Lemon Crinkle Cookies are soft, sweet, with bright lemon flavor, and great for spring or any season. Made with only 5 pantry ingredients, they’re a great baking hack for making delicious cookies in a pinch!
Soft, chewy cookies are one of my weaknesses, along with anything lemon. So it’s no surprise how much I love these Lemon Crinkle Cookies. They’re so simple, yet stand apart from other cookies with their pop of contrasting colors and fun patterned surface. Plus, delicious!
What are Crinkle Cookies?
Crinkle Cookies were originally created by Helen Fredell of Saint Paul, Minnesota and then later became popular thanks to one of Betty Crocker’s 1950’s publications, the Cookie Carnival. They have a soft cake-like pillowy texture inside, with a signature crackle on the outside.
Chocolate is probably the most beloved variety, but we are smitten with these Lemon Crinkle Cookies, with their bright, beautiful look and fresh citrus flavor. We can’t get enough of them!
Lemon Crinkle Cookies Recipe
Ingredients you’ll need:
- Lemon cake mix – To simplify and make quick cookies, we use a box mix.
- Unsalted butter – Unsalted butter is preferred so the cookies aren’t salty.
- Eggs – This is used to bind the dough.
- Lemons – You’ll need fresh lemon juice and zest for the best lemon flavor. We avoid using lemon extract because it makes these cookies taste very artificial.
- Powdered sugar – This is what creates the “crinkle” surface. Don’t use granulated sugar.
How to Make Crinkle Cookies
That decorative surface is created by rolling balls of cookie dough in powdered sugar before they’re baked. As the cookies bake and spread, the powdered sugar breaks apart and forms a unique crackled design. They always look so pretty on a cookie platter!
The cookie dough is incredibly soft, so we opt to chill it before forming the cookie balls, which makes it easier to work with and also helps prevent the cookies from spreading too much while they bake.
- Make them gluten free: If you have a favorite gluten free box cake mix, you can use that.
- Change the citrus: Easily swap out the lemon flavor with lime or orange.
- Add-ins: Like “stuff” in your cookies? I get you. Feel free to add in some white chocolate chips or chopped nuts.
Make Ahead and Storage
These lemon cookies will keep up to 5 days, stored at room temperature in an airtight container.
To Freeze Cookie Dough Balls Before Baking: You can freeze the raw cookie dough balls for quick cookies later on. Form the balls, but instead of placing the cookie sheets in the oven, pop them in the freezer until solid, then transfer to a freezer-safe plastic bag for longer term storage. They’ll keep up to a month. Bake all of them later or just a couple at a time, straight from freezer to oven. Extend the baking time by a couple minutes.
Other Easy Cookies We Love
Other Lemon Desserts
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
- 15.25 ounce box lemon cake mix
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- In a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter, eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth and incorporated.
- Cover and chill the dough for at least 45 minutes (This step is not mandatory, but it is recommended. It will make the dough easier to work with and prevent the cookies from spreading too much while baking.)
- Position a rack in center of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (you will likely have to bake these in batches.)
- Once the dough is chilled, using a tablespoon sized cookie scoop, form the dough into 1-inch balls.
- Roll the dough balls in the powdered sugar to coat well (don't shake off.)
- Set balls 2-inches apart on the baking sheets.
- Bake 9-10 minutes until the edges are *just* golden and firm, but the cracks appear slightly moist/underbaked.
- Remove from oven and cool on pans for 3 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve and enjoy!