Sweet and Citrusy Frosted Key Lime Cookies

LAST UPDATED: Oct 01, 2020 | PUBLISHED: Mar 12, 2020 | By: Julie Blanner

Sweet bursts of cool citrus and rich buttery flavor in these key lime cookies make them such a fun surprise! Love key lime pie? I bet you’ll love these little key lime tea cookies, too! They are the perfect treat for St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, and beyond!

A marble surface full of tiny key lime cookies with frosting.

Do you ever avoid trying new foods because you’re convinced it’s something you won’t enjoy? As an adult, I can work past my preconceived notions about flavors I think I should avoid… but kids are a different story! That’s what happened with these little key lime cookies.

Truthfully, I love lemon and lime everything. If you do too, I think you’ll love my homemade lime sorbet, and these lime popsicle margaritas. Summer flavor just got a whole lot sweeter… and I’m transporting you straight to Key West with these tiny little cookies! 

A marble surface full of tiny key lime cookies with frosting.

Key Lime Cookies

When I first told the girls I was working on a recipe for lime cookies, they weren’t convinced! Dubious looks shot around the kitchen before I convinced them to give them a try.

Well, I think the cute shape and piped dab of frosting helped! After a single bite of this sweet citrusy goodness, I think I definitely have them on board.

A white plate with cute little lime cookies topped with lime frosting.

These cookies are light and buttery, perfectly sweetened with the zest and juice of limes. I think you’re going to love them as much as we do!

I like to think of them as lime meltaways, or key lime tea cookies… an unexpected tiny sweet treat that is perfect for popping in your mouth for spring and summer celebrations!

I like to give a lot of detail in my recipe posts to guide readers through any questions. If you’re just here for the printable recipe, feel free to click “jump to recipe” right under the title of this post and you’ll head straight there!

A marble surface full of tiny key lime cookies with frosting.

Ingredients in These Lime Cookies

  • All-Purpose Flour – All-purpose flour is the most common for baking because it combines hard and soft wheats and works beautifully in most recipes (also called plain flour in other cultures!).
  • Butter – Room temperature, of course. While many bakers prefer unsalted butter, we like our baked goods with a little higher sweet and salty ratio. I generally have salted butter on hand, but you can use whatever you’d like! However, there’s no added salt in this recipe so if you’re not using salted butter, you might throw a pinch of salt in the bowl! A marble surface full of tiny key lime cookies with frosting.
  • Cornstarch – Used as a thickening agent in baking, cornstarch works wonders in cookie recipes! It adds a creamy, lighter texture in this recipe.
  • Powdered Sugar – This fine, sweet sugar is what makes these little meltaway-inspired lime cookies so sweet and creamy.
  • Lime Juice – You can use key lime juice or regular limes. I’ll discuss that more below! 
  • Grated Lime Zest – Any kind of lime will do! 

A piping bag full of lime frosting for a lime cookie recipe.

FROSTING

  • Powdered Sugar – also called confectioner’s sugar, this fine, powdery sugar is a necessity in most frosting recipes! 
  • Butter – Again, room temperature and I prefer salted but you can use whatever you have on hand.
  • Lime Juice – Regular limes or key limes, your call. I’ll show you how to calculate the different amounts below.
  • Grated Lime Zest – Just a touch of lime zest adds so much texture and sweet citrus flavor! 

A marble surface with a single tiny frosted lime cookie.

How to Make Key Lime Tea Cookies

These cookies are easy to make with a delicious reward of sweet citrus flavor! The recipe makes a large batch of tiny bit-sized frosted cookies. Feel free to use my printable measurement conversion chart for a smaller batch.

A white plate with cute little lime cookies topped with lime frosting.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. As your oven is preheating, zest and just your limes.
  3. Combine butter and sugars and all other cookie ingredients in a large bowl or fitted stand mixer.
  4. Beat at a low speed to combine, scraping the side as needed.
  5. Chill dough in flat disk shape, rolled between sheets of parchment or wax paper (as pictured) for 1-2 hours until firm.A marble surface with a ball of key lime cookie dough on wax paper.  A flat disk of lime cookie dough.  A flat disk of lime cookie dough.
  6. Roll dough on a floured surface and cut into desired shapes. For the cookie cutter shape pictured, I used this cookie cutter. Ours were around ¼ of an inch thick, but you could leave them up to ½ an inch thick depending on desired thickness.
  7. Place on ungreased baking sheets (I always line with a silpat or parchment paper).
  8. Bake for 8 minutes (7-8 minutes tops if you’re making them as tiny as we did… you might need to go a touch longer for larger or thicker cookies.)  Just watch your oven time carefully – cookies won’t brown at the correct baking time!
  9. Allow them to cool completely.
  10. As cookies are cooling, make your delicious lime frosting! Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Beat at a medium speed in your stand mixer until combined.
  11. Using a frosting tip or even a plastic bag, pipe a dab of frosting onto each cookie and enjoy! 

A marble surface full of tiny key lime cookies with frosting.

QUICK TIP: Room temperature butter is imperative! If you don’t have a fancy frosting tip, that’s okay – just clip the end of a ziplock bag for equally delicious results.  

What’s the Difference Between Key Limes and Regular Limes?

Generally speaking, key limes are a little less tart and acidic. As key limes ripen, they often have a slightly sweeter flavor than regular limes. Unless your taste buds are very refined, you might not notice much difference at all! (Don’t say that to anyone from Key West, though!)

A white plate with cute little lime cookies topped with lime frosting.

You can use either kind of lime juice and zest for this lime cookie recipe. Just know that the flavor might be a touch different – if you use regular limes, these cookies will have a touch stronger lime flavoring. That means they will be a little more acidic. 

Regardless of what kind of limes you use, I promise you that these cookies are delicious! The sweetness of the powdered sugar and the creamy butter will balance all the lime flavor, no matter what kind you use.

A white kitchen with a shamrock plant and a platter of tiny frosted lime cookies.

More Reader Favorite Cookie Recipes

 

What do you think? Could you find a million ways to serve up these adorable little key lime cookies? They’re like key lime pie in a bit-sized cookie format… how can you go wrong? 

Want more? Receive the best ideas directly to your inbox and connect on YoutubeInstagramFacebook, and Pinterest!

If you make these key lime cookies, I’d love to hear from you! If you try this recipe, please come back to share using my 5 star rating in the comments below! Not only do I appreciate it, but I know readers do, too!

A white plate with cute little lime cookies topped with lime frosting.

Sweet and Citrusy Frosted Key Lime Cookies

Julie Blanner
Sweet bursts of cool citrus flavor in these key lime cookies is such a tiny fun surprise! Love key lime pie? You’ll love these little key lime tea cookies!
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cook Time 8 mins
Course Cookies
Cuisine American
Servings 12 people
Calories 309 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 cup butter salted, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice fresh squeezed
  • 1 1/4 cups flour all purpose
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest freshly grated

Key Lime Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter salted, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest freshly grated
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • As your oven is preheating, zest and just your limes.
  • Combine butter and sugars and all other cookie ingredients in a large bowl or fitted stand mixer.
  • Beat at a low speed to combine, scraping the side as needed.
  • Chill dough in flat disk shape, rolled between sheets of parchment or wax paper (as pictured) for 1-2 hours until firm.
  • Roll dough on a floured surface and cut into desired shapes. For the cookie cutter shape pictured, I used this cookie cutter. Ours were around ¼ of an inch thick, but you could leave them up to ½ an inch thick depending on desired thickness.
  • Place on ungreased baking sheets (I always line with a silpat or parchment paper).
  • Bake for up to 8 minutes - see notes below on baking times.
  • Allow them to cool completely.

Frosting

  • As cookies are cooling, make your delicious lime frosting! Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
  • Beat at a medium speed in your stand mixer until combined.
  • Using a frosting tip or even a plastic bag, pipe a dab of frosting onto each cookie and enjoy! 

Notes

  • Bake for 7-8 minutes tops if you’re making them as tiny as they are pictured in these images… you might need to go a touch longer for larger or thicker cookies.
  • Just watch your oven time carefully – cookies won’t brown at the correct baking time!
  • Use a frosting tip or even a ziploc bag with the corner cut off for frosting these simple cookies.

Nutrition

Calories:309kcalCarbohydrates:33gProtein:2gFat:19gSaturated Fat:12gCholesterol:51mgSodium:170mgPotassium:17mgFiber:1gSugar:18gVitamin A:591IUVitamin C:1mgCalcium:8mgIron:1mg
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mini loaves of bread gift wrapped