Citrus Crinkle Cookies

These soft-and-chewy cookies are positively bursting with bright citrus flavor. We created this versatile recipe to highlight whatever citrus fruit you like the best—try tart lemon, zesty lime or sweet orange. A few drops of food coloring add a vibrant visual cue. These cookies are equally festive during the summer or winter months.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 3 hr 40 min (includes chilling and cooling times)
  • Active: 40 min
  • Yield: 24 cookies
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2 cups all-purpose flour (see Cook's Note)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons finely grated citrus zest (lemon, lime or orange) plus 3 tablespoons juice

4 to 6 drops yellow, green or orange gel food coloring

1/2 cup confectioners' sugar


  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
  2. Combine the butter, brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, about 2 minutes. 
  3. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, citrus zest, citrus juice and food coloring and beat until incorporated. Lower the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture, beating until just combined. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to overnight.  
  4. Put the confectioners' sugar in a small bowl and the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar in another small bowl. Scoop tablespoons of the chilled dough and roll into balls. Toss each ball in the granulated sugar first, then in the confectioners' sugar, coating them very generously and thoroughly. Arrange the balls about 1 inch apart on 2 baking sheets (you should have 24 balls). Put the baking sheets in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes. 
  5. Position the oven racks in the top and bottom thirds of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  
  6. Bake until the cookies spread, the tops crack and the edges are firm, 14 to 16 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.  

Cook’s Note

When measuring flour, we spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. (Scooping directly from the bag compacts the flour, resulting in dry baked goods).

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