Low Carb Lemon Protein Cookies

Low Carb Lemon Protein Cookies

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If you’re a fan of the amazing Jumble Lemon Cookies, you’ll love these lemon protein cookies. The only thing missing is the hole in the center, but I figured that was a waste of cookie! 

And with just 6 ingredients and a crazy simple recipe, you’ll have 6 buttery lemon protein cookies in no time. 

a stack of lemon protein cookies in a hand

My recipe was inspired by the Wicked Good Kitchen Lemon Gooey Butter Cookies recipe.

Ingredients for Lemon Protein Cookies and Substitutions

I originally posted this recipe on my Instagram and will briefly run through some of the most common ingredient modification questions.

Can I substitute Almond Flour for All Purpose Flour?

This one is always a question when I use one or the other. My typical answer is yes, they can be swapped 1:1 in most recipes. 

With a small batch recipe like these lemon protein cookies, however, I wanted to try it for myself. That’s why you’ll find a lower calorie option in the recipe card’s notes section below that uses all purpose flour.

The only changes you’ll need to make for this version is an extra tablespoon of Greek yogurt or butter and a slight reduction in the baking powder. 

holding a lemon protein cookie

Does it matter if I use another protein powder for these lemon protein cookies? 

You can use any protein powder you’d like, but I’ll leave you with a few important tips for using a different protein powder:

  • substitute gram for gram, not scoop for scoop (different scoops are different sizes)
  • add the butter slowly to avoid over hydrating the dough to where you can’t handle it
  • if the dough is too dry, add an extra tablespoon of butter, Greek yogurt, or a tiny bit of liquid 
  • the Frosted Cookie protein I used is very similar to a vanilla, for flavor comparisons

three process photos of the lemon protein cookies being made

Can I use lemon extract instead of lemon zest? 

I was concerned the omission of lemon zest might leave the cookies a bit dry, but a member of my Facebook group used 1/4 teaspoon of lemon extract and said they turned out great. It’s worth mentioning she used a different protein powder and butter, so you may have to tinker just a little to get things perfect. 

Is there a substitute for light butter? 

You could use any butter or comparable fat source for these protein cookies.

A common substitute I’ll make for butter in lower calorie desserts is unsweetened apple sauce. Though I could see the cookies being slightly tough with apple sauce instead of butter. If you try this, start small with maybe 2 tablespoons of the light butter and 1-2 tablespoons of apple sauce. 

peanut butter chocolate chip protein cookie dough for one

And if you hate apples, there’s always the possibility of using a superstar like canned pumpkin. I used a combo of light butter and pumpkin for my single serving protein cookie dough and you’d never know it’s there in small amounts! 

Is the Swerve confectioners sugar necessary? 

The recipe calls for Swerve Confectioners which is a zero-calorie, non-glycemic powdered sugar substitute. I use this product for tons of recipes and highly recommend Swerve products. That said, you only need 2 tablespoons and could get away with real powdered sugar if need be.

No matter what you use, I’d recommend using something. Check out the photo below for an example of the lemon protein cookies with and without confectioners sugar. 

example of the lemon protein cookies with and without confectioners sugar after baking

And if you’re on the fence about buying something like Swerve, just take a look at all my recipes with Swerve Confectioners

Final Notes for Low Carb Lemon Protein Cookies

I mentioned that I posted this recipe on Instagram first so if you’d like to get in on the action there you can find me @mason_woodruff. Or you can join my free Facebook group and get ideas and tips from other Proton Party members like Natalia’s lemon extract experiment.

Hope to see you there, and I hope you enjoy your lemon protein cookies! You’ll find the full recipe card below. 

a stack of lemon protein cookies in a hand
4.92 from 12 votes

Low Carb Lemon Protein Cookies

A small batch recipe for soft and buttery lemon protein cookies. 

Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword protein cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 6 cookies
Calories 131 kcal
Author Mason Woodruff


  • 1/2 C (56g) Blanched Almond Flour
  • 2 scoops (56g) Protein Powder I used Bowmar Nutrition Frosted Cookie
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 2 tsp (8g) Lemon Zest
  • 1/4 C (56g) Light Butter I used Land O' Lakes with canola
  • 2 Tbsp (18g) Swerve Confectioners or powdered sugar substitute


  1. Preheat an oven to 325F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick cooking spray.

  2. Mix the dry ingredients together before adding the lemon zest and light butter. Stir well until you can form a ball of dough.

    dry ingredients for lemon protein cookies mixed in a bowl with lemon zest on top
  3. Divide the dough into 6 pieces. (Use a food scale to weigh each for accuracy, if desired.)

    ball of lemon protein cookie dough
  4. Roll each piece between your palms to smooth before rolling each ball in the confectioners sugar. (You can spray your hands with a tiny bit of cooking spray to prevent sticking.)

    lemon protein cookies rolled into balls and rolled in powdered sugar
  5. Place the balls on the baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges begin to crisp. The bottoms should be golden brown but the centers should still be soft. Let the cookies cool before digging in.

    example of the lemon protein cookies with and without confectioners sugar after baking

Recipe Notes

  • Each cookie has 3 Smart Points.
  • With the Swerve, each cookie has 3g of net carbs. 
  • For a lower calorie version, use 1/2 C (60g) all purpose flour, 3/4 tsp baking powder, and add 1 Tbsp (14g) vanilla fat free Greek yogurt.
    • Macros for this version: 111 Calories | 8P | 12C | 5F (8g net carbs)
  • If you have ingredient modification questions about protein powder, lemon zest, butter, or Swerve confectioners, I likely answered them in the post above. Check there and if you don't find your answer, leave a comment at the bottom of the post! 
Nutrition Facts
Low Carb Lemon Protein Cookies
Amount Per Serving (1 cookie)
Calories 131 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Protein 9g18%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

More Low Carb Desserts You Might Like 

My low carb blueberry cake donuts are protein packed as well and have fresh blueberries baked into every single bite. 

high protein low carb blueberry cake donut recipe

And my pumpkin cheesecake bars use a similar combination of ingredients with an almond flour and light butter crust and protein packed pumpkin spice cheesecake on top. 

pumpkin cheesecake bar with a bite taken out of it and whipped cream on top with 3 more pumpkin cheesecake bars in the background on a plate

13 thoughts on “Low Carb Lemon Protein Cookies”

  • For the lower calorie version do you still add the same about of butter, protein, lemon zest, baking powder, and swerve and just alter the flour with the low cal alternative.

    • Everything is the same except the flour, baking powder (3/4 tsp), and added tablespoon of Greek yogurt. There’s a note in the recipe card if you want to save that. Enjoy!

  • 5 stars
    My sister and I made the low calorie version using the Unico Nutrition Vanilla Milkshake flavor of protein and I cant Believe It’s Not Butter Light. They were delicious but came out more like biscuits. I think The butter we used has a lower fat content than the one Mason uses, so we may have had to use more. Regardless, if you are a fan of lemons you will love this easy recipe!

  • 5 stars
    I’m not a big fan of Lemon, so i tried this with orange zest (actually it was zest from clementines that i had laying around- same same right ? ) and it turned out really well. I got the idea from the orange cinnamon roll recipe. I used Bowmar Nutrtion Protein Frosted Cookie, and for the butter I used Kerigold grass fed unsalted butter. I brought them to work and they were a hit!

  • 5 stars
    My mom & I tried these and … holy YUM. We need more work in the kitchen but these were amazing even cooked by amateurs 😍

  • 5 stars
    These are SO delicious! I made the lower calorie version a couple of weeks ago, and really liked them. I made the original low carb version yesterday..and I actually like them better. I would compare the flavor/texture of them to the lemon cookies at Firehouse Subs (minus the white chocolate chips that theirs have). I made 3 batches so I could share with my coworkers today.. and my boss loves them (thanks for helping with brownie points)!

  • 5 stars
    *FOLLOW MASON’S DIRECTIONS* lol do as I say not as I do, I messed this one up but it worked out in the end. I tried using a different brand of protein powder (ON whey vanilla) and added an egg and reduced the butter like someone in the facebook group suggested. I also used cake batter extract and omitted the lemon. The “dough” was super sticky and wet and I didn’t have the mental stability that night to deal with rolling them into cookies lol so I decided to just scrape it into a small pan and make “cookie bars”. They were SO DRY, almost biscuit like, probably a combo of the protein powder type and my weird substitutions. Rather than trashing them I ended up cutting them into strips and dipping them in egg whites with some cinnamon and swerve and they turned into the most delicious french toast sticks ever so I guess it worked out. Will definitely give this recipe another shot once I have the right protein powder!

  • 5 stars
    The lemon flavor in these was perfect. I did use real butter, same amount. Do not skip the step about rolling in the sugar, makes for a better cookie. Also, spray your hands or rub them with olive oil to avoid sticking the dough to your fingers and subsequently eating half the dough before baking the cookies. My husband really liked these too.

  • 5 stars
    Loved these! I used True Lemon crystals and used about 6 packets for a patch because I have them on hand to add to my water. They tasted perfect with them 👍🏼.

  • If you like lemon then you’ll love these! I used about half the amount of butter to save some fats and they still turned out great, just watch them in the oven because they brown pretty quick.

  • 4 stars
    Mine didn’t flatten out like cookies, so I called them scones. I made the lower calorie version with AP flour. I added a glaze of Swerve confectioners with lemon juice. Next time I would add some lemon extract in addition to the zest, maybe an extra tablespoon of yogurt and shorten the baking time.

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