Super soft lemon cookies are loaded with cream cheese and fresh lemon. They are pillowy and delicious with the right balance of sweet and tangy citrus.
If you are a fan of bright lemon treats, these cookies are for you. They are simple and soft and oh so good.
Using cream cheese in place of some of the butter in cookies helps to make them so soft. These cookies have a texture that is almost a cross between cakey and fudgy.
Somehow they are both airy and almost a little bit dense. The lemony glaze pulls it all together and adds another hit of lemon.
I was introduced to a similar recipes for lemon cookies by a co-worker’s sister. During an all day holiday cooking baking extravaganza, she made really yummy lemon cookies that we fell in love with.
I took that idea and put in even more cream cheese to make them even more soft and luscious. The results were amazing if I do say so myself.
The texture is similar to sour cream drop cookies. But these have a little bit more chew.
Tips for Making Great Cookies
Make sure your cream cheese and butter are at room temperature before starting. This will make combining the two a whole lot easier.
Having the dairy good and soft helps to prevent chunks in your batter. Then add the sugar and beat on medium for a couple of minutes to make sure it is light and fluffy.
Adding the eggs one at a time also helps them to incorporate easier. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl along the way to make sure everything is getting included.
This recipe is best with fresh lemons. The zest adds big flavor and juicing the fruit is pretty easy.
However, if you have to use bottled lemon juice that will work too. If you do, I would suggest adding a teaspoon or two of lemon extract to make up for the lack of zest.
The dough will be a little bit sticky, even after it has chilled. That’s okay and is part of what will give you that soft texture later.
Using a cookie scoop makes portioning the sticky dough a lot easier. Plus then your cookies are all the same size and will bake evenly.
I used a medium cookie scoop which is about 2 Tablespoons. You can make them smaller or larger, just adjust the bake time accordingly.
The cookies should look set when they are baked, but they shouldn’t take on much color. You want them to stay soft with just a bit of denser fudgieness in the center.
When the cookies have cooled, drizzle on a quick powdered sugar glaze. I used mostly lemon juice and a splash of milk to make the glaze to give another lemony boost.
More Soft Cookie Recipes
Sweetened condensed milk cookies are soft and simple. The addition of that can sweet liquid gold gives them that little something extra special. You are going to love them!
Spiced molasses cookies are warm, sweet and spicy. They are also soft and chewy. They are sure to be a hit on your holiday cookie tray!
If soft chocolate cookies with a light not too sweet finish are what you are after, chocolate sour cream cookies are for you. Dress them up with a little frosting for an extra special treat.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a review in the recipe card below!
Soft Lemon Cookies
- ½ cup butter softened
- 8 oz. cream cheese softened
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup lemon juice
- zest from 2 lemons
- 2 Tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 cups flour
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth.½ cup butter, 8 oz. cream cheese
- Add sugar and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes.2 cups granulated sugar
- Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Then stir in vanilla and lemon zest.2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, zest from 2 lemons
- Pour in lemon juice, mixing until combined.½ cup lemon juice
- In a medium bowl, stir together dry ingredients. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and mix until uniform. The dough will be a bit sticky.2 Tablespoons cornstarch, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 5 cups flour, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Cover mixer bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.
- When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350°F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
- Use a medium cookie scoop to portion out about 2 Tablespoons of dough, leaving two inches between the mounds of dough on the cookie sheet.
- Bake for 11-13 minutes or until set. They shouldn't take on much color.
- Cool on the pan for 2 minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk and lemon juice. Adjust consistency as needed, then spoon over cookies. Allow to set before stacking.2 cups powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon milk, 2 Tablespoons lemon juice