Citrus and melon cookies are incredibly easy to make and a great chance for beginners with royal icing to test out their skills. In this tutorial, I’ll talk about how to make a plate of citrus and melon cookies including lemon cookies, orange slice cookies, lime cookies and watermelon cookies.
Whether you’re going to a summer party where these would make the perfect gifts or you just want some bright and colorful cookies to enjoy, I love citrus and melon cookies.
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These citrus and melon cookies are:
- really cute with vibrant colors
- fun to give out at birthday parties paired with watermelon cake
- easy enough to make for beginners to royal icing
- delicious with a vanilla-infused sugar cookie cut-out base
Must-Have Baking Tools (seriously)
- Silicone baking mats – I use this brand and my cookies slide right off without burning!
- a cookie scoop – get this one. It makes the perfect rounded cookies every time!
- silicone spatula – try this set. It’s the best way to get the most out of your dough and batters
- rolling pin guides – I use this one. Genius way to roll your dough out evenly!
What You’ll Need to Make Decorated Citrus and Melon Cookies
Firstly, you’ll need the sugar cookie dough to make the bases for the cookies, which is made using this sugar cookie cut-out recipe and includes powdered sugar, granulated sugar, flour, baking powder, salt, eggs, butter, and vanilla extract.
You want to use a no-spread sugar cookie recipe that helps the cookies retain their shape rather than using a regular sugar cookie recipe where they are meant to spread out in the oven.
Other tools and items you’ll need include:
- food coloring – gel food coloring like this is always better than liquid when it comes to icing
- piping bags – these are the best ones
- a scribe or toothpicks – this is the best one
- food safe black marker – this one is great
- a circle cookie cutter
What Sugar Cookie Base Do I Use?
I recommend this really delicious vanilla cookie base recipe which makes for great cut-out cookies as it doesn’t spread if you follow the instructions and make sure to refrigerate the dough for long enough.
Tips for Using Royal Icing
These citrus and melon cookies are decorated with royal icing, which gives a nice smooth sheen.
It can be intimidating at first with the piping bags involved (you can use another sandwich bag if you don’t have a piping bag).
However, these are incredibly easy with not too much detail needed, so great for beginners to using royal icing.
You want to make sure that the royal icing is the right consistency, which for these cookies was a “12 second” icing.
That means that if you drag a knife through the royal icing, it takes about 12 seconds for the line to completely disappear.
People have their own preferences with what kind of icing consistency they use, and another option is to make a thicker consistency like toothpaste to use for the outlines and the details, and then make another thinner one like honey to use to fill in the base.
The actual act of royal icing involves making an outline on the cooking, then “flooding it”, which means filling inside that outline with icing.
Then you would either wait for that to dry for a good 30 or so minutes before adding detail on top, or there are “wet on wet” techniques which mean putting wet icing on wet icing so it sinks together.
This can be a great look when you’re adding polka dots, stripes, or other details where you want it to all appear as one base.
When you go to pipe, make sure to keep the piping tip or tipless bag an inch or so off of the cookie.
As you go along, you want to be almost dropping the icing into place as you’ll have more control that way.
How to Make Lemon Cookies
Making lemon slice cookies is super easy using a circle cookie cutter and cutting the circle in half.
All it takes is some yellow frosting and then a white outline and you’re good to go.
You can also make lemon cookies, as in, a whole lemon, which I talk about in my lemon cookies recipe.
I find that these are a big hit and they really aren’t complicated, only getting slightly trickier when you do the leaves with a leaf tip and some thicker frosting.
These are easy citrus cookies to make, and everyone can instantly identify them!
Read more on lemon slice cookies and how to make them.
How to Make Orange Slice Cookies
Making orange slice cookies is super simple, just like the lemons.
I also find that people can identify these easily, particularly when paired with actual oranges or when displayed as part of a citrus cookie plate.
The process is the same, using a circle cookie cutter to make a half moon shape and then using orange icing with white detail on top.
Read more about making orange slice cookies.
How to Make Lime Cookies
Want a lime cookie with your margarita?
Of course you do!
Lime cookies are made with a circle cookie cutter.
Cut out the circle, then cut it in half. Use a lime green icing rather than forest green, and decorate with white icing.
How to Make Watermelon Cookies
Watermelon cookies are super fun to make and I love bringing them to summer parties.
These also use half moon shapes, but are a bit more involved as you’re going to use white icing, green icing, and watermelon colored icing (I used a dark pink).
Make sure you wait for each section to dry before adding the others so the colors don’t bleed, and finish off with some black icing marks for the seeds.
Read more about making watermelon cookies here.
How to Display Citrus and Melon Cookies
Often, we’re making cookies to give as gifts or use at parties, and in this case, figuring out how to display them can be just as important as making them.
I like to arrange them on a plate and have a more rustic or grass-based background to indicate summer, but you could also get really cute and put them in a sand pail.