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These Lemon Sugar Cookies are fluffy chewy lemon zest filled sugar cookies made with olive oil instead of butter. They have a refreshing sweet lemon taste, all while satisfying your sugar cookie craving. YUM.

Lemon Sugar Cookies with Olive Oil on a drying rack.

If you are in the mood for a lemon dessert, you should check these lemon cookies out because they hit the spot. They are soft and chewy in the middle and have a great citrus lemon flavor. They are perfect for summer time ( or for any lemon lover).

Speaking of lemon lovers, try my Lemon Thyme Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables, Healthy Lemon Ginger Turmeric Salmon, or Dairy-free Lemon Poppy Seed Coffee Cake if you love lemon recipes.

Why this recipe works:

  • This recipe is great for those following a dairy-free diet or looking to bake with olive oil.
  • These cookies are lighter than your average sugar cookie but taste amazing.
  • They are great for those who love lemon recipes.
  • They come together quickly and bake in 10 minutes.

Ingredients needed:

Ingredients needed to make sugar cookie recipe with lemon.
Lemons on a table.
  • all purpose flour– this type of flour works best for this cookie recipe.
  • baking powder and baking soda– these both help the cookies to rise.
  • olive oil– make sure you are using a good quality olive oil.
  • apple sauce– make sure it isn’t flavored and doesn’t have extra sugar inside.
  • cane sugar– or regular granulated sugar work well here.
  • egg– this helps bind the cookies together.
  • lemon juice and lemon zest– you’l need to zest two lemons to get the zest you need for this recipe.

See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.

Additions/ Substitutions

  • Instead of olive oil, you can use avocado oil.
  • Instead of apple sauce, you can use pear sauce.

Step by step instructions

Step 1: Zest your lemons and then juice them.

I like to zest my lemons first and then juice them so that no lemon goes to waste.

Dry ingredients in a bowl.
Step 2

Step 2: Mix the dry ingredients together.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together.

Lemon sugar cookie dough.
Step 3

Step 3: Mix the wet ingredients together.

In another large bowl, mix the olive oil, sugar, egg, apple sauce, lemon juice and lemon zest with a hand held mixer.

Step 4: Mix the wet and dry ingredients together. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ones and mix.

Step 5: Roll dough into balls and bake!

Lemon sugar cookies freshly baked and on a drying rack.

Recipe FAQs

Can you make sugar cookies with olive oil?

Yes of course! I love making sugar cookies with olive oil instead of butter. In fact, these Soft Olive Oil Sugar cookies are a reader favorite and what inspired me to make these lemon sugar cookies.
Olive oil is a wonderful butter replacement. It has less saturated fat and is plant based. I find that it results in a lighter taste/ texture.

This baking with olive oil article from Better Homes and Gardens has great tips.

Can you make these with different citrus?

Yes, you can make these with limes or oranges. Just use lime zest or orange zest and lime juice or orange juice.

How many lemons do you need for this recipe.

You’ll need at least 2 lemons.

A bite of a lemon sugar cookie with olive oil.

Other olive oil recipes you’ll love:

These Paleo Almond Flour Brownies with Olive Oil are my favorite dairy-free and gluten-free brownies! They are fluffy yet fudgy and are AMAZING.

I love these Dairy-free Banana Oatmeal Muffins Made with Olive Oil. They are soft and nourishing and delicious.

This Pumpkin Olive Oil Cake is my favorite pumpkin cake of all time. SO delicious and naturally dairy-free.

These cottage cheese cookies use both cottage cheese or olive oil to replace the butter in the recipe. They are fluffy and delicious!

Did you try this recipe? Please leave me a ⭐ review below!

4.50 from 10 votes

Lemon Sugar Cookies with Olive Oil (Dairy-free)

Servings: 24 cookies
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Lemon Sugar Cookies with Olive Oil on a drying rack.
A delicious dairy-free sugar cookie made with lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil.

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • the zest of two lemons, (note: if want more lemon flavor than use the zest of 3 lemons)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
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Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cover cookie sheet pan in parchment paper or silicone cookie sheet liner.
  • In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together with a fork.
  • In another bowl, mix the olive oil, sugar, egg, apple sauce, lemon juice and lemon zest with a hand held mixer.
  • Pour half of the dry ingredients into the bowl of the wet ingredients and mix with your hand-held mixer. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and mix again. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl as you do this.
  • Using a small cookie scoop, or a spoon, scoop out Tablespoon sized balls of the dough and place on a cookie sheet.
  • Note: if you want to roll the dough in coarse sugar, do this prior to placing the balls of dough on a cookie sheet.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes, then remove the cookies from the oven and let them sit on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before letting them cool on a cookie rack.

Notes

  • Instead of olive oil, you can use avocado oil.
  • Instead of apple sauce, you can use pear sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 114kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.001gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 68mgPotassium: 17mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 9gVitamin A: 11IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @perchancetocook or tag #perchancetocook!
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