If you're looking for a fun and unique twist on traditional sugar cookies, these Vegan Key Lime Cookies are the way to go! Bursting with tangy lime flavor and boasting a perfectly chewy texture, this quick and easy lime cookies recipe is sure to become a regular in your baking rotation.
If you’re a fan of cookies and citrus, you may also love my vegan lemon cookies!
📖 Recipe Overview
- Quick & Easy - The vegan lime drop cookie dough takes only about 15 minutes of active time to make. In other words, this recipe is simple enough for even a midweek baking project.
- Made With Fewer Than 10 Ingredients - And I’d bet you have more than half of them in your pantry already!
- Sublimely Sweet-Tart - Consider them the cookie equivalent of a scoop of tangy fruit sorbet.
Looking for more bright, sunshiny, citrusy dessert recipes? Check out my lime drizzle cake, vegan key lime pie, lime popsicles, or lemon cookies next!
🧾 Ingredients Needed
As promised, you only need a handful of ingredients and a few pantry staples to make these vegan key lime sugar cookies:
While most of the ingredients you’ll need are pretty straightforward, you should keep a few things in mind when reaching for the following:
- Limes - You’ll need both the zest and juice to get the full gamut of citrusy flavors. If possible, reach for key limes, which are smaller and more yellow-tinged than more traditional Persian limes. If not, regular limes will work beautifully.
- Granulated Sugar - If you live in the US, you’ll want to make sure to reach for organic sugar to ensure that it is vegan.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda - You’ll need both varieties of leavener to get the proper chewy cookie texture.
🥣 How To Make Key Lime Cookies
Find the complete list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
These easy vegan cookies come together in just a few simple steps:
Prepare. Preheat your oven and line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the first 4 dry ingredients and set aside.
Step 1: Flavor the sugar. Rub the lime zest into the sugar using your fingertips. Separate 50g (¼ cup) of the lime sugar mixture into a small bowl and set aside.
Step 2: Cream butter and sugar. Add the butter to the remaining lime sugar mixture and use an electric whisk or stand mixer to whisk for 2-3 minutes until light and airy.
Step 3: Add the vegan yogurt and lime juice and whisk again until combined.
Step 4: Add the dry ingredients from the prep step and fold it into the dough using a spatula. Cover the bowl of cookie dough and place it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
Step 5: Shape and roll 12 even portions of dough(approx 50g each) and roll them into balls. Roll each cookie in the reserved lime sugar and place them on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie.
Step 6: Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, then remove them from the oven and round off the edges using a large cookie cutter. Allow the cookies to sit on the baking tray to cool for about 5 minutes before serving or transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
🍋 Optional Variations
As much as I love this key lime cookies recipe just as it's written, there are some fun ways to customize them to your liking. Here are a few ideas:
- Key Lime Pie Cookies - Decorate the cooled cookies with a swirl of my Swiss Meringue Buttercream and sprinkle with crushed graham crackers and extra lime zest for a delicious interpretation of the classic pie.
- Coconut Lime Cookies - Add shredded coconut to the cookie dough for a tropical twist.
- Make Ice Cream Sandwiches - Add a scoop of vanilla, strawberry, passionfruit, or mango vegan ice cream between two cooled cookies for a frosty summertime treat.
📝 Recipe Tips
Don’t skip the resting step. Resting allows the dough to hydrate fully, allows the flavors to meld together and intensify, and can help prevent the cookies from spreading too much while baking.
Use a cookie scoop for even portioning. If you want your lime cookies to bake to the same level of doneness within the same time, it’s essential that they are all the same size.
Shape the baked cookies using a round cookie cutter for bakery-style perfection. If you skip this step, your cookies will end up looking large and flat.
Freeze cookie dough balls for future “cookies on demand.” I have a secret: if there are cookies in my house, I’ll eat them. ALL of them. To save me from myself, I learned that it’s easy to freeze cookie dough balls (after they’ve been rolled in the lime sugar), then bake them straight from frozen whenever I have a craving. You’ll need to add 1-3 minutes to the baking time since they’ll be quite cold.
Use parchment paper for easy cleanup. Once the cookies are baked, simply toss the paper and give your sheet pans a quick rinse. Voila!
Regular limes (also known as Persian limes) are larger and more oval-shaped with a kelly green hue when ripe, while key limes are smaller and more round with a yellow-green shade when ripe.
In terms of flavor, regular limes are a bit more bracing and acidic, whereas key limes are milder and have more floral undertones. Key limes can also be a bit more difficult to find and may only be offered seasonally depending on where you live. Feel free to use either in this recipe for lime cookies!
Absolutely! While you’ll miss out on some of the nuanced, floral flavor, regular limes can be substituted in nearly any recipe that calls for key limes. Since regular limes are larger than key limes, you’ll only need about 3 (rather than 6 key limes).
More Drop Cookie Recipes
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Key Lime Cookies
- 188 g (1.5 cups) all-purpose flour, (plain flour)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons lime zest, freshly grated (approx 3 regular/6 key limes)
- 250 g (1 ¼ cups) granulated sugar, use organic if in the US
- 130 g (0.57 cups) vegan butter, room temperature
- 40 g (2 tbsp) Greek-style yogurt or skyr, or regular unsweetened soy or coconut yogurt
- 4 teaspoons lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Prepare: Preheat your oven to 175°C (350°F). Line 2 baking trays or cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
- Flavor the sugar: Add the sugar and lime zest to a separate large mixing bowl and use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar. Separate 50g (¼ cup) of the lime sugar mixture into a small bowl and set aside for coating the cookies before baking.
- Mix the wet ingredients: To the remaining lime sugar, add the butter to the sugar mixture and use an electric whisk or stand mixer to whisk for 2-3 minutes until light and airy. Add the vegan yogurt and lime juice and whisk again until combined.
- Mix the dry ingredients: Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt to the bowl and fold it in using a spatula.
- Chill the dough: Cover the bowl of cookie dough and place it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
- Shape and roll: Scoop out 12 portions (approx 50g each) and roll them into balls. Roll each cookie in the reserved lime sugar and place them on the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie.
- Bake: Bake the cookies for 10 minutes, then remove them from the oven and round off the edges using a large cookie cutter. (This step is important if you want to get a nice round shape as pictured, otherwise the cookies will be large and flat).Allow the cookies to sit on the baking tray to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Storage: While these cookies are great at room temperature for up to 5-6 days in a sealed airtight container.
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Can these be made gluten free?
I haven't made them with GF flour, if you are giving them a go though I would recommend trying a GF all purpose