Easy vegan almond flour cookies with only 3 ingredients! This gluten-free shortbread is healthy, oil-free, crispy and tastes 'buttery'. They are also keto and grain-free!
These cookies come together in one bowl and are ridiculously easy to make! You'll find it hard to stop at one cookie.
3 ingredients you'll need
These vegan almond flour cookies are made with simple ingredients including:
Notes about the ingredients:
Almond flour (US) or blanched almond meal (Australia/UK) is your main gluten-free flour. The natural fats in almond flour allows us to make the cookies oil free, while tasting rich and buttery.
Pure maple syrup as a refined sugar-free sweetener and binder. The stickiness of the maple syrup helps bring together the ingredients. Unlike coconut sugar, which is dark brown in color, maple syrup keeps the cookies a light golden color.
Coconut butter or coconut manna which is a paste made from ground dried coconut. It is a whole food and rich in fiber compared to coconut oil which is 100% fat. Melted coconut butter also helps combine the ingredients for this recipe.
Coconut butter can be made from scratch or found in health food shops. It's also known as 'coconut paste' and is very affordable in South Asian shops. If you don't mind oil, you can use softened coconut oil instead of coconut butter (use refined coconut oil if you don't like the flavor of coconut)!
That's it! CRISPY oil-free vegan gluten-free cookies which have NO wheat flour, butter, baking powder 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 vegan almond flour cookies
Simply add all ingredients to a large mixing bowl and mix until combined. It doesn't matter if you use a spoon or hand mixer to combine the ingredients. These almond flour cookies are free from gluten so you don't have to worry about overmixing!
When you measure the ingredients (the exact amounts are at the bottom of this post), it may feel like there's not enough liquid to dry ingredients. However, you don't need much liquid to bring all the ingredients together!
The cookie dough is a little more crumbly than regular cookie dough. In this case, the more crumbly your dough, the crunchier your cookies will be! The more moisture your dough has, the chewier your cookies will be.
Since these cookies don't contain any wheat flour or eggs, the cookie dough is edible from the bowl!
How to shape the cookies
The easiest way to shape the vegan almond flour cookies is by rolling out the dough and using a cookie cutter.
First, I'd recommend packing your dough into a tight rectangle, square or ball. On a sheet of parchment paper (or floured surface), flatten the dough using a rolling pin. Then cut out cookie shapes using a cookie cutter, just like normal cookies!
If your dough sticks to your rolling pin or cookie cutter, simply sprinkle some water on your equipment and continue.
Alternatively, you may roll the cookie dough into balls and flatten them into cookie shapes with your hands.
Another option is the 'slice and bake' method. To do this, shape your cookie dough into a tight log. Then use a sharp knife to slice the cookies. This is just like those cookie dough logs you get from the shops!
Tips for baking the shortbread
These vegan almond flour cookies don't really spread in the oven so you don't have to worry about spacing them too far apart on your baking tray.
I tested this recipe many times and found that the cookies were ready with just ~12 minutes of baking.
If you bake the cookies for less than 12 minutes, they'll have crispy edges and a slightly chewy and soft center. If you bake the cookies for longer, they'll be crispier!
As always, all ovens run differently so keep a close eye on them while they are baking. These oil-free vegan cookies have a high amount of nuts so will burn quicker than regular cookies.
Customizing the shortbread
Whether you're visiting friends/family, celebrating Valentine's Day or Christmas, you can customize these vegan gluten-free shortbread for any occasion!
- Add a pinch of salt, vanilla extract or even lemon zest for extra flavor.
- Half dip the shortbread in chocolate and they'll be like a healthier version of Danish butter shortbread.
- Cut the cookies into hearts and dip them in chocolate for some adorable vegan Valentine's Day cookies!
- For a festive touch, add chopped pistachios and dried cranberries to the shortbread dough like my Pistachio and Cranberry Vegan Christmas Cookies. You can enjoy them individually or make Linzer cookies out of them!
For raw vegan almond flour cookies, you can even dehydrate them at 45°C (115°F) for around 8 hours! They will have crisp edges and a soft coconut macaroon center. They're *really* delicious when prepared like that!
You can also transform these into sugar cookies! Make a frosting out of coconut butter (like Natalie's recipe here) and decorate the cookies as desired.
Questions and Answers
A: The cookies taste like a rich and buttery almond shortbread with a hint of coconut. Almond flour and coconut butter are high in natural fat which contributes to a 'short' and crumbly texture that melts in your mouth.
A: No, there is only a very small amount of coconut in the vegan almond flour cookies!
A: Almond flour cannot be easily substituted with nut-free flour. Its natural fats give the vegan gluten-free cookies a crumbly and buttery texture. Instead, I'd recommend my classic Pistachio and Cranberry Vegan Cookies.
A: I've tried these oil-free vegan cookies using rice malt syrup and wouldn't recommend it for crispy shortbread-style cookies. It changes the texture of the unbaked dough and makes the cookies VERY chewy!
I haven't tried other liquid sweeteners. Granulated sugar will not work as these cookies need the stickiness of a liquid sweetener to stay together.
More vegan cookie recipes
3 Ingredient Vegan Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies
Vegan almond flour cookies
To decorate (optional)
- 1 cup roughly chopped vegan chocolate or chocolate chips, 170g
- Chopped pistachios and freeze dried raspberries
- Note: for this recipe, I'd strongly recommend using grams instead of cups/tablespoons. Even 1 tablespoon (15-20g) of extra coconut butter or maple syrup will change the texture of the cookies!
- Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line 1-2 baking trays with parchment paper.
Preparing the vegan almond flour cookies:
- Add all the ingredients to a bowl and mix until combined. The mixture is more crumbly than normal cookie dough but you should be able to pinch the mixture between 2 fingers without it crumbling. Form the cookie dough into a rough ball. (See Note 2)
- On a clean surface or between 2 sheets of baking 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 tray.
- 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 tray. 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.
- If you use coconut oil, make sure it's softened (halfway between fully liquid and fully solid). Use refined coconut oil for if you don't like the taste of coconut!
- If you're in a hot climate, your cookie dough may be softer than needed. If so, chill the dough in the fridge 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) in diameter. 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, place it in an airtight container and chill it in the fridge for 1 hour or until it's firm enough to slice.
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.