These Keto Lemon Cookies are soft and tender sugar cookies topped with a creamy sugar free lemon frosting. They have all the tangy sweetness you crave with only 3g carbs per serving!
Can you call it a sugar cookie if it doesn’t actually contain any sugar? More to the point, do we even care? If it tastes and feels like a delicious frosted sugar cookie, why are we complaining?
No complaints here, and I wager that my fellow dessert lovers will have their mouths too full of these keto lemon cookies to complain much either!
And yet they have no added sugar and a mere fraction of the carbs. I’d call that a win for lemon lovers everywhere.
Make sure you also check out Keto Lemon Curd and these super creamy Keto Lemon Cheesecake Bars.
Why you need to try this recipe
This is actually a recipe out of my popular cookbook, The Ultimate Guide to Keto Baking. I poured my heart and soul into that book and I believe it contains some of my best recipes. And the keto lemon cookies are some of my favorites.
I am such a diehard chocolate lover that I often forget just how delightful lemon treats can be. When I developed this recipe for the book, I shared them with a few friends and they absolutely raved.
And once the book went to print, I started hearing from readers who loved these keto lemon cookies as well. They have met with such universal approval, I decided I needed to share them here as well.
My keto cookbook is filled with all sorts of delightful recipes – lemon, chocolate, savory, sweet, if you can bake it, I created a recipe for it. It’s the most comprehensive cookbook on keto baking out there!
“I made these cookies and I have to say, they are absolutely delightful! Soft and lemony with a divine frosting! Better than any cookie I have ever made! Thank you!” — Tracy
“Winner at our house too! I actually had the lemon extract in the cabinet from a previous recipe and both me and hubby are in love with this cookie! He said “they’re perfectly addictive!” — and he’s right! Not too sweet and just the perfect amount of lemony tartness. Another awesome recipe, Carolyn! THANK YOU!!” — Jana
“You did it again! These are AMAZING! My cousin has a Meyer lemon tree. She gave us a ton of lemons that my husband and I zested and squeezed this weekend. Lots of portion sizes in the freezer to make all of your lemon stuff. We couldn’t stop eating these cookies. They are SOOOOOOOOOOO good.” — Rosemarie
Ingredients you need
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- Butter: Good cookies start with good butter. Always!
- Sweetener: You need a granular sweetener for the cookies and powdered sweetener for the frosting. I usually use Swerve for both of these. See the expert tips section for more sweetener options.
- Eggs: This recipe takes one whole egg and one egg yolk. The additional yolk adds both color and tenderness to the cookies.
- Lemon: The cookies take lemon zest and the frosting takes both zest and juice.
- Lemon extract: The extract helps bring out the lemon flavor in the cookies without throwing off the wet/dry ratio.
- Almond flour: Make sure you use good almond flour vs. almond meal for all your keto recipes. Read my tutorial on baking with almond flour for more info!
- Cream cheese: The frosting is made with both cream cheese and butter for a super creamy consistency.
- Heavy whipping cream: A little cream helps smooth out the frosting and make it spreadable.
- Natural food coloring: If you like the frosting to have a little color to it, you can use a little plant-based food dye.
- Pantry staples: Vanilla extract, baking powder, salt.
1. Make the cookie dough: In a large bowl, beat the butter and Swerve sweetener together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk, lemon zest, and extracts and beat until well combined. Add the almond flour, baking powder, and salt and beat until the dough comes together.
2. Form the cookies: Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on the cookie sheets lined with silicone baking mats or parchment paper at least 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand to about ½ inch thick.
3. Bake: Bake at 325ºF for 15 to 18 minutes, until just golden around the edges, switching the pans halfway through baking. The cookies will be very soft still, but will continue to firm up as they cool.
4. Prepare the frosting: Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. add the powdered sweetener and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Beat in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Add heavy cream and beat until smooth. If the frosting is still thick, beat in the additional cream. Add yellow food coloring, if using.
5. Decorate: Spread the frosting over the tops of the cooled cookies. Decorate with a bit of grated lemon zest or some keto sprinkles. Or, to make lemon sandwich cookies, spread frosting between two cookies.
Lemon extract is inexpensive and available at most grocery stores. It works best in the cookies as using fresh lemon juice introduces a lot of extra moisture. In the frosting, lemon juice works well to give the right flavor and consistency.
You don’t have to color your frosting, but a light yellow makes the cookies look even more lemony and inviting. There are many good vegetable-based food dyes but use a light touch when adding it in. I find that using too much makes for an overly bright, almost neon color.
You need a granular sweetener for the cookies to beat into the butter and give them the right consistency, but it doesn’t have to be erythritol based. You can use BochaSweet or allulose, or a mix of sweeteners. Just keep in mind that allulose will make the cookies brown faster so keep your eye on them.
The frosting requires a powdered sweetener for structure. Again it doesn’t have to be erythritol based, but allulose may make the frosting softer so don’t add the cream until you see how it turns out.
Frequently Asked Questions
Most lemon sugar cookie recipes have…. This keto lemon cookie recipe has 5.1g of carbs and 2.0g of fiber per serving. That comes to 3.1g net carbs for 2 cookies.
These cookies aren’t overly moist, so they last well on the counter in an airtight container for 3 or 4 days. If they will be around longer than that, you can refrigerate them for up to a week. You can also freeze them for up to 2 months.
These keto cookies work best with blanched almond flour. If you need a nut-free version, you can try using sunflower seed flour. You will need to add a tablespoon of lemon juice to the cookie dough so that you don’t get the green reaction. You may a bit more flour in the dough.
More low carb lemon desserts
Keto Lemon Cookies Recipe
- ½ cup butter softened
- ⅔ cup Swerve Sweetener
- 1 large egg room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk room temperature
- 2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- ¾ teaspoon lemon extract
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened
- 3 tablespoon butter softened
- ¼ cup powdered Swerve Sweetener
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 to 2 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
- Natural food coloring
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF and line two cookie sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sweetener together until light and fluffy. Add the egg, egg yolk, lemon zest, and extracts and beat until well combined. Add the almond flour, baking powder, and salt and beat until the dough comes together.
- Roll the dough inot 1-inch balls an dplace on the prepared cookie sheets at least 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly with the palm of your hand to about ½ inch thick.
- Bake 15 to 18 minutes, until just golden around the edges, switching the pans halfway through baking. The cookies will be very soft still, but will continue to firm up as they cool.
- Beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Beat in the sweetener and vanilla extract until well combined.
- Beat in the lemon juice and lemon zest. Add one tablespoon of cream and beat until smooth. If the frosting is still thick, beat in the additional cream. Beat in a bit of yellow food coloring at a time until a lemon yellow is acheived.
- Spread the frosting over the tops of the cooled cookies. Decorate with a bit of grated lemon zest.
- To make lemon sandwich cookies, spread about 1 tablespoon of the frosting on the bottom of one cookie and top with another cookie.
Jean Osborn says
It’s a lovely cookie. My frosting seemed too runny. 1/4th cup pwd Swerve didn’t seem like much so I added more. Never added any HWC. Anyone else have this problem? Frosting tastes great-just runny.
Beth Phelps says
Yum! Knocked it out of the park again Carolyn!!!!
Tracy Hill says
I made these cookies and I have to say, they are absolutely delightful! Soft and lemony with a divine frosting! Better than any cookie I have ever made! Thank you!
Eat your heart out Girl Scout… these Lemon Cookies are the bomb and NO guilt 💛 🍋 💛
Thank you SO MUCH for this recipe! I can’t believe how incredibly delicious they are! I’m a huge fan of lemon and was craving a lemon cookie and have tried other recipes that always fell way short. These are so perfect! My hubby and I have adopted a Keto lifestyle and have found that although meals and savory foods almost always turn out fantastic, sweets are very difficult to get right. This is the 3rd recipe of yours that I’ve tried and I can’t thank you enough! I’ll be trying many more because I also “dream about food all day” and your recipes are top of the line! ????❤️
Thanks so much!
My great-grandmother passed away when I was 6, but to this day I sti remember her sugar cookies with that hint of lemon. Although her cookies didn’t have any frosting, the frosting is a wonderful modern twist. These cookies are very reminiscent of her cookies, and I will think of her fondly each time I make these, which will be often
I am so glad it brings back lovely memories!
I have made these several times. They are my go to treat. I have even changed the extract to almond flavor and they are very tasty. Thank you for this recipe!!
Love that idea!
I just finished making them and they taste so good! I actually made 48 little ones instead of 24; so they would last longer. Thank you for this delicious recipe.
Thank you for making this you’re life’s mission and work. It’s so meaningful to me as I try to stay healthy and avoid being a type 2 diabetic. I use your recipes for many occasions and the sweets for the times I feel like a treat or for festivities. I appreciate how hard you work on this and how many many recipes you have transformed into healthier versions. Keep up the very good and meaningful work.
I tried this recipe and I must say it’s awesome! It’s my fave cookie recipe. Thank you Carolyn for sharing!
These cookies are awesome. The flavor is so good. This recipe is a keeper.
Hi Carolyn, I just wanted to compliment you on your recipes. I have tried several recipes of yours and they are always delicious. I bought easy keto dinners and bought your baking one for kindle. I have found every recipe to be delicious and satisfying. I have been on a low carb diet for a year trying to lose weight and have been really struggling with recipes until I found you. I really appreciate all your time and effort into making many delicious recipes. I plan on buying the larger cookbook Friday, payday, once again I can’t tell you what a gift your cookbooks have been to me. p.s. I appreciate all the condiment recipes too!
Carol Fisher says
These cookies are WONDERFUL!!! And loved by all who taste them!!
Can I use Super Sweet or Pyure? If so, how much? Thank you!
These cookies are DELICIOUS !! They DO NOT TASTE like Sugar Free Cookies. All of my Diabetic customers love them, and order over and over. Thank you so much for creating this wonderful recipe !!
I’m not sure what I did but I made these today and while baking they spread to the size of my hand! They still tasted yummy but certainly not the neatest biscuits out there ????????
Sounds like they didn’t have quite enough flour. Did you use a different sweetener, by chance?
Loved these the first time I made them, and am now preparing to make them a 2nd time. Just as an aside, after letting them cool a bit, I frosted them, but left them on the cookie tray, then stuck them in the freezer overnight, before bagging them up for ‘permanent’ freezing. That got the frosting solid enough that I really didn’t make too much of a mess. Will be doing both this and the lemon cheesecake bars again in the next couple of weeks (though this time I plan to make the bars into an actual round cheesecake ….) Thanks again for the terrific recipes.
Yo Mac says
Thank you so much for his recipe. I am relatively new to Keto and staying away from the sweets is/was an issue. This cookie recipe is fantastic!