These delicately soft lemon drop cookies frosted with lemon icing and a sprinkling of lemon zest are bursting with citrus flavor. These sweet and tart cookies are easy to make and are a perfect spring or summertime dessert or snack.
lemon drop cookies
If you love the tartness of lemon and are a fan of soft and fluffy cookies, you’ve definitely got to try this recipe.
These frosted lemon cookies are refreshing and light and are perfect for spring or summer. They’d be great with a tall glass of iced tea or a cold glass of milk.
They are easy enough to make for an afternoon snack but look nice enough to serve for Easter dessert or at a tea party.
how to make lemon drop cookies
you will need:
Use softened unsalted butter. Set your butter out on your counter to soften 1 hour before you plan to make these cookies. You want it soft enough that a finger pressed into it makes a slight indentation but it doesn’t flatten the butter.
Granulated sugar will add sweetness to your lemon cookies.
EGG and EGG YOLK
Use one large egg and one large egg yolk for this recipe. The extra yolk will add richness and moisture. It’s always best to use room temperature eggs when baking. Set the eggs on the counter when you set the butter out.
This recipe will use 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Depending on the size of the lemons you choose, you’ll need 4-7 lemons. Before you squeeze them, be sure to zest a few.
Be sure the lemons are at room temperature. You don’t want to add cold lemon juice to the cookie dough.
To make the cookie dough, you’ll need 2 tablespoons of lemon zest. You can typically get 1 tablespoon of zest from a medium-sized lemon.
how do you zest a lemon?
Scrape a lemon over a Microplane grater to get very thin pieces of lemon zest. Only scrape off the yellow lemon peel. You don’t want to scrape off the bitter white pith under the lemon peel.
ALL PURPOSE FLOUR
- Preferably unbleached flour. Chemicals used in bleached flour produce a softer, less-dense texture. Unbleached flour is denser and more structured and can hold up your baked goods better.
- That said, both work!
Baking soda helps the cookies rise and prevents the cookies from tasting too “cakey.”
Baking powder adds carbon dioxide to encourage the cookies to rise up and out.
Never forget your salt in cookies! It helps to balance the sweetness in all your baked goods.
The confectioner’s sugar, also known as powdered sugar or icing sugar, will sweeten your lemon icing.
TOOLS YOU’LL NEED
- hand mixer or standing mixer
- cookie scoop (1 tablespoon size)
let’s make cookies!
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a few baking trays with parchment paper.
step one: cream your butter and sugar
- Cream the butter until smooth and creamy.
- Then, add the sugar and beat until well blended.
step two: mix in the eggs
- Beat in the egg and egg yolk just until smooth.
- Cookie dough can often look curdled after adding the eggs so be sure to beat the dough until it smooths out.
step three: juice and zest your lemons
- Zest two or more lemons until you get 2 tablespoons of zest.
- Squeeze enough lemons to create 4 ounces of juice.
- Pour the juice through a strainer to remove and pulp and seeds.
- Add the lemon zest and lemon juice to the bowl of cookie dough.
- DO NOT mix at this point.
NOTES: In experimenting with this recipe, I learned that trying to mix cold lemon juice into the butter, sugar, and egg mixture caused the batter to separate. So, I recommend using room temperature lemon juice and adding the flour along with the juice.
step four: mix the dry ingredients
- Blend the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together using a fork or whisk.
- Then add it to the bowl of cookie dough.
- Beat on low speed just until combined.
step five: scoop and bake
- Scoop out 40 tablespoon-size balls of lemon cookie dough onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the cookies no longer look wet and when a finger pressed gently in the center does not leave an indentation.
- The edges of the cookies will just begin to turn lightly golden brown but the cookies will still be very light in color.
step six: ice your lemon cookies
- In a bowl with a hand mixer or in your stand mixer, beat the butter until creamy.
- Sift the powdered sugar over top and add lemon juice, milk, and lemon zest.
- Beat until smooth and creamy.
- If needed, add more lemon juice or milk to thin out the icing. If you prefer a nice and tart lemon frosting, add more lemon juice. Milk will tone down the flavor of the lemon.
- When cookies have cooled, spread a small dollop of icing on each cookie and top with a sprinkling of lemon zest.
See the printable recipe below.
more cookie recipes
printable lemon drop cookie recipe
I hope you enjoy this lemon drop cookie recipe! Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions for comments about this easy cookie recipe.