Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies

Perfect Paleo chocolate chip cookies made with almond flour and tapioca flour or coconut flour, are thick, soft and chewy, but not too sweet. Such a satisfying treat!

A platter with Paleo chocolate chip cookies on it

The case for Paleo baking flours

Since everything Paleo is gluten free, if you’re baking gluten free, you should try some Paleo recipes. It could open up a whole new world of baking for you. The most common Paleo baking flour is almond flour, which is what forms the base of these soft and chewy chocolate chip cookies.

Maybe you’re not convinced yet that it’s worth shelling out the money for more gluten free flours. More flours! Don’t we already have enough? Well, yes … and no.

Blanched almond flour and coconut flour are really healthy, don’t trigger carb cravings, and a little coconut flour goes a long, long way. Tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour) is a really great alternative, at times, to baking with coconut flour and can help achieve the right crisp in Paleo baking recipes like crunchy Paleo crackers.

Just so you know there’s no judgment here if you’d rather stick with an all purpose gluten free flour blend, I recommend trying my soft batch gluten free chocolate chip cookies. They taste like they just came out of the oven—even when they didn’t.

Baking with almond flour

You must use almond flour (or a very convincing substitute, which I discuss below in the “Ingredients and substitutions section”) to make these thick and chewy cookies.

You do have a choice, though, in whether you pair your finely ground blanched almond flour with a bit of coconut flour or a bit of tapioca starch. Coconut flour is a healthier alternative, but tapioca starch makes a cookie with the better crisp-outside, chewy-inside texture. The choice is yours.

The photo above is for cookies made with tapioca starch. Look carefully and you can see the crisp edges and chewy center. They’re perfect, truly.

If you’re new to baking with almond flour, there are few tips to success. Almond meal is not the same as almond flour as it’s much more coarsely ground, and the almonds still have their skins on (so you’ll see flecks of dark brown).

never bake with almond meal. It not only has a different mouthfeel, but it doesn’t behave the same in baking as almond flour. I always use finely ground blanched almond flour when I bake with Paleo flours.

I recommend using Honeyville blanched almond flour and the blanched almond flour from nuts.com. They’re both very finely ground, and can be purchased for the best price online. 

Almond flour has a tendency to burn during baking, so I usually bake it in a 325°F oven, no higher. If you bake these cookies at a higher temperature, the bottoms will likely turn a bit black but it shouldn’t affect the taste too much.

Paleo chocolate chip cookies baked on a tray

Adding coconut flour to almond flour

The photos just above and below this section are made using almond flour and coconut flour. The other ingredients in these cookies remain the same for both varieties. When using coconut flour, though, you’ll see that the recipe calls for a bit more almond flour.  

When you add even a small amount of coconut flour to these cookies, it creates quite a lot of structure and helps to give them that familiar “chew.” Coconut flour is commonly used in Paleo baking as it’s packed with fiber, low in calorie and creates structure very well.

Raw disks of Paleo chocolate chip cookies

Coconut flour tends to behave in a very strange, unique way in baking. It absorbs a significant amount of moisture, so it will make crumbly baked goods if its moisture needs aren’t satisfied by the other ingredients in the recipe.

The most common moisture source in most coconut flour recipes is eggs—often by the half dozen. Although the addition of so many eggs does prevent baked goods from being crumbly, it also tends to make them taste, well, like an omelet. 

When making these cookies with coconut flour, you’ll also find that they don’t spread as much as the tapioca flour variety. It helps to press the balls of dough into flat disks before baking, so the cookies don’t end up too thick.

A stack of Paleo chocolate chip cookies with one broken on top

Adding tapioca starch to almond flour

Tapioca starch is “Paleo-legal,” but it’s still a starch. It can’t compare to the nutritional value of coconut flour, but it is significantly easier to bake with than coconut flour.

In fact, it’s so easy to bake with that I’ve used it as the only flour in certain recipes like our soft tapioca flour wraps. Like coconut flour, it rarely has a one for one substitute in baking, as it’s unique in its power to provide stretch and crispness to baked goods.

A tray with raw balls of Paleo chocolate chip cookies

Other than its unique stretching capabilities, tapioca flour (also interchangeably called tapioca starch) can help provide crispness to baked goods. This recipe only calls for one-half cup (60 grams) of tapioca starch, but if you were to use a greater amount of tapioca starch you could even make truly crispy and crunchy Paleo chocolate chip cookies

More and more, I have been hearing from readers who either need to replace tapioca starch in their diets, or are allergic to coconut in all its forms. As long as you’re not unable to have both tapioca starch and coconut flour, you can make one variety or another of these favorite chocolate chip cookies.

Paleo chocolate chip cookies baked on tray

Ingredients and substitutions

Making this recipe is as easy as combining the dry ingredients in a bowl, whisking them, then adding the wet ingredients and mixing. If you have other food intolerances and allergies or are just hungry for more information about the ingredients in this recipe, here is everything I can tell you about the recipe components:

Almond flour: Almond flour can often usually be replaced successfully with raw cashew flour. If you need to make these almond flour chocolate chip cookies nut-free, you can try replacing the almond flour with sunflower seed flour. They may take on a greenish tint, though, as the baking soda will activate the chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds, but it’s harmless.

Egg-free: You can try using a “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel) for each of the eggs you’re replacing, but I’m honestly not sure how that would work in this recipe!

Coconut flour: See the discussion above about baking with coconut flour, and how you can avoid it in this recipe by using the almond flour/tapioca starch variety.

Coconut oil: In place of coconut oil, you can try using Spectrum nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening, or Melt brand VeganButter. Both should work great.

Sugar-free: You may be able to replace the coconut palm sugar in this recipe with Swerve brand granulated sugar replacement, but pay careful attention to the texture of the dough as Swerve tends to be drying. You cannot replace the granulated sugar with a liquid one, like maple syrup or honey. Instead, try this recipe for almond flour cookies.

Chocolate chips: Feel free to use whatever chips you like, or whatever other mix-ins in their place, like chopped nuts. Don’t eliminate the mix-in entirely, though, as it helps provide the cookies with some structure during baking.


Stack of Paleo chocolate chip cookies on black table Four Paleo chocolate chip cookies in a stack with one on the side

Perfect Paleo chocolate chip cookies, made with almond flour and tapioca flour or coconut flour. They'll satisfy your sweet tooth and your appetite, too! #glutenfree #grainfree #Paleo #dairyfree #cookies

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 14 to 16 cookies


For the tapioca starch variety
1 1/2 cups (180 g) blanched almond flour

1/2 cup (60 g) tapioca starch/flour

For the coconut flour variety
1 2/3 cups (200 g) finely ground blanched almond flour

1/4 cup (24 g) coconut flour

For both varieties
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 cup (120 g) granulated coconut palm sugar

1/4 cup (56 g) virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

5 ounces dark chocolate chips


  • Make and chill the cookie dough. In a large bowl, place the 1 1/2 cups of almond flour and 1/2 cup tapioca flour, or 1 2/3 cup almond flour and 1/4 cup coconut flour), salt, baking soda, and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add the coconut oil, eggs, and vanilla and mixing to combine. Add the chocolate chips to the cookie dough, and mix until the chips are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Both varieties of the dough will be soft but the almond flour/coconut flour combination will be softer than the almond flour/tapioca starch combination. Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to 2 days.

  • Shaping the almond flour/tapioca cookies. When you are nearly ready to bake the cookies, preheat your oven to 325°F. Line rimmed baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper. Remove the cookie dough from the refrigerator, remove the plastic wrap and using an ice cream scoop or two spoons, divide the dough into 14 to 16 portions, each 35 to 40 grams. Roll each piece of dough into a round between your palms, and place about 2 inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheets.

    Shaping the almond flour/coconut flour cookies. You can shape these cookies in the same manner as the tapioca variety, but you will need to flatten each ball of dough into a 1/2-inch thick disk on the baking sheet after rolling into a ball. The coconut flour cookies will not spread as readily. Alternatively, divide the coconut flour cookie dough into two equal portions on generous pieces of parchment paper, shape each into a log about 1 1/2 inches in diameter, and wrap each tightly. Place the dough in the refrigerator to chill again for about 30 minutes. Unwrap each piece of dough, slice each into 8 pieces and place about 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet.

  • Bake the cookies. Place the baking sheets, one at a time, in the center of the preheated oven and bake until lightly golden brown all over and mostly set toward the center (about 14 minutes). Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on the baking sheet (about 10 minutes). They will become more firm as they cool. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.

  • Original version of Paleo chocolate chip cookies published in 2013; tapioca flour version published in 2015. Video published 2016. Compilation published in 2019. 


Comments are closed.

  • Fiona
    January 14, 2019 at 8:26 PM

    I don’t follow Paleo so I used brown sugar as that is what I had. I also used peanut butter chips. These were some of the best cookies I’ve ever had. Crispy and chewy, easy to make, a real winner. Thanks Nicole.

    • Nicole Hunn
      January 15, 2019 at 9:40 AM

      So glad to know that brown sugar worked well for you in this recipe, Fiona. And that you enjoyed the cookies! I’m so pleased.

  • Julie L
    January 13, 2019 at 2:22 PM

    I gave up paleo baking six months ago when I devoted myself to the 20lb subscription of Better Batter, but you’ve got me re-upping on my almond flour and coconut flour stock, opening my kitchen (and my heart) to paleo baking once again. These look amazing- I always had my paleo chocolate chippers turn out like some kind of sad, crumbly macaroon, but I trust that my children will be happy to share these with their friends. Thank you!

    • Nicole Hunn
      January 15, 2019 at 9:39 AM

      I’m so glad you’re opening back up to the idea of baking with almond and coconut flours, Julie. They’re not an “everyday” sort of thing, but they’re great for things like these cookies and some of my favorite low carb tortillas. And the happy-to-share-with-friends goal is always my guidepost! ?

  • Fernanda Niskier Cukier
    January 13, 2019 at 11:26 AM

    It is ok to use regular sugar or
    Brown sugar instead of cocconut sugar?
    Love from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    • Nicole Hunn
      January 13, 2019 at 2:14 PM

      I haven’t tried this recipe with brown sugar, Fernanda, but it should work just fine if you measure by weight, not volume. If you don’t need a Paleo recipe in general, maybe use one of my conventional gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipes.

  • Joann
    April 20, 2018 at 10:55 PM

    The BEST Paleo cookies out there! A great blend of almond and coconut flour. A winner!

  • October 21, 2016 at 8:45 AM

    No, I’m afraid there isn’t. It sounds like maybe a traditional gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe would suit your needs better. There are plenty here on the blog. Just use the search function.

  • Mare Masterson
    October 20, 2016 at 12:33 PM

    Nicole, can these be made and then frozen?

    • October 21, 2016 at 8:44 AM

      They sure can, Mare! They freeze really, really well in fact.

  • Leslie
    October 7, 2016 at 12:54 PM

    Hi Nicole! I love your recipes, especially the part where you provide exact weight measurements alongside ingredients (where they matter). Problem for me is swopping out the sugars for erythritol /stevia powder/stevia liquid. Any suggestions?

  • Daniela
    October 3, 2016 at 5:42 AM

    I love these. I make mine with regular almond meal and the result is delicious :)

  • Beverly
    September 4, 2016 at 6:30 PM

    I love the Paleo recipes, especially for baked goods. However, I have a tree nut allergy. What would you suggest as a substitute for almond flour?

    • September 5, 2016 at 9:51 AM

      Hi, Beverly. The only nut-free substitute I know of for blanched almond flour is sunflower seed flour. I would try that! And I have a nut-free recipe for Paleo blueberry muffins here on the blog that you might like. It’s made with coconut flour, but no almond flour.

  • Joanne
    September 4, 2016 at 2:50 PM

    These cookies look awesome and I like your photo’s too. I love baking with almond flour and coconut flour.

  • Edith D Thurman
    September 4, 2016 at 12:53 PM

    There are plenty of sugar alcohols that do not bother blood sugar that will work just as good if not better! Do a search for Paleo chocolate chip cookies you’ll find lots of recipes some better than this!

  • Jennifer S.
    September 2, 2016 at 11:45 PM

    Three years later and I’m still commenting that these look awesome!!!!!

    • September 4, 2016 at 1:16 PM

      The question is, Jennifer, will you ever make them? You won’t be sorry!! ??

  • RN
    September 2, 2016 at 9:33 PM

    Oh you posted these before! They are absolutely the best!! Everyone in my family is hooked on these and they all have the recipe. We call them THE cookies!!! They are fabulous! A+ from me!

    • September 4, 2016 at 1:14 PM

      I love that, RN! “THE” cookies. :)

  • Karla Gossen
    September 2, 2016 at 4:38 PM

    your husband should be fine with the coconut sugar my dad is diabetic and can use coconut sugar with no problems

    • Edith D Thurman
      September 4, 2016 at 12:51 PM

      NO! Coconut sugar acts just like sugar in your body! Plus palm coconut sugar actually kills the trees which is why I refuse to use it, just like I would palm oil if it wasn’t in EVERYTHING!

      • September 4, 2016 at 1:15 PM

        Edith, there are sustainably raised palm oils and other products. I’d really like to let everyone make their own choices here, and leave it at that.

  • Jan B
    September 2, 2016 at 3:20 PM

    I can’t have regular chocolate but am going to try with the white chocolate chips. I need these!

    • Beverly
      September 4, 2016 at 6:31 PM

      I enjoy using Enjoy Life brand chocolate chips. Allergy friendly ingredients…

      • Jan B
        September 5, 2016 at 2:48 PM

        Thanks Beverly. I can’t have any chocolate because of the caffeine.

  • Mare Masterson
    September 2, 2016 at 11:40 AM

    This reminder of this recipe came at such a good time! I have really been having a rough time of it lately and this morning I decided that I need some good comfort food and this recipe fits the bill perfectly! All I need to get is the dark chocolate chips to make it happen this weekend!

    • September 2, 2016 at 2:40 PM

      I’m sorry things have been hard lately, Mare. These cookies will definitely help! ?

  • Lisa Whitaker
    October 11, 2013 at 7:17 AM

    I have been a follower of yours for a VERY long time as well as Paleo for 2 years now. I have Iost 50 pounds and way more inches I can account for. I went from a fluffy size 16 to a very thin size 4. I feel incredible. Better than going GF alone. I think to myself, I must have had intolerances to other grains and not realized it. I truly appreciate your sharing your dabbling in Paleo. I can relate to needing a cookie just for mom every once and a while. True, made me giggle. Make sure your Paleo readers get the lowest sugar content chocolate chips possible. We get the bars and chop them up.

  • Heather Collins
    October 10, 2013 at 4:17 PM

    Those look yummy!

  • valerie
    October 10, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Do you have any idea about the carb and sugar content of these cookies? I’m diabetic but I do love me some cookies!! Paleo bread is perfect for a diabetic but at $10/loaf forget it. Tks

  • valerie
    October 10, 2013 at 1:24 PM

    Do you have any idea about the carb and sugar content of these cookies? I’m diabetic but I do love me some cookies!! Paleo bread is perfect for a diabetic but at $10/loaf forget it. Tks

    • October 10, 2013 at 1:29 PM

      Hi, Valerie, I don’t provide that sort of information. It’s just me here, so I don’t have the resources to research nutritional content for all of my recipes. There are lots of online calculators, though!

  • GG
    October 10, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    Wow thanks!
    Your next book Gluten Free, Paleo? ;-)

    • October 10, 2013 at 1:30 PM

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, GG, but my next book will definitely not be Paleo! ;)
      xoxo Nicole

  • Mare Masterson
    October 10, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Wow I have been so busy at work this week that I have not been able to check in and I come to see all these marvelous things you have worked on this week!

    I, too, got my delay notice from Amazon. Heavy sigh. Doesn’t your publisher know we are chomping at the bit here?

  • Jennifer Sasse
    October 10, 2013 at 11:25 AM

    Nicole – You go girl and be out of control with CCCs (chocolate chip cookies) – they rock and so do you! :)

  • JillT
    October 10, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    Thank the stars! A cookie recipe using the two flours I already own! :)

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