Lemon Icebox Cookies Recipe

lemon ice box cookies

The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 27 mins
Servings: 60 servings
Yield: 5 dozen
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
64 Calories
2g Fat
10g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 60
Amount per serving
Calories 64
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 9mg 3%
Sodium 33mg 1%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 10mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

These lemon icebox cookies combine the buttery-rich flavor of sugar cookies with bright lemon from lemon zest and juice. Icebox cookies, also known as refrigerator cookies since the dough needs to be chilled, are super-easy to make and are uniform in size, so they look especially nice on a cookie tray or stacked in clear plastic bags and given as gifts.

The dough is quick to make: The dry ingredients are blended and the butter and sugar are creamed together and then combined with an egg and the lemon zest and juice. The dry ingredients are mixed in and the dough is formed into logs and refrigerated for a couple of hours. The log is then sliced into rounds and the cookies are sprinkled with sugar and baked until light golden in color.

Because icebox cookies can be baked at any time, you can freeze well-wrapped cookie dough for two to three months. These lemon icebox cookies are ready in minutes. Just slice the dough and bake the cookies whenever you have a craving or need an unexpected dessert.

“Honestly, these are the perfect lemon cookie. Very easy to prepare, and you can keep the logs frozen until you are ready to bake and have a sweet treat ready in minutes any time. Great for all ages and especially lemon fans!” —Tracy Wilk

lemon icebox cookies/tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 dash salt

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided

  • 3/4 cup (6-ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    ingredients to make lemon icebox cookies

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to blend thoroughly. Set aside.

    cookie dry ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  3. In another medium mixing bowl with an electric mixer, or in the bowl of a standing mixer using the paddle attachment, cream the butter with 1 cup of the sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.

    butter beatened in a stand mixture

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  4. Beat in the egg, lemon zest, and lemon juice.

    lemon icebox cookie batter in a stand mixer

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  5. Gradually blend the flour mixture into the creamed butter and egg mixture.

    creamed lemon icebox cookie batter in a stand mixer

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  6. Shape the dough into 2 logs about 2-inches wide and 7-inches long. Wrap the rolls in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough until firm, 1 to 2 hours.

    lemon icebox cookie batter shaped into logs and wrapped in plastic

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  7. Position racks in the upper and lower third of the oven and heat to 375 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

    parchment lined sheet pans

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  8. Unwrap the cookie dough and cut it into uniform slices about 1/4-inch thick.

    sliced lemon icebox cookie dough

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  9. Sprinkle the slices lightly with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar and place them on the prepared baking sheets about 1 1/2-inches apart.

    sliced lemon icebox cookies on a parchment lined sheet pan

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

  10. Bake until lightly browned around the edges, about 12 minutes, rotating the racks in the oven half way through baking. Cool the cookies on a rack before serving.

    baked lemon icebox cookies cooling on a wire rack

    The Spruce/Bahareh Niati

How to Store

Once cooled, store these lemon icebox cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days, or freeze for up to two months.

Recipe Variation

You can turn up the lemon in these cookies by drizzling some lemon icing on the top. Combine confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest and mix until smooth. You can add a little extra zest for garnish, if you like.