These gluten-free almond flour shortbread cookies are the easiest, healthy vegan shortbread cookie recipe. They have the best tender, melting texture and slightly crisp when you bite into them.
Healthy shortbread cookies
If you love shortbread cookies but want to make them a little bit healthier, with fewer carbs, and avoid wheat flour, this is the recipe for you. These 3-ingredient almond flour cookies are super simple to make and ready in less than 30 minutes. Plus, the recipe fits most diet as it is:
- Gluten-free – almond flour is 100% gluten-free flour.
- Paleo – this recipe doesn’t use grain or xanthan gum often used in gluten-free baking.
- Vegan – these cookies are egg-free and dairy-free.
How to make almond flour shortbread cookies?
This is an easy vegan almond shortbread cookie recipe meaning they are egg-free, dairy-free cookies. Consequently, their texture is slightly softer than a regular shortbread recipe but an amazing healthy shortbread cookie recipe without butter! In fact, these are vegan shortbread cookies with coconut oil, a plant-based fat perfect for making crunchy cookies.
Watch my Shortbread Cookie Web Story to learn how to make them, or follow the recipe below.
To make this simple recipe, you need to gather only 3 simple ingredients. Let me share my tips with you to select the best healthy ingredients for this recipe.
3 simple ingredients
- Almond flour – make sure you are using ultra-fine almond flour and not coarse almond meal. The recipe works with both, but an almond meal adds a gritty texture to cookies and a darker color.
- Maple syrup – or agave syrup. I didn’t try the recipe with any other liquid sweetener.
- Coconut oil – this is a gluten-free shortbread cookie recipe with coconut oil. Coconut oil is a great plant-based fat to make crunchy vegan cookies. You can use refined coconut oil to avoid the coconut flavor from the oil. Don’t replace with any other oil, or the cookies would be way too soft.
Of course, you can add a few flavorsome ingredients to add flavor to these healthy vegan shortbread cookies. I highly recommend it, but if you want to keep the recipe simple, and make plain shortbread cookies, don’t bother adding these little extra ingredients.
My favorite add-ons are:
- Almond extract – add 1/2 teaspoon to the cookie dough.
- Vanilla extract – add 1/2 teaspoon to the cookie dough.
- Sea salt – add 1/4 teaspoon to the cookie dough.
- Orange zest – add 1 teaspoon to the cookie dough.
- Chocolate chips – add 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips into the dough to make vegan chocolate chips shortbread cookies.
Combine all ingredients
This is it. All you have to do is combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until they form a sticky cookie dough.
The thinner, the crispier
Then, form 12 cookie dough balls from the dough and place each ball on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. This cookie dough won’t expand in the oven, so you don’t have to leave much space between each cookie.
Finally, press each ball slightly with the back of a fork to flatten into a 0.4 inch (1cm) thick cookie. The thinner, the crispier they will be. Finally, bake in preheated oven 325F (160C) for 12-15 minutes. They are ready when the sides are slightly golden brown and slightly soft in the middle.
Cool completely at room temperature, first 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then on a cooling rack. These cookies firm up with time and get their best texture after 3 hours at room temperature.
How to decorate my cookies?
You can add some sprinkles on top of your cookies, as you see in my picture, to make healthy Christmas shortbread cookies. Or drizzle melted chocolate chips on top.
How does it taste?
These gluten-free shortbread cookies with almond flour are slightly softer than wheat-based cookies. But if you like your shortbread cookies crispier, press them thinner into a 0.4-inch thickness (1cm). If your cookies are too thick, they will stay softer in the center, but overall, this recipe crisps on the outside with a tender center.
Can I make cut-out shortbread cookies with this recipe?
This cookie dough works very well to make cut-out shortbread cookies too. It actually makes thinner and crispier almond flour shortbread cookies. The only thing to keep in mind is that the dough is slightly sticky. So you will have to roll the dough between two parchment paper pieces to prevent it from sticking to the roller pin.
Can I use sugar-free maple syrup?
No, you can’t use sugar-free maple syrup in this recipe. Sugar-free maple syrup contains a lot of fiber compared to natural maple syrup and is highly liquid absorbent. It won’t form a cookie dough, but a cookie crumble.
How to store your cookies?
These are egg-free, dairy-free cookies, so they store very well at room temperature in a cookie jar. You can store the cookies for up to 1 week in the pantry or the fridge. They soften with time as the air moisture softens the dough.
More vegan almond flour cookie recipes
I love to use almond flour in my cookie recipes. It not only adds delicious almond flavor, but it also decreases carbs and adds lots of plant-based proteins and nutrients.
Learn more about how to start your vegan journey with our beginner’s guide to the vegan diet!
Below I listed my favorite cookie recipes made with almond flour for you to try.
Made these vegan paleo shortbread cookies? Share a review or comment below, or join me on Instagram to share a picture of your creation in your story.
Your friend, Carine
Gluten-free Almond flour shortbread cookies with only 3 ingredients
- Before starting, keep in mind that these are slightly softer than regular shortbread cookies. They are vegan, gluten-free cookies made with wholesome ingredients, crispy on the outside, and chewier in the center.
- Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium-size mixing bowl, add all the ingredients: almond flour, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, salt, vanilla extract, and almond extract,
- Combine the ingredients with a spatula first, then squeeze dough with your hands to bring ingredients together, and form a cookie dough ball. If too wet, you can add more almond flour.
- Scoop the dough with a measuring tablespoon and roll into a ball.
- Place each ball onto the lined cookie sheet.
- Use a fork to flatten each cookie. The thinner, the crispier they will be. You can add sprinkles now, using a fork to press them gently into the batter.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes until slightly golden and slightly hard on top.
- Cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to completely cool down.
- Store in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 5 days