These gluten free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies just became my favorite cookie of all time — no joke!
Made with toasted macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips, cassava flour, butter, sugar, and eggs, they're easy to whip up and NO ONE will know that they're gluten free.
Hands down, gluten free white chocolate macadamia cookies are the BEST cookies
I dare you to disagree.
My husband discovered that he LOVES white chocolate macadamia cookies last year (yes, he'd seriously never had them before) and challenged me to make a gluten free version I could whip up whenever.
Well, after a number of tests to make sure it's right, I think I nailed it. These are by far my favorite cookie, and my husband all but inhaled the entire batch.
It's worth pointing out that my husband is NOT gluten free and doesn't even try to be — but he agrees that these cookies are awesome.
Toasted macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips plus the soft, buttery, and chewy cookie base make this treat a true winner.
Ingredients needed for this cookie recipe
Since I come first from a background of paleo cooking and baking before widening my scope to gluten free baking, my white chocolate macadamia cookies use a different flour than most.
— Cassava flour: My go-to gluten free flour is cassava flour. While it's not a 1:1 replacement for white flour, I personally think the texture and taste of cassava flour is much closer to flour than most gluten free blends out there.
— Xantham gum: Next ingredient of note is xanthan gum. Now, I tried this recipe both with and without xanthan gum, and it definitely helps to keep the cookies tender and chewy. But if you need to omit it, you'll still get good cookies at the end.
— Macadamia nuts: Make sure you get raw, unsalted macadamia nuts! We'll roast them before baking to get them nice and toasty — but you definitely don't need the extra salt.
— Cane sugar/granulated sugar: I know many recipes out there call for both granulated sugar and brown sugar. I didn't find that necessary here. Feel free to experiment with that if you want. Organic cane sugar did the trick for me and I definitely didn't think anything was missing.
Everything else is pretty explanatory!
Can I use all-purpose gluten free flour instead of cassava flour?
Yes, if you'd like!
Cassava flour soaks up just a little more moisture than most gluten free flour blends, so you may have to increase the amount of flour by up to ¼ cup.
If, once the batter rests, the cookie dough seems a little too wet to easily make balls, add more gluten free flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
If your go-to gluten free flour blend already has xantham gum, omit it from the recipe — no need to add more.
How to make gluten free white chocolate macadamia nut cookies
First, you'll toast the macadamia nuts on a baking sheet until they're nice and toasty. Pro tip: I usually just let the baking sheet cool afterwards and use it for the cookies. No need to wash it off!
Then, the cookies will start how most good cookies do: by creaming the butter and sugar. Beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until it becomes lighter in color and mostly uniform in texture.
Gradually add the dry ingredients, then the eggs. Finally, fold in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate chips.
And now...we wait. Seriously. Let the dough rest for at LEAST 30 minutes at room temperature before baking.
Why? Gluten free flour doesn't soak up moisture as readily as wheat flour. Especially fats (like the butter in cookies).
I learned this tip from a cookbook and have seen it in practice over the last few years. The cookie dough will definitely benefit from the rest time!
You'll notice this when the cookies are done, as well. When I first made these white chocolate macadamia cookies, I was convinced they were too buttery. They came out of the oven super soft and greasy.
After they cooled for 10 minutes, they had firmed up but I still found them somewhat greasy. I made a mental note to test these with less butter. But once they had cooled completey (which you're SUPPOSED to do with cookies, duh, Chelsea), they were PERFECT.
I still tested them with less butter, but they're just not the same.
So there's your lesson: let the dough (and cookies) rest!
How to make these cookies paleo
To make a gluten free, grain free, and dairy free version of these white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, you'll have to make a few additional swaps.
Note that I think the recipe as written is the ideal way to make these gluten free cookies, but if your diet restricts you from the way it's written, we'll figure it out!
Cane Sugar: swap with coconut sugar or maple sugar. The cookies will be darker and possibly a little crumbly.
Butter: swap with ghee or vegetable shortening.
White chocolate chips: Enjoy Life and Pascha both make a gluten free/dairy free white chocolate chip! They do, however, have cane sugar and brown rice syrup. If you know of a truly "paleo" brand, let met know. Otherwise, you can make your own white chocolate.
More gluten free cookie recipes to try:
Did you try this recipe? I'd love to hear what you think! Comment below or tag me on Instagram.Print
Buttery with a hint of tartness, these gluten free white chocolate cranberry cookies are a hidden gem! This recipe uses cassava flour - my go-to for gluten free and grain free baking, but you can swap all-purpose gluten free flour if you'd like.
- 2 cups cassava flour (see Notes for GF flour blend substitute)
- 1 ½ teaspoons xanthan gum (optional, but recommended)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 16 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1 ½ cups cane sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 ¼ cups white chocolate chips
- ⅔ cup chopped dried cranberries
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the cassava flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, and kosher salt. Stir until uniform.
- Add the butter and sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at medium speed to cream the butter and sugar together for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is fully incorporated and light in color. Turn the beater to low and gradually add the flour mixture, stopping the beater to scrape down the sides as necessary. Be careful not to pour the flour onto the beater while it’s on! Finally, add the eggs, beating just until incorporated. Turn off the beater. Fold in the chopped cranberries and white chocolate chips with a large spatula. Set the dough aside for 30 minutes before baking — I find this step crucial for most gluten free recipes to allow the liquid in the recipe to permeate the dense cassava flour.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your hands, form 1 inch balls of dough and place them about 3 inches apart on the baking sheet. Gently press each ball down to flatten it slightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool for a couple minutes on the baking sheet before removing to a wire rack to cool. Repeat as necessary in batches to use all of the dough.
- Wait until cookies are cool to eat — they firm up a bit as they cool, so you won't want to dig in right away! Store leftover cookies in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze for up to 4 months.
CASSAVA FLOUR: Substitute a gluten free flour blend (I like Bob's Red Mill GF 1-to-1 Baking Flour), omitting the xantham gum if your blend already has it. You may have to increase the amount of flour by up to ¼ cup; add 1 tablespoon at a time until the proper "cookie dough" consistency is reached.
CANE SUGAR: You can swap cane sugar for coconut sugar if you'd like, but I definitely preferred the flavor of cane sugar!
Keywords: white chocolate cranberry cookies, gluten free cookies, cranberry cookies