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Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies

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Lemon gooey butter cookies are soft and delicious. Just like their namesake gooey butter cake, this recipe starts with a cake mix, butter and cream cheese for the perfect decadent texture.

lemon gooey butter cookies on white background with striped towel.

Make soft and delicious lemon gooey butter cookies with only 7 ingredients. They are full of bright lemon flavor and the perfect buttery texture.

Ooey Gooey Cake, or gooey butter cake, is a St. Louis tradition.  Since we live only a couple of hours from there, it shows up at our gathers regularly too.  It is always a favorite.  

A dense cakey base covered in butter and cream cheese.  What is not to love?!  Well, these are that… in cookie form… and with lemon!

The best thing about cookies like this is how easy they are to make. There is basically no measuring of ingredients, just dump and go!

bowl of yellow cookie dough for gooey butter cookies.

 I have made several varieties of cookies that start with a cake mix over the years. Zach’s birthday cookies are always a hit, they are super simple and loaded with sprinkles. In fact our friends think they are so good they nicknamed them crack cookies!

Then there are chocolate gooey butter cookies. They are every bit as good as the combination of chocolate, cream cheese and butter in cookie form sounds.

bowl of lemon cookie dough next to tray of balls of dough rolled in powdered sugar ready to bake

 But I have to say these lemon gooey butter cookies are the first to disappear when they show up on a dessert buffet. Especially if I bring them to work, they will go in a snap!

I made them for my coworkers within the first few months on the job. They talked about them for days afterwards.

tray of freshly baked powdered sugar coated lemon cookies.

We have a snack table in the office that rarely goes empty for long.  After the holidays I think we went on a self imposed detox and it hasn’t been quite as full an normal.

So I thought I would spruce it up with bright lemony cookies.  I didn’t hear a single complaint and the plate was empty quickly.  I suppose that’s a sign that they need more cookies!

Tips and Tricks

Make sure your butter and cream cheese are softened so they are easier to blend. Blend them together until the mixture is smooth, creamy and lump free before adding the remaining ingredients.

Give the cookie dough a nice long chill in the refrigerator before baking. This will make it easier to scoop and roll in the powdered sugar later.

close up of soft pillowy lemon gooey butter cookies.

It will also help to give the center the soft gooey texture that makes these cookies so good. Chilled dough keeps the cookies puffy and soft.

For the best results, bake these cookies on parchment paper or silicone mats. Do not overbake these cookies, they are done when they are puffed up and the outside is cracked.

How do I store gooey butter cookies?

These cookies stay soft for at least a week if stored in an airtight container at room temperature. You can freeze them for up to three months.

More Great Lemon Treats

If you like these cookies, lemon chess bars are going to be right up your alley. They have all of the butter and cream cheese goodness in a soft and gooey cakey bar.

For another fun cookie recipe using lemon cake mix, check out lemon blueberry whoopie pies. Or whip up some super soft homemade lemon cookies if you don’t want to start with a mix.

A lemon Texas sheet cake is a great dessert for feeding a crowd. It is moist, delicious and oh so easy to make.

Classic lemon bars are another excellent option. Or whip up a lemon honey Bundt cake or a lemon blueberry Bundt cake for an extra special treat.

Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!

Soft lemon cookies with crackly powdered sugar exterior, ready to eat.

Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies

This easy 7 ingredient cookie recipe makes perfectly soft cookies with a gooey butter center and big lemon flavor. They are easy to make with the help of a cake mix and they taste amazing.
4.92 from 12 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24 Cookies
Calories 161 kcal


  • 1 lemon cake mix
  • ½ teaspoon lemon extract
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup powdered sugar


  • In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese.
    8 oz cream cheese, ½ cup butter
  • Stir in egg, extracts, and cake mix until uniform.
    ½ teaspoon lemon extract, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 egg, 1 lemon cake mix
  • Chill dough for two hours
  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • Roll a Tablespoon of dough into small balls. Then roll the balls in a bowl of powdered sugar and place a couple of inches apart on a cookie sheet
    ½ cup powdered sugar
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet for a couple of minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.



Serving: 1ServingCalories: 161kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 2gFat: 8gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 222mgSugar: 12g
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Recipe Rating


Tuesday 26th of February 2019

Thank you!


Sunday 24th of February 2019

These look amazing! I pinned them so I can gather ingredients and make some asap. :)

Congrats on getting most clicks on Snickerdoodle!

Blessings, Babychaser


Tuesday 26th of February 2019

Thank you, I hope you enjoy them! <3


Monday 18th of February 2019

When I saw these, it brought back some great memories. I love these cookies!


Tuesday 26th of February 2019

Yay! I love food memories!


Wednesday 13th of February 2019

Hi Carlee, ooooo lemon cookies, a close second to chocolate chip cookies, but we don't get lemon cake mix here. Which is a shame as these sound so good!



Tuesday 26th of February 2019

Oh man! I am sure you could make delicious lemon cookies anyway, but this is such a super easy way to do it!

Andrea Nine

Wednesday 13th of February 2019

I love lemon so very much! I really want to try these, such a pretty Spring color too! xo


Tuesday 26th of February 2019

We can use all the bright things we can get after this doozie of a winter! Thank you!