Lemonhead Cookies

Lemonhead Cookies

Lemonhead Cookies are my new favorite cookie! Even if you’re not a fan of Lemonhead candy, you will fall in love with the lemon flavor of these cookies. The glaze makes them extra special, and the bottoms get slightly caramelized from the crushed candies making them perfectly chewy, yet still soft. Seriously delicious!

Oh hello boys and girls! I am pah-rity dang excited about today’s cookie situation. Like for real for real. NO, no one ACTUALLY likes Lemonheads. I get it. But don’t let their small interference in today’s recipe to distract you from the finished product.

The Lemonheads in this recipe are important. Let me explain.

OBVIOUSLY they are lemon flavored. So the lemony-ness of these cookies comes mostly from the candy….and a little lemon zest. Yes, I fully understand that there are artificial flavors involved that typically wouldn’t be my first choice, but we’re making cookies, not cauliflower, so let’s all just look beyond that.

The other thing the candies do, is create the most perfect chewy texture. THE.MOST.PERFECT. You HAVE to crush up the cookies properly, however. The inspiration for today’s recipe actually comes from my Online Bakery Cookie Challenge. I ordered a box of cookies from a bakery called Ruby Snap. They were good! Included in the box was a Lemonhead cookie that had so much potential (in my opinion) BUT the candies were barely crushed, so in every bite of this, otherwise fantastic, cookie you’d get a pretty large piece of Lemonhead candy, and I didn’t like it one bit. Like I said, the candies themselves are subpar (sorry), and the texture shift from the hard candy inside a soft cookie just didn’t work.

So, obviously, I had to take matters into my own hands, and I am SO glad I did because these are pretty fantastic. The crushed up candy adds lemon sweetness, but also creates this amazing caramelization on the bottom of the cookie that creates a fantastic texture.

And really isn’t anything with a glaze better? Yes.

Lemonhead Cookies | Easy Lemon Cookies Recipe | Best Lemon Desserts

The dough is gloriously easy. The hardest part is crushing the candy. Which isn’t hard at all.

Lemonhead Cookies

And, like I said make sure to get a good crush. Some will be dust, some will be tiny pieces. I did it with a rolling pin and a zip-top bag. You could also use your food processor or blender.

Lemonhead Cookies

Also, you will need to chill the dough. I really love the thickness of these cookies….not too thick, but not thin. The chilling helps with the height. I also definitely recommend using parchment paper on your light colored baking sheet. You will want to use a lighter colored sheet, so the cookies don’t brown too much on the bottom. With the crushed candies inside the dough, they could easily get too brown.

Lemonhead Cookies | Easy Lemon Cookies Recipe | Best Lemon Desserts

You might notice the amount of flour in these is a little more than you would expect. That’s because of the sugar content in the cookie…the more sugar, the more spreading, so you need that extra flour to give the cookie structure.

And like I said, the glaze is really simple and not only makes them pretty, but adds to the texture.

Lemonhead Cookies | Easy Lemon Cookies Recipe | Best Lemon Desserts

I really do just love these so much!


Lemonhead Cookies

  • Author: Shelly
  • Prep Time Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time Cook Time: 11 minutes
  • Total Time Total Time: 2 hours 11 minutes
  • Yield Yield: 36 cookies 1x
  • Category Category: Dessert
  • Method Method: Oven
  • Cuisine Cuisine: American


Lemonhead Cookies are my new favorite cookie! Even if you’re not a fan of Lemonhead candy, you will fall in love with the lemon flavor of these cookies.



  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 1/2  cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup finely crushed Lemonhead candies


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water or milk


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of you stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sugar, and lemon zest together for 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, vanilla, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and mix for an additional minute, until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.
  3. Turn the mixer to low and add in the flour, mixing until just incorporated. With mixer still on low, add in the crushed lemon candies, mixing until evenly combined.
  4. Cover and chill dough for 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Scoop out 2 tablespoons of dough, and roll into balls. Place them on a baking sheet 2- inches apart, and bake for 9 -11 minutes, or until the cookies are very lightly golden at the edges. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 4-5 minutes. Transfer to a wire racket cool completely.
  6. For the glaze, in a medium bowl, whisk the powdered sugar and water together until a thin glaze forms.
  7. Dip the tops of each cookie into the glaze and allow excess to drip off before returning to the wire rack, allowing the glaze to set.


Store airtight at room temperature for up to 3 days

If you plan on freezing these cookies, do so before you glaze them. The glaze can get sticky if frozen and thawed.

TIP: If the cookies are misshapen when they come out of the oven, use your spatula immediately to form the cookies back into perfect circles. These cookies bake up very evenly, but if a Lemonhead bit melts at the edge of the cookie, no problem, just reshape it slightly with your spatula AS SOON as they come out of then oven, when they are most malleable.

Nutrition Information:

1 Cookie
16.8 g
163.1 mg
10.1 g
24.4 g
5.2 g
35.7 mg

Keywords: Lemon cookie recipe, lemon dessert recipe, best lemon desserts, easy cookie recipe

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Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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Cindy Queen
May 19, 2022 1:06 pm

I want to make these a bar cookie in a 9×13 pan. Should I use larger pan?

Apr 28, 2022 3:23 pm

I made these for a bake sale and they were the first thing to sell out. They are so lemony and easy to make.
One of my favorite recipes!
Thanks for sharing this.
I bought the crushed lemonheads in a bag. So convenient!

Laura Spurgin
Sep 2, 2021 2:08 pm

This recipe is perfect as it is. I crushed the lemonheads in my Ninja and left a few larger grains. Turned out great! They were gone in a flash!

Linda M
May 10, 2021 8:36 pm

What an amazing cookie! Lemon heads are my husband’s favorite candy, this was perfect! I did 1/2 batch using lemon juice with the powdered sugar to make the glaze. That was a true hit with my husband, but it’s certainly tart. Big hit for the lemon head fans, but maybe a bit much if lemon head candy isn’t a favorite. I plan on making these for4th of july, thank you so much for sharing this recipe ❤️

Jun 27, 2020 1:11 pm

What do u think if I added a little lemon extract ??

Sep 1, 2019 1:53 am

I have a really silly question. Does it absolutely have to be kosher salt? Will regular table salt work? I’ve never used kosher salt, so I have no idea what the difference is.

Aug 15, 2019 11:33 am

These cookies not only taste amazing but they are pretty as well. I served them at my daughters wedding, brought the remainders into work and they were a hit on both occasions. Now I have requests from my office constantly to make them and bring them in. I have made them with both the lemon drops and lemonheads and have had great results with both…although I do prefer the lemonheads.

Aug 21, 2018 1:28 am

These are so good and refreshing! Exactly what I was looking for. I’ve had cookies with this texture that I was trying to recreate, iunsure of how to do it until I found out the crushed candy bit. I got some lemon hard candy on amazon that’s naturally flavored and way better than lemon heads. Highly recommend this as I can’t imagine they’d be as good with actual lemon heads. I also substituted 1/4 of the sugar for light brown sugar to given them slightly more depth of flavor. I’m sure this changed the texture somewhat but regardless the texture… Read more »

Jul 17, 2018 4:10 pm

Not a fan of artificial flavors, I made my own lemon candy using this as the base:


I used glycerine instead of corn syrup, and freshly squeezed lemon juice in place of the citric acid, left out the coloring and used Frontier’s lemon flavoring to add a little oomph. It took a few tries to achieve the right lemony flavor.

Using the homemade lemon drops, these cookies were nothing short of sensational. They’re good enough to make you want to hide them from your former loved ones (lol).

Thanks for a great recipe.

Jun 2, 2018 1:36 pm

Made these cookies for my husband. We finally had to freeze them so he wouldn’t eat them all. Delicious. They were perfectly chewy.

Jun 1, 2018 7:48 pm

Just made them and what flavor. OK, I just checked the whole article and I realize that I took the instruction to pulverize the LemonHead literally. My cookies turned out flat and chewy (a good thing!) maybe too much lemon dust. They didn’t look light and fluffy like yours, but they had pucker power. My students test tasted them and they got thumbs up and they voted not to ice them. Will make them again. Thanks for the recipe.

May 30, 2018 5:59 pm

Shelly, I love your blog & have always been impressed with your recipes(I have made at least 20!)

My family LOVES lemon and lemon Cookies with Lemon Head candy sounded incredible!
But, I was disappointed with these cookies.

I made these cookies today after chilling the dough overnight. I followed the recipe to the “T.”
I tasted the dough before baking them, and it lacked flavor, so I added additional Lemon zest (used total of 2 medium lemons).These cookies still lacked flavor after baked, other than the burst from the Lemon Head candy which had an “artificial” flavor.


May 25, 2018 8:40 am

Hi Shelly! Just double checking so I don’t mess up. Each cookie is formed with 2 tablespoons of dough ?
These sound amazing, can’t wait to try them!

May 22, 2018 9:05 am

I have never seen lemonheads. Will the hard lemon candies that are coated in a little sugar work?

May 22, 2018 3:43 am

How important is the lemon zest?

Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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