SMiLes by Meg

Lemon Cookies

Vacation baking takes creativity. When you find yourself in a condo that lacks anything that could be construed as useful, you have to improvise.

For example, say there are no measuring cups/baking sheets/cake pans/staple ingredients. But you do have at least one big bowl and a pizza pan. For minimal investment, you can make these lemon cookies!

Obviously if you’re only somewhere for a week, you don’t want to buy flour and sugar and baking powder and everything else you would have at home. Fortunately, cake mix will contain just about all of those things, and can be used outside of what the box says to do. Here, I used it to make some cookies!

First, in a large bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese. No hand mixer? Just let them get SUPER soft before using a wooden spoon. Add in the vanilla extract and egg and beat together to combine. Finally, stir in the cake mix to incorporate completely. Let the dough chill in a covered bowl for at least two hours in the refrigerator. Roll the dough into balls, about the size of a ping pong ball, and place on a baking sheet (or pizza pan) about 2 inches apart.Bake at 350°F for 10 minutes, or until tops are cracked and edges are beginning to brown.Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Or, if wire racks are hard to come by, lay out some paper towels and hope for the best.And now you’ve got lemon cookies! They are definitely on the cakey side, but they do the job, and make for a good, light dessert when you’re somewhere warm.


Lemon Cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1 package lemon cake mix


  1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Beat in vanilla extract and egg until incorporated.
  3. Stir in cake mix until smooth.
  4. Chill dough for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
  5. Roll dough into one inch balls and place 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 350°F for 9 to 11 minutes, or until tops are cracked and edges are golden.
  7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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