Lemon Zucchini Cookies are bright and light, chewy and soft. Perfect alone, delicious with a lemon glaze, or fancy with lemon buttercream. Great for special occasions or just because, all year long.
These Lemon Zucchini Cookies may become your favorite cookie of the year, to be enjoyed any time. They taste incredible, look pretty, can be dressed up or down, and are ready in no time. Also, they keep exceptionally well in the freezer (pre frosted).
After testing them, sampling them, and frosting them with two options, I find myself frequently craving them, which is the goal, right? It’s a good thing they’re a cinch to whip up.
Lemon Zucchini Cookies are one of the most versatile cookie recipes I’ve made-
They’re truly delicious naked, with no frosting at all. The chewy, almost cake like texture is exceptional with just the right amount of lemon flavor, and they’re not too sweet.
The cookies are lovely with a nice lemony glaze that you can make thick or very thin. This method spreads over the cookies and the lemon glaze isn’t too much. I make the glaze a bit thick myself, or you can add extra liquid if you want just a skiff of the glaze. Pretty, yet still simple.
If you need something more special, the lemon buttercream is so butter-lemon forward, piped or spread and topped with extra lemon zest and sugar. That first bite with the creamy and special buttercream is “mm-mmm” worthy.
Ingredients in Lemon Zucchini Cookies-
Butter- I’ve used salted and unsalted with success. Unsalted butter isn’t just that, it also has less water than salted butter so in many recipes it matters which you use. For the Lemon Zucchini Cookies, I’d use what you have on hand.
Sugar, all-purpose flour, leavening ingredients, salt, and egg- No surprises here. I will say that the amounts of these ingredients with the shredded zucchini help to create a very soft, almost cake-like crumb.
Lemon juice and lemon zest- Flavor and more flavor from beautiful lemons, especially from the zest.
Shredded Zucchini- The zucchini is moist and adds a nice, chewy texture to the cookies. The amount used doesn’t really help to get rid of excess zucchini bounty that many of you home growers may have during the summer, but a little bit of vegetable goodness for even the most picky eater.
Walnuts- The chopped walnuts add a nice crunch texture to the chewy cookies. I had tasters prefer both with and without and one taster who really doesn’t care for nuts in baked goods liked them.
The dough of the Lemon Zucchini Cookies is a bit sticky after mixing. Use a tablespoon to dollop them onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
The cookies should bake until they spread a little and barely show a golden-doneness around the edges and the dough is no longer shiny.
Lemon Zucchini Cookies are excellent with no frosting at all. Here they’re shown with chopped walnuts which add a delicious crunch. At this stage, they freeze wonderfully for up to three months.
Covered with a simple lemon glaze that you can make as thick or thin as you like, this option makes the Lemon Zucchini Cookies just a bit sweeter and adds even more lemon-goodness. If choosing the glaze frosting, it’s best to frost them the day of serving and letting the frosting set up for a couple of hours.
For a fancy look and taste, the lemon buttercream frosting makes these cookies look and taste fancy-bakery worthy. The buttercream can also be frozen for up to three months, or refrigerated for a week.
Easy but tasty and refreshing, Lemon Zucchini Cookies will have you craving them again and again. Try these cookies soon for a pot luck, brunch, game day, or lazy day. You’ll love them all year round.
Lemon Zucchini Cookies
Make the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 375 ℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- In a medium mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and mix for just a few seconds, then add the zucchini and lemon juice. Mix until barely combined.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, lemon zest, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until streaks of flour are still present.
- If adding chopped walnuts, add them now and then mix another 20 seconds.
- The dough will be pretty wet. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Bake for 9-10 minutes until the cookies have spread a bit and the tops no longer look wet. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool while making glaze or buttercream frosting.
Make the glaze (if using)
- Place the confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl and stir in the lemon juice. Then add the cream, a little at a time, till you reach the consistency you like. Spread the cookies with the glaze and if desired, sprinkle some lemon zest on the glaze. Let the cookies set for about an hour before stacking.
Make the Buttercream frosting (if using)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, or with an electric beater, cream the butter until light and fluffy on medium speed, about 2 minutes. Add confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, heavy cream, and lemon zest. Mix on low about 30 seconds. Increase to high speed and beat until light and airy, about 2 minutes. If the frosting is too thin, add more sugar, if too thick, add more cream a tablespoon at a time.
- Using a piping bag or sandwich bag with a small corner cut, you can pipe the buttercream in a design on the cooled cookies. Or you can spread the buttercream using an offset spatula or knife. Sprinkle lemon zest and a little granulated or decorator's sugar on top.
Storing the cookies
- Whether glazed or frosted, the cookies can be placed in an airtight container and will keep well in the fridge for about 3 days. If you are making the cookies ahead of serving, the unfrosted cookies may be frozen in airtight storage for up to 3 months. Place the frozen cookies in the fridge overnight to thaw and then frost as desired. The glaze should not be made ahead of using.The buttercream may be refrigerated for a week and frozen for up to 3 months. Place the frozen frosting in the fridge overnight and then to room temperature the next day. Stir the frosting well to "fluff" it back up and decorate as desired.