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Lemon Cookie Dough Bites

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Lemon Babies

Easy to make.

Easy to store.

Easy to eat.

Lemon Babies

Lemon might be the most underrated dessert flavor of all time. I’m sorry to say I’ve neglected it on this blog, having posted only a handful of lemon recipes (my favorite of which is the Healthy Lemon Squares recipe) in over six years of blogging.  But making these lemon cookie dough bites has reminded me of the delights of lemon desserts, and hopefully I can do the flavor justice in the future.

What about the rest of you?

Are you a fan of lemon desserts?

Raw Lemon Bites

Lemon Cookie Dough Bites

(makes 14)

  • 1/2 cup raisins (80g)
  • 1/2 cup cashews or macadamia nuts (80g)
  • 6 tbsp quick oats or gluten-free quick oats (30g)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 6-in by 2-in lemon zest slice

Process the oats in a food processor, then add all other ingredients and process very well. Process until no big pieces of lemon zest remain. It should form fine crumbles. If it’s too crumbly to form a dough, you can add up to 2 tsp water and process again. Transfer the crumbles into a plastic bag and smush into a ball. Break off pieces and roll into mini balls (or shape into bars if you’d prefer). Store at room temperature for a few days, or refrigerate or freeze a few weeks. (Note: I did not have success making this recipe in a blender, but you can try if you must.)

Click for: Lemon Cookie Dough Bites Nutrition Facts

single serving desserts!

Link of the Day: 95 Healthy Single Serving Dessert Recipes

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Easy to store… Ha! Yeah right. In my house these would be eaten up in ten minutes flat 😉

    1. Hmmm… well that is definitely one way of defining “easy storage” 😉

  2. Growing up my Dad always made the most incredible Lemon Tea bread so I’m a total sucker for Lemon desserts!

  3. Jessica Rose says:

    I’m thinking these would be gobbled up (by me!) in about ten minutes after i’ve made them!

  4. I absolutely love lemon flavored desserts. They are so fresh-tasting. I make a similar recipe–your version looks incredible. :)

  5. Peggy says:

    Gasp! Those sound amazing! I love Lemon Anything!

  6. I love lemon! I can (and have) eaten the entire filling of a Lemon Meringue Pie without touching the crust or the fluffy top. These days, I know that the egg-white topping will keep the sugar in the pie from spiking my blood sugar… so I eat it… but I don’t mix the two. I had never heard of Lemon Curd when I was younger, but now I know I can get a jar of lemon curd and spoon that out as a topping. The only thing better might be lime curd. I will have to try this recipe… I’ve seen the one you have for the lemon bars and I drooled over them but I can’t eat tofu so they were a ‘no go’ for me. This sounds great!

    1. robin says:

      Hi Katie,
      These looks wonderful. I was wondering what kind of zester you use? Mine only zests tiny pieces. I am not sure how you would go about make 6×2 inch pieces. Please explain more.
      Thanks so much. I have a day off tomorrow and hopefully will try to make them. I think i have two lemons waiting

      1. I just cut a strip off the lemon. It all gets processed anyway.

  7. naquita says:

    I love lemon, used to actually eat them!

    Don’t know if you tried it but lemon and dark chocolate actually go,really well together. In Austria they used to sell a great chocolate bar with lemon, dark chocolate and black pepper. Definitely worth a try!

  8. Hollie says:

    I actually think that lemon is my absolute favorite dessert unchocolate related. These look really easy to make and really good as well. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I love this idea, quick and healthy. I too have to experiment more with lemon in desserts, it really is so bright and tasty!

  10. Ruchi says:

    What is a lemon zest slice and how do I obtain this? I love lemon flavored desserts again! (I didn’t for like 20 years.)

    1. Kinzie says:

      I was wondering the same thing, but I’m guessing this means we should maybe… take a vegetable peeler to a lemon and sort of slice off the skin around the middle? Would that work?

      1. L says:

        Basically. Lemon zest is just the outermost rind, the firm yellow part; the thing you want to do is avoid the pith (the stringy white stuff between the zest and the fruit).

        1. Ruchi says:

          Thanks, L. I understand what zest is and use it often. Just never heard of a zest slice. Would just the zest of one lemon work if it’s going to be ground up anyway?

          1. Yes… I just wanted to give a more specific measurement since lemons vary in size.

  11. Yum, yum, yum! I love the lemon Larabars, and this looks super-similar — I’ll have to try it! Thanks for sharing.

  12. What a perfect way to greet the new seasons with a cookie and lemon dough dessert! 😀 perfect! Pinned!!

  13. These look outrageously good. I always forget how much I love lemon desserts, especially in the spring when I’ll take all the “sunshine” I can get, even if it’s just in my food!

  14. Lemon desserts are my FAVORITE!! I’m glad you’ll give them a little more attention.

  15. Alliso says:

    Could you use almonds? I am not a fan of cashews or macadamia nuts.

  16. EVA says:

    Lemon Laraba-lls!

  17. Oooh, I love these Katie! Just featured them on All Gluten-Free Desserts! :-) Admittedly, I’m personally not big on raisins, but I bet these would be lovely with dates instead. 😉

    Thanks! xo,

  18. Edward says:

    Katie, please send me or publish on your page the recipe for wafers used in wafer cookies. Specifically, how to make those thin rigid wafers that come in cookies like Kit Kat and others, where you place one sheet of wafer covered with some cream or paste, then on top of that the next wafer, etc. Also, if you know about the hand operated machines used for baking them, like the waffle gadgets, pls. advise.

    I will be grateful to you. Thank you in advance,
    Edward Gabor

  19. chana boas says:

    Who takes those bites out of every single attempt at making these delicious desserts? it can’t be you, you would be the size of an elephant!

  20. Sadye says:

    I am a fan, but it’s only been in the past few years that I’ve been able to *remember* that at key times! You are right that it’s among the most underappreciated dessert ingredients.

  21. becauseHeloves! says:

    Girl, you speak my language! I loooove lemon desserts, probably more than any other. I’m so excited to make these, except I ran out of cashews making a double batch of your peanut butter cookie dough cookies. Oops!

  22. Steph says:

    How many balls did you make (for the purposes of your calorie calculations)?

    1. Steph says:

      My bad. Didn’t see the 14 up there :p

  23. jacquelynn says:

    we LOVE lemon at our house and have been looking for healthy desserts that don’t include chocolate so will be trying this one asap! can you just explain the lemon zest slice a bit – i’m guessing that is a piece of the peel that is cut off in a long strip? wondering if you would take out the white part (i’m guessing it would be really bitter?). thanks!

    1. Yes, just the outermost peel. No need to actually zest it, as you’re processing it anyway.

  24. I’ve haven’t worked with lemon in desserts too much either and not sure why, it’s delightful and simple. These look amazingly simple and yummy, thanks!

  25. Leah says:

    Looks like a great snack! However, I can’t figure out why these are called “cookie dough”? Could you clarify where the cookie dough taste comes from? It seems more like a trail-mix type treat.

  26. Lemon is my mom’s favorite flavor by far, she would be happy with just a jar of lemon curd and a spoon. I’ll have to get the food processor out to try this. I wonder how dried cranberries would taste in place of the raisins?

  27. That looks amazing. I am a huge lemon fan, but rarely bake and this may be a good way to ease myself back in.

  28. Emilylovesraisins says:

    Oh no! I can’t stand lemon desserts. Once i had a really bad sore throat (it turned out to be strep throat) and i happened to eat too many lemon custards at the same time. Now lemon flavored anythings (even starbursts!) make me nauseous. Oh well :/

  29. Steph says:

    I LOVE lemon desserts, I just always forget about them. I use lemon a lot in salad dressing and stuff like that, but it’s so good in sweets!
    I will remember this and act upon it 😀

  30. Casey B says:

    I don’t have any lemons on hand, but I DO have lemon juice. I think I’ll try it with a little lemon juice instead of the lemon zest. Might need to increase the oats depending on how “wet” the dough gets. I’ll report back! *Excited*

    1. Casey B says:

      I made them! I chose to use raw cashews. I used dates (gram for gram replacement for raisins) and I used lemon juice rather than the lemon zest. I would estimate I used about 1 tsp of lemon juice. The consistency was perfect. Didn’t need to add more oats or water (as you suggested if too dry.) I made them in my magic bullet, then put in a ziplock baggie and squeeze into a log, then broke off pieces rolling them into little balls. Yummy!

      1. Gail says:

        Thanks for reporting back, Casey! I am going to try them that way tomorrow. Might make a few lime ones, too (just for fun), since tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day. 😉

  31. Jessica says:

    yum! sounds so good…think we could use almonds instead of cashews or macadamia nuts? It’s just that almonds is what I have on hand at the moment. Thanks!

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  33. Fiona says:

    I haven’t experimented much with lemon desserts, but I’m planning on making a recipe combining it with coconut! Love this recipe though. Looks very easy to make. (: Reminds me of Lara bars!

  34. Suzi says:

    Could you use almonds?

  35. Great idea – you can’t go wrong with lemon! I could even see them dipped in chocolate…

    1. EVA says:

      Oooh, INNOVATIVE! Now that might get me to like lemon….

      1. There used to be dark chocolate with lemon some time ago, haven’t seen it in a while, but it was awesome! I think these bites dotted with Katie’s chocolate sauce would really be great.

        1. EVA says:

          That almost sounds too bitter since it’s acidic on acidic….maybe that’s why they discontinued it? Haha, I kid.

          1. LOL
            You’re too funny!

  36. Jennifer says:

    I’m going to make these, and then add a drop or two of lemon oil! Oh my! Thanks for another great recipe Katie!

  37. Angela says:

    Oh Yum. I made something similar to this a while ago with walnuts and pepitos. (Also some chia but we are not telling the family about that one!) The oil in the walnust gave them an awesome mouth feel and the lemon hid the bitterness of the walnuts. Score! Cant wait to try your version.

  38. Lisa says:

    These little lemon bombs were literally ‘the bomb’. They were gone in minutes. Thanks so much for the recipe!

  39. Ellen says:

    These are fantastic! My kids were begging to take some to school in their lunches…we’re going to have to experiment a little to get them to pass the nut-free rule!

  40. Mona Sigler says:

    Hi, these sound amazing but is the lemon zest a typo? It says 6in x 2in. How is that possible?

    1. Just take a strip of the outermost lemon peel. No need to grate it, as it will break up in the food processor.

  41. ghotii1 says:

    do you think you could use lemon juice in lieu of water if dough is too dry?
    thought it might boost up the lemonyness of it too!

    1. Of course you can always try.

  42. Kylene says:

    These are great!! And very adaptable….realized I only had roasted salted almonds and not quite enough raisins, so omitted the salt and added a few dates. Thanks for such a yummy recipe. :)

  43. Sheryl Lemaster says:

    I love these! I just made them…I added 1 scoop of Vanilla Protein Mix…and 1 teaspoon of Organic Coconut Sugar…I also used Organic Pecans for my nuts…amazing!!!!!

  44. robin says:

    Looks great.
    How do you get such big pieces of lemon zest?
    My zester doesn’t grate that big.

    1. I actually prefer very fine zest so you don’t bite into a huge chunk! I use one of those mini graters 😉

  45. I’m a huge fan of chocolate only desserts but I love the combo of lemon and coconut! I make my own rendition of this with coconut flakes…I KNOW that these are delish but I also think coconut takes it to another level (at least for me, personally!) 😉

  46. Katherine says:

    Umm, talk about loving lemons. I eat them whole, with the rind! If a recipe calls for just the juice, I always eat the rest of the lemon after juicing it, too 😉

    These look amazing!! I think I may try making some, with dates instead of raisins… <3

    1. Katherine says:

      I made them! Using dates instead of raisins. I added a little lemon juice and a tbsp of water, and they ended up super sticky. I’m saving them for tomorrow, so I decided to grind up some more oats and coat them in that. Perfect!

  47. Katrina says:

    Oh my these are delicious!! I almost ate the entire batch!! Will be making these again for sure!

  48. Verda says:

    Oh my gosh! These bites are wonderful and so simple to make. Living in Arizona this is the time of year we love to find delicious recipes using citrus. I immediately peeled the rind off a bunch of lemons, stuck them in the dehydrator and froze the juice. The juice will be used a million ways and the rind will surely be used in this recipe. Thanks for the recipe.

  49. Verda says:

    For those asking about how to zest. A vegetable peeler works best. However, there are a couple of different peelers some are made for thin skinned vegetables and the other is for thicker skinned fruit or vegetable. The thick peeler works perfect. If any white pith is left on I just give it a quick scrape with a sharp knife. If done properly the lemon can then still be juiced as the white pith is quite sturdy. As I mentioned in an earlier post I zest oranges and lemons and then pop them in the dehydrator for later use.

  50. Annette says:

    These look delicious and so easy! Question though: I have been making your date balls and fudge babies in my Vitamix and I think I blew my engine. Would you recommend making these in the Vitamix and if so, would the dry container work better? I don’t have a food processor. I was under the impression that the Vitamix would work like one, but it doesn’t seem to handle well without liquid. Have you made these and other date balls in the Vitamix and how did yours handle?

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      No, they should be made in a high quality food processor for best results and no sticky mess.

  51. Laura says:

    Hey Katie!
    Why is it that some of the links in the “You might also like:” are not from your blog and some are also not vegan/vegetarian? I see it’s hosted by a different site, but I think that’s a little weird and wanted to make sure you knew.

  52. Mariana says:

    I love how you used raisins instead of dates! Made for a surprisingly great consistency and flavor. Also cheaper! These were SO good and such a hit at work! <3 your blog!

  53. KayRen says:

    Hi Katie! I made these last night and they are delicious! They were gone by this morning. I made another batch just now but with coconut instead of oats, because raw oats sometimes upset my tummy, and it works really well with the coconut too!
    Have you ever done a cinnamon roll flavoured fudge baby?

    1. I haven’t, but I can definitely try!

  54. nuts4knits says:

    These are great! I used lemon extract to boost the flavor instead of vanilla, and I already had some grated lemon zest in my freezer. No additional sweetener was needed. Thanks!

  55. evelyn dipietro says:

    o Katie i would like to know if you have any cook book available at Sams club or any where abouts please let me know or do you hhave a recipe box on the computer please let me know by my email thank you

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      She has a cookbook coming out in December :-)
      Will be available at Barnes and Noble and the like.

  56. Amanda S says:

    I added a bit of extra water to mine and used Thompson raisins (instead of Golden). Super yummy! Especially after Easter!
    After tasting 1, I had six larger balls. :) I can’t wait to share!

  57. Lou Ann Mallon says:

    Do you use raw cashews in this recipe?
    Which nut taste best in this recipe?
    Making for wedding shower ~

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      Yes, raw and unsalted.

      1. LouAnn says:

        OK – so raw and unsalted.
        NOW, which one . . .cashews or macadamia??
        Thank you so much for your help thus far!!

  58. Nuala says:

    These are also lovely made with toasted sunflower seeds, for a nut-free version :)

  59. Netty says:

    We have nut allergies in our family. Is there a substitute for the cashews?

    1. Unofficial CCK Helper says:

      You can always experiment with sunflower seeds. Or use CCK’s “macaroon baby” recipe. Google “chocolate covered katie macaroon babies”.

  60. kellyelly says:

    Made these tonight with a big squeeze of lemon juice and no vanilla – delicious! The preschooler has requested some in her lunch tomorrow, and the toddler kept looking at me hopefully, saying “More? More?”

  61. Amy says:

    Oh my gosh I’ve been so into lemons lately. I’ve been wanting to add them to everything! And I love making date balls (all kinds of varieties) because they are so simple and you can pretty much combine just about any variety of ingredients and they taste good. 😀 I can’t wait to try these lemon ones!!! Yay!

  62. Emily says:

    These lemon cookie dough bites are delicious! I made mine with raisins and cashews and added unsweetened shredded coconut and extra lemon zest. Next time I would like to try dried dates, cherries, cranberries, or blueberries in place of the raisins and add chia seeds to the dough. I made mine in my vitamix, but the dough was too thick and the machine over heated :(. Luckily, the vitamix is working now! I rolled the dough out and put it in the fridge. When they are less sticky I’ll cut them into bars! Thanks so much for this awesome recipe!

  63. Kat says:

    I used almond extract and dates as my two sub ins and boy am I HAPPY. So scrumptious.

  64. Hi Katie,

    My name is Alison and I blog over at and I haven’t been able to find a contact email/contact page on your website or Facebook page so decided to leave you a message here.
    I’ve started a new project lately and am working with my business partner to open a health food store in the near future. I’m emailing you today as I’m writing content for a blog post and would love to link to one of your recipes – Lemon Cookie Dough Bites

    For this post I am rounding up 10 delicious and healthy energy balls or bites and was wondering if it would be ok to use an image from your post to link to your site and recipe. All attribution to yourself for the image would be included and I am not printing any recipes on the blog post, but sending the traffic your way. If this would be ok with you please let me know, I am looking for the post to go live sometime next month (May). I look forward to hearing from you soon.
    Kind regards
    Alison Murray

    1. Sure thing! Please feel free to use any images you need :)

  65. Lou says:

    I’m not familiar with lemon zest slice. Is it the same as a slice of lemon rind?

  66. Pat Marino says:

    I do not have gluten free quick oats. is it o.k. if I use gluten free rolled oats.
    thank you. pat marino.

    1. pat marino says:

      I asked a question early this morning regarding using gluten free rolled oats in place of
      gluten free quick oats. in recipe for lemon bites. never heard back. did I do something
      wrong. thank you. pat.