Close up of a bowl with cookies

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

These Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies are flaky, lightly sweetened, with subtle lemon flavour. They taste almost like lemon pie dough. Egg-free | #cookies #lemon #creamcheesecookies
Course Dessert
Cuisine Russian
Keyword cookies, cream cheese, lemon
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Calories 49kcal
Author Julia


Lemon sugar

  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookie Dough

  • 1/2 package cream cheese (125 g)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3/4+1/8 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • More flour for dusting and rolling


Make lemon sugar

  • Mix the sugar and lemon zest until very well mixed. Sometimes it's easier to use your fingers to do so.

Make Lemon Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.  Prepare a large baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and unsalted butter. Mash with a fork until well mixed.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine until soft dough forms.
  • Turn the dough onto a floured working surface and knead a few times to get it smooth. It may not be fully smooth, don't worry about it. Once you start rolling the dough, all the little pieces will come together.
  • Flour a rolling pin and roll the dough until it's about 1/4 inch (about 0.5 cm) thick or even a bit thinner. Add flour as needed so that it doesn't stick to the surface.
    You might need to add 1/8-1/4 cup flour as you roll. That is fine.
  • Using a round cookie cutter dipped in flour (or a glass or a mason jar) that is 2.5 inch (about 7 cm) in diameter, cut out round cookies. 
  • You can re-roll leftover dough and cut out more circles.
  • Option 1: Dip each round cookie circle into the lemon sugar on one side. If it doesn't stick, then press it with your fingers.
    Fold in half with the sugar inside.
    Dip the half moon into the lemon sugar just on one side. Again, press with fingers if the sugar doesn't stick.
    Fold in half with the sugar inside.
    Finally, dip the resulting triangle into the lemon sugar on one side and place on a baking sheet sugar side up.
  • If the lemon sugar doesn't stick.
    Option 2: Spread the lemon sugar in a thin layer over a large plate.
    Dip (or lightly brush) each dough circle with lemon juice before dipping into lemon sugar. This will ensure that the lemon sugar sticks.
    Lemon juice will also melt the sugar, so it's imperative to spread the sugar around to keep it out of reach of lemon juice for as long as possible. You might need to use more lemon sugar as it will melt.
  • Bake the cookies on the prepared baking sheet for about 30-35 minutes until they are golden and puffed up.



For extra lemon flavour add 1 teaspoon of lemon extract.
These cookies are very lightly sweetened. Most sweetness comes from the sugar that the cookies are dipped in. If you prefer sweeter cookies, then add up to 1/4 cup of sugar to the dough.
Flour: I use 1 cup of flour that weighs 150 g. Not, 120 g. So, in this recipe I use 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons of flour which equal to around 130g. Use enough flour to make a soft and pliable dough that is not sticky!


Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 15mg | Potassium: 27mg | Vitamin A: 120IU | Vitamin C: 0.7mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.2mg