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These refreshing, zesty Lemon Cake Mix Cookies perfectly balance tart and sweet. Get ready for Christmas with this simple recipe that melts in your mouth and fills your kitchen with a sweet lemony aroma.

Glazed lemon cookies are sure to brighten your days during the chilly winter. The two main ingredients for the cookie dough are lemon cake mix and lemon instant pudding, making this recipe as easy as it can be!

Lemon Cake Mix Cookies with lemon glaze on a blue plate.

This crowd-pleasing dessert is great for any time of year but even better for special occasions, like a baby shower, office potluck, or birthday party.

What’s more, they will steal the spotlight at your next Christmas cookie exchange! And, the cake mix gives the cookies an airy texture, while the pudding mix keeps them moist.

For more scrumptious and holiday cookie recipes, check out my Pecan Butter Cookies, similar to Danish wedding cookies, or these Chocolate Drop Cookies with festive red and green sprinkles. Try my Jam Thumbprint Lemon Shortbread Cookies for something more unique, or these adorable and fun Chocolate Christmas Pinwheel Cookies!

ingredients for lemon cake mix cookies on a table.

Key ingredients & substitutions for Lemon Cookies

Lemon Cookies

  • Lemon cake mix | Using a box of lemon cake mix simplifies this cookie recipe. Plus, it produces a fluffy sugar cookie. I used the Betty Crocker Lemon Cake mix, but you can use your favorite brand.
  • Instant lemon pudding | Instant pudding makes this unique cookie recipe extra soft and moist, and it adds more lemon flavor. Avoid regular pudding mix, which will bake differently than the instant product.
  • Canola oil | Add some canola oil to moisten the cookie dough and help combine the dry ingredients.
  • Lemon juice | Freshly squeezed lemon juice brings a more authentic and robust lemon flavor to these tasty lemon cookies.
  • Eggs | A couple of room-temperature eggs give the baked cookie a softer and fluffier texture.

Lemon Glaze

  • Lemons | You will also add fresh lemon juice to the simple glaze. Sprinkle in some lemon zest for a pop of tart citrus flavor.
  • Powdered sugar | Powdered sugar gives the glazing structure and makes it melt in your mouth with each delicious bite!

How to make Glazed Lemon Cookies

There are only four steps for each part of this recipe — the cookies and the 2-ingredient icing. Plus, the cookies are made from a convenient box of lemon cake mix. It doesn’t get much easier than that!

STEP 1 | Preheat and prep

Let’s begin this simple lemon cookie recipe by preheating the oven to 350 degrees and lining a couple of cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

You’ll also want to have your two eggs set out to come to room temperature, and go ahead and juice the lemon.

process steps for preparing lemon cake mix cookies; mix ingredients; roll into balls.

STEP 2 | Mix the ingredients

Now, grab a large bowl and a rubber spatula. Pour in the lemon cake mix, instant pudding, canola oil, fresh lemon juice, and eggs.

For this recipe, avoid using a stand or electric mixer. This effortless tool may be tempting, but you can easily overmix the dough. Therefore, combining the ingredients by hand is best.

STEP 3 | Roll the dough

Time to make the cookies! Simply roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Then, place the dough balls on the lined baking sheets.

It is essential to give the dough plenty of space to spread out as it bakes, so place the balls about 2 inches away from one another. 

process steps for making lemon glaze and spreading on cookies.

STEP 4 | Bake and cool

Carefully slip the cookies into the oven and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. You want to remove the baking sheets before the cookies become brown around the edges.

Once they are finished baking, move them from the oven and let the cookies remain on baking sheets for 3 minutes so they don’t crumble when handling them. Then, transfer each to a wire rack to cool completely.

tips

  • It helps to chill the cookie dough for about 30 minutes before forming it into balls. They will be less sticky and easier to handle.
  • Before forming the dough balls, wet your hands to avoid a sticky mess.

STEP 1 | Combine the Lemon Glaze ingredients

For the glaze, zest one of the lemons and add it to a medium bowl. Pour in the powdered sugar and gently stir the two ingredients.

Mixing powdered sugar without any liquid can make a mess if you aren’t careful! So, take your time to save yourself some cleanup.

STEP 2 | Add the lemon juice

Next, pour the lemon juice into the zest and sugar mixture, just one tablespoon at a time, so it is evenly incorporated. Continuously stir as you go until the icing reaches the desired consistency.

You want it to be silky smooth, and thin enough to drip slowly from a spoon. If the icing is a little too runny, add more powdered sugar to thicken it up.

STEP 3 | Spread the icing and allow it to dry

Once the lemon cookies have completely cooled, spread the icing on top of each, so it reaches the edges but does not pour-over. Place the iced cookies on parchment paper or a wire rack until the icing fully dries

tips

  • If you prefer less icing, you can drizzle it in zig-zag stripes using a whisk or spoon or omit it entirely.
  • To make glazing the cookies a little easier, pour the icing into a shallow bowl and lightly dip the top of the cookie into it. Allow the excess to drip before turning it over and placing it back on the cooling rack or parchment paper.

Lemon Cake Mix Cookies with lemon glaze on a blue plate with lemons on the side.

Frequently asked questions

What other icings or glazes top this cookie off nicely?

Switch it up and spread a classic buttercream or lemon cream cheese frosting on top. You can also make a sweet coconut frosting to compliment the bright lemon flavor! If you’re a chocolate lover, don’t be afraid to ice these cookies with a rich, chocolatey glaze.

Can you make this recipe with other fruits?

You sure can! All you need to do is switch the lemon to another fruit. Create bright Orange or subtle lime cookies. Try making a batch of lemon-lime cookies with lemon cookie dough and tart lime icing for something extra unique. 

How should you store this recipe for later?

Allow the glaze to completely dry, then store the cookies in an airtight container or bag for about four days at room temperature.
If you’re located in a hot and humid area, you may want to store them in the fridge instead. The heat and excess moisture will likely make the glaze melt or become soft. Plus, the lemon cookies will last a little longer in the refrigerator.

You can also freeze the cookies for long-term storage by placing them in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag. They will keep for about three months when frozen. Remember to place a piece of wax or parchment paper between each layer of cookies so they don’t stick to one another.

a lemon cake mix cookie with a bite missing.

Serving suggestions

Lemon cookies are excellent treats for so many uses. For example, turn these zesty cookies into a sweet Christmas gift for your friendly neighbors, hard-working teachers, or supportive co-workers. Package three to five cookies in festive boxes tied with a gold ribbon or plastic gift bags with a heart-warming note.

You may be pleasantly surprised at how much of a hit this recipe is at a Cookie exchange. Wow, the judges and guests with sweet and tart-glazed lemon cookies. They will certainly ask for seconds, so make plenty to go around!

More ways to use this unique recipe include sneaking them into your kid’s lunch box for a sweet surprise or adding them to your family’s holiday feast. 

Behind the recipe: Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Join the nation on December 22nd for National Cookie Exchange Day by showcasing these incredible lemon cake mix cookies.

The idea of the fun and social cookie exchange has existed since the early 20th century. No one truly knows where or when the idea originated. But it has been popular among social groups, schools, businesses, and communities for many years.

Discovering the exact history of this unique event may never be possible. Since the beginning of civilization, people have gathered to share special treats. Food has a funny way of bringing people together and aiding in creating some of our most cherished memories.

two slacks of lemon cake mix cookies on a blue plate with lemons.

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two slacks of lemon cake mix cookies on a blue plate with lemons.

Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

These refreshing, zesty, and moist Lemon Cake Mix Cookies perfectly balance tart and sweet. Get ready for this simple recipe to melt in your mouth and fill your kitchen with a sweet lemony aroma.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 11 mins
Cooling time 3 mins
Course Sweets
Cuisine American
Servings 4 dozen
Calories 55 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 15.25 oz. box lemon cake mix
  • 1 3.4 oz. pkg. instant lemon pudding
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablesooon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 large eggs room temperature

Lemon Glaze

  • 2 small lemons 4 – 5 tablespoons juice + zest
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix, dry instant pudding, oil, lemon juice, and eggs with a rubber spatula — do not use an electric mixer!
  • Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
  • Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes — do not let the cookies brown on the edges. Remove from the oven and let stand on baking sheets for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Lemon Glaze

  • Zest one of the lemons and add to a medium bowl with the powdered sugar. Stir gently.
  • Add the lemon juice a tablespoon at a time, stirring until the icing reaches the desired consistency and is perfectly smooth. Note: The icing should be thin enough to drip from a spoon, but not runny.
  • Spread the icing on completely cool cookies and place parchment paper or a wire rack until dry.
  • Store cookies at room temperature tightly sealed with wax paper between layers of cookies.

Notes

  • It helps to chill the cookie dough for about 30 minutes before forming it into balls. They will be less sticky and easier to handle.
  • Before forming the dough balls, wet your hands to avoid a sticky mess.
  • If you prefer less icing, you can drizzle it in zig-zag stripes using a whisk or spoon or omit it entirely.
  • To make glazing the cookies a little easier, pour the icing into a shallow bowl and lightly dip the top of the cookie into it. Allow the excess to drip before turning it over and placing it back on the cooling rack or parchment paper.

Nutrition

Calories: 55kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 0.3gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 0.3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.01gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 3mgPotassium: 9mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 12IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 2mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword cake mix, cookies, lemon, lemon glaze
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
sheila thigpen in her kitchen

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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