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Lemon Oatmeal Cookies

These quick and easy lemon oatmeal cookies are soft, thick, and chewy. The cookies are loaded with hearty oats and lemon flavor and topped with a zesty lemon icing that will win over everyone who bites into them!

Are you a lemon fan? Then these lemon bars, lemon shortbread cookies, and lemon white chocolate cookies are for you!

lemon oatmeal cookies on a piece of white parchment paper.

Iced lemon oatmeal cookies

If you love a chewy, citrusy cookie, these iced lemon oatmeal cookies are for you! They’re so soft, super thick in the center, and crispy on the outside.

I’ve put a twist on classic oatmeal cookies and added citrus zest and lemon icing. The lemon adds a zesty burst to the cookies that is simply delicious with the hearty, warm oats.

The recipe is quick and straightforward. The dough doesn’t need to be chilled – so you can enjoy cozy oatmeal cookies in no time!

If you love oatmeal cookies, try our frosted oatmeal cookies, raisin oatmeal cookies, and cranberry walnut oatmeal cookies too!

lemon oatmeal cookie ingredients.

Ingredients

You don’t need anything fancy to make these lemon oatmeal cookies. You might actually have everything in your kitchen cupboard right now.

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour – adds structure and stability. Adding too much flour makes the cookies dry. For accurate results, weigh the flour with a digital scale or use the spoon-and-level method.
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder – leavens the cookies for a subtle rise.
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats – have a hearty texture that is perfect in these cookies.
  • 3/4 cup salted butter – Start with room temperature butter so it creams properly with the sugars. I like to use salted butter to balance the sweetness. You can also opt for unsalted butter and add a little extra salt.
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar – adds moisture and depth of flavor thanks to the molasses in the brown sugar.
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar – helps the cookies spread.
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest – infuses delicious lemon flavor into the cookies.
  • 1 egg – Use a large, room-temperature egg.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Lemon glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar – sweetens and thickens the icing.
  • 2 to 3 tbsp lemon juice – freshly squeezed lemon juice delivers the best flavor.
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest – I like to sprinkle grated lemon zest as a garnish over the iced cookies.

How to make lemon oatmeal cookies

step 1 combine dry ingredients.

1. Combine dry ingredients

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, rolled oats, and baking powder. Set aside.

step 2 cream butter and sugars.

2. Cream butter and sugar

Beat the softened butter with both sugars and lemon zest on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

step 3 incorporate egg and vanilla.

3. Incorporate egg and vanilla

Reduce speed to low; add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

step 4 mix wet and dry ingredients.

4. Mix dry and wet ingredients

Add oatmeal flour mixture; mix until almost combined.

step 5 drop cookies.

5. Drop cookie balls

Using a 2-tablepoon cookie scoop, drop heaping balls of dough onto lined cookie sheets. Leave about 2.5 inches between each dough ball – they will spread as they bake.

step 6 bake and cool cookies.

6. Bake & cool the cookies

Bake the cookies at 375°F for 8 to 10 minutes. They are ready when the edges look golden brown and the tops are set. Continue baking the rest of the cookies.

Remove from oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for 3 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before icing.

step 7 glaze cookies.

7. Ice the cookies

Sift the powdered sugar into a shallow medium mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and whisk until smooth, thick, and drizzly.

Drizzle a teaspoon of the icing onto the cooled cookies and sprinkle with grated lemon zest (if desired). Place the frosted cookies back on the wire rack and allow the icing to set for 30 minutes to an hour.

Baking tips

  • Measure the flour and oats carefully: Over-measuring the flour leads to dry, crumbly cookies. To get it right, use a food scale. Alternatively, fluff up the flour, spoon it lightly into your measuring cup, and level it off at the top with a spoon.
  • Cream the sugar and butter well: Whip the softened butter and cream until the mixture becomes fluffy and looks lighter in color. Creaming aerates the dough and keeps the cookies from becoming dense.
  • Don’t overmix the dough: When combing the dry and wet ingredients, be careful not to overmix. Over-mixing can cause the glutens in the flour to overdevelop, and you may end up with tough cookies.
  • Watch the baking time: Remove the cookies from the oven when the centers of the cookies still look a touch underdone. They will continue to set as they cool. If you bake the cookies until they appear fully done, they won’t be soft and chewy.
  • Perfectly round cookies: To make perfectly round cookies, take the pan out of the oven. Immediately use a round cookie cutter that’s larger than the baked cookies and scoot it around the warm cookies. This helps to smooth away uneven edges and creates a beautifully round shape. But you have to do it quickly before the cookies set.
stack of iced pumpkin cookies with lemon slices.

Variations & add-ins

Oatmeal lemon cookies are great, but don’t be afraid to play with mix-ins and flavor variations. Here are a few fun ways to mix things up:

  • Lime: Substitute the lemon for lime zest and lime juice to make lime oatmeal cookies.
  • White chocolate chips: These cookies taste great with white chocolate chips. You can add 1 to 1/2 cups.
  • Honey: 1 tablespoon of honey blends well with the lemon flavor and makes the cookies extra soft and chewy.
  • Ginger: Season the dough with 1 teaspoon of ground ginger for lemon ginger oatmeal cookies.
  • Nuts: Stir 1 cup chopped macadamia nuts or almonds into the batter for a crunchy bite.
  • Dried fruits: Raisins or dried cranberries are delicious with the hearty oat texture. Feel free to include up to 1 cup of dried fruit.
stack of oatmeal lemon cookies.

Storage instructions

  • Store: Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. Separate the layers with wax paper so the iced cookies don’t stick together.
  • Tip: Because oats are very absorbent, oatmeal cookies dry out faster than other cookies. A slice of sandwich bread in the container can help to keep the cookies soft for days.
  • Freeze: Let the cookies cool completely. Then, wrap each cookie in plastic wrap and put them in a freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. You can freeze the cookies with or without the glaze, either way is fine.

More lemon treats

lemon oatmeal cookies.

Lemon Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

Yield: 24 cookies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

These quick and easy lemon oatmeal cookies are soft, thick, and chewy. The cookies are loaded with hearty oats and lemon flavor and topped with a zesty lemon icing that will win over everyone who bites into them!

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups / 180 g / 6.3 oz all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups / 170 g / 6 oz old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup / 170 g / 6 oz salted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup / 150 g / 5.3 oz light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup / 50 g / 1.8 oz granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Glaze

  • 1 1/2 cups / 180 g / 6 oz powdered sugar
  • 2 – 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon zest (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare for baking. Preheat your oven to 375°F / 190°C / gas mark 5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick baking mats.
  2. Combine dry ingredients. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, rolled oats, and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar. Beat the softened butter with both sugars and lemon zest on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Incorporate egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; add the egg and vanilla extract. Beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  5. Mix dry and wet ingredients. Add oatmeal flour mixture; mix until almost combined.
  6. Drop cookie balls. Using a 2-tablepoon cookie scoop, drop heaping balls of dough onto the lined baking sheets. Leave about 2.5 inches / 6 cm between each dough ball because they will spread as they bake.
  7. Bake. Bake the cookies for 8 to 10 minutes. They are ready when the edges look golden brown and the tops are set. Continue baking the rest of the cookies.
  8. Cool. Remove from oven and let cool on the cookie sheet for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before icing.
  9. Mix lemon icing. Sift the powdered sugar into a shallow medium mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and whisk until smooth, thick, and drizzly.
  10. Ice cookies. Drizzle a teaspoon of the icing onto the cooled cookies and sprinkle with grated lemon zest (if desired). Place the frosted cookies back on the wire rack and allow the icing to set for 30 minutes to an hour.
  11. Store. Keep the cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Notes

Tips

  • Measure the flour and oats carefully: Over-measuring the flour leads to dry, crumbly cookies. To get it right, use a food scale. Alternatively, fluff up the flour, spoon it lightly into your measuring cup, and level it off at the top with a spoon.
  • Cream the sugar and butter well: Whip the softened butter and cream until the mixture becomes fluffy and looks lighter in color. Creaming aerates the dough and keeps the cookies from becoming dense.
  • Don’t overmix the dough: When combing the dry and wet ingredients, be careful not to overmix. Over-mixing can cause the glutens in the flour to overdevelop, and you may end up with tough cookies.
  • Watch the baking time: Remove the cookies from the oven when the centers of the cookies still look a touch underdone. They will continue to set as they cool. If you bake the cookies until they appear fully done, they won’t be soft and chewy.
  • Perfectly round cookies: To make perfectly round cookies, take the pan out of the oven. Immediately use a round cookie cutter that’s larger than the baked cookies and scoot it around the warm cookies. This helps to smooth away uneven edges and creates a beautifully round shape. But you have to do it quickly before the cookies set.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 168Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 61mgCarbohydrates: 26gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g

FAQ

Can I use quick or instant oats?

I suggest old-fashioned rolled oats for these lemon oatmeal cookies. I have tested the recipe with instant oats, and they had a cakey texture rather than a chewy one.

What makes iced lemon oatmeal cookies so good?

Easy to make: Oatmeal lemon cookies are a type of drop cookie, which means you mix the dough and drop cookies on the cookie sheet to bake. So simple!
 
Amazing texture: The cookies are crispy on the outside and chewy in the center. No dry, crumbly cookies oatmeal cookies here!
 
Delicious lemon flavor with a hint of molasses: These cookies are perfectly sweet without being cloying and have a well-balanced citrus aroma.

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