Orange Cookies with Sweet Orange Glaze

Between the Italian Easter Bread that I made and that my Chief Culinary Consultant’s dad made, there has definitely been no shortage of orange-infused baked goods around these parts the last two weeks. However, before Easter my CCC mentioned that some orange cookies might be good – the soft, chewy kind with a glaze on top. I hadn’t made them before, but did some poking around, and decided to wait until the parade of Easter bread was behind us before whipping up the cookies. As it turns out, I didn’t wait too long, and I’m glad I didn’t. These cookies are so light and refreshing compared to some other heavier cookies. They’re a soft, buttery cookie, much like a puffy sugar cookie. The difference? They are thoroughly infused with fresh orange zest and juice to amp up their flavor. In addition, a sweet orange glaze using more zest and juice is slathered on top. These cookies scream spring, and are the perfect finish to a brunch, lunch, or dinner. They are also suitable for breakfast and snacks, as well. Aren’t all cookies?!

I absolutely love the burst of flavor that these cookies have, thanks to a ton of fresh orange zest and orange juice. Ever since seeing a recipe a few years ago that called for it, anytime I use citrus zest in a recipe, I rub it into the sugar first, and then proceed with the recipe. The oils from the zest infuse the sugar and create a much more potent flavor and aroma than just mixing the zest in as-is. I definitely recommend this method anytime you use orange, lime, or lemon zest. It’s so easy, and makes such a difference!

What is your favorite citrus-based recipe for this time of year?

One year ago: Ginger-Tea Lemonade
Two years ago: 10 Kitchen Favorites From Readers

Orange Cookies with Sweet Orange Glaze

Yield: 24 cookies

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


For the Cookies:
2Β½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
ΒΌ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons orange zest
1 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 egg

For the Sweet Orange Glaze:
1Β½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
Fresh orange juice


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3. In a small bowl, combine the the sugar and orange zest, rubbing them together with your fingers until the zest is completely incorporated into the sugar.

4. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and the orange zest-infused sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and orange and mix until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. If the dough seems a little on the soft side, refrigerate it for up to 30 minutes. Using a medium cookie scoop (or 2 tablespoonfuls), scoop out the dough and roll them into balls, placing them 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges, but still pale in the middle. Let cool for 5 to 10 minutes on the cookie sheet, and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

5. To make the sweet orange glaze, whisk together the powdered sugar, orange zest, and enough orange juice to achieve the desired consistency (less juice for a thicker glaze, more for a thinner one). Spread glaze over top of the cooled cookies, and allow to set at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Store at room temperature in an airtight container (divide layers with wax paper so the cookies don't stick together).

(Recipe adapted from Stephanie's Kitchen)


60 Responses to “Orange Cookies with Sweet Orange Glaze”

  1. Averie @ Averie Cooks on April 13, 2012 at 1:39 am

    I want to reach through the screen for one of these. They sound so perfect for spring!


  2. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on April 13, 2012 at 3:14 am

    I love orange and lemon flavored sweets lately. These sound perfect!


  3. Shana McLean on April 13, 2012 at 3:19 am

    OOOH. Definitely going on the list of things to make this spring!


  4. Robin on April 13, 2012 at 5:53 am

    Thanks for the tip about rubbing the zest into the sugar! I will be making a lemon chess pie today for guests. I will defenitely try this.


  5. Kiri W. on April 13, 2012 at 5:59 am

    These must be bright in flavor πŸ™‚


  6. Michelle on April 13, 2012 at 6:39 am

    I’m going to have to try these. Orange is probably my favorite flavor in baked goods, but you just don’t see it that often.


  7. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on April 13, 2012 at 6:50 am

    I can taste the orange just by looking at your pictures! They look amazing! This is one cookie I have to try out!! Have a great weekend!!!


  8. Mireia on April 13, 2012 at 7:05 am

    I don’t really know what’s my favourite citrus recipe but this one looks like it could be on the list!


  9. Katrina on April 13, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Oh wow, these are just filled with orange flavour! Perfect for spring as you say. Yum!


  10. Lori on April 13, 2012 at 7:40 am

    How do you stay so slim! Are you doing Pilates in between bites? All kidding aside, this recipe looks like a keeper. My other favorite citrus cookie is your Lemon Burst reipe. I wanted to make them for a friend this week and was told, “Please don’t”. I’ll only eat the whole plate.”


  11. Tanya on April 13, 2012 at 8:02 am

    What strikes me most is the vibrant color of these cookies. They are beautiful. Would be nice ending for a mother’s day meal. Thanks for sharing.


  12. Jennifer Jacobs on April 13, 2012 at 8:11 am

    My husband’s family is from the Pittsburgh area and they have a similar orange cookie recipe. Cookie recipe is similar except there is a bit of milk in it and the frosting has a few tablespoons of room temp butter plus the sugar, zest and juice. My husband loves these cookies so I make them a few times year.


  13. RisaG on April 13, 2012 at 8:18 am

    Many years ago, in a Bon Appetit book, I saw a recipe for Mint-Ginger Lemonade. Ever since I saw it, I hae been making it and adapting it. I use agave nectar instead of honey and Meyer Lemon Juice instead of regular lemon juice. I even add vodka if adults are drinking it. I love that recipe. All winter when Costco sells big things of Meyer Lemons, I buy them, zest them, juice them and freeze the juice. I have the juice for my lemonade. Tht is my fave citrus recipe.


    • Michelle on April 16th, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      That’s such a fantastic idea! I am definitely going to do that from now on!


  14. shelly (cookies and cups) on April 13, 2012 at 8:20 am

    These look amazing! I have been on a citrus lick lately and I could eat about 50 of these right now!


  15. Charlotte on April 13, 2012 at 8:57 am

    My favorite citrus base recipe is Lemon Ricotta Cookies. They are like a bite of sunshine. They look exactly like you orange cookies but have a yellow color instead. I may try orange next time.


  16. Lauren on April 13, 2012 at 10:40 am

    These sound so yummy! Perfect for spring πŸ™‚


  17. Heather @ Bake, Run, Live on April 13, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I actually have my ice cream maker going with lemon ice cream! And I agree with your hint about the zest and sugar- I run it through my food processor!
    Your orange cookies sound delightful!


  18. Laura Dembowski on April 13, 2012 at 11:09 am

    These look fabulous. I love orange zest on pretty much anything, savory or sweet. It’s so good on salmon! I’ve never tried rubbing it in sugar when I’m baking with it, but I will next time.


  19. Chris on April 13, 2012 at 11:21 am

    How well do you think these would freeze for a three-week hold-over? Without the glaze? Or (fingers crossed) with? Has it been tried??? These would be lovely for a fundraiser tea I ALWAYS bake for but I must bake ahead this time (will be out of town) to contribute and will pull them out the day before, organizing everything for someone else to deliver.

    I made lemon fudge a few years ago, to contribute to this same spring fundraiser. So sublime…..I didn’t want the flavor to ever leave my mouth!!! I don’t trust myself to make it again for fear there would be none to give away!


    • Cynthia on April 22nd, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      I ‘ve been making a recipe very similar to this one for years and advise to freeze without the glaze. I have tried freezing with the glaze but it becomes cloudy and whitens when frozen and has an unpleasant stickiness once thawed. In sum, the cookie loses its gorgeous glossy coat which is what makes it so special in the first place. You can definitely freeze the unglazed cookies and thaw and glaze the day before the fundraiser. Just give them a 1/2 hour to thaw before glazing.


      • Vee on June 6th, 2013 at 4:21 pm

        I know all your reviews are months ago, but I have just found this recipe.
        Utterly gorgeous. I did glaze and freeze them! I had to as I was in the mood to bake these yummies but didn’t really need them for a while later.

        I have to say, they came out beautifully. The glaze looked very good and the flavour soooo lovely. Needless to say, they were devoured too quickly for my liking!! I only got to have a couple.
        Back to the kitchen extremely soon.


  20. on April 13, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Eating oranges are refreshing. Your orange cookies are new to me. I can taste the burst of orange flavor through your pictures. This is an interesting recipe to try. =)


  21. Cat Davis on April 13, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    That sounds like my perfect cookie … I love making citrus cake but the cookie sounds even better.


  22. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe on April 13, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    LOVE! What a perfect spring cookie! Now if only it would stop snowing around here…


  23. Elizabeth on April 13, 2012 at 2:16 pm

    These look so pretty, ad sophisticated!
    GB2- God Bless, Go BAKE!!!
    <3 The Baking Apprentice


  24. Peggy on April 13, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    These look so beautiful and I’m glad you didn’t wait on them either! Love the idea of infusing the orange zest into these cookies =)


  25. Renee @ Tortillas and Honey on April 13, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    These look so scrumptious!


  26. Jessica on April 13, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    OMG — there is a bakery where I live that makes Mimosa cookies and I’ve been desperately trying to copy the recipe for years – with no success (the agony)! Wondering if I dipped half of one of these cookies in dark chocolate I’d get close? I’m going to give it a whirl!


    • Michelle on April 16th, 2012 at 5:46 pm

      Oooh mimosa cookies sound amazing!


  27. Martha in KS on April 13, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I love all things citrus. These cookies remind me of cookies my Mom used to make – they had carrots in them & orange icing. I’ll give your recipe a try & hunt down a carrot cookie recipe too. Yum!


  28. Ileana Keltz on April 13, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    I will definitely make these this weekend. I love anything citrus, so thanks for the tip on rubbing the zest into the sugar.


  29. Agos on April 13, 2012 at 6:11 pm

    Yum! Citrus cookies are great for a change, I prefer lemon ones though. But it’s autumn here so I think I’ll stick with chocolate recipes for now hehe, or maybe apple.


  30. The hungry housewife on April 13, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Yum. I make a similar version, I call them Florida cookies! Love all of the orange flavor


  31. Ryan on April 13, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    Ooooh these look wonderful! I love citrus recipes. I made a meyer lemon curd a few months ago and it was amaaazing. I’ll have to try these soon πŸ™‚


  32. myfudo on April 14, 2012 at 5:11 am

    Lemon squares are still my fave but i am so excited to try this…Looks delish too!


  33. Miriam @ Overtime Cook on April 14, 2012 at 9:08 pm

    I found this cookie recipe about a year ago, and my family absolutely loves them! They’re probably my most requested cookie recipe- I love that theyre simple, but totally unique.


  34. ye-mek on April 17, 2012 at 6:42 am

    looks awsome… These sweet orange cookies make us hungry πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing this nice recipe with us…


  35. Carolina on April 23, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    I made these for a picnic the other day and they were a big hit! perfect spring cookie! I added some melted butter and a dash of salt to my glaze to make the flavor deeper. Thanks for the recipe!


  36. Laura on April 25, 2012 at 12:56 am

    i made these cookies and they were to die for ! this is going in my recipe book.


  37. Emily on July 5, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    This is hands down the best raw cookie dough ever! And for the cookies that finally made it into the oven, they were amazing too. They shipped well, I divided layers with wax paper, and were delicious two days later when they arrived (so I’m told).

    One issue though, my cookies were pretty stiff. They hardly changed shape in the oven. They came out basically the same shape they went in, they didn’t “melt” into place at all. This did not detract from the taste, I was careful not to over bake them. Any thoughts why this may have happened? Perhaps I over mixed?


    • Michelle on July 19th, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      Hi Emily, It sounds like perhaps your oven temperature was running a bit low, or the dough was refrigerated for longer than 30 minutes and not left to come up to temperature a little and was too cold.


  38. Tisha on December 9, 2012 at 12:10 am

    These are soooo yummy. I baked them for a Christmas cookie exchange (even though I saw so many comments about them being a great Spring cookie). They are refreshing, sweet, and Delicious!


  39. Laura Dembowski on January 3, 2013 at 11:42 am

    Hi Michelle! I made these cookies and just posted them on my blog. They are absolutely amazing. I love all the orange zest and am so glad I made them! I would love if you’d come take a look at my spin on them:


  40. Jennifer on March 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    Yum! I have been looking for a great orange cookie recipe. Thanks.


  41. Dawn on April 15, 2013 at 11:40 am

    I made these over the weekend and while the flavor is good mine did not spread out and I was wondering if it is because you used baking powder instead of baking soda? These were kind of a dense cookie for me and I checked my oven temp to make sure it was 350 (it was) and my dough was room temp. Oh, and all my ingredients were fresh, the only difference is I use unbleached flour.


  42. Emily on June 2, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    These turned out perfectly! Thank you so much for the recipe.


  43. Rachel B on August 15, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    I made these cookies to take to the lake with my friends and their kids. The adults had a *moment* when they tasted them and the the children shyly tugged on my shorts to tell me how yummy my cookies were. Thanks!


  44. yasmin on October 29, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    hi… iv just discovered ur site YESTERDAY. ..I realise im commenting a year after uv posted. I made ur orange cookies today. they taste delicious… however they rose and did not flatten as a cookie might… and was slightly dough tasting in the middle… what makes a cookie flatten out… thank u for an awesome site… look fwd to hearing from u πŸ™‚


  45. Patricia on November 21, 2013 at 12:25 am

    I attended your talk last evening at Central Coast Writers in Pacific Grove, CA and was impressed by your ideas and your book, “Fed Up with Frenzy.” The wildflower mix seed packet is a great promo article! So, I went on-line to check out your website for families, thinking I would send the URL to my daughter, a wife and mother of two children, 11 and 14 – their house is often frenzied and I thought she might enjoy your ideas. HOWEVER, when I saw this completely unhealthy recipe, I knew better than refer your site to her. I taught her good nutrition and she’s conveying this to her family through the healthy food she prepares and serves. Sugar, flour and butter are in LIMITED quantities in her house. SUGAR is devoid of any nutrients and is actually POISON. Here’s a link to learn more about nutrient-dense foods, which makes so much sense:
    Thank you – and I hope you will take this as constructive criticism, offered in good faith.


    • Michelle on November 21st, 2013 at 8:35 pm

      Hi Patricia, I’m sorry, but I think you have me very confused with someone else. I do not give talks and have not published a book, and as you can tell, this website is not about families, but rather baking-centric.


    • Mercury on June 22nd, 2014 at 3:56 pm

      Patricia, you may not realise it but ANY recipe can be altered. for example.. i used cold pressed Coconut Oil instead of butter and i even made a small batch with Gluten Free flour for my hubby … and my friend used Agave instead of sugar…. you could still recommend this site/recipe to others. and even those of us who EAT and LIVE HEALTHY still splurge occasionally…. everything in moderation…
      and i am not sure who taught you that sugar is POISON… again it must be used in moderation, but in actuality, sugar substitutes such as splenda and equal etc are the poisons as they are all man made chemicals. and real sugar is found naturally in everything you eat… not just fruits….


  46. Annabel on February 4, 2014 at 2:53 am

    Can I use fresh mandarin oranges instead?


    • Michelle on February 4th, 2014 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Annabel, Definitely!


  47. Nicole on March 13, 2014 at 4:35 pm

    My mom went to Florida for vacation and brought me an orange. Going to make these with my orange!


  48. Mercury on June 22, 2014 at 3:50 pm

    i made these for Summer Solstice this weekend and my 16mos old son calls them “sun god biscuits” πŸ˜‰
    great recipe!!! and now i want to try it with other citruses like lemon and even mandarin orange! πŸ™‚


  49. Rachel on September 18, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    I’ve commented on these before but this weekend I made these cookies for not one but TWO showers. I’ll bet 20 people asked for the recipe and said they were the best cookies they’d ever eaten. I just forward them this link and tell them to enjoy. Thanks for making me look like a superstar! πŸ™‚


  50. Manuela on October 27, 2014 at 7:56 pm

    I just made these and OMG, they are so good!! I hadn’t had homemade orange cookies like this in 10 years and I’m so glad this recipe turned out so good. Now I can make them whenever I feel like having one!


  51. Stacey on March 1, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I made these and they are so good!! Very addicting and melt in your mouth! Yummy!! I will make them again for sure! πŸ™‚


  52. marina on April 6, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    I just made these and they are fantastic! I followed the recipe exactly. They are soft and sweet. Maybe too sweet for some, but just use less sugar. The orange juice really adds to the sweetness. Also, they come out very flat when I made them, they didn’t look much like the picture. But oh well they were delicious either way πŸ™‚ five stars


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