by Jennifer Provenza at Good Food From The Heart
Perfect for Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, or Christmas, these vegan lemon sugar cookies are decadent and delicious. Plus they are wfpb, oil free and come with a sugar free option. These Lofthouse style cookies hold their shape when baked and don’t spread, making them a perfect cut out cookie for the holidays.
Whole Food Plant Based, Oil Free, Sugar Free, Soy Free
Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies…Yes Please!
When trying to bake without butter or refined sugar, sugar cookies are honestly one of the hardest recipes to master! I avoided this one for years because I simply could not figure out a recipe that tasted decadent enough for the holidays, yet didn’t contain butter or refined sugar. Because, while it’s easy enough to substitute vegan butter for regular butter, vegan butter is still full of unhealthy fats. Well, luckily, after much experimentation, I have a fool proof recipe that will have you celebrating in style, with ingredients you can feel good about.
These cookies are refreshing and melt in your mouth delicious. Make them today!
- Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: Whole wheat pastry flour will give your cookies a light and wonderful texture. I like Bob’s Red Mill brand.
- Almond Flour: The almond flour replaces the fat in the butter with a healthy fat. It also gives the cookies a delicate crumb.
- Almond Butter: The almond butter also replaces the butter with more healthy fat and the taste is not detectable in the baked cookie.
- Unrefined Sugar or Truvia: For this recipe, you can either use an unrefined sugar of your choice or, for a fully sugar free version, you can use a sweetener such as Truvia, which is a mix of stevia and xylitol, two natural sugar free sweeteners that don’t raise blood sugar.
- Lemon Extract: This gives it that extra something special. Trust me, people will ask for the recipe once they try these cookies with a refreshing, melt in your mouth, lemon flavor.
- Confectioners Sugar or Truvia: For the optional icing, either use regular confectioners sugar or a sugar free confectioners sugar substitute, such as Truvia. This is not a wfpb ingredient, but for a special occasion, you may really want to have some fun icing.
- Natural food coloring: To add even more fun to the cookies, you may want to use some natural food coloring and vegan sprinkles (or the regular kind, if you aren’t worried about avoiding artificial dyes).
- For the Whole Wheat Pastry Flour: In a pinch, you can substitute white whole wheat flour. Do not use regular whole wheat flour, as you will not get good results. I also cannot vouch for how gluten free flour would work in this recipe, as I did not test it.
- For the Almond Flour: There is no good substitute for this, but feel free to make your own by blending almonds in a high speed blender.
- For the Almond Butter: Any nut butter will work, but peanut butter will give the cookies a distinct flavor, so avoid that if you don’t want a peanut flavored cookie.
- For the lemon extract: Almond extract or vanilla extract make excellent substitutes, although I do strongly prefer them with lemon extract.
Sure! And not just vegans, but those who follow a whole food plant based and oil free or sugar free diet can enjoy these too. Really, they are great for anyone! Even my kids liked them!
These cookies really are pretty healthy, believe it or not! With whole grain flour and healthy fat from nuts, these are just about the healthiest cookies you can make.
People who are diabetic may need to follow a specific diet and limit carbs, but made in the sugar free version, these cookies can likely be enjoyed in moderation by those who are diabetic.
These cookies will keep for about a week in an airtight container or can be frozen indefinitely.
Absolutely! That makes them perfect for cut out cookies. Make fun shapes for Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, etc…
How To Make Them
Begin by mixing together the whole wheat pastry flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt. I like to use a whisk to make sure there are no lumps (and you know I’m too lazy to sift anything, good grief!) Use a medium bowl for this and then set it aside.
In a small bowl, mix the ground flaxseed and the water and let it sit for a few minutes to make a flax egg.
Next, check out your almond butter. If it is older or right out of the fridge, it may be too firm. In that case, you’ll want to heat it up a bit until it is more runny. Ideally, you can get a brand new jar of nice, runny almond butter and use that, as it will work perfectly in this recipe.
Once your almond butter is looking good, go ahead and put it in a large bowl and mix in the sugar or Truvia, the flax egg, and the lemon extract. Now, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix well. (You are also welcome to use a mixer for this process, but then you’re gonna have to wash it before you make the frosting, so think that one through carefully.)
Now, separate the dough in half, wrap it in plastic wrap or some other more environmentally conscious option, and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour.
Once the dough is chilled, lightly flour your clean counter or baking mat, and use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough out. Roll it to about a 1/4 inch thickness. Now, you can go wild cutting out whatever fun shapes you want to. This is a great step to involve kids in. Personally, I like to start around the edges and try to really get as many shapes out of the dough as possible. Once you’ve done that, re-roll the excess dough and continue cutting out shapes. Do this until all of the dough has been used up.
Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and arrange the cut out cookies about two inches apart on the sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until just starting to tan on the edges. The cookies should still look very soft. Don’t over bake them or they will be hard!
Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer them to a wire rack.
How To Make The Icing
The icing is super simple. In a mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the confectioners sugar or confectioners sugar substitute with the plant milk, the lemon extract, and the optional natural food dye. Feel free to make a few batches in different colors. If the frosting seems too runny, just add a little bit more sugar. If it seems too firm, just add a little bit more plant milk.
Time to Decorate!
Have a blast frosting and decorating the cookies with optional vegan sprinkles. This is also a fun step for kids to help with. Enjoy the cookies! They can be frozen indefinitely or stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
If you love desserts, don’t forget to try my Award Winning Vegan Fudgy Brownies or my Birthday Cake.
Vegan Lemon Sugar Cookies (Lofthouse style, WFPB)
- 1 mixer
- 1 sheet pan
- parchment paper
- wire rack
- 1 1/8 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/8 cup almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup almond butter
- 3/4 cup unrefined sugar or 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon Truvia
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
For the Icing
- 1 cup confectioners sugar or Truvia
- 1 cup plant milk
- 1/4 teaspoon red food coloring (natural) or a few drops regular
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
- few drops natural food dye optional
- vegan sprinkles optional
For the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Start by whisking together the whole wheat pastry flour, almond flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
- If the almond butter is too firm, warm it up slightly until it has a more runny consistency.
- Make the flax egg by mixing the ground flaxseed and the water in a small bowl and set aside for a few minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix the almond butter and the sugar or Truvia. Add the flax egg and the lemon extract and stir.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined. If the dough is too sticky, add more flour, one tablespoon at a time.
- Divide the dough in half. Wrap each piece in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll out the dough to approximately 1/4 inch thickness. Add flour as needed if the dough is too sticky.
- Using a cookie cutter, cut the dough into shapes. Take any remaining dough, roll it out again, and continue to cut shapes from it. Repeat until all of the dough is shaped.
- Place the cookies on a baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper. Be sure to place them at least two inches apart. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until just beginning to lightly tan at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack.
- Wait until the cookies are completely cool before icing them.
For the Icing
- Using a mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the confectioners sugar or confectioners sugar substitute, the plant milk, the lemon extract, and the optional natural food dye. If the frosting seems too thick, add a little bit more plant milk. If it seems too thin, add a little bit more confectioners sugar.
- Frost and decorate the cookies as desired.
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These really hold their shape, thank you! I was having the worst issues with that. I also love that these don’t have earth balance or other vegan butter. Just because it’s vegan doesn’t make it healthy.
These were really good. I made them for my son’s class and everyone loved them.