Lemon Bar Cookies

Lemon Bar Cookies

It has been quite the savory kind of week here at The Seaside Baker, and I thought it was finally time for something sweet!

Lemon Bar Cookies

I am on a total lemon kick right now, and can’t seem to get enough. Lemon curd, lemon cake, lemon bars, and these cookies. I just came back from a friend’s house where she loaded me up with probably 30 pounds of lemons and limes…so let the obsession continue! Don’t worry, I will be adding some savory lemon dishes to the mix too….maybe :)

Lemon Bar Cookies

Now, about these cookies. They are like a tart lemon curd or bar…in cookie form, mixed with the gooey butter bars that I posted last week. In other words-creamy and tart all in the same bite.

Lemon Bar Cookies

There are a few ingredients that I added to really up the lemon flavor. In addition to the lemon zest and juice I added instant lemon pudding. This is not necessary, but it does help keep the cookies soft and fresh for days. If you don’t want to add the pudding or can’t find it, replace it with corn starch and it will keep the cookies soft. I also added lemon extracts, but I would like to point out that not all extracts are the same. I highly suggest using Nielsen-Massey Pure Lemon Extract because it has a true lemon flavor, unlike the artificial tasting extract found at the grocery store. Again, this extract is not absolutely necessary, but highly suggested. You can always add vanilla in its place too.

Lemon Bar Cookies

Anyway, I can’t wait to try these cookies with lime curd or maybe even grapefruit! Don’t you think they would be delicious! Happy baking!

Lemon Bar Cookies

Yield: Makes 4 dozen cookies

Lemon Bar Cookies


  • 4 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup Instant Lemon Pudding Mix (powder)
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound cream cheese
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • Confectioner’s sugar (powdered sugar) for rolling and dusting


  1. In a bowl combine flour, lemon pudding mix, baking powder and salt. Mix together with a whisk.
  2. Using your electric mixer or beaters, beat together cream cheese, butter, sugar, extract and zest.
  3. Add eggs one at a time to butter mixture.
  4. Mix in lemon juice.
  5. Slowly add flour mixture to wet mixture, beating on slow until just combined.
  6. Cover and refrigerate dough for at least one hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  8. Scoop out 1 in rounds and roll in a bowl of confectioner's sugar *note dough will be sticky
  9. Place on cookie sheet leaving 2 inches between each cookie dough ball.
  10. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until edge a just barley browned.
  11. Cool on cookie sheet for 10 minutes then cool completely on cooling rack.


recipe adapted from Mathew Rice


This post contains one amazon affiliate link. 

Leave a Reply

  1. These look amazing. My mom is on a quest for the perfect lemon cookie, so I’ll definitely be making these!

  2. Pingback: Meyer Lemon Bars | Charlene Champion Photography

  3. Due to cost reasons, I omitted the lemon extract and vanilla extract but they still came out pretty lemony. Regardless, they were a hit with friends and co-workers!

  4. In instructions were ..1 teaspoon lemon. And1/4 cup lemon juice…did I get this correct? What does that mean?

  5. I made a very popular lemon cookie recipe from Pinterest, and it was more like a lemon-flavored sugar cookie. But THESE. These were DEFINITELY lemon cookies, and they were exactly what I was looking for!

    I made some changes (because I live at a high altitude). I added more flour and used less baking powder and sugar. I also used vanilla extract instead of lemon, and I thought they were lemon-y enough.

    They were super yummy, but the dough and resulting cookies were really thick and creamy. Normally I would add milk to thin dough, but I’m reluctant to do that because of the acidic lemon juice. Do you think it would be okay if I used less cream cheese? (And how much less?) Or should I add a bit of water?

    Thanks for the recipe, it’s definitely a keeper! :)

  6. Pingback: Lemon Bar Cookies | Cook & Taste

  7. Pingback: Lemon Bar Cookies | Create with Megan

  8. Half recipe:

    2 1/8 cup flour
    1/6 cup pudding mix
    2 tsp. baking powder
    3/4 tsp. salt
    8 oz. cream cheese (softened)
    1 stick butter (softened)
    1 1/2 cup sugar
    1 1/2 TBS. lemon zest
    1 egg
    1/2 tsp. lemon extract
    1/8 cup lemon juice