When life gives you lemons… {Lemon Cookie Recipe & Tutorial}

Posted on July 15th, 2012 in Decorated Cookies, Recipes, Tutorials

Looking at my post now, I suppose I should have called it, Citrus Cookie Recipe, because you can easily interchange the lemon for orange or lime. But, there is a special reason why I wanted to mention lemons, which I’ll explain in a bit.

A little forewarning for you, this is a different kind of a post. A small change from the regular programming. ūüėČ

It was about two years ago, this time of year, that I went through some life-changing¬†events. ¬†Nothing terrible, not to be alarmed, but definitely different and unexpected. I certainly made my mistakes along the way, but the old adage, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” (or, in my case, make lemon cookies!), has certainly been true.

Besides the obvious message Рmaking the best out of a situation Рmaking cookies and treats has been a way of relieving stress. And as I mentioned in #19 of this post, decorating cookies can be a zen experience in that you focus on nothing else than what you’re doing, so worries fall away, and pretty cookies are the result. 

Along with the “When life gives you lemons…” saying, another fave on myPinterest board, Word Love, rings true for me;¬†“Finding joy in the unexpected”. I’d love to hear if you have any favorite sayings too!

So without further ado, here’s a little tutorial on how I made these cookies…

How to Make Lemon, Orange or Lime Decorated Cookies

Click on the item below to find it online:

What you’ll need









How to Ice the Cookies

Here’s a pictorial summary for you:

And broken down a bit more…

Step 1. – Outlining – Using a #3 piping tip, outline your cookie with royal icing. I like using a larger piping tip to outline and fill in larger areas, as the ‘flooding’ goes faster.

Step 2. – Flooding – Fill in the center of your cookie with the same piping bag and icing, either right away to help the icing melt into each other, or 10 minutes later if you’d like to see a distinct outline. I use the same icing to outline and fill in, as it saves time. Here’s a video if you’d like to see how.

Step 3.¬†– Shaking – Shake gently to help smooth icing over. A couple of tips – You need to be gentle with the cookie while you’re shaking it, so that it doesn’t break, and working quickly is important so that the base doesn’t start to dry.

Step 4:¬† – Wet on Wet Technique; The 2nd Layer – Using a #6 piping tip and white icing, pipe a circle close to the perimeter of your cookie and a dot in the center. (You can use a smaller piping tip here, it’s personal preference. I liked the look of a thicker white line).

Step 5:¬†– Marbling – Drag a toothpick through the wet icing, starting from the outside and working your way to the center of the cookie. If you think of your cookie as a clock, I dragged the icing at 12 o’clock, 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock, so that the circle was split into four quarters, and then split those sections in half. If you’re particular about every line being perfectly white, with no little dabs of color, wipe your toothpick between each drag. Working quickly is important as the royal icing starts to set almost immediately.¬†For a video on how to marble cookies,¬†click here.

Step 6. РShaking РShake gently to help smooth icing over.

Step 7. – Drying –¬†{Instagram photo} Let your icing dry for 12-24 hours.¬†If you’d like to see a video on drying decorated cookies click here.

And if you’d like to add some seeds, pipe a small white dot of icing, with a little yellow on top, and slightly drag a toothpick through it, towards the center of the cookie.

Btw, these orange cookies were made using Americolor electric orange gel coloring… preferred it to just Americolor orange (the tutorial cookies were made with that color).

And the dough itself – sweet sugar cookies with a lemony zing – I really enjoyed the added dimension in zesty flavour!

Lemon Cookie Recipe

{Click here for the printable version}


  • You can experiment and add more or less lemon, according to your preference. All my cookies were lemon, although if I were making a huge batch of cookies, it’d be neat to match the cookie flavour to corresponding cookie color. Lime cookies would be interesting, wouldn’t they!? If you try it before I do, please let me know what you thought.
  • The zest adds quite a bit of flavour and looks like this in the dough (please excuse the dark iPhone photo):

  • You can leave the zest in or take it out – it’s all personal preference.

Cookies in Fall/Winter 2012 Issue of Weddingbells Magazine

And last, but certainly not least, I was so thrilled to be asked to make these citrus cookies by Weddingbells Magazine, for their Fall/Winter issue. I’ve been excited to share these with you since March when I made them.

I can’t even describe how fun it is to see them in the stunning magazine spread below:

If you look closely at the print above the cookies, you’ll see mentioned, “Price upon request”. A wee typo; a DIY blurb was meant to go in there, but, no worries, for those of you who are here wanting to order cookies, I’ve got a bevy ot talented ladies who can make them for you! You see, because I just don’t take cookie orders, I’ve created a World Map Directory of people who do! Click here to find a decorator near you, or any one of them on the list who ship.

If you’re a decorator who would like to be added to the list, please see this page.


I hope this tutorial has helped you!¬† I welcome any questions or feedback… Have I forgotten to mention something?¬† Do you need clarification on anything?¬† Please ask or let me know!


Have fun creating!!


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