Fruit-Sweetened, Flourless Banana-Nut Cookies

May 25th, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Up until last week, I had myself convinced that a gluten-free, flourless, vegan, entirely fruit-sweetened cookie did not exist. Then I made these.

I’ve been tinkering around with flourless, sugar-free cookie recipes for months, but haven’t found “the one” yet. I’m never completely satisfied with any of my recipes—there’s always room to improve, even in small ways—so I can’t confidently say that this cookie is “it” either. But so far it’s the best whole food cookie I’ve made. It even won rave reviews from my dad, a guy with a sweet tooth as big as they come.

The cookies are bite-sized, about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. If you’re into big cookies, you could certainly double the batch to make the cookies larger. I’m a sucker for tiny, mini versions of everything from cupcakes to meatballs, so I’m partial to keeping them small. But feel free to do otherwise.

I see a lot of potential on the horizon for these treats. While the banana-nut combo is a classic for any baker and one that I return to time and again, I’m beginning to dream of other flourless cookie creations. Pumpkin-spice in the fall, anyone? Or how about apple-cinnamon-raisin? Perhaps something more exotic like peachy-macadamia-nut?

I guess it’s time to hit the kitchen and get back to cookie baking and sampling. Stay tuned…

Flourless Banana-Nut Cookies – Makes 12-15 small cookies

A few notes about the ingredients. First, you can find quinoa flakes online or at natural food stores (I’ve seen them at some regular grocery stores, too). They are often located by the oatmeal and other hot cereals, and are sometimes available in the bulk bins. Almond meal can also be purchased online here or here at a significantly less expensive cost than retail stores. I used Bob’s Red Mill almond meal in this recipe because it is what I had on hand, but the online options are more affordable.

2 bananas, mashed well

2 tbs. coconut oil, melted

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup quinoa flakes

1/3 cup almond meal/flour

1/3 cup walnuts, chopped

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Combine mashed bananas with coconut oil. In a large mixing bowl, separately combine the remaining ingredients. Stir in the banana mixture until a dough forms. Form dough into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and arrange on cookie sheet. Flatten the balls to about 1/3-1/2 inch thickness with the bottom of a glass or using the tines of a fork.

Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm to the touch. Cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate cookies for up to 3 days.


This post is linked up to Slightly Indulgent Tuesday hosted by Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free. Amy is currently one of eight bloggers competing in FoodSpring’s “Most Exciting Food Experience” competition.

As the only gluten-free blogger in the mix, Amy brings a refreshing and unique element to the competition. In order for her to win the whole thing and be the official FoodSpring blogger at the Fancy Food Show in NYC this summer, she needs our help to vote her in! Read more about this exciting competition and how to help Amy here.


  1. These look great, and yes – so many options to branch out from here. I’ve tinkered with a raisin-sweetened GF oatmeal cookie, too. But, I haven’t quite gotten it perfect yet….

    • Oatmeal raisin cookies are among my favorites…but sadly I haven’t made them since I went gluten free a couple years ago. If you come up with a GF recipe, I’d love to hear about!

  2. These look divine! I can’t wait to try them out this weekend!

  3. These do look fabulous – quinoa flakes are delicious and work really well in place of oats. Thanks so much for sharing the FoodSpring contest with your readers. :)

  4. Yummy! I love finding/making recipes that replace sugar and fat with fruit. I made a cookie recently with quinoa and bananas. I’m a big fan of coconut oil but I used safflower oil for that recipe (just because I had it and wanted to use it). I used brown rice flour for my recipe (also cause I had it) but I have some almond flour from trader joes that I can use for your recipe. Can’t wait to try your recipe since it uses even less sugar and fat than mine does. woo hoo!

  5. Yum! I love these cookies. So nutritionally dense, and yet I bet they taste like a treat.

  6. Cristine said on March 26, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Hi Hallie, I’d love to try your recipe but my son has nut allergies. What would you recommend as substitutions for the almond flour and walnuts? Would brown rice flour (as mentioned above) and mini-chocolate chips, respectively, work?

  7. Cristine: Yes, I think brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, or sorghum flour would work. Instead of the walnuts, you definitely could do chocolate chips or raw cacao nibs for a sugar-free option. Enjoy! :)

  8. Are Quinoa flakes different than Quinoa?

    • Maureen: Yes, quinoa flakes are essentially just steam-rolled quinoa. They work very much like oats in baking recipes. You can find them in the bulk bins of some grocery stores, or in the hot cereal aisle near the oatmeal. I usually get the Ancient Harvest brand.

  9. Thanks! I’ve made Quinoa before. For the recipe, I assume I cook the Quinoa first, correct? Looks yummy! Can’t wait to try it. Thanks!

  10. Maureen: No, you don’t have to cook the quinoa flakes first. The flakes are different than the whole grain. The flakes look similar to oats. They are steam-rolled quinoa grains, so they are flatter and more, well, flake-like. :)

  11. Thank you! You are so helpful!

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