These Glazed Lemon Cookies are one of my all-time favorite cookies! The texture is melt-in-your-mouth tender and just a little crisp on the outside with a buttery lemon flavor. Then they are drizzled with a bright, sweet lemon glaze made with fresh lemon juice and zest that makes them irresistible!

lemon cookies with lemon glaze on a wire rack

Table of Contents
  1. Why this is the BEST lemon cookie recipe
  2. Recipe Ingredients
  3. How to make this recipe
  4. Recipe FAQ's
  5. Expert Tips
  6. More Cookie Recipes You'll Love
  7. Glazed Lemon Cookies Recipe

Every time I make these lemon cookies I get RAVE reviews. Even from my husband who turns up his nose at lemon bars or lemon meringue pie (more for me, I say). But not these cookies. I have to fight him for these and it is always a sad day when the last one is gone.

Love all things lemon? Be sure to check out some of our other reader favorites that feature this fun flavor like Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins, Lemon Meringue Pie Bars, or Fresh Lemon Ice Cream!

This isn't the only lemon cookie on my site. I have a lemon sugar cookie that is also delicious, but I think of it as soft and chewy. This is more tender and slightly crumbly and if I had to choose between the two, it would be this one, ever time. (But still make the others because they are really, really good too!).

The cookie itself is soft and sweet with a texture somewhere between a sugar cookie and shortbread. Bits of lemon zest fleck each cookie and the top has the slightest crackle of sugar, thanks to my method of pressing down each ball of dough with the bottom of a cup dipped in sugar just before sliding the cookies into the oven to bake.

And the glaze itself is sweet-tart perfection and made from just two ingredients - lemon (both the zest and the juice) and powdered sugar. Once it is drizzled over each cookie and has a chance to set, it takes these cookies over the top. I keep things simple by just pouring my glaze into a plastic Ziploc bag and using scissors to snip off a corner for a makeshift piping bag.

A good trick for doing this is to insert your empty bag into a cup and fold the bag over the edges so that the bag stays open and your hands are free to pour the glaze into the bag.

Then I drizzle it over the cookies set on a wire cooling rack so that any excess glaze can drip off the sides.

a stack of glazed lemon cookies with wedges of lemon next to them

The recipe is pretty straight forward and you will get exactly 12 large cookies from each batch. You could make them smaller but then the ratio of glaze and chewy center and slightly crispy edge gets off. Trust me, 12 cookies from this recipe is just perfect. If you need 2 dozen or more cookies, the recipe doubles easily.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Butter: I always use salted butter for my baking.
  • Sugar: Granulated sugar is in both the cookie dough and on the bottom of a glass to press down the balls of dough before baking. You will also need some powdered sugar for the glaze.
  • Lemons: You will need 2-3 lemons for these cookies. Both the juice and zest are used to give these cookies a bright, completely natural burst of lemon flavor without resorting to lemon extract.
  • Egg: One egg helps bind the cookie together.
  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour works just fine in this recipe.
  • Baking soda & salt: A tiny bit of baking soda and salt give the right texture and keep the cookies from being bland.
  • Vanilla extract: I love the combination of lemon and vanilla. I like to use my homemade vanilla extract when I'm baking.
glazed lemon cookie ingredients  on a white surface

How to make this recipe

  1. Cream butter and sugar: These can be done with a hand mixer, but I typically use my stand mixer to cream the butter and sugar because they should mix on medium to medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until creamy and light. Add the lemon zest, vanilla extract, and egg and mix again, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as needed.
  2. Add flour, baking soda, and salt: Mix in the dry ingredients until combined, but try not to overwork the dough which can result in tough, dry cookies.
  1. Shape cookies: Divide the dough into 12 evenly-sized balls. I like to use a medium cookie scoop to do this. Roll the dough into balls between the palms of your hands and arrange them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
  2. Press down: Run the bottom of a glass under water, then press into a bowl of granulated sugar. Use the glass to press down the dough to flatten out slightly until the cookies are about ½-inch thick, pressing the glass into the sugar between each cookie.
  1. Bake & glaze: Bake the cookies just until set and no longer shiny on top. Let them cool for 15 minutes or so before glazing with powdered sugar whisked together with lemon juice and lemon zest. You could dip the tops of each cookie or drizzle the glaze over the top using a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off. Let the glaze set before serving.

Recipe FAQ's

Can these be made gluten-free?

Yes, you can use a 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour like Bob's Red Mill to make these and they will turn out delicious!

Will the glaze harden?

Yes, this glaze will eventually set up after about an hour so that the cookies can be wrapped. If you plan to stack them, I would still recommend placing a piece of parchment paper or wax paper between the layers.

How do you store cookies with glaze?

Once the glaze has hardened, you can store the lemon cookies in an airtight container on the counter for 4 days. If you need to store them longer, they freeze really well!

How do you freeze lemon cookies?

Freeze the cookies in a single layer on a baking sheet for 2-3 hours, then transfer to a freezer-safe container for longer term storage. These cookies freeze well for about 3 months. To serve, just thaw on the counter overnight or microwave for 10-20 seconds.

lemon sugar cookies on a wire rack with glaze on top of them next to a bowl of lemons

Expert Tips

  • Freezing lemon cookie dough: You can actually make the dough and freeze it if you want to be able to have fresh baked lemon cookies any time. In this case, I recommend shaping and flattening the cookies, then freezing them just before baking. You can bake straight from frozen by just adding an additional minute or two to the bake time.
  • Freezing lemon glaze: The glaze will freeze well too! Just store it in a resealable zip-tight bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw on the counter and smoosh it around with your hands a bit to warm it up. You could also place the bag of glaze in a bowl of hot water for a few minutes so you can drizzle it over the cookies.
  • Using other citrus: You can use this lemon cookie recipe to make glazed lime cookies instead. They are absolutely delicious! I haven't tried oranges or grapefruit, but I'm guessing they would also work well.
  • Lemon zest: Be sure to always zest your lemons before juicing them. If you don't want the lemon zest in your glaze, go ahead and leave it out. I actually like the texture and visual interest it adds to the cookies, but the glaze is plenty lemony without it.
a lemon cookie with a bite taken out of it next to other cookies

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

Stay in the know

Glazed Lemon Cookies

4.87 from 22 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Servings 12 cookies
These Glazed Lemon Cookies are one of my all-time favorite cookies! The texture is melt-in-your-mouth tender and just a little crisp on the outside with a buttery lemon flavor. Then they are drizzled with a bright, sweet lemon glaze made with fresh lemon juice and zest that makes them irresistible!


Lemon cookie base

  • 1 cup salted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar + extra for cookie tops
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Lemon glaze

  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2-3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat on medium speed using a stand or hand mixer until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the egg, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and the vanilla, and beat until creamy, another minute or two.
  • Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the creamed mixture and mix on low speed until completely combined.
  • Divide the dough into 12 even-sized portions. I just use a spoon to roughly divide the dough into 4 sections in the bowl, then try to scoop three equal-sized scoops from each section so that I end up with 12 cookies that are the same size. Roll each section of dough into a ball and set on the parchment-lined cookie sheet, spaced evenly apart.
  • Using the bottom of a glass cup, first get it a little wet by running it under water, and then dip it in granulated sugar. Use the sugar-coated bottom of the glass to press down gently on each ball of dough, flattening it slightly until they are about 3 inches in diameter. You don't want the cookies super thin but they don't spread much when baking so pressing them down helps them bake evenly.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes or just until the cookies look set, then remove from the oven and cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • While the cookies are cooling, prepare the lemon glaze by combining the powdered sugar, lemon zest, and enough lemon juice to get a barely runny consistency. You don't want it too runny or you will just have a super thin layer of glaze on top of the cookies, but you want it a little more runny than a frosting that you would spread. I add lemon juice just until the glaze starts to just barely drizzle off my mixing spoon when I hold it up over the bowl.
  • Transfer the glaze to a Ziploc bag (I find that the freezer ones work better for this than the thin, sandwich variety), seal the bag, and snip off a small corner to create a piping bag. Pipe or drizzle the glaze over the cooled cookies on the wire rack in a zigzag motion, allowing some of the glaze to drip over the edges. Let the cookies stand just until the glaze is set before serving.


Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 335kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 256mg | Potassium: 40mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 493IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

This recipe was originally posted on November 2, 2016. It has been updated with new photos and additional helpful information on May 27, 2021. I'm including some of the photos from the original post for comparison's sake!

double lemon glazed cookies on a wire cooling rack

Share This With the World


Related Recipes

About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

How many stars would you give this recipe?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Reader questions and reviews

  1. Heather @Boston Girl Bakes says:

    5 stars
    Oh these look great! I love lemon desserts...they have been growing on me more and more the older I get..not sure what that's about it but I'll embrace it if it means I could eat these!

  2. Platter Talk says:

    5 stars
    I'd like to dip these in ice cold milk! Thanks for this recipe.

    1. Amy says:

      Oh yes, they are SO good with cold milk!

  3. Cooks Recipe Collection says:

    5 stars
    A new cookie recipe just in time to plan for my Christmas baking. Love lemons too. These look so refreshing.

  4. Mireille says:

    that glaze must make these cookies extra speical

  5. Michelle @ Vitamin Sunshine says:

    5 stars
    Those are beautiful! We really love lemon, so I am pinning these.

  6. Bree says:

    I noticed in the ingredients, you listed baking powder, but in the instructions # 3 you listed baking soda. Do which is it please

    1. Amy says:

      Sorry! It's baking powder!

  7. Bree says:

    Thank you, i am going to make these in just a little while

  8. Molly Stovall says:

    These have become my go-to cookie for any event. They are quick to make with simple ingredients and they absolutely melt in your mouth. So delicious they are one of my all time favorite cookies. Best of all, my kids aren't fans of lemon flavored cookies so that means more cookies for mom & dad.

  9. Wendy Klik says:

    Love the zest sprinkled over the glaze. These are gorgeous cookies.

    1. Amy says:

      Thank you!

  10. Rebecca says:

    These cookies were a hit with my boys. They don't me I could make them again, but make a double batch next time. That a win!

  11. Wendy Klik says:

    Oh my YUM. Love the zest sprinkled over the glaze. These are perfectly gorgeous cookies.

  12. Lynn @ Fresh April Flours says:

    I'm adding these to my Christmas cookie list! That glaze is everything!

    1. Amy says:

      It makes a great Christmas cookie! I mean, we enjoy them all year long, especially during the spring and summer, but I won a cookie exchange party a few years back with this recipe!

  13. Radha says:

    These are totally delicious cookies and I don't think I can stop with one. Love the glaze with lemon zest!

  14. Katherine Watts says:

    3 stars
    The cookies were good, but they did spread a lot in the oven. They also leaked a bit of butter onto the pan. They didn't look as good as I hoped, but they did taste amazing!

    1. Amy says:

      Hmmm there could be a couple reasons. If you butter is too soft, it will melt faster in the oven and ultimately make your cookies spread out. You want your softened butter to leave a slight indent when you press on it. You can also chill the dough to help if from spreading. Also, not enough flour could be a culprit if there isn't enough flour to bind the sugars and fat together. And make sure you mix well! If your butter is under mixed, it won't have air pockets to hold it's shape. Hope that helps! Try again and let me know how it goes! I'm glad they tasted good though!

  15. Cindy says:

    5 stars
    I've made these lemon glazed cookies a few times and they are always a crowd-pleaser! We recently tried something different by substituting the lemon juice and rind with ORANGE juice and rind, and the resulting cookies were AMAZING! Not to heavy on the orange, just a light citrusy cookie. Highly recommend. This time I also used the 1-to-1 gluten-free flour instead of regular flour, which tends to make things a little more grainy in texture and dry, but the moist glaze helped compensate for that.

    1. Amy says:

      Ooh, good idea Cindy! I'm going to have to try that!