Vegan Almond Cookies

by Ali | updated November 30, 2020

These vegan almond cookies are crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside.

These vegan almond cookies are the best! Made in one bowl, with just a handful of simple ingredients, the almond cookies are super easy and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.

Naturally vegan, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and keto-friendly, this vegan almond cookie recipe is perfect for all kinds of diets.

How to Make Vegan Almond Cookies

To develop this vegan almond cookie recipe, I started with the simple: just almond flour, coconut sugar, and baking powder (and a bit of water). And look, those cookies work, which you know is incredible if you’re made something that’s naturally gluten-free before. But… there was a downside with that recipe, they kind of stuck to your teeth. And they definitely weren’t amazing.

And you deserve some amazing vegan almond cookies.

So I started experimenting on small batches of cookies with different additions. Some oil and maple syrup to make the cookies rich and help them crisp up at the edges. Vanilla and sea salt to elevate that lovely almond flavor.

I tried out adding flax egg but almond cookies don’t actually need it, I was surprised. Almond flour is some magical stuff! Adding ground flax seed turned out to be unnecessary, and intruded upon that delicate melt-in-your-mouth texture you get from just almond flour. Plus, almond flour cookies hold together wonderfully on their own!

(Almond meal, on the other hand, does not hold together as well and can turn into a crumbly mess. More on that down below in the Q&A.)

And voila! We have the best vegan almond cookies! They are low-carb and still oh so simple, made with ingredients you’ve already got in your cupboard. (Unless you go through almond flour as quickly as I do…which is a different issue.)

A stack of easy vegan almond cookies.

So, what makes these the BEST vegan almond cookies?

  • Just a few, simple ingredients. A lot of gluten-free or vegan baking recipes require some fancy egg replacers or binders. But not these almond cookies! They are simple and easy to make.
  • Ready in less than 30 minutes. From start to finish, and that includes the ten minutes of waiting for the cookies to cool on the baking sheet.
  • Naturally gluten-free. Keto-friendly. Paleo-friendly. And of course, vegan! Okay, that’s a lot of buzzwords, but if you do follow any of combination of these diets, you know how great it can be to find a recipe where you don’t have to make a million substitutions.
  • One bowl recipe. Easy to mix, easy to clean up. 
  • Perfect base for so many cookie variations. What sort of variations? Oh, I’m so glad you asked!

Vegan Almond Cookie Variations

You can make thumbprint vegan almond cookies and fill the center with raspberry preserves.

  • Super Almond-y Vegan Almond Cookies. Looking for some bold almond flavor? Add 1/2 tsp almond extract and 1/2 cup crushed or chopped almonds to the mix.
  • Almond Thumbprint Cookies. My personal favorite. Press your thumb into the middle of each cookie dough ball to flatten them, and add 1/4 tsp of jam or preserves.
  • Sesame Almond Cookies. Add 2 Tbsp tahini and roll each cookie dough ball in sesame seeds.
  • Keto Almond Cookies. Replace the maple syrup with a keto-friend sugar replacement, dissolved in 1/4 cup water. Add some maple extract if you want that maple flavor.
  • Gluten-free chocolate chip cookies. Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Yum!

Final Thoughts

Thanks so much for reading. I know you’ll love these almond cookies, so scroll down to the recipe and get baking already.

If you like these cookies, comment down below and share the recipe! And of course, if you have any questions, please ask away.

If you try a different variation of these almond cookies that you love, let us know in the comments. I love new ways to bake my favorite cookie recipes.

A hexagonal array of vegan almond cookies sit on a plate.

Q&A

Can these vegan almond cookies be made oil-free?

Looking for a low-calorie version? You’re in luck! I’ve made these cookies by simply omitting the oil and they are still delicious. They do end up slightly denser and chewier.

Here’s what you need to know if you make an oil-free version:

  • These can take a fair bit of stirring to come together. Keep at it until all the almond flour is incorporated and the cookie dough can stick to itself.
  • Make sure to flatten the cookies before baking (unless you want almond cookie balls). Without the oil they won’t spread at all.
  • You can also substitute the coconut oil with the same amount of applesauce, for a more cake-like cookie.

Are the vegan almond cookies gluten-free?

Yes! These almond cookies are naturally gluten-free since they use only blanched almond flour and no other flour. If you are sensitive to gluten, make sure that your baking powder and other ingredients are certified gluten-free, or made in a gluten-free facility.

What is the difference between almond flour and almond meal?

Almond flour and almond meal are both made from ground almonds; however there are two main differences between the two:

Almond flour is made from blanched (peeled) almonds. The result is lighter in color and more finely ground.

Almond meal is made from raw (unpeeled) almonds. It is darker in color and is more coarsely ground.

Almond meal is similar to bread crumbs, and is a great substitute in meatballs or topping casseroles. It works well in hearty cookies that have a lot of liquid, other types of flour, or binders to help hold them together.

For most baking, blanched almond flour is the better choice. It has a consistency that is closer to regular flour, and holds together well for lighter and crispier cookies (like the ones in this recipe!), or for cakes and quick breads.

Vegan almond cookies fresh out of the oven should be allowed to cool on the baking sheet to firm up.

Can you replace the almond flour with almond meal or almond pulp?

For the best results, I recommend using blanched almond flour for this almond cookie recipe. If you use almond meal, the cookies will be crumbly and you might have trouble forming balls.

To counter this, add a flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 2.5 Tbsp water) and/or try chilling the dough to help it keep its shape.

Why do my almond flour cookies fall apart?

Here are some tips to stop these vegan almond cookies from falling apart:

  • Let the almond cookies cool on the baking sheet after they have baked. The cookies come out of the oven quite soft and crumbly. will set as they cool. Like, seriously, wait at least ten minutes. And if you grab one and it falls apart, let the rest sit for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Use almond flour, not almond meal. As I described above, almond meal is tough to use for baking because it just doesn’t stick to itself or act like a regular flour.
  • Weigh the almond flour. Almond flour compresses really easily, so if you scoop it you can quickly end up with more almond flour than required in the recipe. If you don’t have a kitchen scale, then gently spoon the flour into your measuring cup, and level it off by scraping the top with the flat edge of a knife.

A pretty almond cookie is on display.

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Blanched almond flour is the basis for this recipe, and I highly recommend using a finely ground store-bought version instead of trying to make your own. Using a coarser almond meal results in very crumbly cookies that are hard to shape.
  • Refined coconut oil makes the cookies rich and crisp. You can substitute virgin coconut oil for a light coconut taste, or use any other oil or vegan butter. If you use salted vegan butter, cut out half the salt from the recipe. You can also substitute with applesauce for a lower calorie version.
  • Maple syrup provides sweetness and a slight maple flavor. You can sub an equal amount of another liquid sweetener, like agave or molasses, though the results will have a different flavor. You can also make a brown sugar syrup with 1/3 cup brown or coconut sugar dissolved into 1/4 cup hot water.

Vegan Almond Cookie Recipe

Yield: 20 cookies

Vegan Almond Cookies

A delicious vegan almond cookie is ready to be eaten.

These vegan almond cookies are the best! Made in one bowl, with just a handful of simple ingredients, the almond cookies are super easy and melt-in-your mouth delicious. Naturally vegan, gluten-free, paleo-friendly, and keto-friendly, this is a delicious vegan almond cookie recipe that is perfect for all kinds of diets.

Prep Time 6 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 28 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (224 g) blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • optional 1/2 cup of mix-ins (chocolate chips, dried cranberries, crushed almonds, etc)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (almond flour, baking powder, and salt), working to break up any clumps in the almond flour.
  3. Add the wet ingredients (melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla), and mix well with a sturdy wooden spoon or spatula. Fold in any mix-ins.
  4. Scoop up tablespoons of the dough, roll into balls, and place about 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Wet your hands if the cookie dough starts sticking to them.
  5. These cookies will not spread very much when baked. For a thick, soft cookie, leave them as balls. For a slightly crispy cookie, flatten each ball with a fork or your fingertips. (Or a thumb for thumbprint cookies!)
  6. Bake at 350°F for 12-14 minutes, until the center has set and the outside turns golden brown.
  7. Let cool on the baking sheet for ten minutes to let the cookies firm up before removing.

Notes

  • If you have a kitchen scale, weigh out the almond flour. It is compacts easily, so you can accidentally add way too much! If you don't have a scale, then lightly fill your measuring cup with spoonfuls of flour, and scrape it off.
  • If you use almond meal instead of almond flour, the dough may end up very crumbly and hard to work with. Try chilling in the fridge for 30 minutes if you have trouble forming balls.
  • You can sub virgin coconut oil if you want a light coconut flavor, or any other oil or vegan butter.
  • Instead of the maple syrup, you can add an equal amount of another liquid sweetener, like agave or molasses, though the results will have a different flavor. You can also make a brown sugar syrup with 1/3 cup brown or coconut sugar dissolved into 1/4 cup hot water.
  • Storage and freezing. Store the cookies in airtight container for 3-4 days, or in the fridge for up to a week. Cookies can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    20

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 76

    Ali

    CONTRIBUTOR

    Ali is the former editor of Vegan HW and a graduate of L’Academie de Cuisine. She is the author of two cookbooks and her favorite vegetable is, believe it or not, the mighty pea. Check out her website to learn more about Ali!

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