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Introducing my Lemon Crinkle Cookies
These gluten free Lemon Crinkle Cookies are the latest addition to my Cookies and Biscuits collection. They’re light and melt-in-the-mouth, with a gentle citrus tang. They have a crisp outer shell and a lightly fudgy, buttery interior. And they’re ridiculously addictive. Honestly… In testing, I made so many batches I lost count. Yet each was devoured in a flash.
Ingredients needed to make gluten free Lemon Crinkle Cookies
To make gluten free Lemon Crinkle Cookies, you need:
Plain gluten free flour blend
My cookies have been tested with several gluten free flour blends and all worked well. The texture varies slightly depending on the formulation and level of rice flour in the mix. Rice flour always adds a slight granular texture to cookies. Either way, most flour blends should be fine to use. The proviso is that given the light colour of the cookies, a white blend is best.
Again… the recipe has been tested with varying amounts of xanthan gum and none at all. Using none is fine, but the cookies are slightly less stable in structure.
To avoid any gumminess, the xanthan gum is at a balanced level. If you are unable to tolerate xanthan gum, it should be fine to sub with guar gum or psyllium husk (powder or ground).
Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda
To help Crinkle Cookies rise a little, they need some leavening. My recipe uses a gentle combination of both baking powder and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to create the best texture. Using only baking powder results in cookies that are quite cakey (which I wanted to avoid).
I use white caster sugar (in the States, either superfine sugar or granulated sugar (which is finer than in the UK)). Avoid using darker sugars as these will impact the colour of the cookies.
To make sure lemon crinkle cookies are super-lemony, they contain lemon as zest, juice and (optionally) a drop of lemon extract too.
Use block butter with no ‘softeners’ added (or a like-for-like dairy free block alternative).
These crinkle cookies have been tested with varying ratios of whole egg, egg white and egg yolk. Ultimately, I settled on using a balance of whole egg + egg yolk. This ensured the gently fudgy texture I was trying to achieve.
The cookie dough balls are coated with icing sugar prior to baking (aka powdered/confectioner’s sugar). When the cookies rise and spread in the oven, the surface cracks into fissures and the icing sugar settles into a pretty crackled appearance.
I did test the cookies using a double coating of caster sugar plus icing sugar. It made absolutely no difference to the texture and made the cookies way too sweet.
The perfect texture for Lemon Crinkle Cookies
For me, Crinkle Cookies should have a texture that is lightly fudgy and definitely not ‘cake’. I’ll be honest… Part of the motivation for creating this recipe was that I’d tried a couple of (very popular) Lemon Crinkle Cookie recipes I found on the internet and they were very soft and cakey. Not for me I’m afraid… Hence my alternative, very divine gluten free recipe was born. An alternative to my very delicious (and popular) Chocolate Crinkle Cookies.
Prefer a ‘cakey’ cookie?
Now that said… I appreciate I may be in the minority camp on this one… So if you prefer cakey crinkle cookies, here’s what you need to do:
- Use two whole eggs (any UK medium eggs or large (at the lower weight range) – See my International Egg Size Comparison Chart for a weight guide) in place of the whole egg + yolk.
- Switch out the bicarbonate of soda and use an additional ½ teaspoon of baking powder instead (so that’s ¾ teaspoon in total).
How to make dairy free Lemon Crinkle Cookies
To make Lemon Crinkle Cookies that are dairy free as well as gluten freerequires one simple switch… Instead of using dairy butter, use a creamy BLOCK dairy free alternative. In the UK, I recommend either Stork block or Flora Plant B+tter.
Tips for making the best gluten free Lemon Crinkle Cookies
The instructions for making my Lemon Crinkle Cookies are carefully laid out in the recipe card (which is at the bottom of this post). However, it is always helpful to have some extra tips and tricks. So…
Crush the zest into the sugar
To get the best lemony flavour, crush the zest into the caster sugar by pressing and rubbing it in the bowl with the back of a spoon. This releases the citrus oils so they infuse with the sugar and ultimately the cookie dough.
Mix with a spoon
When making Lemon Crinkle Cookies, use a wooden/silicone spoon to mix the batter (NOT a whisk). This prevents the addition of excess air or the over-beating of the egg. This is important whether you prefer a fudgy or cakey cookie!
Don’t add more flour
The initial cookie batter will be quite loose. That’s exactly how it should be! Do NOT be tempted to add any more flour. Once the batter has been refrigerated, it will firm up enough to shape into balls. These balls will then be the right consistency to spread and crackle when baked.
The importance of chilling Crinkle Cookie batter
Chilling the batter is essential to making Crinkle Cookies. Be patient on this. It needs at least 2 hours to become firm enough to mould. You can speed the process by placing it in the freezer. But check frequently and give a stir to ensure the cooling process is even.
Rolling and coating Crinkle Cookies
- Even when the cookie dough is firm enough to shape, it’s still very sticky. Because of this, I usually scoop out each spoonful of dough (about walnut size) and drop it straight into the icing sugar. The initial sugar coat means the dough can be handled and rolled easily into balls without getting into a sticky mess. It also helps to dip the spoon in the icing sugar before ‘scooping’.
- Make sure the dough balls have a generous coating of icing sugar by rolling each one again in the bowl before placing it on the baking tray. This ensures a bright crackle top once baked!
- For domed crinkle cookies, bake the dough from completely rounded balls. If you prefer a flatter cookie, gently press the top of each ball (but not too much) with the fingers or palm.
Leave a gap for spreading
Crinkle cookies will spread a little in the oven… Leave a gap (about 5 cm) between each on the baking tray.
Bake in batches
To ensure an even bake, cook Lemon Crinkle Cookies in batches, one tray at a time (using two trays and rotating them with each batch). BUT… Make certain the tray is completely cold before re-loading with the next cookie batch, or the dough will melt into a puddle before it reaches the oven.
Keep the dough cold
It is important that crinkle cookie dough stays cold both for moulding into balls and so that it holds its shape in the oven. Between batch-rolling or baking, place the dough bowl (and any rolled cookies) back in the fridge to keep them firm.
How to store Lemon Crinkle Cookies
Once baked, these gluten free Lemon Crinkle Cookies should stay fresh for 2 to 3 days. After this, they will still be tasty (up to about a week), although will gradually become a little drier.
For best freshness, store in an airtight container at room temperature.
Ready to make gluten free Lemon Crinkle Cookies?
My recipe for Gluten Free Lemon Crinkle Cookies is just below (scroll a little further). I hope you enjoy them. If you love them, feel free to share the love by star-rating the recipe. You can also leave a comment, or message me on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest) if you have any questions or to let me know how you found them.
For lots more amazing recipes, grab a cuppa and go browse my HUGE Gluten Free Recipe Index. All the recipes are shared in pictures (to tempt and inspire you 😘) and can be easily clicked through to each blog post. Better still… They’re all shared for FREE.
With my love
Lemon Crinkle Cookies
- 240 g gluten free plain flour blend (white)
- ½ tsp xanthan gum
- ¼ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- big pinch fine sea salt
- 160 g white caster sugar (superfine sugar)
- zest 2 lemons (finely grated)
- 1 tsp lemon or vanilla extract
- 100 g unsalted butter – melted (or block dairy free alternative)
- 1 large egg )
- 1 large egg yolk ) total combined weight egg + yolk = approx 77g
- 30 g lemon juice (= 2 tbsp)
To Coat and crinkle
- 3 to 4 tbsp icing sugar (confectioners/powdered sugar)
- Weigh and mix together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside. (Tip: Weigh into an airtight container and shake vigorously).
- In a large bowl, mix the caster sugar with the lemon zest and extract, crushing the zest into the sugar with the back of a spoon to release the oils.
- Add the melted butter and beat through with a wooden/silicone spoon until evenly combined.
- Add the egg and egg yolk and beat again (with the spoon, NOT a whisk) until well blended.
- Add the lemon juice and beat again until the batter is smooth and silky.
- Finally, add the dry flour mix and spoon-beat until the mixture forms an even paste. It will be quite loose, but do NOT add any more flour. The mixture will thicken when chilled.
- Put the cookie batter in the fridge and chill for at least two hours until it has become firm.
- Prepare a couple of large baking trays by lining with baking paper and put some icing sugar in a low-sided bowl (suitable for rolling the cookie balls).
- Preheat the oven to 170 Fan/180 C/350 F.
- Scoop a spoonful of cookie dough (about the size of a walnut) and transfer to the icing sugar bowl. The cookie dough is very sticky, so coating with a little icing sugar before rolling will make it easier to handle. It also helps to dip the spoon in icing sugar before scooping.
- Roll into a dough ball using hands, before rolling it in the icing sugar to coat completely. Then place on the lined baking tray.
- Repeat the scooping, rolling and coating process to make more cookie balls, transferring to the baking tray with a large gap (about 5 cm/2 inches) between each.
- To allow space to spread, the cookies need to be baked in batches. Ensure the trays are cold before adding new dough balls, to avoid them melting.
- For a less domed cookie, slightly flatten the top of each dough ball with fingers. Otherwise, bake them as balls (they will still spread).
- Bake one tray of cookies at a time, placing the next tray of balls and remaining dough in the fridge until ready to bake/use.
- Bake each tray of cookies for about 8 to 10 minutes until they have a crackled appearance and a firm, dry surface.
- When baked, remove from the oven and leave on the trays for a further 10 minutes (so they firm up) before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Continue to roll and bake until all the cookies are finished.
- Best eaten within a couple of days, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to a week.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist
Lemon Crinkle Cookies shared with
- Fiesta Friday with Angie
- Full Plate Thursday with Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
- What’s for Dinner #447 with The Lazy Gastronome