Grain-Free Shortbread Cookies

Can you believe that I’ve NEVER baked with almond flour before?SONY DSC

I went through a serious gluten-free baking phase after receiving the Babycakes cookbook a couple years ago, but that grew old for me pretty quickly. The gluten-free flours simply didn’t taste as good to us, when compared to wheat flour, and since Austin and I both seem to tolerate gluten just fine, there was no need to keep up the (rather expensive) gluten-free habit. While I still love many of the Babycakes recipes, we usually enjoy them with whole-wheat flour, instead.

Almond flour, however, is a whole new adventure. It’s taste is slightly sweet and nutty, and the texture of the Honeyville Blanched Almond Flour (which Elana recommends) is perfect for baked goods. I’ve already had some really great experience with nut-butter-based baked treats— like Elana’s decadent almond butter brownies, and my addictive peanut butter blondies— so I think almond flour sounds very promising! Not to mention, it’s much lower on the Glycemic Index than traditional flours, making it a better option for some of my family members who have to watch their insulin levels.

To get my feet wet, I decided to start off with a small batch (in case I ruined them) of almond flour cookies. The simplest recipe I could find was for an SCD-approved shortbread cookie, which I modified slightly to suit my tastes.

The result was a tender, slightly sweet, and buttery cookie. My family of taste-testers and I agreed that these are VERY similar to traditional shortbread cookies, and could quickly become a family-favorite.SONY DSC

Grain-Free Shortbread Cookies
makes 8 cookies

recipe adapted from this book


1 cup Honeyville blanched almond flour (other brands may affect results)
3 Tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
pinch of sea salt
*optional:1/4 tsp. vanilla or almond extract


Preheat your oven to 350F. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until a batter forms, then use a tablespoon to scoop dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet. I gently flattened my cookies using a fork.

Note: For thicker cookies, I recommend chilling the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes before scooping and baking.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, watching closely to ensure they don’t burn. Remove cookies from the oven when they are lightly golden brown, then cool on the pan for 10 minutes. Remove cookies, and let cool completely.

4.9 from 9 reviews
Grain-Free Shortbread Cookies
Serves: 8
These butter shortbread cookies are very similar to the traditional versions-- tender, slightly sweet, and absolutely delicious!
  • 1 cup Honeyville blanched almond flour (other brands may affect results)
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1½ Tablespoons honey
  • pinch of sea salt
  • *optional:1/4 tsp. vanilla or almond extract
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
  2. Mix all the ingredients in a small bowl until a batter forms, then use a tablespoon to scoop dough onto an un-greased cookie sheet. I gently flattened my cookies using a fork.
  3. Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, watching closely to ensure they don't burn.
  4. Remove cookies from the oven when they are lightly golden brown, then cool on the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving.
For thicker cookies, I recommend chilling the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes before scooping and baking.

These cookies should last for a few days on the counter, but I wouldn’t know for sure. They didn’t last more than 24 hours in our house.

I’d consider that a good sign.

While I didn’t try it this time around, next time I plan to try reducing the butter a bit and adding a touch of almond extract for a sugar-cookie-like flavor. Honestly, I have no problem experimenting with these cookies again and again!

Happy baking!

Reader Feedback: Have you ever baked with almond-flour before? If so, please share any recipe suggestions!


    • says

      If you’re looking for a vegan substitute, I would think melted coconut oil would work really well– though, it would definitely change the flavor. I think Earth Balance makes a soy-free butter substitute, as well, though I’ve never tried it.

      Maybe even almond or macadamia nut oil would work? (I’d reduce the amount a bit, if using oil…)

      Let me know if you have some success!

  1. says

    Ooooo dollface, have I ever baked with it!! MmMM!! I used to order big boxes of it from my friend who owns a restaurant at wholesale…then I thought it was breaking me out! LOL, little did I know the grains in the rest of my diet were killing me 😉

    Almond Flour is soooo nice and adds for such a nice flavor and texture huh?? These look amazing! I’m making the blondies now…I think into cookies sans chocolate chips 😉


  2. says

    almond flour is great! we love it though we do not use it that much because we use almonds a lot in our raw stuff, so we like to play around with other things for baking. but almond meal is always a nice choice :)

    • says

      I haven’t found a bag cheaper than that, either. Since I don’t bake too often, I figured it was a “splurge” item… but if I were going to be baking all the time, it could really add up quickly! The best price I’ve found so far is on Amazon for the Honeyville brand (a 5lb bag), but it’s still not cheap. :/

      • Carol says

        I use Honeyville blanched almond flour a lot – if you sign up with them via email, you will get routine 15-25% off sales and shipping is only 4-5 dollars. I usually buy 1 or 2 5 lb. bags at a time. Love these recipes!

    • Nancy says

      I have found that most of the flours including almond flour is the best and the least expensive from They have awesome products and their delivery is great!

  3. KellyBelly says

    My fave almond dessert is from Ani Phyo.
    Raw almond cookies are so easy too, just the almond flour or with raw you can grind your own, some agave or maple syrup, pinch salt, and whatever dried fruit or choc. chip or cacoa nibs you want to throw in. Of course you have to wait longer to dehydrate but so good.

  4. Morgan says

    I love almond flour! I use the Bob’s Red Mill brand and I came up with a cookie recipe based on the Dina’s cookies on Elana’s website. So good!

  5. bob griffin says

    please add me to your list of e-mail recipe recipients. i am particularly in need of grain free and starch free foods. thank you so much for posting this wonderful blog.

    bob g

  6. KellyB says

    Tonight I was craving a non-chocolate treat that was quick and baked these. Yum, I was very surprised at how “normal” cookie tasting these were, w/ so few ingredients and no traditional ingredients to boot. I used a non-blanced almond meal (Country Life Natural Foods), mix of coconut oil and earth balance, agave, extra vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
    turned out great
    PS we also ate your millet veggie burgers for dinner.

  7. Diana says

    I just made these. I only had about 1 1/2 Tbs of honey, so I used half honey and half agave nectar. I added 1/4 tsp almond extract. These were really good and didn’t taste grain free. The almond extract was a little too prominent, so I probably wouldn’t add that much next time, or maybe try vanilla extract. Thanks for the grain free recipe!

  8. says

    Just found your site today and have already made these cookies. They are very good! I’m so happy to find Almond Flour recipes using honey instead of agave nectar which is a flavor I just can’t get used to. I have one of Elana’s cookbooks and I think everything in it would be great if it wasn’t for that agave. I’ve been afraid to try honey instead. Guess I shouldn’t be such a chicken! :)You are an inspiration and I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

  9. Rachel says

    You can always ground almonds and use it as Almond flour. It is a lot cheaper and you come out with the same results!

    • says

      Walnuts or pecans should work, and maybe even ground sunflower seeds? Just be careful when grinding more oily nuts, like pecans, as you don’t want to wind up with a butter-like consistency. Also, you’ll need to experiment with sweetness– especially with the seeds, which are more bitter than almonds.

      Let me know if you have any success! :)

  10. Tia says

    Just made a batch to see if I can use these in place of Nilla Wafers for a grain free banana pudding (from scratch).
    I can’t have honey or any added sugar, so I used liquid Stevia. They are perfect! I’ll just make them thinner. Also, I didn’t need to add liquid in place of honey. Thanks so much!

  11. Liz says

    I am so excited about your flour less recipes!! i don’t use anything but Stevia and I found for baking ( Just Like Sugar) works best,I just was wondering if you could help me with the amounts I should use?

    • says

      I’m not familiar with that product, so I’m afraid I wouldn’t know where to start with substitutions. If it’s anything like a traditional granulated sweetener, you’ll need double the amount when compared to honey, plus extra moisture to help it combine. So 1 T. of honey = 2 T. granules. But, if it’s sweeter than sugar, like stevia is, then you may not want to double it. Hope that helps!

  12. Amy says

    Yum! Super easy recipe. They turned out chewy and sweet and delicious! The only thing I’d do different next time is grease the cookie sheet as mind stuck a bit to the sheet. Other than that, perfect!

  13. says

    Hello! This recipe was too easy! I used leftover mixed nut/seed milk pulp, yacón syrup and coconut oil instead… so substituting 3 out of 4 ingredients, whoops! They came out grainy because the nut/seed milk pulp was very rough (there were some hemp seeds and flax seeds in there) these cookies came out quite grainy, but still very yummy! I think I’ll make another batch now, excuse me…

  14. Ruth says

    Lovely recipe, like so many of your others. These cookies melt in your mouth, would like to try them with less butter next time though.

  15. Melissa says

    I’m normally a chocolate girl, but my second favorite flavor it lemon. So…..I made this recipe (with the Earth Balance Soy Free) and added 1/2 tsp of lemon zest and 1/8 tsp of lemon extract. I rolled my dough up in a log shape into plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. Then I sliced into 1/4″ slices and baked. I topped it off with a drizzle of glaze made from fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar.
    Oh…and I tripled the batch! Why on earth would I only make 8 cookies?! lol…..when 24 is so much better! (actually, I got about 27.
    Very fresh and yummy! I love that it is a very simple recipe with few ingredients. Especially good for people with multiple food intolerances. It’s a keeper! Thanks!

  16. Tobie says

    I made these without the honey because I didn’t want the “sugar/carbs” from the honey. Surprisingly, they still held together. My husband and I both thought they were similar to shortbread cookies we’ve had in the past. I stored them in the fridge, and they tasted yummy chilled too. Thanks!

  17. bec says

    I want to try these and send them to my daughter who lives in Canada. Sometimes things can take a couple of weeks to reach her. Do you think these cookies will last that long and still taste good/fresh?

    • Megan says

      In my experience, almond flour cookies get very soft when stored at room temperature. I recommend keeping them in the fridge for best texture, so I probably wouldn’t send them by mail.

  18. Karen says

    would it work to substitute the almond flour with regular? my brother is allergic to nuts and i can’t seem to find another recipe without refined sugar, please let me know :)

  19. Jennifer says

    Hi there. I am trying the Beyond Diet. How can I substitute the maple syrup with stevia? Measurements? any help would be greatly appreciated. Especially with Christmas near. Thank you very much!

  20. Stephanie Smith says

    I just made these cookies and they are terrific! I followed your recipe exactly and it is perfect! So delicious and buttery and perfect!

  21. Dionne says

    I recently made these cookies and they were delicious; however, the cookies did not stay compact as your picture shows. My cookies spread to twice the size of what I expected and very thin. I used an electric mixer to mix all the ingredients. Should I be mixing by hand to achieve cookies similarly sized to your cookies pictured? I have enjoyed several of your recipes. Thank you for sharing them.

  22. Jaime says

    I just made these with a couple changes and they have are delicious. I used half butter, half coconut oil and maple syrup in place of honey. I also added crumbled pecans. After I spooned out, I put them in the freezer for 5-10 min to quickly chill. I baked about 12 min on wax paper. I let them cool a few minutes and put them back in the freezer for 5-10 min. They taste like pecan sandies!! I wonder if adding an egg white would make them a bit less crumbly. Thanks for a great recipe!

  23. Kayla says

    I made these and they were good but next time I will reduce the amount of honey since they were a little sweet for me. I think that’s just personal preference, though. The recipe was still really good!


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