ruby red grapefruit cookies DSC6063

Ruby Red grapefruit cookies

In my kitchen, I have one drawer. Clearly, this greatly limits the amount of stuff I can possess, unless I want my kitchen to creep into other parts of my apartment. (Actually, it already does, as my stand mixer lives on my dining table/desk.) But I’m not complaining, as I like to keep my tool kit efficient. That said, sometimes I fail to add something that could make my life a little bit easier, like a cookie scoop, for example.

Making cookies is fun for me. And apparently it’s something that I’ve done all my life, as there are pictures of as a toddler me standing on a chair helping my mom roll out balls of dough. The family tradition of young people baking with older ones is timeless. How many of you recall baking cookies as a child with your mother or grandmother? For many, it’s their first introduction to the kitchen.

My mom was recently visiting my brother and his family, which includes my two nephews—one who is two months old and the other who is two years old. The baby is very cute and likes to smile a lot, but he’s not quite ready to make cookies just yet. But my toddler nephew loves to spend time in the kitchen, and had been asking her since she arrived: “Grandma, when are we going to bake cookies?” The tradition continues.

ruby red grapefruit cookies | Homesick Texan

She then turned to me for help. I had promised to send her a recipe, and my new purchase had prompted me to spend the better part of the past few days testing batch after batch after batch. Thankfully, the scoop made things a little easier, though it didn’t prevent me from eating half the cookie dough, which I’m sure many of you can agree is perhaps the best part.

Ruby Red grapefruits are at their peak right now and whenever I spot them at my local store, I grab them because the good ones from Texas aren’t always available in New York. While there are countless good things to do with grapefruit (such as this Ruby Red sheet cake), since I was already in cookie mode that’s what I decided to make instead.

There wasn’t much to do, really, as I simply added some fresh juice and zest to my basic sugar cookie recipe. The flavor is delicate, but the Ruby Red’s sweet and sour tang is definitely there. I’m also a big fan of the texture, as they’re a little crunchy and a little chewy. When you take a bite, the crisp outer layer soon gives way to a soft buttery center. And before you know it, the cookie is gone and I can guarantee you’ll reach for another one soon.

ruby red grapefruit cookies | Homesick Texan

If you’re baking with your grandkids this weekend, you’ll want to make these cookies. Or if you’re baking for yourself and your friends, you’ll want to make these, too. I insist, however, that you share them with someone, as these Ruby Red grapefruit cookies are just too good to be eaten on their own.

4.89 from 27 votes

Ruby Red grapefruit cookies

Servings 24 cookies
Author Lisa Fain


  • 1 1/2 cups sugar, plus more for dipping
  • 1/2 cup 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons Ruby Red grapefruit juice
  • 1 tablespoon Ruby Red grapefruit zest
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Pinch of ground ginger


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F and either lightly grease or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cream together the sugar and the butter until well combined. Stir in the egg, vanilla extract, grapefruit juice, and grapefruit zest until well combined. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and ginger and then combine with the liquid ingredients until a soft dough is formed. (This is supposed to be a soft dough, but if you find it’s too soft then chill it for 15 minutes before proceeding.)
  • Pour some granulated sugar into a bowl and then form the dough into tablespoon-sized balls. Dip each dough ball into the sugar and then place on the sheet 2-inches apart, as they’ll spread as they bake. Bake one sheet at a time for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just set. They’ll be puffy when they come out of the oven but as they cool they’ll flatten and form those glorious cracks in the surface. Continue for the rest of the dough.

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Recipe Rating


  1. I imagine that this recipe could be adapted for lemons, oranges, and limes in addition to the current use of grapefruit. If I did that I would have to use food coloring to differentiate them but it would make a wonderful summer cookie tray.

    1. Lisa Fain says:

      Jon–You could use food coloring. Though it could also be a fun game to guess by taste alone which fruit was used!

  2. Lisa, I am very glad I stumbled across your recipe for these a few weeks back..Tonight I made my third batch and they are a huge hit- people love them! thanks so much for kindly sharing your great recipe and I look forward to trying other treats from your recipe list..

    1. Lisa Fain says:

      Kevin–I am very glad you found the recipe and have enjoyed it three times already! Happy cooking!

  3. Sandy Bradshaw says:

    5 stars
    One of the best cookies I have ever made! Even my fussy son loves them. May use a cream cheese frosting on special occasions, with sprinkles on top. Thank you so much for this KEEPER RECIPE!

    1. Lisa Fain says:

      Sandy–I’m so glad this is a keeper and I love your idea to use cream cheese frosting with sprinkles! I’ll be doing that on my next batch!

  4. 5 stars
    These are the BEST COOKIES ever!!!! I have made them dozens of times, and shared the recipe with friends and family. THANK YOU for sharing this wonderful recipe.

    1. Lisa Fain says:

      Sandy–Thank you for enjoying them! I’m so glad you love them!