Stevia Sweetened Sugar Cookies (gluten-free + vegan)

Ali Segersten Apr 20, 2011 44 comments

These beautiful holiday cut-out cookies are made with whole food ingredients and sweetened only with stevia. Not only are they gluten-free, but grain-free as well. I use a combination of almond meal and shredded coconut pulsed in the food processor to create a nutritious, low-glycemic, and naturally sweet "flour" blend.

These cookies certainly don't have that toothsome sugary bite even though they use naturally sweet ingredients and a little stevia to help boost the sweetness. My children are not accustomed to really sugary treats so they love these cookies and will devour the whole batch in one day if I let them. If you are accustomed to treats being a little on the sweeter side you may consider replacing 2 tablespoons of the applesauce with 2 tablespoons of honey.


About the Author

Ali Segersten

Alissa Segersten holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition from Bastyr University and a Master’s of Science in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Western States. She is a Functional Nutritionist, the mother of five children, a whole foods cooking instructor, professional recipe developer, and cookbook author. She is passionate about helping others find a diet that will truly nourish them. Alissa is the author of two very popular gluten-free, whole foods cookbooks and guidebooks: The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook and Nourishing Meals. She is also the co-author of The Elimination Diet book. Alissa is the founder and owner of Nourishing Meals®.

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Thankyou so much for this cookie recipe. I have been looking for a cookie that will use stevia and gluten free!
I do have a question. Is there anything that can be used to substitute for the honey in the frosting?

Hi Victoria,
You are welcome. I hope you enjoy them!
You could replace the honey with liquid allulose, or coconut oil plus several drops of stevia.

Stevia substitute?

Hi Ali, do you have a nut-free version of these?? What should I use to replace the almond meal and the cashews?

Maybe white beans or chickpeas

You can have citrus in stage one. Perhaps you could try orange juice.

Great recipe! These look yummy! I love stevia and am gluten free so I'm definitely going to give this recipe a try.

These would be great for an anti-candida diet, however, in stage 1 you cannot eat apple, what alternatives are there for this? more oil? Thank you for your creative cooking.

Hi Ali, I'm really excited about trying these cookies but my son is allergic to cashews, peanuts, walnuts and sunflower seeds. Is there a sub for the cashews? How do these taste without any icing? Thanks!


I've had good luck grinding sunflower seeds and using sunflower flour in place of almond flour.

hi there, I am loving your recipes! I've been experimenting with gluten free, vegan and sugar free for awhile. On your sugar cookies, I don't tolerate almond flour - do you think another kind of gluten free flour could sub in for it? Teff or millet etc?


My daughter wants real candy canes like the other kids and I explained to her why I'm not comfortable with that. I suggested we make those cookies instead where you split the batch of sugar cookie dough and put red food colouring in half. Then you roll each the light and red doughs out and wrap them around each other into a candy cane shape. I'm wondering if you think this cookie dough recipe would work for that. If not, which of your recipes might possibly fit the bill do you think? Please help!!! :)

Can't wait to try these. But planning to sub Garbanzo Bean flour (maybe some tapioca flour as well). What do you think? My kids are allergic to nuts. And I'm allergic to everything else! :)

hi ali,

how much white sugar or agave would you recommend using to replace the stevia? i don't have a sense of how much sugar is in 40 drops of stevia. please advise! thanks.

i'm an MS Nutrition grad from bastyr as well. Tom knows me.

MSN '09

THANK YOU for this recipe!! I made some and they are amazing!! One of my children doesn't like them but he isn't really into cookies - or almond meal, unfortunately. I sprinkled some coconut sugar and cinnamon on them before baking and they're almost like a snickerdoodle. Ate almost the entire batch myself, guilt-free! You blog continues to inspire me and make this lifestyle much more manageable. Thanks again!

I gave this recipe to my daughter-in-law to bake for me because she is the baker and they are really yummy!! She added lemon juice instead of extract (because I didn't have it) to the frosting and I loved it! These cookies were a hit with the whole family. I have even passed this recipe along to all my facebook friends. Keep the great recipes coming.

Hi There,

I was just wondering if there is anything else that can be used in place of the almond flour. My daughter and I are not only gluten and dairy intolerant, but almonds as well as a few others.

Thanks for you time..:)


We had such a great time making these cookies Ali! They turned out wonderfully. One key is to keep the dough very cold or else it becomes unworkable for the wee ones. I kept alternating the dough balls back into the refrigerator after we were done cutting out one round of cookies. It seemed to help keep the dough in a manageable state for the young helpers we had.

Frosting them was so fun! I haven't iced cookies in forever because most icings involve powdered sugar of some sort. Hooray! We used the India food colorings and they were delightfully brilliant!

I'll post pictures on our photo gallery once we upload them. I think they're the most lovely cookies I've ever frosted :-). Everyone at our Easter gathering was very complimentary.

I used 1 cup of almond flour and 1 cup of coconut. I grind my own almond flour in the food processor...I ground up 1 cup of almonds then measured a cup and saved the extra. I put the cup of ground almonds back in the processor with the coconut, arrowroot and rest of dry ingredients and let it run til it was all nicely powdered. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly. The cookies are so tasty and so delicious! You do need to keep them in the freezer to keep them crisp and flaky...if you leave them out they soften. They are tasty that way too...but we eat them straight from the freezer. So good with or without the yummy frosting...which is amazing and so pretty as a glaze.
I did get interrupted while I was making these and stored some of the frosting in the fridge. It turned a different, thicker texture and did not return to a glaze state even at room temp. But it was still good...just not as pretty as the glaze...more of a matte finish than a glossy finish. (Can you tell I am a paper!) Another thing to note, as I was working with the dough I noticed 10 minutes was great for baking when the dough was straight from the fridge but as I re rolled the leftover pieces and the dough became more room temp it only needed about 8 minutes. The taste and texture of these cookies are amazing. I usually feel the need to tweak a recipe. Not this one, Ali got it right on! Try these, you will be delighted! So yummy and nourishing too! And you can feel good about eating and sharing them as they are such great nourishing ingredients! Thank you so much, Ali! My 6 year old loved making these and eating them! :)

I just made these tonight and they turned out really yummy. I used regular almond meal not blanched so mine had brown specks... but I love that b/c they look healthy ;) I used 1C of both "flours" and I used a scant Tablespoon powdered Stevia... Trader Joe's brand with the filler not the super concentrated... anyway you could not taste the Stevia and my hubby is tuned into finding the Stevia flavor in things but it just wasn't there YAY. I only used lemon juice not the flavoring... also I had TONS of frosting left so I would half it next time... but I plan on using it as a oatmeal topper tomorrow. Thanks so much for the recipe and it was a success over here. Happy Easter. Tammy

I was so excited to get this recipe! Thanks Ali they look fantastic and we don't have to sub anything! Which is truly amazing taking into account all of our food allergies!!! My daughter will be so happy to have a cookie to eat when all the other kids will be eating the fat and sugar laden cookies from the grocery store!

Just tried these this morning. They were a life saver for my Type 1 Diabetic preschooler. So nice to have a treat that will not make her pay for it all day. Great recipe!!!

I just finished a batch of these cookies and they are awesome. I used the recommended amount of almond flour and cut the coconut flour to just a cup. the cookies turned out perfect. My kids think they are great. Thanks so much for posting these!

What gorgeous cookies! I am so impressed, and pretty excited to try them with my kiddies. I especially can't wait to try the icing. I'm always in the market for a healthy icing, especially one you can really play with! Thanks so much.

I am not sure about subbing powdered stevia for liquid. I am positive it will work, just not sure on amounts. Less is better when it comes to stevia.

You can definitely replace the lemon flavoring with almond flavoring - that would be delicious! Enjoy! :)

Wow, excited about trying this sugar free recipe! Do you think there would be any problem with using powdered stevia instead? Would the amount be the same? Thanks!

Amazing! We have almost everything on hand, but I have stevia powder, not liquid. Can I use that instead? Also, my son is sensitive to citrus. Any other ideas for flavorings other than lemon? Can I just add more vanilla, or maybe almond extract?

I buy both non-alcoholic vanilla and lemon flavoring from our local food co-op. The brands I buy are either Frontier or Simply Organic. Lemon flavoring is simply organic lemon essential oil diluted in a carrier oil.

where do you get non-alcoholic vanilla? I've been using costo's brand--what are the health differences?!
Also where do I get lemon flavor? would that be difference then a purre lemon extraction like lemon essential oil? I've seen it called for in a couple recipes I want to try and want to get some.

OnlyByHisGrace - looks like your comment came though while I was responding to the others. Yes these cookies would be ok for day 24 and beyond of the Elimination Diet. Make sure to use non-alcoholic vanilla and no sprinkles on top! You can use shredded coconut for decoration though! Enjoy! :)

Thanks everyone else for the great feedback, enjoy, and Happy Spring! ;-)

I think the best bet for replacing the almond meal for a nut-sensitive child would be to use sunflower seed meal. I suggest lowering your oven temp to 325 and watching them carefully so they don't burn. You may need to add a little extra arrowroot or less coconut oil if the dough seems oily.

I am using the Sweet Leaf liquid stevia brand.

And Karen, no, I have not tried this icing on cupcakes yet but I imagine that it would work really well! :)

Would these be ok on the Elimination Diet? We are on day 24. Thanks so much for sharing this amazing looking cookie recipe! We will be joining extended family for Easter and I was asked to bring a healthy dessert...this looks like it will fit the bill! :)

I am always looking for recipes using stevia that actually taste good. If the kids like it, that's the seal of approval. Question - have you used this icing on cupcakes? Wondering how it might work. Thanks, Ali.

Hi Ali,

These look amazing! I can't wait to try them, particularly because I'm doing a yeast cleanse right now, and I'm going crazy without anything sweet to eat. I find that stevia works well in drinks but I haven't had luck with it in baking... can I ask what brand you use? Thanks! :)


Those are beautiful Ali! I'm curious on the stevia being the only sweetener though - I'm not usually a fan of it alone, but may have to trial.

Beautiful! Love these! XOXO

What a hard cookie to tackle! It looks like you did a great job, thank you!

This recipe sounds delicious. However, my son is allergic to tree nuts. What can I substitute for the almond flour? This is the problem I have with gluten-free baking, most of the substitutions include using nuts. Thanks! Kelly

Thank you, I am definitely making these on Saturday!

These look like a healthier alternative for my little grandchildren than sugary cookies. I will keep the recipe and give it a try. The cookies look so pretty and appealing.Thanks for sharing it.

These look lovely - and I'm sure they were a hit with the kids! I'm not the biggest fan of sugar cookies myself, but around the holidays, they're a tradition.

What fantastic cookies, Ali! I love the flavors in these and they are so pretty, too. Another great recipe--thanks! :-)


I'm going to give these a try, but play with the ingredient amounts. I'll let you know how mine turn out. How about chlorophyll for the green color? Also, for some reason your direction photos didn't show up (the 4 in the middle) on my computer. Wonder why? This recipe and making these cookies looks like such a fun "rainy day" for kids. You always have such good "kid-friendly" recipes on your blog!

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