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Old Fashioned Frosted Orange Cookies

These old fashioned orange cookies are sure to delight with their soft texture and frosted sweetness. Be sure to keep this orange cookie recipe on hand for an easy dessert, cookie exchanges, gifts, and more.

3 frosted orange cookies on a white plate

My husband has talked fondly of his mom’s orange cookies for as long as we’ve together. I never tried to make any for him in the years that we’ve been together. I’m not exactly sure why.

All that changed this past weekend when I finally made him these orange drop cookies.

I never knew Jeff’s mom but we are blessed to have a few of her cookbooks in our collection. I was thumbing through her 1953 edition of The Joy of Cooking when I saw an orange cookie recipe.

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I decided to give the recipe a try on the off chance these might be the cookies from his childhood. And friends, they are indeed!

Changes to the Tradition

The original recipe called for 1/3 teaspoon of baking powder and 2/3 teaspoon baking soda. I don’t have a 1/3 teaspoon measuring spoon.

While I could have eyeballed it I decided to change the measurements so I could repeat the results later. It’s important in baking to get those measurements right. Otherwise, I mostly followed the original recipe.

These frosted orange cookies are sure to please adults and kids alike with their soft and airy texture topped with a creamy icing.

Citrus Options

I used mandarin orange zest and juice in these cookies. Mandarin oranges were simply what we had on hand.

Navel oranges would, of course, be incredible. I haven’t tested it yet but I do believe any citrus fruit would be good here.

Lemons, limes, grapefruit, etc. would all have different tartness levels but would still be tasty in my opinion.

These frosted orange cookies are sure to please adults and kids alike with their soft and airy texture topped with a creamy icing.

Don’t forget to save the rest of the citrus peels for use in other tasty recipes.

The Frosting

I’m personally often tempted to skip the frosting on drop cookies. There’s usually enough sugar that I don’t think the frosting necessary.

Plus it seems like an extra, unnecessary step to my occasionally lazy self.

All that to say, Don’t skip the frosting. 

The frosting does add sweetness but it also adds more orange flavor. Part of this cookie’s charm is the combination of the smooth frosting and fluffy cookie.

Yield: 36 Cookies

Frosted Orange Cookies

3 frosted orange cookies on a white plate with fresh oranges in the background.

These frosted orange cookies are sure to please adults and kids alike with their soft and airy texture topped with a creamy icing.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes



  • 6 Tablespoons Butter, softened
  • ⅔ Cup Brown Sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 Egg
  • ¼ Cup Orange Juice
  • Grated Zest of 1 Orange
  • 1 ⅓ Cup Flour
  • ¼ teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¾ teaspoon Baking Powder


  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter, melted
  • ¼ Cup Orange Juice
  • Grated Zest of 1 Orange


Make the Cookies

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter, orange zest, and sugar until light in fluffy. Beat in the egg until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add half of the orange juice and half of the flour mixture. Mix well and add the remaining juice and flour mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  5. Drop by Tablespoonsful onto prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes, until edges are golden brown.
  7. Remove cookies to wire rack to cool completely.

Make the Frosting

  1. Mix all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
  2. Let sit for 10 minutes to thicken slightly.
  3. Spread on cooled cookies.


I'm normally a fan of big cookies but these should be kept small.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 cookie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 81Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g

We try our best but cannot guarantee that nutrition information is 100% accurate.

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Sunday 10th of March 2024

Ummmm...these look delicious, I'm going to make these...getting some oranges from a friend! thanks much!!


Tuesday 2nd of February 2021

Hi, I forgot to buy orange juice, did you juice the oranges that you had for zest and use that in the recipe? It seems to be implied that you did, but I wanted to double check. Thank you

Kathie Lapcevic

Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

I do just juice the orange I zested.

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