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!


4.9 from 14 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!

55 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. James
    11.08.2022

    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.

    Thanks again!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.11.2022

      Hi James, I’m so glad you love the recipe! Thanks for sharing your notes.

  2. Blaiar
    11.06.2022

    Could you make the dough and freeze in balls to bake later? Thanks!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.11.2022

      Hi Blair, I think this would work great!

  3. Rita
    10.18.2022

    Just made these cookies. Delicious and healthy. I used honey instead of maple syrup.
    Would use about 1/3 cup honey next time.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.21.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

  4. Anitra
    03.28.2022

    Hi, would coconut or quinoa flour work in this recipe? Thanks

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.30.2022

      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.

  5. Floki
    03.17.2022

    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!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.17.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

  6. Ellen
    01.19.2022

    Forgot to leave my rating on my comment! Too good to not give a 5/5!

  7. Ellen
    01.19.2022

    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

  8. Mae
    12.21.2021

    How many cookies does this make?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.22.2021

      Hi Mae, 12 to 15 (I made a double batch in the top picture)

  9. Rajee
    12.08.2021

    What other flour can I use in place of almond flour.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.09.2021

      Hi Rajee, if you had another nut flour – like hazelnut or pecan flour, that could work.

  10. Anupa
    11.16.2021

    Would it be possible to substitute the tahini for almond butter? Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.16.2021

      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.

  11. BMARIE
    10.09.2021

    Have you tried using Stevia instead of maple syrup?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.09.2021

      I haven’t – but it’s not a 1:1 swap unless you’re using a 1:1 baking blend (Truvia has one)

  12. connie m h
    12.27.2020

    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.

  13. mon
    12.19.2020

    Excited to make these tomorrow…If I don’t have cardamom on hand, is nutmeg an ok substitute?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      12.19.2020

      yep, nutmeg would be great!

  14. Lata
    09.25.2020

    Can you use oat flour without tweaking this tecipe?

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.