Cookies/ Summer

Gluten-Free and Vegan Lemon Cookies

It’s no secret that a soft and pillowy sugar cookie is just a dream cookie. I love a traditional sugar cookie; in fact, I think sugar cookies are one of the best cookies out there. I developed a recipe for sugar cookie bars simply because there was a while back in 2019 when I made sugar cookies almost every week for my husband and me. I shortened the process by making them into one bar to frost rather than 20-30 individual cookies. I will often be the first to argue with you if you try to update or mess with a traditional sugar cookie; that being said…I just made my new favorite cookie that I had to share with you all.

Gluten-Free and Vegan Lemon Cookies

These cookies have a sweet and vanilla flavor from the sugar-cookie base with a zesty brightness from the fresh lemon juice and lemon zest. The perfect balance of sweet and tangy for the ultimate summer cookie. Lemon cookies remind me of an afternoon treat because they are light, fresh, and a perfect partner to an afternoon cocktail or iced tea.

Why do we add fresh lemon zest?

I never leave the grocery store without lemons because lemons are such a versatile ingredient for baking and cooking – especially during the summer months. The zest of a lemon contains oils from citrus. These oils are almost like a concentrated flavor released when the tang is grated or twisted. You know, when you read a recipe for a cocktail that states to “add a twist, ” you pinch the lemon rind and twist over the drink to express the aromatics of the lemon. Similarly to this crucial step for cocktail recipes, lemon zest adds bright and earthy lemon notes that pair beautifully with the zing of lemon juice in baking.

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Gluten-Free and Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies

Gluten-Free and Vegan Lemon Cookies

  • Author: Paige
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 27 minutes
  • Yield: 1620 cookies 1x
  • Category: cookies
  • Method: baking


Gluten-free and vegan lemon cookies are both zesty and sweet that make the perfect summer cookie. These cookies are an upgrade from a traditional sugar cookie but maintain a soft and pillowy texture with a light crumb.


Units Scale


  • 1/2 cup of vegan butter
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons of dairy free milk
  • 2 cups of gluten-free flour


  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tablespoon of vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. In a mixing bowl cream the butter and the sugars together until creamy (about 1-2 minutes)
  3. Add the baking soda, salt, vanilla extract and lemon zest to the sugar mixture and beat until combined
  4. Next add in the lemon juice and dairy free milk, mix until combined
  5. Lastly, slowly add in the gluten-free flour until the dough becomes thick and non sticky to the touch – it should be pulling away from the bowl in a large chunk
  6. Using your hands, form 2″ balls of dough and press them down slightly on the cookie sheet at least 1.5″ apart from each other
  7. Bake for 12 minutes until they are slightly cracked
  8. In a bowl combine the icing ingredients and zest 1 teaspoon of additional zest
  9. Let the cookies cool completely (at least 30 minutes) before drizzling on the icing and garnishing with lemon zest
  10. Eat and enjoy!


*if you use an egg, omit 2 tablespoons of dairy free milk


Keywords: gluten-free and vegan lemon cookies

The best summer cookie!

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