Gluten Free Lemon Iced Matcha Cookies

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A small batch of lemon iced gluten free matcha cookies that are soft, tender, and finished with a bright citrus glaze.  An almond flour blend gives the gluten free cookies texture, while matcha green tea provides a beautiful vibrancy and delicate earthy flavor.

Bite shot of a beautiful lemon iced gluten free matcha cookie stacked on another on a table.

small batch Gluten Free Matcha Cookies

The green color in these matcha cookies is completely natural – and beautiful!  They make a great treat for St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, or any spring celebration.  And the lemon and matcha combination makes for an elevated cookie.  Matcha green tea is so earthy while lemon citrus brightens the flavor.

I adapted the matcha green tea cookies from my lemon shortbread cookies.  I love the tender texture of the cookies and how easy they are to make.  This is a small batch recipe that yields 12 small drop cookies.  

And, anytime I can add a lemony icing to my desserts – like the iced mini lemon loaf, or the raspberry lemon cookie sandwiches – I’m a happy girl.

Everything To Love About These Cookies

  • Easy to make – With only a handful of ingredients needed, the cookies are easy to prepare.  Plus with no leavening agents or eggs, the cookies are not super finicky to bake.
  • They’re incredibly soft – The texture of the matcha cookies are soft like a cake cookie and buttery like shortbread.
  • Earthy and sweet flavor – The prominent flavor in the cookies is the matcha green tea.  And when combined with powdered sugar and the lemon icing, the cookies have a wonderful flavor balance.
  • The cookies are iced! – Aren’t cookies with two components great?  Like the caramel icing on the soft apple cookies, or the chocolate shell on the gluten free sugar cookie bites.  
Gluten free matcha cookies with icing on a wooden tray.

What Is Matcha Powder

The first time I had matcha was in a green tea latte.  I love the sweet + earthy combo and I always thought it was best used only in tea form.  But the complexity of the flavor is so versatile and it really is dynamic when used in baked goods.

Matcha is made from specially grown green tea leaves that are ground to powder.  It is a traditional beverage in East Asia and revered as a healthier option to coffee because it is high in antioxidants.

In powder form, matcha easily dissolves in liquid – making it wonderful for lattes or just a cup of healthy tea.  It’s popularity has increased over the years and many bakers (myself included) enjoy experimenting with the earthy flavor in other foods.

What You’ll Need To Make Gluten Free Matcha Cookies

Ingredients

  • Matcha Green Tea Powder – You can find matcha at just about any grocery or specialty store.  And Amazon has a large variety of matcha powder – which is where I get mine.
  • Lemon – I recommend an organic lemon because we are using the zest.  1 small lemon will be enough for the cookies and glaze.
  • Almond Flour – Almond flour provides protein, structure, and flavor in the matcha cookies.  I always recommend blanched almond flour for my gluten free recipes because it is ground finer and without the almond skins.
  • Arrowroot Flour – Arrowroot flour works with the almond flour to make the cookies soft and tender.  You can swap in tapioca flour if needed.
  • Salt – Salt is a must to balance and enhance the flavors in the cookies and icing.
  • Unsalted Butter – I prefer unsalted butter because we add our own salt.
  • Powdered Sugar – I have only tested these green tea cookies with powdered sugar – also referred to as icing sugar.  Which is great, because we use it for the icing as well!
  • Vanilla – A little vanilla extract adds another layer of flavor to the cookies. 

Baking Equipment

  • Mixing Bowls
  • Hand Held Mixer – You can use your hand mixer, but the stand mixer will also work for these matcha cookies.  See the notes in the recipe for the special small batch mixing bowl I use with my stand mixer.
  • Baking Sheet with Parchment Paper
Short stack of iced matcha green tea gluten free cookies on a table.

Tips For Success

  • Bring the butter to room temperature – It will make mixing the butter and sugar together easier.
  • Mind the amount of matcha powder – As wonderful as it is, too much matcha will be overpowering.  It may seem like there is not enough, but the flavor does shine through.
  • Keep mixing the dough – It may seem like a dough will never form as your mixing, but the butter does eventually moisten it into a dough!
  • Chill the dough – This helps to firm the butter back up.  Plus, chilling gives the dough time to hydrate and the flavors to permeate and develop.
  • Keep the cookies small – These gluten free cookies achieve the best texture if they are kept small.  Otherwise, the center may take too long to bake, while the exterior is getting too crispy.  
  • Use a tablespoon measuring spoon to portion the dough – This helps to portion easy and keeps you from guessing how big each cookie is!
  • Cool the cookies completely before icing – We don’t want the icing to melt right off!
Striking close up of the soft inside of a matcha gluten free cookie with lemon icing.

FAQ’S: Gluten Free Matcha Cookies

Can I double the recipe to make a larger batch?

Yes you can!

Will a 1:1 gluten free flour blend work instead of the almond flour blend?

Likely not. I find the 1:1 blends to be much drier and other ingredient ratios would need to be adjusted to compensate for this.

Can I make the cookies larger?

I don’t recommend it. The small cookie will bake through evenly. Otherwise, a larger cookie may yield a center that is too soft.

Can I use a sugar-free powdered sugar?

I don’t have experience with sugar free sweetener and can’t offer guidance on how much to use, or how the cookies would turn out.

How long will the cookie last?

The cookies will stay soft and tender covered at room temperature for about 3 to 5 days.

Can I freeze the baked cookies?

Yes. I recommend not icing the cookies if you want to freeze them. Wrap them tightly and store in a Ziploc in the freezer for 2 to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.

Sweet stack of striking green matcha cookies on a black plate.

Gluten Free Lemon Iced Matcha Cookies

Yield: 12 Cookies
GF
A small batch of lemon iced gluten free matcha cookies that are soft, tender, and finished with a bright citrus glaze.  An almond flour blend gives the gluten free cookies texture, while matcha green tea provides a beautiful vibrancy and delicate earthy flavor.
Prep10 minutes
Cook12 minutes
Chill30 minutes
Total52 minutes

Ingredients
 

  • 1 small lemon

Gluten Free Matcha Cookies

Lemon Icing

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice or milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
  • pinch salt

Instructions

Gluten Free Matcha Cookies

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot flour, matcha powder, and salt.
  • In a medium mixing bowl using a hand held mixer, or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and powdered sugar on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla extract and lemon zest and beat until incorporated. Note – see the Notes below for using the stand mixer.
  • In increments, sprinkle the dry ingredients over the butter mixture and beat on low speed until all of the flour has been added. Once all the flour is added, turn the speed up to medium and beat until all the flour is incorporated, no dry streaks remain, and a moistened dough forms. Note – The dough will seem dry as you're adding and mixing in the flour, but continue to mix and a dough will form.
  • Cover the dough and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F degrees and adjust the oven rack to the middle position. Line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  • Using a tablespoon measuring spoon, scoop and roll into a ball 12 cookies. Place on the baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, or until the bottom of the cookies turn light golden brown.
  • Cool the cookies on the baking sheet set on a wire cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cookies to the wire rack to cool completely.

Lemon Icing

  • Add the powdered sugar, salt, and lemon zest to a small mixing bowl.
  • You have the option to make the glaze with all lemon juice, or half lemon juice half milk (or water). If making with all lemon juice – start with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and add more to reach your desired glaze consistency. If making with half lemon juice half milk – start with 1 teaspoon lemon juice and add milk (or water) to reach your desired consistency.
  • Mix until well incorporated and smooth.
  • Drizzle or spoon the glaze on top of the cooled cookies. Let the cookies sit for about 5 to 10 minutes for the glaze to set. Enjoy!
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RECIPE NOTES

  • Serving Size – This recipe is intended to be a small batch, and only tested as a small batch.  However, this recipe can easily be doubled if needed.
  • Stand Mixer – You can use your tilt head stand mixer and the standard attachments with a small 3 quart mixing bowl.  The small mixing bowl is more effective for small batch recipes.  Otherwise, the regular size mixing bowl may not mix the butter effectively (it will just smear it along the side of the bowl!)
  • Cookie Size – The cookies are intended to be small so they get the proper bake all the way through.  Any larger than a 1 tablespoon cookie, and the centers may be soft.
  • Chill The Dough – Because of the butter, the cookie dough does need time in the refrigerator to allow it to chill and firm.  Otherwise, the cookies may spread/melt when baked.
  • Lemons – I like to use organic lemons and they are naturally small.  You may need the zest of the whole lemon to get enough for the cookies and glaze.  The amount of lemon zest and juice used in the cookies and the glaze is entirely up to you – add more or less based on your preference.  
  • Ingredient Substitutions – I have only tested the recipe as written.  However, you can swap arrowroot with tapioca flour.
  • Storing/Leftovers – The cookies will stay tender up to 3 to 5 days.  Store at room temperature in a cookie jar or Ziploc bag.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Erin Cernich
Nutrition information is calculated by a third-party and should only be considered an estimate and not a guarantee.
About the author photo.

about the author ...

I'm Erin and I'm all about desserts - and a little bit of butter!

I've tested, written, and photographed hundreds of recipes on my website. Here you'll find the tastiest small batch gluten free and traditional desserts - all homemade, all simple, and all for you!

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