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Italian Lemon Cookies

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Italian lemon cookies are small round frosted cookies with a fresh lemon flavor topped with a lemon glaze. They are the perfect cookie for Christmas,  Easter, Mother’s Day or just an fresh afternoon treat.

Lemon Cookies

You know how you aren’t supposed to go grocery shopping when you’re hungry? Well, I think rule applies to online shopping, too.  Don’t get on Amazon when you’re craving cookies.  

Italian Cookie Recipes

I had just had a conversation with an Italian friend about cookie tables at Italian weddings. Being not Italian, I’d never heard of such a thing, but of course, it sounds amazing.  And Amazon must have been eavesdropping because Sweet Maria’s Italian Cookie Tray Cookbook was waiting for me when I opened the app. It was meant to be.

If you love baking Italian cookies, definitely check out Sweet Maria’s Italian Cookie Tray Cookbook. It is a great little cookbook full of delicious Italian cookies. And Italian Lemon Cookies are the perfect addition to your cookie tray for Christmas. 

Frosted Italian Lemon Cookies

The very first recipe in Sweet Maria’s is for Lemon Drop Cookies or Anginetti.  The recipe looked very is pretty simple to make although the dough is really sticky. Be prepared to use lots of flour!

 These are some of the best cookies you will ever make.  Even better than Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies! Not only are they are very easy to make, but the recipe makes a lot of cookies. They are great for giving away or serving at party.

 The frosting is a simple lemon glaze. It will take a little time because there are so many, but it’s a great job for the kids.

Tips for making Lemon Italian Cookies:

  • You can use lemon essential oil instead or lemon extract in these cookies. The oil is a little stronger so be prepared for that. You can also substitute lemon extract. We used oil because we had it on hand.
  • The recipe says to oil the cookie sheets, which I hate doing so I used parchment paper instead.  The cookies stuck to the parchment paper. I oiled the cookie sheets on the next batch they were perfect. So oil those cookie sheets! 
  • These lemon cookies are absolutely divine served with cardamom coffee.  And if you love Italian cookies, pair them with pastel pizzelles!

Italian Lemon Cookies


Yield: 4-5 dozen

Italian Lemon Cookies

Italian Lemon Cookies

Italian lemon cookies are easy cookie recipe that's perfect for spring. Drop cookies glazed with lemon frosting they are a perfect soft, chewy lemon cookie.

Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes


For the Cookies:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3-5 drops lemon oil or 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 8 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1/2 cup sugar

For the Frosting:

  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of milk (or more as needed)
  • 2-3 drops lemon oil 


To Make the Cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare cookie sheets by lightly greasing with shortening. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the eggs, milk, lemon oil, sugar and vegetable oil until well combined.
  4. Add in the flour and baking powder, 1 cup and a few teaspoons at a time.
  5. Mix just until a dough forms. It will be very sticky. Add a touch more flour to make the dough workable.
  6. Dip a cookie scoop into some flour and the scoop out the cookies and drop onto the prepared sheets, about an inch apart.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes until the tops are just lightly browned.
  8. Remove immediately from the cookie sheet on to a wire rack to cool.
  9. Allow the cookies to cool completely before frosting.

To Make the Frosting:

  1. Mix together powdered sugar, milk and lemon oil or extract in a large bowl.
  2. You may need to add more milk to get desired consistency. You want the frosting thick but runny.
  3. Set some wax paper under the cookies on the wire rack.
  4. Use a spoon to drizzle the frosting on the cookies.
  5. Add sprinkles if desired.


It is essential to oil the cookie sheets!



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  • Rose E Cordova
    December 16, 2020

    I want to make Italian lemon cookies. On #4 of cookie it says, “add flour, baking powder, 1 cup ____________ a few tsp at a time…” what ingredient?

    • Camille
      December 16, 2020

      Hi Rose – you add in 1 cup and a few teaspoons of baking powder at a time stirring in between each addition.

  • Nixifer
    December 23, 2019

    I feel like I did something terribly wrong, but I followed this recipe to a T.. yet the cookies came out more like bread and was not sweet. I don’t get what i did.. I measured everything exact and followed the directions =(

  • GAY kratzer
    November 25, 2019


  • Nina
    November 13, 2019

    Do the Italian Lemon Cookies really have 8 tsp of baking powder? That seems excessive. Thanks!

    • Camille
      November 14, 2019

      Yes, they do!

      • Nina Lane
        November 14, 2019

        Thanks! I just wanted to be sure before I bake them for my cousin. I appreciate the quick response and recipe!

  • Tracy
    November 9, 2019

    Uh How much sugar do you add to the milk, eggs, flour, oil … I only see sugar for the frosting!

    • Nancy
      November 9, 2019

      How much sugar do you add? If using lemon extract how much should you use?

      • Camille
        November 9, 2019

        1/2 cup sugar for the cookies (that accidentally got deleted!) and 2 teaspoons extract.

    • Camille
      November 9, 2019

      1/2 cup sugar!

  • Marilyn Maloney
    November 8, 2019

    I can’t wait to make these, but i noticed when reading the recipe you left out the amount of sugar, it’s not in the list of ingredients but you list it the the directions.Thank you


  • Leslie
    November 7, 2019

    Thank you so much for your blog spot love the cookies I’m an sucker for lemon

    • Camille
      November 8, 2019

      Enjoy! These are some of our favorites!

  • Pat
    October 14, 2018

    I make these from my mother’s over 50 year old recipe. Mine are made with butter and fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. Not sure about oil.

  • Christine
    April 14, 2016

    Growing up in an Italian-American family these cookies were always around. As a kid, I just didn’t understand the allure. Where was the chocolate!?! But now. Lord help me 😉 Thanks for bringing these to #SaucySaturdays.

  • Robin
    April 10, 2016

    Anything with lemon and you can count me in. Thank you for sharing it on the Creative Muster. We loved it so much that we’re pinning it to our Creative Muster Favorites board. I hope that’ll we’ll be seeing more of your great ideas.

  • amber.m
    April 6, 2016

    Yummy! Oh my gosh, I need these in my belly!

  • April
    April 5, 2016

    And I’m dropping everything to makes these right now. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Ashleigh
    April 3, 2016

    These look delicious! It seems like I can’t keep the cookie jar filled for the life of me so I’m always looking for new cookie recipes to try out!

    I would love it if you would stop by my link party and share this post with everyone : )

  • Mary Frances
    March 28, 2016

    Really do sound amazing,I do make Italian cookies but use Anise flavoring, these are almost the same, the recipe i use is an old one from my Mother who was Italian, she did use lemon once in awhile, even a little almond is good. I also make Pizzelles but never thought about adding a little coloring that would be awesome for Easter 🙂
    Thank you very much for the lovely recipe, enjoy your cook book 🙂

    • Camille
      March 28, 2016

      What a great idea to use anise or almond! I think I’ll need to make few more batches. 😉