Softbatch Glazed Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

Softbatch Glazed Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies — Big, bold lemon flavor packed into super soft cookies thanks to the cream cheese!! Tangy-sweet perfection! Lemon lovers are going to adore these easy cookies!!

Softbatch Glazed Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies - Big, bold lemon flavor packed into super soft cookies thanks to the cream cheese!! Tangy-sweet perfection! Lemon lovers are going to adore these easy cookies!!

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookie Recipe

My daughter adores lemon desserts and I surprised her with these super soft, very lemony cookies. The cookies are topped with a lemon glaze that adds to the pucker-up power and we couldn’t get enough of them.

They’re a hybrid of a few recipes starting with cream cheese in cookie dough. Cream cheese keeps the lemon cookies soft, moist, tender, and ironically it doesn’t make them taste like cream cheese. Rather it makes them taste more buttery.

Rather than adding lemon juice to the dough for lemon flavor, I use lemon extract and lemon zest. I’ve learned through trial and error that you get a bolder lemon flavor with extract, you don’t thin out or water down the batter, and without the possible complications that can come from incorporating a hefty dose of an acidic ingredient like lemon juice into sensitive dough.

However, I am a fan of lemon juice in glazes because it brings a bold intensity of flavor. The soft lemon cookies have a nice pop of lemon flavor on their own, but the lemon glaze and finishing sprinkle of lemon zest take them over the lemon edge.

Between the soft, slightly chewy cookies that are perfectly thick and ridiculously tender without being cakey courtesy of the cornstarch, and the wonderfully tangy-sweet glaze, the cookies are boldly lemony and lemon fans are going to be in lemon love.

Softbatch Glazed Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies - Big, bold lemon flavor packed into super soft cookies thanks to the cream cheese!! Tangy-sweet perfection! Lemon lovers are going to adore these easy cookies!!

What’s in Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies? 

To make the soft lemon cookies, you’ll need: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Granulated sugar
  • Egg
  • Lemon extract
  • Yellow food coloring
  • Lemon zest
  • All-purpose flour
  • Cornstarch
  • Baking soda
  • Salt

And to make the lemon glaze for the cookies, you’ll need:

  • Confectioners’ sugar
  • Lemon juice and zest

How to Make Glazed Lemon Cookies

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, make the lemon cookie dough. Once the cookie dough comes together, form approximately 18 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten slightly.

Place the cookie dough balls on a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Chill for at least 3 hours before baking the cookies. 

Once the cookies are done baking, let them cool completely before topping with the lemon glaze. 

Softbatch Glazed Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies - Big, bold lemon flavor packed into super soft cookies thanks to the cream cheese!! Tangy-sweet perfection! Lemon lovers are going to adore these easy cookies!!

Do I Have to Chill the Cookie Dough? 

Yes, you MUST chill the cookie dough. Do not bake with unchilled dough because the lemon cream cheese cookies will bake thinner, flatter, and be more prone to spreading.

Can I Omit the Food Coloring? 

Yes, you’re welcome to omit the food coloring if you don’t have any on hand or prefer not to use it. Just note that your lemon cream cheese cookies won’t be as vibrantly yellow as mine. 

 

Tips for Making the Best Lemon Cookies

Note that you need to use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese in this recipe. Low-fat or whipped cream cheese won’t result in the correct taste or texture. 
 
For extra lemony cookies, add more lemon zest to the cookie dough than the recipe calls for. 
 
You can bake all the lemon cream cheese cookies at once, or you can freeze some of the dough to bake off later. If baking frozen cookie dough, simply add a minute or two to the total bake time. 
 
Softbatch Glazed Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

Softbatch Glazed Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

Big, bold lemon flavor packed into super soft lemon cream cheese cookies!! Tangy-sweet perfection! Lemon lovers are going to adore these easy cookies!!

Yield: 18
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 18 minutes

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese, softened (use full-fat, brick-style cream cheese not ‘spreadable’ or whipped cream cheese)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon lemon extract (do not substitute with lemon juice)
  • yellow food coloring, optional and as desired
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (or 2 tablespoons if you want cookies very lemony)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Lemon Glaze

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon juice, or as necessary for consistency
  • lemon zest, for garnishing

Instructions

    Make the Cookies

    1. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) add the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, light, fluffy, and well combined, about 3 minutes.
    2. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, lemon extract, and beat on medium-high speed until well combined, about 2 minutes.
    3. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and optionally add the yellow food coloring (as many drops as necessary until desired shade is achieved), the lemon zest, and beat on medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds.
    4. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, salt, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute; don’t overmix.
    5. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop or your hands, form approximately 18 equal-sized mounds of dough, roll into balls, and flatten slightly.
    6. Place mounds on a large plate or tray, cover with plasticwrap, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, up to 5 days. Do not bake with unchilled dough because cookies will bake thinner, flatter, and be more prone to spreading.
    7. Preheat oven to 350F, line a baking sheet with a Silpat or spray with cooking spray. Place dough mounds on baking sheet, spaced at least 2 inches apart (I bake 8 cookies per sheet) and bake for about 8 minutes, or until edges have set and tops are just set, even if slightly undercooked, pale, and glossy in the center; don’t overbake or undersides could become too browned. Cookies firm up as they cool.
    8. Allow cookies to cool completely before glazing. I let them cool on the baking sheet and don’t use a rack.

    Make the Glaze

    1. To a medium bowl, add the confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, and whisk until smooth and combined. Depending on preference and desired glaze consistency, you may have to play with the sugar and lemon juice ratios slightly.
    2. Using a small spoon, drizzle about 1 tablespoon of glaze over each cookie, and spread glazeout using the back of the spoon. Repeat until all cookies are glazed.
    3. Sprinkle a small pinch of lemon zest over all cookies before the glaze sets and before serving.

Notes

  • Cookies will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

18

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 180Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 27mgSodium: 145mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 1gSugar: 17gProtein: 2g

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51 comments on “Softbatch Glazed Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies”

  1. Made these lemon beauties tonight, and yum yum! They didn’t look pudgy like yours, but didn’t really care. Still tender, moist, and my family was impressed. I think I need to add a little more lemon extract to the cookie dough next time, but the glaze with the zest gave them a nice fresh taste. This is another winner, thank you!!!!

    Rating: 5
  2. I made these with 1 to 1 gluten free flour and lemon juice instead of lemon extract and they turned out beautifully. I didn’t press the cookies down and they naturally flatten slightly. I’ll definitely make again.

  3. Hello,
    I am super excited to try to bake these, lemon is one of my favorite flavors! I am entering a 4-H drop cookie competition and I wanted to make these cookies. however I only have a half hour to prepare them to get them in the oven, could I cook them without chilling the cookie dough?

  4. I love lemon desserts and am always looking for new ones. These cookies had good texture but had a strangely medicinal taste which I assume is from the 1 Tbsp of lemon extract. It was really strong and I could not enjoy the cookies for this reason.

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