The ultimate comfort cookie is here. These banana tahini cookies are vegan, gluten-free, soft, and a fun option to add a little more plant-based protein to your cookie rotation.
A good soft cookie is the mark of a the best comfort food moment. While a crispy cookie is delightful, a soft cookie just hits on a different level. This banana tahini cookie recipe creates an end result that is like biting into a piece of banana bread…except this is an item you can hold in your hand!
❤️ What you’ll love about these banana tahini cookies
Unique flavor. Thanks to a combination of unique ingredients, each bite of banana tahini cookies offers the perfect balance of sweet with a little umami kick. (In more simple terms, these have a great sweet and salty quality to them.) Of course, banana and chocolate chips are a classic combination and are really what give this the essence of banana bread. I feel like that should be the name of a candle fragrance…essence of banana bread.
Put your ripe banana to good use. Unlike my favorite air fryer banana recipe that needs a ripe, but not overly-ripe banana, this is similar to banana bread in that a darker banana is welcomed. I prefer mashing the banana in the bowl designated for wet ingredients, just to consolidate dishes.
Guilt free. First, this cookie recipe is both vegan and gluten-free, which is already a win! The banana reduces some of the fat and sugar, tahini replaces the need for butter (a fat), and the maple syrup is a non-refined sweetener. While these tahini cookies do have fat, it is considered a “good” fat. The only true “guilty pleasure” in this version are the vegan chocolate chips. From the chickpea flour to the subtle umami flavor of tahini, you can enjoy a number of nutrient-rich ingredients with each bite.
Nutty flavor without the nuts. If you need to avoid nuts, but love the flavor they can add to baked goods, tahini is a wonderful substitute. You get a hint of nutty flavor without worrying about nut allergens.
🥣 Ingredient List
Banana. All you need is a ripe, or slightly overripe banana to get started! Choose a medium or large banana to really maximize the volume.
Tahini. The tahini in this recipe is a subtle addition that creates a nutty undertone and slightly earthy flavor. It really is best friends with the sweeter ingredients (banana, maple syrup, chocolate chips, vanilla extract) and creates a final result that is both sweet and “salty.”
Chickpea flour. You are welcome to substitute with a different flour of your choosing, but chickpea flour offers a variety of benefits. It is environmentally-friendly, a great source of plant-based protein, and lends a rich flavor to the cookies. When substituting with a different flour, remember to check for a gluten-free label, if following a gluten-free diet.
Pure maple syrup. Most of the sweetness comes from the pure maple syrup. I love incorporating unrefined sugars into recipes whenever possible and this creates a soft cookie – almost like little discs of banana bread. My favorite maple syrup cookie recipe are these 2-ingredient peanut butter cookies that are really divine. Take a peek and learn why we need to pay attention to the sustainability of maple syrup.
Pure vanilla extract. Vanilla extract is the “go-to” for any baked good that just needs something to round out the flavor. Technically, it adds sweetness and creates a better balance with the tahini and chickpea flour.
Vegan chocolate chips. These really make the cookie extra special and give another layer of flavor that I think is necessary. Substitute with the “mix-in” of your choice, but keep in mind that chocolate and hearty umami flavors go SO well together.
Flax meal egg. For my vegan friends, you can also use a chia egg, but the texture might be a little more dense after baking. The flax meal egg is a little more subtle and only requires some flax meal (ground flax seeds) and water to create the necessary binding agent.
Baking powder. This is what will create the leavening in the recipe. These cookies rely only on baking powder since there is no acidic ingredient to combine with baking soda.
Salt. Kosher salt will distribute more evenly throughout the cookie dough. Remember that only a small amount is needed since the chickpea flour and tahini already lend a little sodium to the dish.
- Cookie sheet
- Measuring spoons
- Measuring cup
- Mixing spoon
- Whisk (optional)
- Mixing bowls
- Parchment paper
- Fork (for mashing banana)
Make the flax meal egg and preheat your oven to 350ºF. Stir the flax meal and water together, until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. I prefer placing it in the refrigerator as the cold helps create a thicker result.
Mash the banana with the back of a fork. Use the larger of your mixing bowls to mash the banana, so you have room to add the wet ingredients directly into that bowl.
Stir in the remaining wet ingredients. These ingredients include the tahini, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and flax meal egg.
In a smaller bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until thoroughly incorporated. I suggest using a small whisk (if available) to allow the ingredients to disperse more evenly. This step includes the chickpea flour, baking powder, and kosher salt.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet. Resist the temptation to overmix, but there should be very small lumps remaining (if any at all).
Stir in the chocolate chips. Just dump all the chocolate chips and stir until evenly combined.
Add the cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet (or baking mat). The banana tahini cookies will not spread much, but do rise and widen a small bit.
Bake. Bake in a 350-degree oven for ten minutes, or until the cookies turn a light golden brown color.
Allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes before enjoying.
Banana Tahini Cookies
- 1 Cookie sheet
- measuring spoons
- measuring cups
- Mixing bowls
- Parchment paper or baking mat
- fork for mashing banana
- whisk optional, for mixing dry ingredients
Flax Meal Egg
- 3 tablespoons flax meal ground flax seed
- 6 tablespoons water
Banana Tahini Cookies
- 1 cup chickpea flour or flour of your choice
- 1 large banana
- ⅔ cup vegan chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 3 tablespoons tahini
- 1 flax meal egg from above ingredient group)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
Flax Meal Egg
- In a small bowl, stir together flax meal and water. Place in refrigerator to thicken while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.3 tablespoons flax meal, 6 tablespoons water
Banana Tahini Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350ºF.
- In a medium bowl, start by mashing the banana with the back of a fork before stirring in the pure maple syrup, pure vanilla extract, tahini and the flax meal egg. Stir until the ingredients are thoroughly combined.1 large banana, 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup, 3 tablespoons tahini, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, 1 flax meal egg
- In a small bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, baking powder, and salt.1 cup chickpea flour, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Gently add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until you've reached an even texture with few lumps of flour remaining.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.⅔ cup vegan chocolate chips
- Using a spoon or ice cream scoop, create 12 drop cookies and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes, or until the sides turn a light golden brown (the difference will be very light).
- Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet or a wire rack and enjoy!
🧊 Storage instructions
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days; otherwise, they are at risk of drying. For longer storage, place the cookies in a parchment-lined freezer bag and store for up to one month.
✅ Acceptable Substitutions
Flour. The most common substitution for this recipe is chickpea flour. Though I do hope you will give chickpea flour a chance with this recipe, you are more than welcome to use another flour of your choice. Just remember to select a gluten-free flour to keep this recipe free of gluten.
Nut butter in place of tahini. Tahini lends a really beautiful, subtle flavor to this dish, but you might enjoy substituting with your preferred nut butter. Using a nut butter does allow the cookies to keep their soft texture with flavorful and nutty undertones. Plus, nutty flavors and vegan chocolate chips go hand-in-hand, so this is a “must” in my opinion. Not a fan of nuts or tahini? Consider trying sunbutter as a substitute for those with nut allergies.
🍫 Creative Variations
Mix-ins. Experiment with some additions that make these cookies even more special. A few ideas include:
• Vegan sprinkles
• Chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, macadamia nuts - the possibilities are endless!
• Vegan chocolate chunks (instead of chips)
• Chopped fresh fruit, like strawberries
• Unsweetened shredded coconut
🍪 Tips for the Ideal Banana Tahini Cookie
Use some eco-friendly parchment paper or a baking mat to prevent the cookies from sticking to your baking sheet.
Stay close to the oven on your first batch, in case your oven thermometer runs a little hotter or cooler than expected. The cookies are done when you notice browning on the bottom or a toothpick inserted in the center is clean when removed.
♻️ Sustainability Profile
Chickpea flour offers a number of environmentally-friendly traits. You might already be familiar with chickpea pasta – which is one iteration – and chickpea flour itself is actually a delightful addition to baked goods. A few of the sustainable characteristics we celebrate include:
- Crop diversification – chickpeas actually help reduce disease and weed growth for grain crops
- Nutrient-rich crop (aka – great for the soil)
- Almost 95% more environmentally friendly than durum pastas
Tahini is considered moderately sustainable, and one of its biggest bragging points is that it can be used to reduce reliance on palm oil in many recipes. That’s a big consideration given issues with finding sustainably sourced palm oil.
For the remaining ingredients, use the best brands you can find for locally grown, organic, fair trade items. Don't forget that eating a plant-based cookie is really the ultimate choice in sustainable living!
❓Frequently Asked Questions
Can I substitute tahini for peanut butter in cookies?
Absolutely! Tahini is a great substitute for those who either don’t love the more powerful nutty flavors of nut butters, or need to avoid nuts altogether. The flavor of tahini is more subtle, yet earthy than peanut butter – it is also a little less sweet. Feel free to experiment with a little tahini in your cookies for a rich flavor that will really make your cookies extra special!
What does tahini replace in baking?
In classic recipes, tahini replaces butter as a healthier (and plant-based) fat. The creamy texture of the tahini also makes the final product one that is moist and tender. Of course, there is an added hint of nuttiness that tahini imparts on the cookie – or baked good – but, we think that makes it even more delightful.
What do bananas do in baking?
Bananas are the multi-tasker of the healthy baking world. Adding a mashed banana to your baked goods reduces some need for sugar, since bananas are naturally sweet – and replaces the need for some fat (like traditional butter). Of course, you also get a baked item that has increased potassium and fiber, which is a fantastic side benefit!