Lemony Butter Cookies


Using confectioners' sugar in the dough in place of granulated sugar gives these lemony cookies a deliciously light crumb.More Recipes & Baking Tips:25 Sweet & Savory Lemon Recipes34 Cookie RecipesThe Best Cookie Sheets

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 15 mins



  • 2 unsalted butter (softened)

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (finely grated)

  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt


  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar (plus 2 tablespoons)

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed)

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (softened)

  • Finely grated lemon zest (for garnish)


Make the Cookies

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° and position racks in the upper and lower thirds. In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with the confectioners' sugar until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Beat in the lemon zest and juice, then beat in the flour and salt until just incorporated; scrape down the side of the bowl as necessary.

  2. Roll half of the dough into 1-inch balls. Arrange the balls 1 inch apart on 2 baking sheets (we love these ones from Nordic Ware) and, using your fingers, gently flatten each cookie. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, until the cookies are lightly browned on the bottom and just firm; shift the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Let the baking sheets cool slightly, then repeat with the remaining dough.

Meanwhile, Make the Glaze

  1. In a bowl, whisk the confectioners' sugar with the lemon juice and butter until smooth.

  2. Spread the lemon glaze on the cooled cookies and garnish with finely grated lemon zest. Let stand until the glaze is set, about 15 minutes.

    Lemony Butter Cookies
    © Kristen Stevens

Make Ahead

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

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