I’ve been using the same lemon cookie recipe for years—and my kids have liked them. But then a friend dropped by her version of lemon cookies and my kids were hooked. Seriously. Even my middle child requested, yup, lemon cookies instead of chocolate chip when I asked her a few weeks back what kind of cookies she wanted. I thought I’d perfected her recipe until she dropped by the cookies again (isn’t it nice to have friends that bring you cookies?!). This time the cookies were bursting with a buzzy, sweet-tart orange flavor instead of just lemon. Orange cookies. I was impressed with her improvisation, and then she let me in on a secret—her husband decided to make the cookies and opted for orange instead of lemon.

Let me just say, I love pretty much any kind of cookie, but these ones taste like a yummy version of an orange breakfast roll. When we had a busy weekend, my mom would buy those refrigerated, canned orange rolls, you know the ones that pop when you undo the paper? They always seemed to turn out either underdone or burnt, but top it with some of the gooey orange cream cheese frosting and you didn’t care. These cookies channel all that orange gooeyness, but have a tastier, chewier texture (I mean, you can’t escape that processed flavor when your baked goods come popping out of a can!).

Along with packing a punch of orange flavor, these cookies are perfect for summer. Who wants a heavy chocolate chip cookie—or even oatmeal—when the weather is getting warmer and warmer? But orange cookies…yeah, you better make a double batch!

Prep time: 30 minutes (+ cook time about 1 hour)
Servings: 20 cookies


2 Cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon orange zest
2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice (or 1 ½ tablespoons orange + ½ Tablespoon lemon)
1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon almond extract

2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons orange zest
1/3 cup fresh orange juice
1 Tablespoon milk or heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (you can refrigerate the dough for about an hour, but the cookies turn out well either way). In a large mixing bowl add the butter and then blend in the sugar at high speed with a handheld mixer. Whip until fully incorporated, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, blend. Mix in the extract and the fresh orange juice.

In another mixing bowl, stir all the dry ingredients until combined. Add the zest. Put the mixer on low speed and then gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.

Lightly grease a baking pan and add the dough by the spoonful (about 1 ½ Tablespoon in size). Bake for about 9 to 11 minutes or until just barely golden around the edges. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the pan before removing them.

Once the cookies are cool, mix the glaze. Add all of the glaze ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk until the ingredients are blended and the glaze is thick. Using a spoon add about ½ teaspoon glaze to each cookie. Let the glaze set for at least 30 minutes or more before serving.

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