I am a chocolate girl! It’s my go-to dessert flavor. But sometimes, if you’re like me, you’re in the mood for a cookie that’s light and refreshing. And these easy lemon cookies definitely fit the bill! They are so easy to make because they only have 6 ingredients and one of them is a box of lemon cake mix. That is my kind of recipe!
I think these lemon cookies would be great to make for a Christmas exchange or PTA bake sale because the recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies! And using a hand mixer to whip them up makes clean up a breeze, too. The kids can easily help roll up the balls and coat them in powdered sugar, so it can be a fun family activity! Before I get started, though, I just want to let you know that these are a bit time-consuming because once you have made the dough, it needs to chill in the fridge for 2 hours before rolling them out and baking them. But, trust me, they are worth the wait! I found the original recipe here.
Easy lemon cookies
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1 box lemon cake mix (I used Betty Crocker super moist lemon)
8 oz. pkg. cream cheese or Neuchâtel cheese, softened
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 stick butter, softened
About 3/4 c. powdered sugar (to roll cookies in)
Cream the butter and cream cheese, using a hand mixer, until smooth.
Add the egg and lemon juice. Mix until incorporated.
Add the entire package of cake mix gradually. I found that after I had added about 3/4 of the mix, the dough began to get really thick and difficult to mix. But then again, my mixer is 20 years old… Use a rubber spatula to remove the dough from the beaters. I actually used a large spoon to finish mixing in the last little bit of cake mix so I could make sure it was thoroughly combined.
Once the dough is all mixed, mound it up in the mixing bowl and put a layer of plastic wrap over it. Refrigerate the dough for 2 hours or until you think it is solid enough to roll into 1 inch balls.
When the dough is ready, pre-heat the oven to 350°.
Either use a small dough scoop (like this one) or roll dough by hand into 1″ balls.
Roll the balls in powdered sugar. I find that having the sugar in a measuring cup works great. (Just as an aside: my daughter is 16 and has lots of fun nail polish colors. She convinced me to try blue (!) and hers is green. Hence, the colorful nails you see in these pictures 🙂 )
Put the balls on cookie sheets. These don’t spread out too much, so I was able to fit 4 to 5 cookies in a row on my standard cookie sheets. Our batch made 45 cookies because my daughter was using the scoop so hers were a consistent size and I was eyeballing mine and using a spoon. 😉
Bake for 12-15 minutes. Halfway through, switch the pans so the one that started on the top rack finishes on the bottom and vice versa for even cooking. They are done when they have cracks on the top and are slightly browned on the bottom.
Let the cookies cool for several minutes and then transfer them to parchment or waxed paper to finish cooling.
Store them in an airtight container.
See how easy that was? Nobody will guess you used cake mix. They are light and fluffy and taste just amazing. Not too tangy, not too sweet. Yum! So give them a try. I bet you’ll be amazed, too! What are your favorite lemon desserts? I also love lemon bars.
P.S. I told you my favorite flavor was chocolate, so here is a bonus recipe. Decadent chocolate lava cake, made in a crock pot! Try it, too!
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