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Lemon Sugar Cookies Featured 3

Lemon Sugar Cookies with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Lemon sugar cookies with lemon cream cheese frosting are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, with a delicate texture and a bright burst of fresh lemon flavor. Easy to make, with no rolling required!
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Keyword drop sugar cookies, lemon cream cheese frosting, lemon sugar cookies
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 37 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 118kcal
Author Marsha Maxwell


  • KitchenAid KSM180QHSD 100 Year Limited Edition Queen of Hearts Stand Mixer, Passion Red
  • Wilton Industries Perfect Results Mega Cooling Rack
  • Wilton Perfect Results Premium Non-Stick 21 x 15-Inch Mega Baking Pan
  • Measuring Cups and Magnetic Measuring Spoons Set


For the cookies:

  • 1/2 cup 1 stick or 110g unsalted butter, softened (see notes to substitute salted butter)
  • 1/2 cup 125ml vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup 100g sugar
  • 1/2 cup 60g powdered sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon 3ml butter vanilla bakery emulsion (or substitute vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 teaspoon 3ml lemon bakery emulsion (or substitute lemon extract)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest or zest of one lemon
  • 2 1/2 cups 315g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon 3g baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon 3g cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon 2g salt

For the frosting:

  • 1 stick 1/2 cup, 4 ounces or 113g unsalted butter, at room temperature (see notes to substitute salted butter)
  • 8 oz. 250g cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons 30ml lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest or zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon 3ml butter vanilla bakery emulsion (or substitute vanilla extract)
  • 1/2 teaspoon 3ml lemon bakery emulsion (or substitute lemon extract)
  • 1/4 teaspoon 2g table salt
  • 6-8 cups 600-729g confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch optional

For the garnish:

  • Candy sprinkles candy pearls, or sparkling sugar (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Line a cooking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Make the cookie dough:

  • Using a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer, beat together the butter, oil, sugar, and powdered sugar until well blended. Continue to mix while adding in the egg and bakery emulsions.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and salt.
  • Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture, one cup at a time. Mix to combine after each addition.
  • Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop 12 balls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake at 375 degrees for 8-12 minutes, or until the bottoms and
    edges of the cookies are browned slightly.
  • Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
  • Repeat the scooping and baking process to make 12 more cookies.

Make the frosting:

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, add butter and cream cheese. Beat on medium speed with the whisk attachment for about 1 minute, until smooth.
  • Add 1 cup of powdered sugar, and beat until combined. Repeat with 1 more cup of powdered sugar.
  • Add lemon juice, lemon zest, bakery emulsions, and salt, and beat until combined.
  • Add the remaining powdered sugar, one cup at a time, beating until combined after each addition, for a total of 6-8 cups, until the frosting is the texture you want.
  • Optionally, you can add up to one tablespoon cornstarch if you want to thicken the frosting without adding more sugar. Do not add more than one tablespoon of cornstarch, or this will affect the taste of the frosting.
  • Beat for 2-3 additional minutes, until frosting is smooth, thick, and fluffy.

Frost and decorate the cookies:

  • Using a pastry bag fitted with a star or round tip, pipe frosting onto each cookie in a swirl
    pattern, starting from the outside of the cookie and working toward the center.
  • Alternatively, you can frost the cookies with an offset spatula, butter knife, or spoon.
  • Immediately after frosting each cookie, add sprinkles, candy pearls, or sparkling sugar to decorate (optional).


Note: You can substitute salted butter for unsalted butter. If using salted butter, omit the salt from the recipe.