These coconut flour shortbread cookies are healthy 3-ingredient vegan coconut flour cookies with a delicious crumbly texture. Bonus, these healthy coconut flour cookies are also grain-free and keto-friendly.
There is no season to enjoy a delicious crunchy shortbread cookie! And what’s better than healthy coconut flour shortbread cookies 100% vegan to snack with a cup of coffee?
What’s coconut flour?
Coconut flour is a low-carb keto flour made from dried coconut meat. It is a very healthy gluten-free flour, low in carbs and high in fiber.
Due to the high fiber content of coconut flour, it can be difficult to:
- Bake with coconut flour – especially in vegan baking recipes where eggs are not involved as a binder.
- Swallow coconut flour cookies – the high fiber content dries up the mouth quickly, and some people found coconut flour difficult to swallow. That’s why you should always drink plenty of water when eating high-fiber food.
The key to baking with coconut flour is to use a fresh bag of flour with no lumps and measure the flour accurately, preferably in weight rather than cups.
How to make Coconut Flour Shortbread Cookies?
You only need 3 ingredients for these shortbread cookies made with coconut flour. However, while the recipe is pretty straightforward, make sure you measure each ingredient precisely for the best result.
The ingredients you need to make these coconut flour shortbread recipes are wholesome natural ingredients you probably have in your pantry.
- Coconut flour – make sure you use a fresh bag of coconut flour or flour that hasn’t been in contact with humidity. In fact, coconut flour is highly liquid absorbent, and an old bag of flour, not stored in an airtight container, forms lumps. As a result, the amount of ‘active’ fiber in your coconut flour won’t be the same if it has not been stored properly.
- Maple syrup – other liquid sweeteners will work, making dryer cookies. That’s why maple syrup is recommended for these shortbread cookies made with coconut flour.
- Melted coconut oil – you can use refined coconut oil if you don’t like an overpowering coconut flavor in your coconut flour cookies. In fact, refined coconut oil has no flavor compared to unrefined coconut oil.
- Optional – you can flavor the dough by adding 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Step-by-step coconut flour shortbread cookie recipe
As mentioned before, it can be tricky to bake with coconut flour because it contains a lot of fiber. To help you achieve the best coconut flour shortbread cookies, I have updated this recipe.
Follow the step-by-step recipe pictures below to make the best gluten-free, vegan cookies with coconut flour. Or watch my Web Story: Making the Keto Coconut Flour Shortbread Cookies.
Step 1: measure coconut flour
Coconut flour is high in fiber, and fiber tends to dry the cookie dough very quickly. That’s why you must measure the flour in weight or with the scoop and sweep.
Step 2: combine dry ingredients with wet ingredients
In a large mixing bowl, add the coconut flour, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup.
Combine the ingredients with a mixing spoon until it comes together and forms a soft dough that you can roll into a cylinder.
Step 3: form a cylinder and refrigerate
Place the shortbread cookie dough on plastic film and roll into a log, about 2 inches in diameter. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes or until the log is hard as a block of butter.
Step 4: slice the shortbread
Remove the log from the fridge. The log should be as hard as a block of butter. Remove the log from the freezer and cut off 0.4-inch think cookies using a long sharp knife. Don’t cut the cookies too thin, or they can fall apart.
If the dough crumbles apart, it’s easy to reshape the dough by hands, pressing the dough together into a round shortbread shape.
Step 5: bake
Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Cover a baking tray with parchment paper and place the cookies on the baking sheet leaving some space between the cookies.
The cookies won’t spread in the oven, but you don’t want them to touch each other.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are slightly golden brown.
Baking time depends a lot on the thickness of your coconut flour cookies. If some bake faster, remove them first from the oven.
Step 6: cool down at room temperature
Cool the coconut flour cookies on a cooling rack at room temperature before dipping them into melted chocolate.
How to decorate your coconut flour cookies?
This is optional but decorating shortbread cookies is always fun. I recommend melting vegan dark chocolate chips and dip half of the shortbread into the melted chocolate.
I hope you enjoyed this dairy-free coconut flour cookie recipe. If so, don’t forget to share it on Pinterest for later!
Can I use Almond Flour?
No, you can’t replace coconut flour with the same ratio of almond flour. Almond flour contains 4 times less fiber than coconut flour, and therefore the ratio of dry ingredients to wet ingredients will be very different.
If you love almond cookies, try my 3-ingredient almond flour shortbread cookie recipe.
Can I use other sweeteners?
You can use sugar-free liquid sweetener or agave syrup in this recipe.
However, keep in mind that sugar-free liquid sweeteners are high in fiber as well, and therefore the texture of the cookies will be much more dry and fragile.
You may need way more syrup or oil to achieve the same texture.
You can’t use crystal sweeteners in this recipe like coconut sugar or brown sugar. It must be a liquid sweetener.
Can I add nut butter to the recipe?
No, you can’t replace coconut with nut butter like peanut butter or almond butter. The only fat substitute available is vegan butter – not vegan margarine!
Can I roll and cut out the dough?
This recipe has been originally written to be rolled and cut out using a cookie cutter.
However, this technique is not the most appropriate as many people struggle to roll the dough.
In fact, the dough is so high in fiber that it dries out fast if you roll it too many times to form cut-out cookies.
That’s why this recipe has been updated on May 2021, with a no-fail technique that makes beautiful coconut flour shortbread cookies every time.
More vegan, gluten-free cookie recipes
If you love easy vegan cookie recipes, you may want to try my other recipes:
More vegan coconut flour recipes
If you like recipes with coconut flour, have a look at these:
Have you made these nut-free vegan shortbread cookies? Share a comment or review below. I love to hear back from you on my recipes.
Your friend, Carine
Learn more about how to start your vegan journey with our beginner’s guide to the vegan diet!
Coconut Flour Shortbread Cookies
- This recipe has been updated in May 2021. The ingredient measurements are the same, but the technique to shape the cookies has changed for the best results.
- Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Line one large cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Carefully measure the flour and liquids in small containers. I recommend using grams/oz to measure coconut flour with precision.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add all the ingredients. The order doesn't matter: coconut flour, melted coconut oil, and maple syrup.
- Combine with a spoon until it forms a soft and moist cookie dough.
- Place the shortbread cookie dough on plastic film and roll into a log, about 2 inches in diameter.
- Chill in the log in the fridge for 20 minutes or until the log is hard as a block of butter.
- Remove the log from the fridge. The log should be hard as a block of butter. Using a long sharp knife, cut off 0.4-inch-thick cookies. Don't cut the cookies too thin or they can crumble apart. If the dough crumbles apart, it's easy to reshape the dough by hands, pressing the dough together into a round shortbread shape.
- Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheet, leaving some space between each cookie to make sure they don't touch each other - they won't expand in the oven.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the sides are just starting to become golden brown. Note that baking time varies a lot based on the thickness of the cookies. Don't over-bake them, or they will be very hard and dry in the middle.
- Cool down on a cookie rack at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- If you want to decorate the cookies with melted dark chocolate, wait for the cookies to be at room temperature. You can freeze the dipped cookies for 2-5 minutes to set the chocolate shell quickly.
- Store in a cookie jar at room temperature for up to 1 month or freeze in a ziplock bag. Defrost the day before.