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Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hint: they don't taste like coconut.

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by Angela Gallardo in Desserts, Recipes

chocolate chip cookie

chocolate chip cookie

chocolate chip cookie

I’m not sure just how many times I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to make a good batch of grain-free chocolate chips cookies.  It’s been about 3 years since we began moving toward a Paleo way of eating so you can imagine just how many chocolate chip cookie cravings have gone unsatisfied.

First things first:  Coconut flour does not belong in chocolate chip cookies.

Yeah, I said it.  All you nut-baking-haters can keep your opinions to yourself.  You can have your nut-free coconut-flour cookies and eat the whole batch yourselves cause I don’t want a single one.  Even when grain-free, cookies are a cheat food–a special occasion treat that I’d really only allow myself to have maybe once a month.  Do I have a problem with baking (and oxidizing) nuts on a monthly basis?  NOPE.

The thing about Paleo is it’s AMAZING but also sometimes hard to stay sane.  Strict, dogmatic Paleolithic eating can cause social isolation and feelings of dissatisfaction in life.  Not an exaggeration, I’ve been there myself (AIP, anyone?).  While that might be super fun for us introverts, it’s not a healthy place to stay long term.    And if occasional cookies (that taste pretty close to the real deal!!) give you a little extra pizzazz, I am fully supportive.

As per the norm, there are a few ingredients that are regulars in a Paleo pantry but not necessarily easy to come by.

Avocado oil adds a lot of moisture to these cookies and using a refined cold-pressed version will not alter the resulting flavor, plus it’s safer for high heat than extra virgin.  (<–this brand is also found in most Costcos for much cheaper)

Almond flour is best if blanched and super finely ground; this is a recipe where that matters.  Honeyville is a reliable brand for that, moreso than Bob’s Red Mill.  (<–Honeyville is another Costco find and if it isn’t in your local store, Costco online has free shipping)

Tapioca flour or starch (same thing) can be found in most specialty stores and often Asian groceries.  Arrowroot starch/flour may be used in it’s place but I haven’t tried it.

Grass-fed gelatin is a gift from the Paleo baking gods.  Get a good, clean brand and bask in the wonder that is the chewiness it provides to grain-free baked goods.

Good quality chocolate chips like those made by Enjoy Life are dairy/nut/soy-free.  Plus they are mini and duh, little things are often so much better.  If all you have is Hershey’s, use them up in this recipe and then don’t buy them again. 🙂

Grain-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 tbsp. grass-fed butter, softened*

¼ c. pure avocado oil

¼ c. maple syrup

1 tsp. vanilla extract or vanilla bean powder

1 pastured egg, chilled

1 ½ c. blanched almond flour (<–best if super finely ground)

3 Tbsp. tapioca flour/starch

2 Tbsp. grass-fed gelatin

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. sea salt

⅓ c. high-quality dark chocolate chips (<–gluten/dairy/soy-free)


Preheat the oven to 350F.

Combine the butter, avocado oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Mix on medium speed until smooth.  Add the egg and mix to incorporate it.  Turn the speed to high and mix for 1-2 minutes, or until the mixture has doubled in volume and is lighter in color.

Add the almond flour, tapioca flour, gelatin, baking soda, sea salt, and chocolate chips.  Mix on low to incorporate, scraping down the sides as needed.

Using a cookie scoop, place 2″ balls onto a lined baking sheet.  Press the tops down to flatten the dough slightly.  Bake 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies begin to turn golden.  Serve warm and keep extras in a sealed container for up to a week.

*Note:  I have not yet tried this recipe with ghee or coconut oil.  If you do, please leave some feedback in the comments!  When I do try variations, I’ll update the recipe with my thoughts.

Variations: mix in ½ c. toasted coconut flakes, add a bit of almond extract, or (personal favorite) sprinkle a bit more sea salt over the cookies before baking.

  1. Carmen says:

    Hi! I made these cookies yesterday and they were really yummy! But, mine came out flat and a tad spongy. Do you have any thoughts on why that happened? Also, did you soften your butter before mixing?

    1. Hey Carmen! I’m glad you liked them. Yes, the butter should be softened and I apologize that it was not listed before in the recipe! If the butter is soft, you’ll be able to whip it with the eggs to put air into it and help keep the cookies from going flat when baked. If you did this and followed the recipe exactly, my best guess is you may have just flattened them too much before baking. I scoop and then push the tops down just a tiny bit so they are no longer rounded. I hope you’ll give them another go! 🙂

      1. Oh, and spongy is likely from the gelatin. I prefer this texture because without it, you don’t get any chewiness at all. If it’s too much, you can always try using less gelatin next time.

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