In case it’s not obvious by now, I’m obsessed with ALL THINGS LEMON! These Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies are soft, chewy and of course… plenty lemony! Made with just 7 ingredients and one bowl, these homemade vegan cookies are made using lemon zest, lemon extract and lemon juice. They are egg-free, dairy-free and nut free. You’re gonna love these cookies!
Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies Ingredients:
- vegan butter – you can use any vegan butter you like, but I most often use Earth Balance
- organic cane sugar – granulated sugar works really well in this recipe and helps to balance out the tartness of the lemon flavor
- all-purpose flour – use a spoon to scoop the flour out of the bag and into the measuring cup, then use a straight edge to level out and remove any excess flour from the top
- baking soda – this is your leavening agent for the recipe. be sure not to skip it or substitute with baking powder (they are not the same)!
- fresh lemons – be sure to zest your lemons before juicing, it will make your life so much easier!
- lemon extract – this will give you that extra boost of lemon flavor that will make you fall in love with this recipe for sure!
- unsweetened applesauce – adding unsweetened applesauce will act as your egg substitute.
How to Make Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies from Scratch
Making Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies is super easy. If you take a look at the recipe ingredients below, you’ll notice that they’re all pretty basic. I love a recipe with basic, easy to get ingredients!
You’ll want to start by creaming together the sugar and vegan butter until it’s fluffy. This step is super important because it sets the foundation for the cookies and will provide structure for the cookies. For this step, I like to use vegan butter that’s been softened.
Simply leave your butter out on the counter for a few hours or in the window sill. Once you can make an indention with your finger by pressing gently into the stick, you’ll know it’s ready.
After the vegan butter and sugar have been mixed, add in all other remaining ingredients (aside from the two tablespoons of sugar to roll the cookies in) starting with the dry and ending with the wet. The unsweetened applesauce is used as an egg replacement to create eggless lemon cookies.
Combine all of the ingredients in the mixing bowl until the Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies dough is formed. If the mixture is still crumbly, mix in one tablespoon of water at a time until a dough is formed.
Once the dough is formed you’ll use a cookie scoop to retrieve the cookie dough (I used a 1½ tbsp scoop). Then transfer each of the cookies to a small bowl containing the two tablespoons of extra sugar to roll the balls in. Once all of the balls have been rolled, transfer them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for easy retrieval in order to avoid sticking. Transfer those babies to the oven and let ’em cook for about 10 minutes.
Once your vegan lemon sugar cookies are done, allow them to cool for a few minutes then they’re ready to enjoy. Feeling extra fancy? Add a little lemon zest to the top for garnish.
Tips for Making the BEST Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies
Use softened vegan butter (not melted!) – using softened vegan butter instead of melted will ensure you get the best results when baking these Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies. Simply leave your refrigerated vegan butter out on the counter for an hour or so before starting.
Roll the cookies in sugar before baking – this step actually helps the cookies with their final look. Everyone loves a nice “cracked” cookie and rolling the cookies prior to baking will help contribute to this. The sugar will help the cookies to rise and crack in multiple places around the cookie after the outer layer of dough has risen.
Use organic cane sugar – since the sugar is such a prominent part of this recipe, I fully recommend sticking with it when baking these cookies. You could try using another sugar variation like coconut sugar or maple sugar, but the overall flavor will surely be affected.
Use all-purpose flour – all purpose flour works well for this recipe, but if you’d like to make them gluten-free you could try using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Flour. I haven’t tried it personally, but always hear great things about people using it as a substitute in my other recipes!
Store them in an air tight container – these cookies taste best when stored overnight in an air tight container and should last for up to one week when kept in the fridge (4-5 days when stored on the counter).
Storing and Freezing Lemon Sugar Cookies
Can You Freeze Lemon Sugar Cookies?
If you’re wondering if you can freeze these vegan lemon sugar cookies, the answer is absolutely YES! Cookies never last too long in my house, but I had been baking lots of sweets when I made these, so I decided to freeze about half the batch.
A few weeks later my husband and I started talking about how good they were, so I decided to take some out one night before bed so they could thaw while we slept to enjoy the next day. BEST DECISION EVER!
The next day I reached for a cookie and to my surprise they tasted as if they were fresh out of the oven! I was so amazed that they were still just as soft and chewy as they were the first day I baked them. So if you’re thinking about freezing these vegan lemon sugar cookies, DO IT! It’s nice to have something to look forward to 🙂
How to Store Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies
You can store these Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies on the counter in an airtight container for up to four days. They can last for up to one week in the fridge, again by storing them in an airtight container. Either way, be sure to let the cookies cool completely before storing them.
FAQ (with substitutions)
Can These Cookies be Made Sugar Free?
I would not recommend using sugar alternatives such as agave or maple syrup. Using a traditional granulated sugar will keep these cookies the beautiful light yellow color you see in the photos throughout this post. However, if you opt for using an alternative such as coconut sugar, your cookies will appear darker. You will need a granulated sugar for this recipe.
What Can I Sub for Applesauce?
Readers have reported that plain coconut yogurt has worked well as a substitute for applesauce in this recipe.
Can these Cookies be Made Gluten Free?
Yes, instead of using all-purpose flour, you can use a gluten free flour such as Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free 1:1 Baking Flour. Just note that the texture will be slightly different, but still delicious!
I know you’ll love these easy Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies. They’re simple to make, soft, chewy and delicious. Not to mention, #PickyAssHusbandApproved! These are perfect for sharing with friends or family. Give them a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!
Other Lemon Desserts You’ll Love:
- Vegan Lemon Olive Oil Bundt Cake
- Easy Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins
- Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake
- Vegan Lemon Cupcakes
- Cranberry Lemon Energy Bites
Tools You Might Need:
Other Vegan Cookies You’ll Love:
- Vegan Salted Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Brown Sugar Cookies
- Vegan Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
- Soft + Chewy Ginger Cookies
This post was updated on 3/28/23.
Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies [+VIDEO]
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Use a mixer to cream together the sugar and vegan butter until fluffy.8 tbsp softened vegan butter, 1 cup organic cane sugar
- Add in remaining ingredients. Mix on medium speed to combine until dough is formed. If dough is still crumbly, add in 1 tsp of water at a time until it comes together2 cup all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking soda, ½ tsp sea salt, 4 tsp lemon zest, 2 tsp lemon extract, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce, 1 tsp water
- Use a cookie scoop to retrieve the dough and roll into a ball with your hands, then coat all sides with the additional sugar in a small bowl.
- Transfer each cookie to a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat until all dough has been rolled and coated in the sugar.
- Transfer to the oven and bake for 10-11 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.