Key Lime Cooler Cookies
Key Lime Cooler Cookies are buttery, bursting with fresh key lime flavor and will melt in your mouth! They’re cloaked in powdered sugar for a cookie recipe that’s perfect for holiday baking!
I’m crazy about key limes. Whenever I see them in the store, I grab a bag or two, because they’re not around all the time. I often juice them immediately and freeze the juice so that I have it when I want to make a pie.
With Easter coming, I’ve had Greek butter cookies, or kourabiedes, on my mind. They’re also known as Mexican Wedding Cookies, and Russian Tea Cakes.
Call them what you will — just don’t call them late for dessert. 🙂
Greek butter cookies are reminiscent of the boxed lemon or lime cooler cookies I used to eat when I was younger, so this year I broke tradition and did a play on that. These Key Lime Cooler Cookies are light and buttery, with a refreshing key lime flavor.
Roll them in powdered sugar, and they’re just divine. 🙂
I wanted a different recipe to base these Key Lime Cooler Cookies from, so I looked at many different versions. What I have here is my adaptation after scouring about 15 recipes. Whew! It was some serious cookie research.
If you can find key limes, grab them! Zest and juice about 4 of them for this key lime cookie recipe. Juice the rest and freeze for future use. I don’t recommend using bottled lime juice. Fresh is always best!
How to make key lime cookies
When you’re done mixing your dough, it will be very crumbly, and will require just a bit of kneading to make the dough come together.
I did this in the bowl, because I didn’t want any more of a mess to clean up.
Roll the cookies into 1″ size balls, and place them on a parchment lined baking sheet about 1″ apart.
Bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Now comes the fun part! While the cookies are still warm, roll them in powdered sugar, and place back on the baking sheet to cool. Once they’ve cooled, sift more powdered sugar over the tops.
- Key lime cookies keep in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks, which makes them great for gift giving, or just keeping around for yourself!
- You can make these without the lime juice or zest, and they’ll be traditional Greek butter cookies, but I highly recommend trying the key limes.
- Substitute key limes with any citrus! Orange, blood orange, lemon and grapefruit are all great options.
See all of my cookie recipes for more inspiration.
More key lime recipes you’ll love:
- Key lime cheesecake bars
- Key lime bars
- Key lime Greek yogurt dip
- Key lime pie
- Key lime pie bars by the Salty Marshmallow
If you try this recipe I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me at @flavorthemoments on Instagram!
Key Lime Cooler Cookies
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar divided
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup fresh key lime juice regular lime juice is ok
- 1 tablespoon key lime zest
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.3 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and 1 cup of powdered sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. On low speed, mix in the egg yolk, lime juice and zest until incorporated.2 sticks unsalted butter, 1 large egg yolk, 1/4 cup fresh key lime juice, 1 tablespoon key lime zest, 3 cups powdered sugar
- Add the dry ingredients, mixing on low speed just until combined. The dough will be very crumbly. Using your hands, knead the dough gently until it comes together and forms a ball.
- Roll the dough into 1″ sized balls and place 1″ apart on the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Check for doneness after 15 minutes, as oven temperatures do vary.
- Place the baking sheet on a wire rack. While the cookies are still warm, roll them in the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar, and place back on the baking sheet to cool completely. Sift the remaining powdered sugar over the tops of the cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
- Make sure your key limes are room temperature so that you get the maximum juice out of them! One 1 lb. bag of key limes normally yields 3/4 cup of juice. Freeze the rest! Prep time includes zesting and juicing the limes.
- These cookies actually get better as they sit. This makes them a great cookie to ship to relatives! Store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.
Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.
59 Comments on “Key Lime Cooler Cookies”
Cookie research = best research ever! If only you got to eat all of the cookies you were researching, too. I love citrusy cookies, too, so these sound like something I need to try!
That would really be eating up the research! These cookies would be great with good, old lemons, too!
I had a chance last week to try Key Lime Coolers last week and OMGOSH what a delightful little party in my mouth that left me longing for more!!! I hd an 8 oz. bag that cost me $7.99 ( I didn’t see a price on the shelf but thought, they couldn’t be that much, so I put them in my cart!) it wasnt’ until I got home and looked at my receipt and nearly fainted, but yes folks they were that good and the guilt quickly faded!!! I don’t know why these jewels are so expensive, so I went on a mission to see if I could duplicate that recipe and stumbled upon your sight that seems to copy cat their recipe! my question is this… I live in an area where you can’t find key limes very often and I live in the country so getting to a specialty market is almost impossible! I did however find some key lime juice made from concentrate in the wine section at our grocery store… I know it wouldn’t be the same as using fresh key limes but will this work in a pinch?? I also grated some regular limes and put it in some powdered sugar to flavor the sugar, ( tip– when doing this, dry the zest 1st before adding to the sugar, the moisture from the zest made the sugar clumpy, but I’ll just put it in a processor once “done”) but so far; the flavor is just phenomenal) !! anywho— I plan on using your recipe to duplicate those coolers I had, do you think they will taste ok using the key lime concentrated juice and if so, how much should I use? Thank you for this wonderful research, I’ve enjoyed reading!!!
Hi Sherrie! That is very expensive and I hope you find that this recipe is a good replacement! I’ve used the key lime concentrate in pies and I prefer fresh lime juice — if I can’t find key limes I use the same amount of regular lime juice. If you want to try it I would use the same amount that the recipe calls for — 1/4 cup. I definitely think fresh lime juice always tastes best! I hope this helps and I’d love to hear what you think about the cookies! ?
Marcie, I made these cookies this past weekend but used lemons instead and they were incredible! I couldn’t stop eating them. They were exactly what I was looking for. Next time, I think I am going to try them with a hint of lavender too. I’ll be sharing them on my blog this week. Thanks again 🙂
I’m glad the cookies worked out for you, Ashley, and they must be great with lemon, too! I haven’t tinkered with lavender much — I like the sound of that.
I made these yesterday, because they sounded refreshing. They are! They are so good, in fact, I am making another batch with the leftover limes. I’m guessing they will freeze well. Thanks for the great recipe!
I’m so glad you enjoyed the cookies, Myrna, and thank you so much for the feedback. I have never tried freezing them — I’ll have to try that! 🙂
These sound great! Now don’t be jealous but I have a REAL key lime tree in my new home. REAL key limes are actually yellow. The tree was grown from a cutting from a tree from the Florida Keys and the fruit is incredible. I had these cookies in Key West and I am dying to make them myself. Thanks for the recipe.
Yes, you can say I’m jealous! I use key limes all the time, so I’d love a tree…and I had no idea they were yellow! I hope you get to make the cookies soon, Laura! 🙂
I was excited to make these for a party. I made these few days ago and, the cornstarch from the powdered sugar really came through when I tasted one. Holy batman!! Dry and made me so thirsty. I looked at my 2 powered sugar products and they do contain cornstarch. Are there actually any without added cornstarch since this recipe calls for a lot? This certainly was a baking lesson for me.
I’m so sorry to hear you tasted the cornstarch so much! Powdered sugar is “powdery” because of the cornstarch, but all products aren’t the same. For example, I bought some from Trader Joe’s and the consistency and taste were so much different — I felt there was a lot more cornstarch in it. I usually try and buy some of the better brand names like C&H sugar, etc. and I haven’t had that problem since.
I wanted to comment about corn starch in powdered sugar. My mom is allergic to corn, so we use Trader Joe’s powdered sugar. It issues tapioca starch instead of corn starch. That could be why the flavors were different. It seems to work the same in recipes (corn and tapioca starch)
Thank you for the info Gretchen!
I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Helen, and thank you for the feedback! 🙂
Can I bake these on those jelly baking mats or does it have to be parchment paper?
I always use parchment paper, Lindy, and it works out great!
I love the sweet-tangy flavors in these cookies! These are my my kind of sweet treats!
Thank you, Abigail! 🙂
Dear Marcie, these cookies look fabulous…what a wonderful treat. I could eat them all up! xo, Catherine
Thank you, Catherine! 🙂
Living in Phoenix, we have citrus available almost year round. I’ve gotta try this recipe soon!
How nice! I love it in AZ and the access to citrus year round makes it sound even more appealing! Thanks, Jamie! 🙂
I’m crazy about key limes, too! I have some sitting in my fridge. And cookies coated in powdered sugar are some of my favorites. Pinned!
There’s something about key limes — if see them in the store I have to buy them! Thanks for the pin, Julie! 🙂
I love key limes too! These cookies look perfect for summer!
I can never get enough of key limes! 🙂
Mine burned at 20 minutes, so just a warning to anyone who may see this to keep an eye on them. Thanks for sharing!
Mine burned too. I was thinking 20 minutes was a long time to cook these delicate cookies but I followed the recipe. Very disappointed to throw a whole sheet away.
I’m really sorry this happened Stephanie! All oven temperatures are different…so many things come into play. I appreciate your feedback and I will modify the recipe to state 15-20 minutes, checking for doneness after 15 minutes. Again, I’m sorry about the burned cookies.
Your website has a script on it that has frozen up two of my computers. Super annoying.
Hi, Melissa — I’m very sorry to hear this. Can you tell me if you saw video ads or anything specific when it happened? I’d like to be able to get the problem fixed so it doesn’t happen in the future. Again, my apologies!
Hi, Melissa! I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve experienced problems on my site. Would you mind letting me know if you saw video ads when your computers froze? I’d really like to know so I can try to get the problem fixed. Thank you!
Can you also freeze key lime zest?
Yes you can! ?
There’s a little shop in Key West, off Caroline I believe, that sells these. I love them! These cookies are so much like them! I love the Keys and every year when Key Limes are is season I make pies! I’m adding this each year, too! Wonderful! Nothing can replace eating them in Key West but I’m gonna try!
I’ve never been to Key West but I would love to go…I’d be in key lime heaven! Thanks so much Stephanie and I’m glad you enjoy the cookies! 🙂
I am going to make 200 of these cookies for a beach wedding in October. Can I freeze them? I don’t want them to taste like they were frozen. I live in Texas but the wedding is in Alabama so, I’ll make them in Texas and take them to Alabama with me. That’s why I’m making them a week or two early.
Hi Karen! I’ve never frozen them, but normally the best thing to do is roll the dough into balls and freeze before baking. These cookies do keep for 2 weeks in tins cloaked in powdered sugar so that’s an option? I would do a test run with a small batch if you want to try freezing them, however, following the steps in this post: https://www.handletheheat.com/how-to-freeze-cookie-dough/ Hope this helps and I hope you enjoy the wedding!
Has anyone had success making these gluten free?
Hi Tami — I’ve never tried it with this recipe but I’ve had great success with Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten-Free Flour in several of my quick bread and muffin recipes.
Hi! I came across your recipe and I’m thankful I did! My son wanted to take a key lime pie to his school principle for principle appreciation day. We talked about it and agreed he would take cookies IF I could put those flavors into a cookie, and your recipe fit the bill! I halved a batch and took them to work and they got rave reviews. Now I’ve made a full batch of dough and my question is, can I store the dough in the fridge tightly wrapped until later this week? Do you think the lime flavor will amplify if I do so? Any input is appreciated and thanks again for the recipe, it’s a keeper!
Hi Andrea! Thank you for the feedback — I’m so glad to hear that you love the cookies. 🙂 You can definitely store the dough in the fridge for a few days — just set out at room temp to soften it and bake as directed. I hope this helps and enjoy!
When you keep them if you don’t give them out right away, do you put them in the fridge or store them at room temperature?
They may be stored at room temp for up to 2 weeks in an air tight container.
I love anything lime, but the key lime is preferable. However, I went to the website to order a tub of the key lime cream center and it keeps telling me there is no match!
Hi Cyndy — I’m not sure what you mean by key lime cream center? I use fresh key lime and zest for this recipe.
Can’t wait to try this recipe. I am lucky enough to have a Key Lime tree to make fresh juice. Ripe key limes are yellow, that’s how you know when to pick them. I am so pleased to have a new key lime recipe. Thank you!
You are very lucky and I hope you enjoy the recipe!
These sound delicious and I would love to make them togo along with our build your own taco board. BUT unfortuantely
My MIL cannot eat eggs, any suggestion for a substitution for the egg yolk in the recipe? Is it being used as a binder, leavening, or as fat content?
Thank you in advance.
Hello Charvi! The egg yolk is used as a binder. I haven’t tried it, but a flax egg may work? Combine 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed meal and let stand for about 10 minutes and proceed as directed. This is my best guess as this is the method that many people use for egg replacement.
Mine turned out really dry at 17 minutes. Not sure the time is correct.
Hi Cathy. All ovens vary, which is why I specify 15-20 minutes, or until light golden brown. I’m sorry yours turned out dry.
Very easy to put together. I also made lemon with this recipe. I froze most of the dough balls for later baking.
Thank you for sharing this. Delicious and fun!
Thank you for the rating Kathy and I’m glad you enjoyed the cookies!
Fantastic!!! I just finished baking these cookies and they are just divine. They yielded exactly 36 cookies as stated. I won’t comment on the cooking time as I know my oven isn’t calibrated correctly. A Pinterest link led me to this page and a comment left on the Pinterest link was to try a key lime glaze. So I made half with the powdered sugar and half with the homemade key lime glaze. Both are excellent, but the key lime glaze is preferred by everyone in this house. I dipped the warm cookies in the glaze in the same way I did the powdered sugar. Thank you for such a great recipe, and give that key lime glaze a shot!!!
Thanks so much for all of your feedback and I’m so glad to hear that these were such a hit!
Is this a crunchy cookie like the coolers you buy in the tins, or is it a soft cookie? The picture looks very much like what I call snowballs that I make at Christmas, but they have no liquid or eggs in the dough and are crunchy.
These cookies are softer like traditional snowball cookies.