Lemon Snickerdoodles

Lemon Snickerdoodles are the shit… and I am a genius!

When I invented these Lemon Snickerdoodles and tried them for the first time, I  was immediately proud. I knew they would be made many many more times. Not to get weird but when I eat them I can totally imagine myself thirty years from now making them for my grandkids. They are that good. Ok enough getting weird…

I hatched the idea because:

1) Wyatt wanted to make cookies one day, and I’m easily talked into sweets (just ask Brian). I love finally having a little cohort by the way. It’s much more fun to bake for no reason with someone else that thinks it’s a great idea.


2) We somehow had a bowlful of 8 or 9 lemons. We had no plans for them, and they weren’t getting any younger. Why not, right?

I decided to use basically the same cookie dough base as my Christmas Snickerdoodles  because, well,  it’s awesome. I added lemon zest and juice into the dough, and then opted for lemon sugar instead of cinnamon sugar for rolling. It seemed so easy to switch up that I wondered if it could possibly work? The answer is “Oh my God YES!”

My mom and sister Mandy were over helping watch the newest addition to our family, Ruby, while Wyatt and I made our experiment. I ended up sending about half of the dough home with them after they tasted these because they loved them so much. We all decided they are Lemondoodles – partly because it’s insanely accurate, and partly because it’s fun to say.

These cookies are little bites of light, chewy, buttery, lemony perfection.

I can’t believe you’re still sitting here. Go make them right now!

Lemon Snickerdoodles Recipe

Meal type Dessert



  • 1 stick unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (basically the zest of one lemon)
  • 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt

Lemon Sugar

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • zest of one lemon


Step 1
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees, and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Mix the zest of one lemon and 1/2 c sugar together to create the insanely fragrant lemon sugar.
Step 2
I think it's a good idea to make the sugar first, so that it has awhile to infuse with that lemon flavor before you roll the cookie dough in it later.
Step 3
Hold the sugar to the side while you move on to making the dough.

Next drop the butter, shortening, sugar, and 1 tsp lemon zest into the bowl of your mixer.

Cream on medium high for about a minute or so until it's light and fluffy.
Step 4
Add the eggs and lemon juice, and mix again on medium until it's all well incorporated and a beautiful pale yellow.
Step 5
Sift or whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.

Add the dry mixture in several rounds until each is just barely combined.
Step 6
Once the last round is just incorporated, carefully scrape down the sides and especially the tricky bottom of the mixing bowl.

Give it all one last very quick mix to make sure all of the dry ingredients are thoroughly worked into the dough.
Step 7
I have a feeling that any size cookie dough balls would work out wonderfully at this point. You'll just need to add a few minutes here or there to your bake time if you opt to go bigger.

I received three different sized cookie dough scoops for Christmas from my mom, and I don't think I can ever go back! I've settled on the large size for my chocolate chip cookies. But for these the medium scooper which makes around a one and a quarter inch ball is perfect.
Step 8
Of course this is not an exact science. You just need a scoop of dough... don't go nuts.

I like to go ahead and do all the scooping in one quick go.
Step 9
Now roll each scoop of dough into a ball, and give them a thorough rolling in the reserved lemon sugar.

Don't be scared to really coat the dough. The more sugar that ends up on the outside, the more delicious lemony crunch you'll enjoy on the finished cookie.
Step 10
Tada... a full sheet of sugar coated Lemon Cookies (well almost, you still might want to bake them).
Step 11
In case you didn't know, I had a baby 5 weeks ago! Her name is Ruby, and she's amazing!

That being said, I really don't need to eat a full batch of cookies. One of the only sad things about finally having your baby is the realization that you can no longer eat like a pregnant lady. *Sigh*

So, in an act of sheer will power, I only made one pan of cookies (this made 20) and sent away the rest of the dough with my mom and sister.

Look at all the deliciousness that I'm missing out on.
Step 12
If you've just had a baby, and you can guilt yourself into holding back some of the dough or if you're just one of those weirdos that never uses a full batch of dough (sacrilege) simply drop the ball of dough into a ziploc and refrigerate it for a later use.
Step 13
By the way, mom and Mandy rolled and baked these straight out of the fridge and said they turned out great.

Bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees.
Step 14
I really can't decide if these are better warm or at room temperature.
Step 15
I think before I make my final decision on that one I'll need to do some more research...
Step 16
lots and lots of research!
15 replies
  1. catherine
    catherine says:

    My daughter and her friend made these tonight. Very tasty. The instructions were a little confusing (around the making of lemon sugar and when to put it in), but they sorted it out.
    the girls plan to make them again.

    • kerrycolin
      kerrycolin says:

      I’m so glad they figured out what I meant and liked them enough to make them again! I reread the post, and I see what you mean. I rewrote the instructions a bit, so hopefully from now on it’ll be much easier to understand how to make these cookies… they really are some of my favorites! Thank you for the feedback, and enjoy the cookies!

    • kerrycolin
      kerrycolin says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed the flavor, but hopefully we can fix the flatness. My two guesses would be either over-softened butter or not quite enough flour. If the dough is still very sticky when you’re finished incorporating all of the flour try adding a couple more tablespoons until the dough is more like super soft Play Doh. Also, there is no problem mixing the butter and eggs and sugar vigorously (you want it to get light and fluffy) but then once it’s time to add the flour, only mix until it’s just mixed in. I hope you try them again, and I really hope they turn out better!

    • kerrycolin
      kerrycolin says:

      Sorry I missed this earlier Chelsea! I’ve never tried freezing the dough, but if it were wrapped well and then stored air-tight I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. If you try this I’d love to know the results. I always think I’m going to plan ahead for my holiday baking, but then I never make anything in advance.

  2. Karen
    Karen says:

    In your list of ingredients for the lemon sugar you stated the zest of 2 lemons but in your instructions you state, add the zest of one lemon to the sugar. What happened to the other teaspoon of zest?

    • kerrycolin
      kerrycolin says:

      Yipes… That’s a total type-o! Thanks for pointing that out (and sorry for the delayed response. With both kids home for the summer I spend my days breaking up wrestling matches instead of checking emails.) I use 2 lemons zested for the whole recipe. One zested for the cookies and the other for the lemon sugar. I’ll go back and edit the recipe ASAP. Thanks again!

    • kerrycolin
      kerrycolin says:

      I’m so sorry I missed this! Definitely chilling the dough before rolling into balls and baking should help with flat cookies. These aren’t very puffy cookies to start with. They start as perfectly round balls, and end up being pretty flat. However they shouldn’t be completely flat. I would try refrigerating the dough for at least an hour before baking, and see if that helps. Good luck!

    • kerrycolin
      kerrycolin says:

      Hi Jarrett! There should be something that says “Print Recipe” directly above the very first picture of the cookies with the blue background. It’s right below the title “Lemon Snickerdoodle Recipe” and the picture. I hope this works for you.


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