Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack and small white plate

Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies [+VIDEO]

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!

Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack

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.

Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack and small white plate

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.

Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack

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).

Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack and small white plate

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!

Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack with sliced lemons

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!

Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack with sliced lemons

Other Lemon Desserts You’ll Love:

Other Vegan Cookies You’ll Love:

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This post was updated on 3/28/23.

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Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies on a cooling rack and small white plate
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4.89 from 34 votes

Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies [+VIDEO]

Easy Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies that are perfectly sweetened and lemony!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword Cookies, Lemon, Sugar Cookie
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 22 cookies

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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 together
    2 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.
  • Enjoy!

Video

Previous photo:

Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies

40 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Loveee lemon desserts and this is super easy! 😍

    • 5 stars
      These were truly love at first bite for me. The perfect size, texture, and flavor! They’re already a staple in my house. Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Lemon is my fav! Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    These look good and simple to make. We are also gluten-free so we’ll just sub the flour. Excited to try them.

  4. 5 stars
    Love cookies and love lemon. I will definitely be making these for my family soon! Your recipe look so delicious!

  5. 5 stars
    Made these and they came out PERFECT! I love the flavors and they are the perfect texture. Thanks for the recipe!

  6. 5 stars
    These cookies look yummy!! I love All things lemon too!! 🍋

  7. 5 stars
    I’m always left stuck with what to serve my vegan friends when I host a get-together. These were the perfect option for dessert last night. Bright and citrusy. Even non-vegans loved them.

  8. Christine B.

    5 stars
    I made these delicious cookies today and they were a hit with the whole family. My 3 year old kept asking for more. I love the simplicity of the recipe and easy directions. I made them with gluten free flour and they cane out perfect. I will definitely be making these again!

  9. 5 stars
    This were so simple and so delicious! Softest cookie ever and perfect for summer. I doubled the batch and shared the wealth with family and friends. Huge hit all around!

  10. 5 stars
    These are the bomb and easy to make. I definitely will be making these again.

  11. What can I sub applesauce with?

  12. 5 stars
    I love lemon desserts, and these look perfect!!!

  13. Stevie Marie

    5 stars
    Loved them! So easy to make! They’re like sunshine lemon drop candy.

  14. 5 stars
    Loved these so much! I am not vegan and these are seriously one of the best cookies I’ve made. They are super easy, minimal prep and ingredients. This is the perfect cookie because it’s a bit crispy but soft and chewy at the same time which is my favorite type of cookie. The first batch I cooked at 10 minutes and the second I did 12 minutes, both turned out amazing. Will definitely make these again : )

  15. 5 stars
    These lemon sugar cookies look absolutely delicious. I am currently obsessed with all things lemon at the moment as well so I completely understand.

  16. 5 stars
    These are sooooo good. My second vegan cookie attempt ever and I was blown away! No one could stop eating them! Will deff be making these again ASAP!

  17. 5 stars
    These cookies are amazing! The perfect lemon to sugar ratio, and they turned out so soft. Can’t wait to make them again!

  18. 5 stars
    turned out amazing! good for anyone who knows their way around a cookie.

  19. 5 stars
    So good. So easy. A little crunch on the outside. Soft on the link snide. Perfect. I love how simple the recipe is. I bake with my daughters (3 and 6) and the recipe was simple and quick.

  20. 5 stars
    These are excellent! I made them this afternoon and have already eaten half of them… I didn’t have any apple sauce so I subbed coconut yogurt and they turned out perfectly.

  21. Hannah Goldberg

    5 stars
    Just the yummiest lemon sugar cookies ever! The perfect hint of lemon, so light and soft; a hit with everyone who’s tried them already! I didn’t have any lemon extract, so I just used 1 tbsp + 1 tsp of lemon juice. As well, I didn’t have cane sugar, so I just used regular granulated sugar, and they turned out perfectly! Thank you for the fantastic recipe!

  22. 5 stars
    So easy and so amazing! The best vegan lemon sugar cookies I’ve made and a huge crowd pleaser!

  23. Elizabeth J Gebelin

    I have added to my diet, more Vegan & plant based foods. Feel Great!, and healthier. B/Pressure GOOD! I am a retired senior. And cooking more healthier Meals. LOVE IT.

  24. Pingback: Easy Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins | I Can You Can Vegan Vegan Muffin Recipe

  25. 5 stars
    I was looking everywhere for a lemon cookie recipe that did use a stick or more of butter and WOW!! I will definitely file this away as a repeat recipe! I added a little more lemon zest and juice to supplement not having lemon extract and the flavor came through beautifully. Can’t wait to make this for more family and friends!

  26. 5 stars
    The first time I made these cookies was last week for Thanksgiving. The second time was today! I have a feeling I’ll be making these cookies a lot…. so delicious!! Thank you!

  27. 5 stars
    These cookies are delicious, easy to make and the perfect amount for a small batch. My husband and children loved them!

  28. 5 stars
    Truly delicious. I didn’t have any fresh lemon so I used fresh orange juice instead with lemon essence.

  29. 5 stars
    I was craving something a little tangy and little sweet and remembered about these lemon cookies! They were so easy to make!

  30. 1 star
    Did the cookies come out flat for anyone else, also these cookies could use more sugar and less zest.

  31. 5 stars
    Made these with orange zest and orange extract and juice. SO good!

  32. 5 stars
    This is a perfect cookie; easy to make and very easy to love. Every year at this time, my friends bring me tree ripened lemons and ask me to make these. They call them “sunshine happiness cookies”. They look and taste professionally made. Their vegan status just makes them that much greater. I do sugar roll them twice because I like the frosted look and I like the added crunch but these are awesome either way. Thanks so much for this recipe.

  33. Mmmm…..you just whet my appetite with your awesome vegan cookies. I love the lemon part you know. Thanks girl.

  34. 5 stars
    Delicious, Desirée! I’ve made these twice now, my husband loves them, too. The first time I made them, I dipped the measuring cup into the canister of flour & leveled off; the second time, I spooned the flour into the cup, spoonful by spoonful, then leveled off. The first batch of cookies were thinner and flatter; the ones using the spoon-by-spoon measuring method were thicker/puffier. Both batches were great—crunchy edges and softer middle—but it’s interesting how the method of measuring the flour yields slightly different results.

    Anyway! Thanks for the recipe. I’ll make these again and again.

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