Egg Yolk Lemon Cookies Recipe

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These egg yolk lemon cookies are simple to make with a soft, tender texture and burst of bright lemon flavor! They have rich taste from the egg yolks balanced by the tangy sweetness, making them perfect for any lemon dessert lover!

If you have leftover egg yolks from making my lemon tiramisu cake that uses only egg whites, these egg yolk lemon cookies are the perfect way to use them! They are soft, chewy and have a rich taste from the yolks. 

 

I love lemon recipes! They are perfect for spring and summer but also great year round to brighten the day. Whether it’s my Italian lemon cookies or lemon drop cookies, the sweet citrus taste is so delicious.

Usually I make my egg yolk lemon cake when I need to use up yolks, but this time I wanted something bite-sized like my lemon sugar cookies but easier. These lemon egg yolk cookies solve the egg yolk dilemma, are easy and won’t last long once you taste one.

Why You’ll Love This Soft Lemon Cookies Recipe

  • Flavorful: These cookies have a rich taste from the egg yolks and a sweet lemon taste that doesn’t overpower the cookie.
  • Light and chewy: Egg yolks cause these cookies to puff up slightly for a softer cookie texture that is slightly chewy. 
  • Easy to make: Using a few pantry ingredients and kitchen staples, these cookies are easy to prep! 

Lemon Egg Yolk Cookies Recipe Ingredients

  • All-purpose flour: This type of flour provides the best structure for these cookies.
  • Baking powder: Gives the cookies rise. 
  • Salt: Use more or less depending on if you use salted butter or unsalted butter. 
  • Egg yolks: You will need three egg yolks that have been brought to room temperature.
  • Granulated sugar: Adds sweet taste. I don’t recommend using brown sugar or powdered sugar as that will change the texture of the cookies. 
  • Lemon zest: Use up to two Tablespoons of zest. 
  • Vanilla extract: Adds rich flavor.
  • Butter: Your butter needs to be melted then cooled. For a dairy free cookie, vegetable oil can be used. 
Ingredients for the recipe.

Substitutions and Variations

  • Extract: Try almond extract for a different taste, add lemon extract for more citrus taste or try orange extract for a different flavor.
  • Spices: Cinnamon or nutmeg would change the flavor of the cookie in a subtle way. 
  • Stuffed with pastry cream: Roll out the dough then similar to my lemon stuffed cookies, add lemon pastry cream to one cookie and seal it in with a cookie over top. 
  • Glaze: Add a simple lemon glaze on top, like I do in these lemon donuts. 

How to Make Egg Yolk Lemon Cookies

To start, in a medium sized bowl whisk together dry ingredients including the flour, baking powder and salt.

The dry ingredients whisked in a bowl.

Next, in a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat the yolks and sugar, add the zest, vanilla and butter, beat to combine. 

Beating the wet ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the bowl and mix on low until combined. Cover the bowl and chill.

The batter made in the silver bowl.

Form the dough into balls and place on parchment paper lined baking sheets, lightly flatten with a fork or the bottom of a glass. Chill again while the oven preheats. 

The dough balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet before baking.

Bake until lightly golden. Let cool on the baking sheet, then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Baked cookies on the baking sheet.

Recipe Tips

  • Yellow color: These cookies are naturally a light lemon color from the zest and egg yolks.
  • Don’t skip chilling: Chilling the cookies helps prevent spread for a soft, chewy cookie.
  • For softer cookies: Add a teaspoon of cream of tartar to the dough to prevent the sugar from crystalizing which often leads to crispier cookies.
  • Scoop, slice or use cookie cutters: This egg yolk lemon cookie recipe is so versatile! Either scoop the dough into balls and flatten slightly, roll dough into a log and slice then bake or use cookie cutters to cut into shapes.

Storing

  • Store: Cool cookies completely then store in an airtight container at room temperature away from direct sunlight for up to 4 days.
  • Freeze baked cookies: Freeze baked cookies in a freeze safe bag or container for up to three months. 

Why are my cookies hard after cooling?

If you have over baked your cookies, they will be crunchy after they cool. Start checking your cookies around 10 minutes to check for doneness and remember they will continue to bake on the cookie sheet after removing them from the oven.

Yes! Prepare dough as directed and store in the refrigerator for up to  three days before baking. 

Egg yolk lemon cookies on a wire rack.

Yes! Depending on how you plan to use the cookies, either freeze cookie dough balls, freeze the cookie dough log if planning to slice them or freeze a larger dough ball if planning on cutting them into shapes. 

Bake the cookie dough balls from frozen. Thaw the larger dough log or ball in the fridge and either slice and bake or roll out to cut into shapes before baking.

What else can I make with egg yolks?

Whether you are making homemade mayonnaise or authentic spaghetti carbonara, there are so many ways to use egg yolks! Of course some of my favorite ways include sweet treats, like Italian S cookies or lemon pastry cream. 

More Lemon Recipes

Cookies on a black tray and one cut in half.

When you are looking to make something with leftover egg yolks I hope you try these Egg Yolk Lemon Cookies. Enjoy!

  • 1⅔ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 large egg yolks (room temperature)
  • tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • tablespoons butter melted cooled (or vegetable oil)

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  • In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the yolks and sugar for 2-3 minutes. Add the zest, vanilla and butter, beat to combine, add the dry ingredients and combine on low, 1 minute. Cover the bowl and chill 30 minutes.*

  • Form the dough into balls (golfball size) and place on 1-2 parchment paper lined baking sheets, lightly flatten with a fork or the bottom of a glass. Chill while the oven is pre-heating to 350F / 180C. Bake for approximately 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden. Let cool on the baking sheet for approximately 15 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Enjoy!

*If you prefer you can roll the dough into a log shape then slice and bake, or roll the dough and use your favourite cookie cutters to cut out shapes.

Store: Cool cookies completely then store in an airtight container at room temperature away from direct sunlight for up to 4 days.
Freeze baked cookies: Freeze baked cookies in a freeze safe bag or container for up to three months. 
Depending on how you plan to use the cookies, either freeze cookie dough balls, freeze the cookie dough log if planning to slice them or freeze a larger dough ball if planning on cutting them into shapes. Bake the cookie dough balls from frozen. Thaw the larger dough log or ball in the fridge and either slice and bake or roll out to cut into shapes before baking.

Calories: 73kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 31mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 101IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 0.5mg

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