Cooking gluten-free and dairy-free is easy—and tastes better than you'd ever expect.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Sugar Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Sugar Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I don’t know much about palm sugar except that straight out of the package, it has a sandy texture and a caramel-like flavor. I had heard about coconut sugar from a friend in Toronto, who sent me a bag to experiment with.

I used my Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookie recipe from my book, Cooking for Isaiah, as my benchmark.

“The rest is sweet cookie history: They had a distinctively grown-up quality—kind of like a fine wine.”

After tasting the palm sugar, I decided to tweak my recipe by reducing the sugar. Then, I upped the gluten-free flour quantity slightly to compensate for the reduced dry ingredients. I did everything else just as written in the original recipe.

So, what were the results? The first thing I noticed was that the cookies were more cakey than chewy, and more rounded than flat.

And the flavor? There was a distinct molasses taste. While not classically chocolate chip cookie-like, the cookies were a nice surprise. Different, but nice! As for the coconut flavor I worried about taking over, I didn’t notice a thing.

Have you baked with coconut sugar? I’d love to hear how it’s worked for you and your family!

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Coconut Sugar Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Yield: 16 cookies


1¼ cup Silvana's Kitchen Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

½ cup unsalted butter or all-vegetable shortening, at room temperature

½ cup coconut sugar (also called palm sugar)

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chunks


  1. Preheat the over to 375º. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking power, baking soda and salt.
  2. In a large bowl and using a fork, beat together the butter (or shortening) and coconut sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Gradually mix the flour mixture; stir in the chocolate chunks.
  3. Using a rounded tablespoon, drop the dough 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Baking until golden at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for about 2 minutes. Using a spatula, transfer to a wire rack to cool.