More and more people are removing grains, processed sugar, and dairy from their diets for a variety of reasons.
Some are avoiding gluten. For others, its allergies, digestive issues, and weight loss. Some want to live a healthier lifestyle, or increase focus and energy throughout the day.
Personally, I’m not giving up grains completely. But I do try to limit the amount I eat.
That being said, when I embarked on a low-grain diet, I was surprised how much of it was made up of whole grains!
Sometimes I would have oatmeal for breakfast, rice with my salad at lunch, and tacos or spaghetti for dinner.
And the baked goods I ate for dessert, like a delicious slice of vanilla cake, almost always contained grains, dairy, and sugar! Which got me thinking… it’s about time to start experimenting with healthier desserts.
And that’s how these grain-free chocolate chip cookies were created!
These sweets come together incredibly fast (just a minute or two in the mixer!) and only contain a handful of simple ingredients.
Oh, and not only are they grain-free, they’re also dairy-free, egg-free, and low in sugar!
But trust me… no one will be able to tell!
Before heading to the recipe, I’ll catch you up on the important role each star ingredient plays.
This is made from skinless, blanched whole almonds that have been ground to a fine powder. It looks and feels a bit coarser than traditional wheat flours.
It’s full of fiber and protein, and can be used in place of regular flour for a low-carb baking alternative.
Find it in the specialty flour section of most grocery stores.
This is created by pressing the “meat” of the coconut to remove the fiber.
Coconut oil is one of the few oils that can be heated at a high temperature without converting to a trans fat. It’s also rich in medium-chain-triglycerides, which makes it a fat that is easily turned into and used as energy, unlike most fats coming from oil.
If you want to use other types of oil, feel free to use whatever you like! I recommend using neutral-flavored vegetable oils.
And if you run out of oil mid-recipe and need some creative oil substitutions for baking, we’ve got you covered.
There are endless varieties of chocolate chips out there, from milk to dairy-free.
However, when making these particular sweet treats, I always look for a brand with a high cacao content of at least 50% for a rich, chocolaty flavor.
Sea salt, especially when freshly ground, will have a much better flavor than table salt. It’s more pure, clean, and unrefined.
It is very important in this recipe, as the salt helps bring out the chocolate flavor, and balances the sweetness from the chocolate and maple syrup.
Read more about the various type of salt available.
Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is used in cooking as a leavening agent, which is needed to make your scrumptious goodies rise.
Baking soda is used in most recipes for baked goods because it creates a fluffy texture, and helps to prevent those dreaded flat chocolate chip cookies.
It eliminates the density that recipes would have without it, and makes them more appetizing overall.
This is one of the purest sweeteners available, created by repeatedly boiling down the sap of the sugar maple tree.
Southeastern Canada and New England are the only maple producing regions, even though you can get pure maple syrup all over the world now.
It’s a great sweetener for this recipe and for use in other baked goods because it’s very sweet, rich, and pairs well with chocolate. Check out our guide to maple syrup for more details!
Though you can use any type of vanilla extract, I personally prefer pure extract from the Madagascar variety, a type of vanilla bean that is more flavorful and aromatic.
Its sweet, buttery flavor is perfect for baking.
Now that you’re familiar with the ingredients, let’s get to the recipe!
|8-10 cookies||5 minutes|
Need something gluten-free for a chocolate fix? Try our recipe for paleo chocolate chip cookies, made with no gluten, dairy, or eggs. More on Foodal.
- 2 cups almond flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine all ingredients, except the chocolate chips, in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until a smooth dough forms.
- Add the chocolate chips and mix on low speed until they are evenly distributed.
- Form into 8-10 cookies and place on parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms and edges are golden. Allow to cool before serving.
Cooking by the Numbers…
Step 1 – Prep
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line one baking tray with parchment paper.
If using a stand mixer, fit it with the paddle attachment.
Measure all of your ingredients.
Step 2 – Mix the Dough
Combine all ingredients except the chocolate chips in the bowl of the stand mixer. Mix on medium speed until a smooth dough forms, about 30 seconds.
Step 3 – Add the Chocolate Chips
Pour the chips into the bowl while it’s still attached to the stand mixer. Mix on low speed until all of the chips are evenly distributed.
Step 4 – Form the Cookies
Using your hands or a cookie scoop for evenly portioned dollops of dough that will cook at an even rate, use about 3 tablespoons of dough each and form into small mounds. You will get 8-10 mounds.
Place them on the prepared baking sheet, being sure to space them evenly.
Because they won’t spread like traditional cookies, you may want to flatten the tops slightly with your hands to create a more traditional shape.
Step 5 – Bake
Bake for 10-12 minutes. They will still be light on the top, but slightly golden brown around the sides and bottoms.
Step 6 – Cool and Serve
Remove from the oven, and transfer the cookies to a cooling rack. Allow to cool before serving.
But everyone knows how irresistible a warm cookie is fresh from the oven…
Clean Eating with a Classic Cookie
With this treat, you can enjoy one of your favorite handheld desserts while eating a clean diet!
You’ll still get the same soft center, chewy and crunchy crust, and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate bites… but with no dairy, no gluten, no eggs, and minimal sugar!
If you’re hungry for more gluten-free sweets after this, get baking with these soft, chewy ginger cookies, cashew chocolate brownies, or mandarin orange spongecake – all sans the gluten!
Following the paleo diet in particular? Make our recipe for carrot cake cupcakes with coconut cream frosting. No gluten, no dairy, and minimal sugar!
Also, you may want to check out Foodal’s Paleo Baking Basics for other gluten-free ideas.
Want to go big? Be inspired by our giant pan cookie recipe, and use this paleo version instead to make a huge dessert that will satisfy all cookie monsters!
What’s your secret to the perfect gluten-free cookie? Give us all your tips, tricks, and ideas for healthier alternatives to the last course in the comments below!
And be sure to check often for new gluten free recipes. You’ll really like these other gluten-free cookies:
- Cinnamon Coconut Flour
- Almond Thumbprint
- Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Pomegranate Oatmeal
- Chewy Flourless Monster
Don’t forget to Pin It!
Photos by Nikki Cervone, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published March 6, 2015 by Sarah Hagstrom. Revised and updated July 3rd, 2017 by Nikki Cervone.
*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Sarah Hagstrom
Sarah is a health food advocate and loves to spend her time whipping up something healthy and delicious in the kitchen and then sharing either on Foodal or on her own blog "The Seasonal Diet" (www.theseasonaldiet.com). She lives in Sunny San Diego with her husband, where they enjoy running on the beach and weekend adventures.
28 thoughts on “Gluten-Free and Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies that Everyone Will Love”
I haven’t tried baking cookies yet, but any recipe that has chocolate in it gets my attention. They look like healthier cookies, which usually means I can eat more of them without feeling too guilty. I like the idea of maple syrup in them to make them rich
I’m surprised it’s possible to make cookies that are both dairy and grain free! I bet this recipe turns out to be a lifesaver for someone on a restricted diet – dairy AND grain free is a bit specialist after all and I doubt there are many dessert options available. How is the consistency? Do they still have that softness or is the texture different?
Whoever said that oatmeal cookies are the best is clearly a very untrustworthy person. Chocolate chip cookies are by far my favorite; even better than those thin mint cookies girl scouts sell. To top it all off, this recipe is grain free and substitutes it with one of my favorite protein sources, almonds. I’ve never tasted almond flour before and I’m excited to try.
To have actually made this recipe, they ARE amazing!! Wow. Can’t tell you how many lousy almond flour cookie recipes I’ve wasted my life on.. the maple syrup seems to be the key to chewiness! These are amazing!! No, phenomenal. I acty found recipe seeking a dupe to the $18 GF V grain free Paleo chocolate chip cookie dough from Capello’s I recently discovered, but can’t reason to pay for on the reg .. & after doubling the salt & adding in some arrowroot flour, it is so dang close! Might be better! I’m shocked I was able to recreate it on my 1st attempt & recipe. TY to the author!! Oh, & I highly recc using Equal Exchange bittersweet chocolate chips. 70% cacao, organic & free of 8 top allergies. Best…
… just ate one ????at room temp.. ???? chips still melty n delish.. I gotsta say.. this cookie recipe REALLY holds up! Stands up to traditional ingredients & the timeless Tollhouse. Honest. This is a cookie for (nearly*) everyone!! (*sorry Keto’ers! This is for a cheat day/ treat anyhow. I avoid sugar myself, but will use maple syrup sparingly, outside of monk fruit & stevia on occasion .. & I absolutely find it a must here. After many a low carb/keto cookie fails of my past, I don’t believe natural or alternative sweeteners work here. It’s a cookie people. Eat 1.. or 2!????)
Wow, I always sort of associated gluten-free food as kind of boring and bland. This looks just as good as a normal chocolate chip cookie. Will this work with ordinary (non chocolate chip) cookies as well?
I was never taken to baking because a lot of the ingredients require the use of wheat flour. While not medically supported, I noticed that taking out ‘wheat’ from my diet has greatly improved my adenomyosis symptoms.
But since I love cookies, I sometimes end up eating them and suffer the consequence.
With this recipe, I can probably make my own cookies! Now, if only I can find almond flour in our supermarkets.
These look delicious; I can’t wait to try the recipe. We are always on the lookout for grain-free recipes because grains sometimes seem to take over our entire diet!
No matter how full you are there’s always room for some cookies, well at least there is in my case. It’s cool that they are gluten free since that means they’ll be easier on the stomach while still giving you all the energy you need.
I’ve never made anything with almond flour but cookies would be a great place to start. It almost seems better than white flour for this type of recipe. Is there anything different I should consider when cooking with it as compared to all purpose?
This is such a treat to know I can have cookies without flour. I can enjoy guilt-free! You described the ingredients well, and thanks for saying the percentage of cocoa needs in the chips to get that choclatey flavor. The only alternative cookie I have ever made was with buckwheat flour, which tends to be grainy in texture. I can see that using a food processor will give a smoother texture.
Interesting! I’ve never even heard of a grain-free cookie before. When you bake with almond flour, do you need to add some other flour? That’s what I have heard from my friends who are gluten free. Otherwise the recipe sounds delicious! I’m always trying to look for new recipes, and this may just be the next thing I’ll have to try. Thanks a bunch!
So it seems to me, that almond flour removes the grain from these cookies? That’s really awesome! I might use this recipe, but replace the chocolate chips with some nuts or dried fruits.
I would have thought they’d crumble apart without an egg as a binder! They look good though. I’m digging the idea of using maple syrup instead of straight sugar. And the fact that they’re gluten/grain free is great. I think I’ve gotten more sensitive to grains as I’ve gotten older, so I’m always keeping my eyes open for gluten-free options.
I love cookies, then again I think most people do! This seems a really straight forward recipe to follow even for someone like me who is pretty much hopeless at baking!
I think the fact they are grain free also will appeal to a lot of people, so I think this is a great recip
What I love most about this recipe is I can buy almost all of the ingredients at Costco. I am a Costco freak and I love that they have many organic, dairy free, carb free, and healthier options. I am excited to try these. I am curious how the mouth feel is. Do they turn crunchy or are they a softer cooker? The recipe seems easy enough that I will try it this week.
Very inspired right now. it could be the promise of a healthier chocolate chip cookie in my future. 🙂
This is wonderful, because I know plenty of people who have gluten allergies, so I might make these for them just because I can. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, I’m definitely going to try making these in the next couple of days. I wonder if they taste different.
Sadly I am allergic to all dairy products, so I am quite excited to see that these are dairy free. I have most of the ingredients in my cupboard, but I don’t have any maple syrup but I guess that dark agave nectar would substitute OK for it. I may have to try these at the next week when I have some spare time. I’m quite looking forward to trying them, but I think you may have the conversion from Fahrenheit to Celsius incorrect. 350F converts to 180C or Gas Mark 4.
These don’t sound too and, at all. My family tends to shy away from healthy or diet food. The only way to get them to eat decently is to trick them. I know it sounds horrible, but its my only option. All I need is the coconut oil and I’m ready to go. Thank you for this!
I have been gluten free for many years now, and I’ve got to say over the years gluten free food is getting better and better. The flavours and textures of the food is improving and becoming more like foods I could have before. Thank you so much for this recipe I will definitely try it. It sounds delicious.
Now that is what i call HEALTHY 😉 and obviously scrumptious and delicious… but i’m thinking after i make these cookies, i might break the rules a bit and have chocolate sauce nearby 🙂 …to calm the chocoholic within 😉
I’m going to have to look around at the prices of almond flour in my travels, because it was prohibitively expensive in the one shop where I found it. I have heard that shops like Trader Joe’s have it for much lower prices, but there isn’t one nearby. I love the idea of using maple syrup, because it’s always been a favorite of mine, so these are something I’d like to try out when I can get the ingredients.
This is a very interesting approach to chocolate chip cookies. I never thought of using almond flour for CC cookies, but I bet it tastes delicious. A good batch of CC cookies already has a sort of nutty, almondy flavor, so I can imagine these probably taste really good. I do wonder what the consistency and texture is like, though.
I agree I am trying to cut down our gluten intake. I am seeing this trend more and more these days. I love grains and prided myself on eating as many as possible. So when I saw grain-free cookies it caught me off guard a bit. I will try this recipe though..not sure how I feel about taking grains out of our foods. Could this be a fad..would love some opinions on this matter.
Now these look really interesting. I’m not allergic to anything, fortunately, but there are times when I find a need to make cookies in a hurry and am missing one or more of the normaingredients. These would make an excellent alternative as I would normally have all these ingredients to hand. Thanks very nuch – I shall try them.
I’m also not giving up on grains, I have heard that they might be bad for you, but I also think that cutting them off your diet can be something really radical and even prejudicial. But sometimes it would be good to try some healthy snacks, especially on summer days when people have some extra time to be at home and eat unhealthy things, and I think that this one will minimize the guilt just perfectly, lol.
Thanks for sharing! 🙂
These cookies look good and that almond flour sounds interesting. I’m really interested in trying to make a pie crust with it. I’m not on any kind of strict diet, just like to experiment with different things in the kitchen.
These are wonderful! Along with many other ingredients, my daughter cannot have coconut oil, so she substituted half a mashed up avocado and they turned out great. Even my kids that don’t have allergies enjoyed them!