Panera Lemon Drop Cookies

Inspired by the Panera Bread Lemon Drop Cookie recipe, these cookies go beyond the original by combining a hint of lemon flavoring with plenty of white chocolate chips for a sophisticated taste you are going to love!

Copycat Panera lemon drop cookies on a plate.

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What makes the Panera Lemon Drop Cookies so good? 

Panera Bread serves some great bakery items. Of course, the restaurant’s bread is the star of the show, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of tasty options for those who want to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Lemon Drop Cookies from Panera are a popular choice for their slightly chewy texture, refreshing lemon flavor, and crunchy dusting of powdered sugar on top. The Lemon Drop Cookies Panera sells are delicious, but this version adds white chocolate chips to take these cookies to the next love of deliciousness. 

Why you’ll love this recipe

Get the taste of the lemon cookies you love from Panera without spending a fortune. This copycat Panera lemon drop cookie recipe streamlines the chain’s recipe using all-natural ingredients. However, it still delivers the flavor you love.

Even though you need more than a few hours to make these cookies from start to finish, most of that time is hands-off. Whip up the dough and put it in the fridge, go out, and when you come home in the evening, you are mere minutes away from freshly baked cookies!

They’re so good you’ll want to make a double batch the next time you bake them.

For Lemon Drop Cookies Panera style, you’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter 
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt 
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Lemon extract 
  • Vanilla extract 
  • White chocolate chips 
  • Powdered sugar 
Copycat Panera lemon drop cookies ingredients on a tray.

How to make Panera Lemon Cookies

To mix the cookie dough:

  1. Put the unsalted butter on the counter until it comes to room temperature.
  2. Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl. Reserve the dry ingredients for later. 
  3. Add the room-temperature butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a large mixing bowl and a hand mixer. 
  4. Beat the butter for about 30 seconds on LOW. 
  5. Add the granulated sugar and continue to beat on LOW until the color changes to a very light yellow. 
  6. Increase the speed to MEDIUM and add the large eggs, lemon extract, and vanilla extract. 
  1. With the mixer still running, add the reserved flour mixture in additions. Mix well until there aren’t any dry patches. 
  2. Reduce the mixer’s speed and add the white chocolate chips. 
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least three hours. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  5. Divide the chilled dough into balls using about two tablespoons of dough. Use a cookie scoop to make it easier. If you find the dough crumbly, roll it in your hands until smooth. 
  6. Lay the dough balls on an ungreased baking sheet, leaving at least two inches of space around each. 
  1. Bake until the edges of the cookies begin to brown, 10 to 12 minutes. 
  2. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cookies rest for about five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to finish cooling. 
  3. When the cookies are at room temperature, put the powdered sugar into a fine sieve and dust the cookies with the sugar.  
Copycat Panera lemon drop cookies on a plate and a glass of milk next to it.

Recipe variations

You can easily customize this copycat recipe with some simple additions or substitutions. Here are some ideas:

  • Lemon zest – add a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest to the cookie dough.
  • Lemon glaze – mix fresh lemon juice with powdered sugar and drizzle it on top of the cookies for an extra touch of sweetness.

What to serve with them 

  • Tea or coffee: Since these cookies are flavored with lemon, they naturally go amazingly well with a strong tea like Ceylon or coffee. An unsweetened espresso would be ideal. 
  • Fresh fruit. The sweetness of berries with a bit of whipped cream or pieces of mixed melons highlights the tartness of the cookies and offers a little variety when it comes to textures. 
  • Greek yogurt. Crumble the cookies over the top of a bowl of Greek yogurt for a sweet and tart dessert that is a little more on the healthy side but still tastes decadent. 

How to store Panera Lemon Cookies

The best way to store the cooled cookies is in an airtight container at room temperature. However, you can also freeze baked cookies in a freezer bag. Allow the cookies to thaw before eating, or eat frozen for a unique treat. 

You can also store the cookie dough balls in a parchment paper-lined flat container. Place parchment paper between each new layer to prevent them from sticking to each other. You can bake from frozen, but you will need to extend the cooking time slightly. 

How long do these last?

Room-temperature cookies will stay fresh for about five days. Frozen cookie cookies last up to a month. Cookie dough balls are good for about a month in the freezer. 

Copycat Panera lemon drop cookies, glass of milk, and kitchen towel.

More Panera copycat recipes

Check out more of my easy cookie recipes and the best copycat Panera recipes on CopyKat!

Copycat Panera lemon drop cookies on a plate.

Panera Lemon Drop Cookies

Enjoy homemade soft and chewy lemon drop cookies like Panera whenever you have a craving.
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Panera Recipes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Chilling: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 223kcal


  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar


  • Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy using a mixer on medium speed. This should take about 2 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, lemon extract, and vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  • Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and mix until well blended. Mix in the white chocolate chips.
  • Refrigerate the dough for at least 3 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it into balls, about 2 tablespoons each. The dough may be a bit crumbly but will become smoother as you roll it. Place the balls on an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving at least 2 inches in between each cookie. Flatten the balls slightly with your hand to help them spread.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown. Allow the cookies to cool for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • When the cookies have cooled completely, dust with powdered sugar before serving.


Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 37mg | Sodium: 144mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 261IU | Vitamin C: 0.03mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 1mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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