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Soft & Chewy Lemon Crinkle Cookies | No Mixer Needed + Dairy-Free!

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These deliciously chewy Lemon Crinkle Cookies are the perfect cookie for all of your baking needs! The cookie is made from pantry staples, requires no mixer, and tastes so good. You wouldn’t believe this recipe is naturally dairy-free! Every bite is bursting with fresh lemony flavor, and the texture is oh-so soft, chewy, and truly irresistible.

Check out what our readers have to say!

stacked crinkle cookies with lemon slices and flowers around

All The Details About These Cookies

While we love our lemon curd thumbprint cookies, lemon poppy seed cookies, and our lemon shortbread, these super simple lemon crinkle cookies might just be our new favorite!

When we were first testing this recipe, we grabbed the traditional cookie ingredients such as butter, sugar, and flour, but unfortunately, the cookies weren’t exactly what we were looking for. The bottoms burnt, the cookie was greasy, and the butter didn’t pair well with the lemon. So, we decided to swap out the fats, just like we did with our Iced Lemon Loaf Cake, Key Lime Sour Cream Pound Cake, Lemon Blueberry Loaf Cake with Lemon Drizzle and Meyer Lemon Upside Down Cake. It worked like a charm!

The result was perfectly baked cookies with a soft and chewy center and a strong POP of lemon flavor.

We also discovered that rolling the cookies in granulated sugar before rolling them in powdered sugar helps them spread and gives them a classic crinkle look. It’s a simple yet effective way to get the perfect cookie every time.

Why Is It Called A “Crinkle” Cookie?

If you have ever made ginger molasses cookies or gingerbread molasses cookies, you may have noticed the crinkled texture on the surface of the cookies. This texture is achieved by rolling the cookies in granulated sugar before baking. These lemon cookies use a similar method to get the same look, but with a slight difference.

close up of lemon crinkle cookies on wire tray

Unlike Danish wedding cookies, which are coated in sweet powdered sugar after baking, these lemon cookies use both granulated and powdered sugar BEFORE baking to achieve the iconic crinkly texture all over the cookie surface. The granulated sugar helps in spreading the cookie dough while baking, and the powdered sugar sticks to the cookie dough, creating the desired texture.

Here’s Why These Are The Best Dairy-Free Lemon Crinkle Cookies

  • You don’t need an electric mixer for this recipe! Just a few mixing bowls and a whisk.
  • There’s NO refrigeration time!
  • Soooo much lemon flavor.
  • There are no artificial colors.
  • Ready in about 35 minutes!

All The Ingredients You’ll Need (& Why!)

Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

For The Cookies:

  • All-Purpose Flour – Using plain all purpose flour is the way to go here. The protein content gives these cookies the perfect structure.
  • Granulated Sugar – It adds the perfect amount of sweetness without any unwanted flavors and helps keep the cookies from spreading too much.
  • Baking Soda & Baking Powder – The leavenings used in this dough, baking powder and baking soda each make their own contributions to the texture and structure. Baking soda reacts with the acidity in the lemon to give the dough a little bit of lightness while the baking powder kicks in once the cookies are in the oven to give them lift while helping to keep them chewy.
  • Lemon Zest – When you need an extra pop of flavor, citrus zest is the answer. The lemon zest in this dough intensifies the lemon flavor of the cookies.
  • Eggs – Acting as a binder in this dough, eggs help to make the cookies fluffy and tender.
  • Vegetable Oil – We opted to use vegetable oil in these cookies rather than traditional butter, as we found the flavor and texture was SO much better.
  • Lemon Juice – The ingredient that really gives these cookies they’re lemon flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract – Just a bit of vanilla really compliments and enhances the flavor of the lemon.
eggs, lemon juice, flour, lemon zest, vegetable oil, baking powder, baking soda, vanilla, and sugar on marble surface

For The Coating:

  • Granulated Sugar – One of the best discoveries we’ve made with crinkle cookies! It helps the cookies spread just the right amount and helps the powdered sugar stay more evenly distributed.
  • Powdered Sugar – This is what gives these cookies their signature “crinkle” look!
granulated sugar and powdered sugar in two bowls on marble

How To Make Lemon Crinkle Cookies (Step-by-Step!)

Step 1: Prepare dough

In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and lemon zest. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla.

Pour over flour mixture and mix until blended. Do not over-mix!

Step 2: Scoop, roll, and bake

Use a small cookie scoop to portion dough. Roll into balls. Roll each dough ball in granulated sugar to coat. Then, roll each ball in powdered sugar to coat. Place cookies 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.

Bake for 12 minutes, or until done.

baked lemon crinkle cookies on sheet pan

FAQ’s and Troubleshooting

Why is there no butter in this recipe?

When we were developing and testing this recipe, we found that the butter based cookies were greasy, crunchy, and had an overall unpleasant flavor. Switching to vegetable oil made these cookies soft, chewy, and easier to make; and they taste SO much better!

Can I mix these cookies by hand?

YUP! Another great thing with this recipe is that you only need a whisk and a rubber spatula to make the dough. No stand mixer or hand mixer!

Fresh lemon juice or store-bought?

This recipe strongly benefits from fresh squeezed lemon juice. You also need lemon zest for the recipe, so go ahead and use the lemon you zested! It should take 1 or 2 small lemons for the juice and the zest. You can roll the lemons on the counter before zesting them; that way, when you squeeze them for juice, you’ll get the most out of them.

Why do I need to roll these cookies in two types of sugar?

It may seem odd, but I promise it’s worth it! The granulated sugar helps the cookies spread just enough and keeps the powdered sugar more evenly distributed so that you get cracks, not just islands of powdered sugar sitting on the cookie.

Why are my cookies brown on the bottom?

Either you’re baking on a dark colored sheet pan (it’s always best to use light colored baking sheets!), the oven temperature was too high (make sure to use an oven thermometer), you are baking on a lower rack, or your sheet pan isn’t thick enough (you can double up if this is the problem).

crinkle cookie with bite taken out of it on wire serving tray with more cookies behind.

4 Tricks For Making The Best Lemon Cookies

  • Don’t skip lining your pan!
  • Fresh juice is always better. While using store-bought is convenient, the flavor of fresh squeezed lemons is unmatched.
  • You can use a rubber spatula to fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients to ensure you don’t overwork the dough. Mix until just blended together and you don’t see any flour.
  • Roll these cookies in both granulated sugar and powdered sugar to get the BEST crinkle cookie.

Craving more lemon recipes? Here are a few you may like:

When you make these Lemon Crinkle Cookies, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

Happy Baking!
x, Caylie

stacked crinkle cookies with lemon slices and flowers around
4.78 from 45 votes

Soft & Chewy Lemon Crinkle Cookies | No Mixer Needed + Dairy-Free!

Lemon Crinkle Cookies…aka the ultimate cookie to bake this Spring/Summer! Every bite is soft and chewy, while being perfectly sweet, and easy to make. The best part? This recipe is naturally dairy-free!
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 44

Ingredients
 

Cookies

  • 3 cups all purpose flour*
  • cups granulated sugar
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoons lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 5 Tablespoons lemon juice, strained
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Coating

  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions
 

  • Heat oven to 350℉.
  • Line 3 sheet pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and lemon zest. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, lemon juice, and vanilla.
  • Pour over dry ingredients.
  • Mix together just until all ingredients are incorporated. Do not over mix!
  • Use a 1 Tablespoon cookie scoop to portion dough.
  • Roll into balls.
  • Roll each ball in granulated sugar to coat.
  • Then roll each ball in powdered sugar to coat.
  • Place cookies 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheets.
  • Bake for 12 minutes, or until done.

Notes + Tips!

*This recipe was written using an average of the dip and sweep method for measuring flour and the spoon and level method. If you are using a scale, you will need to add 3/4 oz or 22 g  to the measurement for each cup of flour.
How To Store:
Once these cookies have cooled, you can store them in a zip top bag or airtight container on the counter for up to a week. You can also freeze them 1-2 months!
 
Our Best Tips For Success:
  • Be careful to not over-mix these cookies!
  • Even when fully baked, these cookies should be pale. You do not need to brown them!
  • Don’t skip coating them in granulated sugar and powdered sugar.
  • For the best results, sift the powdered sugar before you roll the cookies!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 89kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 13mg | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 16mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 19IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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21 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I was skeptical about these cookies as I don’t need to eat dairy-free but after reading so many positive reviews, I decided to give it a shot…WOW!!! Delicious and so so lemony!

    1. Hi Danielle! When developing this recipe, we found that butter gave the cookies an odd flavor. That’s why they are dairy-free! I’m so happy you gave our recipe a chance and enjoyed it. I hope you find more recipes to love on our site! x, Caylie

  2. 5 stars
    I found this recipe off of Pinterest. The reviews were mixed but I love lemon and wanted to try them anyways. I don’t know how anyone could mess up this recipe!!! It’s easy AND flavorful. I saw your thumbprints as well and I can’t wait to try those. 10/10

  3. 5 stars
    For anyone wondering, 3/8 of a cup is 6 tablespoons (my measuring cup isn’t that precise). Recipe was easy to follow and the cookies turned out awesome with a fresh lemony flavour. Also found that washing my hands in between rolling the dough helped them form better, since the dough isn’t chilled.

  4. 5 stars
    I made these using a fresh lemon just picked off my tree.
    They were fabulous, I can’t wait to make them again!
    I think using a fresh lemon really makes a difference in the
    flavor, I would highly just it if possible.
    Also I’ve made a lot of recipes off of Pinterest but this is the first one I felt was comment worthy.

  5. 5 stars
    Turned out excellent! My husband raved about how good they are and lemony! I added double the lemon juice and double the lemon zest. (Because others in reviews commented they did for more flavour). They look like they came from a bakery!
    Thank you ladies!

  6. 5 stars
    Delicious lemon flavor and lovely texture! I made them a bit smaller using a teaspoon scoop. Yield :6 dozen

  7. 3 stars
    Im not sure what I did wrong but mine barely tasted like lemon and the consistency was almost scone-like. I was expecting them to be more chewy. Either way they were good just not what I expected.

    1. Hi Gina! It sounds like you overworked the dough. About the lemon flavor, did you pack the zest into the measuring spoon; and did you use fresh lemon juice?

  8. We did lime instead if lemon zest and they were awesome!!!! My only complaint is there is no salt and it’s dearly missing. I’d consider adding salt if you are into that.

  9. Great delicious, simple and easy cookie recipe. I didn’t even have to use my mixer, just a spatula. My family loved these. They look just like your photo. Thnx for sharing! It is now one of my favorite cookie recipies.

  10. 5 stars
    Love these. Quickly became my families favorite. Versatile recipe- I’ve done mandarin orange, key lime, and lemon flavors. Love these and the lofthouse imitations. Always seems to need an extra half to cup of flour for me.

  11. 5 stars
    Hi again! The lemon taste was very good! I used cane sugar, so it tasted different! It’s baked with sugar powder, so it’s yellow and white with the taste of this sweet, and it was a lot of fun! Thank you very much.child like it very much. He had a sour face! Happy Christmas!

  12. Is it possible to substitute the eggs with baking powder and vegetable oil and water combo? I want to make these for someone who can’t eat eggs.

    1. Hi Ashley! I have never done it that way. The thing that concerns me is too much leavening can make things bitter. Maybe try a different substitute? My go to is nearly always aquafaba. It works in most things, but I have not tried it with these cookies. I suggest making a small test batch first.

    2. You could always use flax egg, unsweetened applesauce, mashed banana, baking soda and vinegar, yogurt and sour cream, and many more!