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Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies (Vegan)

Soft and chewy, these vegan and gluten-free lemon cookies are packed with bold lemon flavor. Simple to prep, only ten minutes and no chilling necessary; this easy one-bowl recipe will be a new lemony family favorite.

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Light golden yellow lemon cookies with white chocolate chips and a little bit of bright yellow lemon zest.

The Best Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies

These super soft and super chewy gluten-free lemon cookies are pure summer sunshine. Full of real lemon flavor and yummy white chocolate chips, they are ready to be devoured in just 20 minutes.

I am confident you’re going to love these gluten-free and vegan lemon cookies as much as I do and here’s why:

The Best Texture – So soft and chewy without being cakey.

So Much Lemon – Bursting with bright lemon juice and zest. Yum!

Easy To Make – One bowl and no chilling required.

Dietary/Lifestyle Friendly – Vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, egg-free, dairy-free, or “regular” this recipe can be easily adjusted to suit your specific lifestyle and dietary needs.

Light golden yellow lemon cookies with white chocolate chips and a little bit of bright yellow lemon zest.

Lemon Cookies Ingredients & Substitutions

As always this recipe is vegan and gluten-free. That said, I test each recipe with “regular” ingredients and make notes of alternatives or swaps so that everyone can enjoy it.

Here are a few key ingredients for these gluten-free lemon cookies but make sure you scroll to the bottom recipe card for the complete ingredient list.

Flour: I made these cookies with XO Baking gluten-free all-purpose flour blend. If you are not gluten-free, use regular all-purpose flour. Note that gluten-free flour blends can vary in weight so I recommend measuring by the cup.

Cornstarch: Creates a wonderfully thick and chewy texture. Can be subbed with arrowroot powder, potato starch, or simply more flour.

Sugar: This recipe calls for granulated white sugar. You can substitute it with organic cane sugar if desired.

Butter: Becel plant-based bricks are my personal favorite for baking but any brick-style dairy-free, vegan, lactose-free, or regular butter will work. 

Applesauce: I prefer to bake with unsweetened applesauce but if you can only find sweetened, I recommend reducing the sugar by 2 tablespoons. Sour cream or Greek yogurt (whatever kind fits your dietary needs) could be used as well.

Lemon Juice/Zest: Fresh is best, I always say. The flavor of freshly squeezed and zested lemon cannot be beaten but bottled lemon juice can be used if need be.

White Chocolate Chips: Both Pascha and EnjoyLife have plant-based white chocolate chips. Use whatever kind/brand fits your dietary needs. I used Pascha mini white chocolate chips for my cookies.

Light golden yellow lemon cookies with white chocolate chips and a little bit of bright yellow lemon zest.

Easy Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies Step-By-Step Instructions

You’ll need a stand mixer or large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, a spatula, parchment paper, and a large cookie sheet.

1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2. Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and lemon zest on high speed for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

3. Add in the applesauce, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and mix on high for another 2 minutes. The mixture might look a bit separated but it’s okay. It will come together when the dry ingredients are added. Scrape down the sides of the bowl when necessary.

4. Measure in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and mix on low until combined and a soft dough forms.

5. Gently fold in the white chocolate chips.

7. With a large 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough, 2 inches apart from each other, onto the prepared cookie sheet. Top with a few extra chocolate chips if desired.

8. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges are set and the center is slightly underbaked. Be careful not to overbake. Let fully cool on the cookie sheet. Enjoy!

Pro Tip: Want a perfectly round cookie? Gently press errant cookie edges or chocolate chips in with a butter knife as soon as they as out of the oven and still hot.

Light golden yellow lemon cookies with white chocolate chips and a little bit of bright yellow lemon zest.

Vegan Lemon Cookie Recipe Tips & Tricks

Flour Measurement: Dry crumbly cookies are often due to improper flour measurement. If you are not measuring by weight, which I always recommend, be sure to spoon, not scoop, the flour out of the container and into the measuring cup. 

Scrape The Bowl: Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl several times through the mixing/beating process. This ensures all the butter is properly aerated.

Baking Time: To keep these cookies soft and chewy, do not over-bake. You want the edges just set. If they are hard or golden, you have baked the cookies too long.

Baking Location: I always recommend baking cookies one sheet at a time in the middle rack; this allows the heat to circulate evenly around the cookies.

Light golden yellow lemon cookies with white chocolate chips and a little bit of bright yellow lemon zest.

Gluten-Free Lemon Cookie FAQs

Can I Make These “Regular” (ie. not gluten-free?)

Yes! Swap the vegan & gluten-free ingredients with their regular counterparts. See the above section titled Ingredients & Substitutions for more detail.

Am I Able to Double the Recipe?

It doubles, triples, heck even quadruples like a dream! Bonus: you can half it too.

How Do I Keep Them Soft?

Store these ultra-soft gluten-free and vegan lemon cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. Alternatively, they can also be frozen for up to 6 months.

Can I Use Different Add-Ins?

Dark chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, almonds, cashews, sprinkles, or even shredded coconut would all be exceptional add-in alternatives! 

How To Store Lemon Cookies

A dream to freeze, these vegan and gluten-free lemon cookies are good frozen for up to 6 months. Alternatively, place them in an airtight container and store them at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Pro Tip: Want the softest cookies even on day 5? Put a slice of gluten-free bread (or regular bread if not making them gluten-free) in the airtight container. The cookies will absorb the moisture from the bread and remain incredibly soft.

Light golden yellow lemon cookies with white chocolate chips and a little bit of bright yellow lemon zest.

The Easiest Gluten-Free Lemon Cookie Recipe

Full of real lemon flavor and wonderfully chewy, this melt-in-your-mouth dairy-free and gluten-free lemon cookie recipe is almost too good to be true. Lusciously zesty lemon and a sweet hint of white chocolate!

With an adaptable ingredient list, you can tailor this recipe to suit vegan, gluten-free, egg-free, dairy-free, or just plain regular cookie needs to create an amazing lemon cookie that everyone can enjoy.

I would love to know if you make this easy gluten-free lemon cookie recipe. If you do, tag me on social media @cakedbykatie and leave this recipe a 5-star rating and review below. I can’t wait to see it!

Lemon Baking Recipes

No such thing as too much lemon! Here are a few of my favorite bright zippy lemon-inspired recipes:

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Light golden yellow lemon cookies with white chocolate chips and a little bit of bright yellow lemon zest.

Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies (Vegan)


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  • Author: Katie Stymiest
  • Total Time: 20 Minutes
  • Yield: 20 Cookies 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Soft and chewy, these vegan and gluten-free lemon cookies are packed with bold lemon flavor. Only ten minutes and no chilling necessary; this easy one-bowl recipe will be a new lemony family favorite.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1/2 cup (114g) vegan butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest, freshly grated
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon (15ml) vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (240g) gluten-free flour 1:1 baking blend
  • 1/3 cup (40g) cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 cup (168g) vegan white chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a standmixer or large mixing bowl with handheld mixer, cream together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. 
  3. Add in the lemon juice, applesauce, and vanilla extract and mix on high for another 2 minutes. Note that the mixture may look a bit separated here, it’s okay.
  4. Measure in the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and mix on low until a soft dough forms.
  5. Gently fold in the white chocolate chips.
  6. With a large cookie scoop, scoop the cookie dough onto the prepared cookie sheet approximately 2 inches apart. Placec a few additional white chocolate chips on top if desired. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The edges should be set and the center will appear slightly underbaked.
  7. Allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a wire rack to fully cool. Enjoy!
  8. Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 6 months.
  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 Minutes
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

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