These brightly flavored, chewy lemon white chocolate cookies have both fresh lemon zest and lemon oil for a citrusy punch. The creamy, sweet white chocolate chunks perfectly balance the tartness of the lemon. No chilling required - bake these vibrant lemon cookies in less than an hour!
If you're looking for a delicious and easy cookie recipe, these chewy lemon white chocolate cookies with fresh lemon zest are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. These cookies are bursting with bright citrus flavor and creamy pockets of melted white chocolate.
Both tangy and sweet, these white chocolate lemon cookies have a natural pale yellow color from the fresh lemon zest and egg. The dough doesn't require chilling, so you can make them in no time at all!
I love a good lemon dessert. I've made flourless meyer lemon almond cake, vibrant lemon rhubarb bars, and creamy lemon mascarpone ice cream. My favorite citrus recipes usually have a bold taste, and these cookies are no exception! I achieve it here using both freshly grated lemon zest and concentrated lemon oil.
White chocolate is an ideal pairing with bitter, acidic flavors. I've combined it with earthy green tea powder in matcha white chocolate cookies, and with fresh raspberries in these easy raspberry and white chocolate blondies. Its sweetness helps temper the stronger, more vibrant ingredients, and adds a creamy texture to the cookies.
For more lemon cookies, check out these glazed cutout lemon shortbread cookies, and these Italian canestrelli cookies.
You can also explore the entire collection of cookie recipes here.
- Unsalted butter - Butter should be softened, but not melted.
- Granulated sugar - Using only granulated sugar instead of a mix of brown sugar and granulated helps ensure the yellow color of the zest and yolk come through without requiring food coloring.
- Lemon zest - You'll use the freshly grated zest of two medium lemons to add a good amount of fresh lemon flavor. I use a microplane grater (see equipment section for details) to zest the peel.
- Lemon oil - I use lemon oil (affiliate link) in this recipe to add an extra boost of lemon. Lemon oil is concentrated and helps achieve a powerful citrus tang. I find it much more flavorful than lemon extract.
- White chocolate - I use a block of white chocolate, chopped into coarse chunks that are roughly twice the size as white chocolate chips. I prefer using white chocolate bars for baking as the quality is higher than most white chocolate chips (which often doesn't even contain cocoa butter). I like having the white chocolate melt into pools rather than remaining in chip form. You're welcome to use either here!
* See recipe card for full list of ingredients and quantities.
Learn how to make lemon white chocolate cookies! These photos provide visual cues. Find the detailed instructions in the recipe card.
Zest the lemons directly over the sugar to catch the zest and citrus oils. Massage the zest into the sugar until it is moist and yellow.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed until well combined, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Add lemon oil, egg, and salt and mix on medium speed until well incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl.
Add flour and baking soda. Mix on low speed until just a few flour streaks remain. Use a spatula to scrape down the bowl and incorporate the last of the flour.
Use a spatula to stir in the white chocolate.
Using a cookie scoop, portion into 1½ Tablespoon scoops. Bake 6 cookies at a time on a parchment lined cookie sheet for 9-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Immediately after removing lemon cookies from oven, place a round cookie cutter (affiliate link) or the rim of a wide drinking glass around each baked cookie and gently swirl in circles. This will push the cookie into a uniformly round shape.
Hint: Don't overbake these cookies! They are done when pale, still a bit soft in the center, and just beginning to color on the edges. They will continue to bake on the hot cookie sheet after they're removed from the oven and will firm up more when cool.
If you'd like to try a different twist on these lemon and white chocolate cookies, try these variations:
- Candied lemon peel - For triple lemon flavor, stir in some diced candied lemon peel when adding the white chocolate.
- Coconut - Add 30 grams (⅓ cup) shredded unsweetened coconut (desiccated) to the recipe after adding eggs.
- Macadamia nuts - Add 30 grams (1 ounce; ¼ cup) chopped macadamia nuts. For best flavor, toast them beforehand on a baking sheet for 5-10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Chocolate chips - Swap the white chocolate for an equal amount of milk or dark chocolate chips (or chunks from a cut up bar).
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Lemon oil - This is the lemon oil I use for baking. It's more concentrated than lemon extract.
Cookie scoop - To bake these cookies, I use this medium cookie scoop which measures out 1½ Tablespoons of dough. It's a size 40. I love using a cookie scoop for drop cookies. It keeps them uniform in size, which also helps them to bake evenly.
Baking pans - I bake my cookies on rimmed half sheet baking pans (18 x 13 inches).
Parchment paper is great for lining the baking pan. The cookies won't stick at all if you use parchment paper underneath. Bonus: you don't have to use any grease, and can often simply wipe down the pan rather than needing to wash it after baking. One roll of this 15 inch x 164 foot (38 centimeter x 50 meter) non-stick paper lasts a LONG time! If you have access to a nearby Costco, the price is often a bit better in store.
Round cookie cutters - Use a round cookie cutter or the rim of an upside down glass to swirl the cookies back into a round shape after baking. Do this as soon as you remove them from the oven while they are still hot and pliable. I've had this set for years, and I use it all the time.
Store: Store these lemon white chocolate chip cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Freeze: Store baked cookies in a large zippered freezer bag or airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months
Make ahead: Although these are quick cookies to make spur of the moment, it's always great to have extra cookie dough on hand.
To freeze unbaked cookie dough, place scooped dough on a parchment lined baking sheet and freeze for an hour or two. Once frozen, transfer dough balls to a zippered freezer bag. Label the bag as follows: lemon white chocolate cookie dough. Bake from frozen at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes. Store for up to 3 months frozen, unbaked.
The cookies will likely need an additional few minutes in the oven since the dough is frozen. I always recommend baking one or two cookies first as a test to confirm the correct bake time for the rest of the batch.
These cookies should have some lift to them. There are several reasons your cookies might have come out too flat:
The butter was too warm. This will cause the cookies to spread too much when baked! I like to bake two cookies as a test batch before I bake the remainder. If the dough is too warm, chill it in the fridge for up to 30 minutes before baking.
Your baking soda is too old and has expired. An opened package is good for about 6 months to 1 year. Test freshness by mixing a small spoonful of baking soda with an acidic liquid such as lemon juice or vinegar. If it fizzes vigorously, it's still good. If it doesn't bubble much, it has expired.
You didn't add enough flour. The opposite is generally true (too much flour) if you're not using a digital scale when baking, but it is possible to add too little flour. This means the cookie dough doesn't have enough structure and will be too thin.
If you like these chewy lemon cookies with white chocolate chips, you'll want to try these other cookies too!
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Lemon White Chocolate CookiesPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 150 grams (¾ cup) granulated sugar
- lemon zest from 2 medium lemons
- 85 grams (3 ounces) white chocolate chunks or chips
- 113 grams (8 Tablespoons; 4 ounces) unsalted butter softened
- 1½ teaspoons lemon oil or extract
- 1 large egg (room temperature)
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt (I use Diamond Crystal)
- 180 grams (1½ cups) all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Place rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit (177° Celsius, Gas mark 4).
- To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the granulated sugar. Zest the lemons directly over the bowl to catch the zest and citrus oils. Massage the zest into the sugar until it is moist and yellow. Add the butter. Cream the butter and lemon sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.150 grams (¾ cup) granulated sugar, 113 grams (8 Tablespoons; 4 ounces) unsalted butter, lemon zest
- Add lemon oil, egg, and salt and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl.1½ teaspoons lemon oil, 1 large egg, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Add flour and baking soda. Mix on low speed until just a few flour streaks remain. Use a spatula to scrape down the bowl and incorporate the last of the flour.180 grams (1½ cups) all purpose flour, ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Use a spatula to stir in the white chocolate chunks.85 grams (3 ounces) white chocolate
- Using a 1½ Tablespoon cookie scoop (medium, size 40), portion 6 scoops of dough out onto a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake one sheet of lemon white chocolate cookies at a time for 9-10 minutes. Cookies should still be pale, just turning golden brown on the bottom and somewhat soft in the center. They will continue to cook on the hot baking sheet and will firm up as they cool.
- Immediately after removing cookies from oven, place a round cookie cutter or the rim of a wide drinking glass around each baked cookie and gently swirl the edges of the cookie. This will push the cookie into a uniformly round shape.
- Fully cool cookies on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.
The Floured Table
Recipe Author: Kathleen Culver
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