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This 3-Ingredient Lemon Crinkle Cookies Recipe is the easiest cookie recipe you’ll make! But don’t let the simplicity fool you. They are packed with sweet, fresh lemon flavor, and the texture is divine!

These soft and chewy cookies are dusted with powdered sugar, taking them to the next level. These easy lemon crinkle cookies are some of my favorite Christmas cookies, but they are perfect all year — fall, winter, spring, and summer!

  • Three Simple Ingredients. That’s right! All you need to make these delicious cookies is a box of cake mix, powdered sugar, and whipped cream.
  • Perfect Cookies for Any Occasion. Lemon cookies are perfect for baby showers, birthday celebrations, holiday parties, and more!
  • A Family Favorite. This new cookie recipe is excellent for inviting your kids or other family members to help in the kitchen. In fact, with just a bit of supervision, children can complete this recipe entirely on their own!
collage of ingredients for lemon crinkle cookies.

Ingredient notes

  • Cake mix | Choose your favorite lemon cake mix from your grocery store in the baking aisle. I used Duncan Hines Perfectly Moist Lemon Supreme for my chewy lemon cookies.
  • Whipped topping | Bring the cookie dough to life with frozen whipped topping, like the famous Cool Whip. 
  • Powdered Sugar | Roll the lemon crinkles in powdered sugar for delicate sweetness and the crinkle effect.

How to make Lemon Cake Mix Cookies

Make this mouth-watering lemon cookies recipe with just three basic ingredients and a few simple steps!

First, set the oven temperature to 350° F.

In the meantime, add the box cake mix and whipped topping to a large bowl, mixing with a spoon until fully incorporated. Yep, it is that easy!

process steps for preparing the batter for lemon crinkle cookies.

STEP 2 | Scoop the cookies

Next, use an ice cream scoop or a medium cookie scoop to portion out each ball of dough. Place the balls into a separate bowl with powdered sugar.

STEP 3 | Coat with powdered sugar 

Then, use a fork to roll the cookie dough balls until they are coated with the powdered sugar and set them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

This way, your hands stay clean, and the ball keeps its scooped shape.

tips

  • A stand or electric hand mixer is unnecessary for this recipe, but you can use one.
  • Keep in mind that this recipe makes batter-like cookie dough.
  • For the best results, leave about two inches of space around each cookie to allow spreading as they bake.
baked lemon crinkle cookies on a baking sheet on a table with lemons.

STEP 4 | Bake, cool, and enjoy!

Lastly, slip the baking sheet into the preheated oven to bake for about 12 minutes. Then, remove the cookies, letting them cool on the sheet pan for a few minutes.

Once cooled enough to handle, you can move the cookies to a wire rack to continue cooling, but it’s not necessary.

And all that’s left is to dig into the freshly baked lemon Cool Whip cookies!

For more lemon desserts, check out this classic Lemon Bundt Cake, decadent Lemon Ricotta Cake, and my fun Lemonade Icebox Pie in a Jar!

lifting lemon crinkle cookie off the baking sheet with a wooden spatula.

Variations and substitutions

  • Homemade Whipped Cream. If you’re not a fan of frozen whipped topping, make your own whipped cream with heavy whipping cream, sugar, and a dash of vanilla extract.
  • More Cake Mixes. Use this same recipe to make Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies, chocolate crinkle cookies, or other fun cake flavors, like raspberry or red velvet crinkle cookies. The lemon version is the winner for me, though.
  • Bright Lemon Flavor. Add a bit of juice and zest from fresh lemons to boost the flavor for all my lemon lovers out there! You can also use lemon extract if preferred.
  • Reduce the sugar with a sugar-free powdered sugar substitute, like monk fruit sweetener, and choose the sugar-free Cool Whip.
  • Glaze the chewy cookies with this easy lemon glaze recipe for my Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins or the recipe from my Glazed Lemon Cake Mix Cookie.

Storage and reheating tips

  • This chewy lemon cookie recipe will keep at room temperature for a couple of days when stored in a sealed container.
  • For longer storage, place them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.
  • You can also freeze baked cookies for about two months and thaw them in the refrigerator overnight to enjoy the next day.
lemon crinkle cookies stacked on top of each other in a white dish on a table.

Frequently asked questions

What is a crinkle cookie?

A crinkle cookie is just as it sounds– It has a crinkled texture on its surface from being coated in powdered sugar before baking.

Is this lemon crinkle cookie recipe dairy-free?

From the standard recipe, these cookies aren’t technically dairy-free. Original Cool Whip does contain dairy ingredients, but you can use a plant-based alternative if you need this recipe to be dairy-free.

What are the three simple ingredients for cookies?

Butter, flour, and sugar are the three main ingredients for classic cookie recipes. Cake mix cookies are even simpler– The cake mix includes flour and sugar, while the whipped topping acts like butter would in a traditional cookie recipe.

Why are my crinkle cookies not crinkling?

It’s possible you added too much Cool Whip or allowed it to become runny instead of slightly softened from thawing. When the cookie dough is too wet, the powdered sugar dissolves into the surface as the cookies bake instead of crinkling apart.

the sweetest season cookie graphic

This recipe is part of The Sweetest Season, an annual virtual cookie swap co-hosted by Erin of The Speckled Palate and Susannah of Feast + West. Every year, food bloggers get together to share new holiday cookie recipes to make and give.

This year we are raising money for Cookies 4 Kids’ Cancer, which is a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to funding research for new, innovative and less-toxic treatments for childhood cancer.

Since 2008, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer has granted nearly $18 million to pediatric cancer research in the form of 100+ research grants to leading pediatric cancer centers across the country. From these grants have stemmed 35+ treatments available to kids battling cancer today.

Help us raise money for this important cause! Donate through our fundraising page.

Another exciting thing is that Cookies for Kids’ Cancer is in a matching window with their friends at OXO, meaning OXO will be matching every dollar raised through the end of 2023, up to $100,000. Whatever money we raise will automatically double on our fundraising page!

lemon crinkle cookies in a white dish with lemon slices on a table.

Here are more delicious cookie recipes perfect for your next holiday cookie exchange or any other time of the year. Try my Chewy Molasses Crinkle Cookies, festive Peppermint Chocolate Drop Cookies, and or these rich Caramel Pecan Thumbprint Cookies.

Serving suggestions

If you want something to sip on as you indulge in these chewy lemon crinkle cookies, try my Cranberry White Grape Christmas Punch and this Refreshing Blueberry Tea.

Behind the recipe: Box Cake Cookies

Did you know that the box cake mix has been around since 1933? Well, it took a few years after WWII to take off, but advertisements of this exciting new way to make a homemade cake began as early as the 1930s.

Magazines claimed this revolutionary cake mix only needed water and tasted as delicious as a from-scratch recipe. 

The first boxed mixes also included dried eggs, making it even easier. However, after some time, they came out with mixes that required fresh eggs (and later milk, oil, or butter, too), and home chefs were obsessed!

Today, cake mixes are commonly used and a staple in American pantries. This crinkle cake mix cookie recipe proves that box mixes are even used for more recipes than just cakes!

lemon crinkle cookies on parchment paper with lemon slices.

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Lemon crinkle cookies with lemon slices on parchment paper.

3-Ingredient Lemon Crinkle Cookies (Cool Whip Cookies)

This 3-Ingredient Lemon Crinkle Cookies Recipe is the easiest cookie recipe you’ll make. They are packed with sweet, fresh lemon flavor.
4.77 from 17 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Course Cookies & Bars
Cuisine American
Servings 25 cookies
Calories 10 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 15.25 oz. lemon cake mix
  • 1 8-oz. frozen whipped topping softened Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • ½ cup powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • Add the lemon cake mix and whipping topping to a large bowl.
  • Mix with a spoon until completely combined.
  • Portion out each cookie with an ice cream scoop and place the ball into a bowl with the powdered sugar.
  • Use a fork to roll the balls around until coated, then place them on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 12 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow the cookies to cool to your liking before devouring

Notes

  • Store cookies tightly sealed at room temperature for up to 2 days. The cookies may be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks or frozen for up to 2 months.
  • A stand or electric hand mixer is unnecessary for this recipe, but you can use one.
  • For the best results, leave about two inches of space around each cookie to allow spreading as they bake.
  • Keep in mind that this recipe makes batter-like cookie dough.

Nutrition

Calories: 10kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 0.003gFat: 0.003gSaturated Fat: 0.002gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.001gCholesterol: 0.01mgSodium: 0.4mgPotassium: 0.1mgFiber: 0gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 0.1IUCalcium: 0.2mgIron: 0.002mg

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword cake mix, cool whip, easy recipe, lemon
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
Sheila Thigpen, blogger

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.

14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Only THREE ingredients? These look so so good and easy! I am obsessed with anything lemon and I cannot wait to try making this easy cookie recipe. Thank you for being a part of The Sweetest Season this year, Sheila.

  2. 5 stars
    I couldn’t believe how easy these were. I had a lemon laying around so I added a little zest for an extra punch of flavor. YUM.

  3. 5 stars
    I have never seen a recipe like this calling for whipped topping and cake mix, so you KNOW I had to give it a try and YUM! What a delightful and simple cookie to make. So lemony, too!

    Thanks for sharing this amazing recipe and supporting a great cause this holiday season, Sheila!

  4. Such an easy recipe and so full of great lemon flavor. I made this for a luncheon with some friends and they all loved it.

  5. 5 stars
    This is such an intriguing recipe (3 ingredients!) and I couldn’t wait to try it. My whole family raved about the sweet flavor and chewy texture of these crinkle cookies, and I kept our little secret about how easy the recipe is! Definitely a new favorite!!

  6. 5 stars
    I found your recipe when I found a box of lemon cake mix that was about to expire, made these and sent to my boys in college, though I snuck a few for us — SO delish!

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