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Thin Crisp Lemon Cookies

These thin, crispy lemon cookies will be your new favorite! The lemon flavor is intense, and the cookies have a satisfying snap when you break them in half.

A stack of eight thin cookies.

We initially made these intense lemon cookies for our Lemon Icebox cake but they make a delicious cookie all by themselves. If you’re looking for a cookie that packs a punch, this citrus-infused treat is just the ticket.

Here is Why This Recipe Works

  • Using melted butter helps the cookies spread more to achieve a thin cookie.
  • Omitting eggs and replacing some of the flour with corn starch will help make crispy cookies. 
  • Lemon oil adds a vibrant lemon flavor.
  • Baking the cookies at a lower heat gives them time to get crispy without browning too much. 
  • An optional vibrant lemon icing adds an extra pop of citrusy lemon flavor. 

These crunchy lemon cookies have a serious lemon flavor and the lemon icing brings them over the top. For more crunchy, crispy cookies try our crispy chocolate cookies, gingersnap cookies, and our Florentine cookies.

You could also make Italian wedding cookies or Mexican tea cookies which are both versions of snowball cookies.

The Ingredients for Crispy Lemon Cookies

Here is a list of the ingredients you will need for these intense lemon cookies. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details. 

  • Flour. Use all-purpose flour and not bread flour. We used bread flour in our Levain chocolate chip cookies to make them soft and thick. 
  • Cornstarch. Replacing some flour with cornstarch lowers the gluten and makes the cookies crunchy.
  • Baking soda.
  • Salt.
  • Butter. You can use salted or unsalted butter. The small amount of extra salt in salted butter will not affect this recipe.
  • Granulated sugar. 
  • Lemon oil.  Lemon oil is what gives these cookies an intense lemon flavor. Make sure you use culinary-grade lemon oil for this recipe. 
  • Lemon juice
  • Lemon zest

If you love lemon recipes, you will love our lemon cheesecake and our lemon ricotta cake.

A few lemon cookies on a plate showing how crisp they get when broken in half.

How to Make It

Here is a brief overview of the recipe for crispy lemon cookies. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for all the details.

  1. Combine the dry ingredients and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar. Add the rest of the wet ingredients.
  3. Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients. 
  4. Let the dough sit for a while to get firm and easier to handle. 
  5. Scoop the dough into 1 tablespoon balls and flatten them to 1/4 inch thick.
  6. Bake.

Tips for Success

  • The dough will be very soft when you finish mixing the batter. It will be easier to work with if you let it sit for a while to firm up.
  • If the dough is firm when you scoop it, you will need to flatten the dough balls with a spatula or glass. 
  • Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for about three minutes before you transfer them to a cooling rack. 
  • The cookies will be soft when you take them out of the oven. Once they completely cool down, they will get crisp and crunchy. 
  • Use culinary-grade lemon oil and not the type of oil that goes in diffusers. 
A plate filled with lemon cookies.

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This lemon lavender cake is the perfect dessert for your next get-together! The bright lemon flavor and a floral hint of lavender are a delicious combination.

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A stack of eight thin cookies.

Thin Crisp Lemon Cookies

Yield: about 30 cookies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 44 minutes

An easy lemon cookie recipe that is crisp and has an intense lemony flavor derived from lemon juice, lemon oil, and lemon zest.

These cookies are thin, crisp, and crunchy. If you want slightly chewy cookies with crisp edges, reduce the baking time by 2 to 3 minutes.

Make sure you use culinary-grade lemon oil for this recipe.


  • 2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour (270 grams)
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 sticks butter, melted and cooled (230 grams)
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar (300 grams)
  • 3/4 teaspoon lemon oil (see notes)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar for finishing

Optional lemon icing

  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar (169 grams)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F
  2. Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together, whisk to combine, and reserve until needed.
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the lemon oil, lemon juice, and lemon zest, and mix until well blended.
  4. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the batter and mix at low speed. Slowly add the remaining flour and increase the speed to medium until well blended. The dough will be very soft.
  5. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 15 to 20 minutes to firm up slightly (this will make the dough easier to handle but you can skip this step and the dough will eventually firm up while it sits at room temperature.)
  6. Drop 12 rounded tablespoons onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Space the cookies to allow for spreading. With a silicone spatula dipped into flour, or the bottom of a glass, flatten each of the mounds to 1/4 inch thickness.
  7. Transfer to the middle rack of the oven and bake for 9 to 12 minutes or until the edges begin to turn slightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 3 minutes on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the cookies with coarse sugar while they are still warm. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. The cookies will get crisp when they completely cool down.

For the lemon icing:

  1. Place the powdered sugar in a bowl. Add the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon at a time until you get a consistency that is easy to drizzle on the cookies.
  2. Drizzle the cookies with lemon icing and let the icing dry before storing. 


  • Lemon oil has a much more intense lemon flavor than lemon extract. Lemon oil will also give the cookies a more natural lemon flavor.
  • To get an equivalent lemon flavor by using lemon extract instead of lemon oil, you will need to use over 1 tablespoon of extract and the cookies will have an artificial flavor.
  • Make sure you use a culinary grade lemon oil and NOT lemon essential oil that is intended for aroma diffusers.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 172Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 135mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 0gSugar: 18gProtein: 1g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third-party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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Monday 11th of April 2022

A very good lemon cookie. I've tried it twice, and I never get a batter. Just a mixture that resembles crumbles if making biscuits. But they still turn out great. Thanks.

Dahn Boquist

Monday 11th of April 2022

Thanks for the comment, Fred. Glad you enjoyed them. Are you weighing the flour?


Monday 17th of January 2022

This is my third time making these yummy cookies. Previously I only had extract on hand but this time I used lemon baking emulsion. Yay, way more lemony. One change I make is flattening the dough with a glass dipped in regular granulated sugar. It leaves just a little sugar on each cookie and keeps the dough from sticking. Love, love, love these cookies!

Dahn Boquist

Monday 17th of January 2022

Thanks for the comment, Linda. Great idea to dip the glass in sugar

Peter Hunter

Monday 1st of February 2021

Hi! I made these cookies tonight and they were wonderful. However, your recipe says to spoon them out with a rounded teaspoon. That looked way too small, so I used a rounded tablespoon instead. Even so, I got 24 cookies from the recipe (but who's complaining!).

Pat Nyswonger

Monday 1st of February 2021

Hi, Peter....I am so pleased you enjoyed these cookies. Thanks for that catch, a teaspoon would make a small should be a tablespoon and I have corrected the recipe card. I love the bright lemony flavor of these cookies....thanks again for your feedback to us.


Tuesday 27th of October 2020

Hi! I’ve had this recipe Saved for a while, and came back to check the ingredients, and noticed you changed the amount of flour and sugar. The changes definitely improved the cookie. I find the lemon (a bit more oil) and sweetness to be perfect. I do make them a bit smaller, and bake them at 350. I also experimented with reverse creaming for these, and even better, and easier. Thanks for the recipe!

Pat Nyswonger

Tuesday 27th of October 2020

Thank you, Michelle for your comments, we love to hear back from our readers when they try our recipes. I am pleased that these cookies worked well for you!

Pat Elliott

Sunday 29th of December 2019

2 sticks of butter is how many grams.? Patricia!

Pat Nyswonger

Sunday 29th of December 2019

Hi, Pat....That would be 226 grams....each stick says 113g

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