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.
Looking for more cookie recipes? Try Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gingerbread Cookies, Snickerdoodles, or Thumbprint Cookies.
Almond Flour Sugar Cookies
- 1 ½ cups blanched almond flour
- ¼ cup arrowroot starch
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup (at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 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!
Questions and Reviews
Oooh yay, another use for my raw honey!! I haven’t purchased almond flour in the past because it’s so expensive relative to others, but I am curious about it. As for frosting cookies, it’s a tradition in my family to decorate them at Christmas, so yes, I love them! My favourites are the ones where the icing hardens but the cookie stays chewy inside. Mmmm! Have a great day Megan!
Might have to make these for Easter with different frosting colors! 🙂
I was thinking of making colored frosting for Easter, too! I keep meaning to try using beet juice and green juice for natural dyes… this may be a good opportunity. 🙂
Hi, I have ver painful osteo arthritis. I have found that adhering to a celiac type diet and being careful to eat lowest glycemic sweeteners it gives me significant pain relief. I have found that coconut sugar is the best option for baked goods. Would you be able to give me what the equivalent measure of sugar to honey?
Hi Ann. I think you could do a 1:1 sub on the sugar. I usually use granulated sugars, as the honey also would be what is contributing to the browning of the cookie on the edges. If you try it, let us all know. I also use coconut sugar for a similar reason. I love the brown sugar type flavor it lends.
I’m sure this will be great because I love your shortbread cookies- made them this weekend again! I love the melt in your mouth feel these cookies have w/ almond flour.
love the vanilla type frosting idea! I discovered the same thing in making chocolate frosting – 2 T raw org coc oil, 2 T raw honey, and 2 T raw cacao powder. absolutely delicious – so much better than baby cakes frosting – and tastes like fudge! (good eaten on its own for a treat!)
the non organic almonds part worries me though. conventional almonds are heavily sprayed with pesticides. and pasteurized almonds are pasteurized with heat, a coating of a seriously toxic chemical or radiation. any sources for organic almond flour or how to make yourself? and CA can’t produce raw almonds -even labeled raw doesn’t mean they are raw in CA. That got pushed thru without anyone noticing. it’s so exhausting keeping up with the truth behind our food!
I was thinking chocolate frosting would be good on these, too. 😉
The non-organic almond aspect is frustrating– I wish there were more options available! I actually don’t use almond flour very often, so it hasn’t concerned me much yet, but I would obviously prefer a cleaner version. Also, the raw aspect doesn’t concern me since I’m baking with it… but, I do remember when CA passed that law, and I could actually taste the difference when trying the newly labeled “raw” almonds! I was so sad.
Let me know if you have any luck with that other flour Elana recommends!
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ok, so I checked on Elana’s site and the only organic almond flour in her list is:
looks good on first glance – says it is raw and organic – no pesticides, only hot water to remove the skin, and works out to $43 for 5 lbs (gulp!) costs a little more, but they say anything you use a lot of or regularly that is the impt one to get organic & raw. I will try this and let you know. I had some Bob’s red mill when I tried the first recipe you posted and no luck. There’s a reason she is always shooting it down!
thanks as always for your site. I made the eggplant pizzas the other night – delish!
My kids will love these. I will definately make them for Easter! I use Bob’s Red Mill almond flour a lot and have never had any problems even with many of Elana’s recipes. I am hoping it will work with these.
I think I’ve pinned every single sweet recipe you’ve posted lately. This is no exception 🙂 Looks yummy!
Megan, I love this recipe…I cannot wait to try it!! I am loving all these delicious recipes!!
I’m am absolutely making these today! My bf is laughing at me because I just bought a jar of raw honey at the farmer’s market on saturday, and between the choco-cado pudding, the goat yogurt, and the cookies it’s about 1/3 gone already…and it’s only Monday! I’m a happy girl though, thank you!
I’ve been going through quite a bit of honey, myself! Totally worth it. 😉
What about agave nectar, is this good for us to use to sweeten them? There so so many conflicting views. What do you think? These look so good!
There are so many conflicting opinions on agave! Personally, I prefer honey because it is lower in fructose. (Honey is about 40% fructose, while agave is up to 90% fructose) Our livers can only process so much fructose at a time, so I like to watch my intake when I can.
However, if you prefer agave, then go for it! These cookies are meant to be a treat, and when eaten in moderation, a bit of agave or honey probably isn’t that big of a deal in the long run.
Hope you enjoy them! 🙂
yes… I wonder about the point of using raw ingredients in things if you are going to bake them too. I feel like raw products in general are higher quality and the companies that make them have a higher integrity. So I feel like at least it’s raw right up until you bake it. lol. And the frosting would maintain its raw state. Also, a lot of big organic companies use factory farming methods – like Horizon Organic – and are really no better than the non-organic in terms of humane treatment, so I just get raw everything.
But… with almonds, I ‘m learning that they are pasteurized with either high heat, a nerve gas-like agent or radiation. and you definitely don’t want the latter two, so *truly* raw is the only way to be sure with almonds – like Organic Pastures:
or at CA Farmer’s Markets.
I did not know that CA makes all the almonds used in the US!
I prefer using raw products, when possible, too. I’ve been ordering my raw almonds from Blue Mountain Organics (Italian almonds are raw!), so I’ll have to check out those links you shared to compare prices. 🙂 Thanks!
These look so delicious and I love the ingredients! Bookmarked for sure 🙂
yum! coconut butter melted would make an amazing icing too 🙂 cant go wrong with coconut!
You can get organic almond flour from this site. They are fabulous and the shipping is fast!http://nuts.com/nuts/almonds/organic-flour-blanched.html
This recipe looks delicious! I’m happy your doing more recipes with Almond flour as coconut flour gives me tummy aches. It’s so odd because I can eat coconut oil, butter etc.
Can’t wait to see what’s next!
I just made these. Oh. My. Sweet, delicious, soft and chewy goodness. I added a little cinnamon to my icing. And then I ate so many I got stuffed!
Ha, I know that “stuffed” feeling well. 😉
your cookies look amazing – i dont know why mine didnt turn out the same ? i followed directions exact. mine melted and spread out in oven making large very very thin cookies that were flimsy when u tried to take off pan…. i want mine to look like yours ! help :)))
Usually flat cookies are a sign that the coconut oil or butter was too soft or melted before baking. Next time, I’d recommend chilling the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes before spooning it onto your cookie sheet. That usually does the trick!
I want to make these…like right now, haha.
I don’t have any almond flour at the moment, or a vitamix for making my own.
Would spelt or whole wheat or any other flour do with some alterations to the recipe? or am I better off waiting until I can get some almond flour?
Almond flour is pretty different than grain-based flours, so I would avoid substituting for one of those. If you have a coffee grinder or food processor, you could try making your own nut flour using almost any type of nut.
Otherwise, if you need a cookie fix fast, you could always do an internet search for a more traditional sugar cookie recipe– you can use spelt or whole wheat flour for those, too!
I made these and LOVED them – but I made them with unblanched flour the first time. The second time I am using blanched, and the dough doesn’t seem to “stick” together as well. They are DELICIOUS and I cannot believe the simple ingredients. Added cocoa to the frosting the second time, loved it! They are best kept refrigerated, start to come “unglued” when at room temperature. Thank you so much for a FABULOUS cookie recipe that meets my dietary needs!!
I wanted to know if you have any suggestions regarding a substitute for coconut oil? I cannot stand the taste of coconut and notice it in the things I cook and bake. I am trying to be healthier so I want to stay away from the bad oils.
I appreciate your help.
There are two types of coconut oil. The refined one has no flavor or smell of coconut.
Just stumbled over your blog today looking for how to make almond flour and so glad I saw this recipe! Going to try these for Christmas celebrations!!
I love, love, love this recipe. However, whenever I bake them I’m not able to keep it from burning due to the coconut oil’s quick melting rate. I’ve read other comments and saw your solution to refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes prior to baking. I did this, and it still didn’t work for me. Also, the cookie scoop that you recommended shows that it is a 1 inch ball scoop and when I made the cookies into 1 inch balls, they never melted down. It just looked like the same ball-like shape. Any ideas on an adjustment towards the temperature of the oven or the length of baking time or anything?
When you scoop the dough, you’ll need to press it down with your fingers to flatten the cookies and achieve the shape you want. They don’t move too much with baking! Once they are properly formed, they should bake more evenly for you– but make sure you’re using parchment paper or a Silpat! They really do improve the baking experience.
It could also be that your oven is hotter than mine (all ovens vary), so perhaps try lowering the temperature to 300-325F and baking for 10-12 minutes instead. Please leave a comment letting us know if you have any success!
Holy $h1*, Batman! Those are amazing cookies. A little over an hour ago I saw this recipe, an hour ago I showed my husband this recipe, and as of now, about half the batch is in our tummies. We made sure to refrigerate the dough and the frosting. “We” (haha!) used 1/2 agave and 1/2 maple syrup for the frosting, and “we” used agave for the cookie dough, and those are the only change we made. I think if I had a bowl of frosting in front of me, I would eat the whole thing. That is by far the best frosting I have tasted on a cookie EVER. I have to find excuses to use that elsewhere. Thank you for the recipe 🙂
These are amazing. The hubs loves them. Made them again tonight.
Wow, these are the first amazing paleo cookie recipe I have seen. This recipe worked awesome .I topped the cookies with some shredded coconut, mainly because it looked pretty. 😉 Thank you!!
I’m glad you enjoyed them!
Wow! I found this recipe last night and I just had to make them today. I am so happy with how they turned out! They go great with a hot cup of white loose leaf tea!
I had to tweak the recipe a little to fit the ingredients that I already had at home, but they are amazing.
(I had to use real butter instead of the coconut oil, and vanilla extract instead of almond.)
Thank you so much!!!!
Around Christmas I was looking for a butter free shortbread like recipe as I am lactose intolerant. Wish I knew about this then. I will
definitely use this recipe this year. Divine!
These look WONDERFUL! I just have one hesitation. I can’t make these for school friends since they are not free. What other “flour” could I sub? Thank you.
Oh….my….goodness. I just made these and they are finally cool enough to put the frosting on. I have inhaled 3 of them so far.
Chewy, gooey, delicate flavour….these have it all.
I am going to keep them at room temp tonight (frosting isn’t on them yet, just the 3 I ate) and hopefully the texture will be the same tomorrow.
Thank you for this recipe!
I made 1 and 1/2 times this recipe and baked as bars in a 9×13″ pan. Then I made your frosting with added cocoa. I had to heat it to incorporate the cocoa well, then I whipped it as it was cooling a bit. It was awesome. When the bars cooled, I frosted them, then cooled them all in the freezer. I had to try one before taking it to a family function. Talk about good….. I cut them into squares before going.
How much cocoa added to frosting?
I love your recipes! But I would love to see more sweet treats without using almond flour. I have to be on the anti-inflammatory diet for a little while and unfortunately that means i have to take nuts out of the equation.
I love that your desserts are dairy free, low sugar, and grain free but if you could provide more recipes for cookies or another type of dessert using coconut flour or buckwheat flour that would be fantastic. Thanks so much! I’ve made a lot of your recipes and they’re delish! 😀
Hi Katherine! You’re in luck, as I haven’t made many recipes with almond flour this year. I’m looking into other nut-free flours for those with allergies, so I’ll be sure to post anything good that I come up with! 🙂
These are amazing! I made them exactly as you said and formed it into a log and sliced them…perfection…..such a great idea…
Currently I can not use Honey or agave as sweeteners. I use Stevia or will until my blood sugars are more under control.
Can you offer thoughts on how the use of stevia would alter the taste/texture since no honey would be there?
I’ve never tried this recipe using stevia, but in my experience with other recipes, you will have to make some additional modifications to make the cookies hold together. An egg might help, but the texture will definitely be different! Also, remember that some of the sweetness will be reduced with baking, so you’ll want to add extra stevia to the raw batter, making it more sweet than you want the final product to be.
Hi Megan! I could never thank you enough for introducing me to healthy sweet treats. I recently quit drinking alcohol & have been craving sugar like crazy! Now I have a way to satisfy my enormous sweet tooth without compromising my health. Love, love the cookies. 🙂
I made these cookies and the batter was definitely not thick or creamy like the instructions said it would be. My batter was dry, even after adding a little more oil and honey. I had to use my hands to pull the dough together and really compact it to make them stick. I chilled the dough and baked the cookies as per the instructions. The cookies tasted good and held together well. I made a cream cheese frosting from scratch and had my kids top with fresh berries. They ended up looking like mini fruit pizzas.
One word…amazing! I substituted the honey for rice malt syrup (lower in fructose) and every time I make these they turn out a treat! The perfect sweet treat to accompany my afternoon cup of tea, and the salt gives it a nice little twist! Love, love, love…I have already shared this recipe with so many people…it is my new go to- done in about half an hour all up!
I just made these and they taste so much better than normal sugar cookies! Your recipes are so easy that even a college student like me can make them in no time! Thanks for sharing all these yummy recipes.
I just made them but used vanilla extract, as I really dislike the fake almond taste. Very good, and my 2 yr old son is eating them up! 🙂
I’m on the SCD diet for health reasons. The diet is extremely limiting and finding your blog has been a blessing!! So many of your recipes are SCD legal and that is hard to find. Thank you!
Spectacular cookies, so yummy. I used unblanched almond flour that I made myself, the dough seemed very moist so I added about half a cup of shredded coconut and packed the balls of dough really well. They turned out great. I had to cook them about 12 mins though. I used Lemon extract instead of almond extract and it went fabulously with the lemon frosting! Thanks for all the wonderful recipes!
Ooooo! So good and filling! The only modifications I made was swap one cup of almond flour for oat flour, and swap the frosting for a Hershey kiss pressed into the center. Sooo good! Made an even dozen and have had three already! I normally would have at half the batch already, but these are REALLY filling so I was able to save the rest for later. I added the recipe to a calculator and each cookie (with kiss) comes out to 250 calories. A protein packed, nutritious cookie that I don’t feel bad eating! Thanks!!
HI- Just wondering if these are possible to make ahead of time and store the dough in the freezer till I want to bake them?
We make our own almond milk from raw blanched at home almonds and then dry the pulp in the oven for almond meal. It’s much more economical and you can be sure that you know where your almond meal is coming from. Source the right almonds and you are good to go. You can also use unbalanced almonds for your milk and use the resulting meal in body care products.
Sorry that should say unblanched!
what can I use instead of any extract for intolerant of alcohol?
You can use real vanilla bean, or vanilla flavoring, which is free of alcohol.
I’m new to your blog, ur fantastic!! I made the almond flour and made chocolate chip cookies last night!! They were unreal! I was gonna make these cookies this morning for class mates. Can I use vanilla extract instead since I don’t have almond?? Thanks!!
Both the ginger cookies and almond sugar cookies were a big hit with my friends on Valentines Day. They are soooo delicious and so easy to make. Thank you!
I really like your website – thanks for the lovely recipes 🙂
Can I use coconut flour instead in this recipe? Also do you have any suggestion on what to do with coconut flour?
I made these without the almond extract (used vanilla instead) and I added doTERRA lemon essential oil to my frosting! They were SO yummy and summery!
I made these and the taste is excellent! My frosting melted so next time I will put the cookies in the fridge before I frost them. Thanks for the great recipe, Megan!!