Lemon Drop Cookies with Vodka Glaze

Lemon Drop Cookies are soft, delicate puffs of sweet-tart flavor. Light and fluffy, they’re the perfect addition to holiday cookie plates or to enjoy any time of year.

a bunch of lemons and a green towel next to a tray of lemon cookies.

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Today is ALL about the holiday cookies! I “swapped” places with another blogger to feature her recipe on Feast + West today.

Let me introduce you to Jennifer from the site Take Two Tapas, whose amazing Lemon Drop Cookie recipe I’m sharing today.

Jennifer’s bright lemon cookies are the perfect holiday cookie or you can make them any time of year.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Any lemon lover will adore these bright and fresh cookies.

  • Lemon Drop Cookies are easy to make and use simple ingredients.
  • They don’t require any chill time, so they come together in no time.
  • They’re the perfect recipe for cookie swaps, cookie trays and any time of year.

Not only is this a great holiday cookie, but you can enjoy these lemon desserts year-round. Lemon is delicious in the wintertime but it’s so refreshing at summertime soirées like a baby shower or a wedding shower as well.

lemon zest on iced lemon cookies.

Also known as Italian Anginetti, these small, sweet cookies are a traditional Italian dessert served at all kinds of events.

Lemon Drop Cookies have all the flavor of fresh lemonade and a cake-like texture. The cookies contain both lemon juice and lemon zest.

Once baked, these Italian cookies are drizzled with a powdered sugar glaze on top that is just as bright and lemony as the cookie interior. It gets a generous dusting of extra lemon zest.

Jennifer’s cookies reminded me of the classic Lemon Drop Martini cocktail, so I gave the glaze a little twist of vanilla vodka.

About Take Two Tapas

If you like appetizers and party foods, then you will love Jennifer’s site Take Two Tapas. It is chock-full of smaller-portioned and delicious recipes with big flavors.

There you’ll find all kinds of appetizers like cheesy rotel dip and the ultimate veggie tray. You’ll also discover her amazing cocktails like this blueberry margarita and desserts like gooey skillet pizookies.

Jennifer is a queen who also runs TWO other sites, Leftovers Then Breakfast with classic recipes and Best Casserole Recipes.

I hope you’ll check her out and discover some more of her amazing recipes.

icing and lemon zest in bowls next to a batch of fresh baked lemon drop cookies.

Ingredients

Overall, lemon drops might look like they have a long ingredient list, but I promise it’s a pretty simple recipe. Let’s discuss what you’ll need to snag at the grocery store.

Lemon Drop Cookies

To make lemon drop cookies, you’ll need:

Lemon Glaze with Vodka

To make the zesty lemon glaze, you’ll need:

  • powdered sugar
  • milk
  • vodka, vanilla vodka or lemon vodka
  • lemon juice
  • lemon zest or sanding sugar, for the topping
a hand holds a lemon drop cookie with a bite out of it.

Variations and substitutions

Without lemon zest: If you don’t have lemon zest, you can use clear or yellow sanding sugar on top.

Key lime cookies: Make these cookies with lime juice and lime zest instead of lemon.

Gluten-free lemon drop cookies recipe: Use your favorite gluten-free 1:1 baking flour blend instead of all-purpose flour.

How to make Easy Lemon Drop Cookies

Here’s how to make these easy Italian lemon cookies, step by step.

First, preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Then, combine the flour, baking powder, cornstarch and salt. Set aside.

In a separate large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy with a hand mixer (or in a stand mixer).

Add the egg and vanilla and stir to combine. Next, add the lemon juice and zest. Stir to combine.

Then stir in half the flour mixture, followed by stirring in the milk. Then add the rest of the dry ingredients.

With a small cookie scoop, scoop the dough (roughly 1 tablespoon) onto parchment-lined baking sheets.

uniced lemon drop cookies on a cooling rack.

Bake at 350°F for 13-15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are lightly golden brown.

Remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

a hand dips a lemon cookie into icing.

While the cookies are cooling, prepare the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, vodka and milk. Stir until smooth.

Dip cooled cookies in the glaze and place back on the cooling rack to let excess glaze drip off.

Sprinkle with lemon zest. Let set completely before serving.

Tips & Tricks

Leave butter, eggs and lemons out to get to room temperature before you begin baking.

For the best citrus flavor, fresh lemon juice will be so much tastier than the bottled concentrate. Room-temperature citrus will yield more juice than cold lemons. (Lemon concentrate is still great to use if you don’t have fresh lemons on hand.)

Sift the powdered sugar to eliminate lumps and get a smoother glaze.

If your cookies seem fragile, use a spatula or spoon to spread the glaze on the cookies instead of dipping them.

Freaky Friday

So what is Freaky Friday? Every once in a while, some fellow bloggers come together to swap recipes on our blogs. Michaela from An Affair from the Heart is our host for the event, and she assigns the participating bloggers to another blog to remake a recipe of their choosing.

This was my first year participating and throughout the year I made Guinness Chocolate Cake, Frozen Grasshopper Drinks, Peach Whiskey Smash cocktails and Bourbon Caramel Sauce. It’s been so wonderful to meet some new bloggers and try their recipes!

We try, photograph and write about the recipe as if it were our own, then we share them all on the same Friday and link to each other. It’s a great way to meet other food bloggers and try new recipes. I hope you find a new blog to fall in love with!

See all of our 2022 Freaky Friday Holiday Cookie Exchange Recipes

Hosted by – An Affair from the Heart
  1. An Affair from the Heart – Scotcheroo Pinwheels
  2. Best Cookie Recipes – Christmas Magic Bars
  3. Family Around the Table – Snickerdoodle Bars
  4. Feast + West – Lemon Drop Cookies
  5. The Foodie Affair – Christmas Oreo Balls
  6. Fresh April Flours – Hot Cocoa Cookies
  7. Hostess at Heart – Chocolate Bark
  8. Kathryn’s Kitchen Blog – Cookies and Cream Cookie Recipe
  9. Life Currents – Almond Meltaways Cookies
  10. The Speckled Palate – Snowball Cookies
  11. Sue Bee Homemaker – Italian Lemon Ricotta Cookies 
  12. Take Two Tapas – Avalanche Cookies 
  13. The Wimpy Vegetarian – Easy Christmas Butter Cookies
six lemon drop cookies on a cooling rack.

FAQ

How do you store lemon drop cookies?

Lemon Drop Cookies should be stored in a food-safe and airtight container and enjoyed within 3-4 days.

Why are they called drop cookies?

Drop cookies get their name from the way they are formed: Scoops of cookie dough are simply “dropped” on a baking sheet and baked as is, without any cutting or rolling.

How do you get the most lemon flavor into these lemon cookies?

Use lemon juice and lemon zest from fresh lemons for the strongest lemon flavor. Some people add lemon extract to lemon cookies. For the glaze, you can use lemon vodka for even more sour flavor.

More Christmas Cookies

lemon zest on iced lemon cookies.

Lemon Drop Cookies

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

If you love lemon you are going to love these Italian Lemon Drop Cookies. Light and fluffy cookies with a bright and tart glaze! Perfect for any occasion!

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • ⅓ cup milk

Lemon Glaze

  • 3 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ ounce vodka, vanilla vodka or lemon vodka
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the egg and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  5. Add the lemon juice and zest. Stir to combine.
  6. Add half the flour mixture and stir.
  7. Add the milk and stir to combine.
  8. Add the remaining dry ingredients. Stir to combine.
  9. Scoop dough (roughly 1 tablespoon) onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
  10. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown. Remove and cool completely.
  11. While the cookies are baking, prepare the glaze. Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk. Stir until smooth.
  12. Dip cooled cookies in the glaze (or use a spatula) and place on cooling rack to let any excess glaze drip off.
  13. Sprinkle with lemon zest. Let set completely. Store in an airtight, food-safe container.

Notes

Leave butter, eggs and lemons out to get to room temperature before you begin baking.

Fresh lemon juice will be so much tastier than the bottled concentrate (which is still great to use if you don’t have fresh lemons). Room-temperature citrus will yield more juice than cold lemons.

Sift the powdered sugar to eliminate lumps and get a smoother glaze.

If your cookies seem fragile, use a spatula or spoon to spread the glaze on the cookies instead of dipping them.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 163Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 18mgSodium: 90mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 0gSugar: 18gProtein: 2g

Did you make this recipe?

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Comments

  1. Erin says

    Gosh, these Lemon Drop Cookies are utterly PERFECT! The glaze was such a fun twist, too. These are going to FLY off cookie plates this December.

  2. susan | the wimpy vegetarian says

    I love citrus in baked goods, especially lemon, and would LOVE to make these Italian cookies!! Thanks so much!

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