Gluten Free & Vegan Coconut Cookies

Gluten Free & Vegan Coconut Cookies | The Gluten Free Vegan

It’s cookie time!

If you love coconut (like we do) then you’ll love these. If you’re not a fan of coconut, it’s okay, you can skip this one. There are three ways coconut is present in these cookies so I don’t even want to start giving substitution recommendations.

Levi called these a coconut shortbread and in a way I think he’s right. These do sort of look and feel (on the tongue) like shortbread – but with a nice coconut kick. (I refuse to say has the same ‘mouthfeel’ as shortbread cookies because I refuse to say ‘mouthfeel’ ever. REFUSE!)

The first time I made these I thought it would be a good idea to whip up the coconut oil with the sugar a lot to incorporate a lot of air into the mixture. I figured air = delicate and not tough. Well yes, air does = delicate but that also = cookies that fall apart when they’re baked. So, yes, you do want to beat the coconut oil and sugar together, but don’t go all crazy and whip it into a frenzy like I did the first time. I promise it’ll turn out better for you this way.

I wanted to give substitution options for swapping out the granulated sugar but all the other options I have at home would change the color of these cookies drastically. If you don’t care about keeping the cookies nice and light in color then feel free to substitute coconut sugar. (Yes, more coconut!) I haven’t experimented with these cookies using a liquid sweetener like agave or maple syrup so I can’t say how it affects the overall dough. If you really want to try, I’d suggest using less than the amount for white sugar – say 1/3 cup agave nectar or maple syrup and increase from there. You don’t want a runny cookie dough.

Though I say you can use either sweetened or unsweetened coconut in this recipe I honestly think you should use unsweetened shredded coconut. These cookies are plenty sweet enough on their own without needing the sweetened coconut. But then, I live with Levi who has an insane sweet tooth and probably would enjoy the sweetened coconut if I had used it.

This dough will come together nicely and you should be able to form it into a ball or pinch the dough and have it stick together. That’s how you know it’s ready to roll. You should be able to form the dough easily into 1″ balls without it sticking too much to your hands or being too sloppy and falling apart.

These cookies aren’t crispy. They’re not soft. They’re almost … airy. They’ll melt in your mouth. They might seem crumbly right after you bake them but if you let them sit for a few hours they’ll firm up even more and have less chance of falling apart on you.

Gluten Free & Vegan Coconut Cookies | The Gluten Free Vegan

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gluten Free & Vegan Coconut Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A cookie that is reminiscent of a delicate and airy shortbread with a triple-threat of coconut.
Recipe type: Cookies
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ¼ cup sorghum flour
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum
  • 1 cup sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the work bowl of your mixer combine coconut oil and sugar. Beat until well combined. Add vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl sift together the brown rice flour, cornstarch, sorghum flour, coconut flour and guar gum.
  4. Add the flour to the coconut oil mixture along with the shredded coconut. Mix to combine. The dough should form a nice ball.
  5. Divide dough into 1" balls, rolling gently between your palms. Place on prepared baking sheet and lightly press with the heel of your hand, making sure to leave enough room between cookies to bake evenly.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until lightly golden brown around the edges.
  7. Let cool completely before removing from baking sheet.
  8. Let cool for a couple hours before serving.




  1. Jessica says

    Very good recipe, however, I might’ve made them too thick in my first attempt because they were really dry and broke apart to easily. I did a little bit of research on good vegan binders and decided to try mashed bananas. After rolling the cookie dough balls I pressed them with a fork to make them thinner. They came out great :) thank you so much I am enjoying your recipes.

  2. Annmarie says


    I’m curious, did you use both the xanthan gum and the banana, or did you omit the xanthan

    gum and use the banana instead?

    Thanks for your helop!

    • Astra says

      To Annmarie,

      I tried the recipe with a banana instead of the xanthan gum, using less coconut oil as well (I used… 2/3 of a cup? That’s as much oil that was in the container I had and I had doubled the recipe too, so 1 and 1/3 cup of coconut oil, and it… actually worked out *really* well.

Leave a Reply