Chocolate Cherry Fudge Drops for Your Gluten-Free Cookie Exchange


We’re heading into the cookie high season, so I’m doubling down today with two cookie recipes. This second one is gluten-free, but all of my friends (gluten-free or not) have loved these chocolate cherry fudge drops. They’re also nut-free, and of course, dairy-free!

I first made this recipe years ago when my friend Carol Kicinski released Simply … Gluten-free Desserts. Carol doesn’t focus on dairy-free recipes, but she is one of the premier gluten-free recipe creators. And I find her recipes very easy to adapt. These chocolate cherry fudge drops, for example, were practically dairy-free as is, and came out so wonderfully rich and decadent.

Chocolate Cherry Fudge Drops Recipe - these chocolate cherry fudge cookies are naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free & even optionally nut-free. Perfect for your next cookie exchange!

Reader Raves: Chocolate Cherry Fudge Drops

I have some new photos, and Carol now has many gluten-free cookbooks! So I thought it was time to give this recipe post a refresh. After all, it is cookie season! And what better way to enjoy it than this very popular recipe. Everyone I served them to LOVED these cookies, and no one knew they were gluten-free and dairy-free. I had five different testers, and all wanted more. And I had these comments on my other blog from readers who made them.

These are SO GOOD. They don’t just look good people they are FANTASTIC. I’d say in the top ten cookies I’ve tasted all year. And my blog is called Cookies and Crafts, so I don’t mess around with cookies. ~ Katie

i made these cookies 3 days ago, and wanted my gluten eating husband to eat them also. well, he doesn’t like dried Cherry’s, so i used sun-sweet figs, that i chopped up. holy cow, they are fantastic. now I’m giving him dirty looks when he goes to the cookie jar! leave some for me 🙂 ~ Mary Lour R.

But don’t just trust us, bake these chocolate cherry fudge drops for yourself!

Chocolate Cherry Fudge Drops Recipe - these chocolate cherry fudge cookies are naturally dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free & even optionally nut-free. Perfect for your next cookie exchange!

Special Diet Notes: Chocolate Cherry Fudge Drops

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, gluten-free, optionally nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cherry Fudge Drop Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe is adapted from Simply … Gluten-free Desserts by Carol Kicinski.
Serves: 18 cookies
  • 4 ounces dairy-free dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, palm shortening, or dairy-free buttery spread (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons brown or white rice flour
  • ½ tablespoon tapioca starch or potato starch
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup dried cherries, chopped
  • ⅓ cup dairy-free chocolate chips or dark chocolate chunks
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds (omit for nut-free)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the chocolate with the oil, shortening, or buttery spread.
  3. Let the chocolate cool for 2 minutes. Then whisk in the egg, sugar, flour, starch, vanilla, and baking powder until smooth.
  4. Stir in the dried cherries, chocolate chips or chunks, and almonds (if using).
  5. If the mixture is still a little thin, let it cool for another 5 minutes. It will continue to thicken as it cools. You don’t want it to get too thick, just thick enough to scoop and so that it doesn’t run all over the baking sheet.
  6. Scoop the dough by the tablespoonful into mounds on your prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are firm and the tops lose most of their shine and look cracked.
  8. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then move them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Carol’s Top Gluten-Free Cookbooks

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. I’m a veteran cookie maker but these cookies ran all over the pan. Wouldn’t make them again unless someone could help me fix that. Thanks for any suggestions 🙂

    • Oh no! This hasn’t happened to me or any others that I’ve noted who’ve made Carol’s recipe. You used egg, correct? What chocolate did you use? Are you baking at higher altitude? Cookies can spread more / come out greasier at higher altitude (I bake at both high and low altitude, so I’ve seen this a lot).

  2. Would these cookies turn out fine if we omitted the slivered almonds and the cherries or do they add something special? I cannot have nuts and my daughter doesn’t like cherries.

  3. Hi Alisa,
    I am new to the gluten free dairy free world and am trying to find recipes that I think my picky 8 year old will like. I have also joined the bandwagon so that he is not alone in this journey to good food and good health! He can not have eggs, so what can I use instead? And how much? Thanks so much!!

  4. Thank you for this yummy recipe! I had my doubts when it called for so little flour and starch and baking powder. I had to make some substitutions and they still turned out great. Not sure if they were supposed to cook up soft or crispy, but mine are crispy.

    Here are my substitutions (and they might not work the same for you because I am not a perfect measurer and altitude affects baking/ingredients):
    -Substituted arrowroot powder for tapioca/potato starch (only thing we can use; too many allergies in my family!)
    -Substituted 1/8 tsp baking soda plus a pinch of cream of tartar for the baking powder
    -Substituted 1tsp flaxseed meal mixed with 1/3 cup hot water and microwaved in 15 sec intervals stirring between each “zap” until mixture has a texture like an egg that has been slightly beaten. This was in place of the one large egg.

    I think this recipe needed a little more moisture. Next time I’ll add a small amount of coconut milk (1 TBLS, perhaps) just to help it all hold together a little better, but all in all this is a nice little cookie with a wonderful dark chocolate flavor!

    Here are two other tips: make sure you chop the dried cherries and the slivered almonds. I didn’t chop up either and it made it difficult to make the cookies hold together, but they still did. I just felt it would be a bit nicer presentation with smaller chunks in the end.

    Love, Love, LOVE these cookies! So nice to have a cookie that tastes normal but meets all our dietary restrictions 🙂

    • Linda, so glad you enjoyed the recipe and great to hear that you were able to do them egg-free for your family! They are chewy cookies, but I’m guessing they were more crispy due to the egg substitute. Flax eggs often make for slightly drier baked goodies. You might try using a little mashed banana instead of the flax for the egg to retain moisture a little better, but still add some binding help.

      I really appreciate you commenting with all of your adaptions – this helps many people! 🙂

  5. Pingback: Gluten free, Dairy free, and other WTF baking | Cupcake PhD

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