Yuzu Lemon Crinkle Cookies

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 13/12/2022 Updated: 01/12/2023
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Yuzu lemon crinkle cookies are soft, delicate, and packed with delicious citrus flavor. These beautifully cracked yuzu lemon crinkles were made specifically for those lemon dessert lovers out there.
Yuzu Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Yuzu lemon crinkle cookies are soft, delicate, and packed with delicious citrus flavor. These beautifully cracked yuzu lemon crinkles were made specifically for those lemon dessert lovers out there.

Up close with a yuzu lemon crinkle cookie with a bite out of it.

If you love cakes and cookies, these yuzu lemon crinkle cookies are the perfect blend of the two. These delicious yuzu lemon cake crinkle cookies have a crisp outer edge and a pillowy soft, tender melt in your mouth center.

These yuzu lemon cookies were made for my fellow citrus dessert lovers out there. The added yuzu juice gives the crinkle cookie more dimension and flavor than a traditional simple lemon cookie.

This yuzu lemon crinkle cookie recipe is incredibly easy to follow and you can make it all by hand without any special kitchen equipment! If you loved these yuzu lemon cake crinkle cookies, be sure to check out my five spice snickerdoodle cookies, yuzu Linzer cookies, and Danish butter cookies.

Someone lifting up a yuzu lemon crinkle cookie from a stack of cookies.
A stack of yuzu lemon crinkle cookies on parchment paper.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Soft and tender. These yuzu lemon crinkle cookies have the softest most tender crumb. Take one bite and you will be met with a slightly crisp edge followed by a pillowy soft center.
  • Packed with citrus flavor. This lemon crinkle cookie recipe combines lemon juice, lemon zest, and yuzu juice for a pop of fresh and bright citrus flavor.
  • Don’t need a mixer! You can make this recipe from scratch without any fancy electric mixer.
Someone breaking apart a yuzu lemon crinkle cookie.

Kitchen Equipment

For this lemon crinkle cookie recipe, you will need the following cookie-making kitchen equipment.

  • Kitchen Scale: a kitchen scale is absolutely NECESSARY if you want to have foolproof bakes. This will ensure you have the exact measurements for each ingredient. My little pink kitchen scale is both aesthetic and precise.
  • Mixing Bowls: This is one of my main kitchen essentials for almost all of my recipes. They allow me to keep an organized kitchen. These glass nesting bowls are also really sturdy and dishwasher-safe!
  • Whisk: you will need a whisk to combine the ingredients
  • Rubber spatula: you will use a rubber spatula to fold the batter together to create an evenly mixed batter.
  • Small Cookie Scoop: A 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop will ensure that you have evenly sized cookies.
  • Parchment paper or Silicone mat: You can either line your baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone mat. A silicone slip mat is seriously the best invention for baking that ever existed. It is reusable, and sustainable and will 100% guarantee the cookies easily slip off the tray.
  • Half-Sheet Baking Trays: I have been using my Nordicware Aluminum half-sheet baking trays for years and it has never let me down.

Ingredients

These soft yuzu lemon cookies are made with ingredients you can buy at your local grocery store, Japanese grocery store, or online!

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

  • All-purpose flour: all you will need for this recipe is plain all-purpose flour.
  • Baking soda: baking soda aids in the rise of the cookies giving them their beautiful cake-like crumb structure.
  • Salt: a pinch of salt will balance the sweetness in this yuzu lemon crinkle cookies recipe.
  • Granulated sugar: the sugar sweetens the cookie dough.
  • Unsalted butter: the butter combines the dough together and creates the moist flavorful cake-like crumb in the soft lemon cookie. Make sure the melted butter is brought to room temperature before mixing it with the eggs.
  • Large eggs: the eggs combine the dough and provide a slight rise in the yuzu cookies.
  • Lemon juice and Lemon Zest: I recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice for the freshest and brightest flavor. Adding lemon zest increases the citrus flavor of these soft lemon cookies without increasing the amount of liquid.
  • Yuzu juice: fresh yuzu may be hard to find, but in Japanese grocery stores or even on Amazon, you can find 100% pure yuzu juice.
  • Vanilla extract: vanilla extract adds a hint of warm vanilla flavor to the yuzu cookies.
  • Yellow Food Coloring: this is optional, but if you want a more punchy yellow, I’d recommend adding a tiny drop of food coloring. I’d recommend using gel food coloring to not add too much liquid to the batter.

Coating

  • Granulated sugar + Powdered sugar: the granulated sugar prevents the powdered sugar from absorbing too quickly into the yuzu lemon crinkles, the powdered sugar is what gives the signature crinkle effect.

Substitutions and Additions

At the end of the day, this is your lemon crinkle cookies recipe. You can customize it and make any substitutions or additions as you please! I’ve listed some suggestions below

Substitutions

  • Lemon Extract: I always recommend using fresh lemon juice for the best flavor, but if you are in a pinch, the lemon extract will work too.
  • Other citruses: If you don’t want to use lemon or yuzu, you can alternatively switch it up and use lime, tangerines, or oranges! Just note that tangerines or oranges will be sweeter so you may need to reduce the amount of sugar.
  • Yuzu zest: If you have access to fresh yuzu, I highly recommend using that and the zest for a more punchy yuzu flavor.

Additions

  • Poppy Seeds: if you want a more spruced-up lemon cake crinkle cookie, go ahead and add some poppy seeds for more flavor.

How to Make Yuzu Lemon Crinkle Cookies

This yuzu lemon crinkle cookie recipe is really easy to follow! I recommend reading the instructions and tips and tricks before you begin.

  1. Mix dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until combined.
The dry ingredients whisked together in a mixing bowl.
  1. Mix wet ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, add the melted butter, granulated sugar, eggs, lemon juice, yuzu juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until combined.
Mixing together all of the wet ingredients in a mixing bowl with a whisk.
  1. Combine. Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until well combined. If you are adding food coloring, add 1 drop of yellow here. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  1. Prepare the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C), place the oven rack in the center of the oven, and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. Assemble. Place a few tablespoons of granulated sugar in one bowl and ½ cup of powdered sugar in another bowl. Using a cookie scoop, scoop about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough. Roll the dough between your palm to form a smooth ball. Roll in granulated sugar first, then in powdered sugar. Then, place them 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheet.
  1. Bake. Bake one tray at a time at 350°F (176°C) for 10-12 minutes or until the tops crack and the bottom is slightly golden along the edges. Chill the remaining trays in the refrigerator while they wait to be baked. Let the lemon cake crinkle cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
Looking down at a grid of yuzu lemon crinkle cookies on parchment paper.

Tips for the Best Yuzu Lemon Crinkle Cookies

  • Measure your ingredients with a scale! By using a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients by weight, you will achieve more precise measurements and a more foolproof bake.
  • Add food coloring for a more citrusy lemon effect. For this yuzu lemon crinkle cookies recipe, I used a touch of gel food coloring to make it a tiny bit more yellow. You can always omit this step if you prefer.
  • Chill the cookie dough. When you mix this lemon crinkle cookie recipe together, you will notice that the dough is overly sticky and impossible to form dough balls. The refrigerator will firm up the dough making it easy to work with. After you assemble the balls if the dough is slightly sticky and soft, chill it in the refrigerator for at least 5 min. before baking.
  • Completely coat the cookie dough with powdered sugar for the crinkle effect.  Double or triple coat the powder sugar to completely cover the dough ball for the best crinkle effect. The more sugar added will accentuate the cracks and have a more dramatic lemon crinkle effect.
  • Bake one sheet of yuzu lemon crinkles at a time. Doing so will ensure the top of the cookies will dry from the heat, giving the cookies the “crackle” effect as the cookie bakes and spreads. If you have two sheet pans, the top tray will block the heat from the bottom sheet, and they won’t bake as evenly.

Storage Instructions

You can store these lemon crinkles in an airtight container on your counter for up to 3 days. Alternatively, you can bake and store them in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

What makes a cookie crinkle?

Most cookies have crusts that are soft and flexible as the cookies bake in the oven. But when the top of the crinkle cake dough dries faster than the inside of the cookie because of the powdered sugar, it bakes faster than the remainder of the cookie, thus the exterior hardens, cracks, and pulls apart yielding that beautiful signature crinkle exterior we all love.

Why does the lemon crinkle cookie dough need refrigeration?

The time in the refrigerator is for multiple reasons: 1) it allows the dough to become less sticky and more manageable to shape into lemon crinkles balls and 2) the time in the refrigerator will allow the baking powder and soda time to activate and absorb into the dough giving the cookie that beautiful rise.

Why do I need to roll these yuzu lemon cake crinkle cookies in both sugars?

It may seem redundant, but the granulated sugar helps the cookies spread while also preventing the powdered sugar from fully absorbing into the cookie which gives you the classic crinkle look. If you just roll it in powdered sugar, it may or may not happen.

Why are my yuzu lemon crinkle cookies flat?

If your yuzu lemon cake crinkle cookies are flat there may be a few different reasons.
1. The dough may not have been chilled long enough which will cause the cookie to spread too much and too fast when it bakes.
2. The oven may be too hot. You may need to have an oven thermometer to check the temperature inside your oven some ovens may run hotter or colder than what is shown on the oven screen. The only way to know for sure what the exact temperature is.
3. Did you measure the flour accurately with a scale? Sometimes if you have the incorrect amount of flour it will yield a disproportionate ratio of wet to dry ingredients. If you don’t have a scale, make sure to measure your flour by fluffing up the flour with a spoon and gently dropping it into your measuring spoon before leveling it off with a knife. Do NOT pack the flour into the measuring cup.
4. Check the expiration of your baking soda. Lastly, check the expiration date of your baking soda. Expired baking soda will have less of a rising effect than fresh baking soda.

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Recipe

Up close with someone grabbing a cookie from the top of a stack of yuzu lemon crinkle cookies.

Yuzu Lemon Crinkle Cookies

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Chill Time 3 hours
Yuzu lemon crinkle cookies are soft, delicate, and packed with delicious citrus flavor. These beautifully cracked yuzu lemon crinkles were made specifically for those lemon dessert lovers out there.
Servings: 20 cookies
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Coating

Instructions

  • Mix dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl, add the flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk until combined.
  • Mix wet ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, add the melted butter, granulated sugar, eggs, lemon juice, yuzu juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Whisk together until combined.
  • Combine. Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until well combined. If you are adding food coloring, add 1 drop of yellow here. Do not over mix. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Prepare the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C), place the oven rack in the center of the oven and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  • Assemble. Place a few tablespoons of granulated sugar in one bowl and ½ cup of powdered sugar in another bowl. Using a cookie scoop, scoop about a 1 1/2 tablespoon of dough. Roll the dough between your palm to form a smooth ball. Roll in granulated sugar first, then in powdered sugar, making sure to coat well. Then, place them 2 inches apart on the lined baking sheet. Try to do this quickly as the dough can be a little sticky. If the dough is too sticky place it back in the refrigerator to chill a little longer. (Tip! chill your sugar coated cookie dough for 5 minutes before baking. If the cookies have absorbed the powdered sugar, quickly re-coat them before baking.)
  • Bake. Bake one tray at a time at 350°F (176°C) for 10-12 minutes or until the tops crack and the bottom is slightly golden along the edges. Chill the remaining trays in the refrigerator while they wait to be baked. Let the lemon cake crinkle cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • Measure your ingredients with a scale! Using measuring cups and spoons will yield different results depending on the brand you use. By using a scale to measure the ingredients by weight, you will achieve more precise measurements and a more foolproof bake.
  • Add food coloring for a more citrusy lemon effect. For this yuzu lemon crinkle cookies recipe, I used a touch of food coloring to make it a tiny bit more yellow. You can always omit this step if you don’t want to use any artificial coloring.
  • Chill the cookie dough. When you mix this lemon crinkle cookie recipe together, you will notice that the dough is overly sticky and impossible to form dough balls. That is where the chilling comes into effect. The refrigerator will firm up the dough making it manageable to work with. After you assemble the balls if the dough is slightly warm and soft, I suggest chilling it in the refrigerator for at least 5 minutes before baking.
  • Completely coat the cookie dough with powdered sugar for the crinkle effect. If you want your lemon crinkle cookies to look similar to mine, do not shy away from coating the cookie dough balls with both granulated and powdered sugar. Double or triple coat the powder sugar to completely cover the dough ball. The more sugar added will accentuate the cracks and have a more dramatic lemon crinkle effect.
  • Bake one sheet of yuzu lemon crinkles at a time. Doing so will ensure the top of the cookies will dry from the heat, giving the cookies the “crackle” effect as the cookie bakes and spreads. If you have two sheet pans, the top tray will block the heat from the bottom sheet, and they won’t bake as evenly.
  • Storage: You can store these lemon crinkles in an airtight container on your counter for up to 3 days. Alternatively, you can bake and store them in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Nutrition:

Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 29mg | Sodium: 122mg | Potassium: 29mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 174IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg

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