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
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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!

Extract vs. Real Lemon Juice

I use lemon extract in these cookies. 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

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.

Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies
4.82 from 65 votes

Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
This delectable lemon cookie melts in your mouth!


Lemon Cookie Recipe

  • ½ cup (113g) salted butter, softened
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 ½ cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 2 ¼ cups (282g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (63g) confectioners sugar
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder


  • ½ cup confectioners’ sugar, for rolling cookie dough in


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. 
  • In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer, beat butter, cream cheese, lemon zest, and granulated sugar until blended. 
  • Add in egg, vanilla, and lemon extract. 
  • Add in flour, baking powder, and ½ cup confectioners sugar. With the mixer on low, gradually beat into creamed mixture. 
  • Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough and then roll in the remaining ½ cup of confectioners’ sugar. Place approximately 6 dough balls on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. (Cookies will spread.)
  • 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.



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

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Meet Amanda Rettke

Amanda Rettke is the creator of I Am Baker, and the bestselling author of Surprise Inside Cakes: Amazing Cakes for Every Occasion – With a Little Something Extra Inside.Over the course of her 15+ year blogging adventure, she has been featured in and collaborated with the Food Network, New York Times, LA Times, Country Living Magazine, People Magazine, Epicurious, Brides, Romantic Homes, life:beautiful, Publishers Weekly, The Daily Mail, Star Tribune, The Globe and Mail, DailyCandy, YumSugar, The Knot, The Kitchn, and Parade, to name a few.

Reader Comments

  1. These are some of the best and most unique cookies I’ve had! I have never worked with a dough like this with homemade cookies, but they turned out beautifully. Loved the lemon extract/zest combo. I would even add a little more zest next time. Because I’m definitely making these again. So delicious!

    1. I made today, so delicious. I baked in gas oven for 11 minutes, they are chewy and soft in center and I wondered if they are supposed to be or if I did not bake long enough. I live in Houston and it’s humid here

  2. I’ve never had so many compliments and people asking for the recipe than I have with this cookie. I love them! I add more lemon zest because I love lemon so much.

  3. Make these every Christmas. Great cookie. I however do not use a 2 TBL spoon scoop, I use 1 as 2 is way too big, I actually made one batch in a 1/2 TBL spoon which is more what I like. They do spread so leave at least 2″ in-between each cookie. I live in elevation of 7600′ and they needed 13 minutes. Definitely add more zest to give it a stronger lemon flavor.

  4. I made these as directed but they didn’t spread. They looked almost like they did when I put them on the cookie sheet. I also added a lot more lemon extract for my last batch. I just didn’t taste very lemony and that was what I was going for. Really lemony.

    1. Sorry about that. Unfortunately, I am not able to predict what people’s expectations are, and am sorry you felt these were not lemony enough. Cookies not spreading could be because there was too much flour, the dough was too dry, or too cold. I don’t know where you are located geographically, but if you are not in a warm climate, the dry air can contribute to less moisture in doughs.

  5. Amazing lemon Flavor!
    I did chill the dough for about 5-10 mins.

    I also used the lemon to make a glaze with the lemon juice and confectioners sugar, which added additional lemony goodness!

  6. I love this recipe but for some reason mine never spreads out like they do on your video. Any ideas what I am doing wrong?

    1. My guess would be too much flour. If you are scooping the flour from a bag or container, you are compressing it into the measuring cup. You have to scoop from container and pour into measuring cup without compacting it. I don’t follow that advice and end up with too much also.

  7. Best cookies ever!! Nice and lemony. Perfect in my gas oven at 350° for 13 min. Thank you so much!! I had left a msg asking if the dough or cookies freeze well for making ahead?

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