Welcome to another one of those recipes that’s been in my drafts for MONTHS. I prepped a few months of content as I was preparing for my maternity leave (and am somewhat still on) and somehow these soft banana cookies are just appearing now.
But let’s welcome them with open arms because hello… I MADE YOU COOKIES that taste like BANANA BREAD and that are gluten free, grain free and paleo friendly. They’re incredibly delicious straight outta the freezer too; since they have a soft texture they end up being fudgy and dense when eaten frozen.
I’m almost convinced I should have called them freezer banana fudge cookies, but I’ll let you decide!
What’s in these healthy banana cookies?
These deliciously soft, healthy banana cookies are made with a few simple ingredients to keep them gluten & grain free. Check out the notes section for any additional swaps to make them dairy free, paleo or vegan! Here are the basics you’ll need:
- Almond & coconut flour: both flours are gluten free, grain free, lower in carbohydrates and higher in fiber compared to regular flour. They also have a nice sweetness to them, meaning we don’t have to use as much sweetener. I always recommend using fine blanched almond flour in baking because it bakes up perfectly and has a texture similar to regular flour. Make sure you pack your almond flour when you measure it out for these cookies.
- Coconut oil: I like using coconut oil in baked goods like this because it adds a delicious flavor. You can also use butter or vegan butter to get the right moisture we’re going for.
- Banana: the most important part of the banana bread cookies! Make sure to use a ripe banana to get the natural sweetness and true banana flavor in these cookies. You will also need to measure out the mashed banana to ensure that it’s the proper amount.
- Organic cane or coconut sugar: I prefer to use organic cane sugar in these cookies to make them truly sugar cookie-like, but coconut sugar will work well, too. The coconut sugar will just bake up a bit darker.
- Egg: be sure to use a room temperature egg in this recipe so that it doesn’t cause the coconut oil to harden. I like to do this by running it under warm water for 1 minute.
- Cinnamon: the hint of cinnamon adds that warm, banana bread flavor to these cookies.
- Powdered sugar: this is the base of the easy cream cheese frosting. Feel free to try using my paleo powdered sugar, too!
- Cream cheese: to make the frosting nice and thick and easy to spread. You can also use a vegan cream cheese to keep the frosting dairy free.
- Butter: a little bit of butter makes the frosting extra creamy and delicious. Feel free to swap to vegan butter as well.
- Toasted walnuts or pecans: I love love the sprinkle of toasted nuts on top of the cream cheese frosting. It reminds me of a true banana walnut bread. Optional, but amazing!
How to make these banana cookies dairy free
These grain free banana cookies can easily be made dairy free by just swapping in vegan cream cheese & vegan butter, and the cookies themselves are delicious even without the frosting (though the frosting takes these the next level).
Tips for making these gluten free banana cookies
- Do not use substitutes. Almond flour should not be replaced with any other flour, nor should you attempt to replace the coconut flour. The cookies are perfect as-is! I do have dairy free & vegan options to try substituting in the notes section.
- Pack your almond flour. You can pack the almond flour just like you would with brown sugar. It makes all the difference! No need to pack the coconut flour though.
- Measure out the mashed banana. You’ll need 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana.
- This recipe is grain free, gluten free and easily dairy free. To make completely dairy free, just use vegan butter and vegan cream cheese instead of regular butter & cream cheese in the frosting.
- Store these in the freezer after a day for even more deliciousness. These cookies get softer as the days go on so I recommend keeping them in the freezer. I know this seems weird, but I froze a bunch of these cookies, then tried one straight from the freezer and they were incredible! Tasted like a banana bread fudge.
Can you freeze these banana bread cookies?
These healthy banana cookies are perfect when frozen can easily be frozen with or without the frosting on them so that you can enjoy them whenever you’re looking for a sweet treat. Trust me, they taste just like banana bread fudge when eaten straight from the freezer.
- To store the gluten free banana cookies: feel free to keep these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day, then transfer to the fridge or freezer. I recommend freezer.
- To freeze the banana cookies: make sure the cookies are completely cooled, and then transfer them to an airtight container lined with wax or parchment paper or freezer-safe bag before storing them in the freezer for up to 2 months. I like to place them in a single layer to avoid any cookies breaking. Once ready to eat, simply thaw out at room temperature and enjoy!
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do. If you make it, be sure to leave a comment and rate the recipe below! xo.
Healthy Soft Banana Bread Cookies
Soft, healthy banana cookies made with a mix of almond and coconut flour to make them gluten and grain free! These gluten free banana cookies taste like a slice of your favorite banana bread and are topped with a luscious cream cheese frosting for a delicious treat everyone loves. Paleo friendly and easily vegan & dairy free!
- Wet Ingredients:
- 2 tablespoons melted and cooled coconut oil (or sub melted butter or vegan butter)
- 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (from 1 medium ripe banana)
- ¼ cup organic cane sugar (or coconut sugar*)
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dry Ingredients:
- 1 1/4 cups packed fine blanched almond flour (do not use almond meal)
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- For the cream cheese frosting:
- ½ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese or vegan cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons butter or vegan butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond milk, if necessary, to thin out frosting
- For the topping:
- ¼ cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
In a large bowl, add the melted and cooled coconut oil, mashed banana, sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined and smooth. Next add in almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix until a soft dough forms. Allow dough to chill in the fridge for 5 minutes while you preheat the oven.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Use your hands to roll dough into golf sized balls (it will be a softer dough but that’s okay.) Place on prepared cookie sheet then flatten each dough ball with the palm of your hand, but still keep the cookies nice and round. They should be about 1/4 inch thick before baking because we still want them to be nice, thick and fluffy. Bake for 9-12 minutes.
- Remove from oven, allow cookies to firm up on baking sheet for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow cookies to cool completely before frosting. Makes about 12-14 cookies.
- For the frosting: In a medium bowl or bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the powdered sugar, cream cheese, softened butter and vanilla extract. If frosting is too thick, you can add a teaspoon of milk to make it spreadable. Frost each cookie then top with chopped walnuts or pecans. Sprinkle top of frosting with a little cinnamon for a gorgeous look. Cookies will get softer each day. Cookies can be stored in a container at room temp for a day or two, then I recommend storing them in the fridge for up to a week or freezer for up to 2 months. Makes 12 cookies.
If you prefer to make a vanilla buttercream instead of a cream cheese frosting, simply eliminate the cream cheese and replace with 2 tablespoons of softened butter instead. Vegan butter will work here too!
If you don’t want to do a frosting, feel free to stir in ½ cup chocolate chips (dairy free if desired) into the batter.
To make vegan: I haven’t tested this, but I think a flaxegg would work well in this recipe (1 tablespoon flaxseed meal + 3 tablespoons water). Use a vegan cream cheese like Kite Hill and a vegan butter like Earth Balance as well.
*Please note that if you use coconut sugar in the recipe, your cookies may come out slightly darker, but will still taste the same!