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.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies - On Wooden Cutting Board

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. I wish I could bake you some!

Three Lemon Christmas Cookies On A Dark Wooden Cutting Board

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:

Dry Ingredients For Lemon Crinkle Cookies With Flour, Baking Powder, Cardamom, Sugar, Salt, Lemon Zest

Minimal ingredients, but quite fragrant!

Start the Wet Ingredients

Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy, like this:

Creamed Butter And Sugar In Duralex Glass Mixing Bowl With KitchenAid Hand Mixer Beaters

Add two eggs and a splash of vanilla, and mix until incorporated:

Wet Ingredients For Lemon Crinkle Cookies With Hand Mixer Beaters

Combine Dry and Wet to Make a Dough

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix gently until a cookie dough forms:

Lemon Crinkle Cookie Dough In DUralex Glass Bowl With Pink GIR Spatula

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:

Dipping Lemon Crinkle Cookie Dough Ball Into Sifted Powdered 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.

Crinkle Cookie Dough Balls Rolled In Powdered Sugar On Silpat Silicone Mat

Bake!

Bake the cookies for 13 minutes, until the cookies flatten out a little bit and the tops crinkle:

Lemon Crinkle Cookie Recipe - On A Wooden Board With Powdered Sugar Sprinkling Wand

If you like chocolate more than lemon, these Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are basically the same cookie, but in chocolate form.

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.

Three Lemon Christmas Cookies On A Dark Wooden Cutting Board

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are a classic cookie for the holidays, but did you know you can make them in other flavors too? These Lemon Crinkle Cookies have lots of fresh lemon zest and a hint of cardamom for a bright and exotic flavor!
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Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

Adapted from one of my old recipes for Meyer Lemon Crinkle Cookies. I increased the flour here and made a few other changes. If you want a flatter/thinner crinkle cookie here, you can use 1.75 cups of flour instead of 2. The bake time will be the same.

Nutrition

Calories: 163kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 6g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 34mg, Sodium: 92mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 15g

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.