more lemon flavor.
  • pckg Lemon Flavored Instant Pudding 3.4 ounce package of instant pudding mix.
  • ½ tspn Baking Soda
  • ½ tspn Baking Powder
  • cup All-Purpose Flour

Lemon Glaze

  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • lemon zest to garnish tops of cookies.


  • In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter and both types of sugar until pale and fluffy. This will take 4-5 minutes on medium high speed.
  • Add the 2 eggs and continue mixing on medium high until the eggs are fully combined 1-2 minutes.
  • Zest 2 lemons and add to the mixture along with 2 tablespoons lemon juice and a teaspoon of lemon extract (if using). Combine on medium speed into the egg and butter mixture.
  • Add the package of instant pudding, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Mix on low until a soft dough forms.
  • Place the bowl into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375*F.
  • Using a 2 ounce cookie scoop, or two round tablespoons of cookei dough, portion out 12-13 cookies. I was able to make 12 rounds of dough plus a tiny one for my kids from this batch.
  • Bake 4 cookies per parchment lined baking sheet at a time for 10-11 minutes. The cookies will spread while baking so do not crowd the pan.
  • Cool completely on a wire rack before dipping in glaze. This will take 30-45 minutes.

Lemon Glaze

  • In a bow combine powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice. Mix to form a smooth glaze, it should have the thickness of maple syrup.
  • Dip the cooled cookies one at a time and place on a wire rack to allow the glaze to set up.
  • Garnish cookies with fresh lemon zest if desired.
  • Enjoy!


These soft cookies will melt in your mouth! Full of lemon flavor and topped with a tangy and bright glaze, these soft lemon cookies will make a perfect addition to your spring menu and Easter table.
Keyword Easter Cookies, lemon, Lemon Cookies, lemon glaze, Spring Cookies

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Chrissy Grundy

Content Creator

Howdy! I love creating delicious cookie recipes. I enjoy spending time with my kids and husband in Buda, Texas and I am a huge supporter of local Texas producers. I am so happy you are here! Let’s start baking!

Chrissy Grundy

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