Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies that are Delightfully Unrefined


Several years ago, I fell in love with The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, which is now in it’s 3rd edition. It’s filled with delicious ways to enjoy vegetables, and the “healthified” dessert recipes should not be ignored. I decided to try the Coconut Cashew Cookies, but adapted them to be less coconut, since my husband is not a huge coconut fan. I made a few modifications, and the result was these delicious and downright nutritious gluten-free vegan chocolate chip cookies. They’re warm and comforting with hints of maple and a slight cookie dough vibe texture. I originally posted this recipe over a decade ago, but am giving it a big update!

Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe - made with Unrefined Sweeteners and Whole Grains! Naturally dairy-free, egg-free, and soy-free.

Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies that are Delightfully Unrefined

These have a unique but addictive flavor that is maple-rich. Once allowed too cool, they are very cohesive, particularly for gluten-free AND egg-free gems. Yet, they still have a nice thick cookie dough-esque texture (not cake-like in the least bit!) that I simply adored. Like all recipes in The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook, these cookies are free from refined sugars, and made with “whole food” ingredients.

Just so you know – I did try to “gluten” these cookies in a second batch, since I know that many of you don’t have a problem with wheat (all of the recipes in The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook are gluten-free), and may not have the flours and xanthan gum on hand. I replaced the brown rice flour with whole wheat pastry flour and removed the xanthan gum. I kept the starch since these are egg-free. The cookies worked, but just weren’t as good in my opinion; they were a wee bit too sweet and spread a bit more. I actually really like them the gluten-free way. I you do opt for wheat flour, I might up the flour just a smidgen.

Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe - made with Unrefined Sweeteners and Whole Grains! Naturally dairy-free, egg-free, and soy-free.

Special Diet Notes: Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, soy-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies (Unrefined)
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
These delicious cookies have hints of warm maple in the flavor and a tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: about 1 dozen cookies
  • ½ cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • ¼ cup tapioca starch or flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup coconut oil, softened
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar, evaporated cane juice (sucanat) or brown sugar (I used coconut sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons warm water
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Place the nuts in your spice grinder (or food processor) and pulse until you get a powdery flour-like consistency. It is okay if a few little cashew bits remain, but if you go too far with the grinding, the cashews will turn into a nut butter.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the cashew flour, brown rice flour, tapioca, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, maple syrup, sugar, and water. Add the flour mixture and stir until you get a nice dough. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. The dough may seem a bit sticky / greasy, but I still found it fairly easy to loosely shape into balls. If the dough is just too much to handle, pop it in the refrigerator for about 10 to 15 minutes, it will firm up quickly. Flatten the dough balls a bit – these cookies don’t spread much as they cook, so what you see is what you get.
  6. Bake the cookies for 12 minutes.
  7. Remove the cookies to a wire rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. If your husband’s greedy hands try to pop them off the baking sheet while hot, they will be crumbly, but they do firm up quite a bit as they cool.

More Healthier Gluten-Free Vegan Baked Goodies

Bethenny’s Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes

Bethenny's Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe for Healthy Dessert - dairy-free, plant-based recipe from the Skinnygirl!

Mamma’s Big Batch Breakfast Cookies

Mamma's Big Batch Breakfast Cookies Recipe - naturally plant-based and gluten-free, made with oats, almond flour, and maple syrup

Chocolate-Glazed Grain-Free Doughnuts

Chocolate-Glazed Doughnuts Recipe from The Recipe Hacker Confidential - Gluten-free, Dairy-free and Paleo!

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.

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