Simple Citrus Cookies

The mid-winter blahs have hit me hard this year.  Maybe it’s the polar vortex of doom, or the lack of vacation to anticipate, but I am seriously desperate for spring this year. I made these cookies last weekend to brighten things up, and they did the trick.

Lemon Cookies Emily Eats Sweet Treats

Citrus is in season in the winter, so I always associate oranges, lemons, and limes with these slow, dark months. They are edible sunshine and warmth. I guess it is nature’s perfectly timed plan to keep use hopeful.

Lemon Cookies Emily Eats Sweet Treats

These cookies seriously couldn’t be easier. They have just three ingredients and you can whip them up in less than 5 minutes. There is only one bowl, so clean up is super easy. These would be fun to make with a kiddo who needs an activity. (Just sayin’!)

Lemon Cookies Emily Eats Sweet Treats

They start with a box of lemon cake mix, then add eggs and oil. Stir until the lumps of cake mix are incorporated, and the batter is smooth. Pop the bowl in the fridge for about 15 minutes , so the dough sets, then drop onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Easy peasy!

I made citrus frosting for these cookies. Mostly because I’m obsessed with frosting. I had enough left over to eat later on.  I heard from a friend that this citrus frosting is really good on graham crackers.  I really love My friend really loves citrus + grahams. The frosting is a basic vanilla buttercream (a little thinner than piping consistency) and 1 teaspoon of zest from three different citrus fruits: an orange (or two clementines), a lemon, and a lime. Its light and refreshing, and tastes so dreamy.

Lemon Cookies Emily Eats Sweet Treats

The frosting is totally optional, but my friend really recommends it.

Citrus Cookies


Lemon Cookies

1 box of lemon cake mix

½ cup canola oil (or vegetable oil)

2 eggs

Citrus Buttercream

½ cup butter (1 stick), room temperature

3 cups powdered sugar

4-5 tablespoons heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 teaspoon orange or clementine zest

1 teaspoon lime zest

1 teaspoon lemon zest


Lemon Cookies

Mix cake mix, oil, and eggs in a large bowl until batter is smooth. Refrigerate for 15 minutes. Drop cookies onto ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-9 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Citrus Buttercream

Using the whisk attachment of your electric mixer, whip butter until very smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Add powdered sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla, and citrus zests. Whip on high until you have reached your desired consistency, adding more powdered sugar or heavy cream as needed.  Spread on cooled cookies.

Recipe inspired by The Frugal Girls


6 thoughts on “Simple Citrus Cookies

  1. Greetings –

    I signed up for your blog a while back and am excited to see new recipes again – but mostly out of shear amusement because my name is actually Emily Treat.  

    Here’s a little bit about me: 1) I come from a family of 4, but only my sister, named Amanda gets the privaledge of going by A. Treat – so unfair! 2) My baking skills are pretty limited but I recently learned how to make cranberry orange cookies with frosting – yummy! 3) My whole life, when introduced to others I hear either “what a sweet treat” or “like trick-or-treat?” 4) I promise I am not making up my name, you can see my full bio at my company website

    Any chance you have a logo or t-shirt – I’d love to be your brand ambassador!  

    Good luck with your blog!

    • Hi Emily, your name is so fun and unique! I do not have any special logos or brands, this is just a fun hobby for me. Have you tried any recipes? These cookies are very simple. I hope you visit again soon, and tell your friends!

  2. I have made these at least 3-4 times, because they are yummy AND super easy! They will be great when I need to make something in short notice, or when I need a little something sweet. Ingredients are easy to recall when out shopping. Thanks for another winner, Emily!

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