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!

Stack of Vegan lemon cookies

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.
  • They are made with fresh lemon juice and lemon zest for the ultimate flavor.
  • 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

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.

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.

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.

Vegan lemon cookies with lemon zest

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

Step 1

First, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

Step 2

Add coconut oil to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave 7 seconds to soften.

Step 3

Then, beat softened coconut oil, brown sugar and vanilla extract for 1 minute. Beat until no clumps of coconut oil remain.

Creamed coconut oil and brown sugar in bowl

Step 4

Then, add in almond milk and applesauce. Stir to combine.

Applesauce and sugar in bowl

Step 5

Add in all remaining ingredients. Stir to combine. Dough will be thick.

Eggless lemon cookie dough in bowl

Step 6

Use cookie scoop to scoop balls of dough onto lined pan. If desired, garnish with extra lemon zest on top.

Gluten free lemon cookie dough on pan

Step 7

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are just set in the middle.

Baked lemon cookies on wire rack

Step 8

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.

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

Thick chewy lemon cookies

How to Serve & Store

Serve 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

What is the texture like?

These cookies are thick, chewy and soft in the center. They are not crispy or thin.

Are lemon Girl Scout cookies Vegan?

Yes, Girl Scout Lemonade cookies are Vegan.

Can I use coconut sugar instead of brown sugar?

Sure! The texture may be slightly more gritty but the taste should be great.

Can I make these with eggs?

If not Vegan, replace applesauce and milk with 1 egg. Otherwise, everything else remains the same.

Can I freeze these cookies?

Yes. Freeze for up to 2 months.

Can I use lemon extract instead of fresh lemons?

Sure! Use just a drop of lemon extract at first. It is very strong! Then taste and add more to suit your taste.

Gluten free lemon cookies

You May Also Like

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate a review! You can find me on InstagramFacebook, and Pinterest. I would love for you to follow along!  For more ideas, check out these Vegan Recipes.

Stack of Vegan lemon cookies

Get the Recipe: Vegan Lemon Cookies

These Vegan Lemon Cookies are thick, chewy and perfectly flavored! The lemon flavor adds a hint of sweetness and tartness. These gluten free lemon cookies are easy and so tasty!
5 from 8 votes

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup coconut oil, softened, see note
  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

  • 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.
Calories: 162kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 5g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 98mg, Potassium: 35mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 1IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 1mg

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