Lemon Sugar Cookies



35 min


2 hrs 45 min


48 cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Photo, Erik Putz. Food styling, Irene Ngo, Carolyn Chua.

A bright take on a classic.


  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tsp lemon zest , about 2 lemons (optional)

Lemon Royal icing:

  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
  • 3 to 5 tsp lemon juice


  • variously sized gold-coloured sprinkles


1. Stir flour with baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter with granulated sugar in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high, until fluffy, 2 to 3 min. Beat in eggs and lemon zest. Reduce speed to low, then gradually beat in flour until just combined.

2. Divide dough into 2 portions. Shape each into a ball, then flatten into discs and wrap separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hr.

3. Position rack in centre of oven, then preheat to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment. On a lightly floured surface, roll 1 disc of dough until 1/4 in. thick. Cut out shapes with a 2-in. star-shaped cookie cutter. Arrange about 1 in. apart on prepared sheet.

4. Bake until cookies are golden around edges, 10 to 11 min. Let stand on sheet for 3 to 4 min, then transfer to a rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining disc. Gather dough scraps and form into a disc. Chill, then repeat rolling, cutting and baking process.

5. Icing: Beat egg white with cream of tartar in a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium, until foamy. Beat in icing sugar until combined. Increase speed to high and beat until thick and glossy, 3 to 4 min. Stir in lemon juice, 1 tsp at a time, to thin the icing out to desired consistency. (Icing should be a thick but pipe-able consistency.) Scoop half the icing into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip.

6. Topping: Pipe lines or squiggles on 1 cookie, then sprinkle immediately with gold sugar. Repeat with remaining cookies. Set aside until icing is completely dry, preferably overnight.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 87,
  • Protein
  • 1 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 15 g,
  • Fat
  • 3 g,
  • Sodium
  • 335 mg.

Make-Ahead Tip:
Refrigerate the dough discs up to 1 week. Leave at room temperature for 10 min before rolling out.

Storage Tip:
Cookies will keep well stored in an airtight container up to 5 days.