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This gluten free chocolate chip cookies recipe is soft and chewy outside and slightly crisp outside with a decadent brown sugar butter flavor. It’s also paleo and easy to make vegan!

top view of grain free chocolate chip cookies on marble countertop

Chocolate chip cookies are one of life’s simple pleasures. They’re quick, easy and fun to make, and smell amazing when baking. Offer anyone a plate of chocolate chippers and a glass of milk and watch their face light up.

On the rare occasions that my mom baked when I was a kid, these were the cookies she made. They feel like home.

I wanted to come up with a version of these cookies that I can feel better about eating that doesn’t sacrifice the things we all love about chocolate chip cookies.

After more tries than I care to admit or remember (lol!), this recipe nails it.

This gluten free chocolate chip cookies recipe is crisp outside and soft and chewy inside with rich buttery brown sugar flavor notes. These cookies set up more as they cool, but honestly I love sneaking one off the tray while they’re still warm. It’s gooey chocolate chip perfection!

homemade paleo chocolate chip cookies stack

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  1. Chewy and gooey with a buttery caramel-y brown sugar flavor. You would never guess these cookies are gluten free!
  2. We don’t use a gluten free flour mix. Instead, we use 3 types of gluten free flour that you probably already have in your paleo pantry if you’re familiar with gluten free baking: almond flour, tapioca flour, and flaxseed meal.
  3. This recipe doesn’t use any funky thickeners or emulsifiers. If you’re sensitive to xanthan gum or just steer clear of the stuff, this is the recipe for you.
  4. Special diet friendly. In addition to being gluten free, these cookies are naturally grain free and paleo as well. And they’re easy to make vegan and/or dairy free with a couple quick ingredient swaps (instructions are given in the recipe below).
overhead view of a stack of gluten free chocolate chip cookies with sea salt

Soft and Chewy Paleo Friendly Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Ingredients in the Best Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

In this section I explain the ingredients and give substitution ideas. For the full recipe (including ingredient amounts), please see the recipe card below.

  • Almond flour – this is the base flour for these cookies
  • Tapioca flour – this gluten free, grain free, paleo flour helps create the perfect chewy texture; arrowroot starch will also work, but for the best texture use tapioca flour
  • Flaxseed meal – acts as a binder and helps with structure; use golden flaxseed meal for cookies that look as close to original chocolate chip cookies as possible
  • Baking soda – we still need a leavening agent even though these cookies are gluten free; here we use baking soda instead of baking powder because we also add an acid (apple cider vinegar)
  • Salt – a natural flavor enhancer
  • Unsalted butter – for strict paleo, you can use ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil instead; for vegan, you can use vegan butter or coconut oil instead
  • Coconut sugar – this paleo sweetener has a similar flavor to brown sugar and lends notes molasses-y notes to the cookies
  • Pure maple syrup – no maple-flavored syrup please, lol! This adds a touch of smoky sweetness and also helps bind the cookies so they aren’t crumbly
  • Egg – lends structure and acts as a binder
  • Vanilla extract – for flavor and aroma
  • Apple cider vinegar – improves flavor and texture (and don’t worry, you can’t taste it)
  • Chocolate chips – you can use any brand of paleo friendly and/or vegan friendly chocolate chips you like
  • Chopped nuts – such as walnuts, pecans, almonds, or pistachios; these are optional, you can omit them and add double the amount of chocolate chips if you like
  • Flaky sea salt – this is optional for sprinkling on top; personally, I think a little pinch of flaky sea salt sprinkled on chocolate chip cookies takes them to the next level!
breaking chewy grain free chocolate chip cookie in half

How to Make Chewy Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Step 1: Make the Dough:

Whisk together the almond flour, tapioca flour, flaxseed meal, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together the butter and coconut sugar in a large bowl, and then whisk in the maple syrup, egg, vanilla, and vinegar.

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, and fold in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts.

Step 2: Chill:

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill 8 hours (or overnight).

baking gluten free chocolate chip cookies

Step 3: Bake:

Preheat the oven to 365F. Line 2 large baking trays with silpat baking mats or parchment paper.

Use a 1.5-tablespoon scoop to measure the dough, roll it into balls, and arrange the dough balls on the prepared baking trays.

Bake until the cookies are golden and set along the outside, about 10 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through. Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the flaky salt.

Cool slightly so they stiffen a little and serve warm.

paleo chocolate chuck cookie with gooey chocolate on silpat

Storage

Similar to regular chocolate chip cookies, this grain free and gluten free version stays fresh pretty well!

You can store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or layer them between pieces of parchment paper in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.

gluten free chocolate chip cookies with sea salt on marble counter

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe FAQs

What Holds Gluten Free Cookies Together?

In gluten free baking, we don’t use wheat, so we need something to replace the gluten that would normally give the baked goods structure and elasticity.

In this recipe, we use a blend of gluten free paleo flours to achieve the right texture (this is why I don’t recommend using only almond flour for this recipe). Also, the eggs and maple syrup act as binders and help hold these gluten free cookies together.

Can I Make These Vegan Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies?

Yes! It’s very easy to make this cookie recipe vegan, and there are just a couple swaps you’ll need to do.

  1. Omit the butter, and use an equal amount of coconut oil or vegan butter.
  2. Instead of the egg, use a flax egg. Simply mix 1 tablespoon golden flaxeed meal with 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes before using. (You will still need to add the 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal to the dry ingredients like the recipe calls for.)
  3. Make sure your chocolate chips are vegan. Enjoy Life is one of my favorite brands of vegan chocolate chips, and it’s available on Amazon.

Can I Make These Gluten Free Cookies Dairy Free?

Yes! To make these cookies dairy free, simply omit the butter and instead use an equal amount of coconut oil or vegan butter.

Do I Really Need to Chill the Dough?

Yes, friends. Good things are worth the wait! And I’ll explain to you why…

This dough is wet and sticky before letting it chill. Giving the dough time to rest in the fridge results in the best texture and flavor possible.

As the dough chills overnight (or for 8 hours), the fat solidifies, which helps prevent the cookies from over-spreading as they bake. This results in soft, chewy cookies instead of thin, flat cookies.

Additionally, refrigerating the dough overnight makes the most flavorful cookies. This is because it gives the dry ingredients time to fully absorb the wet ingredients, which we call hydration.

And last but not least, when the dough is fully hydrated (because the flour has had the time to properly absorb the liquids), the cookies bake more evenly.

More Gluten Free Cookies to Make

front view of gluten free chocolate chip cookies on marble countertop

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Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe (Paleo and Vegan Friendly)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Other Time8 hours
Yields: 12 cookies
This gluten free chocolate chip cookies recipe is soft and chewy outside and slightly crisp outside with a decadent brown sugar butter flavor.

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Ingredients
 

Instructions
 

  • Whisk together the almond flour, tapioca flour, flaxseed meal, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the butter and coconut sugar in a large bowl, and then whisk in the maple syrup, egg, vanilla, and vinegar.
  • Stir the dry ingredients into the wet, and fold in the chocolate chips and chopped nuts.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill 8 hours (or overnight).
  • Preheat the oven to 365F. Line 2 large baking trays with silpat baking mats or parchment paper.
  • Use a 1.5-tablespoon scoop to measure the dough, roll it into balls, and arrange the dough balls on the prepared baking trays.
  • Bake until the cookies are golden and set along the outside, about 10 minutes, rotating the trays once halfway through. Remove from the oven and sprinkle on the flaky salt.
  • Cool slightly so they stiffen a little and serve warm.

Notes

  • Chocolate Chips: You can use whatever brand of paleo friendly or vegan friendly chocolate chips you like.
  • Butter: You can use ghee or coconut oil instead of butter if you’re a paleo purist.
  • Storage: Store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or layer them between pieces of parchment paper in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Dairy Free Version: Simply omit the butter and instead use an equal amount of coconut oil or vegan butter.
  • Vegan Version: 1) Omit the butter, and use an equal amount of coconut oil or vegan butter. 2) Instead of the egg, use a flax egg. Simply mix 1 tablespoon golden flaxeed meal with 3 tablespoons water in a small bowl and let it sit for 5 minutes before using. (You will still need to add the 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal to the dry ingredients like the recipe calls for.) 3)Make sure your chocolate chips are vegan. Enjoy Life is one of my favorite brands of vegan chocolate chips, and it’s available on Amazon.

Nutrition

Serving: 1cookie | Calories: 206kcal | Carbohydrates: 18g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 25mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 46mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 154IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Best Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe, Grain Free Chocolate Chip Cookies, Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies, Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

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Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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Recipe Rating




One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I made your cookies, they are yummy. Soft, chewy, nice flavor. I would think any GF person would be happy with these if they craved a chocolate chip nut cookie. I will make them again. Thank you for the recipe and all your good tips.

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