These SOFT, CHEWY gluten-free lemon cookies call for two whole lemons, including fresh lemon juice and lemon zest!

These are basically simple drop sugar cookies that are BURSTING with lemon flavor and so easy to make. You also might like these gluten-free funfetti sugar cookies!

Lemon cookies on a cooling rack with a bite taken out of one


 

I love a classic chocolate chip cookie, but every now and then, citrusy lemon desserts really hit the spot. And when I’m in the mood for citrus, I want it to REALLY pop with citrus flavor!

Luckily, these gluten-free lemon cookies really fit the bill. The recipe calls for TWO whole lemons, including lemon zest and juice.

They’re really bursting with a bright, lemony flavor that perfectly complements the sweetness of the cookies! I also love rolling the cookie dough balls in lemon sugar for even MORE sweetness and lemon flavour.

If you love gluten-free lemon cake, gluten-free lemon bars, and other lemon desserts this is the gluten free treat for you!

I love making these cookies in the summertime, but they’re also great for winter months when citrus is in season! They’d also be perfect for baby showers, bridal showers, brunch with friends, etc.

No matter when you make these sweet treats, they’re sure to disappear quickly!

Table of Contents

For more gluten-free lemon desserts, check out these recipes for gluten-free lemon bars, gluten-free lemon cream pie, lemon posset and gluten-free lemon cake.

You also might like these gluten-free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Soft and chewy
  • Bursting with bright lemon flavor
  • Easy to make
  • Perfect for citrus lovers
  • Simple ingredients

For more gluten-free recipes check out these gluten-free sugar cookies, gluten-free chocolate chip cookies, gluten-free brownies and gluten-free peanut butter cookies.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Dry Ingredients

Here are all of the dry ingredients needed for these delicious gluten free lemon cookies:

Lemon cookie dry ingredients on a countertop
  • Gluten-free 1:1 baking flour: I recommend using a high-quality 1:1 gluten-free baking flour that contains xanthan gum. This will give your cookies a nice chewy texture! I like King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten-free flour.
  • Baking soda and baking powder: I like to use both baking soda and baking powder to give these cookies the perfect rise and chewiness!
  • Salt: Fine sea salt works great for this lemon cookie batter.

Wet Ingredients

Here are the wet ingredients you’ll need for these lemon sugar cookies:

Lemon cookie wet ingredients on a countertop
  • Butter: I like to use salted butter for all of my baking. It has great depth of flavor and enhances almost any baked good!
  • Sugar: Domino granulated fine sugar is my favorite for gluten-free cookies!
  • Lemon juice: This is a seriously lemony cookie with lemon zest and real lemon juice! Remember to zest the lemon before juicing. I don’t recommend using bottled lemon juice for these gluten free lemon crinkle cookies.
  • Vanilla: Real vanilla extract gives these cookies the best flavor!
  • Lemon zest: I love adding lemon zest to these cookies for added lemony flavor. You’ll also use zest to make lemon sugar for rolling the dough balls in before baking. You might also like these lemon crinkle cookies.
  • Egg: One room temperature large egg adds moisture and binds the dough together.

How to Make Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies

Lemon zest and sugar in a bowl

Make the Lemon Sugar

  • Add the sugar and lemon zest to a bowl and use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar. This helps to release more essential oils from the zest. Set aside for rolling the dough balls before baking.
Dry ingredients in a bowl

Make the Dough

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
Butter, zest, and sugar in a bowl
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or use an electric hand mixer), add the butter, sugar and lemon zest. Mix until very light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. 
Egg, vanilla, and lemon juice added to sugar and butter
  • Add the egg, lemon juice and vanilla and mix again for 1-2 minutes until the batter lightens in color. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again until everything is evenly combined. 
Dry ingredients mixed in a bowl with butter, sugar, and other wet ingredients
  • With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients in 3 additions. Mixing well between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another 15 seconds. 
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to 2 days).

Bake the Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray.
Lemon cookie dough ball rolled being rolled in a bowl of sugar
  • Scoop the cookie dough into 2 tablespoon-sized  balls and roll until smooth. (A #40 cookie scoop works well here.) 
  • Stir the lemon sugar to break up any clumps, then roll each dough ball in the sugar.
Lemon cookie dough balls on a baking sheet
  • Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for a cooking time of 9-11 minutes. Let the baked cookies sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to continue cooling. Enjoy these delicious lemon cookies!
Lemon cookies on parchment paper with a wedge of lemon

Storage Instructions

Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days, or in the freezer for up to three months.

FAQs

How do you make gluten-free cookies not dry?

To ensure your gluten-free cookies are moist, it’s important to chill and rest the dough before baking. This allows the gluten-free flour mixture to soak up the liquids and gives you perfectly moist, chewy cookies. You can also try adding extra egg or egg yolk for moisture!

What holds gluten-free cookies together?

Gluten-free cookies require xanthan gum to hold the batter together and create a chewy texture. Not all gluten-free flour is made with xanthan gum, so make sure you’re mix includes it to get the best results from your gluten-free cookies. King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten-free flour is a good option!

Is there a cookie that is gluten-free?

Yes, lots of cookies can be made gluten-free by using gluten-free flour blend, almond flour, or another gluten-free flour alternative. For best results, follow a recipe that specifically calls for gluten-free flour. You can also buy boxed gluten-free cookies from brands like Tate’s Bake Shop, Simple Mills, Glutino, and Enjoy Life.

Lemon cookies on parchment paper with a wedge of lemon and a hand picking up a cookie

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • When I make lemon cookies, I mean business! Keep in mind you’ll need TWO large lemons to make this recipe. It’s bursting with REAL bright flavor of lemons. No lemon extract or lemon glaze required!
  • I recommend using a high-quality 1:1 gluten-free baking flour that contains xanthan gum. This will give your cookies a nice chewy texture! I like King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten-free flour.
  • Rubbing the zest into the sugar allows it to release more oils. The result is super flavorful cookies that have lots of lemon flavor!

MORE GLUTEN-FREE LEMON RECIPES

I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you try these gluten-free lemon cookies be sure to leave me a comment/rating below. I’d love to hear from you! 

Lemon cookies on parchment paper with a wedge of lemon
5 from 20 votes

Gluten-Free Lemon Cookies (Soft & Chewy!)

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings 24 cookies
These SOFT, CHEWY gluten-free lemon cookies call for two whole lemons, including fresh lemon juice and lemon zest!
These are basically simple drop sugar cookies that are BURSTING with lemon flavor and so easy to make. 

Ingredients

Lemon Sugar:

  • ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest from 1 large lemon

Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 ⅔ cups (400 g) gluten-free 1:1 baking flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Other:

  • 1 cup (227 g) butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon zest from 1 large lemon
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions 

Make the Lemon Sugar

  • Add the sugar and lemon zest to a bowl and use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar. This helps to release more essential oils from the zest. Set aside for rolling the dough balls before baking.

Make the Dough

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (or use an electric hand mixer), add the butter, sugar and lemon zest. Mix until very light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through.
  • Add the egg, lemon juice and vanilla and mix again for 1-2 minutes until the batter lightens in color. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again until everything is evenly combined.
  • With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients in 3 additions. Mixing well between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix for another 15 seconds.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour (or up to 2 days).

Bake the Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray.
  • Scoop the cookie dough into 2 tablespoon-sized balls and roll until smooth. (A #40 cookie scoop works well here.)
  • Stir the lemon sugar to break up any clumps, then roll each dough ball in the sugar.
  • Place the cookies 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Let sit on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to continue cooling. Enjoy!

Notes

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • When I make lemon cookies, I mean business! Keep in mind you’ll need TWO large lemons to make this recipe. It’s bursting with REAL bright flavor of lemons. No lemon extract or lemon glaze required!
  • I recommend using a high-quality 1:1 gluten-free baking flour that contains xanthan gum. This will give your cookies a nice chewy texture! I like King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten-free flour.
  • Rubbing the zest into the sugar allows it to release more oils. The result is super flavorful cookies that have lots of lemon flavor!

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 135mg | Potassium: 17mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 247IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

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Categories: ,

Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    After allowing the cookies to cool and set on the counter, I was a bit disappointed with how airy the texture was. I ended up eating one of these cookies the next day and the texture was sooo much better! With the better texture and delicious flavor, these for sure get five stars from me!

  2. 5 stars
    Hi,
    I love your Cookie recipes. Already tried many of them. Delicious!!!!! Just one question about the nutrition Info provided. Is this Information per 100g or per Cookie?

    Best regards and keep producing more auch amazing recipes,
    Sabine

    1. I’m so glad you like the cookie recipes! Yes that is the nutrition information if you make 24 cookies with the recipe. I hope this helps!

  3. 5 stars
    they are amazzinggg. i accidentally put the first measurements of lemon zest and sugar into the cookies, instead of the second measurement, so i ended up with only a half of a cup of sugar instead of 1.5 like its supposed to be but they were actually perfect. especially with cream cheese frosting. probably the best lemon cookies ive ever had. without the frosting, i would do 3/4 a cup of sugar instead of only a half. i used half a cup of bobs red mill and the rest king arthur.

  4. 5 stars
    My daughter has a recently-diagnosed wheat allergy. These were the first GF thing I made using Bob’s Red Mill 1-for1 flour. They are delicious and even the non-GF family members loved them. Thank you for offering ideas and recipes as I navigate this new world of baking and cooking. I also appreciate product recs as I understand some GF items/product lines are better than others.

    1. I’m so happy these turned out well as your first gluten-free baked good! Best of luck with the wheat-free diet. Let me know if you have any questions!

  5. 5 stars
    Just like everything I’ve ever made off of this site, these cookies are AMAZING! I made them for a dinner I had with my non-gluten free friends, and they LOVED them. I sent them home with some and actually just got a text yesterday from one of them saying, “I can’t stop eating these cookies! They are SO GOOD!” So lemony, chewy, and delicious. Can’t recommend enough!

    1. Hooray! I’m so happy even your non-GF friends enjoyed them! Thanks for the comment 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    Seriously the YUMMIEST cookies I’ve had in a long long time. So lemon-y without being too tart! I’ll be making these on repeat.

    1. 5 stars
      They do not taste at all like GF cookies! I used about 75% almond flour and 25% coconut flour! I’ll definitely keep on regular rotation!!

  7. 5 stars
    Wow, these cookies were so flavorful and I couldn’t even tell that they were gluten-free! Thank you!

  8. 5 stars
    These are the best GF cookies I have baked yet!! I love anything lemon and these fit the bill. I didn’t have enough lemon zest (about 1/2) and I would encourage you to use as the recipe states. I flattened the balls a little because I like a crispier cookie but they were crispy on the outside and a little soft on the inside. Just finished them up and going to make another batch. My non GF husband didn’t know they were GF. LOL Thanks for all the great recipes!

  9. These look fantastic! Many cookie doughs can be balled up and frozen raw. Have you tried that with a recipe like this? Thanks for great recipes! I used to make a lime cookie that contained almond flour though need to avoid almonds now, so I was super excited to see this recipe!

    1. Yes the dough balls from this recipe freeze great! They can be baked straight from the freezer. I hope you enjoy them if you try them!

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