Matcha Cookies (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

5 from 4 votes
These matcha cookies are soft and chewy interior. It's an amaretti cookie that's bursting with matcha and almond flavour and little hints of vanilla. Vegan and gluten-free, a delicious amaretti matcha cookie that's delicate and remarkable.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
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Feb 2, 2023 (Last updated Mar 15, 2024) by Hannah Sunderani

Matcha Cookies (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

Say hello to the best Matcha Cookies you’ve ever tasted. These matcha cookies are an amaretti cookie – they’re soft, chewy, and bursting with hints of matcha, almond, and vanilla flavour.

As many of you may already know, I’m a HUGE matcha fan – like, I need a matcha latte daily in order to function! I even like to call it “Mama’s medicine” because it just makes me a better human. I’ve been wanting to get a matcha baked good on the blog for ages and trust me when I say this recipe knocks it out of the park!

If I were to open a vegan bakery, this would be the FIRST recipe I’d serve. It’s literally one of my favourite cookie recipes I’ve made to date (and that’s saying a lot!).

It’s a recipe inspired by Jesse Szewczyk’s cookbook, “Cookies: The New Classics.” I veganized it using ingredients like aquafaba and altering the ratios to make a reliable vegan matcha cookie recipe.

They’re such a beautiful cookie with its vibrant green colour and crinkle baked top. It’s one that’s popular with vegans and non-vegans alike. Everyone will be a matcha lover after tasting these cookies!

top down photo of matcha cookies on a white plate with a spoonful of matcha powder in the lower right corner

These Matcha Cookies are…

  • Soft
  • Chewy
  • Made with only 8 ingredients
  • Vegan & gluten-free
  • Best served with a steaming cup of matcha, of course
  • Popular amongst non-vegans
  • Beautiful
  • Bakery worthy

Health Benefits of Matcha Powder

Aside from making a beautiful beverage, matcha tea powder is also known for having a long list of health benefits. Here are just a few to encourage you to incorporate matcha into a healthy plant-based diet:

  • Packed with antioxidants
  • Promotes alertness and helps maintain energy levels (much better than a cup of coffee!)
  • Associated with a lower risk of heart disease
  • Can lower anxiety
  • Immunity booster
  • Improves skin

If you’re looking for more ways to include matcha in your diet, check out these blog favourites: How to Make a Matcha Latte with Almond Milk, Vegan Matcha Cheesecake, Matcha Green Tea Nice Cream, Matcha Chia Pudding, and Matcha Chocolate Covered Strawberries.

side angle shot of matcha cookies

Ingredient Notes

You’ll need just 8 simple ingredients, plus sea salt to bake these vegan and gluten-free matcha cookies. If you’ve baked some of my other cookie recipes such as Vegan Sugar Cookies, Vegan Shortbread Cookies, or the Best Vegan Chocolate Chip cookies, you may already have everything you need to bake these up right now!

Aquafaba combined with cream of tartar acts as our vegan egg replacer and provides structure to our cookie dough, while keeping our matcha cookies soft and pillowy. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s simply the liquid from a can of chickpeas! (i.e. chickpea water! – now you’re in the know).

Finely ground almond flour adds fat and flavour and keeps these cookies naturally gluten-free. Just be sure to use almond flour, not almond meal. Almond meal is too course and will make your dough too rough in texture.

Matcha powder adds a striking green hue and a delicious healthy earthy flavour. For best results, use a culinary or ceremonial grade matcha made from organic green tea leaves. Lower quality Japanese green tea powder is more bitter and won’t have the same vibrant green colour.

Almond extract and vanilla extract flavour the dough, adding hints of sweetness to balance the earthy notes from the green tea flavour. (Although almond extract is option in this recipe, I highly recommend it!)

Finally, finish the cookies in a light coating of granulated sugar and icing sugar for a stunning crackly top. Don’t be surprised when these sweet treats disappear as fast as they are to bake!

photo of opening a matcha cookie and showing the vibrant green inside
photo of matcha cookies split in two with the pieces bundled together exposing how the inside looks with its vibrant green

Make this recipe with me!

Make these matcha cookies with me on my YouTube Channel, where I share my 5 Must-Have Matcha Recipes including these cookies and how to make the perfect matcha latte!

How to Make Matcha Cookies

Baking without dairy or eggs is much simpler than you’d think. Follow these simple steps to make perfect cookies right in your home kitchen!

First, we’re going to make our egg replacer. Pour the aquafaba into a small saucepan and simmer on medium heat for about 12 to 15 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced to about 1/2 cup (120 ml). When ready, pour the reduced aquafaba into a medium bowl and set aside to cool completely.

cooled and thickened aquafaba

Next, add the almond flour, matcha powder, salt and 3/4 cup (165 g) of sugar into a small mixing bowl. Whisk to combine until evenly distributed and set aside.

Add the cream of tartar, almond extract, and vanilla extract to the cooled aquafaba and beat together using a hand mixer until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. You will know it’s ready when you can turn the bowl upside down and nothing moves!

A half cup at a time, sprinkle the dry ingredients mixture into the whipped aquafaba mixture, and fold until a thick dough forms. Once uniform, compress the dough together into the bottom of the bowl and place in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes.

While the dough chills, prepare two small plates – one with 1/4 cup of sugar (55 g) and another with 1/3 cup of icing sugar.

Scoop 2 tablespoons of matcha dough and roll into a round ball using the palms of your hands. Then, roll the dough ball in the sugar to coat with a thin layer, followed by the icing sugar.

Place the cookie dough balls onto the prepared baking sheet until you’ve used up all the dough. You should have enough matcha cookie dough batter to make 18 cookies.

Use the bottom of a glass to slightly compress each dough ball until about 3/4 inch thick. It’s okay if you get some splitting at the edges of the cookies – it adds to the pretty crinkle look!

Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until very lightly brown on the edges and cracked on the top. Allow the matcha crinkle cookies to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Storage Instructions

These matcha cookies will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If frozen, let the cookies thaw at room temperature before eating.

top down angle of the matcha cookies clustered on a plate with matcha cookies peeking out of the top and bottom corners

Recipe FAQs

Why did my matcha cookies turn brown?

If your cookies turned brown, my guess is they were over baked! When ready, these cookies should be just slightly browned around the edges, yet still a beautiful green colour in the center.

Can I use drinking matcha for baking?

Absolutely! Matcha powder is not only for making at-home matcha lattes. It also bakes wonderfully into healthy desserts like these matcha cookies.

What can I substitute for aquafaba?

Unfortunately the aquafaba is a key ingredient in this vegan matcha cookies recipe. No other ingredient will whip up into a meringue-like consistency the same way aquafaba does. It is quite unique!

Does aquafaba taste like beans?

Nope! If you do not love the flavour of chickpeas or beans in general – do not worry! You cannot taste the bean flavour at all and when mixed with other baking ingredients, it is an extremely neutral base ingredient.

I don’t own a hand mixer. Can I use a whisk to beat the aquafaba?

Whisking the aquafaba by hand should be possible in theory, but it would take quite a long time and be pretty difficult to do. If you do not have a hand mixer, I’d recommend using a stand mixer with the whisk attachment.

Top Baking Tips

  • Don’t skip the cream of tartar! This ingredient helps to stabilize the aquafaba and helps it to form stiff peaks faster and easier.
  • Make sure to add the dry ingredients a bit at a time. The fluffy aquafaba mixture will quickly deflate if you were to add all of the dry ingredients in at once. Instead, add it in 1/2 cup at a time, gently sprinkling it over top. This will help your cookies remain soft, light, and chewy (everything a good cookie should be!).
  • Be patient with the aquafaba! Depending on your mixer, it can take anywhere from 6-15 minutes for stiff peaks to form. This process is simple, but it does require patience.
  • Chill the cookie dough for at least 15 minutes. This will prevent the cookies from overspreading and make them easier to roll.
  • Turn the baking sheets half way through baking. Most conventional ovens are hotter in the back. In order to get an even bake, rotate the pans halfway through to brown the cookies on both sides.
close up of matcha cookies with a bite of the lower right side and a spoon with matcha powder

More Vegan Cookie Recipes You May Like:

And of course, tag me on Instagram with your pictures using the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.

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Matcha Cookies (Vegan and Gluten-free)

5 from 4 votes
These matcha cookies are soft and chewy interior. It's an amaretti cookie that's bursting with matcha and almond flavour and little hints of vanilla. Vegan and gluten-free, a delicious amaretti matcha cookie that's delicate and remarkable.
close up of matcha cookies with a bite of the lower right side and a spoon with matcha powder
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Serves 18 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup aquafaba (liquid drained from a can of chickpeas)
  • 2 1/2 cups almond flour (235 grams)
  • 1 tbsp matcha powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 220 grams, divided
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 tsp almond extract
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar

Instructions

  • Pour the aquafaba into a small saucepan and simmer on medium heat to reduce the liquid to 1/2 cup (120 ml, about 12-15 minutes). Pour into a medium bowl and aside to cool completely to room temperature.
  • In a small mixing bowl, add the almond flour, matcha powder, salt and 3/4 cup (165 g) of the sugar. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the cream of tartar to the cooled aquafaba along with the almond extract and vanilla extract. Using a hand blender, beat on high until stiff peaks form, about 8 minutes. (You will know it's ready when you can turn the bowl upside down and nothing moves).
  • Sprinkle the dry ingredients into the aquafaba mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, and fold into the dough until a thick dough has formed. Compress the dough together into the bottom of the bowl and place in the fridge to cool for 15 minutes. (This allows for easier rolling).
  • While you're waiting for the dough to cool, place the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Preheat the oven to 325F/160C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
  • Prepare two small plates to sugar coat the cookies: On one plate add 1/4 cup of sugar (55 g) and on the other plate add 1/3 cup of icing sugar.
  • When the dough is ready, scoop approximately 2 tablespoons and roll the dough into a ball using the palm of your hand. Then, roll the dough ball in the sugar to coat with a thin layer, followed by the icing sugar to coat. Place the cookie ball onto the prepared baking sheet. Repeat until you've used up all the dough (recipe should make 18 balls split between two sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart).
  • Use the flat bottom of a glass to compress each ball to about 3/4 inch thick.  It's okay if you get some splitting at the edges of the cookies, it actually adds to how they look.  
  • Bake the cookies until very lightly brown on the edges and the tops are cracked, 20-22 minutes. Switch the pans halfway through for an even bake. Let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Watch The Video

Notes

Most aquafaba is slightly salty so that’s why there isn’t much salt in this recipe.  If yours is salt free, you could increase the salt in the recipe to 1/2 teaspoon.  
Make sure to use almond flour and not almond meal because the texture with meal will be too rough. 
Don’t skip the step of rolling the cookies in the granulated sugar because this keeps the confectioners sugar from melting into the cookies in the oven.  
Storage tips:
Cookies will keep for 5 days, store in the fridge in an air-tight container.
These cookies also freeze well. Store in an air-tight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temperature before eating.
This recipe was inspired, adapted and veganized from the cookbook “Cookies: The New Classics” by Jesse Szewczy
 
 

Approvals

Nutrition

Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 33mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 42IU | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 1mg
DID YOU

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  1. I baked this recipe today and it was great! My husband is not normally a vegan fan, however he did love these. Always looking for new recipes to bake for my loved ones who are vegan and or gluten free. Thank you for this! Highly recommend

  2. I am dairy allergic and GF but not strictly vegan. Can I use an egg white in place of the aqua faba ?

    • Hi Rita, I have not recipe tested with egg whites in replace of the aquafaba, but if you use the same ratios I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! Do let me know how you get on if you try as some others might be interested. Or feel free to give the aquafaba a try! It’s pretty amazing how it turns into beautiful fluffy peaks from just chickpea water!