Gluten-Free Lemonade Cookies

by theresa on July 26, 2011

A glass of lemonade on a plate

Our very dear friends lost their 15-month old son to a rare cancer in 2004. The cancer, neuroblastoma, happened to be the same type of cancer that a young girl named Alexandra Scott also had. At the age of 4, Alexandra decided to hold a lemonade stand to help raise funds for childhood cancer research. So when my friends lost their son to the same illness, on the first anniversary of his death, they held a lemonade stand in his honor. It has now been 7 years since we last saw his sweet smiling face, but the family still holds a lemonade stand in his honor and donate all proceeds to Alex’s Lemonade Stand.

My mom usually makes chocolate chip cookies for the volunteers, but this year, for health reasons, she’s not up to the task, so I offered to make cookies this year. I thought about chocolate chip cookies, but then, I thought of the big bag of lemons we just got from my parent’s back yard last week and thought what better cookie to make for a lemonade stand volunteers than lemonade cookies! Granted, they may be a little sick of lemons after the weekend, but they sure taste good today!

Not Gluten Free? No problem! You can easily make these with the following substitutions:

Use 3-1/2 cups of all purpose flour instead of the gluten-free flours
Use only 2 eggs
Eliminate the baking powder and xanthan gum

Note: If you’re gluten-free and cannot easily tolerate oats, you can replace the oat with a hearty four like brown rice. However, gluten-free oats are easy to find in most health food stores these days, or you can buy them online from Gluten Free Oats.

Special Notes:
If you’re not used to working with gluten-free dough, you’ll find this sticky compared to wheat flour doughs. Just make sure to work quickly and flour your spoon frequently to keep it from sticking.

Making your own lemonade concentrate is easy and tastes so much better than frozen. To make concentrate, mix equal parts fresh-squeezed lemon juice and granulated sugar. Stir and let sugar completely dissolve; about 15 minutes.

If you’re using frozen lemonade concentrate, you can skip the lemon zest, but if you’re juicing your own lemons, just grate the peel of all the lemons you juice. You may end up with more or less zest than 2 tablespoons; just use what you have.


Gluten-free flours:
1 cup gluten-free all purpose baking flour
1 cup oat flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/2 cup sweet rice flour

2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup of granulated sugar
3 eggs
1 cup lemonade concentrate (homemade or frozen and thawed)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 lemonade concentrate (homemade or frozen and thawed)
2 tablespoons lemon zest


Step 1 – Whisk together gluten-free flours, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda and salt. Set aside. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until well combined, scraping side and bottom of bowl. Add vanilla and mix until combined.

Step 2 – Add half the flour mixture and mix until well combined and smooth, add the lemonade concentrate and mix. Add the second half of the flour and mix well, but do not over mix. Dough will be sticky; sticker than cookie dough made with regular flour. Cover and refrigerate about 30 minutes to make it easier to work with.

Step 3 –Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheet with Silpat mat or parchment paper. Drop mixture by rounded teaspoon onto prepared baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Step 5 – Mix together powdered sugar, lemonade concentrate and lemon zest. Spread on cooled cookies and set aside until icing firms up..

Makes: Approximately 3 dozen cookies


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