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Lemon Lover's Cookies Recipe

Lemon Lover's Cookies Recipe

"This light cookie will melt in your mouth. They're sure to be a hit wherever you serve them - mine always are!" Virginia Dillard, Whitmire, South Carolina
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling YIELD:40 servings


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • Additional grated lemon peel, optional


  • 1. In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in lemon juice. Combine the flour, cornstarch and lemon peel; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.
  • 2. Shape into a 1-1/2-in. roll; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Unwrap and cut into 1/4-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets.
  • 3. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Gently remove to wire racks to cool completely.
  • 4. In a small bowl, beat butter until fluffy. Add the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice and peel; beat until smooth. Spread over cooled cookies; sprinkle with additional lemon peel if desired. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: About 3-1/2 dozen.

Nutritional Facts

1 cookie: 73 calories, 5g fat (3g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 33mg sodium, 8g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

Reviews for Lemon Lover's Cookies

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Lady Fingers User ID: 2682286 258349
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2016

"Great recipe, quick and easy to make. Be generous with the lemon rind, they came out milder than I expected. And as other reviewers noted, they taste better the second day."

MOTCook User ID: 7688063 162878
Reviewed Jul. 20, 2014

"A very fragile cookie. I tasted one of them when it broke apart. It left a very chalky taste in my mouth (definitely the cornstarch). I waited 24 hours before I frosted them. What a difference. No chalky taste!!"

moocowmonkey007 User ID: 5479812 157986
Reviewed Apr. 17, 2014

"A word of warning: These cookies are awesome, but not as written. The ORIGINAL recipe is the same except it calls for 3 Tbsp of sugar not, 1/3 cup powdered sugar. That will probably alleviate the crumbling problem others are having. Make that change and try these, they are really good."

thefamilybaker User ID: 7163214 209986
Reviewed Mar. 21, 2014 Edited Mar. 23, 2014

"I have this recipe from a a Taste of Home cookies and bars magazine. It calls for 3 Tablespoons of regular sugar not one third cup confectioners sugar. I think that Amight be why some peopleTT are having problems with this cookie. Also after i mix the batter with the electric mixer then i mix it with my hands. The warmth of your hands melts the butter and it becomes more like regular cookie dough, not crumbs. The cookies get great every time i make them and i always get a lot of compliments from everyone that tries them. This is my most treasured cookie recipe! Also make sure you use real lemons to get your lemon juice and lemon peel. The only difference in the recipe i use and this recipe posted online is the sugar to make the dough. The frosting ingredients are the same."

chocolatecake101 User ID: 7533846 174861
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2013

"Wow...What a huge disappointment. I should have come here first to read the reviews. Is the 1/2 cup cornstarch correct?? They taste like cornstarch and crumbled to dust when touched. I can't imagine that they could hold frosting on them! They went in the trash before it got that far."

Dianne C User ID: 7066902 176216
Reviewed Jan. 2, 2013

"We will not make these again. They fell apart into powder. Very disappointing! We keep re-reading the recipe thinking surely we left something out."

pacook61 User ID: 6063365 162877
Reviewed Dec. 15, 2012

"just like some others said, these cookies fell apart, some while removing from pan, others while I was trying to ice them. Taste good. Might try to reduce the cornstarch and increase the flour next time to see if this helps."

jjbarlow74 User ID: 1495990 209985
Reviewed Oct. 21, 2012

"Here's my update...According to the magazine recipe (which I follow, but double) use 3 Tbsp sugar and 1-1/4c flour. Follow the rest of the recipe but cool the cookies completely on pans on wire racks (I personally use parchment paper and slide the whole sheet off onto a rack after cooling for about 5 minutes so I can start another batch right away).

A tip for forming the cookies...have a long piece of plastic wrap on the counter that you pour the dough on to. The dough will be very dry and powdery (enough so that once I thought I had done something wrong, pitched it and started over). Wrap the plastic wrap around the dough and use your hands to form the roll. The heat from your hands will soften the butter in the dough, helping it to pack together to form a log. I hope this helps all of you who are having problems with this recipe. They are fragile cookies, but that is part of the appeal, as they seem to melt in your mouth. They are so worth the effort. I am by no means an expert cook/baker, just a lemon lover who gave these a try and wish I could share them with the whole world!"

jjbarlow74 User ID: 1495990 162875
Reviewed Oct. 19, 2012

"I have made these numerous times, usually a double batch at a time because they are so good and go fast. I believe this recipe is different than in the magazine. If I remember correctly, there is a discrepancy with the amount of flour. I will double check my magazine recipe and update this review."

Sueser99 User ID: 143799 160286
Reviewed Jul. 20, 2012

"I made these cookies for the first time today. I mixed the dough last night and refrigerated them overnight. Used real butter, and fresh lemon juice as directed. Cut them a generous 1/4 inch thick and baked them on parchment paper and let them cool on the cookie sheets. I did have a couple that fell apart that were cut a little too thin. The cookies are delicious and the rest turned out great. Just had a couple friends taste them and they loved them. Yes, I will make them again for sure."

cyb User ID: 6422863 174254
Reviewed Dec. 25, 2011

"My mom and I love to cook. She has been cooking for over 60 years and this recipe will be one we will not try again. And as the other reviews stated the cookies just fell apart"

barbaraeddy User ID: 4505596 106797
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2011

"This recipe is Great!!! My cookies always turn out perfect. I use fresh lemon for grating and the juice. They are wonderful and my family loves them. I'm not an expert baker, just a Mom and Mamaw. Bad reviews must not have followed the directions. You should use real salted butter not margarine. I cut my dry mixture into butter mixture with a pastry blender. Perfect every time. Thanks for this recipe Taste of Home. Barbara Eddy Cabot, Arkansas"

Rosebudsar User ID: 4548132 157983
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2011

"Warning. I wrote another review and it didn't show up. These cookies fall apart after baking. Even tried cutting them thicker. Waste of time and money."

Rosebudsar User ID: 4548132 176215
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2011

"Don't even try this. The cookies disintigrate after baking. I left them on the sheet to cool a little and they would break in half. When they are cool and you pick up they turn into powder. I even tried cutting them thicker. What a waste."

LKin User ID: 4688086 209984
Reviewed May. 6, 2011

"I was very upset that I wasted my time and money on this receipe. They were very dry and crumbled in my hand. There was no way to ice them . I was under the impression that the Taste of Home test kitchen tried all receipes before they were printed in the cookbook. Either this did not happen or there is a major error in the receipe. Definitely would not try again."

KScales User ID: 3262967 162873
Reviewed Feb. 18, 2011

"The test kitchen has reviewed and retested this cookie. We switched the sugar to 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar and had no problem with cookies breaking or crumbling. This change has been reflected in the recipe.

Taste of Home Test Kitchen"

Finni User ID: 3336931 209983
Reviewed Jan. 26, 2011

"I agree with the other reviews. I am a baker and I made this recipe twice. Each time the cookies flattened in the oven and then they crumbled when I attempted to remove them from the cookie sheet. I feel that there is an error with the ingredients. Could someone in the Test Kitchen review this recipe? I question the amount of cornstarch being used."

donnawiskamp User ID: 1561003 178569
Reviewed Jan. 21, 2011

"I too had the same problem as most of the reviewers. They crumbled and I was not able to frost them. They ended up being very flat and thin, nothing like the photo. Very disappointed in this recipe. Almost makes me wonder if there is an error in the recipe."

RachelE User ID: 1320859 114101
Reviewed Jan. 5, 2011

"I made these and no one in my family will eat them. I like lemon, but didn't think these were that great. I guess I was looking for a softer lemony cookie, while these are drier and not very sweet."

Nortinski User ID: 5733922 106796
Reviewed Jan. 1, 2011

"I found these cookies to be delicious. I'm a big lemon fan so I added a teaspoon of lemon extract to both the cookie dough AND the frosting. I would suggest doubling the frosting recipe though as you'll want to pile it on these babies. My only regret is that I can't give this more than five stars. Bravo Ms. Dillard."

dcmarler User ID: 2610789 173090
Reviewed Jun. 14, 2010

"The flavor of this cookie is wonderful. I would give them 5 stars for taste. I liked it because it was so low in sugar, yet plenty sweet with the delicious frosting. Definitely a shortbread kind of cookie. I had horrible problems with the crumbling. What didn't break when I took them off the cookie sheet crumbled when I frosted them. But, the great flavor is enough to make me determined to try again! I could eat the frosting with a spoon!!"

KScales User ID: 3262967 105304
Reviewed May. 27, 2010

"This is a very delicate shortbread cookie. To aid in easier removal from the pans, we've modified the directions to use parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Also, cookies should only cool for about 2 minutes before gently removing them to wire racks. These changes will be reflected here soon.

Taste of Home Test Kitchen"

TLC2344 User ID: 5117991 174251
Reviewed May. 10, 2010

"I followed the recipe exactly and they were so dry they would not come off the cookie sheet. Terrible"

spang5 User ID: 5022173 93590
Reviewed Apr. 4, 2010

"I made this recipe twice and twice they ended up in the trash. The cookies would not even melt in teh oven after more than 10 minutes. When I tried to help them along, they crumbled into dust. They were very dry and crumbly."

toastie User ID: 21469 160273
Reviewed Feb. 15, 2010

"I made this recipe exactly as the recipe showed. They were a total flop. I could not get them out of the pan without them crumbling into pieces, even after I had allowed them to cool. I didn't have anything

left to put frosting on but crumbs."

OhioBuckeye User ID: 4317760 173089
Reviewed Feb. 11, 2010

"These cookies have a very pasty texture (although lightly lemony) when you put them in your mouth. The cookies melt into a smooth lemony cornstarchy liquid when you taste them. I didn't care for the cornstarch aftertaste. With all the cornstarch this recipe calls for, this result should be no surprise. I made these cookies because the picture of them made them look delicious. Don't be fooled! They look just like in the photo, but they taste like a lot of cornstarch and fall apart. Based on other viewers comments, I added a little more lemon juice and grated lemon peel to the batter to improve the flavor. The extra lemon juice did help the cookies stay together until cooled. They did tend to crack and crumble, however, when picked up. I would recommend trying a different recipe if you want a lemon cookie. These are not something I would share. On the bright side, the lemon frosting is delicious."

OhioBuckeye User ID: 4317760 89165
Reviewed Feb. 11, 2010

"These cookies have a very pasty texture (although lightly lemony) when you put them in your mouth. The cookies melt into a smooth lemony cornstarchy liquid when you taste them. I didn't care for the cornstarch aftertaste. With all the cornstarch this recipe calls for, this result should be no surprise. I made these cookies because the picture of them made them look delicious. Don't be fooled! They look just like in the photo, but they taste like a lot of cornstarch and fall apart. Based on other viewers comments, I added a little more lemon juice and grated lemon peel to the batter to improve the flavor. The extra lemon juice did help the cookies stay together until cooled. They did tend to crack and crumble, however, when picked up. I would recommend trying a different recipe if you want a lemon cookie. These are not something I would share. On the bright side, the lemon frosting is delicious."

anoceanlovr User ID: 1304687 93586
Reviewed Feb. 2, 2010

"I tried to make this recipe and was unsuccessful. The cookies literally crumbled when I tried to take them off the cookie sheet after baking them. So much so that I couldn't even save ONE! Thought it was weird that there was no egg in it? Did I miss something? (I took the recipe off the website, not from the magazine)"

jcrazy21 User ID: 4788528 162872
Reviewed Jan. 24, 2010

"Too much work for a bland cookie that crumbles in your hand. The icing is decent, if you double the lemon juice as others have done. You would be better off with your favorite sugar cookie recipe topped with the lemon frosting."

marlimay User ID: 3877436 176214
Reviewed Jan. 21, 2010

"These cookies are delicious. I didn't have a problem with breakage. Like others, I doubled the amount of lemon juice in both the cookies and the frosting. They couldn't have been better. My brother, who doesn't normally eat sweets, loved these cookies. The next time I'll double the recipe. They didn't last long! Definitely a keeper!"

jjbarlow74 User ID: 1495990 89159
Reviewed Jan. 6, 2010

"These cookies are wonderful! I used 1-1/4c flour as my magazine says and doubled the lemon juice in both the cookies and the frosting. I made these last year at Christmas time and had no problems with breaking, but this year had some cookies break when removing from baking sheets. I found that the frosting held them together if broken in half and salvaged the other broken pieces with a smidge of frosting for bite size treats (they didn't look the best, but tasted just as wonderful). Everyone loves these cookies and I love seeing their expression when eating for the first time. One would expect them to be more of a sugar cookie consistancy, but they do just melt in your mouth which keeps you wanting more."

iluvlemon User ID: 4743462 101341
Reviewed Jan. 3, 2010

"These were ok. If it werent for the frosting it would be yucky. If you like shortbread then you'll LOVE these!!! Very, very crumbly though!"

rtduluth User ID: 4040970 105303
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2009

"I might make this again just out of curiosity. No egg and 1/2 cup cornstarch? In my magazine it calls for 1 1/4 C flour on on the web sight it calls for 1 Cup, so any one of those things may make a difference. I made this to the letter, it had no flavor - dough. When I tried to remove it from the pan I was able to sadly only save five out of the entire batch. I am sure with the frosting it would have imporved the flavor, but I won't know."

aliciachapa User ID: 3739499 93584
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2009

"What I have found out is that the place where you live makes a big difference in how cookies and cakes turn out. Altitude and humidity, beside oven temperature and the way that ingredients are mixed play a big role.

I live in a very dry place, and to keep cookies soft I need to keep them in a tin with a piece of bread to help them get soft.
I did this with this cookies, but turned out they became even softer. I think by mistake I added tablespoons of lemon juice instead of teaspoons, which is ok for a dry place (more liquids). I also use jumbo size eggs versus medium.
I like the flavour of these very much, I ate them almost all of them..."

vpauli User ID: 3428588 174844
Reviewed Nov. 11, 2009

"made these cookies last year with lemons from our lemon tree...made them twice..they were a huge hit. I am making them again for our yearly bake sale at our church."

[email protected] User ID: 77962 173086
Reviewed Oct. 5, 2009

"As other reviewers said, these cookies are delicious but they crumble away when handled. I followed the instructions exactly, too."

suemac1866 User ID: 1255343 178565
Reviewed Jul. 8, 2009

"Made these for Christmas cookies plates. They were fabulous. I didn't have any problems with crumling or the other issues. Usually I have to severely tweak baking recipes due to high altitude. i was very happy to find a recipe that worked first times the charm. Definitely a tumbs up!"

bbell User ID: 4181040 174240
Reviewed May. 28, 2009

"EXACTLY the same thing with me. I emailed and got a generic response but no solution. The dough fell apart, tasted awful. I agree about the cornstarch."

mmsdruck User ID: 1952997 173084
Reviewed Mar. 13, 2009

"My fam LOVED them with or without the icing..try increasing the lemon"

wiscook User ID: 1143528 106795
Reviewed Feb. 21, 2009

"they definitely need the frosting; and I will make them larger next time, 1 1/4 roll is too small."

sublimexoxo User ID: 3691626 106794
Reviewed Feb. 19, 2009

"These cookies fall apart and do not taste good without the icing. I was very dissapointed and will not make these again."

magma137 User ID: 3864677 93581
Reviewed Feb. 5, 2009

"I never have fresh lemons in my house, but I received an electric juicer for my birthday, so I thought I'd try it out. Coincidentally, I saw this recipe in the TOH I just pulled out of my mailbox when I got back from a grocery trip during which I had bought a bag of lemons. I love lemon flavored things, so I decided to make them the next day using zest from the lemons for my lemonade. They are absolutely the delicious! I absolutely LOVE the frosting for these. Tangy and sweet. And the cookies are a melt in your mouth type. My husband and my lemon loving friends said they were perfect in all aspects. They definitely are true to their name. At first I'd been concerned that the cookies themselves didn't have enough sugar in them, but with the frosting, they didn't need any more than they had. I added a little more zest in them, but was true to the recipe otherwise. I will definitely make these again. Thanks for the recipe Virginia!

Maggie S"

jerlis1016 User ID: 1244377 160266
Reviewed Dec. 21, 2008

"I made these today and the first ones that came out of the oven weren't cooked enough. They fell apart, although they were very tasty. I did put 2 tsp of zest in the batter instead of the 1 tsp. I left the subsequent cookies in the oven longer which seemed to make a huge difference. I took these to a party and was asked for the recipe by several veteran bakers. The do melt in your mouth!!!!"

Leah A User ID: 3711484 89158
Reviewed Dec. 19, 2008

"I made these cookies for a holiday party at work. Since it was my first attempt, I followed the recipe to the letter and didn't substitute, and true to my mother's teaching, I hand-mixed both the dough and icing within an inch of their lives. After I realized that they really DID only need around 9 minutes in the oven (I was waiting to see the cookie brown at the edges, or rise, or SOMETHING!), they started turning out beautifully. I noticed that the cookies I had left in the oven too long were drier, but putting a good amount of icing on them (very, very carefully) seemed to help them hold onto whatever moisture was left. Once the cookies were entirely cool and the icing set up, they were absolutely delicious. This recipe is definitely something that I'll make again (Christmas Eve, actually). Speaking of, Happy Holidays!"

sksudderth User ID: 3709714 157982
Reviewed Dec. 18, 2008

"Did anyone ever reply to you? I tried to make these today and I totally agree with you.  Something is not right. I was going to make goodie bags for some friends with these cookies and now I have to start over!"

howdia User ID: 3533177 101340
Reviewed Dec. 13, 2008

"These cookies were delicious but they broke apart very easily. Did I do something wrong? I was only able to give away six cookies out of one batch. The rest I had to eat because they were all broken! Yum..."

cooktilludrop_In User ID: 1169803 106793
Reviewed Dec. 11, 2008

"YUM!!! And so easy,this one is a keeper"

lauralee98 User ID: 1726174 173083
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2008

"I would try 1/2 cup icing sugar instead of the cornstarch! I am making these tonight I will let you know!"

djhedlund User ID: 3678954 176212
Reviewed Dec. 10, 2008

"These are so easy to make and absolutely delicious! The cornstarch makes them melt in your mouth and I will definitely be making these again and again."

duckworl User ID: 3422548 141785
Reviewed Dec. 9, 2008

"Soon after receiving the latest issue of Taste of Home, I made these cookies. They were absolutely terrible. I emailed Taste of Home and asked if the amount of cornstarch in this recipe should be 1/2 tsp instead of 1/2 cup but did not receive a reply. I definitely would not recommend making this recipe as it currently stands."

motherof2boys818 User ID: 3468401 162870
Reviewed Dec. 8, 2008

"Is this recipe missing an egg? I don't think I have ever made a baked cookie recipe that didn't call for an egg. momof2"

lemar118 User ID: 752677 157980
Reviewed Dec. 5, 2008

"what a disapointment--they taste like sand and don't hold together--there has to be something MISSING---with groceries so high priced I hate to make something and not be able to eat it--please let us know what is missing so we can try them again--thank yoou Mary Garbe"

13313MCM User ID: 202157 114100
Reviewed Dec. 2, 2008

"This is light and wonderful!

Can't tell this is a lowed fat sweet. Lemon delightful!"

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