Bursting with bright lemon flavor and loaded with white chocolate chips, these lemon crinkle cookies with white chocolate are the perfect balance of tart and sweet. These cookies are crisp on the edges and chewy in the center with a pretty coating of crackled powdered sugar.
I love a good and decadent dessert as much as the next person but I find myself gravitating toward fruity desserts more often than not. If you give me a choice of ice cream, I will for sure choose the decadent, loaded option but give me a cookie or cake and I will often choose those with some lightness from fruit versus the heavier chocolate kind.
Enter these lemon crinkle cookies! Most people are familiar with the chocolate variety of a crinkle cookie. The OG form of these are known for fudgy centers and cracked powdered sugar on top, but I wanted to have a somewhat lightened version. Lemon provides the tartness to counterbalance the sweet cookie dough and white chocolate chips.
How to make the cookie dough
This is a pretty straight forward cookie dough recipe that fortunately doesn't require chilling time if you need some instant gratification. Start by creaming together the sugar and butter until it is light and fluffy. Next, you'll add the eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest. In a separate bowl, you'll combine the dry ingredients. Add these to the batter, mixing until just incorporated. Finally you'll stir the chocolate chips in. That's it! A simple cookie dough that will then be rolled into more sugar to create that crackled look on top. Read on for details on achieving the best crinkled top.
How to achieve a perfect crinkled top
A signature look of the crinkle cookie is the white crinkly tops. I read a tip from America's Test Kitchen on achieving the best crinkled look and applied that to these cookies. To better keep the powdered sugar coating in place, you'll want to start by forming the dough into balls and then rolling those in granulated sugar. Next you'll roll the dough ball into the powdered sugar coating it well. This two-step process will yield that perfect white crackly exterior. Bake these yummy lemon crinkle cookies at 350 degrees for about 11-12 minutes and cool on a wire rack.
Tips for the best cookies
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes. This is best and most easily achieved by using a stand mixer but you can use a hand mixer as well. This will allow pockets of air to be incorporated into the butter and sugar which allows the cookie to not be dense and flat as it bakes up.
- Use room temperature ingredients. It's important that your butter and eggs are at room temperature before mixing these together. This also helps produce that fluffy cookie because the ingredients can emulsify together, trapping air in the mixture.
- Don't overmix the flour! This is a common theme that you will see in most baked good recipes. The reason for its importance is that gluten develops the more you stir or beat the flour into the mixture causing a tougher final product. We want tender cookies, not dense cookies so heed this warning when you see it in recipes!
To make these lemon crinkle cookies even prettier, I sprinkled a few more white chocolate chips on the tops, pushing them down slightly into the cookie as soon as they came out of the oven. I hope you enjoy them!
For more cookie recipes, check out these:
Lemon Crinkle Cookies with White Chocolate
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
- 12 tbsp unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp lemon zest about the zest of 2 lemons
- 2 cups white chocolate chips
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Cream together the butter and sugar ideally using a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Scrape the bowl once or twice during this time.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Add the vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and mix well.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until there are just a couple streaks of flour.
- Stir in the white chocolate chips until incorporated.
- Using a cookie scoop or spoons, take about 1 to 1 ½ tablespoons of cookie dough and roll it into a ball.
- Roll the ball into the granulated sugar, coating on all sides. Next, roll it into the powdered sugar, coating it well.
- Place about 2 inches apart on your prepared cookies sheet and bake for about 11 to 12 minutes until the cookies are just getting light brown on the bottoms.
- Let cool on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool the rest of the way.
- Store the cookies in a sealed container or zip top bag. They should keep for about 3 days before starting to become hard.
- The cookie dough balls can be frozen and then baked when needed. Bake from frozen and add 1-3 minute of additional baking time.