These Almond Flour Sugar Cookies are lightly crisp around the edges, with a tender middle, and couldn’t be easier to make. I love that they are naturally gluten-free, vegan and Paleo friendly!
Why You’ll Love Them
They’re nourishing. Made with ground almonds, these cookies will actually leave you feeling satisfied. And they taste just as delicious as the kind made with white flour.
They’re a great option for special diets. Almond flour is naturally gluten-free and grain-free, and these cookies are made without eggs or dairy.
They taste amazing. These cookies are made with both vanilla and almond extract, for extra almond flavor. The finished cookies are lightly crispy on the outside, with a tender texture on the inside that you’ll love.
They make holidays easier. If you are trying to make some gluten-free Christmas cookies, or want to make cut-out cookies for another holiday, this dough is extra easy to work with after you chill it in the fridge.
Ingredients You’ll Need
What’s in Almond Flour Sugar Cookies?
- Blanched almond flour
- Arrowroot starch
- Maple syrup
- Coconut oil
- Vanilla extract
- Almond extract
While I normally prefer to use only 1 flour at a time in recipes, the addition of arrowroot starch gives these cookies a much more authentic texture, without needing eggs. It’s a common pantry staple, often used for thickening gravy and soup, but you could also use corn starch or tapioca starch with similar results.
How to Make Almond Flour Sugar Cookies
1. Mix the dough.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, starch, maple syrup, coconut oil, baking powder, vanilla and almond extract, and salt. Stir well, until the dough looks thick and slightly sticky.
Place the dough in the fridge for 1 hour, or the freezer for 30 minutes, to help it firm up. This step will make it easier to work with, if you plan on making cut-out cookies. (You can skip this if you just want to flatten dough mounds with your hands directly on the pan.)
2. Use Cookie Cutters
Once the cookie dough has been chilled, place it in the center of a large piece of parchment paper. Place another piece of parchment paper on top of the dough, and use a rolling pin to roll the dough out into an 1/8-inch thickness.
Use cookie cutters to cut out several cookies, and wiggle the cutter to get it to release the dough when you’re done. Depending on the size of the cookie cutter you use, you should get roughly 12 to 14 cookies from a single batch. (Or more, if you use small cookie cutters.)
Carefully transfer the cut-outs to a parchment lined baking sheet, and then roll out the remaining dough again and repeat the process until you’ve created shapes out of the entire batch. You will probably need 2 baking sheets if you want to bake all of the cookies at the same time; but you can easily bake half the batch at a time, if you only want to deal with one baking sheet.)
Bake the cookies in the middle rack of your oven at 350ºF for 8 to 10 minutes. The shorter the cook time, the softer the center of the cookies will be. For crispier cookies, you can bake them for 10 to 12 minutes.
Let the cookies cool on the pan for at least 15 minutes, which will let them firm up. Then transfer them to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Decorate the cookies with your favorite icing (recipes below!) and enjoy them at room temperature. You can store leftover cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
If you want to frost these cookies, try one of the frosting options below, or check out my other healthier frosting recipes here on my website.
Honey Sweetened Icing:
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter, like Miyokos, or soft coconut oil (not melted)
- 2 tablespoons creamed honey (thick, light colored honey)
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Pinch of salt
Stir those 4 ingredients together, and you’ll have a light-colored frosting that looks similar to the kind of frosting made with powdered sugar. This frosting will totally melt if you put it on a hot cookie, and it will NOT harden the way a frosting made with powdered sugar does.
- 1 tablespoon strawberry puree (see notes below)
- 1/2 cup organic powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
To make a strawberry puree, add a handful of fresh strawberries (about 4 ounces) in the blender and add 2 tablespoons of water– only as much as you need to blend smoothly. Save the rest of the pureed strawberries for a smoothie later.
Classic Powdered Sugar Frosting:
- 1 cup organic powdered sugar (organic = vegan friendly)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 to 4 teaspoons water, as needed
Stir together the ingredients in a medium bowl, starting with only 3 teaspoons (which is 1 tablespoon) of water. Add more slowly, only as needed. You want this frosting to be on the thicker side, rather than too runny, so the top will eventually harden.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is almond flour the same as almond meal? Almond flour is made from blanched almonds (that have had their skin removed), so it’s finely ground and light in color. Blanched almond flour tends to create a more buttery and crispy result, while almond meal, which is made from whole ground almonds, tends to produce baked goods that are more dense and cake-like. Either one will work in this recipe, but the texture will be different depending on which type of ground almonds you use.
Can I omit the arrowroot starch? If you’d like to omit the arrowroot starch, you can replace it with 1/2 cup more almond flour, instead. In that case, you may need to add 2 more tablespoons of coconut oil, to help the dough stick together, or you can add an egg to this recipe instead of the extra oil, to help with binding. (The cookies will be softer and will spread more when you add an egg.)
Can I use a different sweetener? You can replace the maple syrup with a 1/2 cup of coconut sugar, but keep in mind that the cookies will look darker with that swap, and you might need to add a little extra liquid to help the dough stick together.
Can I use coconut flour instead? No, don’t do it! Coconut flour requires a very different ratio of ingredients, so look for a recipe that calls for that flour if you prefer to use it.
Almond Flour Sugar Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, arrowroot starch, oil, maple syrup, vanilla, baking powder, almond extract, and salt. Stir well, until a thick, slightly sticky batter is created.
- If you want to make cut-out cookies, store the cookie dough in the freezer for 30 minutes to chill. (Or stick it in the fridge for a few hours, if you're not in a hurry.)
- Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop, drop the batter by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheet. Flatten the dough with your fingers, as these will not spread significantly when baked. (They will expand slightly.) Alternatively, you can roll the chilled dough between two sheets of parchment paper, and use a cookie cutter to make cut-out shapes.
- Bake at 350ºF until the cookies have puffed up, about 8 to 10 minutes. After 8 minutes the cookies will have a soft center, but leave them in longer for a more firm, crisp cookie. These cookies will feel soft and fragile when you take them out of the oven, but will firm up as they cool on the pan.
- Decorate the cooled cookies as desired. (Frosting recipes are included in the full post.) They will keep well at room temperature for up to 3 days, or you can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Nutrition information is for 1 of 16 cookies. You may get more or less, depending on the size of your cookie cutters. This information is automatically calculated, and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.
- If you don’t want to use arrowroot starch, you can also make this recipe with 2 full cups of almond flour instead. In that case, you may need to use 2 more tablespoons of coconut oil, to help the dough come together.
- This recipe can also be made with 1/4 cup of honey, instead of maple syrup, if you don’t need the recipe to be vegan. Butter can also be swapped for coconut oil.
- This recipe was updated in December 2022 to swap the baking soda for baking powder, but feel free to use what you have on hand.
If you try this almond flour sugar cookie recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like them!