Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Light Lemon Cookies

I don't think I've ever had lemon cookies, or even lemon cake for that matter. Then a few days ago I saw these lemon cookies on Foodbuzz and instantly wanted some. So I made myself a batch, healthified them in the process, and they were perfect: light, chewy and airy lemon cookies that tasted like Spring (if the weather doesn't want to cooperate quite yet, at least I can start eating warm weather foods). 

These cookies are so quick and easy to make, and with my ingredient adjustments there's less than 1/4 gram of fat in each (I didn't calculate the calories, but those are quite a bit reduced as well). Please make these!

These are the simple ingredients you'll need:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour cake mix into a large mixing bowl. Zest your lemon into the bowl.

Add egg whites and egg, applesauce and lemon juice - stir until well blended.

I tested a couple batches of these cookies, some chilled and some not, and it doesn't make too much of a difference what you do. The dough was slightly easier to handle after being chilled for 15 minutes, but perhaps not enough of a difference to make it worth it. So I'll leave to chill or not to chill up to you! Drop teaspoonfuls of dough into a bowl of powdered sugar and roll around until they are covered. Put dough balls on a cookie sheet (again I tested a couple batches of these cookies, some on an ungreased cookie sheet and some on parchment paper - doesn't make much of a difference for the actual cookies, but I think the parchment paper makes clean up a lot easier).

Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are set. The bottoms will be light brown and the insides of the cookies will be light and chewy. Transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely before serving.

Light Lemon Cookies
Makes 30 cookies.
Adapted from AllRecipes and Eaternal Bliss

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix
  • 1 egg and 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  • shredded coconut (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in egg and egg whites, applesauce, lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix until well blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls of dough into a bowl of confectioner's sugar and roll around until covered. Place dough balls on cookie sheet.
  3. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until cookies are set and bottoms are light brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

Anyone who knows me won't be surprised that I also tried to incorporate coconut into this recipe.  I think I try to incorporate coconut into every recipe. So on the last 5 cookies, rather than rolling the dough in confectioner's sugar, I rolled it in shredded coconut.

Well actually, I rolled 4 cookies in just coconut, and the 5th cookie I rolled first in coconut and then in confectioner's sugar.

And then baked them...

You can see that the coconut got burned. If I were to use just coconut again, I'd make smaller cookies so they didn't have to bake as long. But check out the coconut and confectioner's sugar cookie (on the right):

This one didn't burn at all, and came out so well! The coconut flavor really complemented the light lemon flavor (might have been my favorite cookie!). Next batch I make will be half lemon and half lemon coconut.

I did see a note on Eaternal Bliss' blog that these cookies are better the day after they're baked. I can't comment on that because there was nothing left the next day. I'm not going to tell you how many I ate. Because I lost count. And after I stuffed my face with these lemon cookies, I brought the rest to have with some girlfriends, and then they were gone. So perhaps they are better the next day, but all I can tell you is they're pretty damn good straight out of the oven.


  1. cookies like cake. wow. i missed the foodbuzz post but sure I'm happy I found yours.
    They look so soft and refreshing
    thanks for sharing

  2. Oh goodness, I have been looking for lemon dishes like crazy, but we don't have lemon cake box mixes here in Spain. I think I'm going to have to use a british victoria sponge cake recipe and just take my chances! Looks deeeeeeelish!