Jul 15


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

Share it!   


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. 😉

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 – making the best out of a situation – making 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. – Shaking – Shake 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!!


p.s. If you’d like to never miss a post, and/or receive more tips on cookie decorating, click on this button below to sign up:



Related Content


  1. June 27, 2013 at 4:46 am | Permalink

    Hi Miriam. Thanks for your tutorials are a great help. Look I made these cookies, you seem?
    Greetings from Barcelona.
    I leave a link to the publication

    • marian
      March 6, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Oh lovely! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Autumn
    September 9, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Hi, im making the cookies right now and i decided to check out the icing recipe….and it uses meringue powder i dont have any and ont know where to get it..is there something i can use instead?

  3. Kelsey
    February 2, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I tried this recipe (orange cookies) and OMG they were amazing! I would like to try orange and lemon but was wondering if cutting the recipe in half so I can do two different batches would be ok? Thanks so much!

    • marian
      March 6, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Hi Kelsey,
      Yes, that works! Thanks and glad you like it!

  4. Anastasia
    September 7, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Hi there! I soooo want to make these for my nephew’s christening but i don’t know how I can pull off making 100 pieces with this wet on wet technique. I guess I would have to decorate i smaller batches but how many cookies a time should I aim for given I am not terribly experienced? Any advice could save me thanks

    • marian
      September 10, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Hi Anastasia,

      Everyone is different, it likely depends on how much time you have, but maybe you could begin with about 30 cookies and see how it goes. This schedule here might help you:

      I’ve broken the steps down for you. Btw I’m guessing you’ll need at least two batches of dough… if of course depends on the size of cookie cutter but 2 batches for sure.
      Hope that helps and have fun!

  5. Anne Voss
    February 17, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Just found your site and loving it! Silly question but did you cut cookies in half before decorating or after (to get the half slices)? Thanks

    • marian
      February 19, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Hi Anne, thanks! I cut the cookies in half before baking them. Have fun decorating!

Show Pingbacks & Trackbacks

  1. By Twinny birthday | Cakey Kate on July 5, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    […] many left after the party, so I made a batch of each and they have definitely lasted…. I used Sweetopia’s tutorial to make the lemon cookies, it’s so simple! (especially if you have a handy helper to […]

  2. By How To Round-Up of the Day: October 7-11, 2013 - on October 13, 2013 at 6:31 am

    […] How To Ice Citrus Cookies from Sweetopia […]

  3. […] “Orange” you glad we’re friends? {for another citrus cookie tutorial, click here} […]

  4. […] cytrynki są wynikiem inspiracji pochodzącej z ostatnich paznokci (oczywiście!), ale również TYCH cudownych ciastek oraz TEGO znakomitego zestawu „do herbaty” […]

  5. By LEMON COOKIES…. nom nom nom! | AlMarchone on October 22, 2014 at 10:13 am

    […] https://sweetopia.net/2012/07/when-life-gives-you-lemons-lemon-cookie-recipe-tutorial/ FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogleLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… […]

  6. By 2013 "Goals" | The Sunshine Blog on December 19, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    […] 2. Learn how to decorate cookies with royal icing. Because they look incredible and food is always more delicious when it’s pretty. Tutorial from Sweetopia […]

  7. By 2013 "Goals" - The Sunshine Blog on December 26, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    […] icing. Because they look incredible and food is always more delicious when it’s pretty. Tutorial from Sweetopia Tutorial from Strawberry Mommy […]

  8. By Sunday Reading | Adventure On The East Coast on April 5, 2015 at 9:09 pm

    […] Cookies perfect for spring. […]

  9. By Citrus Cookies | Paint 'n' Knit's Blog on April 12, 2015 at 10:50 am

    […] is the inspiration for these fun summer cookies:  Sweetopia’s tutorial – https://sweetopia.net/2012/07/when-life-gives-you-lemons-lemon-cookie-recipe-tutorial/ Like this:Like […]

  10. […] was so inspired by these Lemon Cookies that I had to attempt recreating them.  Attempt is a good way to say it, too, because perfection […]

Leave a Reply to carolina gamiz

XHTML: The following tags may be used: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


(Recipe) Maple Sugar Cut-Out Cookies

(Recipe) Maple Sugar Cut-Out…

7 Comments | Posted December 5th 2016

Privacy | © Copyright 2009-2019, Sweetopia. All Rights Reserved.