By/ Last Modified On November 14, 2023
Tender, soft, gluten-free lemon cookies are packed with bright lemon flavor and topped with a sweet and zesty lemon glaze. In this post, we're covering what ingredients are used to make gluten-free lemon cookies, how to make gluten-free lemon cookies, tips for making them, and how to store gluten-free lemon cookies.
If you love lemon-flavored desserts, you should try my Gluten-Free Lemon Bars, Gluten-Free Lemon Bread, Gluten-Free Lemon Cake, or Gluten-Free Lemon Cupcakes. Alternatively, try these gluten-free cookie recipes: gluten-free shortbread cookies and these decadent gluten-free double chocolate chip cookies.
Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies Recipe
These soft, chewy, gluten-free lemon cookies with warm vanilla and tart lemon flavors will be your new favorite. I find something about this flavor combination irresistible, and you may find me eating quite a few of these in one sitting!
I call these lemon drizzle cookies because the lemonade-flavored icing is so beautifully drizzled on top of each cookie, making them as delicious as they are.
With some easy-to-find ingredients and just about an hour of your time, you'll have a platter of gluten-free lemon cookies that everyone in the family will love.
Why You’re Going to Love These Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies
Great texture - The soft and tender texture, bursting with a bright lemon flavor and topped with a sweet and zesty lemon glaze.
Easy to make - They are easy to make, requiring just a few simple ingredients, and are perfect for lemon lovers who enjoy a sweet and tangy taste.
Bake to your taste - They are also versatile, as you can add lemon extract for a stronger lemon flavor or adjust the baking time to achieve either a soft and chewy or crispy texture.
Ingredients in Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies
Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour - I used Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour in the blue bag. I find that this gives me the best cookie-baking results. You can't use almond flour. Make sure your blend has xantham gum. If not, add xanthan gum to it.
Baking Powder - Added to baked goods, the baking powder creates air bubbles and rises in them. Not baking soda.
Kosher Salt - A bit of salt is always welcome in sweet things to balance the flavors.
Granulated Sugar - A must for most cookie recipes, sugar is what makes things sweet. White sugar in cookies makes them crispy as well.
Unsalted Butter - Leave your butter on the counter for a few hours to bring it to room temperature. I prefer unsalted butter in baked goods because then I can control the amount of salt in the recipe.
Egg - One egg helps bind everything together. Use any type of large egg that you like.
Zest and Lemon Juice - You'll need a bit more than 2 teaspoons of real lemon juice for this recipe. Freshly squeezed is preferred. Before you juice your lemons, remove the outer yellow rind with a microplane grater.
Pure Vanilla Extract - Vanilla goes so perfectly with the sweet lemon flavor of these cookies.
Powdered Sugar - Mixed with lemon juice and zest, powdered sugar helps create these gluten-free cookies' shiny, sweet glaze.
Equipment Needed for This Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies
Mixing bowls - These are used to mix and combine ingredients together.
Whisk - This tool beats ingredients together and incorporates air into batters or whipped cream.
Spatula - This is a versatile tool used for scraping down the sides of bowls, folding ingredients together, or flipping food while cooking.
Baking sheet - This is a flat, rectangular sheet used for baking cookies, biscuits, and other baked goods in the oven.
Parchment paper - This is used to line the baking sheet and prevent sticking of the cookies while they bake.
Cooling rack - This is used to cool the baked cookies and prevent them from becoming soggy on the bottom.
If you have any questions about making Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies, please leave a comment, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
How to Make Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies
- Whisk together the gluten-free flour blend, baking powder, and kosher salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside the gluten-free flour mixture. Then in a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
- Mix until combined and no more streaks of flour remain.
- Scoop into 18 equal portions (about 1 oz. each), and roll into balls about the size of ping pong balls. Mix granulated sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl, then roll each ball into the sugar mixture and set on prepared baking sheets.
- Bake as directed in the recipe card below until the edges are set, and the tops of the cookies are no longer shiny. Let cookies cool before glazing.
- To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Drizzle the lemon sugar glaze over the sugar cookies.
- Allow glaze to set before serving.
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. Please see the recipe below for the complete list of ingredients and instructions for making gluten-free lemon cookies.
Tips for Making the Best Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies
Don't overbake - If you want a soft and chewy gluten-free lemon cookie, don't overbake. These cookies will continue to cook a bit while they cool on the tray. If you prefer crispy cookies, add two minutes to the baking time.
Use enough lemon juice - Two lemons should be enough for this recipe to get the amount of juice and zest. You may need more if your lemons are small or dryer than usual. Add 1 teaspoon of good-quality lemon extract to the cookie dough with the vanilla extract to make your gluten-free lemon cookies extra lemony.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Makes This Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies Recipe Special?
- They are so light they melt on your tongue.
- The rich, buttery taste.
- Incredibly simple to make.
- Cookie dough requires no chilling before baking.
What is the Best Flour Blend for Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies?
How To Tell When Gluten-free Lemon Cookies Are Done Baking?
You can easily tell if your GF lemon cookies are done baking if they are barely brown around the edges. Also, they should be done if they no longer glisten at all in the center.
One of the ways to avoid over-baking is not to make them too thin because they will bake too quickly. Ensuring your oven is not too hot is also a good way to prevent your cookies from burning and crumbling.
Do I Have To Chill This Gluten-free Lemon Cookie Dough?
No, you don't. You can start baking as soon as you mix all the ingredients!
What Substitutions Can I Make In These Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies?
Dairy-free lemon cookies - You can use vegan butter or butter-flavored nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening. However, you will probably need to add more moisture because these variations have almost none.
Egg-free lemon cookies - You can replace the egg with aquafaba (the brine from a can of chickpeas). Beat it until foamy, and use about the same amount as the weight of one egg, which is around 25 grams.
Nut-free lemon cookies - If you can't tolerate nuts, you can use a flour blend made of gluten-free oat flour, sweet rice flour, and tapioca flour.
How Do I Store Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies?
These cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for 2-3 days. If stacking them on top of each other, consider putting parchment paper between each gluten-free lemon cookie so they don't stick together.
Can I Freeze Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies?
These cookies freeze very well! For best results, freeze the cookies after baking but before glazing. Place on a baking sheet and freeze for one hour. Then, place it in a freezer container for storage. Allow thawing before glazing and serving.
Using the same method, you can freeze the cookies after glazing, but the glaze will become a bit sticky after thawing and won't have the hard icing exterior.
Why Do My GF Lemon Cookies Spread Too Much?
Gluten-free baking is different from using gluten, so it might have happened because:
- The butter you used was too soft: If the butter was too soft when mixed with sugar, your dough became too soft and spread too much.
- You didn't add enough flour: Always measure your gluten-free flour by weight!
- The baking sheet was too warm: I always recommend placing GF lemon cookie dough on a baking sheet that is room temperature or cool. Never warm.
Why Was My GF Lemon Cookie Dough Too Sticky To Handle?
Again, if your butter was too soft, your dough might have been too soft as well and difficult to handle. But don't worry, here's a simple solution. Place the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm it up a bit, and add some sugar.
Why Didn't My Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies Spread Enough?
Gluten-free baking is different, so here are a few reasons:
- You used the wrong flour brand: Different gluten-free flour brands lead to different results. That's why I always recommend sticking to Bob's Red Mill.
- You added too much flour: And I can't stress this enough - always measure flour by weight. If you measure by volume, lightly scoop the measuring cup and then scrape the top flat with a knife.
- You chilled the dough before baking: Chilling your GF lemon cookie dough is unnecessary before baking. If you bake the dough straight from the freezer, it won't spread enough.
Can I Make These Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies Into Lime Cookies?
Yes, you can make these cookies with lime instead of lemon for a lime flavor. Simply replace the lemon zest and juice with lime zest and juice in the recipe.
Do I Need To Refrigerate The Dough Before Baking?
It is not required, but if your cookies are too sticky, place the dough in the fridge for 20 minutes to firm it up, and add some sugar.
Can I Freeze The Dough?
Yes, you can freeze the dough. Shape the dough into balls and place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze the balls for at least 2 hours or until they are solid. Then, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or bag and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to bake, simply place the frozen dough balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for a few extra minutes as needed.
Can I Use Lemon Extract Instead Of Fresh Lemon Juice?
Yes, you can use lemon extract instead of fresh lemon juice in this recipe. However, remember that lemon extract has a more concentrated flavor than lemon juice, so you may need to adjust the amount you use. Generally, you can substitute 1 teaspoon of lemon extract for 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice. So, for this recipe, you would need 1 teaspoon of lemon extract instead of 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.
How Can I Make Sure My Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies Are Not Dry?
- Don't overmix the dough - Overmixing the dough can lead to dry and tough cookies. Mix the dough until the ingredients are just combined.
- Don't overbake the cookies - Overbaking the cookies can also result in a dry texture. Check the cookies a few minutes before the recommended baking time, and remove them from the oven as soon as the edges are set, and the top is no longer shiny.
- Add a little extra moisture - If your cookie dough is too dry, add an extra tablespoon of lemon juice or even a little milk to add more moisture to the dough.
- Let the cookies cool properly - Allow them to cool completely before storing them. When cookies are still warm, they release moisture, resulting in a dry texture. Store the cookies in an airtight container to help retain their moisture.
How Do You Tell When Your GF Lemon Cookies Are Done Baking?
You can tell when your gluten-free lemon cookies are done baking when the edges are set, and the top is no longer shiny. Do not overbake them, as the cookies will continue baking for a few minutes on the pan after being removed from the oven. You can also gently touch the cookie's center; if it feels slightly firm and springs back when you touch it, it's done. Let them cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
More Gluten-Free Cookies
Gluten-Free Blondies - Chewy, gooey, and loaded with sweet white chocolate chips, Gluten-Free Blondies are an easy-to-make dessert that everyone loves.
Gluten-Free Shortbread Cookies - You can enjoy these cookies year-round, although we tend to increase our batches for the holidays. These gluten-free cookies make great gifts. They are sturdy, crispy, cut-out cookies made with only 5 simple to find ingredients.
Gluten-Free Monster Cookies - Monster cookies are super colorful and full to make. They are almost what you'd call a kitchen sink cookie, in my opinion. Soft-baked and oh-so-delicious, these Gluten-Free Monster Cookies will disappear in no time. This recipe is simple, and you can add your favorite cookie add-ins.
Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies - You can add raisins or chocolate chips to this gluten-free cookie recipe or both! Crunchy and chewy, these Gluten-Free Oatmeal Cookies will disappear in no time. This recipe is simple and doesn't use expensive ingredients or labor-intensive steps.
For The Cookies
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (I used Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¾ cups granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
For The Glaze
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line to baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour blend, baking powder, and kosher salt. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and granulated sugar, for 1-2 minutes or until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients and mix until combined and no more streaks of flour remain.
- Scoop into 18 equal portions (about 1 oz. each), and roll into balls, about the size of ping pong balls.
- In a small bowl, combine granulated sugar and lemon zest. Roll the dough balls into the sugar mixture and set on the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between each ball.
- Bake at 350F for 7-8 minutes, until edges are set and the top of the cookies are no longer shiny. Do not overbake - the cookies will continue baking a few minutes on the pan after it is removed from the oven.
- Let cool for 10-15 minutes before glazing.
- To make the glaze, combine powdered sugar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. The glaze should be on the thicker side, but still easy to drizzle.
- Drizzle the glaze over the lemon cookies and allow to set.
- If you would like your cookies to be extra lemon flavored, you can add a good quality pure lemon extract to this
recipe. I suggest 1 teaspoon.
- You will need 2 lemons for this recipe to get the amount of juice and zest needed in the ingredients list.
- It is key not to overbake these cookies to get a soft and chewy texture. If you like a crispy cookie, you can add 2 minutes to the bake time.
- These cookies will keep at room temperature for 2-3 days. You can freeze them for longer storage. Place on a baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour. Then, wrap them in a freezer safe container for storage. Allow to thaw at room temperature before serving. It’s best to freeze before glazing the cookies, but you can freeze after glazing as well if you wish. The glaze will become a bit sticky after thawing and not have that hard exterior, but still delicious!
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Reynolds Kitchens Parchment Paper Roll, 60 Square Feet
Checkered Chef Cooling Rack - Set of 2 Stainless Steel, Oven Safe Grid Wire Cookie Cooling Racks for Baking & Cooking - 8” x 11 ¾"
Watkins All Natural Original Gourmet Baking Vanilla, with Pure Vanilla Extract, 11 ounces Bottle, 1 Count (Packaging May Vary)
Microplane Classic Zester Grater, Black
Bobs Red Mill, Baking Flour 1 To 1 Gluten Free, 22 Ounce
Serving Size:3 cookies
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 118Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 24mgSodium: 40mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 0gSugar: 17gProtein: 0g
This nutrition info is based on the exact ingredients and brands that I used a the time. It may not be 100% accurate. Please check your ingredients nutrition labels.