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Vegan Coconut Flour Sandies {4 ingredients, keto option}

Vegan coconut flour sandies! Made with 4 ingredients (coconut flour, sweetener, coconut oil & flaxseed meal), these easy, delectable nut-free cookies taste like Pecan sandies but are gluten-free, grain-free, Paleo, and keto-friendly (with 1 ingredient swap).

stack of 3 vegan coconut flour sandies on a colorful napkin

Nut-Free & Vegan Coconut Flour Sandies 

This recipe is a long time coming.

Ever since I posted the recipe for my 3-Ingredient Almond Flour Cookies awhile back, I’ve received numerous queries for similarly simple cookie recipe using coconut flour. Coconut flour does not work as a substitute for almond flour in the aforementioned cookie recipe, or some of my other almond flour cookie recipes. so a simple re-working was not a possibility.

I’ve come up with a few vegan coconut flour cookies in the meantime, including chocolate chip and chocolate options. Last week, I set aside time to test, and test, re-test, and then test some more. I wanted to recreate a cookie akin to one of my all-time favorites (Pecan Sandies–a pecand style shortbread cookie). Made without nuts, flour, eggs, or butter. I know, I’m a wee bit crazy.

Well, I did it. I covered myself, head to toe, in coconut flour cookie dough, dirtied every mixing bowl in my possession, and plowed my way through multiple bags of coconut flour.

Most importantly, I made a Pecans Sandies-style cookie with coconut flour: Easy, amazing, 4-Ingredient Vegan Coconut Flour Sandies!!!

coconut flour cookies cooling on a silver metal cooling rack

Vegan Coconut Flour Sandies

Here’s what you need to know about these irresistible cookies. They are:

  • Made with 4 ingredients (coconut flour, flaxseed meal, coconut oil & sweetener)
  • Very quick & easy to make
  • Vegan (egg-free & dairy-free)
  • Gluten-free
  • Grain-free
  • Nut-free
  • Paleo
  • Keto (with 1 ingredient swap)

What is the Texture of the Cookies

The texture of the cookies is akin to pecan sandies: a tender, not hard, crispness that melts in your mouth.

My husband is a bit of a pecan sandies aficionado, so it meant everything that he gave these his unabashed approval.  The secret to the nut-like “sandies” texture comes from the addition of flaxseed meal.  The flaxseed meal is also essential for holding the cookies together.

Ingredients for the Sandies Cookies

The four ingredients for the recipe are familiar and humble:

  1. Coconut flour
  2. Flaxseed meal
  3. Coconut sugar (I have options, including keto-friendly granulated sweetener)
  4. Coconut oil

I recommend adding 1/4 teaspoon of salt, too, but it is optional according to your tastes and dietary needs.  If you like, you can also add in spices, citrus zest, or a small amount of vanilla extract (or other extracts) to enhance or vary the flavor. This is your template cookie for all kinds of variations.

overhead shot of the 4 ingredients needed to make coconut flour cookies

Recipe Accuracy: Weigh Your Ingredients

This is isuch a simple recipe, but it can go wrong if the measurements are not accurate.

This is especially true for the coconut flour. It is very easy to measure too much coconut flour if using measuring cups. Coconut flour is very light and is used in smaller amounts than grain flours. Just a little bit too much can make the cookie dough and the cookies dry and crumbly.

A digital kitchen scale is inexpensive. It is worth every penny! If you do a little or lot of unconventional baking (e.g., vegan, gluten-free, grain-free), a digital kitchen scale will make your baking easier and prevent disasters from occurring. Ok, I’ll get off of my soap box now and return to the recipe :).

How to Make the Dough for Vegan Coconut Flour Cookies

Making this cookie dough is easy as can be!

But before you begin, be sure to do the following:

  1. Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper (you will need to be ready to scoop the dough as soon as it is mixed).
  2. Melt the coconut oil just before mixing the dough (so that it is still very warm).
collage showing pctures of the 2 simple steps to make the cookies

Whisk the coconut flour, flaxseed meal, sweetener, and optional salt in a medium bowl, breaking up any and all lumps. 

Add the VERY WARM coconut oil and stir until completley combined. If the ingredients have been measured correctly, the dough should have the consistency of wet sand (like what you would use to shape a sand castle).

Scoop and Shape the Dough

Working quickly, scoop the dough into 13 equal mounds onto the prepared baking sheet (leave about 2 inches/5 cm distance between the mounds). I used my small cookie scoop to create rounded mounds. A tablespoon measure, just full and leveled off, will also work. 

Use your fingertips to pat the dough mound, smoothing the edges. Like wet sand, this happens instantly when you touch it (easy!). 

how to scoop and shape the coconut cookies for baking

Why is it Necessary to Work Quickly?

As the coconut oil cools and re-solidifies, the dough consistency turns from a wet sand consistency (easy to scoop and shape) to a dry and crumbly sand consistency (difficult to scoop and shape). That is also why it is important to use very warm coconut oil when mixing the dough (more time to work with a warm dough).

Once the cookies are scooped and shaped, the rush is over (e.g., if you forgot to preheat the oven, it is fine for the cookies to sit and re-harden before baking).

If the dough crumbles from the coconut oil solidifying (distractions and interruptions can happen!), try popping the dough into the microwave for 5 to 10 seconds to rewarm it.

Bake the Cookies

Bake the cookies in a preheated 325F oven for 8 to 9 minutes until set and light golden brown at the edges.

Leave the cookies on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

baked cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet

Hello, super amazing cookies!

overhead shot of cookies cooling on a cooling rack

The cookies are  delicate while still warm. They are less so once completely cooled, and firm as shortbread once chilled (I recommend storing them in the refrigerator). 

Variation: Make Coconut Flour Thumbprints

As I mentioned earlier, add spices, zest or extracts to the cookies to vary the flavor (my personal favorite: lemon zest and cardamom).

The cookies can also be transformed into thumbprints ( love a thumbprint cookie!). I like to add a touch of almond extract to the cookie and use raspberry jam, but choose any jam, jelly, marmalade, or preserves you prefer.

overhead shot of a raspberry jam thumbprint cookie

Shape the cookies as directed for the basic recipe and then use your fingertip or thumb to make an indentation at the center. Since the dough is like wet sand, it is easy to smooth the edges if they crack a bit while making the divot.

Fill with 1/4 teaspoon jam per cookie and bake and cool in the same manner as the original recipe. 

4 photo collage of how to make thumbprint cookies with coconut flour cookie dough

Chocolate: Always a Variation!

The cookies do not work as chocolate chip cookies (the warm dough will melt any added chocolate chips).

But you can always add chocolate afterwards by dipping or drizzling the cookies. Oh, yeah.

cookies dipped and drizzled with chocolate


Q: My cookie dough turned out dry and crumbly. Why?

A: It is almost certainly due to adding too much coconut flour, and possibly too much flaxseed meal. This can happen from measuring using cup measures instead of weight measures. For best results, weigh the ingredients (the coconut oil and sugar, too). If using cups, very lightly spoon in the dry ingredients and level with a knife. 

Q: Can I substitute another oil for the coconut oil?

A: No, other oils will not work in this recipe. It demands a fat that is solid at cool room temperature or when chilled. Plant butter (vegan margarine) that is sold in sticks (e.g., Earth Balance buttery sticks, Flora plant butter, or Country Crock plant butter) can be used in place of the coconut oil. It is important to use a plant butter with a high fat content (some margarines, even sticks, have a high percentage of water). If you are not vegan, an equal amount of butter can also be used.

Q: Can I leave out or replace the flaxseed meal?

A: No, the flaxseed meal cannot be left out. It holds the cookies together and provides essential texture to the cookies. An equal weight of ground chia seeds (chia meal) should work well as a replacement, but I have not tested it.

close-up of a vegan coconut flour cookie

Happy baking, friends!

stack of 3vegan coconut flour cookies on a colorful napkin

Vegan Coconut Flour Sandies {4 ingredients, keto option}

Yield: 13 cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 19 minutes

Vegan coconut flour sandies! Made with 4 ingredients (coconut flour, sweetener, coconut oil & flaxseed meal), these easy, delectable nut-free cookies taste like Pecan sandies but are gluten-free, grain-free, Paleo, and keto-friendly (with 1 ingredient swap).


  • 100 g coconut flour (see notes for cup measurements)
  • 1/4 cup (26 g) flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 cup (48 g) coconut sugar (see notes for Keto & other options)
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup (112 g) virgin coconut oil, melted and still very warm


  1. Preheat oven to 325F (160C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the coconut flour, flaxseed meal, coconut sugar, and (optional) salt until completely blended, breaking up any and all lumps in the coconut flour.
  3. Add the warm coconut oil; stir until completely blended (the dough should appear and feel like wet sand).
  4. Working quickly, scoop 13 small rounded mounds of cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet (I used a small cookie scoop) spacing 2 inches (5 cm) apart, Using fingertips, pat down any uneven areas on each mound, smoothing the tops and flattening cookies slightly.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 9 minutes until just set and the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven and cool on the sheet for 10 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely. Place the cooled cookies in an airtight container and chill until cold.


Storage: Store the cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 weeks or the freezer for up to 6 months.

Measuring the Coconut Flour: For greatest accuracy, it is best to weigh the coconut flour on a digital scale. If using cups and tablespoons, 100 grams of coconut flour is equal to 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (14 tablespoons total) of lightly spooned and leveled coconut flour.

Make it Keto: Replace the coconut sugar with the keto-friendly, measure-for-measure, granulated sweetener of your choice. Keto Macros per Cookie: Calories (122); Total Carbs (5.5 g); Sugars (0.5);  Net Carbs (0.6 g).

Sugar Options: An equal amount (48 g) of brown sugar, natural can esugar or granulated sugar can be used in place of the coconut sugar.

Nutrition Information
Yield 13 Serving Size 1 cookie
Amount Per Serving Calories 136Total Fat 10.1gSaturated Fat 8.6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 8.1mgCarbohydrates 9.2gFiber 4.9gSugar 4.2gProtein 2.3g

Did you make this recipe?

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Wednesday 22nd of June 2022

Thanks for the recipe. The coconut oil is listed as optional but I guess this is incorrect; right?


Thursday 23rd of June 2022

Hi Anna! Thanks for catching that, you are correct! Something weird must have happened (optional got printed twice) when I switched between recipe card servers.


Saturday 3rd of July 2021

I love ALL of your shortbread recipes!!! These are perfect for mini fruit tarts, made in a muffin tin ?


Monday 12th of July 2021

Ooh, I love the idea of making little tarts with this recipe, great idea!


Sunday 21st of February 2021

a wonderful recipe, thank you. I add different flavors at different times of the year.

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