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With zesty lemon buttercream sandwiched between two vanilla wafers, these Gluten Free Lemon Sandwich Cookies are perfectly sweet and tangy little bites. And the best part is that you can make them completely from scratch or use some help from the grocery store. They make a great dessert for a special occasion or a quick treat for yourself!
As a classic Oreo cookie proves, the only thing better than a cookie is two cookies sandwiched together with frosting. I do enjoy making Gluten Free Oreos almost as much as I enjoy dunking them in a glass of milk before devouring them. But sometimes I crave lighter, brighter flavors.
So in the midst of my recent lemon obsession that produced several batches of moist Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes, I needed more citrusy goodness. Bite-sized citrusy goodness. And that’s where these dainty little treats came from.
You can make piles of them in almost no time. And they are so fun to just pop into your mouth. Plus they are a pretty addition to a platter of gluten free desserts! While you can make them from scratch, there are also semi-homemade and totally store-bought shortcuts. That means you don’t even have to turn on your oven or mixer.
From Scratch or Semi-Homemade
If you want to make the totally homemade version of these Gluten Free Lemon Sandwich Cookies, you just have to bake up a batch of Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers and whip up some Lemon Buttercream Frosting. Of course, making everything from scratch will give you the best flavors with super vanilla-y and buttery cookies paired with fresh and tangy frosting.
However, you can take some shortcuts from the store. If you aren’t interested in baking, these cookie sandwiches work beautifully with store-bought vanilla wafers like the ones from Kinnikinnick. Plus to really simplify things, you can even use a can of Betty Crocker Lemon Frosting, which is gluten free.
As mentioned, all you really need are gluten free vanilla wafers and lemon buttercream frosting. My recipes for each of those give you all the details on how to make them, including all of my tips and tricks. But the instructions are included right in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. So you don’t even have to look anywhere else.
Pipe the frosting. There really isn’t much to say about making these cookie sandwiches. Set your cookies out on a work surface and transfer the frosting to a piping bag. Place one vanilla wafer upside down. Gently squeeze the piping bag to pipe a small dollop or swirl of buttercream onto the bottom of the flipped-over cookie.
Pipe and sandwich. Place another cookie on top and gently press down. Let the frosting set so it can firm up slightly.
Choose your tips. I think it’s fun to use a 1M star tip for a lovely little starburst, but you can use a round tip #12 for a little swirl. In a pinch, just spreading a small dollop of frosting on the cookies is fine too.
Don’t overfill. While I like a nice amount of icing, you don’t want to use too much or it will all just squish out when you take a bite.
Let them set. Speaking of squishing out, if you let your cookies set for a bit, the surface of the frosting will crystallize and harden a little so that they are easier to transport and eat without getting too messy.
Variations. Feel free to use the vanilla wafers are your base and fill them with vanilla frosting for double the vanilla goodness, get chocolaty with chocolate buttercream, or have a little fun with cookies and cream frosting. Or go super indulgent with gluten free cookie dough in the middle. You can also roll the edges in sprinkles, nonpareils, or coconut.
These lemon sandwich cookies will keep for up to a week in an airtight container at room temperature.
If you want to freeze them. I recommend freezing them in a single layer on a baking sheet before transferring to a plastic freezer storage bag or container so that the icing firms up and they don’t fall apart and make a mess. Enjoy them within a month or two.
Things You’ll Need
You can buy your gluten free vanilla wafers if you don’t want to bake. But other than that, it’s really just about getting some piping bags and a star or round tip.
For the Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers
For the Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened to room temperature
- 4-5 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Fit a piping bag with a 1M star tip or #12 round tip and fill with the lemon buttercream. Place on cookie upside down on a work surface and pipe a small amount of frosting on the bottom flat side. Top with another cookie and press down lightly.
- Repeat with the remainign cookies and frosting. Then let the cookies set so the frosting firms up slight before transferring to a container to store them.
For the Gluten Free Vanilla Wafers
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Whisk together until well mixed. Set aside.
- Add sugar and butter to the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes until fluffy and light in color. Scrape down the bowl.
- Add the egg whites and vanilla. Beat another 60 seconds until smooth. Scrape down the bowl.
- Turn the mixer to the lowest setting. Add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
- Add 1 tablespoon of milk. Stir until it is mixed in. The batter should be very soft (the consistency of creamy peanut butter). If it’s not soft enough, add the second tablespoon of milk.
- Fill a piping bag with cookie dough. Cut the tip of the bag so the opening is about 1⁄4” wide.
- Holding your piping bag around 1⁄4’ above the baking sheet, squeeze out the dough letting it form a circle about the size of a quarter. Use a knife to cut the dough where it is coming out of the bag.
- Repeat with remaining dough, spacing the cookies 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.
- Use a damp finger to smooth out the top of the cookies.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until cookies are no longer soft to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool completely on the cookie sheet.
- Store in an airtight container.
For the Lemon Buttercream Frosting
- In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with a hand mixer or the paddle attachment of a stand mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes.
- Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, lemon zest, salt, and 3 Tablespoons of the lemon juice. Starting on low speed, beat until everything is incorporated then gradually increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth and creamy. Add additional lemon juice or powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency.
- If you have extra frosting, it can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the frosting will keep for up to a week. Bring to room temperature before using. Frosting can also be stored at room temperature for 2 or 3 days.