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Lemon Meltaways

Both the cookie and the frosting are spiked with lemon in these melt-in-your-mouth goodies. Your family won't be able to get enough of this lemon butter meltaway cookie recipe. —Mary Houchin, Lebanon, Illinois
  • Total Time
    Prep: 15 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch + cooling
  • Makes
    about 5 dozen


  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 to 3 drops yellow food coloring, optional


  • In a bowl, beat butter and confectioners' sugar until blended. Beat in lemon juice. In a small bowl, whisk flour and cornstarch; gradually beat into butter mixture. Divide dough in half; shape each into an 8-in.-long roll. Wrap in plastic; refrigerate 2 hours or until firm.
  • Preheat oven to 350°. Unwrap and cut dough crosswise into 1/4-in. slices. Place 2 in. apart on ungreased baking sheets.
  • Bake 8-12 minutes or until firm. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a small bowl, beat butter and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Beat in lemon zest, lemon juice and, if desired, food coloring. Spread over cookies.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Cornstarch needs just a few minutes of boiling to thicken a sauce, gravy or dessert filling. If it cooks too long, the cornstarch will begin to lose its thickening power. Carefully follow the recipe for the best results.
  • Go for freshly squeezed lemon juice when preparing this summery sipper. Bottled lemon juice, which is from concentrate, won’t provide the same bright, fresh flavor.
  • Check out 55 of our most impressive cookie recipes.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 cookie: 49 calories, 3g fat (2g saturated fat), 8mg cholesterol, 25mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (2g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.
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    Average Rating:
    • ebramkamp
      Mar 1, 2020

      We love these cookies. Very delicate. I did make changes for our personal tastes including using my own frosting. I added 1 tsp of fresh lemon zest to the cookie dough. When I chill them I put the wrapped cookie roll inside an empty paper towel tube. The cookies stay round. For my frosting I use 1/4 c room temp butter, 3/4 c powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons fresh grated lemon zest and about 2 tsp lemon juice-give or take a smidge on the lemon juice. I use enough to get a nice frosting consistency.

    • annnnielsen
      May 9, 2011

      We make these in 4x batches, roll the dough and freeze. Then freeze icing in plastic bags. When ready to use, slice a corner off the bag and use for a pastry tube. Mom's favorite Mother's Day present is a gift bag full of cookie logs, with icing. And one batched baked of course.

    • JumpRiverGem
      Jan 22, 2011

      The only reason I would not make this recipe again is because the meltaway cookie just doesn't match our personal taste. I added more lemon juice and powdered sugar to the frosting to make it tangy, but I agree that the frosting does not set, so storing them is a challenge.

    • Anntwelve
      Dec 31, 2010

      The cookies were decent, but frosting was all butter with only hint of lemon. Plus, the frosting does not harden and cookies cannot be stacked. I would make these again, but use a different frosting. Probably adapt the Peppermint Meltaway frosting to use with lemon flavoring.

    • JillAndLea
      Dec 21, 2010

      A great recipe! Can't-stop-eating delicious!

    • debleblanc
      Dec 12, 2009

      I made these for Christmas 2008 and am getting ready to make them again for 2009. They are AWESOME!!

    • spavinaw
      Jul 7, 2009

      These meltaways are absolutely delicious. Our family's favorite cookie.