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Wonder Cookies! Vegan, grain-free, date-sweetened chocolate chunk cookies (with a nut-free option) - The First Mess

Wonder Cookies

Wonder cookies are vegan, grain-free, date-sweetened, and are easily made nut-free. Truly delicious and feel-good chocolate chip cookies.
Course Dessert, Snack
Cuisine Dairy-free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Special Diets, Vegan
Diet Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword almond butter, almond flour, apple cider vinegar, chocolate, chocolate chips, coconut flour, coconut oil, flax, sunbutter, sunflower seeds, vanilla, vanilla extract
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 20 Cookies


  • cup pitted dates, lightly packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons of water
  • ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup + 1 teaspoon MELTED AND COOLED coconut oil, measured in its liquid state
  • ¼ cup roasted, smooth almond butter (or sunflower seed butter for nut-free version)
  • 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond flour or sunflower seed flour (see note)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 scant cup vegan chocolate chunks/chips


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • Place the dates in a bowl. Cover them with boiling water. Let them soak and soften for 5 whole minutes.
  • In a small bowl, vigorously stir together the ground flaxseed, water, and apple cider vinegar. Set mixture aside for 5 minutes to thicken/gel slightly.
  • Once the dates are softened, drain and transfer them to the bowl of a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade. Add the flaxseed mixture, coconut oil, almond butter, and vanilla. Run the food processor on high until you have a relatively smooth paste, stopping at one point to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the almond flour, coconut flour, salt, and baking soda to the food processor. Run the motor on high until you have a sticky and unified dough, stopping at one point to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  • Scrape the sticky cookie dough out into a medium bowl. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula until they are evenly mixed throughout the dough.
  • Drop heaped tablespoons of the cookie dough out onto the baking sheet. Once you’ve scooped all of the dough, lightly oil your hands. Roll and flatten each portion of dough and arrange on the baking sheet. These cookies will not spread as they bake, so they won’t need much space.
  • Bake the wonder cookies until deep golden on the undersides and lightly cracked on top, about 11 minutes. Cool cookies on the baking sheet. These cookies are optimally enjoyed the day that they are baked.


  • This cookie dough will seem impossibly sticky/too wet when you’re trying to shape it. I recommend lightly oiling your hands to roll and flatten the portions of dough.
  • My dates were the dry, typically cheaper, ones that you can find in the baking aisle. If you’re using extra soft and fresh Medjool dates, I’d only soak them for about 1 minute or so (or forego soaking entirely).
  • I know that regulation chocolate chips/chunks/bars always have sugar. If you want to keep these TRULY refined sugar-free, go with Lily's Baking Chips, which are sweetened with stevia.
  • I made the “sun-flour” (sunflower seed flour) in the dry blade container of my Vitamix. Just whole, raw sunflower seeds that I pulsed until they resembled almond flour. I tried to do this in the food processor, and the result was definitely more coarse. I think you can make it work if you keep scraping down the bowl and persevering, making sure that the mixture doesn’t overheat and clump up..
  • I list coconut oil for these wonder cookies, but versions that I tried with grapeseed and avocado oil were just as good.