Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies Recipe

Who doesn't love cookies? They are the perfect treat to make in any season, and they are a wonderful end to any sort of meal. The best part about cookies is that there are thousands of different recipes to choose from, and whether you like them a little on the softer side or a little more on the crispy side, there is something for everyone. If lemon is your thing and if you love a gooey center, then this recipe will knock your socks off.

Recipe developer Hayley MacLean came up with this wonderful recipe for lemon gooey butter cookies, and it's an absolute must-try. "I love the light sweetness and lemon flavor of these cookies," MacLean shares. "By using lemon zest, juice, and extract, they really capture all the best parts of lemon, so aromatic and bright. Plus, they are so light and fluffy! They almost melt in your mouth with every bite." What's not to love about that? Though the brightness of these cookies reminds us of summer, there's no shame in whipping these up for your holiday parties, so let's get right into the recipe!

Gather the ingredients to make lemon gooey butter cookies

Are you ready to get this cooking party started? If so, take a trip to the store and grab all the items that you need to whip up these lemony cookies. Start by getting some unsalted butter and cream cheese. As always, we recommend checking to see if you have any of the ingredients at home ahead of time. In addition, you will need a lemon, as you'll be using both fresh lemon zest and lemon juice. Then, pick up some granulated sugar and some eggs. You will also need two different types of extract — lemon and vanilla. We're nearing the end of our list. Grab all-purpose flour, powdered sugar, and baking powder. Last but not least, you will need a pinch of salt. Then, you can get to work on these cookies.

Mix the wet ingredients

Take out a large mixing bowl and begin adding your ingredients. Start with the butter and the cream cheese. As a reminder, you should have kept them both out at room temperature, making mixing a lot easier. Then, measure out the lemon zest and lemon juice and throw them in the mixing bowl, followed by the sugar. Mix everything until it turns light and creamy. Next, add the eggs, lemon extract, and vanilla extract. Mix again until it's light and fluffy. Then, set the bowl to the side for the time being.

Combine the dry ingredients and add the mixes together

As with most cookie recipes, you will need to mix the dry and wet ingredients separately. Take out another bowl and begin adding in the dry ingredients. Begin with the flour, then add the powdered sugar, followed by the baking powder and salt. Give the dry ingredients a few good stirs to combine. Now, you'll want to combine the two mixes together to make your dough. Gradually pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and then mix until combined. "I used a hand mixer to make this dough, however a stand mixer can also be used," MacLean shares. "If none of those tools are available, a spatula will do — just make sure to mix thoroughly!" 

Cover the bowl and refrigerate

Once you have finished mixing, you will want to let your dough rest for a moment. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and stick it in the fridge for 30 minutes. And, in case you were wondering, there's a good reason why you let it chill. "The dough is chilled because it is quite sticky! After cooling it, it is much easier to scoop and roll in the sugar without getting dough all over your hands," MacLean shares. "If it does start to stick to your hands, coating your hands in powdered sugar should help prevent this." 

Preheat the oven and scoop the dough

Once the dough finishes chilling, you can take it out of the fridge. Then, preheat the oven to 350 F so it has time to get hot while you finish the rest of the prep work. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and start scooping the dough. "A nonstick cookie sheet could definitely be used in place of parchment paper! However, it will result in a crisper outer layer, so if you like softer cookies, stick with the parchment," MacLean says. Next, scoop about two tablespoons of dough at a time and then drop it into the remaining ½ cup of powdered sugar. Roll the ball around in the powdered sugar until it's well coated. Then, place the cookie on the sheet. Repeat the steps with the remaining cookies. Be sure to leave enough room so the cookies can spread.

Bake and enjoy

Now, you can pop the cookie tray into the oven. Set your timer for 11 to 13 minutes. Once the timer dings, take the cookies out and let them cool on a wire rack. "These cookies are so good they are perfect all on their own," MacLean raves. "They are lovely paired with a hot cup of tea to bring some brightness to these dark Autumn days." If you have leftovers, no need to rush and finish them. "Leftovers are best kept in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week," MacLean shares. "After this, they can be placed in the refrigerator for at least another week to keep from spoiling. Additionally, they can be frozen and kept in the freezer for up to 3 months." Cheers to another sweet and easy cookie recipe!

Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies Recipe
5 from 744 ratings
Recipe developer Hayley MacLean came up with this wonderful recipe for lemon gooey butter cookies, and it's an absolute must-try.
Prep Time
Cook Time
cookie on a towel
Total time: 21 minutes
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, divided
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add the sugar and mix until creamy. Add the eggs, lemon extract, and vanilla extract, and mix until light and fluffy.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, ½ cup of powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
  3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Once the dough is chilled, preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  5. Scoop 2 tablespoons of cookie dough at a time, forming a ball. Drop each ball into the remaining ½ cup of powdered sugar. Roll the dough ball around in the powdered sugar until it is well coated.
  6. Place the cookie balls on the baking sheet with room to spread, and bake for 11 to 13 minutes. Allow the cookies to cool on a wire rack before serving.
Calories per Serving 141
Total Fat 5.7 g
Saturated Fat 3.3 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 25.4 mg
Total Carbohydrates 21.1 g
Dietary Fiber 0.3 g
Total Sugars 13.3 g
Sodium 87.1 mg
Protein 1.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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