May 21, 2024

Lecafe moustache

Delicious food

Easy Lemon Cookies (Vegan + GF)

Stack of gluten-free vegan lemon cookies with lemon icing

A bite-sized cookie that’s sweet, tender, and perfectly lemony!? Count us in! These shortbread-style lemon cookies are so quick and easy, not to mention gluten-free and vegan! One bite, and we were hooked. 

They pack a TON of lemon flavor and require just 8 ingredients, 1 bowl, and 30 minutes to prepare! They’re ideal for spring, especially when you need a super cute and shareable treat! Let’s make cookies!

Gluten-free flours, almond milk, lemon zest, powdered sugar, cane sugar, lemons, and salt

Inspiration For These Lemon Cookies

We aren’t the first to add lemon to cookies, and we certainly won’t be the last, because…YUM! From Italian lemon cookies (a.k.a. Anginetti) to Lemonade Girl Scout cookies to lemon shortbread and beyond, it’s clear that lemon and cookies belong together.

The following is our gluten-free, vegan take on lemon cookies. They have a lemony icing similar to the Italian treat, but their texture more closely resembles a softer shortbread.

How to Make Lemon Cookies

These cookies start with whisking together the sugar and lemon zest. This technique helps bring out the lemon flavor by infusing the sugar with the naturally occurring essential oils in the zest.

Then we add a combination of gluten-free flours for the right texture: brown rice flour for structure, tapioca flour for lightness, and almond flour for a nice crumb.

Lemon cookie dough in a glass mixing bowl

Coconut oil gives the cookies a buttery texture, lemon juice adds natural lemon flavor, sea salt enhances it, and (dairy-free) milk helps the dough come together.

Disc of cookie dough on a piece of parchment paper

Then we form the dough into a disc and let it chill in the refrigerator for a quick 5-10 minutes. Chilling isn’t essential, but it makes it easier to roll out the dough since coconut oil is prone to melting.

Rolling out cookie dough between two sheets of parchment paper

Next, we cut the dough into cookie shapes! And transfer them to a baking sheet for baking. If you don’t have cookie cutters, another option is to roll the dough into a log, freeze it, and then cut into thin slices.

Using a spatula to transfer cut-out cookies to a baking sheet

When fully baked, these cookies develop golden brown edges and are ready to come out of the oven. Let them cool slightly, then dip in a lemony powdered sugar glaze for vibrant lemon flavor!

Perfectly browned lemon cookies on a baking sheet

We hope you LOVE these lemon cookies! They’re:

Sweet
Tender
Lemony
Quick & easy
Perfect for spring
& SO Delicious!

They’re perfect for baby showers, Easter celebrations, and making the most of citrus season! Pair with a glass of dairy-free milk or a warm cup of English breakfast tea for ultimate comfort.

More Lemony Treats

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Glazed lemon cookies on a cooling rack next to a bowl of glaze and a zested lemon

Prep Time 18 minutes

Cook Time 12 minutes

Total Time 30 minutes

Servings 15 (Cookies)

Course Dessert

Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan

Freezer Friendly 1 month

Does it keep? 3 Days

  • 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon zest (1 medium lemon yields ~2 tsp zest)
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup solid refined coconut oil* (unrefined is also okay, but cookies will have a slight coconut flavor)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp dairy-free milk (we used almond)

GLAZE optional

  • 1/2 cup organic powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dairy-free milk (we used almond)
  • 1 pinch lemon zest
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar and lemon zest until well combined and fragrant. Add the brown rice flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, and salt, mixing until well combined. Add in the solid coconut oil and, with clean hands (or a pastry cutter or fork), begin mixing the solid coconut oil with the dry ingredients until no obvious lumps of coconut oil remain. The texture should look sandy and hold together in clumps when you squeeze it.
  • Add the lemon juice and dairy-free milk and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until combined. Resist the temptation to add more liquid — it’s okay if the dough is in separate pieces, as long as it’s moist.

  • Place a piece of parchment or wax paper on the counter and transfer the cookie dough onto the paper. Mold the dough together into a disc and wrap the paper around it. Place the dough in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to make it easier to roll out. Once chilled, place another piece of parchment or wax paper on top of the dough. Using a rolling pin, begin rolling the dough between the pieces of paper until it is 1/4-inch thick. Then, using a 2-inch circle cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as possible (see notes below if you don’t have a cookie cutter). Use a spatula or butter knife to carefully transfer the cookies to the parchment-lined baking sheet. They won’t spread too much, so they should all fit on one large baking sheet.

  • Bake cookies for 10-14 minutes, or until the edges just begin to turn golden brown (a little cracking on top is normal). Repeat the baking process if there is any remaining dough.

  • While the cookies are baking, make your glaze (optional). In a small mixing bowl whisk together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, dairy-free milk, and lemon zest until smooth. Set aside.

  • Remove cookies from the oven and let cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet. If you are glazing them, let them cool completely, then carefully dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and place on a plate or cooling rack to set.

  • Enjoy with a glass of dairy-free milk or a warm cup of English breakfast tea. Keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month.

*Make sure your coconut oil is scoopable (the state it’s typically in when you buy it at the store), not liquid. If it’s too liquidy and pourable, this will negatively affect the cookies. To fix, set jar in refrigerator to firm up for 30 minutes, then stir and let rest another 30 minutes at room temperature. The oil should be consistently solid, not partially solid and partially liquid. Repeat this process (of chilling, stirring, resting) until the right texture is achieved. This is key to ensuring the cookies’ texture is just right and the dough is easy to work with. (For best and most consistent results, be sure to store your coconut oil in a cool, dark place to keep it at the right texture/consistency.)
*If you don’t have cookie cutters, you can roll your dough into a log and slice it! Follow steps 1 through 4, then place a piece of parchment or wax paper on the counter and smoosh the dough together into a tall lump in the middle of the paper. Fold one side of the paper over your dough and begin pressing the ends in and rolling until you have a smooth, even log, about 8 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. Roll it up in the parchment and place in the freezer for 20 minutes. If you prefer square cookies, you can simply press the dough into an even rectangle instead of rolling. Remove the dough from the freezer and cut into 1/4-inch slices. When cutting, rotate your dough log every few slices to avoid getting one side too flat. Place your cookie slices on your prepared baking sheet and bake for 10-14 minutes.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated without optional glaze.

Serving: 1 cookie without glaze Calories: 93 Carbohydrates: 9.9 g Protein: 1.1 g Fat: 5.6 g Saturated Fat: 3.2 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.5 g Monounsaturated Fat: 1.4 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 6 mg Potassium: 44 mg Fiber: 0.7 g Sugar: 3.6 g Vitamin A: 0 IU Vitamin C: 0.6 mg Calcium: 11 mg Iron: 0.2 mg