Zucchini-Lemon Cookies

July 28, 2009
8 Ratings
  • Serves 24
Author Notes

This could go in either category - Desserts or Vegetables. My mother-in-law gave me this recipes a few years ago when I confessed to her my addiction to zucchini. She had learned how to make this during a cooking class when she was in college and kept the handwritten recipe in her binder. What she gave me was a list of ingredients in her perfect script and I figured out the rest. I love the refreshing light taste of these cookies, plus they are a great way to use up any surplus of zucchini in my kitchen! —Kelsey Banfield

Test Kitchen Notes

When we first saw this recipe, we knew we had to try it. TheNaptimeChef had come up with a concept we'd never considered before, and we were both intrigued and hopeful. These cookies are delicate and ultra-lemony, the crisp buttery base anchoring a tender, cakey dome. The zucchini is subtle, but every few bites it makes its presence known with a pleasant, vegetal undertone. After our first taste, we agreed that these brought to mind a modern-day English tea cake -- we felt a hankering for a cuppa. The cookies were browning a bit too quickly after the first 12 minutes, so we turned the heat down to 350 degrees for the last 3. If, like we did, you use dark baking sheets, you may want to do the same. The cookies are perfectly cooked when they have a delicate smattering of light brown "freckles" on top. - A&M —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch coarse salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Combine butter and sugar in a mixer, beat until light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and mix until incorporated. Add lemon zest and zucchini, mix until fully combined.
  5. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients until all of the flour has been added and is completely mixed in. Do not overbeat.
  6. Drop by rounded teaspoon onto a prepared cookie sheet and bake for 14-16 minutes, or until edges of cookie are golden.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Pearl
  • Giustina
  • Lindsay Christians
    Lindsay Christians
  • terrytj
  • Sheri Perini
    Sheri Perini
Home cook, food blogger, cookbook author, wine lover, avid traveler, and mother of two young children. Check out my books: The Naptime Chef: Fitting Great Food into Family Life (2012), and The Family Calendar Cookbook: From Birthdays to Bake Sales, Good Food to Carry You Through the Year (2015), Running Press.

43 Reviews

foodiefun August 17, 2022
The first time I baked these, I made a single batch exactly per the recipe and loved them, so since one medium zucchini yields 2 cups of shredded zucchini, I made a second batch with the remaining cup of zucchini. That second batch I was short on the lemon zest, and since another reviewer mentioned substituting rosemary, I decided to mince some fresh rosemary to fill the 2nd tablespoon of zest. It made these even MORE delicious! I have since made these twice more. One I doubled the recipe and used a blend of lemon zest and rosemary. The doubled batch worked fine, and I got nearly 5 dozen cookies using a medium cookie scoop. And the most recent batch I used Cup4Cup brand gluten free all purpose flour, and those came out even puffier and cake-like. Note: I put my cookies into airtight containers right away, (froze some and they were just as good when thawed a few weeks later) and they stayed soft and chewy for well over a week, down to the last cookie. Perhaps the reviewer who said hers were dry the next day left them out on the cooling racks overnight? These are my new favorite cookie, and recipients seem to love them too.
Pearl December 22, 2020
Madeleine like fresh out of the oven, then dry the next day... so sad!
Janice March 1, 2019
I just made these and realize I made a big mistake in not doubling the recipe!! These are great. I did add a tablespoon of lemon juice and about 1/4 tsp vanilla per other suggestions. YUMMMMMM.
Sharon B. August 16, 2016
I love these cookies -have made them many times. Yesterday I made them subbing rosemary for the lemon zest (no lemons - lots of rosemary!) Wonderful and herby and great with tea!
cbforesman July 25, 2016
I don't usually double a recipe the very first time I make it, but after reading the comments here I went for it. (Also I had several zucchini to use up.) My six year-old son loves these cookies and requests them for his lunch box. The dough also freezes really well. I wrapped and froze it in "logs" about 2 inches diameter, then slice and bake right out of the freezer. I make them small, a thick slice cut in quarters, and roll them in raw sugar before baking. Next batch I'll try the carrot/orange version one commenter suggested below. This one is a keeper.
learnoff July 9, 2016
Just made a double batch of these - they are light, lemony and wonderful! After reading the comments (and having zested a few lemons anyway) I added 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to the batter when I added the zest and grated zucchini. Also, for the sake of consistency, I used an ice cream scoop (#60) to drop them on the cookie sheets. I wish there were a way to post photos of our finished products with our comments - they are pretty as well.
hepster July 8, 2016
I added a squeeze of lemon juice but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. These were delish--soft on the inside, crispy around the edges, a little buttery and just enough lemon-y. I will definitely make these again!
Giustina October 12, 2015
Serves 24?? Yea right! More like 4 because they're so good. :) I only had 1/3 cup of butter on hand but they still came out perfect. Soft, cakey, lemony, buttery. Simple and so good!
Lindsay C. August 2, 2015
Mine just came out of the oven. Lemony, buttery, very good! I made them very small and I love them that way.
Sharon B. April 11, 2015
These are amazing as they are... I made a second batch and added some ground ginger and chopped up crystalized ginger. beautiful!
terrytj August 19, 2014
I loved these but mine were a bit dry. & next time for more zing I will add more zest and/or lemon juice. But everyone loved them & they vanished.
Gina P. July 29, 2014
Such delicious cookies!! Of course made some adjustments. Added some lemon juice to amp up the lemon, some vanilla and toasted coconut flakes. Sublime!
Sheri P. July 19, 2014
I will try apple sauce, coconut and a little Gold Flax meal... I think they will be healthy yummy...
Sheri P. July 19, 2014
I would like to substitute the butter and the egg...
Akiko July 17, 2014
Though I didn't have enough butter (I had only 100g), I have wonderful cookies now. Not too sweet, it's perfect for summer :) Thank you for sharing the great recipe!
S B. June 26, 2014
Followed directions exactly, and now I have the BEST way to use the backyard zukes and lemons. Delicious, light, garden-y, almost herb-like flavor. Cakey deliciousness that loves iced tea.
kmpmilano January 22, 2014
A note to anyone considering making these: you prolly won't regret doubling the recipe. They disappear quickly!

I used 2 lemons, 1.5 zucchini. Considered sprinkling some fleur de sel or powdered sugar with vanilla on them after they came out of the oven but left them as is and they were delicious.
Dot1 July 4, 2013
ArmyMom - did you have to increase liquid with the coconut flour or is the zucchini wet enough? I might have to try with coconut and almond flour combined - your thoughts?
ArmyMom1968 June 15, 2013
I used coconut flour and vanilla...absolutely mouth watering!
Yazoolulu June 13, 2013
These are fantastic. I made them a little larger and used them for strawberry shortcake, with macerated strawberries and fresh whipped cream. My family raved over them and there isn't a single one left!