Spiced Cardamom Pepper Cookies – Flourless, Dairy & Refined Sugar Free

Spiced Cardamom Pepper Cookies – Flourless, Dairy & Refined Sugar Free

Cardamom Pepper Cookies


Creating A Healthier Flourless Cookie

There’s nothing like a serious cookie craving to spur on the creation of a new cookie, which is exactly how these Cardamom Pepper Cookies came to be.

I wanted a cookie that was so delicious it felt like a treat, but also semi-healthy with no butter, flour or refined sugar. I’ve created cookie recipes in the past with similar intentions, such as these Ginger Coconut Cookies and these Christmas Spice Cookies, but I wanted to take these cookies one step further by forgoing refined flour completely and replacing it with ground almonds.

Almonds are a great source of vitamins A & E, phosphorus, potassium, essential fatty acids and fibre, and most importantly in this case, plant protein and fibre.

When you’re eating something with sugar in it such as a cookie, it’s best to combine it with some form of protein and/or fibre. Protein and fibre slow down the absorption of sugar into the blood stream which in turn helps prevent any unwanted blood sugar spikes.


The Secret To Using Ground Almonds In Cookies

When I first made these cookies I didn’t quite have enough ground almonds for my recipe, but I did have whole almonds. So I decided to make up the difference by grinding my whole almonds into almond meal.

I was surprised to discover when I made the same recipe again using solely store bought ground almonds, and then solely almonds I ground myself, I couldn’t reproduce the same delicious cookie.

After some thought I realised this was because store bought ground almonds are ground much finer than what I could achieve in my food processor at home, and as such are more similar to a traditional flour. By combining the finely ground store bought almonds with my slightly chunkier home-ground almonds the cookie came out with a much better texture.

So to ensure you get the BEST results for these Cardamom Pepper Cookies, be sure to follow the recipe and use a combination of store bought ground almonds and almonds you blend yourself.


The Best Unrefined Sweetener For Cookies

When choosing a sweetener for these cookies (and baking in general), I look to unrefined sugars such as coconut sugar, coconut nectar, rice syrup or pure maple syrup, as these have a lower glycemic index than refined sugar.

Another benefit of unrefined sugars is they haven’t gone through an intensive refining process so they retain a lot more of their minerals and antioxidants such as calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and zinc, unlike refined white sugar which is simply empty calories. 

An even better choice of sweetener (if you’re able to incorporate it into what you’re making), is a whole food sweetener such as dates or fruit. Whole food sweeteners are ingredients in their original “whole” form and therefore contain all their inherent nutrients as well as dietary fibre, which is fantastic for slowing down the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream.

Of course it’s worth remembering, unrefined sugars and whole food sweeteners are still forms of sugar and as such theu should still be used and eaten in moderation. 

For these Cardamom Pepper Cookies, in order to create a good texture the best choice of sweetener was coconut sugar because of its dry, granular form.


How To Spice Up Your Cookies

At the last minute I decided to keep things interesting by adding in couple of spices. These turned out to be cardamom and black pepper and I wasn’t too sure if this combination was going to work, but the result was surprisingly delicious!

Rest assured the pepper flavour is very mild in these cookies, so if you’re unsure I encourage you to give it a try. But if pepper in a cookie sounds absolutely terrible to you, then by all means leave it out. Likewise with the cardamon, as these cookies are just as delicious with a simple teaspoon of vanilla powder.

Like most Swoon Food recipes these Cardamom Pepper Cookies can be whipped up in a matter of minutes, the recipe makes 20 large, chewy or crunchy cookies (depending on how long you cook them for), and they will 100% satisfy even the strongest cookie craving!



Cardamom Pepper Cookies


I’d love to hear from you if you make these cookies! Leave a comment below, and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or facebook.


Cardamom Pepper Cookies

Makes:  20 cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes  Bake time: 15-20 minutes

100g almonds whole
100g ground almonds (store bought)
100g coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp himalayan pink salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
80g coconut oil, melted
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 160ºC fan bake and line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or baking paper.

To melt the coconut oil place it in a bowl set over a pan of steaming water. It doesn’t matter too much about keeping the temperature of the coconut oil low for this recipe as you’ll be baking the cookies in a hot oven.

Grind the whole almonds by placing them in a food processor and blend until they resemble bread crumbs, a few coarser bits are fine. If you don’t have a food processor then you can just buy all your almonds ready ground, however, the results might be slighly different to the cookies pictured (as discussed in the blog post above).

Combine the two quantities of ground almonds, coconut sugar, cardamom, salt, pepper and baking powder in a bowl. Stir in the melted coconut oil followed by the egg.

Roll spoonfuls of cookie mixture into rough balls and place on the prepared baking trays about 10cm apart to allow for spreading. Press the balls down and form into a round cookie shape. You should get about 20 cookies.

Place the cookies into the centre of the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. The cookies are ready when they have risen and formed a soft crust, and turned a slightly darker golden brown. They will be slightly soft to touch when you first take them out but should harden up as they cool, although will still remain chewy. If you prefer a softer cookie simply take them out a little early and they will stay soft & chewy.

These cardamom pepper cookies will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks in a sealed container.


Cardamom Pepper Cookies


Christmas Spice Cookies with Whipped Cashew Cream Icing

Christmas Spice Cookies with Whipped Cashew Cream Icing

Christmas Spice Cookies with Whipped Cashew Cream


Gingerbread cookies have become a Christmas tradition of ours over the past few years, and while I have a great classic gingerbread recipe using butter, sugar, golden syrup, treacle and wheat flour, I wanted to create a healthier type of Christmas spice cookie with a lot less sugar, and no dairy or wheat.

This Christmas cookie recipe actually started out as chocolate chip cookies (which I will share soon) and slowly had spices added, sugar reduced and chocolate taken out, until they eventually became spice cookies and I realised they would make the perfect Christmas Spice Cookie.

Even though I have called these Christmas cookies, they can be eaten any time of the year and cut in any shape you like. If you don’t have cutters or a rolling pin, instead of patting the dough out flat as specified in the method, roll them into logs, chill and then cut off rounds with a knife.

These cookies are so light and more-ish we managed to almost polish off the whole first batch in an evening. Several batches later, they only got more delicious and we may have eaten our weight in christmas cookies over the past couple of weeks! Luckily, they’re a lot healthier than your standard gingerbread cookie as they’re made with a much lower amount of unrefined sugar and contain ground almonds which add a protein element.

As it’s now the week before Christmas, I wanted to decorate these cookies as I would the traditional ones, so rather than using the standard royal icing which is a mix of icing sugar and egg white, I created a slightly heathier icing from whipped cashew butter, coconut oil and maple syrup. The cashew icing pipes almost the same as royal icing, and while it takes longer to set and doesn’t go rock hard, it’s a great option or people wanting to avoid refined sugars or raw egg.

I hope you give these cookies recipe a try over the holidays and if you post any pictures to social media such as Instagram or Facebook be sure to tag #swoonfood @swoon.food so I can come and admire them! Enjoy x


Any questions or comments about this recipe? Leave a note in the comments section below, I love to hear from you!



Christmas Spice Cookies with Whipped Cashew Cream


Christmas Spice Cookies

Makes: Approximately 20 cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes Chill time: 30 minutes Cook time: 10-15 minutes

100 g ground almonds
100g rice flour
150g coconut sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch Himalayan pink salt
100g coconut oil, gently melted
1 egg, lightly whisked with a fork

Whipped Cashew Cream Icing

60g coconut oil, gently melted
30g pure maple syrup
30g cashew butter


freeze dried raspberries, crushed
freeze dried black currants, crushed

To make the cookies: melt the coconut oil by placing it in a bowl set over a pan of steaming water. Combine the ground almonds, rice flour, coconut sugar, spices, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Add the melted coconut oil, stirring with a butter knife until evenly combined – the mixture should look like wet crumbs. Add the egg and mix until the mixture starts to come together.

Lay some cling film out on the bench, pile the cookie mixture into the middle and top with another piece of cling film. Pat the cookie dough down into a flat round shape, and use a rolling pin to roll it out to about 5mm thickness. Seal the sides and place on a flat surface in the fridge to chill for approximately 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 170ºC fan bake and line two baking trays with baking paper or silicone baking mats.

Remove the chilled dough from the fridge and place on your bench top. Loosen the cling film from the dough by peeling it off and then lightly replacing it. Do this to both sides as this will stop the cookies from sticking to the cling film and make them easier to pick up. Peel the cling film off the top side entirely, cut out shapes using cookie cutters and place on the prepared trays.

When the tray is full place the cookies back in the fridge to chill for a further 10 minutes as this will help the cookies hold their shape when baking. Gather any cookie dough leftovers back together and re-roll the dough between two sheets of cling-film. If you work fast you don’t need to chill the dough again before cutting out the shapes. But if you find it sticking too much, return it to the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.

Once the cookies have chilled place them the centre of the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Cooking times will vary depending on your oven and whether you like your cookies chewy (less time) or crispy (longer). The cookies are cooked when they have risen slightly, turned a golden brown and if you lightly press the tops lightly they should bounce back.

Remove from the oven and leave the cookies to cool on the trays, then transfer to a wire rack to decorate.

To make the whipped cashew cream: place the coconut oil in a heat proof bowl set over a pan of steaming water with the heat turned off. When the coconut oil has just melted remove it from the heat. Add the maple syrup and cashew butter and whisk to combine. The mixture will be liquid at the point and needs to cool down so that it can be whipped into a cream. Either place the bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes or freezer for 5 minutes until you can see it start to set around the edges. Use a whisk to whip it into a light caramel coloured cream. If it sets too hard before you can whisk it simply set it back on top of the pan of hot water for a few minutes and try whisking it again.

Spoon the whipped cashew cream into a piping bag and pipe decorations on the cookies. Place the crushed freeze dried berries on small plates and carefully dip the iced cookies into the powder.. The whipped cashew cream will take a couple of hours to set fully but can be stored in a single layer in an air-tight container in the meantime. These cookies will last up to 2 weeks iced or 1 month un-iced, whren stored in an air-tight container at room temperature.

Festive Christmas Cookie with Cashew Cream Icing

Oreo Cookies

Oreo Cookies


"Oreo" Cookies - a dairy and gluten free recipe 050aw


The inspiration for this homemade “Oreo” cookie recipe came after a version appeared on the counter of our local coffee shop. Nick bought one for himself and I ended up eating most of it because they tasted so damn amazing!! Unfortunately for me, however, they were full of butter and wheat flour which was not so amazing.

These cookies were so good they made me want to create a dairy and gluten free version so that next time Nick bought one I wouldn’t be tempted, with the knowledge I had en even better version at home.

So after a little trial and error, I give you my version of homemade “Oreo” cookies! These are made with coconut oil instead of butter and a combination of brown rice flour and cornflour instead of wheat flour. Despite these adaptations, these “Oreo” cookies taste so good that I don’t think anyone would be able to tell. The vanilla creme filling especially tastes exactly like the originals yet is so much better for you as it only contains 4 ingredients!

The secret to the lovely dark chocolate cookie colour is to use good quality Dutch process cocoa powder. The other secret to these “Oreo” cookies is the addition of a little salt. Enjoy x


When you give these delicious cookies a try and I would love to hear your thoughts!

Did you like the recipe? Do you think they taste like the originals?

Tell me in the comments section down below!



"Oreo" Cookies - a dairy and gluten free recipe 118aw


Oreo Cookies

Makes: Approximately 15 large cookies or 25 small
Prep time: 40 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes

230g coconut oil, softened
360g raw sugar (or coconut sugar works well too)
1 tsp vanilla powder or essence
1/4 tsp himalayan pink salt
2 eggs
100g brown rice flour
100g cornflour
140g dutch cocoa

Place the softened coconut oil and sugar in a bowl and beat until pale and creamy. If using a stand mixer use the paddle attachment for this. The mixture won’t look exactly the same as when you cream butter and sugar but it will be similar. Add the vanilla and salt, then the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until well combined. Lastly add the flours and cocoa powder and carefully mix on low with the paddle attachment (or by hand) until the mixture comes together. It will form quite a sticky dough. Divide the mixture into two and roll each half between two sheets of baking paper to about 5mm thick. Place the sheets of cookie dough into the fridge to firm up (approximately 30 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Once the dough is firm remove from the fridge, peel back the top sheet of paper and cut out cookies using a cookie cutter of your choice. I used a quite large 8cm circle for the cookies in the photos, but a 5cm cutter would work well too. Use a palette knife or thin fish slice to carefully lift the cut cookies off the rolling paper and place on lined baking trays. Re-roll any leftovers and continue to cut out cookies until all the dough is used up. If the dough starts to get warm return to the fridge before baking to avoid the cookies losing their shape.

Place the cookies in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until the tops are firm. Cool the cookies on their trays for about 10minutes (to avoid breaking the cookies), then transfer to a wire rack.

Vanilla Creme Filling

150g coconut oil, softened
300g icing sugar
1/2 vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder
pinch himalayan pink salt

Place all the ingredients into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat on medium with a paddle attachment. If using a hand held mixer, beat the softened coconut oil, vanilla and salt first and then carefully mix in the icing sugar to avoid it flying everywhere. Once the ingredients are all combined turn the speed up to high and whip the creme filling until smooth and creamy.

To assemble the cookies:

Line up cookies in matching sizes. If you have a piping bag use a wide, plain nozzle to pipe a circle of the creme filling onto the underneath side of one cookie, quite near the edge, and top with it’s matching half. Alternatively use a knife to spread the creme onto the cookies as close to the edge as possible and then place the matching cookie on top and give it a gentle squeeze.

Store these cookies in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.



"Oreo" Cookies - a dairy and gluten free recipe 124aw



Easy Ginger Coconut Cookies – A Healthy Gluten Free/Vegan ANZAC Biscuit Recipe

Easy Ginger Coconut Cookies – A Healthy Gluten Free/Vegan ANZAC Biscuit Recipe

Ginger Coconut Cookies


Creating The Perfect Gluten & Dairy Free ANZAC Cookie

Over the summer these Ginger Coconut Cookies have been a pantry staple as I worked on perfecting the ultimate vegan ginger cookie recipe.

My goal was to create a crunchy ANZAC style cookie without any gluten, dairy or refined sugar – that still tasted just as good as the original!

This turned out to be harder than I thought. Banana for example, does not make a good sweetener for cookies unless you’re looking for a very cakey, soft cookie. Coconut flour doesn’t work either as it makes them extremely dry and crumbly.

Four batches (and a lot of cookie eating) later, I finally have a recipe that fits the bill!


Ginger Coconut Cookies


Substituting Ingredients

For these winning Ginger Coconut Cookies I replaced refined sugar with coconut sugar and a little pure maple syrup, both of which have a lower glycemic index than standard sugar.

ANZAC cookies naturally contain no eggs, so I replaced the butter with coconut oil to make them vegan, which also means you can legit eat the cookie dough raw!

Instead of oats and flour I used dried coconut, buckwheat and brown rice flour to ensure these cookies are also gluten free.


Choose Your Texture With The Cooking Time

The texture of these cookies is entirely in your hands!

If you love a chewy, caramel flavoured cookie, bake them for the minimum 15 minutes. But if you like your cookie with a bit more crunch, leave them in the oven for another 5-10 minutes and you’ll have a lovely crisp ginger cookie.


Ginger Coconut Cookies


I hope you love these cookies as much as I do, leave me a comment below and be sure to tag your pictures #swoonfood on Instagram or facebook.



Ginger Coconut Cookies (Vegan/Gluten Free ANZAC Biscuits)

Makes:  20 cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes  Bake time: 15-20 minutes

100g coconut oil
1 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1/2 cup thread coconut
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup brown rice flour
2 tsp ground ginger
pinch himalayan rock salt
1Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 tsp baking soda
2 Tbsp boiling water

Preheat the oven to 170ºC and line two baking trays with baking paper or silicone baking sheets.

If you’e making these in summer your coconut oil will already be soft and ready to use. If not, gently melt the coconut oil.

Combine the coconut oil with the coconut sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the buckwheat and brown rice flours, ginger and salt, and stir to combine.

Mix the baking soda with the boiling water in a small bowl, add the maple syrup and combine with the dry mixture stirring well.

Shape the mixture into small balls and press into a flat cookie shape on the lined trays. Leave approximately 5 cm between each cookie to allow for spreading. Bake for 15 minutes if you’re after a chewy cookie or 20-25 minutes if you prefer them crunchy.

Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks, or the freezer for 1 month.


Ginger Coconut Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

Chocolate Hazelnut cookies


These chocolate hazelnut cookies were a request from my sister and are inspired by the amazing Little Bird Unbakery. All their food is raw and organic, and their cakes are made without dairy, gluten, sugar or soy, so they are THE ultimate guilt free treat.

In particular, they make a raw organic chocolate hazelnut cookie that is essentially like a decadent breakfast cookie. It’s quite a soft cookie filled with oats and hazelnuts and just a little sweetness, so you feel super healthy eating them even when you come across a chunk of dark chocolate.

My interpretation of this chocolate hazelnut cookie is lightly baked because I don’t own a dehydrator (yet!), however, they contain no dairy, gluten or refined sugar, and are full of whole food goodness in the form of hazelnuts, oats, coconut and apple. The recipe below makes approximately 12 large, soft, moist cookies. Enjoy!



Chocolate Hazelnut cookies


Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies

100g rolled oats
50g thread coconut
50g desiccated coconut
70g hazelnuts
20g coconut sugar
pinch of himalayan pink salt
100g dark chocolate (I used 72% cacao with no milk products)
250g apple purée (see note below)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
50g coconut oil

Preheat oven to 160°C fan bake, and line two oven trays with baking paper or silicone mats.

Finely chop the hazelnuts (or blend in a food processor) until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs and place in a bowl along with the oats, dried coconuts, coconut sugar and salt. Roughly chop the dark chocolate into bite size chunks, add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

Gently melt the coconut oil over low heat and add to the mixture along with the apple purée and maple syrup, and stir well. The mixture should come together and be slightly sticky. Place tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared trays and press lightly into shape.

Bake in preheated oven for approximately 25 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool on a rack and then store the chocolate hazelnut cookies in a sealed container for up to 5 days.

Apple purée note:
Either make your own by placing peeled, chopped apples into a pan with a little water and bring to the boil. Simmer until soft and then blend. Or use a good canned apple purée with no sugar or additives e.g. Delish brand.


Chocolate Hazelnut cookies



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