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Healthy Lemon Cookies are made with Greek yogurt and a hint of honey. They are soft, pillowy cookies and bursting with lemon flavor. An easy lemon cookie recipe, and delicious, too!
Why We Love This Cookie Recipe
When we moved to our current house in 2014, I was so excited to see that the previous owners had planted a Meyer lemon tree. It has proven to be quite prolific over the years and since I’ve loved all sweets lemony, it was a win-win for sure.
So when my husband, also a big fan of lemon flavored sweets, asked if I could make a cookie featuring lemons, I stumbled upon a recipe for Healthy Lemon Cookies.
What makes these cookies healthier is that the plain Greek yogurt replaces about half of the usual amount of butter called for in other cookie recipes. I modified that original recipe a bit and this recipe for soft lemon cookies was a hit from day one. They are
They are subtly sweet and the perfect bite-size cookie for when that craving for just a little something hits. They are almost like small biscuits with a sweet glaze.
This healthy lemon cookies recipe is also super quick and easy to make and freeze well too!
What Ingredients Are Needed To Make This Recipe?
All of these ingredients can easily be found in your local grocery store.
The lemon extract will be on the baking aisle with the other extracts like vanilla or peppermint. I usually find it on an upper shelf.
Since most people don’t have a lemon tree like we do, the juice of one small lemon will be enough for this recipe.
Before we had our own lemon tree, we would get some from a neighbor. I like to keep extra cubes of lemon juice and grated zest in the freezer too. (yes, you can freeze the zest!)
If you’re lucky to have a lemon tree (or a neighbor who does), be sure to check out my post How to Preserve Lemons for the Freezer for tips on how to freeze those extras.
If you can’t find plain Greek yogurt, any type of plain yogurt will be a fine substitute.
Also, I LOVE the plain Greek yogurt from Costco. It’s super versatile and so creamy. What my family likes best about it is that it’s not too tart but also has just the right amount of tang that makes it great for baking or cooking.
Preparation Pro Tips
Let’s get baking! I first cream together the butter and sugar (1). Make sure your butter is at room temperature so it creams really well.
Next I add the flour mixture (2) and alternate with the yogurt (3).
Using a small scoop (affiliate link) to portion out the dough (4) makes it easier because it’s less messy but also helps the cookies bake more evenly. I like using my silicone baking mat (affiliate link) and baking tray (affiliate link) for even easier cleanup!
While cookies are baking, make up your glaze (5). It will seem at first like there is not enough liquid to use up all that powdered sugar but I promise, it will work!
Once your cookies are out of the oven, transfer them to a cooling rack with another tray or foil underneath to help with clean up. Then drizzle the glaze on top of the warm cookie (6) so the glaze kind of melts into the cookie.
Then you’re ready to enjoy a cookie (or two!)
Make Ahead Prep Tips
As I’ve mentioned, this healthy lemon cookies recipe is really quick and easy to prepare but there are a few extra steps you can take to make it even easier if you’re short on time.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl, cover and set aside. You can do this up to a day or two in advance. For the liquid ingredients, I sometimes like to group them all in the refrigerator or pantry (non-perishable things like the honey or extract) so I can take a quick glance and grab what I need.
The lemon glaze can also be made ahead, up to one day in advance, and kept in the refrigerator.
Are these cookies make ahead?
Once you’ve baked your cookies, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one week.
Can you freeze these lemon cookies?
These lemon cookies also freeze really well! When storing in an freezer friendly airtight container, I will usually add a layer of wax paper to keep them from sticking together. Just thaw them at room temperature when you’re ready to enjoy.
I Love Soft Cookies AND Lemon!
If you do too, be sure to check out these other favorite recipes from my blog like
Sticky Lemon Bread (also made with plain Greek yogurt)
Homemade Lemonade Concentrate (it’s crazy easy, I promise!)
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If you’ve tried this recipe, let me know how much you enjoyed it by coming back and leaving a comment below and a rating. I love hearing from you!
Healthy Lemon Cookies
For Cookie Dough
- 7 tablespoons butter softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- ⅓ cup honey
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 large egg
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
- In large bowl using a mixer, cream together butter, sugar and lemon zest at medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add honey, extract, and egg; beat until well-blended.
- Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
- Combine powdered sugar and juice in a small bowl; stir with a whisk.
- Brush powdered sugar mixture evenly over hot cookies.
- Remove cookies from pan; cool on wire racks.
This post was originally shared in October 2012 and updated in May 2020 with new photos and text.