Easy Lemon Cookies

I have to confess…

As much as I love making homemade cookies entirely from scratch (which is what I do about 95% of the time), on occasion I still seriously enjoy a good cake-mix cookie.  I know…judge away…  :)  But hey – they’re simple, wonderfully fluffy, and can be mixed up in just three minutes.  Definitely a nice back-up dessert, especially when you’re short on time!

One of my favorites, that is also most requested from friends, are these simple lemon cookies.  They’re made with a basic cake mix recipe, but kicked up a notch with some fresh lemon juice and peel – yum.  Feel free to roll them in sugar, glaze them (as explained in the tip below), or just cook and eat them plain.  I guarantee they won’t last long.  :)

Easy Lemon Cookies

Love the sweet tartness of lemon cookies? You will love this Easy Lemon Cookies recipe! Quick and easy to prepare and delicious to enjoy!


  • 1 (18.25 oz) package lemon cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • juice of half a lemon (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • zest of half a lemon (about 1 tsp.)
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar for decor (optional)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, lemon juice and zest until well blended. Form dough into small balls (about 1 Tbsp.), and drop into a bowl of confectioners' sugar. Roll them around until they're lightly covered. Once sugared, place on a lightly-greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 6 to 9 minutes in the preheated oven. The bottoms will be light brown, and the insides chewy.

**To get a rounder, fluffier cookie, let the dough refrigerate at least 30 minutes. (You can also prepare the sugared balls of dough on the cookie sheet, and just refrigerate the sheet for about ten minutes for a similar effect.)

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Ali’s Tip:

For a fun variation, I’ve also drizzled these with a lemon glaze (instead of rolling in the powdered sugar).  Just whisk together about 1 Tbsp. lemon juice (or water) with 3/4 cup powdered sugar, and then drizzle it over the cookies after they have come out of the oven.  Let sit for an hour or so for the glaze to firm up.

Leave a Comment:


  1. Susan Robinson — January 27, 2010 @ 9:40 pm (#)

    I love lemon anything, so this is for me. I can just imagine eating these with a cup of tea. I’ll be making these tomorrow.

  2. Erica — January 27, 2010 @ 10:44 pm (#)

    ooooooo yummy! I just happen to have a box of lemon cake mix in the cupboard. Must be fate ;)

  3. Michelle — January 28, 2010 @ 8:40 am (#)

    They turn out so pretty. Who cares if they start in a box? : )

  4. Andrea — January 28, 2010 @ 11:16 am (#)

    These look like just the thing for the winter blues. Like sunshine on a plate!

  5. Kellyk — January 28, 2010 @ 2:18 pm (#)

    I make these too…but I think I fold in a container of whip cream. Yummy! I will try your version for super bowl weekend.

  6. Alex — January 28, 2010 @ 7:55 pm (#)

    They look nice and probably taste wonderful. I love lemon, it’s so fresh and sunny.

  7. Elysabeth — February 7, 2010 @ 6:50 pm (#)

    I just made a double batch of these today to send off to my grandpa, my brother and my friend who’s about to have her third baby. I think I can safely say that they’ll love them!

    Thanks for posting!

  8. Julie — February 16, 2010 @ 11:09 pm (#)

    These were delicious!!! Our family loved them and than I had group of ladies over and several wanted the recipe. This will be something I make again and again and I would love to try the glaze too. Thank you!!!

  9. bananasloth — February 17, 2010 @ 1:21 pm (#)

    hi, I absolutely love lemony sweets and these seem amazing! unfortunately we don’t have instant cake mixes here, so I would really appreciate it if you could tell me what ingredients should I use instead! thank you and keep it up!

  10. Lindsay — February 25, 2010 @ 8:52 am (#)

    These are so good and so easy! I’ve made them twice now and my husband and I both love them. I’m going to have to try experimenting with different flavors of cake mix. However, when I made them the 2nd time I used my mixer instead of stirring by hand and it made the dough very soft and harder to work with. In case anyone else thought of using their mixer I’d recommend making the extra effort to mix by hand. Thanks for your blog! It’s great!

  11. Erin — February 25, 2010 @ 3:28 pm (#)

    I made these recently and they are very good!!! Thanks for the easy cookie recipe. It’s a keeper!

  12. Elle — August 8, 2010 @ 1:41 pm (#)

    My Captain is gonna love these! thanks.

  13. cocidodesopa — December 15, 2010 @ 10:38 am (#)

    Hi! I have just met you; I have been gossiping around your recipes and I found this one which really stroke me! I live in Spain, and it is completely impossible to get one of that lemon cake mix. Is there any possibility to know what ingredients such a mix is made of? I’d love to make these cookies!

    I’ll be waiting for your reply.

    Regards from Spain


  14. Traci @yellowWISHBONE — January 20, 2012 @ 4:52 pm (#)

    Thanks for sharing the great recipe! I made these this week with a few tweaks and everyone loved them!

    Check ’em out here: http://www.yellowwishbone.com/2012/01/5-ingredient-lemon-cookies.html

  15. margaret — February 25, 2012 @ 11:34 am (#)

    I have done these also as a bar cookie and get rave reviews!

  16. Lisa — May 30, 2012 @ 5:53 pm (#)

    How many cookies does this usually make? Trying to figure out nutritional values, and need a #.

    • Mandy — January 20th, 2013 @ 5:50 pm

      I just made these, using as close to a 1T scoop as possible, and the recipe made 42 cookies.

  17. secret — July 1, 2012 @ 6:00 pm (#)

    these are my fav.

  18. amanda — January 28, 2013 @ 11:54 am (#)

    Made these cookies this past weekend for a cookie exchange party at my school event and they were just a hit. It was super easy to make, loved the fresh lemon that is part of this recipe. Thank you!

  19. Julie — May 28, 2013 @ 10:32 am (#)

    I just made this cookies, but substituted the lemon cake for a chocolate one. They turned out perfectly, the lemon ones were a great hit at work so hoping these will be too. Thank you

  20. Pamela Baker — December 17, 2013 @ 3:46 pm (#)

    Will definitely make these cookies! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  21. Megan — December 31, 2013 @ 5:33 pm (#)

    I made these tonight and they are one of the most delicious cookies that I have ever eaten. I used a meyer lemon that I grew myself, so that made them all the more delicious. This recipe is wonderful.

  22. KATHRYN MADDEN — April 12, 2014 @ 9:29 pm (#)


    • Ali — July 18th, 2014 @ 3:48 pm

      Unfortunately it will be hard for anything to stick to these once they have been baked. But you could add some sprinkles before baking. Just press them into the dough.

  23. Kim — September 1, 2014 @ 7:01 am (#)

    I made these last night and they are so yummy! For some reason my dough seemed to soft to make dough balls so I added powdered sugar to the batter to thicken it and it worked just fine. Not sure why mine was so runny, I followed recipe. I am sending these to my son’s dorm to share with his roomies. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  24. Alberta — November 4, 2014 @ 7:20 am (#)

    Lemon cookie recipe calls for 18.25 box of lemon cake mix.  Cake mixes come in 15.25 boxes now. Does the recipe have to be adjusted?

    • Ali — November 4th, 2014 @ 10:01 am

      Oh, I didn’t know that. Yes it would need to be adjusted.

  25. Donna — May 12, 2015 @ 10:30 am (#)

    We live in high elevation so the first time I made these they were very flat. I added 1/3 cup of flour and they were puffy and wonderful. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Ali — May 12th, 2015 @ 10:28 pm

      Thanks Donna, glad you were able to get them puffy! : )

  26. Zenebech — June 24, 2015 @ 8:23 am (#)

    Thank you for your quick and easy breakfast or brunch preparation for families. I will do it. I will making tomorrow morning.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — June 28th, 2015 @ 8:51 pm

      You’re very welcome, we hope you enjoy these!

  27. Morgan — July 25, 2015 @ 12:24 am (#)

    I made these today and they are absolutely delicious! I’m in Australia so our terminology is a little different. I used a basic cake mix and baked it at 180 celcius for 8 minutes. Perfect! 

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — July 29th, 2015 @ 10:07 am

      Thanks Morgan, we’re happy you liked these and that they worked out well for you in Australia! :)

  28. Jill — August 12, 2015 @ 11:12 am (#)

    Made these numerous of times, they are so delicious! I’m going to be making another batch Friday for a back to school function. Highly recommend!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — August 13th, 2015 @ 12:16 pm

      Thanks Jill, we’re so happy to hear you enjoy these! :)

  29. Beverly — November 4, 2015 @ 5:52 am (#)

    Never mind I had asked about how to adjust the recipe because it calls for a 18.25 cake mix and the stores sell 16.25. I figured it out myself. I just added 2oz from another cake mix and that worked quite well.

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — November 4th, 2015 @ 12:12 pm

      No worries Beverly, we’re glad it worked out! :)

  30. Stephanie — December 8, 2015 @ 3:08 pm (#)

    These cookies are great! Thanks for pinning! I crushed Lemonheads candy and mixed it with the powdered sugar. Gave it extra zing! Next time I will just use the powder to roll them in, then sprinkle crushed candy on top! Happy Holidays!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 8th, 2015 @ 9:03 pm

      Thanks Stephanie, we’re happy you liked them! The crushed Lemonheads sound like a yummy addition! :)

  31. Cat — December 22, 2015 @ 7:05 pm (#)

    Who knew 2 oz of missing cake mix could make such a HUGE difference?  My boxes come in 16.25 oz and didn’t think it would be a problem.  It was so runny that I was ready to throw the whole thing out yesterday until I read Kim’s comment below that she just added powdered sugar until the batter was thickened.  Worked like a charm and the cookies are fantastic!  

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — December 23rd, 2015 @ 10:34 am

      Oh no! Well we’re happy they worked out after all, thanks for sharing!

  32. Birdie — March 4, 2016 @ 3:17 pm (#)

    I made these cookies last night and everyone in my house loved them! They were so easy to make and are so yummy!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 7th, 2016 @ 2:49 pm

      Thanks Birdie! We’re so happy they were a hit! :D

  33. Lisa Kipp — March 23, 2016 @ 8:40 am (#)

    I am pretty sure these are the cookies my grandmother used to make when I was little. I have been looking for the recipe for years! I can’t wait to try this and see if they are as good as I remember!!!

    • Hayley @ Gimme Some Oven — March 23rd, 2016 @ 1:38 pm

      Oh wonderful Lisa! We hope they’re like hers (or just as good)! :)


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