Wonderfully disguised as a treat, these vegan and gluten-free orange and walnut cookies are packed with goodness and taste zesty and rich. The perfect snacks with hidden nutrients. This is an easy way to get your kids to eat nutritious walnuts (see also my easy air fried candied walnuts) that are full of healthy fats but sometimes not as popular as the other nuts!
I'm constantly on the search for vegan and gluten-free cookie recipes. It's easy to find either vegan or gluten-free but quite hard to find both!
These zesty orange and walnut cookies are my solution to that problem. They hit that sweet spot of being satisfying, tasty and also, dare I say it, a little bit healthy. So they're my favourite kind of response to that question that gets asked a zillion times a day by my kids… “Mummy, can I have a snack?”
I get sweet satisfaction knowing that I have something that looks and sounds like a treat (“Who wants a cookie?”) but actually sneaks in some good stuff as well. Although, of course, there is sugar in these cookies, they are also packed with goodness, from the iron in the blackstrap molasses, vitamin C in the orange juice, good fats in the walnuts and fibre in the oats and buckwheat flour.
They are also gluten free and vegan so everyone can indulge in them! They are also dangerously good with my mid-morning cup of coffee!
- Ground Flax Seeds - when mixed with water, these perform the job of an egg brilliantly! Alternatively, you can use egg replacer powder (like Just Egg).
- Orange and Orange Marmalade - for that lovely zesty orange flavour.
- Coconut Oil - you could use softened vegan butter, if you prefer.
- Sugars - caster sugar for crisp lightness and blackstrap molasses for depth of flavour and a boost of iron (which is more readily absorbed by the body due to the vitamin C in the orange).
- Flours - buckwheat flour and oats (or you could substitute with plain gluten-free flour).
- Walnuts - these provide wonderful omega 3 fatty acids that are often lacking in a vegan diet.
- Baking Ingredients - fine salt (I use Himalayan Pink Salt), baking powder (make sure that it is gluten-free), cinnamon and nutmeg.
Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for full list of ingredients and their quantities.
- Mix the juice from half of the orange with the flax seeds and leave to stand for a few minutes.
- Mix together the flours, baking ingredients and chopped walnuts.
- In a stand mixer, beat together the oil, sugars, orange zest, marmalade and flax mixture.
- Add the flour mixture and beat very briefly to combine.
- Dollop spoonfuls onto a lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 20 minutes at 180°C / 350°F.
- Leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.
This is a summary only. Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this page for full detailed instructions. Thermomix instructions are also included in the recipe card.
If you are dealing with nut allergies or sending these cookies in lunch boxes, just leave out the walnuts. Sometimes I replace the walnuts with dried cranberries instead to give little bursts of tangy sweetness that complement the orange perfectly.
These cookies will keep in a sealed container for a few days - if you can stop yourself eating them in that time!
📖 Recipe 📖
Zesty Orange and Walnut Cookies
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 1 orange
- 70 g coconut oil, (or softened vegan butter)
- 70 g caster sugar, (or soft light brown sugar)
- 30 g blackstrap molasses, (or substitute with more soft light brown sugar)
- 2 tablespoon orange marmalade
- 100 g buckwheat flour
- 75 g oats
- 40 g walnuts
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- small grating of nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Zest the orange, then juice half of the orange (about 40ml) and mix the juice with the flax seeds. Leave the flax seed and orange juice mixture to sit for 5 minutes while you set up.1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, 1 orange
- Preheat the oven to 180°C / 350°F. Line a large baking tray with baking parchment.
- Chop the walnuts and set aside in a bowl.Thermomix: Place the walnuts in the TM jug and set to 3 seconds / speed 4. Remove and set aside.40 g walnuts
- Weigh out the coconut oil, sugar, blackstrap molasses, orange zest and marmalade into the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the flax seed orange juice mixture and beat on high speed (start slowly then move up to high) for 2 minutes until the mixture is dark and thick. Thermomix: Place these ingredients in the TM jug with the flax seed orange juice mixture and set to 30 seconds / speed 4.1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, 1 orange, 70 g coconut oil, 70 g caster sugar, 30 g blackstrap molasses, 2 tablespoon orange marmalade
- Then add the dry ingredients and beat on a medium speed for 30 seconds or so, just until everything is mixed in well. Thermomix: Add the rest of the ingredients and set to 20 seconds / REVERSE speed 2 (stirring with the TM spatula through the hole in the lid whilst mixing).100 g buckwheat flour, 75 g oats, 40 g walnuts, ¼ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, small grating of nutmeg, ½ teaspoon baking powder
- Dollop tablespoonfuls of mixture on the lined baking tray about 3 cm apart. Don’t worry too much about shaping them as they will melt and flatten a bit in the oven.
- Bake the cookies in the oven for 20 minutes at 180°C/350°F.
- Once ready, remove from the oven and leave on the tray for a couple of minutes then carefully move them onto a wire rack to cool completely. (Don’t be tempted to eat them until fully cooled as they crisp up when cool).
- For school lunchboxes or nut allergy sufferers, just leave out the nuts. You could add dried cranberries instead or, for a child crowd pleaser, add chocolate chips for a chocolate orange flavour!
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a ⭐ star rating ⭐ on the recipe card!
If you like this recipe, you may like these other delicious vegan and gluten-free baking recipes too: