Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

Last Updated: March 19, 2024

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5 from 6 votes
This lemon cream cheese cookies recipe is a zesty and soft treat that is topped with green and red candied cherries for a festive Christmas treat.
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For a soft and chewy cookie with a ton of flavor, you can’t beat this lemon cream cheese cookies recipe. It’s easy to make and looks pretty on a Christmas cookie tray, too!

lemon cream cheese cookies recipe

This lemon cream cheese cookies recipe is one of my all time favorite Christmas recipes.

The cream cheese makes the cookies soft and tender while the lemon adds just enough flavor to be tasty without overwhelming.

And the green and red candied cherries make them look really festive.

Even better? These are super fast and easy to make. No chilling time or rolling out dough required.

They even turn out well using gluten-free flour.

Ingredients

lemon cream cheese cookies ingredients

Here’s your shopping list:

  • dairy – ½ cup butter, 4 ounces cream cheese
  • baking supplies – 1 cup sugar, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1½ cups powdered sugar (optional, only for the glaze)
  • eggs – 1 large
  • fruit – 1 lemon, 1 dozen each candied red and green cherries

Substitutions

  • For gluten-free cookies, substitute measure-for-measure gluten-free flour (I tested it with King Arthur’s*) instead of all-purpose flour
  • Replace the candied cherries with dried fruit (apricots, cranberries, etc.), half a walnut or pecan, M&M’s or jam. To keep the jam in the center of the cookie, make an imprint in the center of the cookie using your finger and put the jam in it.

How To Make Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies with red and green glazed cherries on a wire rack.

The Prep Work

Take the butter, cream cheese and the egg out of the refrigerator a couple of hours ahead of time to let them warm up.

how to separate an egg with egg shells

Separate the egg – you’ll only need the yolk for this recipe.

To do this, crack the egg. Then pass the yolk back and forth between the egg shell halves while letting the egg white fall into a small below.

Grate 1 teaspoon of lemon rind.

Juice the lemon.

how to chop candied red and green cherries

Chop 12 red and 12 green candied cherries in half.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Make sure that your oven rack is in the center position.

Pre-heat the oven to 350℉.

Mix The Ingredients

Cream cheese and butter in a mixer bowl

Add 4 ounces (half of a regular-sized package) of cream cheese and ½ cup (1 stick) butter to the mixing bowl and beat until creamy.

Sugar  being added to the butter mixture

Gradually add in 1 cup sugar and beat until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.

Beat in the egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of lemon rind and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice. Save the remaining lemon juice for the glaze.

flour being added to the cookie dough in the mixer

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour slowly in batches.

lemon cream cheese cookie batter in a mixing bowl

Beat just until combined. Mixing too much at this stage will cause the cookies to be tough.

Make The Cookies

how to make cookie dough balls

Scoop out enough dough to make a 1 inch ball. Using a melon baller or a very small cookie scoop is the easiest way to do this.

Roll the dough between your hands to make a round ball.

Then place the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart on the parchment-covered cookie sheet.

Using parchment paper prevents the bottoms from browning too much, keeps the cookies from spreading and makes sure they don’t stick.

If you don’t have parchment paper, you can bake the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet, but they will spread more if you do this.

how to flatten cookie dough balls with the bottom of a glass

Use the bottom of a glass to flatten the cookies into a round disc that is about half an inch thick.

To keep the glass from sticking to the cookies, wrap a piece of parchment paper or waxed paper over the bottom of it.

candied cherries being pressed into lemon cream cheese cookies

Press half a candied cherry into the center of each cookie.

Bake The Cookies

Bake at 350℉ for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the bottoms are barely brown.

Remove from the oven and let cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheet.

Lemon cream cheese cookies on a cooling rack

Then move the cookies to a wire cooling rack to let cool completely.

How To Make Lemon Glaze

Before we go on, I will say that this step is optional.

The cookies taste delicious whether they have glaze on them or not.

But the glaze does add a little “extra” to both the look and the taste of the cookies.

And it only takes 2 ingredients – powdered sugar and the leftover lemon juice from making the cookies.

Start by sifting the powdered sugar. This will get rid of any lumps.

Then stir together 1½ cups of the sifted powdered sugar with 1 to 2 Tablespoons of the lemon juice you squeezed for the cookies.

The glaze should be thick, but easy to pour.

glazed lemon cream cheese cookies

Drizzle the glaze over the cookies and let stand until it sets.

How to store

These lemon cream cheese cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

close up of lemon cream cheese Christmas cookies

Other Christmas Cookie Recipes You Might Like

More Christmas cookie recipes –>

lemon cream cheese cookies

Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies With Lemon Glaze

5 from 6 votes
Servings: 48 cookies
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total 1 hour

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 4 ounces (½ regular-sized package) cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or measure-for-measure gluten-free flour
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 12 candied red cherries
  • 12 candied green cherries

Lemon Glaze

  • cups powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Equipment

  • Mixer with a mixing bowl
  • Spatula
  • measuring spoons and cups
  • cookie sheet
  • parchment paper
  • (optional) melon baller or size 100 cookie scoop
  • flat-bottom glass
  • wire cooling rack
  • mixing bowl (for the glaze)

Instructions
 

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350℉.
  • Add 4 ounces of cream cheese and ½ cup butter to the mixing bowl and beat until creamy.
  • Gradually add in 1 cup sugar and beat until the mixture is light in color and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Beat in the egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of lemon rind and 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour slowly. Beat just until combined.
  • Scoop out enough dough to make a 1 inch ball.
  • Place the cookie dough balls 2 inches apart on the parchment-covered cookie sheet.
  • Use the bottom of a glass to flatten the cookies into a 1½” disc that is about ½” thick.
  • Press half a candied cherry into the center of each cookie.
  • Bake at 350℉ for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the bottoms are barely brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheet.
  • Move the cookies to a wire cooling rack to let cool completely.

How To Make Lemon Glaze

  • Stir together 1½ cups sifted powdered sugar with 1 to 2 Tablespoons lemon juice adding enough of the juice until the glaze is thick, but still easy to pour.
  • Drizzle the glaze over the cookies and let stand until it sets.

Notes

  • Don’t beat the cookie dough too much once the flour has been added. This will prevent the cookies from being too tough.
  • Using a melon baller or a very small cookie scoop is the easiest way to scoop the right amount of dough for each cookie.
  • Using parchment paper on the cookie sheet prevents the bottoms of the cookies from browning too much, keeps the cookies from spreading and makes sure they don’t stick to the pan.
  • If you don’t have parchment paper, you can bake the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. After you have all of the cookies arranged on the sheet, put it in the refrigerator for about an hour before baking to prevent them from spreading too much.
  • These cream cheese cookies can be stored in an airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Nutrition Facts
Lemon Cream Cheese Cookies With Lemon Glaze
Serving Size
 
1 cookie
Amount per Serving
Calories
95
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
3
g
5
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Cholesterol
 
12
mg
4
%
Sodium
 
26
mg
1
%
Potassium
 
11
mg
0
%
Carbohydrates
 
17
g
6
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
13
g
14
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin A
 
100
IU
2
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
6
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.

authorWanda Simone
courseDessert
cuisineAmerican
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lemon cream cheese cookies

This post was originally published on December 11, 2020 but was updated with new content on March 19, 2024.


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