Lemon cookies made with cream cheese are tender, light as air, and literally, melt in your mouth.
These meltaway lemon cookies will be your new go-to cookie recipe when you want a bright, lemony dessert!
Do these lemon cookies look familiar? I bet they do! This post is sponsored by Southern Breeze, the sweet tea with zero calories, all opinions are 100% my own.
The base of these meltaway cookies come from cream cheese cookies. Cream cheese cookies are made with a mixture of cream cheese, of course, and butter.
The addition of cream cheese in these easy lemon cookies makes them extremely tender and moist. Resulting in soft lemon cookies.
I just can’t get over how amazingly delicious these are! Pillow-like from scratch cookies bursting with that tart lemon brightness we love in desserts!
These are the perfect cookies to have during afternoon tea time (or breakfast tea time!). Ever since discovering Southern Breeze, I have been having a refreshing cold brew every afternoon!
Even those these cookies aren’t zero calories, having them alongside sweet tea with zero calories helps balance out my afternoon snacking. It is okay to #induldgeelsewhere sometimes when in moderation, of course.
I’ve fallen in love with this zero-calorie sweet tea! They have more flavors like raspberry, half & half, and peach but good old Original is my jam.
All you need is 8 ounces of cold water and 5 minutes and you are in sweet tea Heaven!
Plus, Southern Breeze pairs perfectly with my lemon cream cheese cookies if I do say so myself.
They are also in single serve packets so you can enjoy sweet tea on the go.
How to make lemon cookies from scratch?
- Cream together softened butter and cream cheese, I use a hand mixer for this in a large bowl. Slowly add in powdered sugar until combined.
- Add in egg, baking powder, vanilla, lemon extract, lemon zest, and salt. Mix to combine.
- Slowly add in the flour a little at a time until incorporated. Add yellow food coloring but just a very small amount at a time, I suggest using a gel food coloring and mix in until you get the color you want. This is an optional step. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for one hour.
- In a small bowl, add the granulated sugar and set aside.
- Roll dough into 1-inch sized balls, about 1 tablespoon worth of dough. Roll dough balls into sugar. Place on sheet tray 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes, until just set. You know when they are ready when they puff up and are very slightly golden brown on the bottoms. When you gently touch them on top they will keep their shape but still feel soft.
- Let cool for 10 minutes on the sheet tray, transfer and let cool completely on a wired rack.
You can also make lemon cookies with cool whip and cake mix. Here are some great recipes for them:
How to make lemon cookies with cake mix?
How to make lemon cookies with cool whip?
Can Lemon Cookies be frozen?
Yes! Place cooled cookies on a sheet tray in a single layer, place in the freezer for one hour.
Place frozen cookies into freezer strength bags or in an air-tight container, wrap in plastic wrap generously and place back in the fridge until ready to use.
To defrost, place cookies on the counter to come to room temperature.
Glazed Lemon Cookies
If you want to add another layer of flavor to these easy lemon cookies, I suggest making this vanilla lemon glaze to go on top!
- In a small bowl, add 1 cup powdered sugar. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract. Add 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, optional.
- Whisk until combined. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more lemon juice. Pour over cookies on a wired rack or dip the cookies into the glaze.
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How to make homemade lemon cookies:
Meltaway Lemon Cookies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened (1 stick)
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons pure lemon extract
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest about 1 lemon
- pinch kosher salt
- 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- yellow food coloring optional
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- In a large bowl with a hand or stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth, one minute. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time until fully mixed, scrape down the sides as needed.
- Add in the egg, baking powder, vanilla, lemon extract, lemon zest, and salt. Mix to combine. Slowly add in the flour a little at a time until fully incorporated, scrape down the sides as needed. Add food coloring to the color you would like to achieve (they will slightly darken in color while the dough rests, keep that in mind), optional. Cover with plastic wrap, place in the fridge for one hour to rest.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place granulated sugar in a small bowl. Roll cookie dough into 1 tablespoon sized balls, the dough will be sticky*. Roll into the sugar and place on a parchment lined sheet tray 2 inches apart.
- Bake** for 8-9 minutes until the cookies are just set. You know they are ready when they puff up and when touched they hold their shape but are still slightly soft, and the bottoms will be very lightly golden brown (however, you won't be able to tell until you pick them up). Let cool on the sheet tray for 10 minutes, transfer cookies to sit on a wired rack directly to cool completely.