Lemon Meltaway Cookies

filed under: Cookies on June 12, 2019

These Lemon Meltaway Cookies truly melt-in-your-mouth! A soft, delicate cookie with the most amazing subtle lemon flavor. A must make! Don’t miss my 50 Best Cookie Recipes if you want more ideas!


Lemon Meltaway Cookies

When I was younger I grew up with peppermint meltaway cookies as one of my favorite cookies.  So, naturally, grown-up me needed to see if I could replicate that with another flavor.   I love the soft buttery texture of meltaway cookies, so I made my own version using lemon (another favorite of mine!).  Since this is a recipe that I hadn’t made before, I needed to do some pretty extensive testing. I made batch after batch, testing every factor I could and trying to determine what I could improve.

Lemon Meltaways

How to Make Lemon Meltaway Cookies

As I always say, every recipe is only as good as your ingredients.  So always make sure you are buying quality products when you bake.  I broke this recipe down into two sections,  The Cookies, and the Glaze.

Tinted Lemon Glaze

How to Make a Meltaway Cookie

For the cookies you will need:

  • Room temperature, unsalted butter
  • Cornstarch
  • Confectioners Sugar
  • Lemon Extract
  • All-Purpose Flour

I use a stand mixer at home, but you can always use a hand mixer as well.  In the bowl, add the butter and cornstarch and mix until they are well combined.  They should be a light yellow color.   Turn off the mixer and add in the confectioner’s sugar.  Turn the mixer back on low and then add in the lemon extract and mix until it is well combined.  Turn off the mixer again and this time, add in the flour.  Mix on low until the dough starts to pull away from the sides.  I like to use a 1 tablespoon ice cream scoop for the next part because it helps keep everything uniform in size.  Simply scoop out and roll into a smooth ball and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  While these are baking, you can make the glaze.

When the cookies come out of the oven, lightly press down on them with a flat surface (I use the base of a glass).  This creates a level surface for the glaze.  You will want these to cool completely before you add the glaze.

Lemon Glaze

How to Make Lemon Meltaway Glaze

You only need ONE glaze for the recipe. The two versions below are just options… feel free to make all your cookies with white or all your cookies with yellow glaze. I have simply shared two versions of aesthetics. 

The glaze for these lemon meltaway cookies took some time to perfect.  I wanted it to have a subtle lemon taste and not be too overpowering.  For the glaze you will need:

  • confectioners sugar
  • whole milk
  • lemon extract
  • yellow food coloring (optional)

I made the glaze in two batches, one that was color and one that wasn’t.  If you want this all with food coloring, you can adjust as necessary.  For a mixed batch though, mix together 1 cup of confectioners sugar, 3 teaspoons of milk, 1-2 drops off yellow food coloring, and 1 teaspoon lemon extract (start small with the lemon extract and work your way up for more flavor).   Mix together and set aside. In a second bowl, do the exact same thing but do not put in any yellow food coloring.

Make sure the cookies are completely cooled and then drizzle the glaze on.  We used a spoon, but you can also use a piping bag to create a fun design!  The glaze will harden enough to stack cookies in about 12 hours, 24 hours is best.

If you don’t have lemon extract, you can use fresh lemon juice. Here is a simple equivalency:

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice = 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon lemon zest = 1 teaspoon lemon extract

I have NOT tested these cookies with fresh lemon juice and zest, so cannot guarantee the effectiveness.

Lemon Meltaway Cookies

And if you want an extra tart twist, try adding a slice of lemon on top of the glaze about 10 minutes after the glaze has been poured on. If you add it right away, it could slide around as the glaze moves and settles. My kids picked this cookie as it looks most appetizing, but ended up just picking the lemon piece off.

4.67 from 12 votes
Lemon Meltaways
Lemon Meltaway Cookies
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
9 mins
Total Time
45 mins

These Lemon Meltaway Cookies truly melt-in-your-mouth!

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookies, lemon desserts, lemon meltaways
Servings: 32 cookies
Calories: 63 kcal
Author: Amanda Rettke
  • 1 cup (2 sticks or 226g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (96g) cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup (96g) confectioners sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 cup (128g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar, divided
  • 6 -8 teaspoons whole milk, divided
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • yellow food color, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand-held mixer, mix the butter and cornstarch until well combined and lighter in color.

  3. Turn mixer off and add in confectioners sugar.
  4. With the mixer on low, and the lemon extract and mix until ingredients are fully incorporated.

  5. Turn mixer off and add flour. With the mixer on low to medium-low, mix until the dough comes together (pulls away from sides of the bowl).

  6. Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, (you can also use a tablespoon measuring spoon) remove about a tablespoon of dough. Place on parchment lined cookie sheet at least 2 inches apart. (for a standard cookie sheet you can fit at least 8 cookies, a larger cookie sheet can hold about 14)

  7. Once the cookie sheet is full, gently roll each between your hands until it is a smooth ball.
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes.

  9. Right out of the oven take a glass with a flat bottom (that is smaller than the cookie) and gently press into the cookie.

  10. Allow cookies to cool for about 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack. Make sure cookies are completely cool before adding glaze.

  1. In a medium bowl add 1 cup confectioners sugar, 3 teaspoons of milk, and 1 teaspoon lemon extract. It's best to start with 1 teaspoon of the extract and sample as you go. (Some prefer less, some folks prefer more intense flavor.)

  2. Stir until smooth. Place in a piping bag and seal with a rubber band.
  3. In another bowl add 1 cup confections sugar, 3 teaspoons milk, and 1 drop of yellow food color. Stir until smooth.

Looking for More Amazing Lemon Recipes?

These are my all time favorites!

Lemon Mousse

Ooey Gooey Lemon Cookies

Strawberry Lemon Cupcakes

Tinted Lemon Meltaway Cookies

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  • Rhonda says:

    I love lemon anything, but I prefer to use lemon juice and zest, as I cannot have food additives/preservatives/colors. How would I make that substitute, if at all, for these delicious-sounding cookies?

  • mary says:

    Lemon Meltaway Cookies – do you do two glazes?

  • Dea says:

    I want to make the Lemon Meltaways, what is the purpose of the 2 different glazes? Do you fill in the center with one, then drizzle the 2nd one? The recipe doesn’t say. Thank you.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      One is yellow, one is white. That’s the only difference. If you want your cookies to LOOK lemony you can use the yellow glaze, if you like the white glaze, you can use that. You do not need to make both. 🙂

  • Cindy Grice says:

    Can I use lemon juice instead of extract?

  • Pam Hull says:

    can we use real lemon juice?? Extract sometimes tastes so artificial.Thanks!

  • JB says:

    Each of these questions was addressed in the article: lemon juice and lemon zest, do you do two glazes?, what is the purpose of two glazes?, lemon juice vs lemon extract – all in the article.
    (Not trying to be rude, but, read, people, read.)

  • Judy StMartin says:

    Can these cookies be put in the freezer? If so, with or without the glaze?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      You can freeze them with or without the glaze, but I much prefer to have fresh glaze.

  • Virginia says:

    Does the glaze harden, allowing cookies to be “stacked” on a assorted cookie tray?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes, it does harden enough to stack on a serving platter.

  • Shari Johnson says:

    I have been making a similar recipie for years..came from Land of Lakes Butter….would ONLY use fresh lemon squeezed juice and peel. Delicious.

  • Laina says:

    Sorry to disappoint, but I’m not much of a lemon fan. Is there anyway I can use chocolate instead? I assume for the cookie part, I replace the lemon extract with vanilla. But what to do about the glaze? Just simply use melt chocolate or could I follow the glaze recipe as well?

  • Peggy says:

    I’m excited to try this recipe because I like anything lemon!

  • Ann says:

    Can I substitute a non dairy milk??

  • Joyce Robey says:

    ny cookies baked out flatter than a pancake.wonder what went wrong?

  • Daisy says:

    Loved the cookies, made then for work and they were a hit. Very easy to make. The recipe is a keeper.

  • James. Sprow says:

    Jb the second glaze does not include lemon extract or juice. We read it clearly


    Hi. Made these today and they are very flat. Had trouble with this step ( With the mixer on low to medium-low, mix until the dough comes together (pulls away from sides of the bowl)) <– about how long does this take? Mine never pulled away and I am wondering if that was the problem.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Sounds like the dough was still a bit “wet”. You can try adding more flour a tablespoon at a time until the dough pulls away and is more firm. 🙂

  • Kristie Griffith says:

    A hit with my church family! I used lemon juice and lemon peel instead of extract. I found a recipe for another glaze using 3 tbsp lemon juice, 2 cups powdered sugar and 1tsp lemon peel. Also made a lime version that was equally delicious!

  • Teresa says:

    Is there a substitute for cornstarch? I cannot eat corn or products of corn.

  • Suzann says:

    The cookie is very delicate and the icing is great. I would just add at least a pinch of salt to the dough. It would enhance the overall flavor.

  • Cecily McClanahan says:

    Yum. I love peppermint cookies and would love your recipe for the peppermint melt sways. ❤️

  • Mary G Harder says:

    Absolutely delicious. Made a batch for Christmas a week before. Had to make a double batch December 23, because my family tore through them.

  • Diane Leahy says:

    I never have whole milk in the house, can 2% be substituted?

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      Yes 🙂

  • Mary says:

    Can these be made with almond or coconut milk and with coconut flour, or other gluten free flour? I am dairy and gluten free.
    Thank you!

  • Joyce says:

    I just made these cookies, they where very good but really very dry. Not sure what to add to make them so they are not so dry tasting.

    • Amanda Rettke says:

      So sorry you had that experience! If/when you make them again, try baking 2-3 fewer minutes. They will seem soft, but will harden slightly as they cool. 🙂

  • Delores "Kay" Collins says:

    I am eager to try these because they look yummy.