These vegan lemon cookies have a deliciously soft texture and tangy fresh lemon flavor. They are made with almond flour and coconut oil to make them gluten-free and dairy-free with no butter or egg. A simple lemon glaze and fresh lemon zest on top make them even more flavorful and pretty, too!
One of the best things about these lemon cookies is how easy they are to make. You only need one bowl to make the cookies and they are ready to enjoy in just 20 minutes. They are perfect for spring and summer parties and events!
Why You'll Love These Cookies
- Easy to make - These cookies are so easy to make in just one bowl. They are ready in less than 30 minutes and you do not need a mixer!
- Soft, chewy texture - The cookies have crisp edges and a soft, chewy center. The best of both worlds!
- Fresh lemon flavor - Lemon zest and lemon juice give the cookies a fresh, tart lemon flavor with the perfect amount of sweetness.
- Easy lemon glaze - A simple 2-ingredient lemon glaze makes the perfect topping to the vegan lemon cookies.
- No butter - Melted coconut oil takes the place of butter in these cookies and gives them such a moist, soft texture.
- Gluten free and vegan - These lemon cookies with almond flour are gluten-free and vegan, but you can't tell by how good they taste!
All the ingredients for these vegan cookies are healthy and plant-based.
Below are some helpful notes about some of the ingredients, including recommendations for substitutions if you need to make them:
- Almond Flour - I recommend using superfine blanched almond flour for the best results. Blanched almond flour is made from almonds with their skin removed and has a sweet, nutty taste that pairs perfectly with the lemon flavor. I have not tested the recipe with any other flours.
- Lemon Zest - Using fresh lemon zest is crucial to adding a strong lemon flavor to the cookies! Do not omit this. You can sprinkle some fresh lemon zest on top of the baked cookies for even more flavor.
- Coconut Oil - These vegan lemon cookies have no butter. Melted coconut oil keeps them moist and soft while providing a neutral taste for the lemon flavor to shine. You can replace the coconut oil with canola oil or vegetable oil, if preferred.
- Pure Maple Syrup - Be sure to use 100% pure maple syrup in the cookies. The maple syrup is a delicious natural sweetener. There is no added sugar in the cookies!
- Lemon Juice - Mixing lemon juice into the cookies makes the cookie dough the proper consistency and adds even more lemon flavor.
Be sure to see the recipe card for a full list of ingredients.
You don't need a mixer to make these lemon cookies with almond flour. You just need one bowl and a spoon to mix up the cookie dough in less than 5 minutes.
STEP 1: Mix dry ingredients. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the almond flour, lemon zest, baking soda, and salt until combined.
STEP 2: Add wet ingredients. Add the melted coconut oil, pure maple syrup, fresh lemon juice, and vanilla extract to the bowl.
STEP 3: Stir until a thick, sticky dough forms. It may be quite clumpy and thick, but this is how it should be!
STEP 4: Scoop dough. Use a small 1-inch cookie scoop to scoop out evenly sized cookie dough balls. Place them on a prepared baking sheet at least 1 inch apart.
STEP 5: Flatten the dough. Use your fingers or the back of a spatula to gently flatten the cookies. This encourages them to spread while baking. Gluten-free cookies do not spread much on their own, so make sure they are the right size and shape before you bake them.
STEP 6: Bake. Bake the cookies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 14-16 minutes. The edges may be slightly golden. but don't let them brown. Remove them when they appear slightly underbaked and let them finish setting up on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes. This gives them the best crispy edges and soft, chewy centers!
TIP: Line the baking sheet with parchment paper before adding the cookie dough to make things easy and protect your baking sheet from grease.
Easy Lemon Glaze
The lemon glaze is even easier to make than the cookies. You just need 2 ingredients: vegan powdered sugar and lemon juice. That's it!
STEP 1: Mix sugar and lemon juice. Add the vegan powdered sugar to a small bowl and mix it with fresh lemon juice one tablespoon at a time. The lemon glaze should be creamy and smooth, just thin enough to drizzle, but not runny.
TIP: You can easily adjust the consistency of the lemon glaze by adding more powdered sugar to make it thicker, or adding more lemon juice to make it thinner.
STEP 2: Glaze the cookies. Use a spoon or a piping bag with a small tip to drizzle the lemon glaze over the cookies. Drizzling in a back-and-forth motion gives pretty "stripes" over the lemon cookies.
You can also dip the cookies in the glaze to cover the tops of the cookies if you prefer.
Expert Baking Tips
- Slightly underbake the cookies - Gluten-free lemon cookies with almond flour bake fairly quickly, and you don't want them to burn and become too crisp. Remove the cookies from the oven while they appear to be slightly underbaked and let them set up on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes to finish cooking. This gives you the best soft and chewy lemon cookies!
- Shape the cookies while still warm - While the cookies are still warm from the oven, you can use a big circular cookie cutter to "scoot" around the lemon cookies if you want them to be perfectly round. You can use your fingers to shape the cookies instead, but be very careful because they are still warm.
- Sprinkle lemon zest on top - Adding a sprinkle of fresh lemon zest on top of freshly glazed lemon cookies adds even more lemon flavor and a beautiful touch.
Easy Cookie Variations
You can easily adapt this recipe to make different lemon cookie variations that are equally delicious! Here are just a few ideas to make for next time:
Almond Lemon Cookies
Since these cookies are made with almond flour, there is a subtle almond taste already present. To make almond lemon cookies with a stronger almond flavor, replace the vanilla extract with 2-3 teaspoons pure almond extract.
You can choose to replace some of the lemon juice in the lemon glaze with almond extract for an even stronger almond flavor.
Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies
It's super easy to make vegan lemon sugar cookies! Before placing the cookie dough balls on the baking sheet, roll them in 2-3 tablespoons vegan granulated sugar. I like using cane sugar because it is less processed than other sugars. You can also use coconut sugar for a caramel-like taste, and coconut sugar is naturally vegan.
Consider sprinkling some extra sugar on top of the cookies when they are warm and fresh out of the oven. They will have beautiful, glistening, sugar-coated tops!
Vegan Lemon Poppyseed Cookies
Making gluten-free and vegan lemon poppyseed cookies is easy with just a simple change to the recipe. Mix in 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds to the dry ingredients. They add such a nice touch to the cookies!
For a totally different flavor, you can try these gluten-free pumpkin cookies sometime.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, these vegan lemon cookies are made with almond flour, which makes them gluten-free. Almond flour is naturally gluten-free and vegan.
Yes! These cookies are very similar to lemon shortbread cookies. They have crisp edges but a soft, chewy center, like shortbread.
These cookies are made with healthy, plant-based ingredients. They are gluten-free and vegan and much healthier than other cookie recipes because of their healthy and simple ingredients.
Absolutely! Make a simple 2-ingredient lemon glaze for the cookies to add extra lemon flavor and a pretty finishing touch. A drizzle of lemon icing on top adds so much flavor! You can make it with vegan powdered sugar and lemon juice.
Since the lemon cookies are made with almond flour, they already have a sweet, nutty almond taste. You can replace the vanilla extract with 2 teaspoons of almond extract for the perfect almond lemon cookies.
Storing & Freezing
Store the leftover lemon cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days. They do not need to be refrigerated, but it doesn't hurt if you'd rather store them in the fridge. The cookies are dairy-free, which means they won't go bad at room temperature.
You can freeze the vegan lemon cookies in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. It's helpful to place a sheet of parchment paper between each layer of cookies so the glaze does not get stuck to the bottom of the cookies. Remember to let the cookies thaw at room temperature before enjoying them again.
More Cookie Recipes
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Vegan Lemon Cookies
- 1 Large Mixing Bowl
- 1 Baking Sheet
Vegan Lemon Cookies
- 2 ⅔ cups superfine blanched almond flour
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice fresh or bottled
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup vegan powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
Vegan Lemon Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Add the almond flour, lemon zest, baking soda, and salt to a large mixing bowl and stir until combined.2 ⅔ cups superfine blanched almond flour, 2 teaspoons lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt
- Add in the melted coconut oil, maple syrup, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. Stir until a thick, sticky dough forms.¼ cup melted coconut oil, 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, 4 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Use a small cookie scoop to scoop out evenly sized cookie dough balls, about 1-2 tablespoons of dough. Place them on the baking sheet 1 to 2 inches apart. Gently flatten them with your fingers to encourage them to spread while baking.
- Bake the cookies for 14-16 minutes or until the edges have set and are slightly golden. Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes to finish setting up. Then, transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely before glazing.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the vegan powdered sugar and lemon juice one teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached. It should be just thin enough to drizzle over the cookies, but not too runny.1-2 tablespoons lemon juice, ½ cup vegan powdered sugar
- Use a spoon or piping bag with a small tip to drizzle the lemon glaze over the cooled lemon cookies. If desired, sprinkle fresh lemon zest on top of the cookies while the glaze is still wet. Enjoy!