Lemon Christmas Cookies

These dainty lemon Christmas cookies are sweet, lemony, soft, and festive for the holidays. The recipe for these lemon cookies is quite simple, but the flavor is bright and sweet.

While there are a lot of chocolate and more decadent cookies to choose from during the holidays, lemon is a nice change of pace that won’t disappoint. Read below for the recipe.

lemon wreath cookies Christmas cookies

What are Lemon Christmas Cookies?

This version includes soft lemon sugar cookies cut into Christmas wreath cookies with a fluted cookie cutter. We then cut out the centers with a round cutter. The cookies are then dipped in a delicate lemon glaze that adds that extra something special!

If you want to take these cookies one step further in terms of flavor, add candied ginger, rosemary (it’s not for everyone, I know), or bits of candied lemon on top.

For my lemon wreath cookies, I chose to decorate them with nonpareils and a few with more exotic ingredients. The embellishments are beautiful and so fun for the holidays!

I used these white nonpareils and these sugar pearls, which are easy to find just about anywhere during the holiday season.

cutout lemon Christmas cookies

How to Make Soft Lemon Cookies

This lemon sugar cookie recipe would not be the same if it was hard and crunchy. The texture should be soft, so there are a few things that have to happen in the dough process to give you that soft texture.

Use Cornstarch

Adding cornstarch is a great way to soften a cookie. We don’t need a ton for this recipe, but it makes a difference. Cornstarch can make cookies soft or chewy, depending on the other ingredients it’s combined with.

For these lemon Christmas cookies, cornstarch makes them softer and more delicate.

Mix Properly

Second, don’t overmix the dough. As common knowledge as this sounds, it’s easy to overmix the dough. Stop mixing as soon as the ingredients are mixed.

Even if the dough hasn’t all been pulled together into a ball, stop mixing.

Chill the Dough

Have you ever realized why recipes ask you to chill the dough? It’s a super important part of making some cookies because chilling the dough gives the dry ingredients time to absorb the wet ingredients.

This creates a better-flavored and more tender cookie. In this case, chilling the rolled dough helps the cookies hold their shape when they bake.

lemon wreath cookies recipe

How to Make Shiny Lemon Glaze for Cookies

There’s nothing more disappointing than a glaze that looks dull, at least not when you expect it to have a bit of shine and vibrancy.

To make a shiny lemon glaze for cookies, add light corn syrup to the glaze. This is not the same as high fructose corn syrup, for those wondering.

Light corn syrup helps the lemon glaze to not turn matte for a couple of days.

lemon cookies recipe wreath

More Christmas Desserts to Make the Season Merry and Bright


Lemon Christmas Cookies

lemon wreath cookie close up showing red and white nonpareils and rosemary sprigs

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  • Author: Camille
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Chill Time: 60 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 23 minutes
  • Yield: 24 cookies 1x
  • Category: Cookies


Units Scale
  • 113 g unsalted butter, cool but slightly soft (1/2 c)
  • 150 g granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 270 g all-purpose flour (2 1/4 c)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbs. milk
  • Zest of 1 Lemon

Lemon Glaze

  • 120 g powdered sugar (1 c)
  • 1 Tbs milk
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs light corn syrup (optional), adds more shine


To Make Lemon Wreath Cookies

  1. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer on medium-low speed.
  2. Add egg and vanilla and mix thoroughly.
  3. Add milk, then add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together. Stop mixing once dough mostly comes together (make sure all butter is mixed in).
  4. Roll dough out between 2 pieces of wax paper the length of a half sheet pan. Roll the dough between 1/4 and 1/8 inch thick, and no thicker! Use a guided rolling pin to get it to 1/4 inch, then roll slightly thinner with a regular rolling pin (I have found that this is easiest).
  5. Place the sheet of wax paper with rolled dough on a cookie sheet and cover. Refrigerate for 60 minutes or until dough is chilled and firm.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  7. Remove from fridge and cut out 2 – 2.5 inch scalloped cookies. Transfer cookies to parchment lined cookie sheets, and cut out small circle centers. If you want to make non-Christmas themed cookies, use a circle or scalloped cutter and do not cut out centers of cookies.
  8. Chill dough for 10 minutes before baking.
  9. After 10 minutes, bake cookies for 7-10 minutes. They should be lightly golden brown at most on the edges. I don’t usually let mine brown more than just the slightest hint.
  10. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool completely.

To Make Lemon Glaze for Cookies

  1. Mix lemon glaze ingredients with a whisk. Add fresh lemon juice until the glaze is like the consistency of honey or a little thinner. Drizzle on cookies, or alternately dip the tops of the cookies in the lemon glaze, and decorate as desired. 
  2. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. Do not stack cookies until glaze is fully set and dry.


This is a Baker Street Society original recipe.

lemon Christmas cookies recipe wreaths
lemon wreath cookies recipe


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