Looking for a special treat to feed your family this spring? Here it is, a melt-in-your-mouth delicate vegan lemon crinkle cookie. This addictive, dainty, chewy lemon cookie is one of my favorite cookies. With a hint of lemon in every bite and its unique soft texture, one would think you have spent hours in the kitchen, but it is super simple to make with ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard.

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Looking for more vegan dessert recipes?

Crinkle cookies are made when the crust dries out before the cookie is finished baking. While the crinkle cookie is baking, the cookie forms an outer crust that cracks, pulls apart, and creates that beautiful crinkly, cracked exterior. 

These vegan lemon crinkle cookies have a crinkle cookie top and a wonderfully soft and chewy interior. The fresh lemon flavor adds a freshness to these cookies that cannot be described. They are the perfect lemon dessert for any occasion.

Why You’ll LOVE these Vegan Lemon Crinkle Cookies

I love to bake and have countless vegan baking recipes, but these lemon cookies are one of my top favorite recipes. Here are a few reasons to make these cookies as soon as possible. 

  • Crinkly texture: These lemon cookies’ charming crinkly texture and appearance will dazzle your family and friends. 
  • Soft and Chewy: One of the best parts of these cookies is their soft and irrisitible chewy texture. These crinkle cookies melt in your mouth and it is difficult to each just one. 
  • Easy to Make: With only a few simple ingredients, you can whip these vegan lemon crinkle cookies up in no time. 
  • Irresistible Lemon flavor: Bursting with lemony and zesty flavor, this cookie recipe will be a hit in your repertoire.
  • Make ahead: These cookies store well and are easy to make ahead for a fun party treat. They remain soft and chewy for days and also freeze beautifully. 
  • Crowd pleaser: Every time I serve these easy crinkle cookies, people take seconds or thirds and ask for the recipe. 

Health Benefits of Lemon:

Lemon has an impressive amount of health benefits. (1)

  • high in vitamin C
  • boosts the immune system
  • reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke
  • improves blood fluidity
  • improves iron absorption 
  • may help prevent kidney stones
  • may aid in digestion
  • helps to eliminate toxins in the blood

Looking for more lemon recipes?

When I was in culinary school in NYC, one of my chef instructors asked us to go around the room and tell our favorite flavor. My classmates focused on things like chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla, but when it came to my turn, I said lemon. Lemon has a flavor that can enhance, brighten, and add a tangy element to a dish, or it can be the star of the dish. Here are a few of my favorite dishes that highlight the lemon flavor. 

Helpful tips and kitchen tools to make the best vegan lemon crinkle cookies:

  • Electric Mixer: An electric hand mixer makes quick work of creaming the sugar and plant-based margarine. You can also do it by hand, but it requires a little more effort and time.  
  • Earth Balance: I would suggest using Earth Balance for these cookies. Coconut oil does not work as well.  
  • Citrus Juicer: I like to use fresh squeezed lemon juice in this cookie recipe for optimal zesty lemon flavor. A citrus juicer comes in handy when juicing lemons, but you can also squeeze the lemons by hand and remove the seeds. 
  • Citrus Zester: Lemon zest is made from the outer yellow layer of the lemon. It’s used to add intense lemon flavor to the cookies. When zesting the lemon it is useful to have a lemon zester. Only use the yellow part. The white part is bitter and would not be an asset to the cookies.  
  • Careful to not over bake: Do not over bake. This cookie is best when a little chewy. It should have a slight golden color.  
  • Sift flour: It may be helpful to sift the flour as this can make a lighter end result, but if you are too busy, which is often the case for me, I just stir the flour before measuring.  
  • Stir flour: Always stir the flour before measuring. This can make a big difference in the outcome of the cookies. Compact flour makes a dry cookie.  
  • Baking Sheet: I love these Nordic Ware Half Baking sheets, but you can use your favorite baking sheet for this cookie recipe.
  • Parchment Paper or Silicon Mat: I like to line my cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Both work great for this recipe. 

Vegan Lemon Cookies Ingredient List:

Let’s look at the ingredients you’ll need to make these easy lemon crinkle cookies. 

Dry Ingredients:

Wet Ingredients:

  • Vegan Butter or Margarine (Earth Balance): Vegan butter or margarine creates a soft and moist cookie that will keep people coming back for more. I like to use Earth Balance, but you can experiment with other vegan butter or unsalted butter brands.
  • Natural Cane Sugar: I like to use all-natural cane sugar or vegan granulated sugar in this lemon cookie recipe.
  • Apple Sauce: Adding apple sauce to this vegan cookie dough helps to create the soft and moist texture that makes these cookies special. 
  • Lemon Zest: The lemon zest in these cookies takes the lemon flavor to the next level.
  • Fresh Lemon Juice: The lemon juice in these cookies gives the vegan lemon crinkle cookies their irresistible lemon flavor. 
  • Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Bean Paste: I like to add a high-quality vanilla extract to these cookies as the vanilla flavor pairs beautifully with the zesty lemon flavor in these cookies. You can also use vanilla bean paste for an extra vanilla flavor or a drop of lemon extract for a extra lemon flavor.
  • Powdered Sugar (For Dusting): Rolling each cookie dough ball in powdered sugar or icing sugar helps to give the cookies that beautiful, crinkly appearance and texture we all know and love. 

How to Make Vegan Lemon Crinkle Cookies with pictures:

You will love this soft, chewy, vegan lemon cookie. Here is my step-by-step guide on how to make them.

Step one: Step one: Start by whisking together granulated sugar and vegan margarine or softened butter until creamy.

Step two: Add the apple sauce, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.

Step three: In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt.

Step four: Add the flour mixture to the creamed sugar and margarine mixture. Stir until the wet and dry ingredients are combine. This will make a soft dough.

Step five: Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls using your hands or a cookie scoop and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat this step for the remaining dough. Roll each unbaked cookie in confectioners sugar and return to the cookie sheet. Rolling the lemon cookies with powdered sugar will help create that beautiful crinkly look we are going for.

Step six: Bake for 10 minutes, until the cookies are slightly puffed with a crinkly finish. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze.

How to store vegan lemon cookies? 

One of my favorite aspects of these lemon cookies is how beautifully they store. Let’s look at the best ways to store this recipe. 

  • Allow the cookies to cool: It is super important to allow the cookies to cool completely before storing them, as the added warmth and moisture can cause the cookies to go soggy and cause the powdered sugar to melt in the warm environment. I like to cool the lemon crinkles on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely before storing them. 
  • Airtight Container: Once the cookies are completely cooled, transfer them to an airtight container. An airtight container will keep the cookies fresh and help them not dry out for 2-3 days on the counter. 
  • Plastic Bag: You can also store these vegan lemon crinkle cookies in a plastic bag once they have cooled. I lay the bag flat and keep the cookies in a single layer to prevent the delicate cookies from being pressed. 
  • Freeze: Yes, you can freeze these lemon cookies and defrost for later enjoyment. Before freezing, place the cookies in an airtight container or a plastic bag. The cookies should last in the freezer for 2-3 months. 
  • To thaw: A few hours before serving the cookies, remove them from the freezer and allow them to come to room temperature. You can always refresh them in the oven if you want to serve them slightly warm. 

Get creative with this crinkle cookie recipe and make it your own with these fun variations. 

Extra yellow color: Do you want the yellow color to pop in these lemon cookies? Add a drop of vegan yellow food coloring to the cookie dough or a little turmeric for extra color. 

Lemon Raspberry Crinkle Cookies: Add some freeze-dried crushed or powdered raspberries to the cookie dough for a pink crinkle cookie that is sure to please. You may have to adjust the liquid in the recipe to keep the cookie dough from being too dry. 

Lime Crinkle Cookies: Switch out the lemon juice in this recipe for lime juice and you will find you have a completely different flavor experience.

Rose water crinkle cookies: Add a drop of culinary rose water to the cookie dough and sprinkle dried edible rose petals on the cookies after baking for a charming and elegant look.  

Serving Suggestions: 

I have found that this recipe for lemon crinkle cookies is always a favorite anytime and anywhere. These easy crinkle cookies are among my favorite vegan desserts, perfect for any occasion. 

  • Weekend get-together: Bake these easy crinkle cookies for your next get-together and watch them disappear before your eyes.
  • Tea Party: Pair these lemon crinkles with tea, hot lemonade, or even a cold, refreshing beverage like my strawberry limeade recipe
  • Birthday Party: Serve these cookies alongside a birthday cake, such as my vegan lemon raspberry cake or vegan carrot cake
  • Bridal Shower: Serve these lemon cookies alongside fresh summer fruit salad and finger sandwiches for a lovely spread the bride will love. 
  • Baby Shower: The best lemon crinkle cookies to serve at a baby shower as their light and delicate texture and soft crinkly appearance will look super cute for the occasion. 
  • Cookie Swap: Looking for the best cookies to bring to your next cookie swap? Try this lemon crinkle cookies recipe for a delicious addition to any cookie box. 
  • Brunch: I am of the opinion that there is no wrong time to serve cookies. Brunch is the perfect time to surprise your guests with a soft and zesty lemon cookie. Serve with vegan pancakes or baked hash browns for a beautiful morning spread. 
  • With Milk: Cookies and a glass of vegan milk go perfectly together. Try my homemade almond milk or this oat milk recipe for an easy plant-based option. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use coconut oil instead of plant-based margarine?  

Yes, you can, but the end result is different. The cookies do not crinkle as much, and the flavor is milder.

Can you zest a lemon without a lemon zester?  

Yes, you can. Use a knife or peeler to carefully scrape off the yellow outer layer of the lemon. With a sharp knife, mince the lemon peel into lemon zest.

How long does lemon zest last?  

It’s best when used right away. If you have leftovers, store in the freezer.

Can I use the lemon once it has been zested?  

Absolutely. Cover in cling wrap to preserve the lemon if you don’t use the zested lemon right away. It dries out very quickly without its outer layer.

Can I make these cookies gluten-free?

Yes, replace the all-purpose flour with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten-free flour for delicious gluten free lemon crinkle cookies.

Are these cookies nut-free?  

Yes, they are.

I love baking cookies, so here are some more of my go-to recipes. 

  • Raspberry Almond Thumbprint Cookies: This super easy cookie recipe has only a few ingredients, and the delicate raspberry jam can be substituted for your favorite jam flavor.  
  • Snowball Cookies: Vegan snowball cookies are the perfect choice for a delicious, nutty flavor that will keep you coming back for more. 
  • Vegan Pumpkin Cookies: In the fall, I like to bake up a batch of these soft, moist, and chewy pumpkin cookies for a fun fall treat. 
  • Vegan Gingersnap Cookies: Around the holidays I love to bake cookies with my sister. These easy gingersnap cookies are among our favorite ones to make together.
  • Cut-Out Sugar Cookies: If you are looking for a fun vegan cut-out sugar cookie to make and decorate with your kids, this is the recipe for you. 
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Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 4 reviews
  • Author: Chef Ani
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1820 cookies 1x


Here it is, a melt-in-your-mouth delicate lemon crinkle cookie. This addictive, dainty, chewy lemon cookie is one of my favorite cookies. With a hint of lemon in every bite and its unique soft texture, one would think you have spent hours in the kitchen, but it is super simple to make with ingredients you probably already have in your cupboard.


  • 1/2 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
  • 2 tablespoons apple sauce
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (or Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free 1:1 flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (for rolling)


  • Preheat oven to 350 F 
  • In a bowl, whisk together sugar and vegan margarine until creamy.  
  • Add the apple sauce, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, stir to combine.  
  • Add the flour mixture to the creamed sugar and margarine mixture.  
  • Stir to combine.  This will make a soft dough.  
  • Roll the dough into 1 1/2 inch balls using your hands, then roll in the powdered sugar, and place on a lined baking sheet.  Repeat this step for the remaining dough.  
  • Bake for 10 minutes, until the cookies are slightly puffed with a crinkly finish.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet.  
  • Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or freeze.  


  1. WebMD “Health Benefits of Lemon”