Lemon Cheesecake Cookies (Soft-Baked)

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Lemon Cheesecake Cookies are thick, soft, and chewy with a cheesecake-like texture and a simple lemon glaze.

The ultimate BEST EVER Lemon Cheesecake soft-baked cookies! via chelseasmessyapron.com

A stack of three lemon cheesecake cookies topped with a delicious frosting with a bite taken from the top cookie.

Lemon Cheesecake Cookies

These aren’t your average cookies, and they might just become your new favorite dessert! If you’re a fan of cheesecake, lemon, and thick, chewy cookies, you’ll be ecstatic about Lemon Cheesecake Cookies!

They offer the taste of a mini cheesecake in a cookie format, setting them apart from traditional Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies or Peanut Butter Cookies.

While I firmly believe the effort put into these cookies is worthwhile, they do require more time than your usual cookie recipe. It’s crucial to allow the cream cheese and butter to reach room temperature before beginning. Additionally, these cookies need to be chilled before baking. Expect to spend around three hours from start to finish on these treats, although most of this time is passive.

Creaming butter and sugar, beating in cream cheese, adding vanilla, zest, and egg, mixing until smooth, combining dry ingredients, adding to wet ingredients, and measuring out the dough with a tablespoon.

Lemon Cheesecake Cookies Ingredients

  1. Sugar: Provides sweetness and helps to create a light and fluffy texture when creamed with butter.
  2. Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and flavor; it also helps in creating a tender crumb when creamed with sugar.
  3. Cream Cheese: Contributes to the creamy texture and distinct cheesecake flavor of the cookies. 
  4. Egg: Acts as a binder, helping to hold the cookie together, and contributes to their richness.
  5. Vanilla and Lemon Extracts, Lemon Juice, and Lemon Zest: These ingredients infuse the cookies with a bright, citrusy flavor, with the zest adding a hint of texture.
  6. Flour: The main structure of the cookie, providing the necessary gluten to hold the cookie together.
  7. Baking Powder: A leavening agent that helps the cookies rise and become light.
  8. Salt: Enhances the overall flavor of the lemon cheesecake cookies.
  9. Cornstarch: Contributes to the soft texture, making the cookies tender.
  10. Instant Lemon-Flavored Pudding and Pie Filling Mix: Adds additional lemon flavor and helps in creating a moist and chewy texture.

Adding cookie dough balls to a baking tray, baking them, mixing glaze, and drizzling it over cooled lemon cheesecake cookies.

How To Make Lemon Cheesecake Cookies

  • Prep: Bring butter, cream cheese, and egg to room temperature.
  • Cream: Mix sugar and butter until fluffy. Add cream cheese, egg, vanilla, lemon extract, juice, and zest.
  • Dry Ingredients: Combine flour, baking powder, salt, cornstarch, and pudding mix. Blend into the wet mixture.
  • Chill: Refrigerate Lemon Cheesecake Cookies dough for 45 minutes.
  • Bake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Form dough into 1 tablespoon balls, bake for 9-11 minutes.
  • Glaze: Cool cookies, then drizzle with a mixture of powdered sugar and lemon juice.

Finished dessert, sweet and zingy with glaze on top, ready to be enjoyed.


When zesting the lemon, be careful to avoid the bitter white pith directly under the yellow peel. We’re after only the yellow part in these Lemon Cheesecake Cookies. 

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Lemon Cheesecake Cookies

5 from 4 votes
Lemon Cheesecake Cookies are thick, soft, and chewy with a cheesecake-like texture and a simple lemon glaze.
Finished dessert, sweet and zingy with glaze on top, ready to be enjoyed.
Print Recipe

Lemon Cheesecake Cookies

Finished dessert, sweet and zingy with glaze on top, ready to be enjoyed.
5 from 4 votes
Lemon Cheesecake Cookies are thick, soft, and chewy with a cheesecake-like texture and a simple lemon glaze.
Course Dessert, Snack, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Keyword lemon cheesecake cookies
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
chilling time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
Chelsea Lords
Calories 124kcal



  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces full-fat cream cheese (I don't recommend reduced-fat or Neufchâtel)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 and 1/4 cup white, all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons instant lemon-flavored pudding and pie filling mix (See Note 1)


  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


  • 1 HOUR IN ADVANCE: Set out the butter, cream cheese, and egg to get to room temperature. Make sure these ingredients are all at room temperature before starting. Don't melt any of these ingredients in the microwave or the texture will be off. (See Note 2)
  • CREAM BUTTER AND SUGAR: In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. (Alternatively, cream together in a stand mixer.)
  • REMAINING WET INGREDIENTS: Add in the cream cheese and continue to beat until the batter is completely smooth. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, lemon extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. When zesting the lemon, be careful to avoid the white pith of the lemon;, which is very bitter; just get the very outside yellow part.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, cornstarch, and pudding mix. Stir together and then add to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined, being careful to not over-mix (to avoid dense cookies).
  • CHILL: Cover the dough tightly and chill for 45 minutes.
  • MEASURE COOKIE DOUGH BALLS: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon, measure in the cookie dough to just fill up the measuring spoon (not heaping; these are small cookie balls). Place cookies 2 inches apart on a parchment or silicone- lined baking sheet. I bake 8-10 at a time.
  • BAKE: Bake at 350 degrees F for 9-11 minutes (10 minutes is perfect in my oven) and then remove from the oven. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Be very careful to not over-bake these cookies as they go from a thick soft cheesecake texture to a biscuit-like texture very quickly.
  • GLAZE: Once cooled, prepare the glaze by whisking together the lemon juice and powdered sugar. Add the lemon juice just until a thick glaze can come together. Spoon the glaze over the cookies and allow to set.
  • STORAGE: Store cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. These cookies don't freeze or thaw very well.


Recipe Notes

Note 1: Lemon pudding: If you aren't familiar with lemon pudding mix, here's a picture of the box. Not lemon Jell-O® and not vanilla pudding mix, these lemon cheesecake cookies need the lemon instant pudding and pie filling mix. Do not prepare the pudding mix; just use the dry powder.
Note 2: Room temperature ingredients: Don't have time for these ingredients to get to room temperature? Use some of these tricks to bring them to room temperature quicker.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 24cookies | Calories: 124kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 76mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 76IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.


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Recipe Rating


  1. Yummm…these look totally droolworthy! I’m such a fan of lemon desserts, but haven’t traditionally liked lemon cookies too much (I think I’ve had a few too many non-descript, dry lemon cookies) – these, however, look super moist and delicious. What a great idea to make a cheesecake-inspired cookie!

  2. I think I’ve made a hundred batches of this recipe – it’s an all-time favorite. My son wants a more intense lemony flavor, for which I’ve added a teaspoon of lemon extract and a teaspoon of lemon juice with a slightly longer bake time of 9 minutes. Any other ideas would be appreciated.

  3. For starters – I have NOT made these yet – I have to go buy some lemons and find the lemon extract – somewhere that isn’t bent on gouging prices. However, I wanted to tell you, I’m so very grateful for the pudding in this recipe! I have had this lemon pudding in my cupboard for about 3 months and I was starting to wonder if I’d ever use it! 🤣 You’ve made it possible to make the most delicious lemon cookies with pudding in the recipe! I will be checking back in as soon as I make them! 😊 Thank you again so much!

  4. 5 stars
    Wow! These were a little scary at first because the dough is really soft! But they were excellent! Keep the great recipes coming!

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