Lemon Crinkle Cookies
These Lemon Crinkle Cookies have lots of fresh lemon zest in the cookie dough for a bright flavor, plus a hint of cardamom for spice. They’re one of my favorite Christmas cookies but they also work beautifully for spring and Easter!
Crinkle cookies are one of my absolute favorite treats for the holidays, and these Lemon Crinkles are one of my oldest recipes and most beloved cookies.
Chocolate Crinkle Cookies may be the most popular of all crinkle cookies, but I like this lemon version the most.
These cookies somehow manage to be both “different” and familiar at the same time, and I always like a good twist on a classic.
The texture is still the same as other crinkles, with a slightly crisp edge and a delicate balance of chewy and soft in the middle. But the flavor is different! The lemon and cardamom are magical together.
How to Make Lemon Crinkle Cookies:
As an overview, we will combine the spiced dry ingredients with the wet until a dough forms, then portion it into balls, roll in confectioner’s sugar, and bake! There’s no chilling required for this recipe.
Assemble the Dry Ingredients
Combine all purpose flour, baking powder, lemon zest, cardamom, and salt:
Minimal ingredients, but quite fragrant!
Start the Wet Ingredients
Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, like this:
Add two eggs and a splash of vanilla, and mix until incorporated:
Combine Dry and Wet to Make a Dough
Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix gently until a cookie dough forms:
Make sure to only mix to the point where the flour just disappears and the dough is cohesive. Take care not to overmix.
Shape and Roll the Balls
Use a medium cookie scoop (affiliate) to portion out the cookie dough, then roll into a ball between the palms of your hands.
Then roll the ball in confectioner’s sugar:
If it looks like there’s an obscene amount of confectioner’s sugar on the cookie dough ball, that’s perfect.
Most of it will get absorbed as the cookie bakes, so you want a lot on there.
Bake the cookies for 13 minutes, until the cookies flatten out a little bit and the tops crinkle:
If you like chocolate more than lemon, these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are basically the same cookie, but in chocolate form. My Peanut Butter Cookies also have a similar crisp on the outside, soft in the middle texture.
You can see all of my cookie recipes in my Cookie Recipes section of my recipe index. Happy baking!
Lemon Crinkle Cookies Tips and FAQ:
Can you freeze these? Yes, with these cookies I honestly just freeze them after they’ve already been baked and cooled, but you could also freeze the dough balls, then roll into confectioner’s sugar right before baking. Add a few extra minutes to baking time if you bake straight from frozen.
How to store: These cookies will keep for a few days at room temperature, but not much longer since there are no preservatives. These freeze pretty well, and I recommend that if you don’t plan to finish them within a few days.
Cardamom substitutions: Cardamom is a wonderful spice and I think it’s worth seeking out here. But you can also play around with ground cloves and ground cinnamon.
Lemon substitutions: You can absolutely use any type of citrus zest here. Orange is wonderful, and you can also do lime or grapefruit.
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
- 10 ounces all-purpose flour, by weight (2 cups, measured)
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1.5 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 8 tbsp unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, cardamom, baking powder, salt, and lemon zest. Set aside.
- Using a hand mixer, cream together the butter and granulated sugar on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until fluffy and combined.
- Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract until incorporated, about 30 seconds.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix on low speed until the flour is incorporated.
- Use a medium 1.5tbsp cookie scoop to portion out cookies, then roll the portioned dough into small balls, using the palms of your hands.
- Place the confectioner's sugar in a bowl, and roll the cookie dough balls in the confectioner's sugar, coating generously. Place the balls on a sheet pan about 2 inches apart, 12 per half sheet pan.
- Bake the cookies for 13 minutes, until the surface of the cookies have crinkled and the cookies have flattened slightly. The cookies will not be browned. Cool the cookies on a wire rack and serve.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
Post updated in March 2021. Originally published November 2017.