Easy Lemon Cookies

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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

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 9 minutes
  • Total Time: 19 minutes
  • Yield: 20 -30 cookies 1x


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)


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. 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.
  3. Bake for 6 to 9 minutes in the preheated oven. The bottoms will be light brown, and the insides chewy.
  4. **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.)


Recipe adapted from AllRecipes

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.

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92 comments on “Easy Lemon Cookies”

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

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

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

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

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

  12. My Captain is gonna love these! thanks.

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

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

  17. these are my fav.

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

  21. 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.

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  23. Pingback: Easy Lemon Cookies


    • 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.

  25. 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!

  26. 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?

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  28. 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!

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

  30. 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! 

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

  31. 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!

  32. 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.

  33. 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!

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

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  35. 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!  

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

  38. 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!!!

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  42. I tried this and they were really good no tje best but pretty good?! Thx please share more?!

  43. 4 stars
    Hi, I made these cookies last night and they were fabulous!! Thank you for sharing.
    I do have one question, I followed the recipe exactly but my dough turned out very sticky and I was not able to form into balls
    Instead I made drop cookies sprinkled the sugar on them, they turned out great. But what did I do wrong? Why couldn’t I form them into balls? Should I add flour?

    • Thanks for sharing, Jamilah — we’re so glad you still enjoyed them even though they were sticky and difficult to work with — we’re sorry about that! :( We’re not sure what could have gone wrong, but adding a bit of flour and/or letting the mixture chill in the fridge for a while (before working with them) would likely help in the future.

  44. For baking at high altitude would you just add extra flour as likely noted on cake box instructions?

    • Hi Jill! For high altitude baking, we love the King Arthur site as a helpful guide. You may want to increase the baking temp 15 to 25° and you may want to adjust the flour. If you’re at 3,500 feet, add 1 more tablespoon per recipe. For each additional 1,500 feet, add one more tablespoon. Same with the liquid. Increase by 1 to 2 tablespoons at 3,000 feet. Increase by 1 1/2 teaspoons for each additional 1,000 feet. We hope this helps!

  45. 5 stars
    Look great have got to try.

  46. Can these be made without the lemon juice and lemon zest and still taste yummy? I have the mix but no lemon and no way to go get one!

  47. 5 stars
    Try adding some fresh rosemary in the mix for an interesting fresh twist. I’ve done this with lemon cupcakes, yum

  48. 5 stars
    I’ve made these many times and each time my gang finishes them in one sitting. Super good and fast and easy.

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  50. 5 stars
    Couldn’t help but throw in my 2cents. I bake only gluten free and lemon cake mixes are very rare. I bake these cookies every christmas and start with a 15.25 oz gf cake mix and add sm box lemon instant pudding mix, gluten free of cource, this brings weight up to 18.25 oz size and procede with recipe. Have done similar with other baking recipes I want to convert. Just thought it might help some struggling with smaller boxes of cake mixes. I just love your site by the way, many yummy things to choose from, Linda