These Margarita cornmeal cookies are tender like shortbread, slightly crunchy, and brightly flavored from lots of fresh lime zest. Topped with a simple white chocolate glaze and a sprinkling of zest, these cornmeal cookies are a unique and fun treat.

Need another reason enough to love these cornmeal cookies? They only require 10 ingredients (and that includes salt!) most of which are probably already in your pantry, barring you enjoy a margarita from time to time. 

If these margarita cookies don’t quench your tequila craving, I’ve got you covered with an array of tequila cocktails.

Baking with Alcohol

The splash of tequila is used both as an ode to the margarita, and to help create a crisp-tender cookie. The tequila helps moisten the cookie dough and hold it together while readily evaporating out during baking. All this creates a crisp cookie. (And makes it perfect for Cinco de Mayo.)

Speaking of evaporation, if you’re concerned about the alcohol, no need, it cooks out during baking. But if you want to avoid it altogether you can simply leave it out or add a teaspoon or two of fresh lime juice instead.

Photograph of glazed cornmeal cookies stacked on a speckled plate one being taken off by someone, set on a white table with limes scattered about

How do you make cornmeal cookies?

These cookies come together easily and in very little time (though the dough does require a bit of chilling time).

  1. Combine dry ingredients
  2. Beat butter, sugar and zest together in a stand mixer until fluffy.
  3. Add yolk and tequila and mix to combine.
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix just to combine.
  5. Chill dough.
  6. Roll dough out and cut out cookies.
  7. Bake cookies.
  8. Cool then glaze cookies with white chocolate and top with lime zest.
Photograph of glazed cornmeal cookies, broken in half leaning up against a plate of cookies.

What is superfine sugar?

These cornmeal cookies utilize superfine sugar instead of regular granulated sugar. Superfine sugar is just that—granulated sugar that’s ground superfine. Superfine sugar melts faster than regular sugar making it ideal for meringues, tender cakes, sauces and syrups. For these cookies, it aids in creating a tender shortbread-like texture. 

You can find superfine sugar at most grocery stores, but you can also quickly and easily make it at home. 

To make superfine sugar:

Add sugar to a food processor or high powered blender and process for 30 seconds. 

Photograph of glazed cornmeal cookies stacked on a speckled plate on a white table with limes scattered about

How much cornmeal in cornmeal cookies?

I have found the ideal ratio of cornmeal to flour for cookies to be 2:3. I tried 1:1 and it was simply too much cornmeal while 1:3 tasted like I accidentally dumped a bit of cornmeal in the dough. 

The crunchy, grainy texture of cornmeal can easily overpower any baked good, but it’s also what makes it so unique when added to cakes, cookies or crackers. There’s a fine line between it being too much and not prevalent enough.

Anyway, as far as cornmeal cookies are concerned, I have found 2:3 to be the best cornmeal to flour ratio. As for cake, I can’t speak to that…yet.

Photograph of glazed cornmeal cookies stacked on a speckled plate on a white table with limes scattered about


  • Turn these into ice cream sandwich cookies by sandwiching lime sorbet or vanilla ice cream between two cornmeal cookies.
  • Drizzle with a cream cheese glaze instead of the white chocolate glaze.

If you give these cornmeal cookies a try, be sure to let me know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @zestfulkitchen on Instagram. I love hearing about and seeing your ZK creations!

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Margarita Cornmeal Cookies

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Chilling Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 ¾ hours
  • Yield: 28 cookies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Mexican


Margarita cornmeal cookies are tender like shortbread, slightly crunchy, and bursting with lime flavor from fresh lime zest. A simple white chocolate glaze takes these over the top!


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (115g; 4 ⅛ ounces)
  • ⅔ cup cornmeal (100g; 3 ½ oz)
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (8 tablespoons), softened
  • ½ cup superfine sugar
  • 1 tablespoon minced lime zest + more for garnish
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon tequila
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons coconut oil


Whisk flour, cornmeal, and salt together in a bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar, and zest on medium speed until light green and fluffy, about 3 minutes; scraping down sides of bowl occasionally. Add yolk and tequila and beat until combined.

Decrease speed to low and add flour mixture in 3 additions, mixing after each addition just until combined; scraping down sides of bowl occasionally.

Form dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375°F; line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to ¼-inch thick.

Cut dough out using a 2½-inch round cutter; transfer to parchment lined baking sheets spaced 1-inch apart.

Bake cookies just until edges are starting to brown, 10–12 minutes; rotating baking sheet halfway through.

Let cool 5 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely; repeat with remaining dough.

Combine chocolate and coconut oil in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt in microwave in 30 seconds increments until completely smooth; stirring after each 30 seconds.

Dip, drizzle or spread chocolate mixture on cookies; sprinkle with minced lime zest. Let chocolate set.

Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


These cookies double, triple, quadruple, etc. very easily!

Make gluten-free: use a 1:1 flour mix such as Bob’s Red Mill.

Make dairy-free: use vegan butter instead of regular butter and use vegan white chocolate instead of regular white chocolate chips.


  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 108
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Sodium: 50mg
  • Fat: 6g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Carbohydrates: 13g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 1g
  • Cholesterol: 17mg

Keywords: Cornmeal Cookies, Margarita Cookies, Lime Cookies

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This article and recipe were originally published on May 3, 2019. It was last updated on April 12, 2021.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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