Italian Lemon Drop Cookies

Italian Lemon Drop Cookies are a delicious dessert that’s easy to make and so yummy! I bet you can’t have just one!

Italian Lemon Drop Cookies are a delicious dessert that's easy to make and so yummy! I bet you can't have just one!

I love lemon desserts. The bright, citrus flavor just makes my whole day better and lights up my mood. I’ve seen lemon dessert done in magically delicious ways and I’ve seen them leaving me pucker so hard I thought my face would stay that way. These cookies are the former.

Italian Lemon Drop Cookies are a delicious dessert that's easy to make and so yummy! I bet you can't have just one!

Baking with my boys is one of my favorite things to do any day of the week. So I’m always on the lookout for easy to make recipes (sweet or savory) that they can help with. The first time we made these cookies we had such a good time that they’ve been in my regular dessert rotation for years.

The cookies themselves are not very sweet at all, but paired with the glaze it’s the perfect combination. The outsides are firm, but the inside of the cookie is light and almost cakey. I’ve been know to eat a handful of them in one sitting. They’re a fantastic little bite any time of year!

Italian Lemon Drop Cookies are a delicious dessert that's easy to make and so yummy! I bet you can't have just one!

Italian Lemon Drop Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Italian Lemon Drop Cookies are a delicious dessert that's easy to make and so yummy! I bet you can't have just one!
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: About 18 cookies
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (1-2 lemons)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice (approx. 1 lemon)
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Combine flour and baking powder in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar for 1 minute or until pale and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg, lemon juice, and lemon zest to the butter mixture. Beat until combined and smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Add the milk and mix to combine. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix until completely incorporated.
  6. Use a small cookie scoop to portion the cookie dough onto parchment paper or silicone mat lined cookie sheets.
  7. Bake for 11-13 minute, or until the bottom edges are golden brown.
  8. Carefully remove from the oven. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, butter, milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest until smooth.
  2. Place the wire racks (with the cookies one them) over some foil or over a baking sheet.
  3. Use a spoon to top each cookie with a heaping teaspoon of frosting. Use the back of your spoon to spread the glaze all over the cookie. Return the cookie to the wire rack and let the frosting finish coating the cookies. Let set until the glaze firms up a little, about 15-20 minutes. (The glaze will not set up completely, but will stop dripping down the cookie.)
  4. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container until ready to serve.
If you prefer, you can dip the tops of the cookies in the glaze and then place them back on the wire racks to let the glaze drip and set up.


  1. says

    I'm such a nerd. I'm did lemon this week, I'm doing lemon again next week, and then orange. Plus my GYCO post. Thank goodness my mom likes lemon and I can pawn some of this off on her.

  2. says

    Thanks! They seriously look like little biscuits without the frosting. Not at all like the smoothed out original recipe picture. Funny how that happens. 😉

  3. says

    I'm glad you liked it Nicola. I'm actually co-hosting a cooking challenge on my blog and this month's secret ingredient is lemon! I will have a feature post with everyone's recipes on the blog on May 15th. There are sure to be lots of yummy lemon ideas.

  4. says

    I'm in a similar place right now having recently gone from working (very) part time to a manager position of 40+ hrs a week. It will get better as you carve out a new routine. It's the getting there that's tough, right?! I'm also a sugar junkie, so I'm glad you found time for this Sunday post.

    Thank you for linking up with See Ya In the Gumbo. I appreciate you taking time to do that!

  5. says

    Julie, you can always send stuff my way, yoo hoo, over here! I LOVE lemon and if it wasn't so dang late I'd be in my kitchen trying this recipe. I will have to put it off until tomorrow, ugh.

    Thanks so much for linking up to Creative Thursday this week. I can't wait to see what you link up next week. Have a wonderful weekend.


  6. says

    These looks really, really good. My Italian Nana used to make orange ones similar to these, which I have the recipe for but haven't made in years. I just made some lemon bars–I'm in a lemony mood!

    I just went back to work full-time too and am taking some summer classes. It's a hard adjustment to make. I hear you on this!!

  7. says

    This look amazing and sound great. I think remembering why and who you're doing everything for helps. I totally get that feeling of “what was I thinking”. We are at the end of joe getting his degree and it was totally worth it. Now all we need is for him to get a job. It will all fall into place though. Thanks so much for sharing at Whimsy Wednesdays.

  8. says

    Julie!!!!! I'm SOOOOOOO going to try this!! My grand-father (who's Italian)… LOVES lemons! I have to make this for him!!!

    Thanks so much for sharing at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!! 🙂

  9. says

    My in-laws (who are Italian) are serious fans of anything lemon. I will definitely be pinning these to make for the next get-together. Thanks for sharing at our party this week.

  10. says

    These cookies look really good. I really love the lemon frosting on top! Thanks for sharing at Showcase Your Talent Thursday. I hope to see you at the next party!

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