Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Lemon Crinkle Cookies by Brownie Mischief
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Crinkle cookies, also known as crackle cookies, have been around for a very long time. The pretty, crispy, cracked exterior and the soft, moist interior are what we love about them! There’s definitely no shortage of recipes for crinkles out there, everything from chocolate to red velvet. I even saw an audacious cookie company selling lemon crinkles for twelve dollars each, more money than it will cost for this entire batch! So many of the recipes I tried were disappointing, especially the ones made with cake mix. So I created my own version and I’m sharing it with you. Here’s to making sure delicious lemon crinkle cookies are available for all to enjoy, not just a select few.

This recipe requires a bit of chilling, which I know many people don’t like because they’re impatient. I happen to be one of those people. Old fashioned crinkle cookies require about 3 hours of chilling. My recipe has the addition of cornstarch, which helps prevent spreading and allows for a shorter chilling time. As an added bonus, cornstarch makes the cookies more tender. Win win!

Fresh lemon zest and lemon juice in these cookies is crucial to the best lemon flavor. A bit of pure lemon extract is added to enhance that flavor. Don’t be tempted to use imitation extracts. The flavor will disappoint you. I added two drops of lemon yellow food color, which made them so pretty they look like pure sunshine!

Print Recipe
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Lemon cookies with a crackled, crispy exterior and a soft, tender interior
Course Dessert
Course Dessert
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  2. In a large bowl, cream the butter, sugar and lemon zest together until light and fluffy.
  3. Beat in the egg until well combined.
  4. Mix in the lemon juice, extracts and food coloring until well combined.
  5. Add the flour mixture and mix just until combined.
  6. Refrigerate the cookie dough for 30 minutes to one hour.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Roll the dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons each. **I used a #30 portion scoop.
  9. Roll the dough balls generously in powdered sugar.
  10. Place two inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
  11. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet for one minute then transfer to a cooling rack.
Recipe Notes

*To find Americolor lemon yellow gel food color, click here.

**To find a #30 cookie scoop, click here.

To find the striped wax paper pictured above, click here.


33 thoughts on “Lemon Crinkle Cookies

  1. Ariana says:

    The recipe says to let cool for 1 minute and then transfer to a cooling rack… how much time are we supposed to let them cool for on the rack?

    • Mari Vasseur says:

      Hi Ariana,
      Let them cool on the rack until they’re completely cool.This will take anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the temperature in your kitchen.

  2. Iva says:

    Hello! The cookies look amazing! My only question is, what do you use to cream together butter, sugar and lemon zest? Would a whisk be okay?
    Thank you in advance!

    • Mari Vasseur says:

      Hi Stella, if you substitute the all purpose flour with almond flour, the texture will be completely different. Almond flour creates a very crumbly texture in cookies.

  3. Callie says:

    Some of the best cookies I’ve ever made. My moms reaction when she tried one was “holy hell” and the rest of my family was mad I didn’t make more! I made my own glaze by mixing lemon juice and powdered sugar and drizzled it on top of the cookies and I think it made them perfect 🙂

  4. Emily says:

    If I don’t have lemon extract, can I just use more lemon juice? These popped up on my Instagram and look delicious. I have every ingredient to try making them except for the lemon extract. Thanks in advance!

    • Mari Vasseur says:

      Hi Emily!
      If you don’t have lemon extract, you can add more lemon zest. Add 1 extra teaspoon of lemon zest to replace the 1/2 teaspoon of lemon extract. Adding more lemon juice won’t provide the concentrated flavor needed and it will throw off the moisture balance in the recipe. Happy baking!

  5. Allison Levine says:

    Hi! I made the dough pretty late at night and let it sit in the freezer. I also didn’t have baking soda. Will that be ok?

    • Mari Vasseur says:

      Hi Allison! Baking soda is one of the leaveners in the recipe. It reacts with the acid in the lemon juice, helping the cookies to puff up and become light. Without baking soda, the cookies might turn out flat and a little dense.

  6. Ava says:

    I’m not a pro baker in any sense of the word, and most of my cookies or loaves or cakes come out dry or don’t taste right, but these are PHENOMENAL. THEY TASTE LIKE I BOUGHT THEM FROM A BAKERY!! 10/10 recommend!

    • Mari Vasseur says:

      Hi Vanshika, the egg in this recipe provides moisture, structure, leavening and color. If you leave it out, you won’t get the same results. I understand that some people don’t eat eggs. There are many egg substitutes out there, but I haven’t tested them in this recipe.

  7. EMILIE says:

    I made these and they turned out so good! I’m obsessed with them! Thanks for sharing such amazing recipes! I’m about to make them again for the 4th time!

    • Mari Vasseur says:

      Hi Cecelia, I’m glad you liked the cookies. I like using a combination of lemon zest and pure lemon extract. This recipe calls for the zest of one lemon, which is about a tablespoon from a medium lemon. If you want more lemon flavor, I suggest adding more lemon zest. Adding too much lemon extract can make your baked goods taste medicinal. Adding additional lemon juice will throw off the moisture balance in the recipe.

  8. Fay says:

    I wanted to make these cookies for my friends birthday and I was wondering if putting the cookies in the refrigerator for a couple day would have a effect on them?

    • Mari Vasseur says:

      Hi Fay, you can refrigerate the unbaked dough up to 24 hours. The best way to store the baked cookies is in a covered container at room temperature for up to three or four days.

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