Lemon Cut Out Cookies with Royal Icing

My mom starting something last fall which I believe/hope may become a tradition between the households.  When she came to visit, she brought treats in a large Tupperware container.  The next time she came to visit, I tried giving that container (emptied of goodies and washed) back to her, but she would not accept.  She said, next time you come to my house, you bring this back with something in it.  Now, if i was in a jokester kind of mood, I probably could have put something like golf balls or paper clips or anything that I would have wanted to rid my house of, but…since it was a combo Easter weekend/My Mom’s Birthday, I honored the intend of the tradition by making lemon cut out cookies with royal icing.  

The icing in the recipe is a little crazy because it takes about 12 hours to fully set, but can harden quite quickly.  Once I made the icing, I divided into five 1 quart zip lock bags, and mixed in the different colors I wanted.  I love that you can turn zip lock bags into make-shift piping bags…especially, since I only have one piping bag.  The cut out cookies were great because unlike those that I am used to (ie – grandma’s sugar cookies), they do not need chilling time before you roll them out.  You can if you want…but it’s the do not have to part that is awesome.  

The best part about this whole thing is that I unloaded the Tupperware and am eagerly awaiting whatever treat comes back to see me. 🙂 

 Lemon Cut Out Cookies


  • 1 Cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 Cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tbls heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • zest from one lemon
  • 3 Cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tbls baking powder


  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In your stand mixer or in a large bowl, mix together the room temperature butter and sugar until smooth, but not fluffy.
  • In a separate bowl, mix eggs, cream, vanilla extract, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Work this mixture into the butter and sugar until combined.  note:  the batter may appear ‘curdled.’
  • Combine the dry ingredients – flour, salt & baking powder – in another bowl and whisk slightly.  Add dry ingredients to the rest of the batter about a 1/2 cup at a time until the full dough is formed.
  • Flour your work area and knead the dough only a few times.  Roll out and begin cutting into your desired shapes.  Add a little flour if the dough is sticky.  The dough scraps can be re-rolled and cut several times.
  • Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes until the edges turn golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack.
Royal Icing – 

One of many different ways to make Royal Icing


  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tbls milk or heavy cream
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 Tbls light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (can substitute almond extract)


  • Put powdered sugar in a bowl and mix in 1/4 cup milk and vanilla extract.  Slowly work in all the corn syrup until all the ingredients are combined. 
  • Add the rest of the milk until icing is smooth.
  • Divide and color if desired.
  • Icing, by nature, is quite runny, but the exterior will harden quickly.  If you are not going to use right away, cover until you do.  Although, the exterior will harden right away, it can take up to 12 hours for the icing to fully set. 
  • Cover iced cookies with wax or parchment paper and store in airtight container for 1-2 weeks.  Time to enjoy!!!

Happy Baking!

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