Tahini Cookies

It's impossible to eat one of these tahini cookies without reaching for a second. They're lightly sweet, chewy, and filled with spiced, nutty flavor.

Tahini cookies

These tahini cookies have become one of my favorite afternoon treats. They’re soft and chewy, with a lightly sweet, spiced flavor. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be reaching for a second before you’ve even finished the first. Luckily, there’s no need to hold back here, as these tahini cookies are actually on the healthy side. They’re vegan, gluten-free, and naturally sweetened, and the pomegranates on top add a pop of antioxidants! I mean…why not have three?

Tahini cookie recipe ingredients

Tahini Cookies Ingredients

These vegan tahini cookies are SO easy to make, and they only require a handful of ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tahini – The main event! It binds the cookie dough together, and it fills the cookies with nutty, buttery flavor.
  • Almond flour – Like in my blueberry muffin and banana bread recipes, almond flour gives these cookies an amazing moist texture. It also plays nicely off the nutty flavor of the tahini, and it’s totally gluten-free!
  • Pure maple syrup – I love its complex sweetness in these cookies. No refined sugar here!
  • Spices – Cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger fill these cookies with warm, spiced flavor that tastes lovely with the nutty tahini.
  • Almond extract – It highlights the rich flavor of the almond flour. If you don’t have almond extract, use double the amount of vanilla extract in its place.
  • Baking powder – It makes them tender and puffy.
  • Pomegranate arils – They make these tahini cookies pretty and festive, and they add bursts of sweet/tart flavor (and antioxidants, too!).

Find the complete recipe with measurements below.

Cookie dough balls

This is a super easy one-bowl recipe. Just mix the dough (no fancy electric mixer required!), scoop them, and lightly flatten them (they won’t spread too much in the oven).

Cookie dough on a baking sheet

And decorate them! I can’t get over the little ruby red gems. These make me so happy!

Pop them in the oven, and bake until they’re lightly golden brown. Enjoy!

Tahini cookies on a baking sheet

Tahini Cookies Variations

I especially love to make these cookies around the holidays, when pomegranates are in season. But of course, they’re also delicious year-round. If you can’t find fresh pomegranate arils, feel free to top the cookies with dried currants, cherries, or cranberries or chocolate chips instead.

Tahini

Tahini Cookies Tips

  • Runny tahini is key. This recipe works best with runny tahini that will easily mix with the other ingredients. Tahini brands vary widely in consistency, so look for one with a smooth, pourable texture. (I like Cedar’s, Trader Joe’s, and Seed+Mill.) Avoid using dry or chunky tahini that you might find at the bottom of a jar.
  • Pile on the pomegranates. The pomegranate arils add nice moisture and pops of juicy, tangy flavor to these cookies, so don’t skimp on them! You want to get at as many as you can in every bite.
  • Don’t reach for one right away. It’s tempting to eat these cookies as soon as they come out of the oven, but they need to cool for at least 10 minutes on the baking sheet in order to firm up and hold their shape. As an added bonus, they become even more nutty and flavorful as they cool.
  • Make a double batch! These cookies freeze well, so this is a great recipe to double. I usually start eating one batch the day it’s made and freeze the other to have on hand for treats down the road. Check out this post for my best tips on freezing baked goods.

Tahini Cookies on wire racks

More Favorite Cookie Recipes

If you love these tahini cookies, try my 3-ingredient tahini ice cream or one of these favorite cookie recipes next:

Then, check out this post for 30+ of my favorite vegan desserts!


4.8 from 5 reviews

Tahini Cookies

 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
With a nutty, spiced flavor and moist texture, these tahini cookies are totally irresistible! If pomegranates aren't in season, feel free to replace them with dried cranberries or chocolate chips. Vegan and gluten-free.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup tahini*
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup pomegranate arils
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the tahini, maple syrup, and almond extract until smooth. Add the almond flour and sprinkle the cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, baking powder, and salt evenly over the mixture. Use a spatula or wood spoon to stir until well combined.
  3. Use a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop the dough and use your hands to roll it into balls. Place them on the baking sheet and press down to flatten slightly. Sprinkle with pomegranates and bake for 15 to 17 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Notes
*Make sure your tahini is smooth (as pictured), and not dry or chunky.

I made two batches of cookies for these photos - they freeze well so I love having extra around!

Special thanks to POM Wonderful for partnering on this post!

29 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. penny parks
    12.06.2018

    I never thought to make cookies like this I think I might make this recipe for Christmas dinner.

  2. Shay
    12.06.2018

    These cookies look amazing! In your ingredients list you call for almond extract, but in your written instructions you call for vanilla. Which one did you end up using?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.06.2018

      Thank you for pointing that out – fixed! They were good with vanilla, but they were extra special with almond 🙂

  3. Donna from seasonshealings.com
    12.06.2018

    These looks so nice. I love the idea of using pomegranate arils in the cookies. They look so cute.

  4. Joyce Shapiro
    12.06.2018

    This is a wonderful recipe! I just made them – and while no pomegranate in the house I did have cocoa nibs – chewy cookie with wonderful flavoring. A no guilt treat – amazing that no egg, oil (other than from tahini), or processed sugar – YEAH! Husband who is not a cookie fan, has already had 3!!!!
    Thank you for sharing!
    Joyce

  5. Natalie from lilcookie.com
    12.07.2018

    These cookies look so delicious and perfect for Christmas!

  6. Ada Orie
    12.07.2018

    These cookies look so good. I like your pictures and straight to the point instructions.

  7. Gaby Dalkin
    12.07.2018

    These cookies are picture perfect!

  8. Deb
    12.09.2018

    This might be best cookie (and cookie dough!!) I’ve ever eaten…..not exaggerating!

    They are scrumptious!! And very holiday!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.15.2018

      I’m so glad you loved them, Deb!!

  9. Lucy
    12.11.2018

    Made these tonight — very easy and delicious! I love the sophisticated, not overly sweet flavor. Froze most of them to serve over the holidays as part of an array of cookies. They’re beautiful!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.12.2018

      Hi Lucy, I’m so glad you loved them!

  10. Megan
    12.13.2018

    I’ve never heard about tahini cookies but they sound amazing.

  11. chahinez tabet aoul
    12.13.2018

    I just made a tahini cookie recipe https://lifestyleofafoodie.com/2018/11/26/the-best-gluten-free-vegan-tahini-sesame-seed-cookie-youve-ever-had/ but have never thought of putting pomegranates on cookies ever!!

    I also have a quick question or remark should I say… Last week I purchased the specific brand of pomegranates that you have on your photo but it had a weird smell and aftertaste.. It resembled nail polish remover which was a little alarming. I even made sure to check if it was expired, but it wasn’t… Any thoughts about this !?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.13.2018

      I’m not sure, I buy them all the time and they’ve always been great. Hope you like the cookies! Maybe contact your store.

  12. Sharon
    12.15.2018

    Delish- are they supposed to be so big? Only got 13 based on on 2T scoop. Think I’ll make them smaller next time- love the holiday look!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.15.2018

      Hi Sharon, I’m glad you loved them! I did a flattened 2-tablespoon scoop and mine were somewhat small, I got about 15-16 cookies per batch. I think they could be any size, just adjust the baking time a tad!

  13. Sarah
    12.16.2018

    An entire teaspoon of almond extract seems like a lot for a batch this size, like it would just overwhelm everything. Is that the amount you used?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.16.2018

      ooh, you’re right, I used 1 teaspoon when I was testing these with vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon when I decided to go with almond extract. Fixing that!

  14. sera from brokensaucer.blogspot.com
    12.17.2018

    I think I’m going to have to make these cookies tonight! A christmas cookie that doesn’t take hours? Yes! Pomegranates? Yes!

  15. Evelyn
    12.23.2018

    I made these cookies as a test as I would like to have a treat on Christmas for a family member who cannot eat wheat. We liked them but thought the pomegranate served only to look pretty. My husband wants me to make them without the pomegranate, which I am going to do tomorrow for Christmas. I wonder if I should have cooked them longer because they were lightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside but got totally mushy overnight. My husband LOVED them on day one, but not on day two.

  16. Jeanine Donofrio
    12.23.2018

    We liked the soft texture, but you could definitely cook them longer to get the bottoms more browned. Overnight – try covering them loosely on a plate with foil (and not sealing them in airtight container). You could also pop them in the oven again on day 2 just to toast the bottoms a little bit. Since there’s no regular flour, they won’t overcook. Hope that helps!

  17. Peggy
    01.08.2019

    These cookies are everything! Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      01.10.2019

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  18. Annette
    03.23.2019

    Can the almond flour be substituted with AP flour?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.26.2019

      I haven’t tried – it’s not quite the same, so I think the ratios in the recipe would have to be tweaked.

  19. Susan
    02.27.2020

    Nutrition information ? Especially fat.

  20. Pooja
    02.27.2020

    Hi Jeanine. Is it okay to use frozen pomegranate arils? Our area doesn’t have fresh pomegranates but frozen are available?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.27.2020

      Hi Pooja, I think that’ll be fine – I’d let them thaw first, and then pat dry any excess water before mixing into the cookies. I hope that helps!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.