These Lemon Sugar Cookies are soft, chewy, and deliciously bright. If you could package a perfectly warm sunshiney spring day into a cookie it would taste like these cookies! Bursting with lemony goodness, they are naturally flavored with fresh lemon juice and zest. This healthy cookie recipe is gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and nut free!
What Do These Lemon Sugar Cookies Taste Like?
These healthy Lemon Sugar Cookies have that glorious sugar cookie texture, so soft and chewy, with crispy edges but packed with bright lemon flavor. Instead of using a lemon extract these cookies are made with fresh lemon juice and zest giving them a wonderful bright and sweet tanginess. Then, rolled in a cane sugar and zest mixture for that classic crunchy exterior and an extra touch of lemon. These cookies are deliciously refreshing and and oh-so-satisfying.
Here’s why you will LOVE these lemony cookies!
- Soft and chewy cookie with crispy edges.
- Flavored with fresh lemons.
- So easy to make and in just one bowl!
- A healthy cookie recipe made with unrefined ingredients.
- The perfect seasonal cookie for spring when lemons abound.
How Do You Make Sugar Cookies Healthier?
These Lemon Sugar Cookies are made healthier as they contain no refined flours or oils. They are paleo(ish) because they are gluten free, grain free, and dairy free. They are not technically paleo because they are made with organic cane sugar which is not strictly refined sugar free. This cookie recipe is nut free and easily made vegan!
Here’s a look at the ingredients you’ll need and some possible variations:
- Cane Sugar – Coconut sugar is great for refined sugar free baking but the flavor can be overpowering. I use organic cane sugar in these cookies so the lemon flavor can shine. Cane sugar is a less refined version of conventional white sugar so the flavor is great for sugar cookies.
- Tahini – Makes the cookies perfectly dense and chewy. Use any thin and drippy nut/seed butter you like with only one ingredient. I’d recommend using one without an assertive flavor – cashew would be delicious or sunflower. This is my tahini of choice for baking.
- Avocado Oil – Adds the perfect amount of moisture.
- Egg – Helps puff the cookies. As there’s only 1 egg I feel safe in saying that you can sub with a vegan egg replacer. I did not test this, so please let me know if you try it!
- Lemon – Fresh lemon juice and zest gives these cookies big lemon flavor. I know it’s tempting, but DON’T skip the lemon zest, it adds so much flavor. You’ll need about 2 lemons to get the 3 tbsps of zest. This grater makes zesting a breeze and is dishwasher safe!
- Vanilla – A delicious complement to the lemon flavor!
- Cassava – An unrefined flour that is gluten free, grain free, and nut free. I find the best pricing to be on Amazon.
- Tapioca Flour – Helps thicken the cookie dough without making it too floury.
- Baking Powder – Adds just the right amount of rise to the cookies.
- Salt – Balances all the flavors.
- Turmeric – Adds a bit of golden yellow to really make these cookies pop. It’s optional but adds no flavor and really only for color!
How Do You Make Healthy Sugar Cookies From Scratch?
Homemade sugar cookies are so quick and easy to make. These are made in just one bowl and bake up in about 10 minutes. They do require some chilling, so be sure to plan ahead!
Here’s a brief overview of the steps:
- Mix wet ingredients together.
- Add dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.
- Chill the dough. Chill in the freezer for at least an hour or the fridge for 2 hours. I prefer the freezer, it makes the process a bit quicker, but either will do.
- Roll dough balls in cane sugar and lemon zest mixture. This is optional, but I love the additional crunch and lemon flavor it gives the cookies.
- Bake! These bake in a slightly hotter than normal oven to create a cookie with crispy edges and a soft, chewy center. I like a softer cookie and bake these for 10 minutes, if you like a firmer cookie, bake for 11-12 minutes.
- Let cool and enjoy!
These will keep at room temperature, stored in an airtight container, for 2-3 days. These cookies are also super freezer friendly and will keep for a few months! (But I highly doubt they’ll last that long.)
Make Ahead: This a great make ahead cookie recipe! The dough can be made and stored, covered, in the fridge for a week. Or roll dough balls and store in the freezer for a few weeks! Just roll in the sugar coating when ready to bake and add another minute to cook time.
These sweet little lemon loves taste like springtime in cookie form! Deliciously bright and refreshing from the natural lemon flavors and gloriously satisfying with their classic soft and chewy sugar cookie texture. Plus made with real, simple ingredients these cookies are sure to put an instant smile on your face!
gluten free, grain free, dairy free, nut free
More Grain Free Cookie Recipes!
- Healthy Brookies! (Chocolate Chip + Brownie Cookies)
- Healthier S’mores Cookies (nut free, grain free)
- Matchadoodles! (paleo-ish, nut free)
SHARE THE LOVE!
If you make this recipe, please spread the love by leaving a review or rating down below. And I’d LOVE to see and share your creation! Take a picture and tag me on Instagram @freshlydafna in your feed or stories and I will share on my account!
Lemon Sugar Cookies
These Lemon Sugar Cookies are soft, chewy, and deliciously bright. If you could package up a perfectly warm sunshiney spring day into a sweet treat it would taste like these cookies! Bursting with lemony goodness, they are naturally flavored with fresh lemon juice and zest! And trust me, you don't want to skip the fresh lemon zest!
paleo-ish (gluten/grain/dairy free), nut free
- 2/3 cup (140 grams) organic cane sugar
- 1/4 cup (65 grams) tahini, well stirred before measuring sub other nut/seed butter of choice
- 1/4 cup (61 grams) avocado oil sub coconut oil (melted and cooled)
- 1 egg sub egg replacer if vegan
- 2 tbsp lemon juice freshly squeezed
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup (108 grams) cassava flour, spooned and leveled
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) tapioca flour
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp turmeric optional (for color only)
Lemon Sugar Dusting
- 3 tbsp cane sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
Mix wet ingredients together in the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl if mixing by hand until thick and creamy.
Add in the dry ingredients and stir just until no flour streaks remain, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and stir again until fully incorporated, taking care not to overmix.
Chill the dough in the fridge for 2 hours or the freezer for 1 hour.
Heat oven to 360 (yes, 360) degrees, when ready to bake and prepare a baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or a silpat. In a small bowl mix together the Lemon Sugar Dusting ingredients.
Scoop out balls of dough, I used a 50 mm scoop (about 2 tbsp), and roll each ball in the sugar dusting. Place the dough balls at least 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.
Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until cookies are puffed, centers have set, and slightly golden brown around the edges.
Let cookies cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
Helpful Kitchen Tools (affiliate links): zester, silicone spatula, kitchen scale, 50 mm cookie scoop
Storage: These will keep at room temperature, stored in an airtight container, for 2-3 days. These cookies are also super freezer friendly and will keep for a few months! (But I highly doubt they'll last that long.)
Make Ahead: This a great make ahead cookie recipe! The dough can be made and stored, covered, in the fridge for a week. Or roll dough into balls, freeze on baking sheet, transfer to airtight container and store in the freezer for a few weeks! Just roll in the sugar coating when ready to bake and add another minute to cook time if frozen longer than 24 hours.
Cooking Time: I find 10 minutes to be the perfect length of time for cookies with crisp edges and soft chewy centers. If you like a firmer cookie, bake for 11-12 minutes.
Tahini - Sub tahini for any other single ingredient nut/seed butter. I'd recommend cashew or sunflower seed butter for their neutral flavor. For best results, be sure to mix the nut/seed butter in the jar well before measuring. Do not use the compacted paste at the bottom of the jar. My favorite tahini for baking is the 365 brand from Whole Foods.
Freshly Dafna is on Pinterest! Save this recipe by pinning this image!
This post may contain affiliate links. Any product I include in a post is one that I’m currently using and loving. If you do choose to purchase these products, I may earn a commission, which helps support my site and the free content I provide.
Leave a Reply