These gluten-free vegan almond butter shortbread cookies are delightfully light, crisp, and melt-in-your-mouth buttery. Ingredient wise, these cookies are a bit different than a classic shortbread, but I assure you they're just as delicious. These nutty cookies are made with just 7 ingredients (plus baking soda + sea salt): almond butter, coconut sugar, a bit of coconut oil, ground flaxseed, vanilla, oat flour, and coconut flour. The result is an exceptionally crisp, buttery cookie without any of the butter.
These crisp, buttery little rounds of heaven were quite the handful to recipe test, but I'm happy to say that they were entirely worth the trouble.
You see, to make a vegan, gluten-free shortbread-like cookie, I knew that coconut flour would probbbably have to take part in the mix.
And you all know how I feel about coconut flour...
For the most part and to put it simply, it's a ferocious destroyer of delicious things that should come with a warning label.
Seriously though, if you haven't already, be sure to read the post I linked to above for insights and tips when baking with coconut flour. It's the trickiest flour to work with and certainly isn't an ingredient where you can throw caution to the wind.
But back to these cookies...
I knew coconut flour would need to be included in the short lineup of ingredients, and whenever coconut flour is involved, I know I'm in for a treat when it comes to recipe testing.
And by "treat", I mean "one helluva wild ride with plenty of hiccups and bumps along the way". Who knew the word "treat" was so cryptic?
In all seriousness though, I've never had an easy or straightforward testing experience with recipes that involve coconut flour.
The process is typically long and a bit arduous, but thankfully the extra effort almost always pays off in the end. And that was absolutely the case here.
These vegan almond butter shortbread cookies are delightfully light, crisp, and melt-in-your-mouth buttery.
They're a bit on the delicate side, so they're not the kind of cookie you'll want to travel far and wide with or pack at the bottom of your overstuffed work bag, but they hold together well enough to make a gentle journey between homes (and of course, the most important journey from hand to mouth).
These vegan shortbread cookies come together in under 30 minutes and with just 7 ingredients (plus baking soda + sea salt).
To make them, you'll cream together coconut sugar, natural almond butter, a bit of virgin coconut oil, ground flaxseed, and vanilla for one minute.
Then, whisk together oat flour, a small amount of coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and beat again until the dough pulls together into large mounds as it moves around the mixing bowl.
Then, scoop out a 1 ½ tablespoon mound of the dough, roll into a tightly compacted ball, place on a lined cookie sheet, and use a fork to gently press one way and then the other. Repeat with the remaining dough (you should have about 14 cookies).
Bake the cookies for just 10 to 14 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn a rich golden brown shade.
Finally, let the cookies cool completely on the pan before attempting to move or enjoy. Patience is a virtue here, because if you fuss with them while they're still warm they could crumble (and that would be a big ol' cookie shame).
Once the cookies have cooled, enjoy to your heart's content... with a cold glass of almond milk, of course. ♥
Vegan Almond Butter Shortbread Cookies
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- ½ cup natural almond butter, stirred well before measuring
- ¼ cup virgin coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup oat flour*
- ¼ cup coconut flour*
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the coconut sugar, almond butter, coconut oil, ground flaxseed, and vanilla for 1 minute.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (oat flour, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt).
- With the mixer off, add the oat flour mixture to the almond butter mixture and beat until just combined and the dough pulls together into large mounds as it moves around the mixing bowl. (At first, it will appear crumbly, but just keep beating until it pulls together.) Do not over mix. The dough should be a bit oily to the touch.
- Scoop out and roll a 1 ½ tablespoon mound of the dough into a ball. You want the ball of dough to be as tightly compacted as possible. Place on the parchment-lined pan, and use a fork to very gently press one way and then the other to create a crisscross pattern. If any bits or pieces crumble off the edges, simply use your fingers to press and compact them back into the cookie.
- Repeat with the remaining dough. You should have about 14 cookies (these cookies don't spread much while baking, so leaving just an inch or two of space between each is fine).
- Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the edges begin to turn a rich golden brown shade.
- Cool completely on the pan before moving or enjoying. (If you attempt to move or enjoy them before they've cooled, you'll end up with a crumbly cookie mess.)
- I love these cookies chilled straight from the fridge, so I store them in the refrigerator (they'll keep for up to two weeks there or up to one month in the freezer).
What beauties. So grateful that you endured the intense recipe testing necessary for this recipe so that the rest of us can make these in a snap =)
Thanks, Ashley! Hope you enjoy the recipe! xo
Celeste Jackson says
I love traditional shortbread so I was a little skeptical about a vegan version....however I was pleasantly surprised how mouth watering delicious these are. Thank you for sharing a healthy version of one of my favorites!
What do you think would happen if I subbed maple syrup instead of coconut sugar?
Thanks - going to make these today :)
Hi, Monika! I wouldn’t recommend making any changes to the recipe. Lots of testing went into it, and introducing an additional liquid in place of a dry sugar is likely to drastically alter the outcome.