My Lemon Vanilla Crinkle Cookies Recipe is nut-free, egg-free, made from scratch with plenty of lemon zest and vanilla from vanilla beans. These Lemon Vanilla Crinkle Cookies taste delicious and are a special made-with-love treat for someone who is allergic to eggs. My family loved these cookies on the first time I made it and I’m sure your friends and loved ones will enjoy them too.
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Food Allergy Mom Confession
Why am I sharing a recipe for Lemon Vanilla Crinkle Cookies when I recently shared my recipe for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies? When I made the chocolate crinkle cookies with my older son a few months ago, they were were soft, cakey on the inside, with a slightly crispy coat of powdered sugar on the outside. I didn’t think I would make a variation of this cookie until I had a tenderhearted chat with my younger son…
It was a complete oversight, but I never tried making the chocolate crinkle cookies egg free for my younger son who is allergic to eggs because he doesn’t like chocolate. The rest of us thoroughly enjoyed the chocolate crinkle cookies and my younger son is such a good sport and never complains about his food allergies. When he asked me if the cookies really taste good, I felt his curiosity and longing so I started thinking about making egg-free, chocolate-free lemon crinkle cookies for him.
How to Make Lemon Vanilla Crinkle Cookies
I already have a great recipe for Chocolate Crinkle Cookies and figured it wouldn’t be too hard to adapt the recipe into Lemon Vanilla Crinkle Cookies. I had some ideas:
- Make it egg free by using the oil + water + baking powder substitute which is the best and easiest way to substitute eggs in cookie recipes. It doesn’t require any special ingredients or techniques and works like a charm. Be sure to check the freshness of your baking powder by throwing a pinch into a small amount of water and look for some fizzy action. If the baking powder doesn’t fizz in the water, then you need to replace your baking powder.
- Create a wonderful lemon flavor without throwing off the ratio of wet to dry ingredients. I wanted to use lots of lemon zest. Some recipes call for up to 1/4 cup of lemon juice which is too much liquid to add to a cookie recipe so I opted to use lemon extract because one teaspoon of extract is equivalent to 4 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.
- I also wanted to enhance the sweetness of the cookies by using vanilla from a fresh vanilla pod. I split the bean and scraped out the seeds and reserved the pod for infusing flavor into ice cream or other uses at a later time. Or if you have vanilla bean paste, you could use that instead.
- Other recipes use boxed cake mix and dairy free whipped topping as short cuts, but I prefer a from-scratch recipe using simple ingredients which make it easier to adapt the recipe to be gluten free and/or dairy free.
The recipe as written is free of peanut, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish, and shellfish.
Please always check all ingredient labels before using and when in doubt, call the manufacturer. If you are dairy free, use a dairy free buttery stick (I like Earth Balance’s buttery baking sticks). If you are gluten free, use your favorite 1:1 gluten free flour substitute such as Cup 4 Cup. If you are not avoiding eggs, you can certainly use 2 eggs instead (I’ve updated the recipe on how to use eggs, see recipe notes below).
Lemon Vanilla Crinkle Cookie Recipe
My Lemon Vanilla Crinkle Cookies Recipe is nut-free, egg-free, made from scratch with plenty of lemon zest and vanilla from vanilla beans. These Lemon Vanilla Crinkle Cookies taste delicious and are a special made-with-love treat for someone who is allergic to eggs.
- 2 cups and 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 Meyer lemons 4 if the lemons are small
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick, 8 tablespoons, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons oil
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1/3 cup powered sugar more if needed
Preheat oven to 350 °F (check that you have an oven rack in the middle position) and line two cookie sheets with non-stick parchment paper or silicon baking sheets.
Combine flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, and salt in a medium sized bowl.
Wash your lemons well and dry them with a paper towel, then zest them directly over the bowl of flour (reserve the lemons for other uses).
Use a sharp pointy knife to split your vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape the seeds and add to the flour mixture (reserve the pod shell for other uses).
Whisk the flour mixture well and set aside.
Beat the butter and sugar together until they are combined and look fluffy (2-3 minutes using a stand mixer, 5 minute with a hand mixer), scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Combine the oil, water, and 2 teaspoons of baking powder in a small bowl and add to the butter and sugar mixture, add the lemon extract, and mix on low speed until combined.*
Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined, scrape down sides of the bowl as needed, stop when the flour is mixed it but do not overmix.
Gather the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate the dough for 15-30 minutes.
Place powdered sugar in a bowl (I used the flour mixture bowl).
Use a tablespoon sized measuring spoon to measure the dough and a regular teaspoon to scrape the dough out into the bowl of powdered sugar.
Use your fingers to roll the dough in the powdered sugar and shape it into a ball.
Place the powdered sugar covered dough on your prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart from each other, repeat measuring and rolling the dough
Bake for 12-13 minutes until the cookies are puffy, slightly cracked, and golden brown at the bottom.
Allow the cookies to cool on the tray for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
It is important to check that your baking powder is fresh. Add a pinch to a small amount of water, you want to see the baking powder fizz. *IF USING EGGS: omit the oil, water, and baking powder in step 7 and use two slightly beatened eggs instead.
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Sharon, these look soooo good and I could easily make them dairy free to be safe for my son. Thank you. 🙂
Oh yeah!! I’ve had great success baking with Earth Balance buttery sticks. I’m sure you’re way more experienced baking dairy free and know what to do!
These sound so good, Sharon! I love lemon cookies.
Love lemon crinkle cookies, and I am so excited to have found this one that is dairy-free and egg-free! Great tip about the baking soda, too. I think it’s so easy to let the time slide and just throw in that tiny amount that is needed per recipe, but it does make a difference. Thanks so much! They look and sound delicious!
These look so good! I love crinkle cookies this time of year.
Thanks Lauren, I think crinkle cookies are good anytime of year but especially awesome when there’s a lot of beautiful lemons in season!
I love anything at all with lemon, and adding vanilla just sends it over the edge! Delicious!
Thank you, Dee Dee. These cookies get a lot of ooh’s and ahh’s whenever I make them. Over the edge delicious is a nice way to describe them! 🙂
Yummy! I can’t wait to make these. What brand of flour does your family use?
Thank you, I hope you love the cookie recipe. It’s one of our family’s favorites. 🙂 I usually buy King Arthur Flour, Gold Medal, or Trader Joe’s flour. I like that King Arthur Flour has a variety of flours that are unbleached, whole wheat, organic, for bread, for pastry, etc. but I’ve only called to check about TJ’s flour. Be sure to check for FDA recalls as there have been some flours have been recalled due to e. coli.
I don’t need to avoid eggs, but have always wanted to try baking a classic treat egg free. I have to try the oil + water + baking powder substitution. These sound like something my family would really enjoy.
Baking egg free was so hard, so much trial and error over the years. The oil + water + baking powder subtitute works great with cookies. And if you wanted to substitute 2 eggs you could. I use 2 eggs in the chocolate crinkle recipe because my son who loves chocolate isn’t allergic to eggs.
Hi Sharon! Unfortunately it’s hard to get Meyer lemons right now, how should I alter the recipe if using regular lemons? Also can I replace the butter with coconut oil instead of Earth balance? Thank you! 🙂
You can definitely substitute with regular lemons, the cookies will still have a lemony taste. I don’t bake with coconut oil so I can’t speak from experience. I looked up some tips, you can substitute 1:1, be sure to use them at the same temperature (cold/solid vs. melted). I hope it turns out, let me know!
Hi Sharon! Thank you for responding. I was also wondering if I could mix the dough a day ahead and put it in the fridge to bake the next day? I’m making these for a party I’m hosting so I’m trying to save time by doing these ahead. 🙂
Also for the 3 tablespoons of oil you add, what kind of oil is that?
I hope your party was a success! Yes, I’ve made the dough and baked it the next day but a better suggestion is to bake them a day ahead of your event. These cookies taste great for days. I use olive oil for everything! You could use whatever allergy safe oil you normally use but if you use a canola, corn, or vegetable oil, make sure that whatever oil you use passes a sniff test as those oils have a milder flavor until it’s not 100% fresh.
If I don’t have a vanilla bean, how much vanilla extract would I use?
Great question, one vanilla bean is equivalent to one teaspoon of vanilla extract. I like to use a vanilla bean because I love how the specks of vanilla are visually appealing as well as tasty. Using vanilla extract will be just as delicious.