Grain-Free Shortbread Cookies

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

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.Grain-Free Shortbread Cookies

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.

closeup of grain free shortbread cookies on a red plate
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4.7 from 13 votes

Grain-Free Shortbread Cookies

These butter shortbread cookies are very similar to the traditional versions-- tender, slightly sweet, and absolutely delicious!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword almond flour, cookies, dessert, healthy, paleo
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 128kcal


  • 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.
  • 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. 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.


Calories: 128kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 37mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 130IU | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 0.5mg
Per Serving: Calories: 128, Fat: 11g, Carbohydrates: 6g, Fiber: 1g, Protein: 3g

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!

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These cookies look awesome! Quick question…what could you use as a substitute for the butter?


    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!


      What is the nutritional value ?


      Palm oil might be an even better substitute. I think the fats are longer-chain than those in coconut oil, which would be more like butter. There is something of an ecological concern with Asian palm oil vs. orangutan habitat but that issue doesn’t exist with African palm oil. I’m not sure which type is sold as vegan shortening, though.


This recipe looks awesome! I am experimenting with the SCD diet as well.

I am not sure if you have ran across the blog, Roost (, but it has some awesome (beautiful) recipes with almond flour!


I wonder if these would work with coconut flour? I might just try out a small batch tonight!


    Oooh, let me know how it goes! πŸ˜€


      I tried them with coconut flour and they were very dry. Next time I’ll use coconut oil instead of the butter to add more moisture and bump up the honey, as they were very sweet.


        I meant to say they weren’t very sweet. Sorry!


        Now that I think of it, the coconut flour would probably need an egg added for moisture and binding. Maybe I’ll try it myself one day!

Kris |

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ˜‰


Pure2raw twins

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 πŸ™‚

Sara @ Plantpoweredmom

Wow, these look fantastic! My daughter is g-free so I do a lot of g-free baking but I’ve always been scared off of the price tag on almond flour. Maybe I’ll have to splurge a little and try these out!

Tasha @ Dine n Dash

Just used almond flour for a pizza crust!
I looove shortbread! these look great. can’t wait to try them


    Oooh, an almond flour pizza crust sounds great! Hope you enjoy the shortbread cookies soon. πŸ™‚


These look awesome! I’m looking for some good almond flour..the last bag I saw was $20!!


    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. :/


      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!


    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!


    I order from vitacost for awesome prices on health foods and supplements, several times a month!


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.


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!

bob griffin

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


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.


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!


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.


    I do not use agave, never have and always just used honey or maple syrup. while Elana’s older and originals recipes did call for it her updated versions all say to swap honey or even maple syrup and her recipes, along with these are my go to recipes.


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


I tried it and it is really good! I will make it again.


Hi! I am allergic to almonds and peanuts. Any ideas for an almond four/meal sub for these cookies?


    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! πŸ™‚


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!


    Yum! The banana pudding sounds terrific. πŸ™‚


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?


    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!


These look great. I wonder how I would need to adjust the recipe if I want to use liquid stevia instead of honey.


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!


Hello! This recipe was too easy! I used leftover mixed nut/seed milk pulp, yacΓ³n 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…


These were AMAZING!!!


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.


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!


Oh, just to be clear….my zest and extract measurements are for a triple batch of dough!


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!


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?


    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.


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 πŸ™‚


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!

Stephanie Smith

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


Is there a substitute for almond flour?


    You could try ground sunflower seeds, if you like!


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.


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!


This came out really well. It’s so rich, and yes, it tastes wonderful when refrigerated.


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!


Hi Megan, Love your cookie receipe, will try it. Any recipe for using Quinoa Flour? need some help


I tried this recipe today with the modifications below and they tasted really good but the texture wasn’t like shortbread cookies. I even left the batter in the fridge for 30 minutes. Thanks for the recipe.

– used 2 tbs butter instead of 3
– used maple syrup instead of honey
– added 1/2 teaspoon of each, almond and vanilla extract
– sprinkled with roasated sesame seeds


Just made these, and they are delicious! Even my picky kids like them!
I have tried many of the “healthier” GF recipes, and none of them were edible. Not the case with these! I can’t wait to try your other recipes! (It gets expensive trying recipes with costly ingredients if they don’t taste good!) THANK YOU for this recipe!


I’ve just baked these WOW they really are too delicious! I don’t know how I can stop myself eating them all tonight.

Frances Flores

Absolutely delish!! I used vanilla extract for added flavor and it was perfection.❀️


I am considering using this recipe for a base for grain free homemade mallomars. Wondering how “crumbly” they are at the finish and how the dough would hold up when spread in a large pan so marshmallow cream can be poured over after baked… any thoughts?


Like all your recipes, this one is great. I’m not eating butter right now so I used coconut butter once and palm shortening the next time. I liked both- the palm ones were chewier but the coconut oil ones were maybe more classic shortbread texture. Also I sprinkled sea salt on top before baking- yum. Thank you for these.

Steve henschel

This recipe looks great however with the honey it would not be keto friendly. Could an acceptable keto sweetener be used in place of honey and what would change in the end result? Is the honey just a sweetener or is it a binder as well?

    Megan Gilmore

    The honey does help with binding, so if you have a keto-friendly sweetener that is liquid that would be ideal. Otherwise maybe try adding an egg as a binder? It will make the cookies a little softer/less dense compared to a normal shortbread cookie, but they’ll hold together well!

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