These homemade lemon butter cookies are perfect for people who love shortbread and lemon. The combination of flavors is amazing.
A nice glaze in the middle of each cookie, topped with lemon zest, makes for a delightful treat. And the best part is they are so incredibly easy to make. If I can do it, you can do it. Let’s get baking!
If you love cookies as much as I do, give these a try. You won’t be disappointed.
What is a lemon butter cookie?
A lemon butter cookie is very similar to a shortbread cookie. They are made with very similar ingredients and have close to the same texture. So when biting into one if it reminds you of shortbread, that is because it pretty much is a version of shortbread.
Step 1: Gather the ingredients
In order to make lemon butter cookies from scratch you need the following ingredients:
- Butter – I used unsalted, but you can use salted butter if you want. It should be room temp and softened.
- Powdered sugar – Also known as confectioners or icing sugar.
- Lemon zest
- Lemon juice – Use fresh lemon juice if you can.
- Flour – All-purpose/plain flour
Step 2: How to make lemon butter cookies
Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C. Add the softened room temperature butter and the powdered sugar together in a large bowl. Cream them together with a hand or stand mixer. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Then add in the lemon zest and the lemon juice. To get lemon zest use a zester and run it on the peel of the lemon. The shavings of the peel that come off are called zest. This zest is full of lemon flavor. Mix until just combined.
Step 3: Finish the lemon butter cookies dough
Now finish off the cookie dough by adding in the flour to a small bowl and whisking it together with the salt. Then add the mixture a third at a time to the main bowl. Scape the sides of the bowl as needed.
Remove the beaters and clean them off. You can certainly eat this cookie dough, no eggs! The dough is complete and ready to be baked.
Step 4: How to bake lemon butter cookies
Take a sheet pan and line it with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Then take a scoop of cookie dough, I usually use a tablespoon, and roll the dough into a ball with clean hands.
Place the cookie dough ball onto the pan and then press it down until it is about 1/4th of an inch or so. They won’t spread a whole lot so they can be about an inch away from each other.
Now you can place them on the middle rack in the oven and bake them for 12 to 14 minutes. Rotate the pan 180 degrees after the 6 minute mark. They will be lightly brown on the bottom edges when done. If you over-bake them they will get crumbly.
Once the lemon butter cookies are baked remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire cookie rack to cool completely.
Step 5: Make the yummy glaze
In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and softened butter. Just mix it with a fork or whisk until all mixed and nice and thick. The consistency will be thick, in between a frosting and traditional glaze.
Spread the glaze in the middle of the cookies with a cake spatula or butter knife. Then come back and sprinkle on some lemon zest in the middle.
And then the cookies will be done and ready to eat. Easy as that. You will wind up with 24 to 30 cookies depending on how large you make the cookies. Enjoy!
How long do lemon butter cookies last?
They will last about a week if stored in an airtight container at room temperature or about 2 weeks in the fridge. I doubt they will last that long however.
Here are some other recipes you may like:
Lemon Butter Cookies
- Hand mixer
- Silicone Baking Mat
- cookie sheet
- Cookie racks
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened 1 cup (226g)
- 1 cup powdered sugar confectioner’s (125g)
- 1 Tbsp of lemon zest 6g
- 1 1/2 Tbsp of lemon juice fresh (22g)
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour 256g
- 3/4 tsp. of salt 3.5g (you could add less if you want 1/2 tsp.)
- 1/2 cup and 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar 86g
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice 15g
- 1 Tbsp unsalted butter softened (15g)
- Lemon zest for garnishing optional
- Preheat the oven to 350 F/176 C. In a large bowl, mix together the softened butter, powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest by hand or with a mixer. If you forget to leave the butter out of the fridge, soften it in the microwave for a few seconds.
- In a separate bowl whisk together the salt and the flour, then mix that in a third at a time until all combined and the dough is formed. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed to blend it all in. Feel free to sample some of the raw cookie dough, there aren't any eggs in it.
- Scoop out a tablespoon or so of dough and roll it into a ball with clean hands. Place it onto a cookie sheet or baking tray lined with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Press gently down on the ball dough to flatten it out a bit. Each cookie should be about an inch apart. They will spread a little but not a ton.
- Bake the cookies in the oven, middle rack, for 12 to 14 minutes. Rotate the pans at the 6-minute mark to ensure even baking. They are finished when they are slightly golden brown at the bottom edges of the cookies. If you bake them too long they will be crunchy and crumbly. Once done remove them from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Now in a medium bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, butter, lemon juice with a fork or whisk creating the glaze/frosting. Spread some on in the middle of each cookie. Then sprinkle on some lemon zest on top. And there you go they are done. Enjoy!
Do you like the recipe? Please give it a rating and comment down below, I really appreciate it. If you make it tag me on Instagram @inthekitchenwithmatt. Also, sign up for the newsletter so you won’t miss out on any of my new posts and recipes.