Lemon Cookies Recipe

Frosted Lemon Cookies

This lemon cookie is delightfully crisp and tender with the refreshing flavor of lemon.

45 min. prep time
60 cookies
45545 Ratings



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt


2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice


Heat oven to 400°F.

Combine all cookie ingredients in bowl. Beat at low speed, scraping bowl often, until well mixed.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6-8 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Combine all glaze ingredients in bowl; stir until smooth. Frost warm cookies with glaze. Sprinkle with additional lemon zest, if desired.

Nutrition Facts (1 cookie)

Calories: 80

Fat: 3g

Cholesterol: 15mg

Sodium: 60mg

Carbohydrates: 13g

Dietary Fiber: 0g

Protein: 1g

Recipe #2405B©1995Land O'Lakes, Inc.

Recipe Comments & Reviews

I've been baking for over 50 years and these are some of the finest cookies ever. They've never been served at my house (or at anyone's party) without my having to right down the recipe over and over. The saddest thing is that there are never any left and I mean NEVER. They are so tender with the perfect touch of tartness in the glaze/frosting. I use a bit more freshly squeezed juice in the frosting. Thanks for this recipe. I see that someone has stolen it from my files and I've come to Land O' Lakes today to reclaim the recipe.
Great cookie, I'm keeping this recipe
Do these cookies freeze well? They seem fragile.
Test Kitchen Comment


Hi Nancy, the cookies are very tender, however, they should hold up in the freezer. We'd suggest putting the unfrosted cookies in a freezer-safe container and placing sheets of waxed paper between layers. Then when you are ready to serve, thaw and frost the cookies. Happy baking!
Posted November 04, 2015
I got this recipe from the butter package many years ago. I make this cookie every time we serve a low country boil (corn, potatoes, shrimp, mussels, kielbasa and old bay seasoning). The lemon flavor and texture of this cookie is just the right encore to end this delicious meal !
I made these cookies today thinking they would be a good Easter cookie for my family dinner. They turned out very flat so I was dappointed, taste good but flat. Why would this be??? Can someone provide help? I followes the ingredients and directions to the tee.
Test Kitchen Comment


Hi Trish, sorry to hear you had some issues with these cookies. There are many reasons your cookies turned out flat. One of the main culprits is that the butter was too soft when baking, causing it to spread in the oven. Also, if you were reusing cookie sheets, they could have been too warm, causing the cookies to spread. Lastly, everyone measures flour differently, and if you are a light measurer, the flour balance could be off, causing them to spread. Hope this helps!
Posted April 09, 2015
Excellent addition to my Christmas baking. Everyone enjoyed them so they will be baked again for New Years..
I made these cookies again and they didn't come out the same. They were heavy last time and this time they are light like a chocolate chip. Could it be I used a different recipe? I Iost the brochure I found the recipe on. I looked them up here on the site. Any advice?
I love this cookie. I lost the recipe... so glad I was able to find it! I took them to work for our Christmas party and everyone loved them. I think I will try making the lemon crisp cookie as well! Sounds delicious!
Help! I've used this recipe for years with wonderful results, but need help converting it to a high altitude recipe now that I'm living in Colorado( 5000 ft.). None of my variations seem to work. Can you help?
Test Kitchen Comment


You may need to make a few adjustments to your recipe. You may need to increase your baking temp. slightly and decrease the leavening (baking powder or baking soda) slightly as well as the fat or sugar. Then you may need to increase the liquid in the recipe and the flour. Try adjusting one recipe first. Also just bake one sheet of cookies to determine if the cookie dough is the correct consistency.
Posted December 22, 2014
I love this recipe. Followed it exactly, except I did not have cream of tartar. Substituted baking powder. When baking and cream of tartar is used in tandem with baking soda, the obvious substitute is baking powder. Baking powder is made up primarily of baking soda and cream of tartar. Every 1 tsp of baking powder is the equivalent of 1/4 tsp of baking soda and 1/2 tsp of cream of tartar.

I have shared this recipe with others at work, because it tastes SO Good!.
Thank you for a great and simple cookie.
I have made these twice and both times were a little too flat; although, the taste is great.
I made these without the icing and they were wonderful. I add 3/4 cup coconut and even people that do not like coconut loved these cookies
These cookies are wonderful! Simple and tangy. The perfect palate-cleanser after a meal.
I am so EXCITED to find this recipe again. It's one of our family favorites. Very easy and the glaze is wonderful~ Thank you.
Family favorite!!! I have seen a few negative comments below and I do believe they might need to practice some basic baking skills. One of the easiest cookies to make and the glaze WAS perfect.
These cookies have beaten out all other cookies (except maybe Buckeyes which taste like peanut butter cups) as far as my family is concerned. They have a nice lemony taste which contrasts well with the sweetness of the sugar.
These will be truly wonderful if you precisely follow the directions posted by Ashley in May 2012. The dough needs to be chilled before baking, and the icing chilled before frosting. My family LOVES these unusual and special lemon cookies!! Thank you Land O Lakes.
The cookie itself was good. I liked the fact that the dough behaved well. The glaze was
tasty but THERE MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE RECIPE. 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and only 1/4 cup of lemon juice??? I kept adding more lemon juice until I could work with it.
I know why you have to work with a warm cookie. The glaze is so thick and it really needs the cookie to be warm so that you spread it around. So, again, I like the flavor and texture of the cookie. Please review the glaze recipe. Thanks!
Test Kitchen Comment


We re-tested the glaze recipe in the Test Kitchens and the glaze turned out to be the correct consistency for glazing. It is not runny but you should not need to spread the glaze out either.
Posted September 21, 2012
This is my new favorite cookie recipe! I made a few adjustments after reading some reviews about "flat" or "chip-like cookies." Fist I creamed the butter and sugar, in a stand mixer. Once it was smooth I added the rest of the wet ingredients, eggs, lemon juice, and lemon zest. I sifted the dry ingredients together, then slowly added it to the wet ingredients, only mixing until a soft dough formed. I wrapped the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. While it was resting I made the icing using 3 cups of powdered sugar, 1/4 cup of lemon juice, and a pinch of zest. I refrigerated the icing as well. Baking as per instructions, 400 degree oven for 6 min, the cookies came out beautifully. Once they cooled about 2 minutes on the cookie sheet I transferred them to a wire rack for another 5-10 minutes. When the cookies were almost cool I spooned about a teaspoon of icing over the cookies, allowing the excess to drip off the sides, followed by a sprinkle of zest.
I would like a flat crisp cookie, what can I do with this recipe to achieve this
Test Kitchen Comment


Rather than trying to adjust this cookie recipe I suggest that you try another recipe, such as Slice & Bake Lemon Crisps. This cookie is cut very thin and has a delicate lemon flavor. I believe you will enjoy this cookie.
Posted May 30, 2012
The cookies started out crisp but the icing made them soft/soggy. Not a keeper..
This is a new go to cookie recipe! Everyone loved them.
So yummy. If you like lemon you'll love these!
The cookies came out fantastic. Nice and soft, crunchy texture, Would recommend to anyone and everyone.
Sounds like Kelly need to flour or grease her cookie pan. She must of used margerine if her cookies came out flat...
These are the best cookies ever. I've been making them for a long time now every Christmas and my family just loves them. They turn out perfect every time.
The cookies were flat and stuck to the cookie sheets. A BIG MESS!! I reviewed the recipe to ensure I hadnt made a mistake which I did not so I would not recommend this recipe to anyone. I need the 6 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange and now I have to go buy some. A waste of my time and money :(
These are easy and delicious cookies to give as gifts!
This lemon cookie by far is the best I have made. Just the right sweetness then a kick of the tartness comes in. Soft center with melt-in-your-mouth edges. Really, can't get enough!!!! They are a great treat.
This recipe was wonderfully refreshing, just the right balance of sweet and tart. The glaze really makes these cookies outstanding!
These cookies have a great taste and texture. I did add 1 drop of yellow food coloring to the dough and 2 T butter to the glaze. Yum
The cookies are the best I've ever had! There's not too much or too little lemon in the cookies. I highly recommend these cookies to any fan of cookies or lemons. The frosting is also a very nice touch. Delicious!
Can anyone tell me how these should be stored? And do they hold up well? (if not gobbled up, that is)
Test Kitchen Comment


I suggest storing these cookies in layers between waxed paper in a covered plastic container. Make sure the frosting has firmed up before packing the cookies so the cookies do not stick together
Posted November 11, 2011
Can't stop making them. Wife and I can't stop eating them. Sometimes I sprinkle them with grated coconut.
When you're having a cookie craving this is the easiest, yummiest recipe ever. Your craving will be satisfied within the hour. I halfed the recipe because, of course, it's dangerous to have too many fresh out of the oven cookies when you're having a cookie craving. Will make these again and again.
This is the best lemon cookie recipe ever! Be careful, you will eat as many as you make. I had to give mine away they were so good
Didn't have cream of tarter so used baking powder in place of both cream of tarter, cookies puffed up just fine! Not a big fan of zest so used approx. an extra half table spoon of lemon juice... cookies came out with a lemond aid flavor! Excellent!
I just made these last night and they were amazing!!!!! I read the comments where people said to use real lemons and boy that really makes a difference. The lemon flavor was very prominent. I also took the advice of one comment and added 2 tablespoons of lemon zest to the dough. My boyfriend and I could not stop eating these cookies. I will never use another recipe for lemon cookies.
For consistently perfect cookies, I chill the bare cookie sheets in the refrigerator 15 mins. before baking.

To intensify the lemon flavor, I double the amount of finely grated lemon zest in the cookie dough (2 tablespoons). And I mix in 2 tablespoons of lemon zest to the glaze instead of sprinkling some pieces on top.
Super Easy and Super Good..... These are great cookies for the Holidays. Not your typical choco chip or oatmeal. Nice to try out a differect recipe. Most ingredients are standard things, except maybe the cream of tartar. I think they will become my new favorite for cookie exchanges and parties. Perfect cookies for any season.
Best cookies ever! Melt in your mouth greatness!
Richard -
From the Test Kitchen - If the cookies turn out flat the butter may have been too soft when the dough was mixed. One solution is to refrigerate the cookie dough for 30 to 60 minutes before forming the cookies and baking them. Also, make sure the cookie are completely mixed. Beating the dough, too, will incorporate more air into the dough and may help to make the cookies puffy after baking.
Richard -
From the Test Kitchen - If the cookies turnout flat the butter may have been too soft when the dough was mixed. One solution is to refrigerate the cookie dough for 30 to 60 minutes and then forming the cookies and baking them. Also, make sure the cookie ti completely mixed. Beating the dough will incorporate more air into the dough and may help to make the cookies more puffy after baking.

I have baked this recipe many many times. Sometimes the cookies come out nice and puffy, other times they are flat like potato chips. Can you tell me what might be causing this? How can I insure they are nice and puffy? They always taste good, but don't always look good. Thank you.
I have been making these for several years and add them to my trays of Christmas cookies. If you like lemon flavor you'll love these. I add 1 tsp. lemon extract to the mix and it gives them an even bigger lemon kick. Tender and crispy all at the same time. I also used regular butter instead of unsalted as that's what I had on hand. We love these and I won't even bother trying another lemon cookie recipe...this it "the one"!
i used a little extra lemon juice in the dough and also the glaze..i just love the wonderful lemon flavor, and the cookies are so buttery and taste great with the lemon zest on top of the glaze...my husband also just LOVES them!!i will definitely make these again..my favorite cookie recipe now..
The frosting gives these cookies a wonderful punch of lemon flavor. They are absolutely delicious. You MUST use freshly squeezed lemons or the lemon flavor wont be there.
We used fresh squeezed lemons, for dough and frosting-YUM!
I didn't combine everything in one bowl. I creamed the butter and sugar, added the remaining wet ingred. Sifted the dry added to the wet and mixed lightly for a tender cookie. Everyone loves these and I have handed out your printed recipe to dozens of friends.
So good and so simple to make. I have made this on several occasions and each time had to give the recipe to everyone. I will sometimes make it with Lime zest and juice for a fresh change.
So easy and so delicious. These cookies have a wonderful, almost cakey texture, yet they hold their shape. One of the best lemon cookies I've had.
I found the recipe simple and quick to make.
I used lime instead of lemon. Out of all the cookies I baked for my friends, this one got the best revues.
I have made these for the past couple of years as part of my holiday baking. They make a very refreshing change to all the chocolate.
Found this recipe in a cooking magazine about a year or two ago. Both my husband love them. They are light and refreshing. I love chocolate but these are a nice change. Great to have for company for a non-chocolate option
I have made these cookies several times, and they are always amazingly delicious! I have also shared this recipe with my sister, and it has become a favorite of her family of six, as well as mine of five. I would recommend this recipe to anyone who loves lemon. So, so good!
i made these cookies for my husbands workplace and everyone wanted the recipe.at first i was going to tell them that it was a family recipe but they all loved it so much i told them that i found the recipe on the box of butter i bought.!!so i did share!!!

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