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Thin Crisp Lemon Cookies

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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, lemon kisses, 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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Some Other Recipes We Are Sure You Will Love:

These coconut pecan cookies are the perfect treat for any occasion. They’re soft, chewy, and full of flavor. Plus, they’re easy to make and only require a few simple ingredients.

There’s nothing quite like the smell of fresh chocolate sugar cookies baking in the oven. These cookies are soft, fluffy, and absolutely delicious.

Our coconut chocolate tahini cookies are soft and chewy and they have a mild nutty flavor. If you’ve never tried tahini before, you’re in for a real treat—it’s more complex than peanut butter. And when it’s combined with chocolate and coconut, magic happens.

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

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.
4.53 from 36 votes
Print Pin Save
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 44 minutes
Calories: 172kcal
Author: Pat Nyswonger


  • 2-¼ cups all-purpose flour 270 grams
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 sticks butter melted and cooled (230 grams)
  • 1-½ cups granulated sugar 300 grams
  • ¾ teaspoon lemon oil see notes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sugar for finishing

Optional lemon icing

  • 1-½ cups powdered sugar 169 grams
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice


  • Preheat the oven to 325°F
  • Add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt together, whisk to combine, and reserve until needed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 172kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 135mg | Sugar: 18g

Pat Nyswonger

Pat is a wife, mom of four adult children, and grandmother to seventeen beautiful children. She is a self-taught home cook and loves creating delicious meals for her family and friends. Her kitchen is the hub of activity in her home, and she loves to entertain.

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4.53 from 36 votes (36 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Wednesday 6th of December 2023

Do you know if this dough is freezer friendly? Now that my husband and I both work full time day jobs, getting the holiday baking done requires some aggressive pre-planning. I try to batch my doughs in late November and early December so we can just bake bake bake when the time is right. I'd love to add this to my arsenal, and will test the freezability myself, but was curious if anyone had ever tried it.

I can't wait to taste these, my lemon oil arrived two days ago and I'm thrilled to have added it to my pantry!

Dahn Boquist

Wednesday 6th of December 2023

Yes, you definitely can freeze this cookie dough. Thanks for the question. Enjoy all your cookie baking ;)

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