These lemon slice cookies are beautiful and vibrant, as well as being super easy to decorate. You don’t need to be a cookie expert to create these citrus cookies, which work well at summer parties and pool parties.
Lemon slice cookies might not be the first thing you think of when you think of decorating cookies, but they are a great summer treat and really easy to make and decorate.
You can include them in an all-encompassing citrus platter, or maybe the person in your life is just a huge lemon lover!
In this tutorial for lemon slice cookies, I’m going to walk you step by step through what you will need, how to make them, and how to decorate these lemon slice cookies.
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These lemon slice cookies are:
- fun to make
- delicious and tasty with no crumbling of the cookie
- great to learn how to decorate with royal icing
- vibrantly colored
- perfect to pair with lemon slice cake
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 Lemon Slice Cookies
Making lemon slice sugar cookies is incredibly easy, and you don’t need anything crazy in terms of ingredients to make them either if you’re prepared with your royal icing ingredients.
For the royal icing, I use a mix of meringue powder, water, vanilla extract and powdered sugar.
The cookie dough is a combination of butter, salt, flour, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, baking powder, eggs, and vanilla extract.
You can find the cut-out sugar cookie dough recipe here.
As for the tools and colors you’ll need, I recommend:
- yellow food coloring – gel food coloring is always better than liquid for icing
- piping bags – these are the best
- a scribe or toothpick – this one works well
- circle cookie cutter
How Do I Store Lemon Slice Cookies?
The great thing about cookies decorated with royal icing is that you can store them at room temperature in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
If you heat seal them in packaging, they last for every longer.
You can freeze the cookies if you freeze them before decorating.
Once decorated, you don’t really want to freeze the completed cookie as royal icing doesn’t freeze incredibly well and you could ruin your decorations.
Can I Substitute Ingredients in Lemon Slice Cookies?
I don’t often recommend substituting any ingredients in cookies or royal icing as they are made with very specific measurements and you could inadvertedly mess that up if you substitute things.
However, for these, you can add some lemon flavoring to the royal icing or to the cookies themselves as long as you’re aware of not adding too much.
For other substitutions, like if you want to make keto cookies or low calorie cookies, your best bet is to find a recipe that works for you and then follow the decorating tutorial below.
How to Make Lemon Slice Cookies
You can’t decorate a lemon slice without the actual cookie!
Use the cut-out sugar cookie recipe to create the lemon slices.
The reason you want a cut-out recipe specifically is because it’s designed so that the cookies don’t spread in the oven.
You want crisp and clean edges, and if you use just any random recipe, you run a real risk that you won’t get that.
Roll the dough out to the thickness you want (I use rolling guides, but you can also use two dowels placed alongside each edges of the dough) and cut circle shapes.
Then, using a knife, cut the circle in half to make a half moon shape which will be your base.
Bake the cookies for about 8 minutes, taking them out when they’re just turning slightly golden at the edges.
Once they actually go brown at the edges, you’ve gone too far and will have a harder cookie!
Let the cookies cool completely before icing them.
How to Make Royal Icing for Lemon Slice Cookies
Royal icing is a great icing to use for these cookies as it dries smooth and you can really get creative with the colors and techniques that you use.
To make the royal icing, following the royal icing recipe and ensure you have decided if you want to use the single consistency method or double consistency method.
For single consistency, you want it to be a bit thicker than honey, but not as stiff as toothpaste.
It should flow, but now so much that it’s dripping off the cookie.
A good way to measure this is to do the “12 second rule” and cut a line in the icing with a knife and then count how many seconds it takes for it to disappear.
Once you get the right consistency, it will be about 12 seconds from drawing the line to disappearing.
You can also do two different consistencies, one like toothpaste and one like honey.
The thicker one is your “outline” icing that you use to outline the cookie, and then the thinner one is your “flood” icing to fill in the base.
Once you have what consistency you want, add the food coloring in and put it in your piping bag.
I use tipless piping bags and just cut off the end for more control, so you don’t need to buy any fancy tips.
How to Decorate Lemon Slice Cookies with Royal Icing
It couldn’t be much easier to make decorated lemon slice cookies.
Once you have the base, you should outline the cookie with yellow icing.
Then, immediately fill in the rest of the cookie with yellow icing and give the cookie a slight shake to help the icing settle.
Once you give it an hour or so to dry, you can go in with white detail icing and outline the cookie again, then drawing 3 spokes from the rounded edge of the cookie to the flat edge.
And that’s literally it.
- 24 cookies using cut-out sugar cookie dough
- 1 batch of royal icing, separated in the colors you want to decorate
- Bake the lemon cookies using the sugar cut-out cookie recipe
- Make a batch of royal icing using the royal icing recipe
- Separate out the royal icing into yellow, green, and white and put into piping bags
- Outline the lemon in yellow
- Immediately flood the cookie in yellow
- Wait 2 to 3 hours and then add detailing with white by adding dots on a whole lemon or an outline of the sections on a lemon slice
- Using a leaf tip, add a leaf at the top of the whole lemons
- Let dry for 12 hours
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