Introduction: Realistic Orange & Lemon Cookies

About: About healthy living, great food and lifestyle.

If you get bored with normal cookies, please try to challenge these orange and lemon cookies! They are so fun to make and so cute as gifts, and they taste really good too!

Every time I pack these as gifts I will always get the "Wow" from my friends, and if you have guests coming, these cookies in a nice plate with coffee will definitely make your guests impressed.

This type of cookie is called "icebox cookies", as it needs to be refrigerated and cut into pieces before baking. The original method was inspired by the polymer clay craft ideas, but now with food people can achieve crazy patterns as well.

A lemon & orange pattern would be nice compliments to the flavour as the shape and look is totally related with the taste.

So let's begin!


Mixing bowl, spatula, rolling pin, whisk (or hand mixer), knifes, parchment paper and baking trays.

Step 1: Ingredients

Unsalted butter, softened 220g (1 cup)

Powdered sugar (Icing Sugar) 175g (1.5 cup)

Salt 1tsp

Egg 1 whole egg (around 55g) + 1 yolk

Cake flour 380g (3 cups)

Almond Meal 55g (1/2 cup)

Orange (or lemon) 2ea

Food colouring drops


Cake flour has a gluten lower than 10% and will have better mouthfeel, however you can use normal plain flour for similar result.

I use metric system as it's more accurate than imperial system in baking. However I've left the imperial units in the recipe if you don't have a scale. The recipe is made and tested with the metric units and will be referred in metric units in further steps.

You can also adjust the amount of sugar based on your own liking.

Step 2: Mix Sugar With Softened Butter

1. Use a whisk or a hand mixer, whisk the softened butter.

2. After it's properly whipped, it should look paler in colour and has shine to it.

3. Add the icing sugar in 3 times, mix with a spatula after each addition of sugar.

4. Don't forget to scrap the side of the bowl to make sure it's evenly mixed.


Butter needs to be really softened before whipping. You can leave it in room temperature for 30min or above (depending on your room temperature), or you can put the butter chunks in microwave with 15seconds intervals. Make sure they're super soft but not melted to allow the best whipping result.

Step 3: Add the Zest and Egg

1. Use a zester and zest your orange (and for your lemon cookies, zest the lemons)

2. Make sure you only zest the skin and not the white part underneath the skin, which could result in a bitter taste.

3. Add the zest to the butter mixture.

4. Add 1tsp of salt, this will enhance the flavour

5. Put in your eggs into the mixture, mix again with the whisk or hand mixer till they're evenly mixed

Step 4: Add the Dry Ingredients

1. Mix almond meal into flour, make sure they're evenly mixed before putting into the batter.

2. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture in 3 times. For the first 2 addition, mix with a spatula, for the last addition, mix with hand to form a dough (highly recommend to put gloves on as it's easier to clean up later).


Almond meal will make the cookie tastes much better than with just plain flour, and also make it "shorter" as almond meal does not contain gluten. If you don't have it, you can replace it with cake flour (low gluten flour).

The dough is still quite soft after the mixing, don't over knead the dough as the cookie will become chewy if it's mixed too much.

Step 5: Colour the Dough

1. You should have a dough of around total 900g weight.

Separate the dough into 2 parts:

1/4 dough (around 225) coloured into white

3/4 dough (around 675g) coloured into orange (or yellow) and also divide this orange dough into 1/4 and 3/4.

2. You will be able to make 2 logs with this recipe, or you can make 1 big log with larger cookies. The size is completely up to you.

3. Put some white colouring to the 1/4 dough (225g one) and knead it till it's evenly mixed, wrap it and put in the fridge. If you don't have white colouring you can leave this step out, however the contrast will be more visible with a white dough.

4. Put a few drops of orange colouring into the 3/4 part of the dough (675g one) and mix evenly. Take another 3/4 of this dough and knead it into a log and wrap with parchment paper, and put in the fridge to chill about 30min. The other 1/4 of the orange dough just wrap with cling wrap and put in the fridge.

Step 6: Orange Segments

1. Take out the log, and trim off the ends.

2. Cut the log in half, and then cut into 4 segments lengthwise.

3. You will now have 8 strips of the log, put them on a tray and put back to the fridge.


The ends that you trimmed off can be put back to the orange dough you reserved in the previous step, which will finally become the orange skin.

Step 7: Making the White Pith

1. Between 2 pieces of parchment paper, roll out the white dough into very thin layer, around 1mm thickness (you probably will only need half of the white dough you prepared for this thickness).

2. Put the very thin sheet into fridge to firm up around 10-15min.

3. Use a knife to mark straight lines, and use a pair of scissors to cut the white dough into 4-5 strips

4. Put the strips back to the fridge to firm up again.


As this layer of cookie is extremely thin, it will soften within minutes. Make sure you always chill the other strips when you are not using them.

Cut the strips with parchment paper still attach to it will make it much easier to handle later when assembling as it's very thin.

Step 8: Assemble the Segment With Pith

1. Take out 1 strip of the white dough, and wrap it around 1 orange segment. Trim off the excess on the ends and the side.

2. Repeat this step to 3 other strips (you will now have 4 orange strips with white pith, and 4 orange strips without pith)


Even if your edges are not that sharp it does not matter, as the two ends will be trimmed off in the end, and the whole dough will be wrapped in white pith again.

However you will need to make sure the strips are not soft when handling this step, as if they're soft they will not stay straight anymore.

Step 9: Make the Inside of the Orange

1. On a baking tray, put 4 segments together in the order of 1 orange strip and 1 orange with white strip.

2. Do the same process for another 4 segments.

3. If you have gaps in between the segments, you can use some white dough to fill in the gap.

4. Now put one half of the orange on top of another one -- make sure the white part will always touch an orange side.

5. Squeeze the dough together to make them join tightly.

Step 10: Wrap Around the White Pith

1. Use the parchment paper as a guide, wrap it tightly and put it back to the fridge to set.

2. Roll out the rest of the white dough, this time about 2mm thick (thicker than the pith in between segments)

3. Wrap the whole orange segments in the white pith

4. Trim off the sides, and wrap again with parchment paper and put into fridge to set


This is the step that you want to make sure you wrap it really tightly to leave no gap when baking. Any gaps or imperfections can be filled with softened white dough (almost like handling clay).

Step 11: Make the Orange Skin

1. Roll out the leftover of the orange dough to about 2mm thick.

2. Wrap the inside of orange into the orange skin

3. Trim off the excess of the dough

4. Wrap it tightly again with parchment paper. Now it's best to let it firm up in fridge for at least 1 hour before cutting.


The skin needs to be a decent thickness so no thinner than 2mm thick. If your skin is too thin then it will be difficult to handle when slicing them.

This step needs a good chill before slicing. I actually put the whole log in the freezer for 30min before cutting.

Step 12: Cut & Bake

Now it's the most exciting part! Before we start, please preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F)

1. Slice the messy and ugly end off from the log

2. You will now see beautiful orange pattern inside your cookie dough!! (Really exciting and satisfying)

3. Slice the log into 0.5cm thick pieces

4. As you can see in the 3rd photo, the end (the one on the right) might be twisted and messy, however the inside is always nice and clean. Revealing the inside is always the fun for icebox cookies

5. Put the cookies on a baking tray with some distance in between.

6. Bake them in preheated oven for 15-18min.

7. Put them on cooling rack to cool down.


I know you cannot wait to taste all your hard work... but the cookies will only be crunchy and tasty when it's cooled to room temperature, they will be soft and doughy when they're still hot. So be patience and wait....

Step 13: Enjoy Your Cookies :)

After the cookies are cooled down, you can now enjoy them! Or you can now bag them as gifts

They're very similar to a shortbread type of cookie, but also very citrus-y because of the orange zest.

Change orange zest into lemon zest, and change orange colour into yellow colour, you can create lemon cookies with exactly the same method and recipe.

You can also have fun with other patterns with this technique.

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable and have fun baking!

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