Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies

5 from 7 votes
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Sweet and tart gluten-free lemon cookies are my favorite springtime treat! Packed with three types of lemon (juice, peel, and extract), they are full of fresh citrus flavor. I topped mine with a sweet glaze for even more moisture and flavor. These homemade lemon cookies take less than half an hour from start to finish!

gluten-free lemon cookies on a blue cookie sheet with a bowl of lemons in the background

I love lemon-flavored desserts! These homemade gluten-free lemon cookies have a nice lemony flavor like my Gluten-Free Lemon Bars and my Gluten-Free Lemon Cake. They are soft in the middle and a little crispy around the edges. The vanilla lemon glaze is the perfect touch of both sweet and tart.

Ingredients

  • Unsalted Butter: Adds moisture and makes the cookies tender. For a dairy-free option, use Smart Balance butter (you may need to chill the dough for up to 30 minutes).
  • Granulated Sugar: Adds sweetness to the cookies.
  • Egg: Helps bind the cookies together.
  • Lemon Juice: Adds fresh lemon flavor.
  • Lemon Extract: Enhances the lemon flavor. If you do not have lemon extract, you can add another 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in its place.
  • Pure Vanilla Extract: Enhances the sweetness of the cookies.
  • Dried Lemon Peel: Enhances the lemon flavor. You can find dried lemon peel with the seasonings at the grocery store. You can substitute with 1 tablespoon of lemon zest.
  • All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour with Xanthan Gum: I like Pillsbury gluten-free. Not all gluten-free flours are created equal. You may experience different baking results depending on the gluten-free flour blend you choose.
  • Leavening: Baking powder and baking soda help the cookies puff up in the oven.
  • Salt: Enhances the natural flavor of the cookies.
  • Glaze: A simple mixture of powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract, lemon juice, and water adds a touch of extra sweetness to the cookies.
gluten-free lemon cookies ingredients photo collage

Tips and Notes

  • Don’t skip the step for softening your butter. Take the butter out of the refrigerator and allow it to soften on the counter for 30 minutes up to an hour. Your butter is soft enough when you touch the butter and can see your fingerprint in the butter. 
  • It is super important to use a measuring cup made for dry ingredients (not a pyrex liquid measuring cup) to measure gluten-free flour. I measure the gluten-free flour with the “spoon & level” method.
  • Cookie dough can be easily made ahead of time. Store the cookie dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.
  • I always use a greased cookie scoop. I use a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop. 
  • If you want a puffy cookie, chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes.
  • I also like to use Reynolds Kitchens Cookie Baking Sheets. It has a smart grid that makes it super easy to line up your cookies on your baking sheet.
  • If you are not baking both batches of cookies at the same time, place the dough back in the refrigerator while you are baking the first batch of cookies.
  • Bake the cookies on the middle rack.

Why Are My Cookies Melting?

If your cookies are melting into puddles as they bake, it’s likely that the butter is too soft. Simply chill the shaped cookie dough balls for 10-30 minutes before attempting to bake the next batch.

gluten-free lemon cookie with a bite outof it to show the texture ontop of antoher cookie on a blue cookie sheet with other cookies

Freezing cookie dough is super easy! The best way to freeze this cookie dough is to flash-freeze the cookie dough balls. Place the lemon cookie dough balls on a baking sheet just like you are making cookies. Then place them in the freezer to flash freeze for 10 minutes.

Once the cookies are flash-frozen (a little frozen), place the cookie dough balls into a freezer bag. Raw cookie dough can be frozen for up to six months. You do not need to thaw the cookie dough before you bake them. You may need to bake the lemon cookies for an extra minute or two, so please watch your cookies.

Storage Instructions

Store homemade gluten-free lemon cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.

gluten-free lemon cookies with glaze on a blue cookie sheet
5 from 7 votes

Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies {Dairy-Free Option}

Servings: 24 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 22 minutes
gluten-free lemon cookies on a blue cookie sheet
Sweet and tart gluten-free lemon cookies are packed with three types of lemon (juice, peel, and extract) and topped with a sweet glaze!

Ingredients 

Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, Dairy-free option use Smart Balance butter. Depending on how soft your dairy-free butter is, you may need to chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes. The cookie dough balls should not be super soft and should hold their shape.
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon pure lemon extract, If you do not have lemon extract, you can add another 2 tablespoons of lemon juice in its place.
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon dried lemon peel, You can find dried lemon peel with the seasonings at the grocery store. You can substitute with 1 tablespoon of lemon zest.
  • 2 drops gluten-free yellow gel food coloring (optional), For a more yellow cookie, you can add two drops of gluten-free gel food coloring. 
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour with xanthan gum, I like Pillsbury gluten-free. Not all gluten-free flours are created equal. You may experience different baking results depending on the gluten-free flour blend you choose.
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons water

Instructions 

Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray the baking sheet with gluten-free cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, cream the softened butter and sugar together with a mixer until light and fluffy.
  • Mix in the egg, pure vanilla extract, pure lemon extract, lemon juice, and dried lemon peel until fully combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula, as needed. For a more yellow cookie, you can add two drops of gluten-free gel food coloring. 
  • Whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl. Add the gluten-free flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until smooth.
  • Drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoon or use a greased cookie scoop. (I used a greased 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop). Place the cookies 2-inches apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. If you are baking one batch at a time, place the cookie dough back into the refrigerator.
  • Bake the cookies on the middle rack for 12-13 minutes or until cookies starting to lightly brown around the edges. Remove from the oven and cool cookies about 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Please watch your cookies because all ovens are different.
  • Once the cookies are cooled, drizzle the glaze over the cookies.
  • Store the leftover cookies in an air-tight container at room temperature.

Glaze

  • Whisk together the glaze ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over the cooled cookies.

Video

Notes

  • I like Pillsbury gluten-free flour. Not all gluten-free flours are created equal. You may experience different baking results depending on the gluten-free flour blend you choose.
  • Use the “spoon and knife” method to measure gluten-free flour.
  • I always use a greased 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop.
  • You can substitute 2 tablespoons of lemon juice for the lemon extract.
  • You can substitute 1 tablespoon of lemon zest for the dried lemon peel. 
  • I use a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop.
  • I like to use Reynolds Kitchens Cookie Baking Sheets. It has a smart grid that makes it super easy to line up your cookies on your baking sheet. 
  • For the dairy-free option, I used Smart Balance butter. Depending on how soft your dairy-free butter is you may need to chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes. The cookie dough balls should not be super soft and should hold their shape.
  • Store in an air-tight container at room temperature.
  • The cookie dough can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to 4 days. 
  • The cookie dough can be frozen for up to 6 months.
  • Mama says, “Check all of your labels!”

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookieCalories: 126kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 1gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 23mgSodium: 114mgPotassium: 16mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gVitamin A: 189IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @mamaknowsglutenfree or tag #mamaknowsglutenfree!

About Audrey Roberts

I'm Audrey Roberts, a busy mama of four and I love sharing the recipes that I make for my family. I make gluten-free family-friendly recipes that are simple and delicious that you can too! I use easy to find ingredients that won't break your budget. You will also find dairy-free options and Paleo recipes. I am also the author of The Everything Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Cookbook, which is an Amazon Best Selling Cookbook in the US and Internationally. Living gluten-free since 2010. I hope by me sharing my journey it may help you with yours.

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Recipe Rating




8 Comments

  1. Easy cookies to make and they are so delicious! I am trying to cut back on refined sugar so I did 1/2 cup sugar and the 1/4 cup honey and 1/4 cup pure maple syrup. The batter was a bit thin, but I could easily spoon it into a cookie sheet. I was able to get about 30 cookies. I glazed with a silicone basting brush and put it on more like a frosting. Even with the sugar substitute they are easily one of my favorite cookies! Bringing for Easter brunch!

  2. I’ve made these a few times and they are absolutely delicious! My family , who most are not Gluten Free, love them and request them. My question is can they be frozen after baked and glazed?

  3. I made these today for a cookie reception. Super-delish! The texture was great, the flavor balance between sweet and tart was perfect – so said one of the guests! I used lemon zest instead of dried lemon peel. I also used King Arthur measure-for-measure GF flour. I gilded the lily and glazed – I liked the added zing and, since they were on display, I wanted them to be more than a plain pale cookie.

  4. These cookies are my favorite AND the best cookies I have made since becoming gluten free. This time they flattened out after cooling. I did refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes. Don’t get my wrong, they are still delicious but wondering what happened? Thank you for your wonderful recipes.

  5. I substituted 1 teaspoon Boyajian lemon oil for the extract & juice – they were absolutely delish! No need to guild the lily with glaze.

  6. Awesome cookies. My nephew, who does NOT require gluten free said these are his favorite cookie of all time. If you knew how extremely picky he is you would realize how big a deal his comment really is. He has asked that I bring them to our family Christmas celebration tonight.

  7. Made these today. So yummy. I’m not a baker so I was surprised that they turned out so good. Made them dairy free too. Can’t wait until my family gets to eat them in Christmas.

  8. These are the best lemon cookies by far. My friend said that I could make these regularly; they’ve become her favourite cookie!