Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies

filed under: Cookies on June 5, 2019

Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies are going to be THE cookie of summer! These from-scratch Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies were inspired by my Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies. They are sweet and satisfying and super fun to make! Don’t miss my 50 Best Cookie Recipes if you want more great cookie options! If you love lemon desserts, try my easy Lemon Mousse!

Oh, and here is the super popular Orange Creamsicle version! 

Lemon Cookies

Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies

If you are looking for a delicious cookie that has the most wonderful hint of lemon, these are the cookies for you. I am a huge fan of my Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies and thought that if I made a few simple changes to the recipe it would convert well to a lemon cookie. Well, (oddly) I was right! These cookies are soft, sweet, a little tart from the lemon zest, and easy to make! Once you try them I can’t help but think you will agree! Along the same lines, I also went for an Orange Creamsicle Cookie following the same butter cookies recipe!

Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies

What Are Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies?

Basically one of the sweetest cookies known to man! When my husband tried one his response was, “Now that’s a good cookie.” The kids were just as pleased, asking if they could do chores to earn another sweet cookie! They are addicting, which is tough because they are so sweet you know you shouldn’t eat two!

How to Make Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies

The ingredients for these cookies are all items you probably already have in your pantry!

  • salted butter (you can use unsalted, but add a pinch of salt to the dough)
  • cream cheese
  • granulated sugar
  • egg
  • vanilla
  • lemon extract
  • all-purpose flour–A good substitute is self-rising flour, but you will need to reduce the baking powder amount by one teaspoon.
  • baking powder
  • confectioners sugar

If you don’t have lemon extract, you can use fresh lemon juice. Here is a simple equivalency:

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice = 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon lemon zest = 1 teaspoon lemon extract

There is lemon zest and lemon extract in this dough, so swapping out for fresh lemon juice should be ok. (I have not tested it, we thought this cookie was amazing as-is.) For this recipe specifically, you would use 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice instead of lemon extract, which is about 1 medium lemon.

How to Make Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies

Should You Refrigerate Cookie Dough?

Now, you may have noticed that I did not refrigerate the dough. Most recipes call for this so I, of course, tested that. What exactly does refrigerating do for cookies? Well, when you chill cookie dough, it solidifies the fat. Then, when you are ready to bake the cookies, the chilled dough takes longer to melt and remains solid longer, meaning the cookies spread less. For this recipe specifically, that meant the cookies were much more puffed up and tall, which also meant I had to bake them a bit longer to make sure they were actually baked through. The edges browned and didn’t look as pretty as I would like.

Those cookies actually tasted less ooey gooey when the dough was chilled, so I opted to delete that instruction and use the dough immediately after preparing. The cookies are a bit flatter, but they are still just as ooey gooey and delicious!

How to Make Lemon Cookies

How to Freeze Lemon Cookies

The very best way to freeze these cookies is to freeze the dough. I like to scoop out my individual cookies, place them on a baking sheet, and then place in the freezer for about 30 minutes. Once they are chilled through, I place them in an airtight bag and then label it with the cookie name and date.

How to Store Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies

If you want to store baked cookies, grab a large flat plastic container and place a layer of parchment or wax paper on the bottom. Set cookies down, place another layer of wax or parchment, then another layer of cookies. Set a slice of bread (it will get very dry but the cookies will remain moist) in the container and close. Be eaten within 3 days.

Looking for More Great Cookie Recipes?

Chocolate Chip Cookies (rated 500+ times!)

Pecan Sandies

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Snickerdoodle Cookie Recipe

4.83 from 40 votes
Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies
Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
5 mins

This delectable lemon cookie melts in your mouth!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: lemon cookies, ooey gooey lemon cookies
Servings: 24 cookies
Calories: 137 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke
Lemon Cookie Recipe
  • 1/2 cup (113g) salted butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1-1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2-1/4 cups (282g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (63g) confectioners sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, for rolling cookie dough in
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 

  2. In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat butter, cream cheese, lemon zest, and granulated sugar until blended. 

  3. Add in egg, vanilla, and lemon extract. 

  4. Add in flour, baking powder, and 1/2 cup confectioners sugar. With the mixer on low, gradually beat into creamed mixture. 

  5. Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough and then roll in the remaining 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar. Place approximately 6 dough balls on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. (Cookies will spread.)

  6. Bake until they no longer appear wet on top, 8-11 minutes. After about 5 minutes cooling on the pan (they will be soft!), place on cooling racks to cool completely.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

***The video is for my Ooey Gooey Butter Cookies. The only changes I made were adding lemon zest and lemon extract! 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • Sarah says:

    I just made these! Subbed in gluten free flour for the regular stuff (which is always iffy) and used fresh lemon juice instead of the extract. I also made them smaller. They turned out absolutely fab! I’ll probably bake for 9 minutes instead of 8 next time. I can just taste the gluten free flour, although my SO only tasted the lemon, so…they passed the taste test there! I’ll DEFINITELY make these again!

  • JoBeth says:

    These were great! I had limes on hand, instead of lemons, so I substituted lime zest for lemon zest. My husband loved them as much the next day as fresh out of the oven. They’re comparable to Olive Garden’s lemon cream cake in a cookie.

  • Cindy says:

    Cookies were good, however there’s a discrepancy in your recipe & the video. Recipe calls for baking powder, video shows baking soda!
    Which is correct?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      The written recipe is correct.

  • Brenda Turrentine says:

    g f subs?

  • Jackie says:

    This cookie was such a hit at work. I cant wait to make it again. My husband is requesting for a chocolate version of this cookie with the same ooey gooey texture and taste. Do you have a ooey gooey chocolate cookie recipe??

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Jackie! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. I am so glad you loved the lemon cookies! For some chocolate, I would recommend my chocolate ooey gooey cake! I hope this helps. Have a great day!

  • Krystle says:

    When you freeze the dough, should you still roll the dough in confectioners sugar? And then to bake them should they go straight from the freezer to the oven or should the dough thaw first? Thank you 🙂

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Krystle! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. You can definitely roll the cookie dough in the confectioners’ sugar before freezing them. If you are only freezing the dough for a few hours, you can put them directly in the oven to bake them. Have a great day!

  • Pat Knisely says:

    When using lemon juice instead of the extract should I add a little extra flour? They were really sticky to work with; otherwise, they were absolutely delish !!!

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Pat! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. For every 1 teaspoon of lemon extract in a recipe, use 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • Dennis Tobin says:

    Right on! I made these great lemony cookies. My wife loved them as well.
    My timing was 11 minutes.
    Next time I might add more lemon. I used fresh lemons.

  • Zoe says:

    These were so good! I ran out of lemon extract, so I added lemon juice and a bit more flour to compensate. Very light and yummy!

  • Sherry says:

    Can these be made gluten free? Oohey gooey lemon cookies

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Sherry! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. You can substitute gluten-free flour in a 1:1 ratio for this recipe, but we have not tried it, so I can’t say how the cookies would turn out. Let us know, and have a great day!

  • Henley says:

    Very nice, lemony cookie. When I doubled the recipe, it made near 100 cookies, and not small ones. Now I use this recipe for parties, because I know there will be more than enough. I’ve frozen these as well and they have stayed delicious for months.

  • Suzie says:

    The Orange Creamsicle Cookies are FABULOUS so I’m looking forward to making these! The Orange Creamsicle Cookies call for 2 teaspoons baking powder but this one uses 3. Why is there a difference? Thank you!

  • Suzie says:

    Update: I made these today…SOOOO YUMMY! I made them with 3 tsp of baking powder; I had previously asked why this recipe calls for 3 but the Orange Creamsicle calls for 2. Now that I’ve made them, who cares! I’m going with the possibility that lemons are more acidic than oranges, though I have no idea. What I do know is, these are DELICIOUS!!!

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      lol I think you are my favorite commentor ever, Suzie. 🙂

  • Claudia McCulloch says:

    May I use lime instead of lemon? Generally, can that be done with your lemon recipes?

  • Marilyn Hartig says:

    Can this be made with a sugar substitute and almond flour?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Marilyn! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. You could try substituting the two ingredients, but I can’t say how the cookies would turn out since we have not tried it. Let us know, and have a great day!

  • Virginia Leinneweber says:

    Made these cant keep them around ,big hit atour Churchs Life Groups (Bible Studies and fellowships) Family loves them . Would like to be able to make some for family members who are diabetic though if possible

  • Nicole says:

    OMG, these are fantastic. I made them with King Arthur’s GF flour to bring to a BBQ and everyone devoured them! No one even knew they were GF!

    Any possibility you are working on an Ooey Gooey Chocolate cookie?? 🙏

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      I’ve tested it SEVERAL times and haven’t found that perfect ooey-gooey texture. Will keep working on it!

  • Mr./Mrs.Thomas Oody Jr. says:

    The lemon cookies look real good!!!!!!!!!!! Can’t wait to make and taste them!!!!!!!!!!!! I wrote down the recipe!!!!!!!! So I can make them for me and my wife!!!!!!!!!

  • m. villalongin says:

    When I made these cookies I wondered about the confectioners sugar? The instructions said to add to ‘creamed mixture’. I did it this way with a question mark but did it anyway. I think the confectioner sugar is, just, for rolling the cookie dough before baking. My cookies were very ‘pale’ and were not cooked thru. Lots of sugar, I think, was wasted. Will not make again.

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. You do use 1/2 cup of confectioners’ sugar to make the dough; the other 1/2 cup is for the dough to be rolled in before baking. I hope this helps, and have a great day!

  • Mj says:

    Absolute yum! Made with earth island vegan cream cheese … didn’t dare sub the egg.

    Also not sure what happened but my dough seemed too wet / liquidy to hold shape so I added more flour and that seemed to be fine…any thoughts on why that would happen? I was so glad adding flour didn’t ruin them. We Loved your recipe! Thank you!

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Mj! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. We have not tested this recipe with vegan cream cheese, so I can’t say if that could have affected the dough. Have a great day!

  • Lana Pfaffe says:

    SCRUMPDELICIOUS!!!!! Can you also eliminate the lemon zest and extract and substitute 1/2 C of the flour with cocoa powder???

  • Mary DeLucia-Todd says:

    should you bring them to room temp after freezing before you bake?

    • Elizabeth Keeney says:

      Hi, Mary! I work with iambaker and am happy to help with questions. I would recommend letting the dough come to room temperature before rolling them in confectioners’ sugar and baking them as instructed. Remember to leave plenty of room between the balls of dough as they will spread out while baking. Have a great day!

  • Gail says:

    Hot out of oven…easy to make..

  • Don't Pass on Dessert!