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Gluten-free Lemon Shortbread Cookies (Vegan)

Gluten-free Lemon Shortbread Cookies (Vegan)


Crispy gluten-free lemon shortbread cookies that are filled with citrus lemon flavor. These delicious cookies are easy to make and ready in just 40 minutes, but they are also dairy-free and vegan! Perfect for holiday baking this Christmas season!


Units Scale


  1. Preheat and Line: Preheat oven to 350F (180C) and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. Prepare Rolling Area: Prepare a rolling area with a two additional sheets of parchment paper or silpat.
  3. Beat Sugar and Wet Ingredients: Place softened coconut oil in a large bowl and whip it until it becomes creamy. Add in maple syrup, sugar, vanilla extract, lemon juice and salt, and then mix to combine.
  4. Whisk Dry Ingredients: In another bowl, combine the rice flour, tapioca starch, corn starch, xanthan gum and lemon zest. Mix well.
  5. Combine Ingredients to Form Dough: Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon until you get a homogeneous dough. The dough should not be too sticky, but should press together when pinched. If dough is too dry, add a little bit more of liquid sweetener; if dough is too wet, add a bit more of rice flour, until you get the right texture.
  6. Roll Out Dough: Transfer the dough onto the working area and knead it very well. Roll the dough out to 1/2-inch (1cm) thickness between the two sheets of parchment paper, then cut into small rectangles. Place rectangles of dough onto the prepared baking sheet and use a fork to poke three lines of holes in each rectangle.
  7. Bake Until Golden: Bake 12 t0 14 minutes, until cookies are slightly golden. Cookies will harden as they cool. Allow cookies to cool for at least 10 minutes before eating.


Coconut Oil: I prefer using refined coconut oil for baking as it has a neutral taste (as opposed to extra virgin coconut oil, which has a more pronounced coconut flavor and smell). You may also use vegan butter if you prefer. Alternatively, if you are not lactose-intolerant, feel free to use softened butter instead.

Maple Syrup: I used maple syrup to keep the recipe vegan. You may also use agave nectar instead. Alternatively, if you are not vegan, you can use honey instead. If you are diabetic or insulin-resistant, I strongly recommend using Lakanto sugar-free maple syrup (a 1:1 maple syrup substitute that is zero glycemic index and will not raise your blood sugar).

Sugar: I used white sugar, but feel free to use light brown sugar if you prefer. If you are diabetic or insulin-resistant, I highly recommend using Lakanto monkfruit sweetener (a 1:1 sugar substitute that is zero glycemic index and will not raise your blood sugar).

Vanilla Extract: I like adding vanilla extract for extra flavor, but feel free to leave it out if you don’t have it or would rather not add it in.

Lemon Zest/Juice: I recommend using freshly squeezed lemon juice and freshly grated lemon zest for the best results and flavor.

Rice Flour: I used white rice flour, but you may also use brown rice flour if you prefer.

Tapioca Starch: If you don’t have tapioca starch, you may also use equal quantities of arrowroot starch instead.

Corn Starch: If you don’t have corn starch, you may use potato starch instead.

Xanthan Gum: Xanthan gum is the replacement for gluten in gluten-free flours, and is required to bind the ingredients together. Make sure you include xanthan gum for the best results.

Storing: To store, place the cooled gluten-free shortbread cookies in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 4 days.

This recipe was originally posted in 2016 but has been republished to include clearer step-by-step instructions as well as ingredient notes and substitutions.

Adapted from: Unconventional Baker

  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Western

Keywords: gluten-free shortbread cookies

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