Paleo lemon thumbprint cookies. They're paleo, they're lower sugar AND they're the perfect melt in your mouth cookie for spring.
Lemon and spring just go together in my mind. Just like soft and pillowy go together when describing the perfect cookie. Lucky for you you can now combine all four of those words into the PERFECT paleo lemon thumbprint cookie.
How the paleo thumbprint cookie got me on the map
My paleo thumbprint cookies were my first video to get over 1 million views on tiktok so they will always have a special place in my heart. But how and why did they become so popular?
I first started making paleo thumbprint cookies in the fall and I became OBSESSED. I first got the idea after seeing one of my favourite food bloggers (@kalejunkie) make these paleo pumpkin snickerdoodles. They were so soft and fluffy I thought they would make the perfect thumbprint cookie. I was right! These paleo pumpkin thumbprint cookies went VIRAL and for good reason. They were the perfect pillowy soft cookie, with just the right amount of cream cheese frosting.
Now fast forward to the holidays, I decided it was time for a holiday spin on the famous paleo thumbprint cookies... so THESE double chocolate peppermint thumbprints were born! Once again they were a hit. There's just teething about a good paleo thumbprint cookie that gets the people excited.
So now it's the beginning of March, the beginning of spring is on the horizon and the end of a long, cold winter is within reach. What better way to celebrate than with the brightest, most flavourful fruit I can think of.... LEMONS! Thus the paleo lemon thumbprint cookie was born and they might even be my favourite. Seriously these cookies scream spring, they are bright and sunshiny, packed with flavour, and SO pillowy soft they melt in your mouth.
I am not kidding when I say my family finished the batch in 2 days and now just writing this post is making me want to make another batch ASAP.
What Ingredients do I need for Paleo Lemon Thumbprint Cookies?
Almond Flour- Almond flour is the star of the show when it comes to paleo recipes. If you've never heard of/ worked with almond flour before it's essentially just grounded up blanched almonds. It creates a super moist dough perfect for these thumbprint cookies. As it is VERY moist these cookies will be very delicate, so just keep that in mind and follow the notes in the recipe! Note that I have not tried to make this recipe with any other flour alternative. If you do try please let me know how it turned out. Almond flour can be expensive but THIS is the cheapest one I've personally found!
Coconut Oil- Once again this is used to keep things paleo. I personally love using coconut oil in my baking but especially in these paleo lemon thumbprint cookies because it adds an ever so slight coconut flavour that I LOVE. I have not tried using any other form of fat in these cookies! My favourite (and cheapest) coconut oil is this one!
Maple Syrup- For a tiny touch of sweetness! Maple syrup is perfect in this recipe because it gives just the perfect amount of sweet without being overpowering. I have never personally tried but I believe honey would also work if you aren't a maple syrup person! I have also tried using this sugar free maple syrup (note that you can get it cheaper at the grocery store).
Apple Sauce- This is a great way to help reduce the amount of coconut oil needed in the recipe while still bringing moistness. I love using a combination of unsweetened applesauce and butter/ coconut oil in my recipes as a bit of a "healthier" option!
Lemon- The STAR of the recipe. You will need the zest and the juice of one full lemon to really make sure you get the lemony flavour we want! I used Myer lemons because I love them in baking but any lemons will do.
Cream Cheese- SO cream cheese isn't *technically* paleo. As it is made of dairy it doesn't fit into a strict paleo diet. You can however make your own dairy free cream cheese by following some easy recipes on the internet. Like this one! Using a dairy free option would also make these VEGAN!
Turmeric- This recipe uses a tiny sprinkle (seriously so small you won't even taste it) of turmeric purely for colour . Turmeric is great to help bring a natural bright yellow colour to recipes. If you don't have turmeric on hand feel free to leave this out, your cookies may just be a bit more on the dull side in terms of colour (the flavour will still be ALL there though).
PS. I love seeing my recipes in action! If you made these paleo lemon thumbprint cookies don't forget to snap a picture and tag me on Instagram - @nourishedbynic or leave a comment below!
Paleo Lemon Thumbprint Cookies
For the dough:
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoon coconut oil melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 4 tablespoon apple sauce
- zest of 1 lemon
Cream Cheese Frosting
- ¼ cup cream cheese
- splash of vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon icing sugar
- 1 tbsp lemon juice (juice of ½ a lemon)
- pinch of turmeric for colour
- In a medium bowl combine combine almond flour and baking powder and set aside.
- In another medium sized bowl, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, lemon zest and apple sauce and whisk until smooth.
- Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
- Place dough in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- Once chilled, preheat oven to 350 °F, remove dough and roll into balls (about 2 tablespoon worth), gently push down using your thumb on each cookie to create a cavity- recipe should make about 12 cookies. Bake for about 12 minutes (or until cookies JUST begin to brown).
- While cookies are baking whisk together frosting ingredients.
- Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool. Once cool, place a spoonful of frosting into each cavity.
- Store in the fridge or freezer for best results.