FAILSAFE “Lemon” Cookies (No Butter!)

These FAILSAFE “lemon” cookies are gluten free and dairy free. And yes, they are absolutely delicious.

I’ve never really been a lemon cookie kind of girl. I’m more of a chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin cookie kind of girl. But when you have limited options, and your favorite options aren’t exactly safe, unexpected things start to sound good to you.

Like, lemon cookies.

Except real lemons aren’t FAILSAFE either.

But citric acid* is. And that’s kind of the same thing, right?


Citric acid has the same bite that lemon juice has, making it an amazing substitute, but it is missing a little of the depth that comes with fresh-squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest. I’m definitely not complaining, though. These FAILSAFE “lemon” cookies make for an excellent cookie with a unique flavor profile that are an absolute joy to enjoy.

The Big Kid has dubbed these FAILSAFE “lemon” cookies her absolute favorite cookies ever. Even better than the carob chip ones! And that’s saying a lot. I’m officially obsessed as they taste like the love child of Mexican Wedding Cookies (aka polvorones or Russian Tea Cakes) and lemon squares, two of my most favorite baked goods ever. Seriously. They are right up there with brownies for me.

The only negative about these — yes, there is ONLY one — is that they have to be enjoyed in small doses.

I can eat 1 or 2 MAX of these a day, otherwise I start to react (I get side pains and my face breaks out into red hive like bumps.) Ask me how I know… So take it slow and freeze the extras so that you aren’t tempted (like I was).

These FAILSAFE “lemon” cookies taste like the love child of Mexican Wedding Cookies and Lemon Squares. Which makes them absolutely perfect in my book.
Prep Time 5 mins Cook Time 10 mins Total Time 15 mins
Servings: 42


These FAILSAFE “lemon” cookies taste like the love child of Mexican Wedding Cookies and Lemon Squares. Which makes them absolutely perfect in my book.



  1. Preheat oven to 375°F/190°C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liner and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the oil, sugar, egg, maple syrup or vanilla, and citric acid mixture. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt on top and fold together to form a thick dough. You may want to chill the cookie dough for 30 minutes or at least while your oven is preheating.
  4. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar into a small bowl and set aside.
  5. Take 1-2 tbsp of dough and roll into a ball. Place into bowl with powdered sugar and roll around until fully coated. Transfer to a baking sheet and flatten slightly if you want. I fit 6 cookies per sheet on mine to make sure they didn’t run into each other.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. They will still feel pretty soft to the touch, almost like they aren’t quite cooked yet, but that’s a TRICK. If you cook much longer than 10 minutes they will become rock hard when they cool down.

  7. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack.
  8. Store in an airtight container for 4-5 days or freeze.


This recipe is FAILSAFE and RPAH Elimination Diet Friendly. It’s also gluten free, dairy free, nightshade free, soy free, and low salicylate. 

Keywords: citric acid, cookies, dairy free, failsafe, gluten free, low salicylate, nightshade free, rpah elimination diet, snack, soy free

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2 thoughts on “FAILSAFE “Lemon” Cookies (No Butter!)

  1. We made these today after seeing you link to your website from the Facebook group and they are GLORIOUS! Thank you so much! Will definitely be making these again, and trying the “lemon” version too ❤️❤️

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