These vegan Amaretti cookies -- chewy, crispy and soft as a cloud -- are my favorite Italian cookies to bake every Holiday season. They need just six pantry ingredients and the cookie batter takes all of five minutes to put together.
If you've never eaten Amaretti cookies before you are in for a treat. And if you have, you will adore these vegan Amaretti cookies, which are made without egg whites and need just a few simple pantry ingredients to achieve perfection.
I've been making vegan Amaretti cookies for years now and I've previously shared a couple of versions with you, including one that used a bit of all purpose flour, which I posted in 2009, and one that used aquafaba to replace the egg whites, in 2018.
I love both versions, but I wanted to take the all purpose flour out of the recipe to keep this cookie gluten-free, as amaretti cookies traditionally are. The other version, with aquafaba, was already gluten-free but the chickpea brine, for some reason, doesn't agree with Desi, and I've heard a similar complaint from a few readers as well.
So these Amaretti cookies I am sharing today are gluten-free, made without any aquafaba, and they are even easier to put together.
If you love almond-flavored cookies like these vegan almond flour cookies, buttery vegan almond cookies and vegan coconut almond macaroons, you will love these vegan amaretti cookies for sure. Try 'em and be sure to let me know what you think!
Table of Contents
What are amaretti cookies?
Amaretti cookies are simple Italian almond cookies made with almond flour, sugar, almond extract and egg whites. They are often called Italian macarons, because, like the French macaron, they are made primarily with almonds and egg whites and have a chewy texture.
Amaretti cookies are pretty with crinkly tops, but they can also appear unassuming compared to their more colorful and flamboyant French counterparts. They are just as tasty, however, and once you've eaten one, its classic almond aroma and delicious, sweet flavor will linger on your tastebuds for a long time to come.
Why you will love these cookies
- They are light, airy and chewy, and deliciously classic. Whether you can't or won't eat eggs, or whether you are seriously in love with amaretti cookies, you will adore these vegan amaretti cookies.
- The one-bowl batter is so easy to make. Just toss in the ingredients and mix. It takes no more than five minutes to make the batter and another five or 10, depending on how fast you are, to scoop the cookies into a baking sheet.
- The cookies are everyone friendly. Almost. You can't eat almonds if you're nut-free, of course, but if you're soy-free or gluten-free you are in luck. And you can be sure everyone from kids to adults will love these cookies.
- Super fine almond flour. You can buy this off the shelf or grind up your own flour using blanched almonds. If you are starting out with blanched almonds, make sure you grind them very fine.
- Corn starch or tapioca starch. Both give similar results.
- Granulated sugar. Use sugar with very fine grains. If you are using sugar with larger grains, like turbinado, run it through the food processor briefly to make it finer.
- Almond extract. You can use a amaretto liqueur, an almond liqueur, instead, for a bit of a kick.
- Apple cider vinegar. You just need a teaspoon. You won't taste it in the cookies but it adds a nice lightness.
- Powdered sugar (also called confectioners' sugar or caster sugar). For sprinkling on the cookies, optional.
- For chocolate amaretti cookies, add a quarter cup of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients and whisk.
- For lemon amaretti cookies replace ¼ cup of water with fresh squeezed lemon juice. You can also add the zest of a lemon to the batter for an extra zing of lemony deliciousness.
How to make vegan amaretti cookies
1. Whisk the almond flour, corn starch, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
2. Mix the apple cider vinegar and almond extract with the lukewarm water.
3. Pour the water-acv mixture into the almond flour mixture and mix with a spatula. The dough will be a bit wetter than regular amaretti cookie dough but that's okay. The looser dough will help make the cookies lighter without the eggs.
4. Use a one-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop out the cookies, an inch apart, on a parchment paper or silpat lined baking sheet.
5. Dust the cookies with powdered sugar. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet once halfway through. The bottoms of the cookies should be golden brown.
6. Let the baked cookies stand five minutes. Then gently transfer to a rack so they can continue cooling.
Yes, amaretti cookies are usually gluten-free because the only flour used is almond flour. In this vegan recipe we use a bit of corn starch to help bind the cookies and give them some lightness, in place of eggs, but they are also completely gluten-free.
Amaretti cookies have an exquisite almond flavor. They are chewy and soft the day they are made and get crispier in the following days.
Since these cookies are eggless, you can store them at room temperature for up to a week. You can also refrigerate them for three weeks. To freeze the cookies, flash-freeze them first, then freeze in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container.
More delicious vegan cookie recipes
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Vegan Amaretti Cookies
- 3 cups almond flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar (If using turbinado or another sugar that's coarse, run briefly through food processor first to powder)
- 4 tablespoons corn starch or tapioca starch
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup lukewarm water
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract (or almond liqueur like Amaretto)
- ¼ cup powdered sugar (to dust over cookies)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare one or two baking sheets by lining with parchment papers or silpat.
- Whisk the almond flour, corn starch, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
- Mix the apple cider vinegar and almond extract with the lukewarm water.
- Pour the water-acv mixture into the almond flour mixture and mix with a spatula. The dough will be a bit wetter than regular amaretti cookie dough but that's okay. The looser dough will help make the cookies lighter without the eggs.
- Use a one-tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop out the cookies, an inch apart, on the prepared baking sheet.
- Dust the cookies with powdered sugar, if using. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, rotating the cookie sheet once halfway through.
- Let the baked cookies stand five minutes. Then gently transfer to a rack so they can continue cooling.
- The cookie dough for these vegan amaretti cookies will be a little looser than the dough for amaretti made with egg whites. The moisture is essential for the lift that egg whites would otherwise give.
- The cookies are soft and chewy the day they are made but will crisp up over the coming days while remaining soft inside.
- Since these cookies are eggless, you can store them at room temperature for up to a week. You can also refrigerate them for three weeks. To freeze the cookies, flash-freeze them first, then freeze in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container.