Vegan Lemon Cookies
These easy Vegan lemon cookies have the perfect chewy texture and fresh lemon flavor! They are made in one bowl and only take about 20 minutes from start to finish. They are gluten free, quick and easy to make, and great for any time of the year!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- These Vegan lemon cookies are bursting with bright fresh lemon flavor.
- They are made in one mixing bowl.
- No dough chilling required.
- Great for springtime and summer.
- They are made with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest for the ultimate flavor.
- These are a delicious Easter and Mother’s Day cookie.
- They are tangy, buttery (even without butter), and chewy.
- This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, and Vegan.
- Check out these Paleo Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins too!
Ingredients & Substitutions
These are the main ingredients and substitutions for Vegan lemon cookies. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full recipe.
Coconut oil is a great Vegan baking fat. Unrefined coconut oil has a slight coconut flavor, whereas refined coconut oil is neutral tasting. Vegan butter (and even regular butter) can be used in its place.
The light brown sugar adds sweetness. While dark brown sugar works taste wise, it will darken the color of these vegan gluten free lemon cookies. Coconut sugar can be used too.
As always, vanilla extract adds a classic cookie flavor.
A little almond milk adds some moisture to the dough. Any milk works. For nut free, use oat milk, coconut milk or soy milk.
Unsweetened applesauce replicates the consistency of eggs. Do not replace with chia eggs or flax eggs. To make this recipe with eggs, replace applesauce with 1 egg. For more tips and tricks for egg free baking, see these Eggless Chocolate Chip Cookies.
Gluten free 1 to 1 flour keeps these lemon cookies both gluten free and Vegan. If desired, all purpose flour can be used.
Baking soda acts as the leavening agent to help the cookies rise.
Both lemon juice and lemon zest contribute to the lemon flavor. I like to garnish the balls of cookie dough with some extra zest before baking.
Taste & Texture
These Vegan lemon cookies have the perfect amount of lemon flavor. They are not too tart or too sweet.
The texture is thick and chewy with soft centers. Since they are Vegan, they have a soft gooey center.
How to Make
First, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Add coconut oil to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 7 seconds to soften.
Then, beat softened coconut oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract for 1 minute. Beat until no clumps of coconut oil remain.
Then, add in almond milk and applesauce. Stir to combine.
Add in all remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Dough will be thick.
Use cookie scoop to scoop balls of dough onto lined pan. If desired, garnish with extra lemon zest on top.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are just set in the middle.
Finally, remove from oven. Cool cookies on pan for 5 minutes. Then carefully transfer cookies to a cooling rack.
Expert Tips & Tricks
Use softened coconut oil for best results. Softened coconut oil is much easier to cream than cold coconut oil. To soften it, microwave coconut oil for 7 seconds.
Make the cookies approximately 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter.
Roll balls of dough into equal sizes. This prevents under baking and over baking.
Roll dough balls into lemon zest before baking for extra flavor.
Do not over bake these Vegan lemon cookies. Bake until middles of cookies are set.
Variations & Add Ins
These Vegan and gluten free lemon cookies are delicious as is, but here are some ideas for variations.
Mix in 1/2 cup white chocolate chips to the dough before baking
Top with Vegan Vanilla Frosting
Add a pinch of ground ginger to the dough
Add a pinch of cinnamon to the dough
Make a homemade lemon glaze for a garnish
Mix in dried cranberries
Add in chopped walnuts
Add in chopped pecans
How to Serve & Store
Serve Vegan lemon cookies once they are cool enough to handle. They are not overly fragile.
Store cookies at room temperature for up to 4 days. Store in fridge for up to 7 days.
Freeze cookies for up to 2 months if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
These cookies are thick, chewy and soft in the center. They are not crispy or thin.
Yes, Girl Scout Lemonade cookies are Vegan.
Sure! The texture may be slightly more gritty but the taste should be great.
If not Vegan, replace applesauce and milk with 1 egg. Otherwise, everything else remains the same.
Yes. Freeze for up to 2 months.
Sure! Use just a drop of lemon extract at first. It is very strong! Then taste and add more to suit your taste.
You May Also Like
If you make this Vegan lemon cookie recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest. I would love for you to follow along! For more ideas, check out these Vegan Recipes.
Get the Recipe: Vegan Lemon Cookies
- ¼ cup coconut oil, softened, see note
- ⅔ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp almond milk
- 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
- 1 ½ cups gluten free 1 to 1 flour, or all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest, plus more for garnish
- First, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Add coconut oil to a microwave bowl and microwave for 7 seconds. Just enough to soften it.
- Add coconut oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract to stand mixer. Beat for 1 minute or until no clumps of coconut oil remain.
- Add almond milk and applesauce to mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- Then, add all remaining ingredients. Stir until a thick dough forms.
- Use cookie scoop to drop balls of dough onto lined baking pan. Garnish the tops of each ball with some extra lemon zest if desired.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until middles of cookies are set.
- Finally, remove from oven. Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on pan. Then carefully move cookies to a cooling rack.
- Coconut oil should be lightly softened but not melted. I have found that microwaving it for 7 to 8 seconds works well.
- Beat coconut oil, brown sugar and vanilla until completely mixed and no clumps of coconut oil remain.
- Balls of dough should be about 1 inch to 1.5 inches in diameter.
- Bake until middles of cookies are just set. The edges will be a very light golden.
- Store covered at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the fridge for up to 7 days.
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14 Comments on “Vegan Lemon Cookies”
I wanted to love these cookies but they were awful, tasteless. Way too much baking soda and not enough lemon flavor.
I just made them! So good! I didnt have AP or ‘gluten free flour’, so I did 75% whole wheat pastry flour and 25% cassava flour. It would be helpful in the recipe if you said what other gluten-free flours can work besides the ‘1 to 1’ gf flour, bc I have so many kinds and didnt know what works: spelt, buckwheat, coconut, etc. anyways, the whole wheat pastry and cassava worked well. They’re soft and light! Another suggestion I have is to give a measurement for the cookie drop size, because some ppl dont have cookie drops. I just estimated based on the pics. And despite doubling recipe for 12 cookies, I ended up with like 32 lol (not really complaining tho). Anyways, I love the cookies.
Hi Lauren! Thank you for taking the time to leave such a detailed review. I am happy you enjoyed these! I have not tested this recipe using alternative flours, so I cannot recommend them. I am glad you found that whole wheat and cassava worked well for you. Thanks again!
I made these cookies and they were basically tasteless and boring. Used fresh lemons and zest but threw them out.
Hi Addison! I made these cookies today and they are really good. I used butter, egg and king arthur’s 1-1 gluten free flour. I mixed in 1/4 cup dried cranberries, which went well with the lemon flavor. One question though, baking soda flavor is really strong, i am wondering if we can cut it down to 1/2 tsp. Or maybe i did something wrong to have it taste like this? Thanks!
Hi! So happy you liked them! You can definitely cut the baking soda in half down to 1/2 teaspoon. Your baking soda may also be expired and that’s why it has a strong flavor. Hope this helps!
These lemon cookies look so yummy! I love how they are so soft and chewy.
What an absolute treat these cookies are the freshness of the lemon juice is so delicious.
These lemon cookies are amazing! So delicious and easy to make. Going to be making these again soon and they are definitely being added to our holiday baking!
You had me at lemon. I love all desserts with lemon.
I love a good lemon cookie and its hard to believe these are vegan! Super yummy!
I love the texture of these cookies and the freshness from lemon is just perfect.
These lemon cookies were so delicious! I loved how easy they were to make and I could eat them everyday!
so tasty! love these lemon vegan cookies