If you’re looking for a healthy yet delicious treat, look no further than gluten-free pecan pie cookies! These delectable treats are gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, and sweetened only with dates and maple syrup. Best of all, they taste just like the classic gluten-free pecan pie in cookie form, with a chewy texture and a rich, nutty flavor.
The base of these pecan pie cookies is almond flour shortbread, also used in Paleo pecan pie bars. It’s a sturdy but soft base with a light vanilla flavor that holds up to the pecan pie filling.
Are you looking for another vegan and Paleo dessert recipe? Try these almond flour banana muffins, caramel coconut cookies, or Paleo almond joy from Beaming Baker.
Gluten-Free Pecan Pie Cookies
Yield: about 18 cookies
For the filling:
- ⅓ cup dates, chopped
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon almond milk
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅛ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ cups pecans, chopped
- 2 ¼ cup blanched almond flour, gently packed
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 5 tablespoons coconut oil, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1-2 tablespoons almond milk
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
To make the filling:
- Cover the chopped dates in 1 cup of hot water and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
- 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.
- 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.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the blanched almond flour, sea salt, and baking soda. Whisk in the coconut oil until the dough resembles coarse crumbs.
- 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.
- Roll the dough into balls (using about 1 ½ 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.
- 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).
- Bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the bottoms of the cookies are golden brown.
- Allow the cookies to completely cool on the cookie sheet (otherwise they will fall apart).
I’m definitely going to have to try these!
Is there an oil that I could substitute for the coconut oil?
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. 🙂
kim ersan says
Just say No to Palm Oil. There is coconut oil that is flavor reduced. Since it is impossible to tell the difference between sustainably harvested or otherwise it is just a great idea to avoid palm oil at all costs! <3
Toni Finan says
I agree…just say no to palm oil. 😉
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.
Thank you dear friend! I wish you were closer, because I would share my stash with you! 🙂
Katherine Natalia @ Green Thickies 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.
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!
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. =)
Thanks, Marya! 🙂
Queen of Quinoa 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!).
Thank you! Yes, these would be great with all sorts of fillings. 🙂 Although, I’m with you… I’m partial to the pecan pie!
Cassidy @ Cooking Gluten (& Dairy) Free says
What an awesome idea! Thanks for the great recipe 🙂
You are totally welcome, Cassidy! Thank you!
These are ingenious!!! They’re going in my Christmas baking pile!!!!
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.
Awesome! 🙂 Thanks, Anne. You’ll have to let me know what you think of them!
Laura's Gluten Free Pantry says
These sound heavenly Megan! Yum, yum. I can never pass up pecan pie so these cookies are right up my alley!
Sweet Laura! Thank you! 🙂
These couldn’t look anymore delicious…I am sucker for pecan pie (the real stuff!)! Pinned for trying!
Thanks, Tessa! 🙂
glutenfreedairyfree (@glutenfreedairy) 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!!
Thank you!! I had an issue eating half of the pecan topping too… he-he!!
Cindy (Vegetarian Mamma) 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 vegetarianmamma.com
🙂 I can’t wait to try these! These look amazing.
How long can these be kept and/or do they freeze well?
Lisa Sands 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!
These look fantastic Megan! My mom is a die hard Pecan Pie fan so I want to bake her a batch! Thanks for another great recipe. 🙂
Jen | my BIG FAT grain free life says
These are DEFINITELY going to be on my dessert table for Christmas! I love pecan pie too and pecan tassies that I’ve not been able to make for years. I’m so excited to get to make these! Thanks so much for this great recipe!
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.
Rachel @ Almonds and Avocados says
Wow! These look amazing! You’ve combined all of my favorite ingredients in an awesome little cookie!
Thanks, Rachel! 🙂
How should I store these? Making now (Friday night) for part on Sunday.
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.
Jodye @ Chocolate and Chou Fleur 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.
HA!! I like the way you think! 🙂
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 🙂
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!!
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!
You are so welcome, June! 🙂
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!
Oh my, these do look delicious, Megan! And I love all the ingredients. Thanks for sharing them for this month’s cookie theme.
Pecan pie anything gets my attention. These look lovely! Must try. Thanks for posting.
Kirstie Starr says
I’m thinking these could only benefit from a chocolate drizzle. Thanks for posting this recipe!
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!
Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) says
Oh, these look amazing! Perfect for the holidays!
These look absolutely DELICIOUS! I think I’ll try them next time I’m craving pecan pie!
robert madda says
these look incredible. will make them tomorrow with my kids.
Just made a batch and they are insanely good! Topped a few of them with bacon, heaven!
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.
These are wooooonderful!
I made these on Christmas Eve and they were amazing!!! I made less filling by using only 1 cup of pecans. They were amazing!
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
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
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!
Jacqueline @ Deeprootsathome.com says
This is an awesome recipe, and I agree; it is guilt-free! I would like to feature this tomorrow on the ‘EOA’ Wednesday link-up!! Great post! Thanks for sharing at Deep Roots at Home 🙂
Thanks so much for stopping by, and thank you for featuring my recipe on the EOA Link Up!
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…..
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.
Aww… Kelly, thank you! I’m very happy you enjoyed them and that they worked for your dietary needs! 😉
How lovely are these Megan! I must try them!
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Laura (Cooking off the Land) 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!!
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!!
is the cookie crumbly cuz there are no eggs? If so is there a way I can incorporate eggs with out loosing the cruchy texture?
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.
Hi, I added one tablespoon of cassava flour to the cookie mix to make sure they would hold together and used prunes instead of dates. Not a date fan. They turned out fabulously. Will be a staple in holiday baking every year. They also warmed up well. Love the recipe. Could not keep the family out of them before Christmas and had to hind them.
Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life says
These look AMAZING!! Pinning! What a great treat to find at #FoodieFridays!
Christie Campbell says
I’m a total sucker for anything with pecans. These are seriously on my list. I would eat the whole pan. I kid you not!! Thank you for linking up with #FoodieFridays.
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.
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!
olivia Lumia says
Can i use Almond flour/almond meal in replace of BLANCHED almond flour?
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.
Delicious, just made this for Christmas.
Thanks for sharing the recipe.
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?
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. 😉
Love Paleo Desserts 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.
I made these tonight, followed the recipe exactly and they turned out perfectly! And they are delicious! The whole family loved them. Thank you so much for all the hard work you put into developing your recipes. You help make living gluten free much easier. 🙂
Heather | Cook It Up Paleo says
These look really good! Pre-paleo, my friends and I would make homemade pecan pie (read; mostly corn syrup) with white flour flaky crust; so good! I also love that these are cookies rather than a big ol’ pie; I can indulge without having to have a huge slice of pie!
Hi there! These look so yummy and I want to make them for thanksgiving next week! Could i substitute regular flour for the almond flour without much difference? I would love for you to let me know!
Unfortunately regular flour will not work in this recipe. It was written specifically for blanched almond flour, which is higher in fat (less drying) than regular flour.
Delicious! Made these tonight with my kids – easy to make and yummy!
That’s awesome, Diane! 😉 Thank you!
Made these for Christmas dinner. Boy oh boy were they delicious. Everyone, and I mean everyone, loved them. There is certainly lots of leftover filling, but I put a blob in my oatmeal and used it to dip banana slices in. Deeeeelicious.
***Beware of the cookies sticking. I put down aluminum foil for easier cleanup, however they stuck to the foil real bad. Spray with some coconut oil first.
I’m so glad you enjoyed them! Next time you make them, try using parchment paper or a silicone mat. They work best for non-stick!
Hannah mama says
Can I substitute the almond flour for a gluten free blend? Or coconut flour? I’m wondering since I have both of these at home already, trying to see if you’ve tried this combo before and if it works, before I go buy this almond flour.
This recipe was written specifically for almond flour. Almond flour can’t be simply swapped out for another GF blend, because it’s much more oily (because of the natural fats from the almonds). In order to use a GF blend in this recipe, one would have to increase the fat, maybe include a binder (like egg, etc) in order to compensate for the dryer flours. Hope that helps!
Fiona Saluk says
I love that you use almond flour for these – one of my favorite flours right now and goes so well with dates. Looks like a great recipe I can’t wait to try!
Do you think I could replace the dates with sugar pumpkin purée instead? Maybe to make it a pumpkin pecan cookie? Sounds like a great recipe and have it on my to do list to try 🙂
No, I don’t think that would work. The dates are sticky, so they act as a binder holding everything together. 😉
Thank you! I can’t wait to try this recipe out!
Has anyone tried honey instead of maple syrup? I am not fond of maple syrup but I use honey as a sugar substitute.
Hi Victoria, While I haven’t tried honey in this recipe, I’m sure it will work just fine. 😉
Hello! I miss baking in my old (but not as healthy life). This gives me an opportunity to fill that need! Thanks!! Is the almond milk sweetened or unsweetened? I use unsweetened Vanilla in my morning smoothies. Thanks!
Either is just fine, Tommi! 😉
tara davis says
Hi Megan, These cookies look and sound fabulous! Amy Green just posted them as part of her holiday cookie bundle. I’m so glad to have these in my stash of cookies. I’m GF and Vegan so these are totally up my alley.
So excited to make them. Thank you!
Monica Baxendale-Cooper says
Kelly,, thank you for sharing this recipe. The cookies sound scrumptious. Can’t wait to make them.
Hi- These look amazing! Any suggestions for almond flour substitutes? I’d like to make these for a friend who has almond allergies in addition to being gluten and dairy-free.
I developed this recipe specifically with almond flour in mind. There is no easy substitute, unfortunately. Almond flour is very moist due to the natural fats in the almonds. If you were to make these using a GF all-purpose mix, you’d have to also compensate with more fat, moisture, etc. I’d be a completely different recipe (that I haven’t experimented with or attempted).
Patti Schwabe says
Megan, thank you so much for this recipe! I bake cookies for the holidays but don’t eat them b/c I am diabetic. I followed the recipe but substituted sugar free maple syrup for the maple syrup. O my goodness! What a treat! The filling was perfect! The dough was very sticky so I added a little coconut flour to make it handleable, maybe 2-3 Tablespoons. Easy to work with & I topped each w/a pecan half so they turned out pretty as the picture! And yummy!! Almond flour doesn’t impact my blood sugar so this is a great find! Thanks again! Happy Holidays!
You are so welcome! Thank you so much for coming back and leaving me a comment with your substitutions. I had no idea there was such a thing as sugar free maple syrup! That’s great – I’m very happy these worked for you! 🙂
Happy Holidays to you, too!
Holy wow! These were just amazing! Tasted exactly like pecan pie! I must try your whole pecan pie recipe next!
INCREDIBLE!! JUST WHAT I WAS CRAVINGֱ CAME OUT DELICIOUSֱֱ THANK YOU SO MUCHֱ
Absolutely! Thanks, Molly! I’m glad you enjoyed them.
These are fantastic!!!!!!
I used walnuts instead of pecans, because that’s what I had on hand. I never buy pecans since they are so pricey where I live. Walnuts are much cheaper and this recipe was absolutely delicious.
Oh! Glad to hear the substitution worked well, Jenny! Thanks!
These cookies were a huge hit for the holidays this year! I made them twice and they came out totally beautiful, tasty, and consistent both times. Thanks for the share! I was wondering about the half pecan topper you used in the pics, looks pretty… would you top it with a raw or toasted nut?
Awesome, Taryn! I’m so happy you enjoyed them! I must confess, that pecan topper was thrown on haphazardly after the cookies were baked, just for pictures. So if you were to move one of those cookies in the photo, the nut would fall off. If I were do it for “real” though, I’d use a raw pecan, and nestle it into the pecan pie filling before I bake it. That way it would stick, and toast in the oven. 🙂 Hope that helps!
Very yummy, and easy too! Tasted almost exactly like pecan pie! ? #PaleoWin
WOOHOO! Yay! So glad you think so, Bailey! Thanks. 🙂
Laura Farmer says
Hi, these look great for Thanksgiving as a treat for my friend who can’t have the regular pie – can I make these in advance and, if so, how long i advance? Thanks!
Hi Laura! I’m so glad they will work for your friend! I prefer these made the day of… the blanched almond flour will be slightly crisp on the outside, while the inside stays soft. The day after, the cookie portion loses its crispness around the edges. That said, they are still delicious the day after. I wouldn’t make them anymore in advance though, than 1 day.
I forgot the dates. ? Anything that I can use in place of them? I’m not sure if they’re purpose is for thickening or sweetening.
Oh no, April! Unfortunately there is no substitute for them in this recipe. The dates thicken, sweeten, and bind the recipe ingredients together.
Hi – can I make these with GF baking flour? And is the dough supposed to be dry-ish?
No, I don’t recommend making these with GF baking flour. This recipe was written specifically with blanched almond flour in mind. Blanched almond flour is high in healthy fats, so the dough stays moist. GF baking flour does not contain the same level of fat and natural oils.
I just made these for a party and people loved them! No one would have know they were gluten free if I hadn’t told. So excited! Finally something with awesome flavor and texture. Holidays will be doable now! Thank you! Yum yum ?
I’m so happy to hear that, Joann! Thanks for coming back and letting me know you tried them!
1. Do you have nutritional values available? I am on a Keto diet and am wondering if that will work.
2. You say almond flour but in the directions you mention almond meal. Can they be interchanged?
No, I do not provide nutritional values for my recipe at this time. Sorry about that.
Thank you for pointing that out! That’s actually a typo. They are two different things, but blanched almond flour should be used in this recipe. I’ll correct that! 🙂
Any idea how will these will keep? My daughter is gluten free and I plan to include them at Christmas. I would like to make as far ahead as possible. Thoughts?
Hi Wanda, I prefer to enjoy them the day I make them. If you make them ahead of time, the air gets to them and they become softer. Not a bad soft, but I definitely prefer them day of.