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 Use Almond Flour?
Almond flour is naturally gluten-free and grain-free, and it’s more nutrient-dense than all-purpose white flour. That means these cookies will actually leave you feeling satisfied!
It’s also easy to make your own homemade almond flour, if you can’t easily find it at the store. I recommend using blanched almond flour for this recipe, which means the skins have been removed from the almond before they were ground. This creates a lighter, more buttery cookie.
However, if you can only find almond meal (which has brown flecks in it) that will still work, too. The cookies will just turn out slightly more dense and cake-like, in that case.
How to Make Them
Almond flour sugar cookies are just as easy to make as the original! Stir together the almond flour and arrowroot starch first, then add in everything else! See substitution notes below, if you want to try something different.
The batter will be very thick and slightly sticky. For a classic circle shape, use a tablespoon to scoop the dough and drop it on the baking sheet. I like to flatten the mound with my fingers, because they don’t spread significantly while they bake. (They do expand slightly, FYI.)
If you’d like to cut-out the cookies, you might want to chill the batter for 30 minutes first.
Full disclosure: I’m too impatient to chill the batter, so I roll out the cookie dough right away and make the cut-out shapes. The shapes are just slightly more fragile to work with that way.
Arrange the cookies about an inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350ºF. If you want to decorate the tops with sugar or sprinkles, now is the time to do that, too.
For cookies that are still soft in the middle, I like to take them out of the oven at 8 minutes. For a crispier cookie, you can leave them in a little longer, just watch the edges to make sure they don’t get too dark.
These cookies will be very fragile when you first remove them from the oven, and they will feel soft to the touch. They will firm up significantly after they cool completely.
How to Decorate Them
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. Keep in mind that 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.
For a Valentine’s Day sugar cookie, try this naturally pink frosting, made with powdered sugar and pureed strawberries.
- 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, I threw a handful of strawberries (about 4 ounces) in my blender and added 2 tablespoons of water– only as much as I needed 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
- 2-4 tablespoons water, as needed
- pinch of salt
Stir together the ingredients in a medium bowl, starting with only 2 tablespoons 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.
If you want to try the sprinkles used here, I used these naturally-colored Valentine Sprinkles and Rainbow Sprinkles.
Almond flour is much more forgiving than another grain-free flour, like coconut flour. If you’d like to omit the arrowroot starch, you can do that and replace it with 1/2 cup more almond flour, instead.
In that case, you’ll want to add a little more coconut oil, until the dough comes together (I use about 2 more tablespoons, or as needed.)
You can also add an egg to this recipe instead of the extra oil, to help with binding, but in that case the cookies will be softer and will spread more.
If you would rather use coconut sugar instead of maple syrup, I’d start with 1/2 cup, but keep in mind that these cookies will loose their light color in that case, and they may need a little more liquid to help the dough stick together. Have fun experimenting with it!
Almond Flour Sugar Cookies
Almond Flour Sugar Cookies are naturally gluten-free, and taste just as delicious as the original! No eggs or refined sugar required.
- 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour (177 grams)
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch (34 grams; see notes)
- 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil (12 grams)
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup (92 grams; at room temperature)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 grams)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract (3 grams)
- 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine the almond flour and arrowroot starch and whisk well, breaking up any clumps.
Add in the oil, maple syrup, vanilla, baking soda, almond extract, and salt. Stir well, until a thick, sticky batter is created.
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 dough between two sheets of parchment paper, and use a cookie cutter to make cut-out shapes. This works best with dough that has been chilled for 30 minutes, but you don’t have to! (I didn’t chill the dough in these photos, you just have to be careful when transfering the dough to the prepared baking sheet.)
Bake at 350ºF until the cookies have puffed up, about 8-10 minutes. I take them out after 8 minutes, so they will have a soft center, but leave them in longer for a more firm, crisp cookie. These cookies will still feel soft and fragile when you take them out of the oven; let them cool completely on the pan before attempting to handle them.
Decorate the cooled cookies as desired. 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.
If you don’t want to use arrowroot starch, I’ve also made 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.
Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 15mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg
More Paleo Cookie Recipes
Need more grain-free treats? Try one of these!
If you try these Almond Flour Sugar Cookies, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like them. And if you make any modifications, I’d love to hear about those, too!
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