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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35 Responses
  1. Megan @ megbakes

    What a gorgeous cookie. I’m sorry you were in a funk, but cookies always seem to do the trick for me, too.

  2. Courtney @ BakeMeBetter

    Making cookies always makes me feel better! Or brownies. Or ice cream. Ok. Being in the kitchen always makes me feel better.

  3. Traci

    I was looking for a lemon cookie. I’ve got to make some for the neighbors as a thank you and this is perfect. Thanks for saving me tonight! 🙂

  4. MaryAnn

    I should have read this first! I woke up and make some gross yucky healthy yam bars that belong in the trash due to no flavor what-so-ever. Should have known better. Now these look amazing…going out to get a few things I don’t have on hand, we’ll just call it round two! 🙂

  5. Joanne

    Somehow churning together butter and sugar always makes me happy…and then eating the finished product as well! Love these melt-in-your-mouth citrusy treats!

  6. shelly (cookies and cups)

    Lemon Meltaways are like my second favorite cookie ever…behind chocolate chip, of course…I Adore meltaways!

  7. Erin @ Texanerin Baking

    Same here. If I’m feeling down or grumpy or whatever, baking usually fixes that. But not yeast bread or something fussy. Cookies or brownies or cupcakes (no wait, the frosting is too fussy) will do. 🙂 And lemon cookies are the best! These look like definite happy-makers.

  8. Renee @ Awesome on $20

    There’s probably some aromatherapy involved in making lemon anything. It’s hard to be grouchy with the scent of lemon in the air. These are very cheery cookies. I can’t wait to try them.

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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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