Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies (Vegan + GF)

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Stack of gluten-free vegan cranberry macadamia nut cookies

We had BIG dreams for a vegan, gluten-free version of classic white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Little did we know, good vegan white chocolate chips are hard to come by! But when we swapped them for dried cranberries in this new dough, we found our new favorite cookie!

These cookies taste just like the classics — they’re soft, sweet, vanilla-infused, and we’re confident you won’t even miss the chocolate! Plus, they’re easy to make (1 bowl) and undetectably gluten-free and vegan! We plan on making them all year round. Let us show you how it’s done!

Almond flour, sorghum flour, tapioca starch, brown rice flour, macadamia nuts, vegan butter, cranberries, brown sugar, cane sugar, baking soda, applesauce, and vanilla

How To Make Macadamia Nut Cookies

These cookies start with creaming vegan butter and sugar using a hand mixer. This technique adds air to the dough, giving the cookies the soft, light texture of classic macadamia nut cookies.

Then we mix in applesauce as the egg replacement and vanilla extract for a delicious, vanilla-infused dough.

Creaming vegan butter and sugar

To keep them gluten-free (and oat-free for those who need it!), we used a combination of almond flour for its crumb texture, sorghum flour for its sweet, mild flavor, brown rice flour for its structure, and tapioca starch for lightness and binding.

Baking soda provides the leavening and sea salt is a cookie essential for maximizing flavor.

Using a hand mixer to combine wet and dry ingredients

After mixing the dry ingredients into the wet, the only remaining ingredients are the crunchy macadamia nuts and sweet dried cranberries (and/or white chocolate chips if you find tasty ones!).

Stirring macadamia nuts and dried cranberries into fluffy cookie dough

Then chill the dough to solidify the vegan butter. This prevents the cookies from spreading too much!

Unbaked macadamia nut cookie dough discs on a baking sheet

When ready to bake, form the dough into discs and pop them in the oven until the cookie edges are golden! Only 10 minutes of cooling (if you can resist that long) and they’re ready to devour!

Cranberry macadamia nut cookies on a cooling rack

We hope you LOVE these macadamia nut cookies! They’re:

Perfectly soft
& SO delicious!

Make a batch to enjoy as a sweet treat throughout the week, bring to a holiday cookie party, or celebrate with friends and family!

More Delicious Cookie Recipes

If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!

Soft gluten-free and vegan cookie studded with macadamia nuts and cranberries

Cranberry Macadamia Nut Cookies (Vegan + GF)

Soft, sweet cranberry macadamia nut cookies that are undetectably gluten-free and vegan! Just 1 bowl required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Plate with a stack of cranberry macadamia nut cookies
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 18 (Cookies)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 month
Does it keep? 3-4 Days


  • 1/2 cup cold vegan butter, cubed (we used Miyoko’s)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (organic if vegan)
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar (organic if vegan)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour*
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup raw macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries (see notes for adding white chocolate chips)


  • Add the butter to a medium mixing bowl with the brown sugar and cane sugar and use a hand mixer to cream them together until fluffy. You can also do this with a stand mixer. Next, add the applesauce and vanilla extract and beat until well combined.
  • Add the almond flour, sorghum flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low until the flours are completely incorporated. Fold in the macadamia nuts and cranberries with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Chill the dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C) and prepare two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
  • Once the dough is chilled, use a spoon or 1 ½ Tbsp cookie scoop (we like this one) to scoop the dough into balls and place them on the baking sheets, spacing them two inches apart. For softer cookies, leave the dough in balls, or for slightly flatter and crisper cookies, press the dough balls down slightly to form discs (our preferred method). Bake for 11-13 minutes until just golden on the edges. Let cool for 10 minutes before enjoying!
  • Leftover cookies keep at room temperature for 3-4 days, in the refrigerator for 1 week (though the texture will change slightly), or in the freezer for 1 month.



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*We tested swapping in our DIY gluten-free blend for the sorghum flour, brown rice flour, and tapioca starch. The cookies worked but they were slightly crumbly and less flavorful.
*The closest sub for sorghum flour would be oat flour, but we haven’t tested it in this recipe.
*If not vegan, you can add 1/2 – 3/4 cup of your favorite brand of white chocolate chips in place of or in addition to the dried cranberries. If vegan, we tested with Pascha brand but preferred these cookies without vegan white chocolate chips.

Nutrition (1 of 18 servings)

Serving: 1 cookie Calories: 183 Carbohydrates: 23.2 g Protein: 1.9 g Fat: 9.9 g Saturated Fat: 4.2 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.7 g Monounsaturated Fat: 3.8 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 131 mg Potassium: 80 mg Fiber: 1.6 g Sugar: 12.7 g Vitamin A: 3.9 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 18.8 mg Iron: 0.5 mg

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My Rating:

  1. Sarah says

    Incredible cookies. I tried this with Oat flour (Quaker brand) instead of sorghum flour.
    It works, no question, so in case anyone is wondering whether this swap is a good one, it is!
    I used a stand mixer, so don’t worry about if over-mixing will be a problem.
    I also chilled for over an hour, and kept the dough in fridge between batches.
    Additionally, maybe due to this swap, I didn’t flatten them at all, they were in balls, and they spread out perfectly. Crispy edges, chewy centers… amazing.

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Love it! Thanks so much for the wonderful review and for sharing your modifications, Sarah!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Jade, perhaps another fruit purée such as pear? Or if not vegan/egg-free, you could try 1 egg, but they will likely be more dry. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

  2. Heather says

    I made these last night with white chocolate chips, in place of the cranberries. I used 1/2 cup of the chips. I also only had salted macadamia nuts, so I used a 1/4 tsp of salt. They were absolutely delicious! Thanks for a great recipe! 😀

  3. Alyssa says

    Just made these last night and they were amazing! I didn’t have tapioca flour, so I used potato starch instead (only 1/4 cup per recommendations I found online to only use half the amount you would tapioca). Also added Enjoy Life brand mini white chocolate chips (v/gf). I was nervous that they would be crumbly but they stay together perfectly – they are soft in the middle and crisp around the edges! Thanks minimalist baker — will def be making these again <3

  4. Seanna says

    Just made these and am eating one fresh out of the oven! I made the recipe exactly as described but added an egg for extra binding. They are SO delicious, soft and moist and are holding together very well.

  5. Jennifer says

    I made these today. Followed the recipe to a T. Weighed everything. These taste insanely good. But they are super soft. Fall apart soft. Even after a couple of hours. Can you please make a suggestion to help. I used a red handle scoop, left them in balls, and put them in the oven fully chilled. I want these to work so much. They are a huge hit taste wise!!! Out of the park good. I just need them a little less fragile. Thank you!!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      We’re so glad you enjoy them, Jennifer! Is it possible they were overbaked? That would cause them to dry out and be more fragile. If not, other ideas would be to increase the tapioca starch slightly and/or perhaps add a flax egg?

  6. Amanda says

    These look amazing! I want to make them but can’t find sorghum flour. Any ideas what I can use instead?

    Thanks for the amazing recipes!

  7. Amy says

    I really want to make these cookies. I have regular all purpose flour, coconut flour, almond flour, and tapioca flour. Could I use a combination of these flours to make the cookies? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Amy, we haven’t tested it this way, but think it would work to replace the sorghum and brown rice flours with a slightly lesser amount of all purpose flour. Let us know if you try it!

  8. Ophelia says

    If I wanted to make these cookies non vegan, how many eggs would I use instead of the applesauce? Also, could I swap out all of the different flours for all purpose flour?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ophelia, we haven’t tested it that way, so can’t guarantee they will turn out the same since applesauce adds moisture. If you try it, we’d suggest 1 egg and perhaps 1 1/2 – 2 cups of all purpose flour in place of all the flours. Let us know if you do some experimenting!

      • Debbie says

        I love the style of these Cookies!! but was wondering could I use Coconut/Virgin olive oils instead of v/butter as I’m not a fan of V/butter as hard to get here .. or your ideas please as all your recipes are such a huge hit!!

        • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

          Hi Debbie! We haven’t tried it and we suspect that the texture of the cookies might be different, they might spread more and be a bit oily, but it could be worth a try. Let us know how it goes!

          • Saraleah says

            We traded out and used coconut oil instead of butter and sunflower seed flour instead of almond flour and the results were wonderful.

          • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

            Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing your modifications as well, Saraleah!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Ana, we think fresh cranberries would be too tart and add too much moisture. Another dried fruit would work though!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Tasie! You could possibly use more sorghum flour if you have it, or potentially oat flour, but we haven’t tried the latter. Let us know how it goes!

  9. Maria says

    This sounds so yummy and definitely going to keep this recipe because great Vegan + GF are hard to find.
    Is there a way I could get this recipe in non vegan?
    If I change a few of the ingredients from Vegan to not, do I still need all three flours?

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Merry Christmas 🎄

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Maria! If you use regular butter and an egg (in place of the applesauce) they should work well! We would recommend still using all the flours, as it gives the cookies the best taste and texture! Let us know how it goes!

  10. The Vegan Goddess says

    White chocolate chip macadamia nuts are one of my favorite cookies so I’d love to try this recipe.

    Do you think that coconut sugar is too dark and/or heavy for this cookie? I’d rather use unrefined sugar whenever possible. I do have the recommended sugar though.

    Also, I prefer to use refined coconut oil in lieu of butter or even “vegan” butter and have found that it is good substitute most of the time. You don’t think that will work here?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi! Unfortunately we do not think that coconut sugar would work well here, the cookies might bake up but we much prefer the taste and texture with cane sugar. We did not text these with coconut oil, we suspect it might make the cookies spread too much, but it could be worth a try. Let us know if you give it a try!

      • The Vegan Goddess says

        I made these cookies your way with refined sugar and Myoko’s vegan butter, and they turned out great.

        I was finally able to find dried cranberries without any oil or added sugar or chemicals. They are bitter unsweetened but that was not an issue when added to the sugary dough.

  11. Sara says

    I can only use almond and oat flour. What would measurements be to sub in those two. Also, cannot have that much sugar. Can I omit one of them or add maple syrup?

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Sara! Unfortunately these cookies really need the right balance of flours to turn out well, and we have not tried them with oat flour so we can’t guarantee results. They also do best with cane sugar, it helps them bake into the best texture. For lower sugar recipes with almond flour and oats, we do have some flourless cookies you might enjoy as well as our brownie cookies! Hope this helps!