Lemon Meltaway Cookies

Prep 20 mins
Cook 8 mins
Total 28 mins
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Soft lemon sugar cookies are topped with a creamy lemon glaze in this simple recipe for Lemon Meltaway Cookies. They melt in your mouth for an explosion of delicious lemon flavor in every bite!

Easy Lemon Meltaway Cookies

Y’all are going to LOVE this easy cookie recipe I developed for Dixie Crystals! These fabulous Lemon Meltaway Cookies are so fresh and zesty, they never fail to brighten my day.

These cookies were inspired by my favorite Almond Meltaway Cookies (I also have a Coconut version!). They have the same glorious soft and buttery, shortbread-like texture and decadent royal icing, this time bursting with the bright and juicy flavors of fresh lemon. These citrusy meltaway cookies are quick to make and truly melt in your mouth.

If I ever find myself in a funk, I bake these. They’re like sweet little rays of sunshine in cookie form. Plus, there’s just something magical about making cookies that makes me feel so much better. Cookie therapy is the real deal!

What Are Meltaway Cookies?

A meltaway cookie is a lot like a buttery shortbread cookie. The name comes from the super fine, sugary crumb that quite literally melts in your mouth!

Seven Lemon Meltaway Cookies on a Black Cooling Rack on Top of a Plaid Yellow Tablecloth

Recipe Ingredients

I absolutely love citrus desserts. So it’s no surprise that I was head over heels in love with these lemon meltaway cookies! Did I mention you only need 8 ingredients?

For the Lemon Cookies

  • Flour: I use all-purpose flour, always consistent!
  • Baking Powder: For leavening.
  • Butter: Two sticks of unsalted butter. Remember to take it out of the fridge, so it can get to room temperature before you start!
  • Sugar: Your favorite brand of white granulated sugar. My ride-or-die is Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar. Only the best for my cookies! 
  • Lemon Zest: Freshly zested lemon. Use a microplane for a nice, finely grated zest.
  • Egg: A single egg brings the perfect amount of richness to these cookies, while binding everything together.
  • Salt

For the Lemon Icing

  • Powdered Sugar: Also known as confectioner’s sugar. I used Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar for this recipe.
  • Lemon Juice: I use both the juice as well as the zest when icing my cookies. Whatever you do, make sure it’s freshly squeezed lemon for the best possible flavor!

How to Make Lemon Meltaway Cookies

You need just 30 minutes to whip these babies up. That includes frosting time!

Make the Dough: Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, then add in the egg and lemon zest. Slowly add in the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Roll Out the Dough: Roll tablespoons of dough into balls and then gently press them into a disc shape. Place your dough discs onto a lined baking sheet.

Bake: Bake the cookies in a preheated oven until the centers are set. Note that the cookies may not look particularly “done” as in browned or golden – but they are! Let the cookies rest on the sheet and then transfer them to a wire rack.

Ice the Cookies: When the cookies are completely cooled, whisk together the icing ingredients. Smooth a spoonful of icing onto each cookie, and then let the icing set until hardened. 

Tips & Variation Ideas

  • Use Fresh Lemon: I can’t emphasize this enough for this recipe! Avoid bottled lemon, and stick to fresh, bright yellow lemons for their juice as well as zest.
  • Don’t Over-Mix the Dough: Over-mixing the dough will impact the melt-in-your-mouth texture of these cookies, and not in a good way. Make sure to only mix the wet and dry ingredients until they’re just combined!
  • Be Careful to Not Over-Bake: The cookies might not look baked when they come out, but avoid leaving them in the oven any longer. Meltaway cookies tend to dry out quickly if they’re overbaked.
  • Get the Right Icing Consistency: If you notice your icing is a tad drippy or runny, add more powdered sugar to thicken it. If it’s too thick, use extra lemon juice.
  • Change Up the Flavors: You can easily change up the lemon flavor in this recipe to make different variations of meltaway cookies. Try these Vanilla Meltaway Cookies, Almond Meltaway Cookies, or even Coconut Meltaway Cookies. You can also replace the lemon juice and zest in this recipe for another citrus, like orange!
  • Add Decorations: Before the icing hardens, top your cookies with sprinkles, nonpareils, or colored sugar for a pop of color. You can also add food coloring to both the cookies and the icing!

How to Store These Cookies

Store these lemon meltaway cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Can I Freeze Them?

These lemon cookies will keep fresh when frozen for up to 2-3 months. Store them in an airtight container or bag (use parchment paper to separate the layers), and thaw the cookies at room temperature.

More Cookies Recipes

Yield: 32

Lemon Meltaway Cookies

Seven Lemon Meltaway Cookies on a Black Cooling Rack on Top of a Plaid Yellow Tablecloth

Soft lemon sugar cookies are topped with a creamy lemon glaze in this simple recipe for Lemon Meltaway Cookies. They melt in your mouth for an explosion of delicious lemon flavor in every bite!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes


For the Lemon Cookies

For the Lemon Icing


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and lemon zest, mixing until combined. Add flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, mixing until completely combined.
  4. Roll one tablespoon of dough into small circles and then press with hands (or with the bottom of a cup) into a disk shape. Place on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the centers are set. The cookies will not look browned or cooked, but they are. Remove from oven and let cookies rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Once ready to frost cookies, whisk together powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth.
  7. Using a spoon, smooth icing onto the top of each cookie. Top with fresh lemon zest, if desired. Let icing set for 10 minutes, or until hardened. Store in airtight container for up to 5 days.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 86Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 30mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 1g


This recipe was developed for Dixie Crystals.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

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37 Responses
    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Michele, I apologize, but I am not a gluten-free baker and it’s not my strong suit. I would recommend googling for Gluten Free Lemon Shortbread to find a recipe that will for sure work! Good luck!

  1. Dana N

    Hi Jessica;
    I made these cookies for a BBQ on Monday, and they were a massive hit – and since they were so easy to whip up, I made a second batch last night to bring in to the office today. Again, they are a hit! One of my friends was telling everyone they had to flip the cookie and eat it upside down – and wow, the lemon icing hits your tongue first and gives you that zing. Love it!

    I mentioned your cookies (with credit given) on my blog. Thank for this recipe, it is definitely a keeper!

  2. Keiko

    I made these cookies last night for a luncheon at work, and everyone in the office loved them! When I tasted the icing by itself, I thought it was too lemony, but it is actually perfect with the cookies. Also, it’s such an easy and quick recipe, that I will be making these frequently!

    No wonder you made these to brighten your day… I am definitely smiling after the 4 cookies I just demolished…. :)

  3. AthenaTheGreek

    Hello everybody!!I made the cookies here in greece where i live.They were great.Thank you for the lovely recipes you ve got.I really like your blog Jessica!!!Many kisses from crete island.

  4. Jessica

    Does it matter if I use regular granulated sugar instead of extra fine? I’m planning on making these for a work party this Wednesday! They look so yummy!

  5. Katherine

    I made these thanks to your blog and my family raved over them for a whole week. They are amazing and I am so thankful I stumbled over your recipe!!

  6. Morgan

    Was planning on make lemon cookies tomorrow, and thought of adapting your almond cookies to do so, now I don’t have to!

  7. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts

    Cookies always put me in a better mood – these look fabulous!
    And new dresses….I need to go shopping!

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I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
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