These amazing Coconut Flour Cookies are exactly what you expect from a great cookie: they have crisp edges, chewy centers, and are loaded with chocolate. However, they are gluten-free, clean eating, and paleo, with an option to make them vegan as well.
I've been on the search for perfect cookies made with coconut flour for a VERY long time. I posted a coconut flour sprinkle cookie recipe in my early blogging days, which is great but makes rather soft, almost cakey cookies.
Those are always a hit with my family, but personally, I prefer my cookies with crispy edges and chewy, slightly underbaked centers. And finally - after literally YEARS of experimenting - I've come up with the perfect recipe.
Baking with Coconut Flour
Using coconut flour is quite tricky because it behaves quite different from wheat flour and even any other gluten-free flour. It is hygroscopic - meaning that it absorbs a LOT of moisture.
But simply adding a lot of liquid like water or milk doesn't work, because the baked good will end up with no structure. In my coconut flour quick bread recipes like muffins and bread, I used eggs and oil to satisfy the coconut flour's need for moisture while also giving the baked treat structure.
How to Make Coconut Flour Cookies Moist and Crispy
However, eggs also make for a fluffy, light texture which I didn't want for these cookies. I was looking for a moist, chewy, and crispy texture instead. Finally, I realized that the oil component from nut or seed butter would add extra moisture to the cookies while their fiber would allow for a denser structure.
I started experimenting with homemade all-natural peanut butter which made for delicious low carb coconut flour peanut butter cookies. But then I experimented with other nut and seed butters to make this coconut flour chocolate chip cookie recipe suitable for those with different dietary restrictions.
How to Make Coconut Flour Cookies
To start making these grain-free chocolate chip cookies, you should line your baking pan and preheat the oven. I like to line the sheet with a silicone baking mat, but parchment works well too. Next, you mix the coconut oil with your choice of nut or seed butter, and coconut sugar, before adding the egg and vanilla extract. For the butter, feel free to use either almond butter, sunflower seed butter, or even tahini sesame seed paste. All work perfectly well in this recipe while adding different complexities to the final flavour. Afterward, you stir the dry ingredients in followed by the chocolate chips. I like to use dark chocolate chips or chunks here, but you can use sugar-free chocolate chips if they are preferable to you.
To shape the cookies, I like to use a 1 to 2 tablespoon scoop to ensure equal-sized cookies. Once you place them on the baking sheet, you can press them gently before studding them with more chocolate chips and sprinkling them with sea salt to add a salty finish. These should bake for a total of 10 to 12 minutes depending on the size you decided to make them. The baked cookies should be golden brown around the edges. You can also tell they are done by whether the tops of them are dry rather than glossy. Once they are out of the oven, cool them on a wire rack to allow air circulation so they cool down faster than if you were to leave them on the baking sheet.
Modification Options for Dietary Restrictions & Allergies
You can use any nut or seed butter rather than peanut butter. Peanuts are legumes rather than nuts, which make them unsuitable for paleo. Almond butter or cashew butter would work well.
Coconut flour is great if you are looking to avoid gluten but are allergic to tree nuts (almond flour recipes aren't an option for those requiring nut-free diets). Coconut flour is great for both gluten-free and nut-free diets as it is basically finely ground dried coconut whereas almond flour comprises ground almonds which are unsuitable to those with nut allergies. It has a wonderful coconut taste that lends itself well to desserts, too.
To make these gluten-free coconut flour cookies nut-free, you should also use seed butter rather than nut butter in these cookies. Sunbutter may turn the cookies a shade of green (it reacts with the baking soda) but the resulting cookies will still taste super delicious.
You can also use sesame butter or tahini, but be sure you give them a taste first to make sure you like the flavour. Sometimes tahini can be quite bitter which will make the cookies a little bitter too. However, if you are someone who likes a sweet and savoury combination, tahini may be an excellent option for you. Additionally, if you buy it and decide you don't like it, it is wonderful in a wider array of savoury recipes like hummus or salad dressings.
This recipe works well with either melted butter or coconut oil. I love to make coconut flour cookies with butter but to make the recipe dairy-free (and vegan & paleo) be sure to use coconut oil or a dairy-free butter substitute in place of the butter. The results will be equally delicious and you will be able to ensure you can serve the cookies to more people.
Usually, my grain-free coconut flour recipes rely quite heavily on a good amount of eggs and substitutes just don't work as well. But since these coconut flour chocolate chip cookies only call for one egg, I tested them with a flax egg instead and the recipe worked out just as well texturally. Flaxseed does add a slightly different flavour to the cookies, but is quite a healthy ingredient to add to dessert recipes due to its fiber content.
Substitute the coconut sugar or brown sugar with something like monk fruit sweetener instead. Additionally, be sure to use sugar-free chocolate chips, for a lower carb option.
My friend Lorena also has some delicious Keto Diet Recipes.
How to Store These Cookies
I am a sucker for cookies fresh from the oven. I don't want to eat them when they are so hot that I burn my tongue, but somewhere within the first couple hours after baking.
These are truly the best low carb cookies when the chocolate chips/chunks are still melty and the chewy centers are slightly gooey! As a result, I prefer to shape the cookie dough into balls and freeze them so that I can bake fresh cookies more often. However, I know that not everyone has time to bake fresh cookies all the time. So I recommend storing these low carb cookies in an airtight container on the counter for 3-4 days. The coconut flour sugar cookies will lose some of their crispness and turn softer after a day in a container. However, if you store them without covering, they will quickly dry out and become hard and crumbly.
If you would like to keep them for longer, they should stay fresh in the freezer for a few months, though. They also thaw very quickly so you will be able to pull out just a few whenever you need them. Consider making a double batch of these cookies so you can have them on hand for lunches, snacks, and desserts all of the time!
More Delicious Gluten-Free Cookie Recipes:
- Coconut Flour Shortbread Cookies
- Coconut Flour Peanut Butter Cookies
- Tigernut Flour Cookies
- Healthy Gingerbread Cookies
- Hazelnut Macaroons
Coconut Flour eBook
I wrote an eBook dedicated to my love of all things coconut flour, which includes several coconut flour recipes.
This one focuses on muffins, pancake & mug cake recipes.
Check out Coconut Flour Muffins, Pancakes + Mug Cakes HERE!
Coconut Flour Cookies
- ¼ cup coconut oil or butter, melted
- ⅓ cup unsalted nut or seed butter peanut, almond, sunflower seed*, or sesame butter (tahini)
- ½ cup coconut sugar or unrefined brown sugar or monk fruit sugar substitute***
- 1 egg or flax egg**
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup coconut flour spooned into the measuring cup (don't dip & sweep)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt more for sprinkling (optional)
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips or chunks, or sugar-free chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.
- In a large bowl mix melted coconut oil, nut butter, and coconut sugar with an electric mixer until well combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix again.
- Add coconut flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Mix in with a spatula or wooden spoon. Finally stir in the chocolate chips.
- Form 16 small cookies (1 tablespoon dough) or 8-10 large cookies (~2 tablespoons dough) with a cookie scoop and place them on the cookie sheet.
- Flatten each dough ball and add a couple extra chocolate chips and optionally a touch of coarse sea salt
- Bake the cookies until the centers are just set - about 10 minutes for the small size or 12 minutes for the bigger sized cookies.
- Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes, than move to a wire rack to let them cool completely.
- Once fully cooled, store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
carbs: 7 fiber: 3 sugar:1.7
These are so yummy! Big hit with my family!
Jennifer @ Leelalicious
Thanks for the lovely review, Phawn!
Are you using refined or unrefined coconut oil?
Jennifer @ Leelalicious
Hi HC, in the case of this recipe and other baked recipes, it shouldn't matter whether you use refined or unrefined coconut oil as both should work well.
I made this recipe for the second time yesterday. The first time it came out fine. Yesterday, well, the cookies have this lovely dark green color in their interior and on the bottom where they touched. Lovely, but entirely unexpected! And they taste fine...
Here are the particulars: I have substitute carob chips for dark chocolate, and either honey (first time) or maple syrup (this time) for coconut sugar. Last time I used almond butter, this time sunflower (seed) butter. Last time the brand of coconut flour was Bob's Red Mill, this time, about 2t BRM and the rest was the Natural Grocers coconut flour, which had a subtly different color and texture.
The cookies are tasty, but this odd green color has me flummoxed. Any ideas on what kind of reaction could have caused this? Other than the subtle differences I've mentioned, everything was the same, and I'm pretty sure all the ingredients were good.
Jennifer @ Leelalicious
Hi Carolyn, thanks for your question! I have never witnessed that in baked goods myself but I recall reading something about how sunflower seed butter can turn baked goods green. I believe that the chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds reacts with chemical leaveners like baking soda or baking powder, subsequently causing baked goods to turn green. I imagine that this is probably what happened to your cookies. 🙂
I didn't see your response until just now, but it makes sense with my experiment today: I made the recipe again with the same ingredients but put half on parchment and half on the non-stick mat (operating under the hypothesis that something interacted with the mat), and they did still turn green (though not QUITE as much as last time!). THEN I found your comment! My note to myself from today was to go back to almond butter. Thanks for putting a good reason behind it! (did you have that comment there already and I just missed it? or did you add it more recently 🙂 )
I also find that the cookies spread a lot more and are taking longer than the 10-12 minutes, but I am assuming that that is because of using maple syrup instead of a dry sugar. They still taste great.
Using Swerve's brown sugar substitute makes these amazing. My family was having s'mores and I was happy to notice they kinda smell like s'mores. They are in my keto rotation - I love'em.
Jennifer @ Leelalicious
I'm so glad they can be part of your keto rotation, Shelley! Thanks for your approval and for commenting. 🙂
Thanks For Sharing this amazing recipe. My family loved it. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends. Hope the will like it.
Jennifer @ Leelalicious
Thank you so much for your kind message!
I’m excited to try these Keto-style! The only natural peanut butter I currently have on hand is salted. Do you think it would be safe to use if I cut back the added salt ingredient?
Regina | Leelalicious
My natural peanut butter usually has salt too. But if you are afraid they may be too salty, you can also cut back or leave out any additional salt
These are delicious!! So many recipes found on Pinterest are really disappointing.. I am sooo happy I tried these cookies!! I’m using coconut flour now & these are the best I’ve tried! Thank you!!