Cream Cheese and Lemon Sugar Cookies

Growing up we had a recipe for a short while that was simply labeled “Susan’s Sugar Cookies.”  However, I can personally attest to the fact that there was nothing simplistic about them.  They were sublime.  What was the secret?  I personally think it may have been the lemon extract, but I can’t guarantee that, as I added it to other recipes with less spectacular results.

I have been searching for that recipe (or one like it) for a couple of decades.  You see, we lost the recipe card somewhere along the way, and no one else seemed to have it either.

I think I may have found a worthy substitute.

These cookies can be called sublime… delicious… moist, thick, wonderful sugar cookies.  With just a hint of lemon, of course

What makes these such amazing cookies?  Well, the hint of lemon helps, but I really think it’s the cream cheese.  It’s not much, but it added a certain tang and moistness that really makes them delicious.

And I will now share the recipe with you, because they are just too good to keep to myself.  Seriously.

Lemon Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup cream cheese
  • 2 cups evaporated cane sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • fresh zest of 1 lemon OR 1 tsp lemon extract*
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt

Cream the butter, sugar and cream cheese in a mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth.  Mix in the flour, baking soda, salt and lemon zest.

Cover the bowl or wrap the dough in logs and chill for at least 3 hours.  Overnight is better.

Preheat oven to 390F.  Roll dough out on a floured surface or a pastry mat.  If you like a crisper cookie, roll it to 1/4 inch thick.  For moister cookies, roll to 1/2 inch thick.  Cut into shapes and place onto a making sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Bake for 5-8 minutes. For more moist cookies, take them out just before they “look done.”  Like as soon as the timer goes off the first time.

Try to restrain yourself and let them cool… or not your choice.

If you feel so inclined, decorate them with icing.  Royal icing is the typical topping, but I think a cream cheese frosting would be a lovely addition.  You know, cream cheese & heavy whipping cream whipped to stiff peaks and smeared all over the top of everything… err, these wonderful cookies.


*yes, I highly recommend using fresh zest – get yourself a good micro-plane zester and use it often.  I hated lemon zest until I started using the micro-plane… and now, all I can say is wow!  The amazing flavor that can be added with zest!  If your zester is fine enough, you will never find yourself chewing the zest in the final product. 


One must give proper credit – that is an unwritten rule, is it not?  Following a series of links in my frantic searching one year, I came upon a fabulous site that I will be sure to bookmark and visit often.  I invite you to also visit often, as I think this site is a winner.  Susan over at is the author of these delicious cookies.  Thank you Susan! Once again, I have a recipe for Susan’s Sugar Cookies! I wonder if it’s the same Susan? 😉   We hope you enjoy this cookie recipe, along with the others posted each day this week! Follow along on our Recipes page!

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