Lemon Drop cookies are little rays of sunshine! If sunshine was an adorable, soft, yellow cookie rolled in sugar and cracking at the tops. You’ll love that these lemon cookies are totally dairy free, made with no margarine or butter substitutes. Small enough for seconds, big enough for the perfect fresh bite!
I am here to tell you that cookie baking can be delicious also without butter. Without margarine, or vegan butter! Not that anything is wrong with vegan butter but it’s not a household staple, so I love when we can do without it!
Lemon crinkle cookies were very obviously the next in the dairy free bake- me line up. I have always loved the nostalgic taste of a soft crinkly sugar cookie, tinted with lemon! But there is never enough lemon for me, there is always butter or margarine involved, and often yellow food coloring.
Call me healthy but I just can’t put food coloring in my cookies LOL!
We still manage to get a lovely yellow color in these cookies with some extra lemon zest. So while they won’t be bakery-fake yellow, they still shine a summer yellow.
Lemon cookie recipe without butter
These lemon drop cookies are so soft and melt-in-your-mouth you really would be surprised that there is no butter or margarine involved.
To get that soft bite and buttery flavor we turn to a couple key ingredients.
Canola Oil. Vegetable oil is my go-to for non dairy baking. We don’t want to use too much or our cookies will be oily, so just a mere 6 Tablespoons is needed.
Vanilla Pudding Mix. My not- so secret ingredient! Just one Tablespoon of powdery pudding mix straight from the package will give us all the softness we need. This ingredient keeps the cookies super moist as well so you can serve them “fresh” up to three days later! They won’t turn crumby and dry, trust me! Pudding mix is seriously magic in this sense.
Cornstarch. The second ingredient we use to keep the cookies extra soft is cornstarch. This also keeps the cookies from spreading too much while baking so they maintain that lemon “drop” shape.
Fast and Easy Lemon Cookies
Can we agree that a cookie recipe with chilling time is just the worst?! I WANT MY COOKIES NOW. While sometimes necessary for the right texture, I will say, not today!
These cookies come together super fast, bake in only 8/9 minutes, and require no mixer. (although you should definitely get a mixer if you haven’t yet!! Such a helpful kitchen tool!).
- Preheat oven.
- Cream sugar and oil together. You can do this in a medium sized bowl with a spatula or use the beater attachment on the mixer. Whatever is easier.
- Zest lemon and juice it. Always zest first because like, have you tried to zest a lemon half? Don’t.
- Add in vanilla extract, pudding mix, egg, and lemon zest and juice.
- Separately whisk together the dry ingredients(flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch). This is to ensure the leavening agents are distributed properly so the cookies rise nice and even. If you’re lazy you can sprinkle the dry ingredients straight into the wet mix. I’m a cool mom. I mean, baker.
- Scoop cookies by the heaping teaspoonful into powdered sugar and roll to coat.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes for the perfect soft lemon drop cookie!
Best way to store Lemon Cookies
Counter. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to three/four days.
Freezer. While warm, add cookies to a ziplock baggie fitted with a paper towel. The paper towel will absorb any moisture to prevent freezer burn. Thaw at room temperature(remove from the bag) before serving.
I hope you just love these Soft Lemon Drop Cookies. Please leave a review below if you try the recipe, and send a photo our way on Instagram– happy cooking!
Soft Lemon Drop Cookies(dairy free)
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 TBSP vegetable oil
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1/2 TBSP lemon zest(zest from one lemon)
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 TBSP vanilla pudding mix(powder straight from the package)
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar, for coating
- Preheat oven to 350º F/ 175º C.
- Add sugar and oil to a medium sized bowl or the bowl of a mixer and cream(mix really well for a minute or two).Add vanilla, egg, lemon zest and juice, and pudding mix. Mix to combine. If using a mixer, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again.
- To a seperate bowl, add flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt, baking soda and whisk to combine.
- Add to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined.
Roll and Bake
- Place the powdered sugar in a small wide bowl. Scoop spoonfuls of the cookie dough(a heaping teaspoonful which is a small coffee spoon filled to overflowing), and drop into the powdered sugar. Roll each cookie to coat and place on a non stick baking sheet or baking sheet fitted with a silpat mat/parchment paper.
- Bake for 8-9 minutes for super soft cookies.
- Store on the counter in an airtight container or place immedietly in the freezer in an airtight bag fitted with a paper towel to collect moisture.