Lemonade cookies, perfect for summer, feature the bright citrus flavor of lemon in a buttery cookie. Roll them in colored sugar for pink lemonade!

Overhead shot of white square plate containing several lemonade cookies, some pink and some yellow. Bright yellow background.

Welcome back to the Secret Recipe Club! This month I’m assigned to Melissa’s blog, I Was Born To Cook. And I think she was (born to cook, that is)! 

I decided to try her lemonade sugar cookies, because I once again procrastinated and I needed a recipe that I already had all the ingredients for. Luckily for me, Melissa has tons of choices so I had no problem finding something to try. I did adapt her recipe a bit.

And aren’t these cookies pretty? I like to roll at least some of them in pink colored sugar because it reminds me of pink lemonade! And I have a daughter who adores everything pink so I knew she’d love these. 

Also, did you know I FINALLY have my very own KitchenAid stand mixer?!? It is bright and beautiful! Cookies are now much easier to make! I don’t have to use any arm muscles! Hello, flabby arms, welcome to my body! Oh wait. They’ve already been here.

Overhead of 2 cookies stacked, and one cookie broken in half, on bright yellow background.

About lemonade cookies

All right, you don’t really have to have a stand mixer. I’m just excited about my new mixer. A hand mixer will work or just good ol’ arm power.

These cookies are flavored with lemon zest and lemon juice. Use a zester to finely grate the yellow zest of one lemon. If you like a lot of lemon flavor, use the zest of two lemons. Try not to get the pith (white part) of the lemon peel. That can be quite bitter.

The dough needs to be made ahead and chilled. This can be a good thing (make it ahead!) or a bad thing (you don’t have time to chill it). If the dough isn’t chilled, it will be tough to roll into balls. Give it at least a few hours or overnight in the fridge. If you’re in a really big hurry, put it in the freezer for an hour.

For each cookie, roll about one tablespoon of chilled dough into a ball. I love how all the cookies turn out perfectly round that way.

One of my favorite recipes is ginger sparkles (aka gingersnaps). Same process: roll the dough into balls, then roll in sugar. Maybe I should call these cookies lemon sparkles. I kind of like the sound of that. 

Front closeup of cookie broken in half, halves slightly stacked against each other. A full plate in background.

Loving lemons?

Try these lemony recipes:

 

Lemonade Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes

Lemonade cookies, perfect for summer, feature the bright citrus flavor of lemon in a buttery cookie. Roll them in colored sugar for pink lemonade!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 eggs (at room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Coarse sugar to roll cookies in

Instructions

  1. Using paddle attachment, cream butter and lemon zest in mixing bowl until smooth. Add sugar and blend until smooth. Then add eggs, followed by vanilla and lemon juice. Scrape sides of bowl as needed.
  2. Add dry ingredients and mix on low until just combined. Refrigerate for at least a few hours, preferably overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat.
  4. Make round balls out of about 1 tablespoon of the dough. Roll in turbinado sugar or pink sanding sugar (pink lemonade cookies!) and place on baking sheet. Leave a couple of inches between the balls of dough.
  5. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the bottoms of the cookies are pale brown and the tops are still light.
  6. Cool slightly. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

  • For more lemony flavor, use the zest from two lemons.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 36 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 74Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 65mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g

RachelCooks.com sometimes provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietitian. Please consult a medical professional for any specific nutrition, diet, or allergy advice.

Did you make this recipe?

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Verdict: Delicious! I love the refreshing taste of the lemon with the nice crunch of the sugar on the outside.
Husband’s take: I didn’t think Ben would like these because he isn’t too fond of all things citrus, but he really does like them. “They taste great with coffee.”
Daughter’s take: They are coated in sugar. Need I say more?
Changes I would make: None. If you want them a little more lemony, add the zest of another lemon (2 total).
Difficulty: Easy!