Dark Chocolate Molasses Cookies (Gluten-Free, Oil-Free)

I read somewhere that gluten-free baking wasn’t just a science, but an art. I couldn’t agree more. If you’ve ever tried your hand at gluten-free baking, you’ve experienced some major flops or disasters in the kitchen. These are amazing…slightly crispy on the outside, with a chewy center.

There are multiple flours out there to choose from, yet they all yield different textures and results. They all require different amounts and different liquid to flour ratios, and have very different end results. A lot of recipes use eggs in gluten-free baking to make up for the lack of structure and “glue” needed for lightness and to hold the product together.

These cookies took a couple of trials, but the end result even shocked me. These are slightly crispy on the outside, chewy and soft on the inside, and absolutely delicious!

I got the inspiration for this recipe from Laura over at Cooktolove. Update: Her blog no longer exists unfortunately. She posted a chocolate cake mug recipe that is made in about a minute in the microwave. Great for a quick chocolate rush. It was so delicious and had a wonderful deep chocolate flavor from the molasses.

I wanted to implement that deep chocolate and molasses flavor into the cookies. My recipe is completely different, but I would have never thought to add the molasses to chocolate. It gives a beautiful intensity, without it tasting like molasses. What you get is a richly, chocolatey cookie with a beautiful texture.

Recipe:  Makes a dozen  Prep time: 15 mins  Bake time: 10 mins

Gluten free (Make sure all ingredients are labeled to be in a gluten free facility if you’re gluten sensitive, in case of cross contamination)


  • 1 cup blanched almond flour (such as Bob’s Red Mill GF)
  • 1/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon blackstrap molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use gluten free if necessary)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or dark chocolate cocoa nibs (Do not use carob chips, as they will burn)


Pre-heat an oven to 375 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

In a small coffee mug, add the syrup and heat in the microwave for 20 seconds. Whisk in the flaxseed well and set aside for 5 minutes to cool to room temperature. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, cocoa and salt together and whisk well. Stir in the chocolate chips. After the syrup has cooled, stir in the molasses, peanut butter and vanilla until well combined. Pour the syrup mixture into the flour mixture and stir until it all comes together. It will be sticky.

Drop by large spoonfuls onto the prepared sheet pan and slightly smooth out the batter with the back of the spoon to about 2-2.5 inches wide. This will ensure even baking. Make sure to space each cookie 1-2 inches apart from each other, as they will spread when baking. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cracked on top and slightly firm. I took mine out at about 9 minutes. They will crisp up while cooling. If you prefer them a bit crispier, cook for another minute or two. Cool 10 minutes on the pan before transferring them to a cooling rack. ENJOY!

Seriously…if you think cookies need butter and tons of sugar, you will honestly be shocked at how tasty these are without those ingredients!!


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Categories: Chocolate, Gift Ideas, Gluten Free, Sweet Treats, VEGAN, VEGETARIAN


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42 Comments on “Dark Chocolate Molasses Cookies (Gluten-Free, Oil-Free)”

  1. November 21, 2012 at 3:05 AM #

    Those are beautiful cookies, I love using molasses in various baked goods, they add moisture and intensity of flavor. These will be perfect in the box of cookies I want to give to my vegan friend. You should be proud, they look amazing.

    • November 21, 2012 at 4:08 AM #

      Thank you so much! You’re so sweet. I was so surprised at how delicious they turned out! They tasted like they had butter in them…the almond flour and molasses really gives them amazing flavor! I will be using molasses more often 🙂

  2. November 21, 2012 at 9:58 AM #

    I can only think that you enjoy torturing me my friend these cookies look incredible 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

  3. November 21, 2012 at 8:58 PM #

    Great job and photos 🙂 They are similar to the recipe I make with the molasses, but different with the flour etc. I will have to make these…… Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • November 21, 2012 at 9:41 PM #

      Thanks Thom!! 🙂 I loved Laura’s chocolate/molasses cake so much, I knew I had to make cookies with those flavors and I also wanted them gluten free which wasn’t easy, took a few trials but the end result was worth it 🙂 Hope you enjoy them as much as we did!

  4. November 22, 2012 at 12:17 AM #

    They look super delicious Brandi!! Yum!!

  5. petit4chocolatier
    November 22, 2012 at 12:52 AM #

    Brandi, these look very delicious! I love the peanut butter and molasses. Sound great together! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • November 23, 2012 at 2:18 AM #

      Thanks Judy! They were wonderful. The peanut butter and molasses made them moist without detecting the peanut butter taste! Happy Thanksgiving to you too!!

  6. November 22, 2012 at 2:44 PM #

    Brandi, I love chocolate and molasses. I can’t wait to give this a try! You have a beautiful blog.

    • November 23, 2012 at 2:19 AM #

      Thank you so much! I truly appreciate that! I hope you enjoy them 🙂

  7. November 22, 2012 at 9:03 PM #

    I believe you!! These look GREAT!! I love the texture on top and the color screams CHOCOLATE goodness!! Vegan friendly..count me in!!

  8. November 23, 2012 at 2:13 AM #

    These look sooooo delicious, I’m salivating, and I’d love to be able to make them for my kids but one of them is super sensitive to so many things and it would be a real tease to him if I were to make them the rest of us. I can’t even see a way that I can adapt them for him 😦 Ooh, maybe I’ll make a batch when he’s staying at his father’s over Christmas

    • November 23, 2012 at 2:21 AM #

      Thank you so much for visiting! I appreciate it 🙂 I’m so sorry to hear your son is super sensitive. These are vegan and gluten free…is he sensitive to almonds?

      • November 23, 2012 at 2:26 AM #

        He can’t have almonds, chocolate, peanuts or molasses unfortunately. I could substitute the chocolate for carob and peanut butter for cashew spread but the almonds, flaxseed and molasses have me a little stumped

    • November 23, 2012 at 2:32 AM #

      Aww poor little guy! That’s a lot of allergies…I’ve never heard of so many! I feel so bad for him. Yeah, I’m afraid swapping all that out would yield poor results. The molasses and almond flour is what gives the cookies their amazing texture and flavor and moisture! Bummer! I’ll keep his allergies in mind on my next cookie creation 🙂

      • November 23, 2012 at 3:09 AM #

        Thanks, that’s so sweet. I don’t get to bake many cookies or cakes because I’m always so busy making all our sauces from scratch and creating meals for the 5 of us…along with dealing with a 17 month old and being pregnant with number 4! Yes, there is something wrong with my brain, I’m a glutton for punishment. I’m not the worlds best baker and just can’t bear the thought of spending so much time on something that is very likely to be a failure, lol. I look forward to your creations 🙂

    • November 23, 2012 at 2:37 AM #

      Maybe this cookie recipe may work? I don’t use almonds, chocolate, molasses, peanut butter, or flaxseed.

    • November 23, 2012 at 12:36 PM #

      Omg! You have your hands full! You are so funny! I don’t blame you at all…I can barely and handle one baby! 🙂

  9. November 23, 2012 at 3:33 AM #

    These turned out perfectly! I love that they’re gluten-free, all your hard work and experimentation paid off! xx

  10. November 23, 2012 at 7:05 PM #

    Wow, I want some

  11. November 25, 2012 at 4:51 AM #

    They look amazing!!

  12. November 25, 2012 at 5:39 AM #

    Brandi, these look delicious! Thanks for the idea of combining molasses and chocolate. Do you think I could make my own tapioca flour in my food processor? I tried once with millet and it never reached a flour-like consistency.

    • November 25, 2012 at 7:09 AM #

      Thank you so much!! They compliment each other incredibly, I was so surprised! Hmm, I’m not sure if it would get smooth enough which it definitely needs for this recipe, depends on the power of your processor. The tapioca flour is important for the rise and browning and texture in these specific cookies. You can certainly try though and see if you are able to get a really fine powder. My processor works great on some nuts and oats but not everything. The good news though is tapioca flour (not starch) is pretty cheap…much cheaper than other flours. Let me know! 🙂

  13. November 25, 2012 at 5:53 PM #

    I absolutely love the description of these. Texture can make or break a cookie (literally! ;)). I can’t wait to try these! And I love cacao nibs! : )

    • November 26, 2012 at 9:22 PM #

      Thank you Raechel! The texture is wonderful on these! I hope you enjoy them! 🙂

  14. November 26, 2012 at 3:43 PM #

    Wow they look fabulous! I really want to get more into vegan baking so I am planning to start stocking my cupboards with more vegan/GF items asap! Started with some coconut oil yesterday, so excited 🙂 I made these fig newtons from My New Roots over Thanksgiving with my almost vegan cousin and they were soooooo good.

    What would you recommend as basic baking staples if I wanted to start baking vegan? I already use flax, chia seeds and almond milk a lot, but like you said, there’s so many different kinds of flours and thickeners and stuff, I don’t even really know where to start!

    • November 26, 2012 at 9:39 PM #

      Hey Erika! Thank you so much!! Vegan is one thing, but gluten free is a whole other world, lol! It takes a lot of trial and error and time. For vegan baking, I like to use spelt flour, almond flour, coconut flour, rice flours etc. I have about 10 different flours. I would recommend getting comfortable with vegan baking first before gluten free because combining the two can be a little overwhelming since you don’t use eggs or any glutens. Gluten free flours all yield such dramatically different results and in different amounts. Check out the recipe I just posted today…notice the flours I use for the shortbread. Id definitely get almond flour. Also, I like to use coconut milk (from the carton, not can) because it has less of a taste so it is great for universal baking. I also use maple syrup or coconut sugar as sweetners because regular white sugar and honey are not vegan. I’m actually gearing towards all liquid sweetner because they are healthier.
      I also use pumpkin or baby food or veggie and fruit purees in place of eggs and for moisture and to cut down on oils. Check out these…


      I use dark cherries for moisture and “eggs” in my chocolate muffins and they are so moist and my non-vegan friend LOVED them! Please let me know of any questions…I’m more than happy to help 🙂

      • November 26, 2012 at 10:58 PM #

        Wow, thank you so much!! Actually, I suppose I’m not as interested in GF as I am in vegan (at least at the moment :)). Those muffins sound SO good. One last question: do you ever use agave when baking? I tried subbing it for sugar in a recipe once and the ratio I used must have been totally off because they were NOT good. And then I started reading about how it’s actually worse/equivalent to sugar because it has a lot of concentrated fructose and immediately turns into fat in your body. But I never know what to believe these days!

    • November 27, 2012 at 6:43 AM #

      Did you increase the dry ingredients some to make up for the extra liquid of agave in the recipe? Maybe that’s why they didn’t turn out, or what happened, were they too sweet or not sweet enough? I actually don’t use agave very much, except in my granola recipes where a sticky sweetner is needed. I prefer maple syrup and use it ALL the time. Agave is much sweeter to me so I usually just use small amounts and stick with maple syrup or coconut or Turbinado sugars. I’ve heard conflicting hings too about agave but who knows…everyday somebody says something new about a product, lol! I think if your just using it here and there anyways, no harm 🙂

      • November 30, 2012 at 9:58 PM #

        Hmm they definitely just weren’t sweet enough, but I probably just didn’t use the right ratio of agave. But anyway, thanks! You helped me decide to invest in some spelt flour and make my own almond flour/meal for my next forays into vegan baking. We’ll see how it goes 🙂 Thank you so much for all the tips!!!

  15. November 27, 2012 at 4:10 PM #

    Oooh Brandi! What a beautiful combination of great fine flavours! I love the added cacao nibs here, for extra crunch! 🙂 Yummmm!

    • November 27, 2012 at 8:16 PM #

      Thank you Sophie! Yes, the crunch is awesome..they turned out fabulous!!

  16. November 27, 2012 at 7:18 PM #

    Gluten free baking has been my nemesis until recently. I love that you’ve figured out how to make it work for you! Question for you, my bag of tapioca starch says “flour” on it as well. It comes from Bob’s Red Mill. I thought they were the same thing?

    Awesome job on the cookies! So yummy!

    • November 27, 2012 at 8:21 PM #

      Thank you Somer! Yes, I’ve built up quite a collection of gluten free recipes now…I’m creating a page dedicated to gluten free recipes since I have so many now. It’s been quite fun…and frustrating lol, in the kitchen experimenting with all of these different flours, but learning what each one can do truly is making me a better baker than I imagined. I have at least 10 different flours in my fridge, lol, but they all really do make a tremendous contribution to a quality baked good, when combining them effectively.
      Oh, and I’m so glad you mentioned that! I wasn’t thinking when I typed that…I was thinking of potato starch/flour which in that case they are definitely different. I just fixed it!

      • November 27, 2012 at 8:30 PM #

        Oh good! I thought I was doing something wrong with the flours 😉 I don’t have any issues at all with gluten, but so many of my friends do. Its really nice to be able to bake them treats that don’t come out terribly like my first vegan and gluten free attempts. I’ve had bitter, crumbly, oily… you name it. It’s tough!


  1. Cookie Exchange 2012 – Gluten Free Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe « Linda Long Writes! - December 6, 2012

    […] Dark Chocolate Molasses Cookies (Gluten-Free) (thehealthyflavor.com) […]

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