Super Soft Lemon Cookies

These Super Soft Lemon Cookies are simple, lemony and incredibly tender. The secret? Cream cheese! Once baked top with a dusting of powdered sugar and prepare to fall in love. This recipe yields 27 cookies.

Super Soft Lemon Cookies

This one goes out to all my lemon dessert lovers.

How is it that I’m just now sharing this lemon cookie recipe? Well, it’s been twelve years that I’ve been blogging and only recently did I discover what would happen if you substituted cream cheese instead of butter in a cookie recipe. What started as a whim (because I only had 1 stick of unsalted butter on hand) turned into a now favorite tender, super soft – I’m talking quite literally melt-in-your-mouth lemony cookie.

Basically, these citrusy gems are loosely adapted from my snickerdoodle cookie recipe, (swapping half the butter for cream cheese) but with lemon zest, juice and extract. Because can you ever have too much lemon?

Super Soft Lemon Cookies

No. No you can’t.

ingredients for Super Soft Lemon Cookies

To Make These Super Soft Lemon Cookies You Will Need:

  • lemon zest
  • sugar
  • unbleached all-purpose flour
  • cream of tartar
  • baking powder
  • fine sea salt
  • unsalted butter (softened)
  • cream cheese (softened)
  • egg plus egg yolk
  • pure vanilla extract
  • lemon extract
  • lemon juice
  • powdered sugar

dry ingredients

In a medium bowl, measure and add; 1-3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon fine salt (sea salt or Himalayan).

combined dry ingredients

Whisk to combine and set off to the side.

lemon zest and sugar

Next grate the zest from 1 medium sized lemon and add it to 1 cup granulated sugar. Use your impeccably clean fingers to massage the sugar and the zest together until the sugar resembles wet sand.

butter, cream cheese and lemon sugar

In a large bowl, add 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened unsalted butter, 1/2 cup (4 ounces) softened cream cheese and the lemon sugar.

creamed ingredients

Blend until light and creamy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go.

egg, egg yolk, vanilla and lemon extract, lemon juice

Next, add in 1 egg plus an egg yolk, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract, the juice of 1/2 the lemon (about 2 tablespoons).

combined wet ingredients

Blend until thoroughly combined.

add wet to dry

Gradually add a little of the flour mixture and mix until just incorporated.

cover and chill 1 hour

Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat Your Oven To 375°

measure

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or a silicon baking mat. Scoop and place 12 cookies roughly 2-inches apart.

Keep unused dough refrigerated between batches, otherwise they will spread more while baking.

place on lined baking sheet

Bake on the middle rack of your preheated oven for 9 to 10 minutes. Rotating halfway through to ensure even baking.

baked cookies

Allow the cookies to rest for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

cool on wire rack

Repeat with remaining chilled cookie dough.

Super Soft Lemon Cookies

Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar and enjoy!

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Super Soft Lemon Cookies

Enjoy! And if you give this recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!

Super Soft Lemon Cookies

Super Soft Lemon Cookies

Print

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

These Super Soft Lemon Cookies are simple, lemony and incredibly tender. The secret? Cream cheese! Once baked top with a dusting of powdered sugar and prepare to fall in love.
Course Desserts & Sweet Treats
Cuisine American
Keyword baking, citrus, cookies, cream cheese, lemon, lemony cookies
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings 27 cookies
Calories 108kcal
Author Laurie McNamara

Ingredients

  • cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 lemon zested
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) softened
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese (4 ounces) softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/2 lemon juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  • In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder and cream of tartar. Set aside.
  • Combine lemon zest with granulated sugar. Use your fingers to massage the sugar into the zest. Stop once the sugar resembles wet sand.
  • In a larger bowl, add softened cream cheese, unsalted butter and lemon sugar. Mix until light and fluffy.
  • Next add in the whole egg plus an egg yolk, vanilla, lemon extract and juice of 1/2 a lemon. Mix until incorporated.
  • Gradually add in the flour mixture. Mix until the flour is just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as you go.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  • Once chilled, preheat your oven to 375°
  • Use a metal scoop to measure out the cookie dough. Place 12 scoops of cookie dough 2-inches or so apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat.

    Keep unused dough refrigerated between batches, otherwise the cookies will spread more while baking.

  • Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan halfway through baking.
  • Remove and let cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completley.
  • Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 108kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 68mg | Potassium: 30mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 181IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg