Lemon Drop Cookies

Lemon Drop Cookies // One Lovely Life

Before Michael and I moved to our lovely spot in the desert, we were in college. In another state. And in that state, there is a place called Over the Top Cookies. And they are definitely over the top. In a good way.

Picture palm-sized cookies piled high with pieces of candy bars, s’mores ingredients, and more. I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried a cookie there that I haven’t liked. Butterfinger Blitz, Tropical Storm (macadamia nut, pineapple, white chocolate chunks and toasted coconut), S’mores and More, and Shout for Almond Joy are some of my personal favorites.

But as much as I LOVE these cookies, there just isn’t anything to top their lemon drop cookies. Tangy lemon cookies with lemon drops and lemon glaze.

Heaven. On. Earth.

Thus, when I moved out of state and away from Over the Top, I knew I had to come up with a copycat recipe to keep myself going.

I think I did it.

Lemon Drop Cookies // One Lovely Life


I certainly don’t claim that these are exact copies of the Over the Top version. I think those babies are untouchable. But these are definitely good enough to get me through the long dry spells without one of the REAL ones.

So how are mine different? Well, I made mine smaller and didn’t add any yellow food coloring, so they came out a bit more pale. If that bothers you, you could certainly add a bit of yellow coloring to them if you like. I just don’t really like food coloring.

If you can find real old-fashioned lemon drops, I’d recommend those, but if not, Lemonheads candies work well too (that’s what I used here). Also, if your baby isn’t sleeping, really do go to town smashing them up. Sophie had finally drifted back to sleep and I didn’t want to wake her by bashing my rolling pin against a bag of Lemonheads on the tile floor (right next to her door), so my candy pieces ended up a bit bigger than I wish they would have. Still, she took a good nap and I got cookies out of the deal, so win-win.

If these STILL aren’t lemon-y enough for you (and they were for me), you could try adding a small amount of pure lemon extract, but I don’t think they need it.

*Side note: this completes #60 on my 101 Things to Do in 1001 Days list. Woot!

Lemon Drop Cookies // One Lovely Life


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Lemon Drop Cookies


  • 1/2c butter
  • 1c sugar
  • zest of 2 lemons
  • 1 egg
  • 4 Tbsp lemon juice, divided (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2c flour
  • 1c lemon drop candies, crushed (some bigger pieces, some smaller)
  • 12c powdered sugar, divided


  1. In a large bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest with your fingers or a spatula until well combined (this gets the oils from the lemon zest into the sugar). Cream sugar mixture with butter. Add in egg, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, and vanilla. Stir until well-combined. Add in salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add in flour and lemon drops. Stir until just combined.
  2. Chill dough in the refrigerator about 30 minutes.
  3. Place 1/2c powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Form cookies by rolling heaping teaspoon-fuls of dough into balls and rolling in powdered sugar.
  4. Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake at 350 degrees for 9-10 minutes, or until edges are set and centers are still ever-so-slightly soft. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheets about 3 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
  5. When cookies are cooled, make glaze by combining remaining lemon juice with enough powdered sugar to make a pourable glaze (I used just over a cup of powdered sugar. You can add more or less if you want it thinner/thicker).
  6. Makes 24-30 cookies.



  1. Yay, I can’t wait to make these, I LOVE lemon. I’m glad you are able to fit baking yummy treats into your routine! This weekend I was able to fit in making Joy the Baker’s garlic knots, I was soo excited. This’ll be on the menu for next weekend if my boy naps.

  2. with a last name like Lemon – these are sure to be a hit at my house. Thank you for a new idea in lemon treats. I will trying these this weekend!!!

  3. THANK YOU dear Emily for helping to add additional inches to my waistline, and one great big giant smile to my face! (Actually, I’ll try to excerise some self control and NOT add any additional inches anywhere!)

    I’m thrilled to have this recipe, they tasted amazing at your house, and will be a huge hit at mine!

  4. Thanks for the great recipe! These cookies taste fantastic! I followed your recipe and ended up with flat cookies. New baking powder and soda; and I made sure I didn’t overbeat the batter. Do you, by chance, have any suggestions? Thank you again for the tasty new cookies!

    1. Jamie–are you by chance cooking at a high altitude? Sometimes I’ll have flat cookies when I do… No matter what recipe I’m using, and whether or not I’m at a high altitude, sometimes I’ll do a “test batch” first of about six cookies instead of a dozen. If those cookies come out flat, I’ll add a few tablespoons of flour to the dough. I find this often helps. Flour can be tricky sometimes… I wish you the best of luck!

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