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This small batch of buttery, soft, gluten free lemon jelly bean cookies are a must for Easter! The gluten free cookies are made with a paleo flour mix, maple syrup, butter, and plenty of bright lemon. Finish the cookies with a lemon glaze and colorful jelly beans for a delightful spring treat.
Gluten Free Lemon Jelly Bean Cookies
Is it the cute chicks and bunnies that make Easter desserts so adorable? Or the fact that you can use jelly beans as decoration? I’ve done both in my funfetti cupcakes and gluten free vanilla cupcakes!
Personally, what I love about Easter treats is that they mark the beginning of spring baking. Bright lemon in gluten free lemon drop cookies. Earthy matcha in the soft matcha lemon cookies. And of course, a mini carrot cake, and gluten free carrot cake cupcakes.
And these jelly bean lemon cookies seem to combine all of that: bright lemon in a soft cookie and decorated with the cutest allergy friendly jelly beans that only make their appearance with the Easter bunny!
Why You’ll Love These Easter Jelly Bean Cookies
- Buttery – Butter combined with maple syrup give the cookies a sublimely rich flavor.
- Soft – The cookie texture is reminiscent of a soft sugar cookie, much like the festive sparkle sugar cookies.
- Paleo Flour – Almond flour, arrowroot flour, coconut flour, and tapioca flour are suitable for a paleo dessert. Because the cookies contain butter, I won’t go as far as calling them a paleo cookie!
- Refined Sugar Free – We use pure maple syrup to sweeten these Easter cookies. Which adds its own buttery caramel flavor!
- Easy – The small batch inherently makes the cookies easy to prepare, however a simple mix, short chill, and bake and the cookies are done!
- Pretty Holiday Dessert – Decorations on cookies just make them pretty and suitable for any holiday. Check out my full cookie catalog to see for yourself!
What You Need To Make Lemon Jelly Bean Cookies
- Fresh Lemons – I recommend 2 small organic lemons. Use organic because we use the zest in both the cookies and glaze.
- Jelly Beans – In keeping with the spirit of a gluten free and refined sugar free cookie, these allergy friendly jelly beans from Yum Earth are wonderful!
- Almond Flour – The almond flour gives the cookies structure and protein. Plus, it helps to keep the cookies soft.
- Arrowroot Flour – Arrowroot flour works with the almond flour to make the cookies soft and tender. You can swap in tapioca flour if needed.
- Coconut Flour – I use coconut flour in the cookies because of the moisture content added with the maple syrup. Coconut flour is great at perfectly absorbing moisture without altering the texture – or flavor – of the cookies.
- Tapioca Flour – Tapioca flour gives the cookies a slight chew, and makes them soft.
- Baking Powder – Baking powder will give the cookies a little height and texture.
- Salt – Salt is a must to balance and enhance flavor.
- Unsalted Butter – My preference is unsalted butter because we add our own salt.
- Maple Syrup – The cookies themselves are refined sugar free thanks to maple syrup as the sweetener. And be sure it is pure maple syrup, not pancake syrup.
- Egg Yolk – We only need the egg yolk to add a softness and richness to the cookies. Use the egg white to make a batch of flourless chocolate cookies or glossy marshmallow meringue frosting.
- Vanilla Extract – For just a little extra flavor.
- Powdered Sugar – To make the lemony cookie glaze.
- Milk or Water – Either will work to make the glaze. Or you could go for a full on pucker and just use lemon juice!
- Mixing Bowls
- Hand 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.
- Cookie Scoop – A small cookie scoop will make portioning the cookies much easier.
- Baking Sheet with Parchment Paper
Allergy Friendly Jelly Beans
I stumbled upon these allergy friendly candies from Yum Earth a while ago. I love that they are free from most allergens – and they still taste good. Even better – the candies get most of their flavor from real juice, rather than sugar or artificial flavors.
Are the allergy friendly jelly beans a must for these lemon cookies? No – feel free to use any jelly bean you like.
Tips For Jelly Bean Cookie Success
- Use organic lemons – I only say this because we are using the zest.
- Room temp butter and egg yolk – Will make mixing the dough easier. Additionally, ingredients starting at the same temp will bake more evenly.
- Chill the dough – The dough will need time to hydrate and develop flavor. Plus, we don’t want the cookies to melt into puddles when baked.
- Make a well in the cookie dough – To hold your cute jelly beans!
- Re-make the well after baked – The little well may fill in as it is baked. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, simply press the well again with the back of teaspoon.
- Cool the cookies completely – For two reasons: they will taste better when they are cool. And, we don’t want the lemon glaze to melt into the cookies!
FAQ’S: Gluten Free Easter Lemon Cookies
I have not tested a larger batch, but if you do let me know how they turn out!
Probably not. I find the 1:1 flours to be much more dry, and other ingredients would need to be adjusted to accommodate that.
You certainly can!
No, but it does make a nice nest for the jelly beans!
Yes. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap, slide into a Ziploc bag, and freeze for 2 to 3 months. You can also pre-portion the cookies. Thaw in the refrigerator.
The cookies will stay soft stored covered at room temperature for 3 to 5 days. Beyond that, and they may start to get stale.
Gluten Free Lemon Jelly Bean Cookies
- 2 small lemons
Lemon Jelly Bean Cookies
- 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons blanched almond flour
- 3 tablespoons arrowroot starch/flour
- 2 tablespoons coconut flour
- 1 and 1/2 tablespoons tapioca starch/flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3/4 teaspoon lemon zest
- 24 jelly beans (I use Yum Earth allergy friendly jelly beans)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- pinch salt
- 1 to 2 teaspoons lemon juice (see recipe instructions)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons milk, any kind (see recipe instructions)
Lemon Jelly Bean Cookies
- In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Zest and juice one lemon into separate bowls and set aside. Depending on the size of your lemon, you may need the whole lemon for the amount of zest and juice in the cookies. Whatever you have leftover, can be used in the glaze.
- In a medium mixing bowl using a hand held mixer (or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) beat the butter and maple syrup on medium speed until combined. It is ok if the mix looks a little curdled. Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract (if using), lemon juice, and lemon zest and beat until well combined. Note – see the Notes below for using the stand mixer.
- In increments, sprinkle the dry ingredients over the wet ingredients 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.
- Cover the dough and chill for at least 20 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 cookie scoop, scoop and roll into a ball 8 cookies. Depending on the size of your cookie scoop, you may get more or less cookies. Place on the baking sheet at least 2 inches apart. Use the back of a teaspoon to make a well in each cookie. Bake the cookies for 16 minutes, or until the edges turn light golden brown.
- As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, re-make the well in the center _ if needed – with the back of a teaspoon. 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.
- Zest and juice the other lemon into separate bowls and set aside. Depending on the size of your lemons, you may have some zest and juice leftover from the first lemon.
- 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. Then place 3 (or as many as you like!) jelly beans in the center wells of each cookie. Let the cookies sit for about 5 to 10 minutes for the glaze to set. Enjoy!
- Serving Size – This recipe is intended to be a small batch, and only tested as a small batch.
- 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 – I used a small cookie scoop – about 1 and 1/2 tablespoons. Use any size cookie scoop you have, just keep an eye on the cookies while they bake as the bake time may need to be adjusted for the size of cookie.
- 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. To get 2 teaspoons of zest for the glaze, you will probably need the whole lemon. 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. Careful not to add too much lemon juice to the cookie dough, or it will alter the texture.
- Ingredient Substitutions – I have only tested the recipe as written.
- Storing/Leftovers – The cookies will stay tender up to 3 days. Store at room temperature in a cookie jar or Ziploc bag.
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!