Gluten-Free Vegan Macadamia Cookies
These gluten-free vegan white chocolate macadamia nut cookies are perfect for those with allergies. If you like them soft and chewy then you will love these cookies! They contain just a handful of simple ingredients and can be made with minimal mess.
Recently, I made a batch of macadamia nut cookies to take to a gathering and they were very well received. I also loved the cookies and wanted to make more for myself!
That batch of cookies were made with only macadamia nuts and I didn’t add anything else to the cookie dough. But as you’ll probably know, white chocolate chips are a super popular addition to macadamia cookies! So that’s exactly what I added to this gluten-free version.
I’ve had quite a few requests for gluten-free vegan dessert recipes over the years but steered clear for the most part, mostly because of lack of knowledge in that area. But it’s something I want to get better at and as they say, practice makes perfect!
I’ve been meaning to test out my cookie recipe with gluten-free flour for the longest time but have only got around to it now. And I have to admit, it wasn’t quite as simple as switching the wheat flour for a gluten-free blend like I’d hoped. It took a good few tries but I got there in the end and I’m super pleased with this recipe!
More gluten-free vegan desserts:
The gluten-free blend has a very strong flavour that totally overpowered the cookies when I first made them. They were also a little bit drier and crumbly. So I had to make a few changes to get them closer to the soft and chewy white chocolate macadamia nut cookies that I know and love!
The first change was that I doubled the amount of flax ‘egg’. I usually use 1 anyway when baking cookies but I had to double it for this recipe, or rather reduce the quantities of everything else. A flax egg is simply a mix of ground flax seeds and water. It becomes gelatinous and sticky and helps the cookies stick together, in the same way that eggs would (hence the name).
Because of the additional moisture from the extra bit of flax egg, I also had to increase the amount of flour slightly, which helped to keep the cookies sturdy. This actually surprised me, because I’ve usually had to decrease the total amount of dry ingredients when testing with gluten-free flour.
Lastly, I increased the baking time ever-so-slightly. When making the cookies the usual way, I bake small amounts of dough for ~8 minutes. These cookies needed 12 minutes to stay sturdy once cool. They also spread a lot more, so keep that in mind when you’re placing them onto your baking tray!
How to make vegan gluten-free white chocolate macadamia cookies
Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F, or 180°C/350°F if you have a fan or convection oven. Have 1 or 2 non-stick cookie sheets to hand or line a tray with baking paper. I usually bake 5-6 at a time to allow for spreading.
In a small bowl or mug, mix together 1 tablespoon of ground flax seeds with 1 tablespoon of water. Set it aside for a few minutes. It will become thick and gloopy and will act as your egg replacement.
It’s important that you use ground flax seeds instead of whole seeds, otherwise it will not gel together correctly.
In a large bowl, cream together 100g of vegan margarine, 100g of caster sugar and 75g of light soft brown sugar. Then add the flax ‘egg’, along with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix well.
Next, add 210g of gluten-free self-raising flour blend. I recommend using Dove’s Farm which is available in most large supermarkets, in the free-from section. If you can’t get that, try to get a blend that contains xanthan gum, otherwise you’ll need to add this in separately, around 1/2 teaspoon.
Mix it in until everything starts to stick together then press it together with your hands to form a ball of dough.
Add 50g of chopped macadamia nuts and 40g of vegan white chocolate chips. Use your hands to knead them into the cookie dough.
I used Moo-Free white baking drops for this recipe. If you can’t find vegan white chocolate chips you can use any vegan white chocolate bar and chop it into small chunks instead.
Divide the dough into 8 equal sized pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Flatten the balls of dough to around 1/2 an inch thick and place them onto your baking tray. Make sure to leave a few inches of space between each one as they will spread a lot while baking.
Bake for 12 minutes and leave them to cool completely on the tray before removing them. They may look pale and under-baked at first but will firm up when they are cool. Do not try to pick them up while warm as they will fall apart.
Dairy-free white chocolate chips are quite hard to come by but my go-to ones are Moo-Free baking drops. If I can’t get those then I’ll use a white chocolate bar chopped up into chunks instead, as I did with my white chocolate cookies. Some of my favourites are The Free From Kitchen Co., Tesco free-from and Sainsbury’s free-from.
I only recommend using a gluten-free blend. I haven’t tested this recipe with other flours such as almond and coconut. They will not work in the same way as the blend.
If you can’t find a “self-raising” gluten-free blend, just use a plain/all-purpose blend and add 2 teaspoons of baking powder to it.
I recommend storing them in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in tin foil. You can store them at room temperature or in a cool, dry place such as a kitchen cupboard.
If you store them correctly as advised above, they will last for around 4 days.
You sure can! To freeze, just pop them into an airtight container, with a piece of baking paper between each layer if you’re stacking them. This will stop them from sticking together once frozen and it means you can defrost the exact number of cookies you want at any time.
To defrost them, just transfer them to a wire rack or plate and leave them to sit at room temperature for an hour or two until they’ve completely thawed. I do not recommend refreezing them.
I hope you enjoy the recipe. Please leave a comment and/or rating below if you do, and let me know if you’d like to see more gluten-free vegan desserts on the blog. Happy baking! xo
Vegan Gluten-Free Macadamia Cookies
White chocolate chip and macadamia nut cookies without eggs, dairy or gluten.
- 1 Tablespoon Ground flax seeds
- 100 g Vegan margarine* (3.5oz or ¼ cup + 2 tbsp)
- 100 g Caster sugar (½ cup)
- 75 g Soft brown sugar (⅜ cup)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 210 g Gluten-free self-raising flour blend** (1 + ⅔ cups)
- 50 g Chopped macadamia nuts (~7 tablespoons)
- 40 g Vegan white chocolate chips (~5 tablespoons)
Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F (or 180°C/350°F if you're using a fan or convection oven). Have a non-stick cookie sheet or two to hand, or line a large tray with baking paper.
Mix the ground flax seeds with 1 tablespoon of water and set aside to thicken.
In a large bowl, cream together the margarine, caster sugar and brown sugar. Add in the flax seed mixture along with the vanilla extract and mix well.
Next, add in the flour and mix until it starts to stick together. Then use your hands to press it into a dough. If the dough is too sticky, you can add more flour.
Gently knead the macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips into the dough.
Divide the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Flatten the balls to around ½ an inch thick and place them onto the baking tray. Leave around 2-3 inches of space between each one to allow for spreading.
Bake for 12 minutes and leave them to cool completely on the baking tray before removing them. They will look under-baked when they first come out of the oven but will firm up as they cool.
- *I recommend using the spreadable margarine style rather than the blocky, buttery style. The latter will cause the cookies to spread too much.
- **Use a self-raising flour blend that contains xanthan gum. I recommend Dove’s Farm. If your blend doesn’t contain it, add 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum to the recipe.
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.