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Sourdough Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Nothing says warmer weather like lemon flavored treats. I love creating lemon recipes (like my sourdough lemon shortbread cookies and sourdough lemon bars). These sourdough lemon crinkle cookies are no exception. These soft, lemony cookies have a beautiful white crinkled exterior that shows off the beautiful lemon center. They are the perfect addition to a picnic, afternoon tea party, or any occasion really. 

Finished sourdough lemon crinkle cookie with a bite taken out of it.

Why You Will Love these Sourdough Discard Lemon Crinkle Cookies

These cookies are easy to make and are especially fun to make with your kids. They are a great way to talk about science in baking (see next paragraph). Plus, this science experiment is completely edible!

How to Use Sourdough Starter in Crinkle Cookies

Crinkle cookies are a tricky cookie to make. The cookie dough has to be the perfect level of hydration to create that crinkled appearance. If the cookie dough is too wet, the powdered sugar will absorb too much water. This results in a cookie that won’t appear white but rather a soggy off-white color. 

Make sure your sourdough starter is around 100% percent hydration. This means you feed it with equal parts water and flour by weight. You can always add a bit of water or flour to adjust the consistency of your starter. 

P.S. If you need to make a sourdough starter, check out my guide to make a minimal waste sourdough starter.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Flour: Use regular all purpose flour or bread flour for these cookies. I do not recommend substituting whole wheat flour in this recipe as it will overpower the delicate lemon flavor.
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Baking Soda
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Butter: I recommend unsalted butter but salted butter can also be substituted here.
  • Sugar: Use plain white sugar in this recipe. Brown sugar should not be substituted as it can add too much moisture.
  • Sourdough Starter: Active starter or sourdough starter discard straight from the fridge will both work well in this recipe.
  • Lemon Juice
  • Lemon Zest
  • Vanilla
  • Egg Yolk: We only use the egg yolk in this recipe. To separate the egg white from the yolk, crack the egg on your counter. Then, separate the shell into two pieces (like you normally would when cracking an egg) but do not drop the egg into the bowl. Gently tilt the egg shell containing the egg to allow the egg white spill out without letting the egg yolk fall out. Pour the egg yolk into the other shell and do the same thing. Repeat this process a couple of times until most of the egg white is removed.

How to Make

Step 1: Whisk together the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.

Step 2: Use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment to cream together the sugar and butter.

Step 3: Add the sourdough starter, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and egg yolk and continue to mix until fully combined. 

Step 4: Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until just fully combined.

Sourdough lemon crinkle cookie dough in bowl of stand mixer.

Step 5: Cover and chill the dough for 2 hours or up to 3 days.

Step 6: Preheat oven to 350F. 

Step 7: Scoop the cookie dough into approximate 1 inch balls. 

Step 8: Roll each cookie dough ball into the powdered sugar to coat. Make sure you coat these really well so they have enough powdered sugar to show the crinkled appearance. If you notice the powdered sugar is getting absorbed once you place them on the baking sheet, roll them in the sugar a second time. 

sourdough lemon crinkle cookie dough balls rolled in powdered sugar.

Step 9: Place the cookie dough balls on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Step 10: Bake for 11-14 minutes. The edges should look cooked but the centers will be slightly gooey when done. Don’t overbake these cookies or they will not have that soft chewy texture and will be cake-like. 

sourdough lemon crinkle cookies on a plate with lemon slices for decoration.

How to Store

 Store these sourdough lemon cookies on a plate covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container or gallon ziplock. They are best if eaten within 5 days. 

You can also freeze these cookies. I recommend freezing the dough balls in a gallon bag, then coating them in the sugar and baking when ready to use. Alternatively, you can freeze the cookies after you bake them. 

Finished sourdough lemon crinkle cookie with a bite taken out of it.

Sourdough Lemon Crinkle Cookies

These sourdough lemon crinkle cookies have a soft and chewy lemony center with a slightly crisp and crinkly exterior. These beautiful lemony cookies are the perfect warm weather cookie but can easily be made for any occasion.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Chill Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 22 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 24
Calories 132 kcal


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup sourdough starter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a few drops of yellow food coloring (optional)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl with hand mixer), use the paddle attachment to cream the butter and sugar.
  • Add the sourdough starter, egg yolk, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, and food coloring (if using). Mix until fully combined.
  • Slowly mix in the flour mixture until fully combined.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or up to 3 days.

When Ready to Bake

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Scoop the cookie dough into approximate 1 inch balls.
  • Roll each cookie dough ball in powdered sugar until heavily coated.
  • Place on prepared baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.
  • Bake for 11-13 minutes or until the edges are fully cooked and the centers are puffed up but slightly soft and gooey.
  • Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.


Calories: 132kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 1gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 79mgPotassium: 16mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 129IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 14mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Cookies, Sourdough, Sourdough Discard
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