Easy almond flour shortbread cookies that are delightfully crispy and made with only 3 ingredients! They are healthy, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, keto and can be made oil-free.
Why you'll love these cookies
DIFFICULTY: 3 ingredients, 1 bowl, no-fuss. You don't need an electric mixer!
TEXTURE: Bake them for longer to make crunchy healthier shortbread cookies. Or bake them for shorter to get soft and chewy cookies.
TASTE: Rich and 'buttery' with a hint of coconut. They don't taste 'healthy' at all!
3 ingredients you'll need
These healthier shortbread cookies are made with:
Notes about the ingredients:
Almond flour (US) or blanched almond meal (Australia/UK) is your main gluten-free and grain-free flour. It's high in natural fats which makes this shortbread taste rich and 'buttery'.
Pure maple syrup. This sweetens the shortbread and binds together the ingredients. It gives the cookies a beautiful golden hue!
Coconut butter (coconut manna), coconut oil, cacao butter or dairy-free butter. Coconut oil is pure fat whereas coconut butter is made from ground-up dried coconut and can be found in health food shops or South Asian shops. The coconut flavor is very mild in this shortbread but if you don't want any coconut flavor, use one of the alternatives.
That's it! Healthier shortbread cookies with NO wheat flour, baking soda or egg replacers!
A complete list of ingredients, quantities and instructions are in the gray recipe card at the bottom of this post.
How to make almond flour shortbread cookies
Simply add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and stir until combined. Since this recipe is gluten-free, you don't have to worry about overmixing the dough!
This cookie dough is a little crumblier than regular cookie dough. Don't worry because a crumblier dough leads to crunchier cookies! In contrast, a sticker dough creates chewier cookies.
And yes, you can eat the almond flour cookie dough straight from the bowl (or check out my chickpea cookie dough recipe).
How to shape the cookies
There are a few ways you can shape your vegan almond flour cookies!
- Roll out the dough into a rectangle and use a cookie cutter (my preference)
- Roll the dough into balls and flatten with your hands
- Shape the dough into a log then slice and bake
If you'd like to roll out your dough, first I recommend packing your dough into a tight rectangle or ball. Then roll out your dough on a piece of parchment paper or a silicone mat.
If your dough sticks to your rolling pin or cookie cutter, simply sprinkle some water OR almond flour on your equipment and continue.
To 'slice and bake' your cookies, make sure your shape your dough into a tight log. Then use a sharp knife to slice the log into cookies.
Tips for baking
The almond flour shortbread doesn't really spread in the oven which means you you can place them close to each other on your baking sheet.
These cookies are usually ready at the 12-minute mark. If you bake them for less time, they'll have crispy edges and a slightly chewy and soft center. If you bake them for longer, they'll be crispier!
However, all ovens run differently so keep a close eye on your cookies while they are baking. These cookies are packed with almond flour and will brown quicker than regular cookies.
Customizing the shortbread
This healthier shortbread is perfect for everyday snacking. Or you can customize them for special occasions! You may:
- Add a pinch of salt, vanilla extract or even lemon zest for extra flavor.
- Dip half of each shortbread in chocolate for a healthier version of Danish butter shortbread.
- Cut the cookies into hearts and dip them in chocolate for some adorable Valentine's Day cookies!
- For a festive touch, add chopped pistachios and dried cranberries to the dough like my Pistachio and Cranberry Vegan Christmas Cookies. Enjoy them as is or make Linzer cookies out of them!
These cookies can be made raw vegan! Dehydrate the cookies at 45°C (115°F) for around 8 hours. They will have crisp edges and a soft coconut macaroon-like center.
These cookies also make a great base for healthier sugar cookies! Make a frosting out of coconut butter (like Natalie's recipe here) and decorate the cookies as desired.
Questions and Answers
A: Almond flour cannot be easily substituted with nut-free flour. Its natural fats give the shortbread cookies a crumbly and buttery texture. Instead, I'd recommend my classic Pistachio and Cranberry Vegan Cookies.
A: I've tried making these cookies using rice malt syrup and wouldn't recommend it as it makes the cookies VERY chewy!
Readers have I haven't tried other liquid sweeteners for this recipe. Granulated sugar will not work as these cookies need the stickiness of a liquid sweetener to stay together.
More vegan cookie recipes
Follow Rainbow Nourishments on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest, and subscribe via email to receive all of our latest recipes!
Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies (3 ingredients)
Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies
- 2 cups (200g) almond flour / blanched almond meal
- ¼ cup (85g) maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons (50g) coconut butter or oil, melted and cooled (note 1 for alternatives)
To Decorate (optional)
- 1 cup (170g) roughly chopped vegan chocolate or chocolate chips
- Chopped pistachios and freeze dried raspberries
- Note: I recommend using weighing your ingredients for this recipe. Even 1 tablespoon (15-20g) of extra coconut butter or maple syrup will change the texture of the cookies!
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Line 1-2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Preparing the shortbread cookies:
- Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined. You should be able to pinch the mixture between two fingers without it crumbling. The mixture is generally more crumbly than regular cookie dough.
- Shape the cookie dough into a rough ball. (See Note 2)
- On a clean surface or on a sheet of parchment paper, roll out the cookie dough so it's about 8-10mm thick. Use a 5 cm (2 inch) cookie cutter to cut cookies out of the dough. Carefully place each cookie on your lined baking tray with a little space in between each cookie. (See Note 3 for the slice and bake method)
- Collect the excess dough, roll it out and repeat until you have no more dough.
- Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes or until the cookies are slightly golden. A shorter baking time will give you chewy and crispy cookies. A longer baking time will give you consistently crispy cookies. Allow the cookies to completely cool on the baking sheet.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 5 days, in the fridge for 2 weeks or up to 2 months in the freezer.
To decorate (optional):
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat then remove.
- Dip half of each cookie in the melted chocolate and arrange them on a lined baking sheet. While the chocolate is still wet, sprinkle the pistachios and raspberries on top. Allow the chocolate to set at room temperature for 20 minutes then enjoy or store until needed.
- Alternatively, you may use melted vegan butter, cacao butter or refined coconut oil for absolutely no coconut flavor!
- If your home is warm, your cookie dough may be a little too soft. If so, cover the dough in an airtight container or plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 15 minutes or until it's firm enough to handle.
- Alternatively, shape your dough into a tight log that is about 5 cm (2 inches) thick. If the dough is firm enough to slice, use a sharp knife to cut the log into 8-10mm thick pieces. If the dough is very soft, chill it in the fridge for 1 hour or until it's firm enough.
This post was originally published in June 2016 and updated in July 2021 to simplify the recipe.
This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I may earn a small commission from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
These are so simple and delicious. They have the taste and texture as close to shortbread as I have known - without the gluten, dairy and refined sugar. I made mine with cacao butter as it’s all I had in, and it worked perfectly. I also kept the almond theme going by topping with flaked almonds. Delicious! Fine similar healthy recipes at @nutritionalbakes.
Aw I'm so happy you loved these cookies and love the addition of flaked almonds :). Thanks so much Hannah x
Hi Anthea, I can't tolerate coconut fat at all, is there something I could sub it with? Would cocoa butter work or almond butter, tahini or olive oil? Tia!
Hi Jess, I haven't personally tested it with other substitutes but a reader said that it worked with cocoa butter! I'm not sure if the others would work. I hope that helps!
These Almond flour shortbread cookies are amazing, they tasted delicious and the texture was crunchy too.I didn't have coconut butter so i added coconut oil and sugar free Maple syrup, I also dipped mine in 100% dark chocolate and decorated them with chopped nuts; dried raspberries and a little sea salt to give that sweet and savoury taste to them. Be sure to make them yourself you won't regret it, and a word of warning it's so hard not to eat them all in one sitting 😂
Delicious cookies. I made them and I loved them. Thanks for the recipe.
Thanks for a great recipe! I knew it would be successful so I prepared a double amount in advance. Came out great!
the easiest yet the most delicious cookies I've tried! my dough turned out to be quite sticky and I made very small circles - made the dipping as shown on pics as well and all my friends loved the vibe of fancy cookies I got them hehe:)
They very quite crispy first two days and then got chewier. I liked them at first a bit more, but my friends love them chewier - great to have a variety of textures here
I think next time I might be more careful with coconut oil, but all in all loved this recipe!!
Love how these cookies at different stages suited you and your friends! And haha, isn't it funny how a simple chocolate coating makes something look SO much better?! Thanks so much for your feedback!! Much appreciated x
These are my new favorite cookies. I use coconut oil, fill them with jam, and let it sit in the fridge for a bit so the jam stiffens. Delicious, thank you.
That sounds incredible! I want to try that combination too. Thank you so much!
I'm interested in adding cocoa. Any recommendations on how much to use? Will more liquid be needed?
Ooh that would be delicious! I'd say replace around 25g of the almond flour with the cocoa and if the mixture is a little dry, add a dash of plant-based milk. Let me know how you go!
Another great success! I used coconut oil and raw honey. Simply added a dash of warm water to thin the honey to maple syrup kind of density. Also, baked in an air fryer for ~7min. Came out wonderfully delicious. I might make a log and keep it in the fridge for treats throughout the week.
So glad that coconut oil and honey worked out for you and I looove that you made it in an air fryer - they heat up in no time! And such a great idea to make it for the week ahead - I did that the first time around and it was the *best* snack ever xx
Hi Anthea, these look so good. Do you think cacao butter will work here? Thanks!
I haven't tried but cacao butter works in the same way as coconut oil so I imagine it'd work :). I'd fully melt the cacao butter and let it come to room temperature before mixing it all in. Let me know how you go if you try it!
Very easy to make and delicious dessert ❤️
Yay that's great! Thanks Flori!
These are amazing, the perfect texture! So quick and easy to make too. Love them!!
Aw, yay! Thanks so much for leaving your feedback!
Enjoyed this recipe! I used different toppings- cocoa nibs and toasted coconut chips. The chocolate used was sugar free with a lite dip using 15g. I was impressed with the taste and how they looked.
So happy that you enjoyed this recipe and love the sound of the toppings you used! Thanks so much for your comment x
Hi! This is the recipe I was looking for for so long! Thank you!!!😍
I've tried to make these cookies and they were delicious!!! But they turned out chewy, not crunchy... How could I mess up? The recipe is so clear and easy!🤦♀️
What do you think is it possible that they didn't get harder because it's really hot outside and in the kitchen as well? Or there's another problem?🤔
Glad you enjoyed the flavour of the cookies!
And oh no with the chewy factor! Can I ask what sweetener you used and if you used cups/grams? I know when I use rice malt syrup (or a thick liquid sweetener), the cookies turn chewy. It's definitely possible the humidity affected the cookies! I found that the more dry the cookie dough, the crisper the cookies :).
charlene kinne says
Can I use vegan butter instead of the coconut butter?
I haven't tried it but it should work. Let me know how you go!
Sheryl Bach says
I saw this recipe and I had to make them!!! The vegan almond shortbread cookies. I mean 3 ingredients??? The best thing the directions were easy and most importantly they are DELICIOUS!!! A must to try. You will not regret it.
Aw thanks so much Sheryl! I'm so glad you loved this recipe (and it's a good reminder for me to make it again soon) x
I’m super allergic to cashews so I’m just wondering, would almonds work as a sub here?
Hi Nicole! Yes absolutely! If you want the cookies to stay a lighter colour, just use blanched almonds 🙂
I love browsing through your recipes. I baked your cookies today, my partner was really looking forward to them after seeing the photos and hearing about the ingredients. It's amazing such genuinely healthy food can taste so divine. The cookies really are crunchy on the outside, just as described! Our kids loved them and I'll defintely be adding them to the repertoire. P.s i will be attempting the pumpkin, chai almost raw cheesecake next!
Hi Vikki! Oh it's so nice to hear that you enjoy browsing through my blog! And I'm particularly glad that you're a mental health advocate as well :). You are right - healthy food can be delicious, just depending on how you use the ingredients! I'm craving them right now thinking about it. I hope you enjoy the pumpkin and chai cheesecake as well! xo