These lemon cookies are super soft, packed with white chocolate chips, and bursting with the flavor of fresh lemon. A few tips and techniques make these lemon cookies melt-in-your-mouth delicious! You’ll love the combination of tart lemon and sweet white chocolate.
These cookies are my new favorite lemon dessert (shhhh, don’t tell my Lemon Cream Pie or Lemon Bars). I love that these cookies pack a ton of flavor without too much work. The cookie dough comes together in about 15 minutes. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. See what I did there? 😉
Why this recipe works
Flavor: Bright and tart lemon paired with sweet and creamy white chocolate. Using a combination lemon zest and juice adds maximum lemon flavor.
Texture: Cookies with soft centers and chewy edges, rolled in sugar for a little crunch.
Technique: Adding an extra egg yolk helps to make the cookies chewy and rich. A bit of cornstarch makes the cookies soft. Rolling the dough balls in lemon sugar adds an additional layer of flavor and texture.
Ease: This dough comes together in about 15 minutes.
Beat butter, lemon zest, and sugar.
Add egg, egg yolk, vanilla, and lemon juice.
Beat in flour, leavening, cornstarch, salt.
Stir in the white chocolate chips.
Important step: chill the dough for one hour.
Combine granulated sugar and lemon zest. Scoop the dough into 2-tablespoon balls and roll in the lemon sugar.
Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 9-11 minutes.
Lemon tips and techniques
You will need 3 large or 4 medium lemons for this recipe.
Remove the zest/yellow skin from the the lemons before cutting and juicing them.
Use a fine microplane style grater for the lemon zest. Only grate the yellow skin, not the white pith.
For the lemon sugar topping, rub the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingers. This will make the mixture super fragrant.
- Butter should be softened to cool room temperature. It should be slightly soft and still cool to the touch. If the butter is over-softened (or beginning to melt) the cookies will spread too much in the oven.
- Don’t skip the chill time. We found one hour to be the right amount of time for the perfect cookie consistency (not too thick, not too thin, easy to work with).
- Use a cookie scoop for evenly sized cookies.
- Line your baking sheets with parchment paper. This helps the cookies bake evenly and prevents them from spreading too much. Bonus: it also makes cleanup a breeze!
- Under bake the cookies. You should remove these cookies from the oven when the edges are beginning to set but the centers are still slightly undercooked. They should be so soft that you cannot pick them up off the baking sheet without them falling apart. They will firm up as they cool on the baking sheet.
- For a prettier cookie, gently add a few extra white chocolate chips on top of the cookies right after baking. They’ll melt and stick to the cookie.
How to get perfectly round cookies
Option 1: Immediately after the cookies come out of the oven place a round glass, bowl, or cookie cutter (slightly larger than the cookie) upside down over the top of the cookie. Gently but quickly swirl the glass/bowl/cookie cutter in a circular motion. The edges of the cookie will bump against the inside of the glass creating a perfectly round shape. Note: This only works when the cookies are hot, straight from the oven, and still on the warm baking sheet.
Option 2: Immediately after the cookies come out the oven use the back of a spoon to gently push the edges inward to create clean edges and a perfect round shape.
Lemon White Chocolate Cookies
- 1½ cups all purpose flour*
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened slightly but still cool
- ⅔ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons finely grated lmon zest
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1½ tablsepoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ⅔ cup white chocolate chips or chunks
- ½ cup granulated sugar, for topping
- ½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, for topping
- Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, ⅔ cup granulated sugar, and 2 tablespoons lemon zest until creamy and combined, about 1 minute. Add vanilla, egg, egg yolk, and lemon juice, beating until combined and scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. The mixture might look a little curdled, that's ok. Add the flour mixture and beat until well combined. Stir in the white chocolate chips. Place the dough in the refrigerator for one hour.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (this is important so that the cookies don't spread too much). In a wide shallow bowl, combine ½ cup sugar and ½ teaspoon lemon zest. Rub the lemon zest into the sugar with your fingertips.
- Scoop the chilled dough into 2-tablespoon balls. Roll each dough ball in the lemon sugar. Place the dough balls a couple inches apart on the parchment-lined baking sheets. For thicker cookies leave the dough balls mounded, for thinner cookies press down on each dough ball (jut a bit!) to encourage spreading. Bake for 9-11 minutes. The edges should just be beginning to set and the center should still look slightly underdone. If desired, place a few extra white chocolate pieces on top of each cookie (the heat from the cookie will make the chocolate melt and stick). See note section for tips on getting perfectly round cookies. Place the baking sheets on wire racks to cool completely. The cookies will firm up as they cool.
Nutritional Information is an estimate based on third-party calculations and may vary based on products used and serving sizes.