These lemon cookies are made healthier with whole-wheat pastry flour and they get their zippy flavor from fresh lemon zest and juice rather than lemon extract. This lemon cookie recipe would be the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2013


Recipe Summary

45 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

  • Whisk flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Beat 1/2 cup sugar, butter and oil in another mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add egg white, lemon zest and vanilla; beat until smooth. Beat in lemon juice. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold in with a rubber spatula just until combined.

  • Drop the dough by teaspoonfuls, 2 inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Place the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a saucer. Coat the bottom of a wide-bottomed glass with cooking spray and dip it in the sugar. Flatten the dough with the glass into 2 1/2-inch circles, dipping the glass in the sugar each time.

  • Bake the cookies until they are just starting to brown around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a flat surface (not a rack) to crisp.


Make Ahead Tip: Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Facts

60 calories; protein 0.7g 1% DV; carbohydrates 10.5g 3% DV; exchange other carbs 0.5; dietary fiber 0.2g 1% DV; sugars 5.1g; fat 1.8g 3% DV; saturated fat 0.6g 3% DV; cholesterol 2mg 1% DV; vitamin a iu 23.9IU 1% DV; vitamin c 0.7mg 1% DV; folate 15.6mcg 4% DV; calcium 14.9mg 2% DV; iron 0.3mg 2% DV; magnesium 1.5mg 1% DV; potassium 9.7mg; sodium 46mg 2% DV; thiaminmg 4% DV; added sugar 5g.

Reviews (12)

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12 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 7
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 2
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
Absolutely delicious. What a perfect little bite just enough sweetness without being too sweet great end of night bite when you're craving something sweet but it won't break your calorie bank! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Addictive I followed the recipe exactly other than adding 1T more lemon juice. This recipe came together so easily with things I always have in the house which is incredibly dangerous! I baked mine in a Whoopie Pie pan for 13 minutes and then cooled them on a wire rack. It made a perfect dozen. Baking them in the Whoopie Pie created a soft flaky chewy cookie reminiscent of a shortbread. This is now going to become my go-to cookie recipe for all occasions. Pros: Easy Cons: Addictive Read More
Rating: 4 stars
These turned out really well. I used 1/2 cup regular whole wheat flour and the rest all-purpose. I also added a bit more lemon juice (maybe a tsp?) and 1/4 tsp anise flavoring (on top of the vanilla). These are so good I'm not sure the sugar on top is really necessary. In fact I left it off half of the cookies to avoid the extra calories Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Great dessert These cookies were exactly as I had expected in terms of texture. A lot of reviews said they were dry but mine came out nice! I do wish they were more lemony but next time I'll just add more zest. I used the zest and juice of a medium lemon. It's great a small treat to have after dinner when you just want a tiny sweet lil' something. Pros: Easy quick small bite Cons: Not whole wheat not lemony enough Read More
Rating: 4 stars
These are addictive! I used all-purpose flour and spreadable butter which maybe is why I didn't have the issues others did. I also put 2 tsp of lemon zest. My cookies turned out about 1.5 inches around and very light and tangy. Make sure to flatten well with the glass to get a good texture. Pros: Very light and tangy. Cons: If not flattened are a little dry. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Yummy!!! this recipe makes a small batch..;) Very tasty. I LOVE lemon so I added the juice of half a lemon from our tree. It's tasty and will be making it again. Pros: Easy Recipe.;) Cons: Needs more Lemon juice....SO I added MORE.;) Read More
Rating: 1 stars
Dry and dense Not sure if it's the whole wheat pastry flour or lack of butter but mine were dry dry dry. No one loved them. Ok with tea but more scone like. I wanted a snappy crisp lemony cookie but it was dry and dense. I threw most of them out - even my 7 yr old didn't care for them. Pros: lemony Cons: dry dense Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Nice lemon cookie Wanted a healthy homemade cookie for our family and this did the trick. Light and lemony. I will be making again. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
I found the dough to be dry. I used whole wheat pastry flour. I added 3 more tablespoons lemon juice (from Meyer lemons) and 6 more tablespoons of water to get the dough to a better consistency. The added lemon juice enhanced the flavor. I personally would not make the recipe again. I chose it because it used real lemon jucie and not lemon extract. Read More
Rating: 2 stars
I agree that something was missing. You could not taste any lemon flavor. I used the whole wheat flour vs the whole wheat pastry flour. You might try to add more lemon zest lemon juice and vanilla. Pros: Fast to put together easy clean up Read More
Rating: 3 stars
i used whole wheat flour and triva for the sweetner. I it dry next time i think i will add applesauce or more butter. But overall for the hike these will do just fine. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
The cookies were easy to make and clean up was quick. They taste great but it seems like there's a little something missing that I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Maybe they're better with sorbet or something like the recipe suggests. Read More