Gluten Free Lemon Meltaway Cookies

Gluten Free Lemon Meltaway Cookies

Simple, tender gluten free lemon meltaway cookies that literally melt in your mouth. The cookies are a delight, and the preparation couldn’t be simpler.

Lemon beltway cookies leaning against each other on a white surface

Cookies ? come in all shapes, sizes and textures (kind of like people?). Most people?(kind of like cookies? *no*) will quickly tell you which sort of cookie (crunchy or chewy) is their fave.

But then there’s the meltaway cookie, like these gluten free lemon ? meltaway cookies. I challenge you to find even one person who can’t get on board with a light, tender and simple cookie that quite literally melts in your mouth.

Bowl of lemon juice, lemon metal way cookie dough, and formed lemon meltaway cookies

Meltaway cookies are even a total winner for the cook, since the dough is not only simple to throw together, but incredibly easy to handle and requires no chilling before baking whatsoever.

Just be sure not to overbake the cookies, or they’ll go from tender shortbread-style cookies to crumbly and dry. And be careful about using a high-starch flour blend. Go with one of my recommended flour blends, and as always I recommend baking by weight, not volume!

Overhead view of lemon meltaway cookies on parchment paper

I dressed mine up with a light drizzle of lemon glaze, too, to bump up the lemon flavor and honestly to make them look as pretty on the outside as they are delicious on the inside. But of course they’re *almost* perfect without it, too.

Lemon meltaway cookies on white surface with lemon zest on top

Meltaway cookies can also be made into large, flat rounds that can be decorated however you like (like these bunny cookies ?), but most of the time I like to keep them simple as can be.

Lemon meltaway cookies piled on a platter

Ingredients and substitutions


There is quite a lot of butter in these cookies, and I would not recommend using Earth Balance buttery sticks. They have too much moisture, and I don’t think the cookies would hold their shape. I think Melt brand or Miyoko’s Kitchen brand vegan butter might work in place of the butter, though.


There is no whole egg in this recipe, and only one egg white, which helps provide structure. You may be able to replace it with aquafaba, which is just the brine from a can of chickpeas. I recommend beating it until foamy, and using the same amount, by weight (25 grams).

Lemon meltaway cookies 315x315

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 18 cookies


For the cookies
1 1/2 cups (210 g) all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/3 cup (48 g) cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2/3 cup (77 g) confectioners’ sugar

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

12 tablespoons (168 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 egg white (25 g), at room temperature

2 teaspoons (1 fluid ounce) freshly-squeezed lemon juice, plus more as necessary

Granulated sugar, for dipping

For the glaze
1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar

2 to 4 teaspoons freshly-squeezed lemon juice


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside.

  • In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and confectioners’ sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the lemon zest and mix to combine, breaking up any clumps of zest. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, egg white and 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice, mixing to combine after each addition. The dough will be thick and smooth. Add more lemon juice by the half-teaspoonful and knead it in with clean, dry hands as necessary to bring the dough together.

  • Scoop the dough by the heaping tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheet, leaving about 1 1/2-inches between pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a round between the palms of your hands, and press down slightly into a thick disk. Press with the moistened tines of a fork into a small bowl of granulated sugar, then press down on the top of each piece of dough until the tines leave an impression about 1/4-inch deep. Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cookies are lightly golden brown on the edges and firm to the touch (about 12 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet.

  • When the cookies are cool, make the glaze. In a small bowl, place the confectioners’ sugar and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, and mix well. Add more lemon juice by the half-teaspoon, stirring to combine after each addition until you have a smooth but very thickly pourable glaze. Drizzle the glaze in a zig-zag pattern on top of each cooled cookie. Allow to set at room temperature.


Comments are closed.

  • Kathy Sills
    November 3, 2015 at 4:52 PM

    what can you sub for the unsalted butter?

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 9, 2017 at 9:29 AM

      You can try butter-flavored shortening, Kathy. But you’ll have to experiment!

  • Deb
    November 2, 2015 at 7:48 PM

    Hi! Nicole, after reading your reply! Tried one with my coffee this morning!! They
    Were so good!! ?Will make them again!

  • Joanne Voth
    November 1, 2015 at 3:18 PM

    I love lemon desserts, and these cookies look perfect!

  • Deb
    November 1, 2015 at 11:26 AM

    I made these this morning. I followed them to a tee! They look beautiful! Just like the picture.
    But :( mine were so dry? What did I do wrong? Am I suppose to melt the butter?

    • Tina Lok
      November 1, 2015 at 11:11 PM

      Mine also very dry, but still so yummy. definitely making again. Maybe I over mixed

      • Nicole Hunn
        March 9, 2017 at 9:30 AM

        Most likely, the issue was your flour blend, Tina. If you used a high-starch blend, it will absorb a lot more moisture and won’t work properly.

    • November 2, 2015 at 7:54 AM

      Deb, these are meltaway cookies. They are not moist cookies, by nature.

    • Nicole Hunn
      March 9, 2017 at 9:31 AM

      As the recipe states, Deb, your butter must be at room temperature. If the dough was the proper texture but the cookies were dry, you most likely overbaked them and/or baked them at too high a temperature.

  • Anneke
    October 29, 2015 at 5:24 PM

    Made these today, delicious! I am visiting my mom (she says hi!) and needed some GF treats. As usual, you post exactly what I need right when I need it. Thanks!

    • November 2, 2015 at 7:56 AM

      Awesome, Anneke. So glad you loved them. Please say hello to your mom for me back!!

  • Kaharchis@aol..com
    October 28, 2015 at 5:06 PM

    Is this recipe in any of your books? I have all 4 and would prefer to just grab one of them over printing all of the Amazing recipes you post.

    • November 2, 2015 at 7:56 AM

      These are not in any of my books. Most of the recipes I post on the blog are brand new, not in any of my books unless I indicate otherwise!

  • October 28, 2015 at 2:40 PM

    Nicole,your recipes are so consistently fabulous! Can’t wait to try this one! <3

  • Michele
    October 28, 2015 at 2:05 PM

    What would be the best thing to use to replace the egg white? I can’t have eggs.

    • November 2, 2015 at 7:55 AM

      I’m afraid I really don’t know, Michele! I haven’t tested these with any substitutions, and egg whites are very hard to replace. Sorry!

  • Jennifer S.
    October 28, 2015 at 11:30 AM

    LOVE meltaways!!!! I’m going to make some this holiday season. MORE Cookies please! :)

    • October 28, 2015 at 11:56 AM

      Oh don’t you worry, Jennifer. There will be TONS of cookie recipes this fall/winter. ?

  • Melanie Carr
    October 28, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    Ooh! I may have to make these tonight. Ordered your snacks book the other day so I can earn some cool points with my kids. They tire quickly of plain old muffins and cupcakes. LOVE lemon and lime. I wanna try these with both, separately.

    • October 28, 2015 at 11:57 AM

      You’ll definitely rack up the cool points, Melanie. Make them gluten free Kit Kats this Halloween and they’ll be in your debt forever. ?

  • Michelle
    October 28, 2015 at 10:35 AM

    Yum! I love lime ones, too. Thanks for this!

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