Easy Tahini Cookies (Vegan + GF)

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Wood plate with gluten-free vegan tahini cookies

Step aside peanut butter cookies (not too far, we still love you!), there’s a new treat in town: tahini cookies! They’re addictively delicious and SO easy they practically make themselves (just 1 bowl, 7 ingredients, and about 20 minutes required).

These cookies are perfectly nutty, the ideal balance of salty and sweet, plus vegan and gluten-free (but no one will know)! Let’s do this!

Tahini, sesame seeds, salt, tapioca starch, almond flour, and maple syrup

Origin of Tahini Cookies

Tahini is an Arabic name for ground sesame seeds and it’s a popular ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine.

In our search for the origin of tahini cookies, we learned that the treat is popular in Israel and a version called tahin kurabiyesi is popular in Turkey. While we’ve never been so lucky to try either version, we’re kind of obsessed with tahini (and cookies!), so we couldn’t help but make a treat that combined the two.

The following is our inspired take on tahini cookies made gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, vegan, and butter- and oil-free. They have a tender center and crispy exterior vs. the more shortbread-like style of Turkish and Israeli tahini cookies.

How to Make Tahini Cookies

These cookies begin with whisking tahini and maple syrup into a smooth mixture. Hot tip? Not all brands of tahini are created equal! We find it easier to work with tahini that’s smooth and drippy vs. thick and pasty. We did a review comparing brands of tahini to help you find one that’s easy to work with.

Using a whisk to combine tahini and maple syrup

Once you’ve got a smooth mixture, it’s time to add in the flours, salt, and baking soda. Almond flour gives these cookies a light crumb, while tapioca starch gives them structure.

Mixing almond flour and tapioca starch into tahini and maple syrup

After mixing in the flours, you’ll get cookie dough!

Holding a ball of cookie dough over a mixing bowl

Roll it into balls, dip them in sesame seeds, flatten slightly, and bake until golden!

Unbaked tahini cookies on a baking sheet

Can you say cutest cookies ever!?

Baking sheet with baked tahini cookies coated in sesame seeds

We hope you LOVE these tahini cookies! They’re:

Crispy on the edges
Tender in the inside
Super simple
& SO delicious!

Enjoy these delicious treats with a cup of coffee, chai, or hot chocolate. They’re perfect for afternoon snacks, cookie parties, or any time you’re craving a more sophisticated alternative to peanut butter cookies!

More Recipes for Tahini Lovers

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!

Holding a partially eaten tahini cookie to show the tender center

Easy Tahini Cookies (Vegan + GF)

Addictively delicious tahini cookies: nutty, salty-sweet, vegan, gluten-free, and incredibly fast! Just 1 bowl, 7 ingredients, and less than 30 minutes required!
Author Minimalist Baker
Plate of vegan gluten-free tahini cookies
4.85 from 80 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 20 (Cookies)
Course Dessert
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegan
Freezer Friendly 1 Month (see notes)
Does it keep? 3-4 Days


  • 1/2 cup tahini, unsalted and smooth (see our tahini review for our favorite brands)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 ¼ cup almond flour
  • 3/4 cup tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 cup raw sesame seeds


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • To a medium mixing bowl, add tahini and maple syrup and use a whisk to thoroughly combine. Next add the almond flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, and salt to the tahini mixture. Use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to mix well.
  • Place the sesame seeds into a small bowl and set it nearby. Use a tablespoon or small cookie scoop to scoop the dough, then roll them into near perfect balls before gently rolling each ball in the sesame seeds and placing them 2 inches apart on the baking sheet. Gently press down on the balls to flatten slightly. Recipe as written should make ~20 cookies and they won’t spread much, so they should all fit on a standard size baking sheet.
  • Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until golden. Let cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy!
  • Store leftovers covered at room temperature up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 1 month. Enjoy at room temperature for best texture.



*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
*For freezing dough: Complete steps 2 & 3, then place your unbaked cookies into an airtight container or freezer bag. When ready to bake, place frozen cookies on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes, until golden.
*You can substitute 1 ¼ cups DIY Gluten-Free Flour Blend or 1 cup traditional all-purpose flour for both almond flour and tapioca starch, but if you do, you should use baking powder instead of baking soda and reduce the salt by half! The texture is not quite the same and the cookies are not as flavorful, but they do work!
*Loosely adapted from Food & Wine’s Honey Tahini Cookies.

Nutrition (1 of 20 servings)

Serving: 1 cookie Calories: 128 Carbohydrates: 10.8 g Protein: 3.4 g Fat: 8.3 g Saturated Fat: 0.8 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.3 g Monounsaturated Fat: 2.7 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 93 mg Potassium: 76 mg Fiber: 1.8 g Sugar: 5.1 g Vitamin A: 1 IU Vitamin C: 0 mg Calcium: 35 mg Iron: 0.7 mg

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  1. Anna says

    Hi! I would like to make these cookies for a friend who’s allergic to nuts.
    Would coconut flour work alongside the tapioca starch? Thank you :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Anna, it might work but we haven’t tried it. Coconut flour is much more absorbent than almond, though, so we’d suggest starting with half the amount and adding more as needed. Let us know how it goes!

  2. Lauren says

    Hi! I don’t have almond flour or tapioca starch, do you think it would work to just use regular flour in their place? Thanks :)

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Lauren! You can use 1 cup traditional all-purpose flour for both almond flour and tapioca starch, but if you do, you should use baking powder instead of baking soda and reduce the salt by half! The texture is not quite the same and the cookies are not as flavorful, but they do work!

    • Avatar for Dana @ Minimalist BakerSupport @ Minimalist Baker says

      Hi Zahra, almond meal might work, but they will have a different flavor and might come out a bit drier!

  3. Nicole says

    A perfect cookie! Easy, light and delicious. I’ll be making these again, experimenting with flavor varieties like different nut butters, etc.

    • Nancy A Willis says

      Wow. These cookies very so easy to make and I really loved them. They tasted great. I had to cook in two batches. First group I only pressed down lightly as indicated in the recipe instructions. Second batch I flattened more. Second batch was very crispy and first batch was more chewy. I loved them both but liked the chewy batch more. I added a little maple sugar (not syrup) to the sesame seed mix that we were to roll the dough in. That was my only variation. 5 stars for flavor and ease of making. Only problem is not eating them all at once. Yum.

  4. Kim says

    These were super easy and very delicious! Wonderfully sesame-y and just the right sweetness. For me, it took 1/3c sesame seeds to roll the 1tbsp cookie dough balls in. I also only placed the slightly flattened cookies an inch or even slightly less than an inch apart and while they spread, it wasn’t much and none of them touched! Close but didn’t quite touch.
    I’ll definitely be making these again!