Guilt-Free Pecan Pie Cookies (Paleo & vegan)

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Paleo Guilt-Free Pecan Pie Cookies (vegan) - Allergy Free Alaska

A subtly sweet shortbread topped with pecan pie filling… does it get any better?

When I was little, my mom made sure we had pecan pie every holiday; it was my dad’s favorite. Since changing my eating habits I wanted to make a healthier alternative to the sugar-filled classic, something I didn’t have to feel guilty about eating.

These Guilt-Free Pecan Pie Cookies are definitely guilt-free (Paleo & vegan). And tasty too!

I am willing to bet you will have a hard time NOT eating the filling… just make sure you save enough of it to fill the cookies.

Enjoy… and please let me know how you like these! I love comments!

Guilt-Free Pecan Pie Cookies (Paleo & vegan)
Serves: about 18 cookies
For the filling:
  • 1/3 cup dates, chopped
  • 5 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans, chopped
For the cookie base:
  • 2 1/4 cup blanched almond flour, gently packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1-2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To make the filling:
  1. Cover the chopped dates in 1 cup of hot water and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla extract. Stir until the coconut oil is just melted and then remove from heat.
  3. Drain and discard the hot water from the dates, and place the dates in a blender with the saucepan contents. Blend until smooth, pour back into the saucepan (so you don’t dirty another bowl) and then stir in the sea salt and chopped pecans. Set aside.
To make the cookie base and form the cookies:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the almond meal, sea salt, and baking soda. Whisk in the coconut oil until the dough resembles coarse crumbs.
  3. Stir in the maple syrup, vanilla, and almond milk. Start with 1 tablespoon of almond milk and add another tablespoon only if the dough needs more moisture to pull it together.
  4. Roll the dough into balls (using about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough each) and place on the cookie sheet. Flatten the balls of dough and use your fingers to make a well (or indentation) in the middle of the cookies.
  5. Generously fill the cookies with the pecan pie filling (and I do mean generously fill, otherwise you will be left with a lot of filling left over).
  6. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown.
  7. Allow the cookies to completely cool on the cookie sheet (otherwise they will fall apart).

This recipe is linked to Freaky FridayGluten Free FridaysHealthy Vegan FridaysSimple Meals FridayFight Back FridayAllergy Friendly FridayWellness WeekendMonday ManiaMy Meatless MondaysMake Your Own Monday, Tasty Tuesday,  Slightly Indulgent TuesdaysTraditional Tuesdays, Teach Me Tuesday Fat Tuesdays,Wheat-Free WednesdaysAllergy Free WednesdaysGluten Free Wednesdays, Foodie Fridays, and the EOA Link Up.

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    • Megan says

      Hi Kari,
      Possibly palm shortening, just keep in mind I haven’t tried it myself. If you do try it, please come back and leave a comment to let us know how they turned out. :)
      Good luck!

  1. says

    Megan, these are absolutely brilliant. Seriously. Not only do I love the flavor combo…but I LOVE little finger foods. I want these NOW.

    Great recipe my friend.


  2. says

    Oh yum! I made a very basic cookie the other day using coconut oil and almond flour for the first time last week and it was absolutely gorgeous. My husband even liked it and he never likes my baking normally. These look like a luxury twist on the simple cookie I made. I adore pecans so I’m definitely going to try this. Thank you.

    • Megan says

      Hi Katherine,
      I love the combination of almond flour and coconut oil. I think they compliment each other beautifully; you just can’t go wrong with either! :) I can’t wait to hear what you think of these. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. says

    I love almond flour cookies made with coconut oil! The protein works great to stabilize my blood sugar. And I was so surprised by the depth of flavor the combo creates. This is going on my list for holiday baking. =)

  4. says

    Love the sound of these cookies. And I love how versatile the base of the cookie is. They would be delicious with all sorts of fillings (although I’m partial to this pecan pie!).

    • Megan says

      Hi Alyssa,
      Thank you! Yes, these would be great with all sorts of fillings. :) Although, I’m with you… I’m partial to the pecan pie!

    • says

      My husband’s family make a cookie called pecan tassies where the crust is done in a mini muffin pan… I just might have to test it out with this cookie! I like to make GF things that appear “normal” and expected.

  5. says

    I don’t know if these can really be called “guilt free” when you eat half of the pecan topping before topping the cookies. :) My cookies melted in the oven (not your fault…a curse must have been put upon me at one time, because I always melt cookies) so they look a lot different than yours, however the taste is FABULOUS!!! I have blisters on my tongue to prove it since I couldn’t wait to let them cool before eating them. AWESOME recipe!!

  6. says

    HI Megan! Your cookies look awesome! I love pecans, we had to ditch them over a year ago with a slew of food allergies that were DX in our house. I am sure you understand :) Happy to connect with you and happy to have you link up!

    Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :)
    I hope to see you again this week!

    Stop by this week to see if you were the winner of the Sugar and Spice Prize pack! We had a super great variety of recipes and entries this week!

    Cindy from

  7. says

    I made these the other day and they turned out absolutely amazing! Came out exactly like the picture, and my husband came back for seconds (and thirds). The only problem I had was they didn’t last long enough! :) I guess I’ll have to make a double batch next time. Thanks so much for the recipe, Megan!

  8. says

    These look absolutely amazing. I feel guilty eating a regular (gluten free, of course) pecan pie, but these sound like a wonderful, guilt free treat.

    • Megan says

      Hi Tara,
      I’ve stored these in an airtight container at room temperature overnight, but they’ve never lasted long enough for me to see how they do longer than that (they get devoured)! I would probably recommend storing them in the refrigerator past 24 hours.

  9. says

    I think I might just make the filling and call it a day! It sounds absolutely mouthwatering. I’ve never been one for cookies or pies, but I’m always a fan of what’s inside: warm cinnamony apples? yes, please. Chocolate chips by the handful? – of course! I think the crust takes away from my eating experience, but I may be crazy.

  10. Sarahlynn says

    Hi Megan,
    I just made your Pecan Pie Cookies, and they are amazing! A little flatter than yours, but still lovely and so delicious. For anyone up high- I’m at 6500 feet, and I used the half the amount of baking soda, and upped the oven temp 15 degrees with great results. Thanks for such an amazing recipe! I’ll be eating the leftover filling on GF waffles tomorrow morning :)

    • Megan says

      Hi Sarahlynn,
      You are so welcome! I don’t have any experience baking at a high altitude, so your tips are very much appreciated! :) And what a great idea… a waffle topping. YUM!!

  11. June says

    I made these yesterday and they were delicious…better than the mini pecan pies I made years ago!

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipe!

  12. says

    this filling is ridiculous1 I just LOVE it…and although not guilt free in my book….it is certainly a much better option than most! Next time I will try hem as tartlets or bars, so good Megan…he reader fav this week was a good pick!

  13. Shanon says

    I use your recipes like crazy! I would love if you made it so the actual recipe could be printed without printing all 10 pages of pictures and comments. Keep sharing and thanks for your time!

  14. Ann Baker says

    Made these and everyone loves them! I used palm shortening and they turned out great. Its hard to use all the filling – you could make a small tart with the amount of filling the recipe calls for. Thanks for a new addition to our holiday favorites.

  15. Gina says

    Are you some kind of a genius??? How do you come up with these wonderful, all natural recipes. You truly have a gift and you are helping the world with it Megan. I know so many people who would love these that only eat whole, natural desserts. Thank you …. again

  16. Ashley Bruno says

    Did you use the solid coconut oil or the liquid version? I find that i have a hard time baking with the solid one sometimes

    • Megan says

      Hi Ashley,
      The solid; I don’t trust the liquid coconut oil. Coconut oil in its true form is supposed to be solidified at room temperature. Some trust the liquid coconut oil, but I don’t. They have to do something to it to keep it liquid, so it’s just not my preference!

    • Megan says

      Hi Jacqueline,
      Thanks so much for stopping by, and thank you for featuring my recipe on the EOA Link Up!

  17. says

    Just made these today for my hubby’s birthday. He loves pecan pie, but since we went Paleo almost a year ago, we haven’t had any. I just wanted something special for him today. These cookies are ah-mazing and fit the bill perfectly! I wouldn’t change a thing, and they will be a keeper for my family! I’m just sad I didn’t find these before the holidays. I will add them to my baked gifts next year! I will be spending some time looking around your blog for other recipes. Thank you so much. Also, I think I will follow the idea one poster had about adding chopped bacon to the top.mmmm…..

  18. Kelly says

    These are amazing!!!! My family makes pecan tassies every year for thanksgiving (they are similar to these but with flour, butter… You get the idea) and I am grain-free, vegan, and low-sugar, so when I tried this recipe I was in heaven! Well done.

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  20. says

    I just made these cookies for my husband’s birthday, and they are awesome! We have been eating Paleo for four months now. One of his favorite desserts is pecan pie, so when I came across this recipe I had to give it a try! I have never been a fan of pecan pie before because I always thought it was way too sweet, but these had the perfect amount of sweetness to them. My husband loved them too, so they were a huge success at our house!!

  21. Angie says

    These are awesome!! I just tried another version – just the base with a bunch if cinnamon & a little almond extract. Tastes just like a snickerdoodle cookies!! Yum!!

    • Megan says

      The base of this cookie is slightly crumbly, but they hold together quite nicely. They aren’t abnormally crumbly. I don’t recommend adding an egg – it would completely change the texture and make the dough too wet.

  22. says

    I love these cookies, but the spread a lot. sort of like one big cookie with blobs of pecan pie filling that did not spread. What did we do wrong? We made the cookies according to the recipe.

    • Megan says

      Hi Laurie,
      When you measured out the blanched almond flour, did you pack it in the measuring cup? Like you would if you were measuring brown sugar? If you did, it might just be a difference in temperature/humidity. Maybe try refrigerating the cookie dough until it’s good and cold, and then form and bake your cookies. That should help prevent them from spreading so much. Hope that helps! Merry Christmas!

    • Megan says

      Hi Olivia,
      I don’t recommend it. Almond meal bakes differently than blanched almond flour. It’s more dry than the blanched version, and normally produces crumbly and dry baked goods.

  23. Cheri says

    I can’t have coconut or almonds. Is there another GF flour and milk that will work in place of the Almond and also a replacement for the coconut oil?

    • Megan says

      Hi Cheri,
      This recipe was written specifically for the blanched almond flour and coconut oil. If you can’t have either, this probably isn’t the right recipe for you. What about this Gluten Free Pecan Pie recipe instead? You can substitute organic cane sugar for the coconut sugar. 😉

  24. says

    I stumbled across this while looking for Paleo desserts. I am bookmarking these and pinning them. They look delicious and I’ll be creating my own version of them ASAP! Thanks for the great recipe.


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  2. […] I totally missed out on pecan pie this Thanksgiving due to my paleo lifestyle. I didn’t feel like cooking a whole pie for myself, but I’ve been craving that buttery crumbly crust ever since. Megan from Allergy Free Alaska is here to rescue me with her paleo AND vegan Guilt-Free Pecan Pie Cookies! […]

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