Lemon Pudding Cookies

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5 from 5 votes
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Lemon pudding cookies with cream cheese are soft and chewy, bursting with sweet lemon flavor, and easy to make in under 30 minutes!

These lemon white chocolate chip cookies are the softest, most tender cookies you’ll ever have. They taste JUST like the lemon cookies at Panera (my favorite)!

Looking for an even easier lemon cookie recipe? Try these 3-ingredient lemon cookies.

Lemon pudding cookies with white chocolate chips piled on serving plate.

But back to these lemon cookies with pudding mix. You are going to love them! If you have never had pudding mix cookies before you are in for a real treat. Pudding mix is a magical cookie ingredient that keeps cookies chewy and soft while giving them tons of flavor.

In fact, these lemon cookies stay super soft for days, making them a great make-ahead option.

For another delicious pudding cookie recipe try my banana pudding cookies or vanilla pudding cookies with sprinkles-both are super yummy!

Lemon cookies with white chocolate chips stacked on top of one another. One cookie is leaning on front of the stack with a bite taken out of it.

This lemon pudding cookies recipe is also an excellent recipe to bake up with the kids, they’ll love rolling the dough balls and pressing baking chips into the cookies before patting them down gently on the baking sheets. 

Soft lemon cookies on table with white chocolate chips and lemon slices.

Perfectly sweet with just a bit of tang (like this lemon layer cake), you are going to fall in love with these soft lemon pudding mix cookies.

Ingredients

This section includes ingredient notes and substitution options. Get all measurements, ingredients, and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for Lemon Pudding Cookies with Cream Cheese
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • lemon instant pudding mix— keeps the cookies soft and moist; adds the perfect amount of sweet lemon flavor
  • salted butter— If you only have unsalted you can use that instead and add ½ teaspoon salt.
  • cream cheese— balances the sweetness and helps keep the cookies soft, and the dough tender
  • granulated sugar
  • lemon zest— gives the pudding cookies a burst of fresh lemon flavor
  • egg
  • vanilla extract— I always recommend using 100% pure vanilla extract.
  • white chocolate chips— Adds texture and sweet, creamy white chocolate goodness!

How to Make Lemon Cookies with Pudding Mix

This section shows you how to make the recipe with step-by-step photos and instructions. For the full printable recipe, see the recipe card below. 

Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350℉ and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. If you don’t have parchment paper, you can just drop the cookies onto an ungreased sheet pan, they won’t stick.

Step 2: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and lemon pudding mix. Set aside.

Dry ingredients for lemon pudding cookies.

Step 3: In the bowl of a stand mixer; cream together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and zest until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a silicone spatula.

Sugar and softened butter in bowl.

Step 4: Add the egg and vanilla, mix until combined. Scrape the bowl with a silicone spatula.

Eggs, lemon zest, and creamed sugared and butter in bowl of stand mixer with paddle attachment.

Step 5: With the mixer on low, add half of the dry ingredients and mix until mostly combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. The dough will be difficult to mix.

Dry ingredients added to wet ingredients in bowl of stand mixer.

Step 6: Stir in the white chocolate chips.

White chocolate chips added to lemon cookie dough.

Step 7: Use a medium cookie scoop to drop balls of dough onto the sheet pans 1” apart.

Lemon cookie dough scooped on lined baking sheet.

Step 8: Press a few baking chips into the top of the dough balls, and press down to flatten the cookies slightly. The cookies will not spread much in the oven, it’s important to pat them down a bit.

Tip: If you’d like a uniform edge on your cookies, roll the dough balls briefly in your hand before pressing chips into them.

Lemon pudding mix cookie dough with white chocolate chips on lined baking sheet.

Step 9: Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are just turning light golden brown. Let them cool on the sheet pan for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Baked lemon pudding cookies on cookie sheet.

Storage and Freezing

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

For longer storage, fully cooled cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, place fully cooled cookies in an airtight container of freezer baggie.

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • This recipe is very forgiving. You can add in all 8 ounces of the cream cheese if you’d like and they’ll still turn out delicious!
  • To soften butter quickly, cut butter into small chunks and place on a plate in a warm spot of your kitchen for about 30 minutes. Or microwave wrapped sticks in 4-second increments until it’s just barely soft, flipping the sticks of butter every 4 seconds.
  • Use a stand mixer. The pudding mix makes this dough difficult to mix, which is why I do not recommend using a hand mixer.
Lemon Cookies on cooling rack.

Additions & Variations

Mascarpone cheese. You can substitute the cream cheese for 8 ounces of mascarpone cheese, which does not need to be softened at room temp before use. 

White chocolate drizzle. Melt ½ cup of baking chips in the microwave per bag instructions. Transfer to a sandwich bag and snip off the very tip of the bag with scissors. Drizzle the melted baking chips over the completely cooled cookies.

Chocolate chips. Not a fan of white chocolate? Go ahead and use semi-sweet chocolate chips instead.

Sky’s the limit. Try different flavor combinations, using the pudding mix flavors as inspiration. Coconut cream pudding and sweetened coconut flakes. Chocolate pudding with Heath Bar bits. Vanilla pudding with chocolate chips. White chocolate pudding with white chocolate chips and Craisins. 

Lemon cookies on plate with lemon slice.

Recipe FAQ

What does instant pudding do for cookies?

Instant pudding adds flavor and keeps cookies soft and moist.

Can I use cook & serve pudding mix instead?

No. You need instant pudding mix for this pudding cookie recipe. Cook and serve will not have the same results.

Should I prepare the pudding before adding it to the cookie dough?

No, just add the pudding mix dry. Trust me on this 🙂

More Favorite Cookie Recipes

Recipe
Lemon pudding cookies with white chocolate chips on plate.
Recipe
5 from 5 votes

Lemon Pudding Cookies

Author: Jaclyn
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 22 minutes
Lemon pudding cookies with cream cheese are soft and chewy, bursting with sweet lemon flavor, and easy to make in under 30 minutes!

Ingredients
 

  • 2 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 3.4 ounce package lemon instant pudding
  • 1 cup salted butter softened
  • 6 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips divided

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350℉ and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and pudding mix. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer; cream together the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and zest until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a silicone spatula as needed.
  • Add the egg and vanilla, mix until combined, scraping down the bowl with a spatula as needed.
  • On low, add half of the dry ingredients and mix until mostly combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. The dough should be difficult to mix.
  • Fold in ¾ cup of white chocolate chips.
  • Use a medium cookie scoop to drop balls of dough onto the sheet pans 1” apart. Press a few of the remaining baking chips into the top of each dough ball, and press down to flatten the cookies slightly.
  • Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are just turning light golden brown. Let them cool on the sheet pan for 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Notes

I recommend using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for this recipe as the dough is stiff and may be too difficult to mix for your hand mixer.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
For longer storage, fully cooled cookies can be frozen for up to 3 months. To freeze, place fully cooled cookies in an airtight container of freezer baggie.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 217kcal
Lemon pudding cookies with white chocolate chips on plate.

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The Best Lemon Pudding Cookies with White Chocolate Chips.
5 from 5 votes (4 ratings without comment)

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