Lemon Burst Cookies


If you like lemon, you will LOVE these cookies. And if you love quick recipes that you mix together in one bowl with one spoon and have out of the oven in less than 20 minutes, then definitely keep reading. This is definitely one of the easiest recipes I have ever encountered. You may have seen a version of this recipe before – a cookie recipe based on a box cake mix. I have seen variations floating around the Internet for a couple of years now, but this is the first time I gave them a try. I was admittedly a little hesitant because I do try to make everything from scratch, but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to have a quick shortcut in your back pocket for those days when you need to throw something together in a hurry. This is a delicious solution for those kind of days.


Taking a bite into these cookies and you truly get a “burst” of lemon. The lemon cake mix is augmented with lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract. If you wanted to spice things up a bit, you could also substitute limoncello for the lemon juice in the recipe. Mmmm… The cookies, not surprisingly, have a soft and cakey texture. Rolling them in powdered sugar provides a perfect balance to the tartness of the lemon. I think they would be a wonderful addition to a brunch spread, great for a wedding or baby shower, and a great complement to afternoon tea.


More Lemon-y Goodness:
Lemon-Limoncello Cupcakes
Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Burst Cookies

Yield: About 24 cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes


1 (18.25-ounce) package lemon cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
Zest of 2 lemons
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon lemon extract
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.

2. Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, lemon zest, lemon juice and lemon extract until well blended.

3. Place confectioner's sugar in a bowl.

4. Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and roll in confectioner's sugar until lightly coated and place on baking sheet.

5. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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118 Responses to “Lemon Burst Cookies”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. ~Jenny on October 12, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    These are so good! I’ve had a recipe for the chocolate version using cake mix and I decided to mix it up and try the lemon cake mix and man they were the perfect blend of sweet and tart.
    Your pics are beautiful!!


  2. christina on October 12, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    I’ve seen these! I’m like you in that I get into that thinking where everything is better made from scratch, but it doesn’t hurt on the days when you want something, and it really doesn’t taste horribly, either. So pretty, too!


  3. Amy I. on October 12, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Ohh I’m so glad you liked these! I had the same reaction to using a boxed mix, but when augmented with the extra lemon, it definitely brightens up the flavor and makes it taste more “real.” Yours came out beautifully, I love the powdered sugar crust.


  4. Kristy on October 12, 2009 at 11:52 pm

    OMG those look so good! I love a great lemon cookie!


  5. Tracey on October 13, 2009 at 12:07 am

    I absolutely love lemon so I’m definitely intrigued! I’ll have to try and remember to pick up a lemon cake mix when I’m at the store so I can try these out!


  6. The Cookbook Apprentice on October 13, 2009 at 1:45 am

    Wow, these look and sound delicious! I just love anything lemon and can’t wait to try them!


  7. Alicia on October 13, 2009 at 2:38 am

    They really look like they are bursting with lemon flavour – what an interesting and easy looking recipe – just my type :)


  8. shelly (cookies and cups) on October 13, 2009 at 8:21 am

    These are so pretty!


  9. Carrie on October 13, 2009 at 8:34 am

    These look crazy good!


  10. sherri on October 13, 2009 at 8:52 am

    Yum! I love a quick cookie recipe when I’m in a pinch.


  11. Andrea@WellnessNotes on October 13, 2009 at 8:56 am

    I love lemon. These look and sound wonderful!


  12. Kelly Dee on October 13, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Wow that’s so neat to use cake mix! I bet you could use any kind of cake mix and just substitute the extract/juice.

    I need to make me some Cherry Chip ones!


  13. Alta on October 13, 2009 at 9:52 am

    These look lovely!


  14. Maria on October 13, 2009 at 10:02 am

    I have seen these before, they look so pretty! I usually don’t use mixes, but I just might for these:)


  15. Vegetable Matter on October 13, 2009 at 10:13 am

    I love lemon, and these look perfectly cheerful for the rainy, gloomy weather we’ve had lately.


  16. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite on October 13, 2009 at 11:05 am

    My mum used to bake these when I was little!


  17. Eliana on October 13, 2009 at 11:36 am

    Lemon is one of my favorite flavors and I love being able to take store bought cake mix and make it my own.


  18. stephchows on October 13, 2009 at 11:40 am

    oh totally fun!! they are SO YELLOW!! hehe, they sound delicious to me! And I love any recipe that you can make in one bowl!


  19. Martha on October 13, 2009 at 11:48 am

    Cake mixes can really come in handy when you want home baked cookies in a hurry. And with all the natural, organic, and gluten free cake mix options, they are becoming better for you all the time. Your lemon cookies look luscious.


  20. Chris on October 13, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    These look great!


  21. kokotaru on October 13, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Hi there, I love your cookies and I really want to try making them. I just wonder that I don’t have a ready cake mix package, can I do with the normal cake flour plus baking powder / baking soda/ salt and can you suggest the proportion? Thanks a lot :)


  22. Lucy on October 13, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    What an amazing colour these cookies have! I love the idea of using the cake mix as a base, especially when you get such delicious looking results :)


  23. Cookin' Canuck on October 13, 2009 at 3:49 pm

    Those are some beautiful cookies! The insides look wonderfully cake-like and moist.


  24. Danielle on October 13, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    I have a friend who loves lemon. I’ll have to send her your way for this recipe :)


  25. Pam on October 13, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    Oh how pretty…what a burst of sunshine!


  26. Michelle on October 13, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Hi Kokotaru,

    I think you could probably take a butter or sugar cookie recipe and add the lemon zest, juice and extract to it for a lemon cookie. I would probably use the same amounts as are listed in this recipe and then scale up depending on how the first batch comes out and how strong you like your lemon baked goods. I hope that helps!


  27. Soma on October 13, 2009 at 10:34 pm

    sounds like lemon burst & looks like sun burst. Just the look of it uplifted my mood.


  28. lululu on October 13, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    wow, lemon cake mix, lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon extract, i could feel the lemon fragrance here!


  29. Danielle on October 14, 2009 at 12:43 am

    I don’t bake much but wow! do I love these cookies!!! Thanks for sharing it. See ya around Foodbuzz.


  30. Miranda on October 14, 2009 at 6:56 am

    You are such a talented women! Lovely pictures and fantastic recipe. Thank you so much for sharing.


  31. Mel @ bouchonfor2.com on October 14, 2009 at 7:14 am

    Those look wonderful, like a burst of sunshine :) How simple too!


  32. V on October 14, 2009 at 9:28 am

    I made those last night and they are so moist and lemony. I was worried because the batter was a bit on the runny side, but it turned out perfect. Yum


  33. bridget {bake at 350} on October 14, 2009 at 11:55 am

    I’ve been wanting to try a recipe like this…your cookies look so beautiful!!!


  34. Miriam/The winter guest on October 14, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Stunning pics!


  35. Ashley on October 14, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    Ooo yum these look awesome! I’ve made chocolate crackles before which look just like this but obviously are dark brown/black.


  36. Amber on October 16, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    I have seen these “crinkle” type cookies made with chocolate and with strawberry cake mix but never with lemon. These definitely sound delicious.


  37. Pret a Gourmet on October 22, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    These cookies are great! I just made a batch for a breast cancer fund raiser bake sale. I used a white “french vanilla” cake mix, sub 2 tsp vanilla extract instead of the lemon and a couple of drops of red food color. This might be the fastest, easiest cookie recipe ever! Everyone loved them. Thanks for posting it!


  38. Michelle on October 23, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Pret a Gourmet – Thanks for stopping back with a review. Your vanilla version sounds fabulous! And for such a great cause! Glad to hear they were a hit :)


  39. Books And Bakes on October 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Michelle, these look superb, like little explosions of lemon. Fantastic!

    Rosie of Books And Bakes


  40. Erin on October 28, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    I love your blog!!! I make a version of these that only calls for 4 oz cool whip, 1 egg and a box of cake mix (any flavor). Lemon cake mix is probably my favorite, and I like to add some lemon zest to the dough to amp up the lemon. I’ve made DOZENS of variations, including spice cake mix with finely chopped candied ginger mixed in. Everyone loves my semi-homemade cookies and can never believe it when I tell them how easy they are!


  41. Jessica on November 4, 2009 at 9:47 am

    WOW!! Do you think I can try these with oranges/satsumas? They’re an abundance in my backyard!


  42. Mama B on November 7, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I’ll admit, these do look good. I’ve never made cake mix cookies. Like you, I prefer to make things from scratch. But I love lemon and I love simple cookies, so I think I need to give these a try.


  43. Michelle on November 9, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Hi Jessica – You could definitely substitute orange in this recipe; I hope you enjoy them! Let me know how they turn out!


  44. Hiratana on November 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    I must say that I really love your recipes! In fact I have already done some of them to my friends and they just loved them ! I really wanted to do the lemon burst cookies too but unfortunetly where I live they don’t have lemon cake mix(there was only chocolate and tiramisu :(). I was wondering if you could tell me what I could replace it with? pleaseee ^^


  45. Michelle on November 22, 2009 at 11:55 pm

    Hi Hiratana,

    Thank you for the comment; I’m so thrilled to hear that you enjoy my site! As far as the cookies go, the formulation for the recipe is built on the cookie mix, but you could certainly try it with the chocolate mix and make chocolate cookies, adding in some chocolate chips. And tiramisu cookies sound like they would be divine!


  46. Aimee on December 27, 2009 at 6:50 am

    I made these over Christmas and they were a huge hit…as a matter of fact, they were the favorite! I can’t believe how refreshing and light they are…the lemon zest and juice (I used freshly squeezed) made for a truly amazing cookie. thanks for sharing!


  47. Cari Snell on January 1, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    Hi Michelle!

    We’ve featured your lemon burst cookies these week on http://www.canigettherecipe.com as we discussed and do they ever look fabulous! Thanks again!!!


  48. Hot Polka Dot on March 4, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    I love love love lemon and these cookies look adorable. Thanks!


  49. Pingback: 36 Fabulous Recipes for Summer | Brown Eyed Baker

  50. Lori on June 18, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I baked these up last night! They have a perfect texture, and taste great! Thanks!


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