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Tantalizing Greek Yogurt Cookies with Lemon Icing

Sneak Peek: This recipe for Greek Yogurt Cookies with Lemon Icing was inspired by Giada’s Lemon Ricotta Cookies. A lemony powdered sugar glaze makes them memorable.

Although not my favorite vacation spot, what happened one day at lunch in Vegas was unforgettable.

We were eating at Giada’s restaurant. Our waitress mentioned Giada sometimes showed up unplanned to greet her patrons.

5 minutes later

Giada appeared out of nowhere, bouncing from table to table. I could hardly contain myself when she turned in our direction. What a friendly, gorgeous, and charismatic ball of energy!

Greek yogurt cookies with lemon frosting:  lemons in background

Giada is famous for her cookbooks, her food shows, and her million-dollar smile. But she’s also tiny. How does she maintain her weight when thinking about food all day? Turns out she hears that question more than any other. She shares her secrets in Giada’s Feel Good Food cookbook.

The brown bag I’m holding contains cookies we ordered from the dessert menu. I was too excited to think about removing them from the paper bag for the photo. The assortment included Giada’s famous Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Icing.

meeting Giada and holding her lemon cookies

Her recipe from “Giada’s Kitchen” inspired these lemon-flavored Greek Yogurt Cookies. They taste similar.

Since I’m a Greek yogurt maker like many of you, I usually have more yogurt in my fridge than ricotta cheese. Besides that, yogurt is cheaper.

ingredients need for cookies

Ingredients and substitutions

  • FLOUR: All-purpose flour is best – bleached or unbleached.
  • SALT: Table or sea salt
  • BUTTER: Set the butter and eggs out beforehand to come to room temperature before mixing. Unsalted butter is preferred. Decrease the salt by a pinch if using salted butter.
  • SUGAR: Granulated. No known substitutes.
  • EGG: Large size
  • LEMONS: Small to medium lemons are good. I haven’t tried it, but oranges seem like a good substitute for lemons if you prefer.
  • GREEK YOGURT: The tanginess of yogurt plus the tartness of lemon equals a perfect marriage of flavors. Or do like Giada: use ricotta cheese if you prefer.

    If you can only get regular yogurt or your Greek yogurt is not as thick as ricotta cheese, you might want to strain it to remove more whey. The process will produce a more ricotta-cheese-like texture.

    And exactly how do I strain it?

    Pour yogurt into a cheap strainer or colander lined with a paper coffee filter or paper towel. Drain for 30-60 minutes.
Frosted Soft Lemon Yogurt Cookies -on a platter (old picture)

How to make Greek Yogurt Cookies with Lemon Icing:

cookies cooling on a rack, then frosted
Move cookies from cookie tray to cooling rack after 5-10 minutes. Frost while still slightly warm.
one frosted Greek yogurt cookie

FAQ about Lemon Cookies with Yogurt

What is the difference between regular yogurt and Greek yogurt?

Greek yogurt is regular yogurt with part of the whey removed. The process makes Greek yogurt thicker, higher in protein, and lower in sugar.

In this recipe, the thicker Greek yogurt will help the cookies bake up puffy instead of flat like a pancake. When using regular yogurt, either drain the whey for 30-60 minutes or add additional flour.

What does Greek yogurt do for these cookies?

Greek yogurt keeps them moist, fluffy, and light like miniature cakes.

Is it OK to double this recipe?

Yes. This recipe only makes 30 small cookies (20 large) so make a double batch for a party.

How do these cookies contain so much protein?

The Greek yogurt in this recipe adds 18 grams of protein. According to the nutritional analysis, each cookie contains 2 grams of protein.

Can I freeze these cookies?

Yes. Wrap them with waxed paper between the layers so the icing won’t glue them together. Double wrapping is always a good idea.

Even if you may never eat any of Giada’s lemon cookies, these yogurt cookies will compensate for that exquisite taste experience.

 More Recipes for Lemon Lovers

Did you enjoy this recipe? If so, you can help others and me by leaving a 5-star 🤩 rating in the comment section below. No comment is required.

p.s. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can email me privately: Paula at

Hope to see you again soon!

Lemon Cookies with Greek Yogurt

Soft Greek Yogurt Cookies with Lemon Icing

This recipe makes a cake-like cookie featuring the tanginess of Greek yogurt and the tartness of lemon and topped with a sweet lemon glaze.
Paula Rhodes
4.29 from 46 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Course Cookies
Servings 30 small cookies


  • 1-1/3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup butter - room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • grated rind of 1 small lemon
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ¾ cup Greek yogurt - unflavored and thick


  • 1 cups powdered sugar
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of heavy cream - or milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice


  • Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whip soft butter until smooth. Add sugar and continue beating until the mixture is fluffy. Add egg and keep mixing until smooth.
  • Add lemon rind, lemon juice, and Greek yogurt to the above mixture.
  • Stir in dry ingredients> Make sure there are no stray pockets of butter unmixed with the flour in the bowl.
  • Cover and chill the dough for at least 30 minutes before baking.
  • Spoon a generous tablespoon for each cookie onto a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
  • Bake at 375˚F for 12-15 minutes (depending on whether it is the first batch or the last and the size of the cookies) until edges are beginning to brown.


  • Make the icing while cookies bake. Sift powdered sugar into a small bowl. Add grated lemon rind, cream, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Combine until smooth. Add another tablespoon of lemon juice if the icing is too thick.
  • When the cookies are brown on the bottom but not on top, remove them from the oven. After 10 minutes, pull the cookies away from the paper and allow to continue cooling on a rack or tea towel. Smoothly coat the top with lemon frosting. Let the frosting cool and set before handling them. Eat whenever you can’t resist any longer.



Serving: 1gCalories: 67kcalCarbohydrates: 12gProtein: 1gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 10mgSodium: 64mgPotassium: 12mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 63IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg
Keyword lemon cookies with Greek yogurt, lemon-flavored cookies recipe, lemon-flavored cookies with icing
Cuisine American
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating


Sunday 24th of October 2021

Hi ๐Ÿ‘‹ Iโ€™m just wondering if you can substitute the flour in the lemon cookies with gluten free 1:1 flour. I love lemons ๐Ÿ‹!


Monday 25th of October 2021

Hi Patti, Unfortunately, I have never tried these cookies with gluten-free flour. I would think that the cookies would be too dense and compact with gluten-free flour, but I haven't tried it. Let me know if you try it. I'm curious.


Sunday 1st of August 2021

I've just tried this recipe, and my mixture looks more like pancake/cake batter. I've kept it in the fridge for now hoping it will firm up. Should I have added more flour?


Sunday 1st of August 2021


I wonder if your yogurt was perhaps thinner than mine. Yes, I would go ahead and add a little more flour to firm up the dough a bit. These are so delicious that I do hope they turn out well for you.


Friday 18th of December 2020

Do you think using greek lemon yogurt would be good (not coyingly sweet?). We have an authentic greek shop near our house and I don't think they add much sugar, it's pretty lemony.


Sunday 20th of December 2020

Hi Kayla,

Seems like a good thing to try. You could always cut back on the sugar in the recipe if you think the sweetened yogurt makes it too sweet.

Maggie Delgadillo

Friday 18th of September 2020

I would like to make your Frosted Lemon Cookies (with Greek Yogurt). Can I use vanilla greek yogurt?


Friday 18th of September 2020

Hi Maggie, Good question. Yes, you can. However, vanilla Greek yogurt usually has added sugar. So unless you like your cookies to be really sweet, you might want to cut back on the sugar a little bit. Can't wait to hear how you like them.


Saturday 7th of September 2019

The substitution of the Greek yogurt for the ricotta still made for lighter cake like cookie. The Greek yogurt did give the cookie more tang countering the tartness of the lemon, but I think it was a little too overpowering. Next time less lemon juice in glaze and use water or milk to tone it down.