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.
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 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.
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).
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 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 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.
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:
- No Bake Cookies
- Easy Sugar Cookies
- Best Peanut Butter Cookies
- Perfect Oatmeal Cookies
- Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
Then, check out this post for 30+ of my favorite vegan desserts!
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 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.
- 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.
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!
Made twice in a row to make them “work” better for me. I believe the time of baking or temperature should be changed. I compared to similar recipes and those suggested approx. 11 minutes. This worked for me.
Other than that, I’d omit the cardamom and add orange zest. Also, the poms are too wet for this. I used chopped dried cranberries in second batch.
Chilling dough in balls prior to baking helps as well.
I’ve made these twice and love the flavor! I use Haddar by Baracke tahini.
Can’t quite get the cookie done in the middle despite smaller cookies (18) or extra time in the oven. Pom arils start to shrivel up & dry out and bottoms over-brown if baked too long. If I put in sealed container once cooled, they become almost moist.
Should I sift the almond flour or add more baking powder?
Hi Debbie, I’m so glad you enjoyed them! They’re a soft cookie, so that’s just how they are and they’re best on the first day or so. This other cookie recipe (that also uses tahini) is more traditional, you might like it more: https://www.loveandlemons.com/vegan-chocolate-chip-cookies/
I love cookies, would eat cookies all the time, and am usually underwhelmed by a cookie recipe–but these surprised me. They are different, the texture is surprising and the topping of pomegranate is an adult elevation. These are delicious.
Are the centers supposed to be soft, almost dough like? My cookies seemed brown on the outside but I wasn’t sure if they were cooked inside? Thanks.
Hi Stephanie, yes, they’re a soft cookie.
Thank you for this recipe—I love these cookies and have made them many times. I think I like them just as much with dried cranberries as I do with pomegranate arils, if not more. The arils make for a more delicate taste, and I end up saving them for more special occasions. The dried cranberry seems to me to make more of an all-around comfort cookie, even if it cuts against the Middle Eastern influence of the original tahini-pomegranate recipe.
A couple other notes:
– I’ve found that refrigerating the dough for a short while (20 minutes, or longer!) leads to a more satisfying thick texture and a bit more browning on the outside.
– The last time I made these, we were out of maple syrup. I subbed an equal volume of light brown sugar and incorporated just a bit of water when whisking to keep the consistency right. Turned out great.
Hi James, I’m so glad you love the recipe! Thanks for sharing your notes.
Could you make the dough and freeze in balls to bake later? Thanks!
Hi Blair, I think this would work great!
Just made these cookies. Delicious and healthy. I used honey instead of maple syrup.
Would use about 1/3 cup honey next time.
I’m so glad you enjoyed them!
substituting in the honey would take them out of the VEGAN catagory
Hi, would coconut or quinoa flour work in this recipe? Thanks
Hi Anitra, I don’t think they’ll work at all since they’re so different. For example, recipes that use coconut flour need a lot of extra moisture because it’s so drying. I would specifically look up recipes that were created and tested with those flours.
These turned out beautiful. Thank you. I didn’t have quite enough maple syrup, so I used a little coconut nectar sugar. I also added some lemon zest. I piled on the pomegranate, and they tasted divine!
I’m so glad you enjoyed them!
Forgot to leave my rating on my comment! Too good to not give a 5/5!
These were soooo good – I topped them with walnut and pecan halves and used just a bit less maple syrup than called for. Perfect with a cup of coffee
How many cookies does this make?
Hi Mae, 12 to 15 (I made a double batch in the top picture)
What other flour can I use in place of almond flour.
Hi Rajee, if you had another nut flour – like hazelnut or pecan flour, that could work.
Would it be possible to substitute the tahini for almond butter? Thanks!
Hi Anupa,it might work, but almond butter is thicker so you might need to add a bit of water to get the dough to come together. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for sure.
Have you tried using Stevia instead of maple syrup?
I haven’t – but it’s not a 1:1 swap unless you’re using a 1:1 baking blend (Truvia has one)
Great cookie, but a bit too sweet for me. When I make it again, I’ll cut back on the maple syrup and will probably use 3/8 cup.
Excited to make these tomorrow…If I don’t have cardamom on hand, is nutmeg an ok substitute?
yep, nutmeg would be great!
Can you use oat flour without tweaking this tecipe?
Hi Lata, no oat flour is never a 1:1 sub. You might like these oatmeal breakfast cookies that use oat flour: https://www.loveandlemons.com/oatmeal-breakfast-cookies/