Soft Lemon Cookies are the perfect cookie for any occasion! This simple one bowl recipe comes together in just minutes giving you the best lemony treat.

Soft Lemon cookies stacked on each other on a white board.

If you love lemon, these cookies are for you! Soft lemon cookies are the perfect simple recipe to have on hand when you’re craving a lemony sweet.

And, if you love lemon desserts, be sure to try Lemon Polenta Cake made with cornmeal, or my fan-favorite Italian Lemon Ricotta Cake. And, for a real simple treat, try these delicious Lemon Blondies! If you love soft cookies, be sure to check out my Apple Spice Cookies recipe!

Why these Soft Lemon Cookies are the BEST!

Delicious recipes don’t have to be complicated or full of ingredients. That’s what makes these cookies so special. Just a few ingredients and you have the softest and fluffiest lemon cookie that’s sure to be your new favorite.

This recipe is full of pantry staples. And, since it’s made with olive oil instead of butter, you don’t have to wait for the butter to soften.

Also, with this recipe, there is no special equipment required. All you need is a bowl, spoon, and baking sheet. No hand mixer or even a second bowl for the dry ingredients.

Here, lemon is the main ingredient so you really get that lemony flavor in each bite. The recipe calls for the zest and juice of a lemon, but if you really love lemon, you could double the zest.

Lastly, this recipe is super easy to make. It’s a one-bowl cookie that comes together quick with no need for a hand mixer. Just stir together the ingredients and scoop into balls.

Ingredients

overhead photo of ingredients needed including flour, baking soda, egg, and olive oil.

Only seven ingredients required to make these delicious soft lemon cookies! You probably have most of them on hand already too! All you need is: flour, baking soda, lemon, egg, sugar, olive oil, and powdered sugar.

  • Olive oil: this recipe reminds me of an Italian cookie I used to make which is why I opted to include olive oil instead of butter. It gives the cookie a moist and sweet flavor. Opt for a neutral extra virgin olive oil rather than a heavily flavored one.
  • Lemon: an entire lemon (zest and juice) is needed for this recipe. If you happen to really love lemon, you can double the amount used. Or, if you wanted to try with a different flavor, orange juice and zest could be used instead.
  • Powdered sugar: to finish off this cookie, I roll the dough balls in powdered sugar before baking. You can, however, omit this step altogether. Alternatively, you can sprinkle powdered sugar on the cookie before serving.

Read on to see how simple and easy this recipe really is!

How to make soft lemon cookies

This recipe comes together quick and is great if you need a quick cookie for entertaining or just to snack on. All you need is a mixing bowl, spoon, and baking sheet (bonus points for a cookie scoop!)

process shots showing the batter in bowl and the dough rolled into balls and dipped in powdered sugar.

Step 1: mix together the egg, sugar, olive oil, lemon zest and juice in a mixing bowl. No need to use a mixer for this. Just stir together until combined.

Step 2: stir in the baking soda until it is dissolved. Then add in the flour and mix until combined. You will have a thick batter.

Step 3: Using a cookie scoop or spoon, measure out equal amounts of the batter and roll into balls. Toss the dough balls in the powdered sugar and place on baking sheet spaced about two inches apart.

Step 4: bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes, until the tops are cracked and puffed. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

soft lemon cookies on a white countertop with lemons behind them.

These soft lemon cookies make a great after dinner treat! I like to serve mine with coffee or tea. They are also a great midday treat or snack to have on hand.

Recipe Tips and FAQs

These deliciously soft lemon cookies are so easy to make and guaranteed to turn out perfect every time if you follow these tips!

  • Always weigh your flour to get a more accurate amount. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, spoon the flour into your measuring cups rather than scooping the flour straight from the container.
  • Use a mild-flavored olive oil in the recipe. Canola oil can be substituted in a pinch.
  • Once you add the flour to the batter, the dough will be thick. Continue stirring just until the flour is fully incorporated.
  • Use a cookie scoop to ensure even-sized cookies.
How much lemon zest and juice is in a lemon?

In recipes that call for the juice and zest of a lemon, you can use whatever lemon you have on hand. However, to be more exact, a medium-sized lemon will yield about 1 tablespoon of zest and about 4 tablespoons of juice.

How to store lemon cookies?

Lemon cookies are going to have a stronger more pronounced flavor so it’s always a good idea to store them separately from other cookies and food. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.

overhead photo of soft lemon cookies on a white countertop.

If you love lemon treats, be sure to check out these lemony favorites!

Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star rating in the recipe card below and/or review in the comments section further down the page.

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overhead photo of soft lemon cookies on a white countertop.

Soft Lemon Cookies

The perfect lemon cookie recipe! With just a few ingredients you can have a soft lemon cookie that's great for any occasion.
5 from 60 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 94kcal
Cost: 4-5

Equipment

  • baking sheet
  • mixing bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • cup olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (300 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or baking mats; set aside.
  • In a bowl, stir together the egg, sugar, olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice until well combined. Stir in the baking soda until combined. Add in the flour and stir until the mixture forms a batter.
  • Place the powdered sugar in a small bowl. Using a small scoop or spoon, measure out the dough and roll into balls. Roll the balls in the powdered sugar and place on the baking sheet about two inches apart.
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 12 minutes. Let cool for five minutes before removing to cooling rack to cool completely.

Video

Notes

  • Olive oil: the olive oil gives the cookie a moist and sweet flavor. Opt for a neutral extra virgin olive oil rather than a heavily flavored one.
  • Lemon: an entire lemon (zest and juice) is needed for this recipe. If you happen to really love lemon, you can double the amount used. Or, if you wanted to try with a different flavor, orange juice and zest could be used instead.
  • Powdered sugar: to finish off this cookie, I roll the dough balls in powdered sugar before baking. You can, however, omit this step altogether. Alternatively, you can bake and then sprinkle powdered sugar on the cookie before serving.
  • Storage: store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. Or you can freeze in an airtight container for up to a month. 

Nutrition

Calories: 94kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 8mg | Sodium: 26mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg
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Soft Lemon Cookies

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Recipe Rating




47 Comments

      1. Made these strictly to recipe and they came out great! But, next time (and there will be a next time), I will use a one tablespoon scoop (the cookies were a little larger than I would like and I did not get the same count as the recipe using a 1 1/2 tbl spoon scoop). I have been searching for a non-butter lemon cookie, so thank very much for sharing your recipe.

  1. Hello! Trying these for the first time. I’m a lemon lover; zested and juiced 2 lemons. Do I need to adjust the dry ingredients in order to compensate for the extra liquid? My batter was not thick enough to roll into balls. Appreciate your feedback please!

    1. Hmm? If you add too much liquid it may be difficult to roll them. Hope they turned out delicious either way!

  2. 5 stars
    I added an extra lemons worth of juice, this are the best! First bite and my fiancé said “these are the best cookies I’ve ever had”. Winner!

      1. 5 stars
        Hi there and Happy Holidays!
        I never leave comments on recipes but I find myself amazed every time I bake this super easy recipe. Thank you for sharing. They are so light and fluffy and flavorful.
        Cheers!

  3. Hello, the taste is wonderful, light, and definitely lemony. However, my cookies turned out with a smooth surface. They don’t look as nice and crinkly as your picture. Did I do something wrong? I followed the directions perfectly.

    1. It’s possible you dredged them in too much powdered sugar. Also, make sure you oven is not on convection mode. Hope you enjoyed them otherwise!

  4. 5 stars
    I make these all the time. I freeze the baked cookies and then room temp. thaw because it’s just the two of us. Excellent, my Sicilian husband LOVES these cookies.

  5. Hi Angela, I would love to make these lemon cookies, but I don’t have any olive oil. Can I use avocado oil or butter instead and would it be the same amount as the olive oil?
    Thanks, Rill

    1. Hi Rill. Avocado oil would be a great substitute. You would use the same amount. Hope this helps!

      1. 5 stars
        Hi Angela, Your reply to me was very helpful. However I decided to use some EVOO, and try that first and will try the Avacado oil sometime. These cookies have become one of my my favorite cookies to make and I love it that I don’t have to get out a mixer and only use one bowl! My husband and neighbors love them too!

  6. I found the batter hard to work with. It was very soft. I added more flour but I think it made to cookie a bit heavy. I saw that someone suggested putting the batter in the fridge. Do you recommend that?

    1. 5 stars
      I love these! I just made a batch and can’t stop eating them. I have a lot of lemons so I’ll definitely make more.

  7. Could you tell me how big these cookies turn out to be? They look no bigger than about 2 inches in circumference, is that right? I’m wondering if they have a big enough surface area to half dip in lemon icing/white chocolate for decor, or best to keep them cute small and rustic!

    1. Hi. They are meant to be smaller, 2 inches sounds about right. I think you could try dipping them half in white chocolate… that’s a great idea and sounds delicious!

  8. 5 stars
    I made these cookies exactly as directed. They are very good! They puffed up and I like the crackle tops. I love lemon and may take your suggestion next time and add more zest. Also, the dough was very sticky and difficult to work with so I chilled it for an hour or more and it was much easier to roll into balls. Thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    I hesitated to make these cookies because I’m the only lemon lover here. So I made a batch and only baked 5 of them, the rest I flash froze and put them in a ziploc for later cravings. Well, I only got to have one of those cookies, everyone loved them. They baked perfectly from frozen too.
    Thank you for a brilliant recipe.

  10. I just picked up at my local Olive Oil Co a bottle of lemon infused olive oil. I want to use this in place of the regular olive oil, but would I need to cut back on the lemon juice or zest. These cookies are also low in potassium, which is a plus for me. Can’t wait for your answer. Thank you.

    1. That’s a tough call since I don’t know how strong the lemon infused olive oil is. My best recommendation would be to use the lemon olive oil and then taste the batter to see if it needs additional lemon juice or zest. Hope this helps!

    2. The lemon infused oil is REALLY strong. It might ruin the cookie recipe. I just add a small dollop to a oil and vinegar salad dressing. I think it’s best used for a finishing oil. Maybe try just a little lemon extract instead.

  11. Hello! I am thinking about making these for a care package to ship to a friend, so they wouldn’t be refrigerated for a few days. How well would these cookies keep at room temperature?

  12. 5 stars
    Lemon is my favorite flavor in baked treats and these cookies did not disappoint. Thanks. I’ll definitely be making these again!