vegan and gluten free cookie recipes

Happy Holiday Cookie Season!

I’m sure you’re familiar with The Cookie Exchange? Yes:)

Well when you follow a vegan & gluten-free diet, it’s extremely hard to go to a cookie exchange unless it’s a “gluten-free + vegan cookie exchange” that is:) Even then though, the cookies aren’t always the healthiest.

So today I’ve asked some of our favorite blogger’s and good friends to join us for a virtual cookie exchange. Check out the ingredients, take the recipes you want, share with some friends or use all the recipes for your very own healthy holiday cookie exchange.

Our friends did not disappoint

They brought healthy cookies that taste AMAZING!

And to make this feel more like an in-person exchange, we’ve added a giveaway which includes Real Life Cookies Delivered To Your Door (see end of post for details).

Onto the recipes!

8 Vegan Holiday Cookie Recipes

sugar-free sugar cookies - Ricki Heller

Recipe By: Ricki Heller, of, is a blogger, cook book author and an expert on candida. When we were struggling with candida, we turned to Ricki for help, inspiration & ideas. She is one to check out if you’re looking for a healthier approach to sugar. Trust us, you won’t miss the sugar in these cookies. Thanks for sharing this recipe from your new Cookbook Ricki:)

1). Sugar-Free Sugar Cookies


  • 6 Tbsp (90 ml) light agave nectar
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) finely ground chia seeds
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) plain or vanilla soy or almond milk
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) pure lemon extract
  • 2 cups (260 g) Ricki’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) xanthan gum
  • 1-1/2 tsp (7.5 ml) baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp (1 ml) fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut oil, preferably organic, at room temperature


Preheat the oven to 350˚F (180˚C). Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper, or spray with nonstick spray.

In a glass measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together the agave nectar, chia, milk, vanilla, and lemon extract. Set aside while you prepare the other ingredients, or at least 2 minutes.

In the bowl of a food processor, briefly process the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt. Drop the coconut oil in chunks over the flour mixture, then process again until incorporated. The mixture should appear crumbly, but hold together when squeezed in your hand. Pour the wet mixture in a ring over the dry and process until it comes together in a soft, sticky dough.

To make drop cookies, use the dough immediately. Drop from a small ice-cream scoop or tablespoon (15ml) onto the prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches (5 cm) apart. Flatten slightly with your palm (or use a silicone spatula).

For rolled cookies, gather the dough together and form it into a disk. Wrap the disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Once firm, remove the dough and roll out on a piece of waxed paper to about ¼ inch (6 mm) thick. If it’s very firm, it may begin to crack as you roll it, but if you persist, the dough will begin to warm and will roll beautifully. Cut into desired shapes and place 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the cookie sheets. Gather any remaining scraps of dough together and roll again; repeat until all the dough is used.

Bake for 10 to 13 minutes, rotating the sheets about halfway through baking, until the edges are golden.

Cool completely before removing from the cookie sheets and decorating as desired. May be frozen.

Reprinted with permission from Naturally Sweet & Gluten-Free, © 2013 Ricki Heller, Sellers Publishing. Photo by Celine Saki.

almond cacao cookies w/salted maca caramel

Recipe By: Emily von Euw, of This Rawsome Vegan Life. Although we’ve never met in person, I think we would be really good friends. She has this No BS attitude, tell-it-like-it-is thing going, and I’m a big fan! Emily is also a cookbook author and her new book is all about Smoothies & Juices! Thanks for the awesome cookies Emily!

2). Almond Cacao Cookies with Salted Maca Caramel


Almond Cacao Cookies:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup dates
  • 2 heaping tablespoons cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Salted Maca Caramel:

  • 1 cup dates
  • 2 tablespoons maca powder
  • Himalayan pink crystal salt, to taste
  • 3/4 cup water, more or less as needed

Topping (optional):

  • Pecan halves, walnut halves and/or almonds


Pulse the almonds into flour in a food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until it all sticks together. Press into the bottom of a lined baking pan and put in the fridge.

To make the caramel: blend all the ingredients until smooth and thick like whipped cream. Put this in the fridge for about 2 hours.

Use a cookie cutter to make your cookies, then scoop a spoonful of caramel on top of each one. Press a walnut, almond or pecan onto the dollop of caramel. Refrigerate overnight or at least for a few hours… then enjoy with fresh almond milk!

gluten free vegan pistachio cookies

Recipe By: Kris Kelly, of Goofy Foot Foods. Kris is actually a good friend of ours and one of the handful of vegans we get to hangout with here in Encinitas, CA! Out of all the recipes I see online, Kris seems to cook most similar to me. She has very high standards when it comes to ingredients, so I’ll bet you won’t feel too bad after polishing off a plate of cookies from her kitchen! Thanks for the beautiful cookies Kris!

3). Gluten Free Vegan Pistachio Cookies


Homemade Pistachio Butter

  • 1 cup dry-roasted and unsalted pistachios, shelled
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil

Cookie Dough

  • 3/4 cup oat flour (buzz your gluten-free oats in your blender, food processor or coffee grinder)
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon ground golden flax seeds (flax meal)
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • 3/4 cup homemade (see above) pistachio butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Eden Foods Dried Montmorency Tart Cherries, Chopped
  • 1/4 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chunks, chopped (Note: I find these chocolate chunks a bit large for this recipe and typically chop the chunks in half or quarters)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Homemade Pistachio Coconut Butter

Add 1 cup of dry-roasted, unsalted and shelled pistachios to your food processor or high-speed blender. Begin pulsing and blending until a moist ball begins to form. This should have the consistency of a chunky nut butter.

Add 3 tablespoons coconut oil and a pinch of sea salt, continue blending until the oil and the nut butter come together.

You should end up with about 3/4 cup of pistachio coconut butter.


Combine dry ingredients: oat flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, ground golden flax seeds, unsweetened shredded coconut, baking soda, sea salt and 1/4 cup chopped pistachios.

Whisk until well combined.

Combined wet ingredients: 3/4 cup homemade pistachio coconut butter, maple syrup, coconut palm sugar (I know, this isn’t “wet”) and vanilla.

Stir until well combined.

In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients, wet ingredients, chopped cherries and chopped chocolate chunks. Mix with a large spoon until well combined.

Using a tablespoon, scoop out dough and form into balls. Place each ball on a parchment lined baking sheet and flatten slightly.

Bake 12-14 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Cookies

Recipe By: Brittany Mullins, of Eating Bird Food. I just started reading Brittany’s blog this year and I’m so happy I found it! Her recipes are so simple to follow and everything we’ve made has turned out amazing.  She’s always creating something new and innovative, so we are truly honored she had time to share this tasty treat with us today! Thanks Brittany:)

4). Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein No-Bake Cookies


  • 2 cups old fashioned oatmeal
  • 1 scoop (21 grams) vanilla protein powder (I used a vegan brown rice protein powder)
  • ½ cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ⅛ teaspoon sea salt


Combine oatmeal and protein powder in a medium sized mixing bowl. Stir until there’s a nice dusting of protein powder over all the oatmeal.

Place almond milk, peanut butter, maple syrup, cocoa powder and sea salt in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often until cocoa powder is completely dissolved and the sauce has thickened. Take the pan off the heat and stir in vanilla.

Pour peanut butter chocolate mixture over oats/protein powder and mix until all pieces of the oatmeal are covered.

Place batter in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to let the batter set up – this step is optional, but the cookies will be much easier to shape if you do it.

Drop chilled dough by spoonfuls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, using hands to work cookies into desired shape – I made these into little round cookies.

Place baking sheet in fridge or freezer until cookies are set, then serve. Store any left over cookies in the fridge or freezer for later.

vegan gluten free thin mints

Recipe By: Karissa Bowers of Vegan a La Mode. Karissa is another local friend, in fact we had a smoothie date yesterday! Peter and I both love how down to earth and nice Karissa is… she also has really great taste when it comes to food… and fashion:) Thanks for the yummy cookies Karissa!

5). Vegan Gluten Free Thin Mints

Adapted from Babycakes Covers The Classics


  • 1 1/2 cups Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup vegan sugar*
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup melted virgin coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon peppermint extract
  • 1 cup vegan chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 325 °F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, vegan sugar, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, arrowroot, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt and whisk together. Add the melted coconut oil, applesauce, and vanilla and continue mix with a rubber whisk until a thick dough forms.

Place a rounded tablespoon of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets. about 1-2 inches apart. Using your palm, gently flatten each mound of dough. Smooth the edges with your fingers if necessary.

Bake for 7 minutes, rotate the cookie sheets and bake for 7 minutes more. Let cool on tray or cooling rack for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the chocolate chips and peppermint extract in a double broiler or small saucepan and place over medium heat. Continue stirring until the chips are just melted and silky smooth. Remove from heat.

Dunk the top of each cookie into the melted chocolate and spread using a rubber spatula. Place the dipped cookies on a sheet of parchment paper to let cool and set. Let the cookies set in refrigerator for 20 minutes before serving.

*Note: You could omit the 1/2 cup cane sugar and simply use 1 cup of coconut sugar. Please note I have not tried it myself yet but I imagine it will taste just as sweet given given my past experience with coconut sugar!

kale coconut chocolate chip courage cookies

Recipe By: Olivia Lovejoy, of Olivia is a good virtual friend of ours who we’ve done lot’s of fun Skype calls with:) She is a health coach with the biggest smile and the best energy we’ve ever encountered. And she totally would put kale in our cookies! Thanks Olivia:)

6). Kale Coconut Chocolate Chip Courage Cookies


  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats, uncooked (get gluten-free oats if that’s important for you)
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder (optional, I didn’t include this.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • – – – – – –
  • 1/2 cup kale leaves, without stalk (Measure is based on the leaves pressed into a cup.)
  • 1/3 cup dried fruit (I used combo the last raisins in our apartment and a few prunes.)
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 T almond butter
  • – – – – – –
  • 1 flax egg (1 T flax seed meal + 3 T water: Whisk until foamy. Let sit for 15 minutes.)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup dried, shredded unsweetened coconut
  • extra coconut and coarse salt to sprinkle over cookies


In Vitamix (or other high speed blender), blend first set of ingredients into a flour by going up to 5 speed. You can also pulse them in a powerful food processor.

Add second set of ingredients to dry ingredients in the pitcher (or food processor bowl).

Whisk vanilla into flax egg, then add the mixture to the pitcher (or food processor bowl).

Blend, going up to high gradually (if your machine has speeds). Use tamper when you hear it make a high pitched noise. To put it simply, you want everything to mix together without becoming liquid. Keep in mind you want a ball of cookie dough not a smoothie or pesto (It’s sort of like making energy bars). Fold in chocolate chips and shredded coconut.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Use a tablespoon to scoop out little uniform sized balls of cookies. Drop onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle shredded coconut and grind some salt (or sprinkle coarse ground salt) onto the cookie tops.

Press cookies down with fork to make cute little round shaped cookies. Pop into oven and bake for 12 minutes. Slide cookies while they’re still on the parchment paper onto cooling rack. Enjoy them when they’re finally not too hot to give you a greedy burn (about 5 minutes).

This recipe makes 18 delicious, nutritious three-bite sized cookies. Enjoy!

almond cardamom chocolate chunk cookies

Recipe By: Emma Potts, of Coconut and Berries. Emma makes the best looking food in our news feed. Seriously, I don’t think there’s one picture we haven’t been completely drooling over. And she always has the nicest things to say about others bloggers and their recipes. We are fans of Emma and this recipe! Thanks again for sharing your cookies with us Emma:)

7). Almond Cardamom & Chocolate Chunk Cookies


  • 1-1/2 C Ground almonds (almond flour)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 tsp Ground cardamom
  • 1/4 C Coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 C Liquid sweetener (agave nectar/coconut nectar/maple syrup)
  • 1 Tbsp Almond butter
  • 40g/1.5oz Dark chocolate, chopped


Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

In a medium bowl stir together ground almonds through to almond butter until fully combined.
Stir through dark chocolate chunks.

Scoop heaping tablespoons of the dough (it will be relatively soft and oily. Don’t worry!), roll into balls and flatten slightly with a fork.

Bake for 12-14 minutes watching carefully towards the end of baking time. They should be lightly browned on top but will still be very soft to the touch.

Leave on the baking sheet to cool fully and firm up before serving.

Recipe by: yours truly:) We thought we should contribute one of our own cookie recipes to the mix. These are your basic chocolate chip peanut butter cookies… a classic if you will!

8). Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Drops


  • 1 1/3 cups brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup  peanut butter (we used a sweetened variety)
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2cup dairy free chocolate chips (we used high quality 69% dark chocolate chips)


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine flours, baking powder, and soda in a large bowl. Mix well.

Next in a smaller bowl combine, coconut oil (melted), peanut butter (soft), sugar, vanilla extract, milk and chocolate chips, stir well until smooth. Add the wet to the dry and mix very well.

Using a cookie scoop or Tablespoon, spoon out cookies and place on baking sheet. We used a Tablespoon and got 20 cookies.

Bake in oven for 10-13 minutes, will depend on size of cookies, and so watch closely towards end. Allow to cool on sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring or eating.

Serve with a cold glass of almond milk and enjoy!

Giveaway Details

We are giving away (1) $25 dollar gift card & 1 batch of homemade cookies to one lucky winner.

Here’s how to enter…

Step 1: Sign-up for our email newsletter (this is how you’ll know you won).

Step 2: Pick your favorite recipe from the above 8, and go to that person’s website and find 1 more cookie recipe you like.

Step 3: Leave a comment below and let us know you did all 3 steps, and let us know your answers from step number 2.

The winner will be notified on Friday, December 13th, and we’ll be sending you a batch of one of the cookies you mentioned and then a gift card to get the ingredients of the other cookies!

**This giveaway is over. HUGE congrats to Corine!!! Get ready for a cookie delivery this week:)

    24 replies to "8 Vegan Holiday Cookie Recipes + a Cookie Giveaway!"

    • Ricki

      Can I have one of each, please? ;) These all look SO fantastic! What a lovely roundup, and so many ideas for the holidays. Thanks so much for including mine. Hope you have a wonderful holiday season! :)

      • Sarah

        Yes, we are with you! These cookies all look great. We are super excited to try yours though! Thank you so much for sharing your lovely recipe:)

    • Ricki

      Oops, forgot to mention–the all-purpose flour mix in the recipe is on my blog, here: (feel free to link to the recipe in the post if you like); or people can use any all-purpose gluten-free flour mix instead. :)

    • Darin Cordell

      Wow – this contest is no fair because it’s entirely too hard to pick a favorite cookie! :) But I did the impossible (after drooling all over my keyboard). I choose two cookies from This Rawesome Vegan Life. 1 (from above) the Almond Cocoa Cookies with salted maca caramel (because salted maca caramel, hello!!!) 2 (From Emily’s site) The Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles (always been a favorite, so I am happy to see a gluten free version).

      • sarah

        Darin we hear you! They all are amazing. I think you picked well:) Good Luck my friend!

    • Olivia Lane

      My only problem with this is figuring out which cookies to make first! They all look and sound so good! Happy holidays :-)

    • Josh

      You truly can’t go wrong with peanut butter and oatmeal! : ) Also I am a terrible baker so they are perfect! She also has a recipe for chia morning breakfast cookies on her site! Yum yum yum!

    • Kelsie Pasquale

      They all look to amazing! Now I just want to spend hours baking. If I had to pick ONE, I think I would pick the “Almond Cacao cookies with Salted Maca Caramel.” On their website, I would pick the “Chocolate Coconut Almond Butter Cups” for my second favorite :)

    • rose

      I can’t wait to try the protein cookies with my new protein hemp powder!
      I also am interested in trying Brittany’s Chai Oatmeal Breakfast cookies because recently my 4 yr old cutie asked me why we couldn’t eat dessert for breakfast =)
      I forgot to mention, I did all 3 steps!

    • Terri Cole

      Okay, I’m not sucking up, I promise, but the Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Drops are my favorite! Also, your Chocolate Indulge Bars look yummy too!

      I am an email subscriber. Thanks for such a fun giveaway!

    • aj newton

      Definitely #7! Emma Potts’ website has some amazing recipes. The raw chocolate hazelnut strawberry jam thumbprints look like something i would want to try. I signed up for your newsletter. Thx! :-)

      • Emma

        Aw, thanks so much AJ :) Very happy to hear you like my recipes!

    • EVA

      Well, apparently the link to the Thin Mints doesn’t exist….so my favorite “cookie” recipe from This Rawesome Vegan Life is her Snickers bars! MMMF. Oh how I miss thee, Snickers. I’ve done all three, now I just need to see myself eating the full sweep of cookies!

    • Michelle Mansfield

      They all look so wonderful, but the cookie recipe that looked most unique and intriguing was for the Almond Cacao Cookies With Salted Maca Caramel. I wasn’t acquainted with the “This Rawsome Vegan Life” blog, but I’m happy to have discovered it. The cookie recipe I selected from the site is for Mexican Hot Chocolate Snickerdoodles. I’m already a big fan of Mexican Hot Chocolate, so I’m thinking this would be a delicious accompaniment.

    • Corine

      Love this contest idea! I’ve signed up for the newsletter (long overdue!) and checked out the Apple Crumble Shortbread Bars at Coconut & Berries. Can’t wait to try out all these recipes!

      • Emma

        Thanks for stopping by Corine. Hope you get to try the apple crumble bars!

    • Jordan D.

      I think the recipe for the almond cacao cookies from This Rawsome Vegan Life sounds really interesting. The coconut date dreams recipe looks fantastic as well. I subscribed, too!

    • Annette

      Ricki’s Sugar-free sugar cookies and the banana coconut chocolate chip cookies are on my list to try out!

    • Karissa @ Vegan À La Mode

      So many delicious creations!! You got some great bloggers featured on here and your cookies look ultra delicious as well! Besides all the wonderful looking cookies featured here, I’m dying to try Coconut and Berries Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies she just posted!

      • Emma

        Thank you Karissa! Please let me know how you like the shortbread if you get to try them!

    • Emma

      What a fabulous collection Sarah! I could definitely take one of each ;)
      Your Choc Chip PB Drops look particularly good though!

    • Caroline Leprovost

      Looks delicious :) My favourite one is the ‘ALMOND CARDAMOM & CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES’! And the cookie recipe from Coconut and berries that I choose is the RAW TRIPLE CHOCOLATE COOKIES! oh yeah, I looove chocolate so… :D
      Amazing site and info, super happy to have discovered you this morning. Much love and all the very best ! (all 3 steps done)

    • Allison

      I signed up for the newsletter. My fav cookie from the list is Kris Kelly’s gluten free vegan Pistachio cookies and from her website, her Autumn amaranth cookie bars!

    • RosaLea

      Comment: YUM!!!! am so excited to try these recipes!
      Answers: 4). Chocolate peanut butter protein no-bake cookies..whhhaat? and then Flourless Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms… yes there is a theme but how can you top pb and chocolate?!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.