These scrumptious gluten-free cookies are a plant-based take on the classic shortbread cookies you enjoyed growing up. Naturally sweetened with dates, the dough gets an upgrade with cinnamon and chopped pecans for a warm and nutty flavor. When you’re craving a sweet snack to accompany a warm cup of tea, these enticing treats hit the spot. 

Tip: Make batches of the dough ahead of time to store in the freezer. When you’re ready to bake, let the dough soften a few minutes at room temperature, then slice and bake as directed.

Recipe from

By Katie Simmons,


  • 2 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • ¾ cup pitted Deglet Noor dates
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups brown rice flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon regular or sodium-free baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup chopped pecans


  • In a small bowl stir together flaxseed meal and ¼ cup warm water. Let stand 5 minutes.
  • In a blender or food processor combine dates, vanilla, and ½ cup water. Cover and blend until smooth, scraping sides of blender as needed. Add flaxseed mixture. Cover and blend to combine.
  • In a medium bowl whisk together rice flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Add date mixture and pecans to flour mixture. Stir to combine.
  • Cut an 18-inch piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper. Transfer dough to plastic wrap. Roll dough into a 12-inch long log (2-inch diameter). Wrap with the plastic wrap and freeze at least 30 minutes.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Cut dough log into 1/2-inch-thick slices (you should have 24). Arrange slices ½ inch apart on prepared cookie sheet.
  • Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until cookies are golden brown on bottoms, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking. Cool 10 minutes on cookie sheet. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely. Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to 1 week.

Comments (14)

(4 from 2 votes)

Recipe Rating

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These are not worth making. Added 50 percent more spice and more vanilla. The texture and taste of these is unpleasant. The dogs like them as biscuits though. We top them with a Quince jam we make. That makes them more edible and useful as a jam delivery device.


These are great little gems ! I increased the cinnamon and used light millet flour instead. A little bit dry but hey ….they are cookies and totally healthy. Thanks for the recipe :)


Mystifying as to why it is called a shortbread.


Short refers to the length of gluten strands developed in the dough, rather than the amount of butter.


Since this recipe currently has no rating I'll give it one. These cookies need some help with flavor. I followed the recipe to a 'T' - the recipe is easy to make - which is why I will continue to experiment with it for flavors. The texture came out fine - better than I originally thought actually, and they are definitely not a sweet cookie. However, the finished cookie is mostly just baked dough with a very faint flavor of cinnamon. I think either almond, orange or lemon extracts, or other flavor sources would make this cookie a lot tastier.


Can I use GF flour and omit baking powder?

Barb M.

Is there a substitute for brown rice flour?


if there is a baking powder in the mix


Can any other flour be used eg. spelt?




Can I use medjool dates in place of the Deglet Noor? If so, would I use less?

Donna Reeves

Use 3/4 cups of dates with this recipe. Once you make them you can decide if the recipe is too sweet for you.

Audrey Nehmer

I used Medjool dates and they taste fine. I don't think they are overly sweet. I used 3/4 cup, but I may try adding more next time. I'm not real thrilled with the brown rice flour, so next time I am subbing with chickpea flour.


What was the texture like?

About the Author

Headshot of Katie Simmons

About the Author

Katie Simmons

Chef Katie Simmons is a personal chef based in Chicago. She specializes in creating delicious, healthy recipes for those with special concerns including gluten-free, oil-free, plant-based, and low-residue diets. Outside of the kitchen, she is a fitness instructor for Equinox, with over 13 years experience in the fitness industry. Learn more at her Plants-Rule website, and follow her on Instagram and Facebook for updates.
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