Gluten-Free Matcha Cookies with White Chocolate and Pecans

Easy Gluten Free Matcha Cookies with White Chocolate and Pecans by Lisa Lin of

Growing up, we never had advent calendars. No special windows to open every day, no little chocolate treats to unveil and devour. It wasn’t until I got married, when my mother-in-law started sending me my own advent calendar that I got to revel in the excitement of opening a tiny package every day. Never mind that the cost of shipping those things from the UK is probably 3 times more than what the calendar is worth . . .

This year, I made a special request for advent calendars for my nephews and niece. I suppose us adults shouldn’t be the only ones delighting in chocolate very day. I finally delivered the the advent calendars to them this weekend (way late, I know), and my niece wasted no time in tearing right through them. It was quite adorable watching her do her Chinese homework while popping a piece of chocolate for an energy boost. My oldest nephew, on the other hand, kept his cool, pretending like he didn’t care about them. Well, my sister texted me a photo yesterday of a nearly empty advent calendar with a message that said my nephew tore through all but two windows and claimed that he “didn’t know” the proper rules. Teenagers these days.

These matcha cookies have nothing to do with advent calendars, but they’ll definitely get you right in the holiday mood. They’re adapted from my double chocolate almond flour cookies recipe but made with less butter and sugar (yay!). When I first made these cookies, I was quite disappointed that they didn’t flatten out. They looked more like hockey pucks than cookies. But the more I tried to “fix” them, the more I came to like their original domed shape. It gives them a bit more character than your average chocolate chip cookie. Once cooled, the cookies will develop a nice crunchy exterior, and stay soft like brownies on the inside. I also left the cookies a touch undercooked on the inside to make them more fudgy in the center. Feel free to cook them for an extra minute or two if that’s not your jam.

Easy Gluten Free Matcha Cookies with White Chocolate and Pecans by Lisa Lin of

Easy Gluten Free Matcha Cookies with White Chocolate and Pecans by Lisa Lin of
Easy Gluten Free Matcha Cookies with White Chocolate and Pecans by Lisa Lin of

Easy Gluten Free Matcha Cookies with White Chocolate and Pecans by Lisa Lin of


  • The Original Recipe: Initially, I used 6 tablespoons of butter. While the cookies spread out a bit more, I thought they were too greasy. I decided to substitute 2 tablespoons of butter for applesauce, and I’m much happier with the results.
  • Chilling the Dough: For this recipe, I didn’t chill the dough at all, but the dough is quite sticky. The stickiness wasn’t a problem for me, as I used a cookie scoop. However, if you are shaping balls of cookie dough with a measuring spoon, and you find that the dough is too sticky, chill it for 30 minutes. That should make the batter easier to work with.
  • To Make Flatter Cookies: Because I reduced the amount of butter and added some gluten-free flour to this recipe, the cookies won’t spread too much. If you want flattened cookies, roll out a ball of dough and flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand. They will cook slightly quicker than unflattened cookies.
  • Using Silicone Mats: If you are baking these cookies on a silicone mat, I highly suggest letting the cookies rest for 5 minutes right after you pull them out of the oven. Some cookies will stick to the silicone if try to lift them too soon, and you’ll be left with cookies with a big hole in the center!
  • Use Culinary Matcha: There’s no need to use expensive ceremonial matcha for this recipe! Save that for your next tea party. Look for culinary matcha instead.

Easy Gluten Free Matcha Cookies with White Chocolate and Pecans by Lisa Lin of

If you try this recipe, be sure to share your creations with me! Tag me on Instagram or Twitter so that I can give you a fist bump!


Matcha Cookies with White Chocolate and Pecans

These delicious gluten-free matcha cookies are easy to make and are perfect for holiday cookie exchanges. They have a nice crunch on the outside and are soft like brownies on the inside!

18 minPrep Time

12 minCook Time

30 minTotal Time

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Recipe Image


  • 1/3 cup (40g) pecans
  • 4 TBS butter, softened
  • 2 TBS unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup (120g) cane sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup (150g) almond flour
  • 1/4 cup (40g) gluten-free flour blend (I used the blend from America's Test Kitchen )
  • 1 TBS culinary matcha
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup (30g) shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 4 oz (115g) white chocolate chips or chunks (about a heaping 1/2 cup)
  • sprinkles (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats. Set aside.
  2. Toast pecans on an oven-safe dish for 7 minutes. Once they have cooled off for several minutes, chop them up. You do not have to toast the pecans, though I think toasting them gives them a bit more flavor.
  3. Using a mixer on low speed, cream together butter, applesauce and sugar until the butter is fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix until ingredients are incorporated, about 1 minute. Add almond flour, gluten-free flour, matcha, baking powder, salt and coconut, and mix until a wet dough forms. Fold in white chocolate and chopped pecans.
  4. Shape 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough by using a medium cookie scoop or a measuring spoon. If you want flat cookies, press the dough balls with the palm of your hand. Top each cookie with sprinkles, if using. Bake cookies for 11 to 12 minutes, until the edges start to turn golden brown, rotating and swapping baking sheets halfway through.
  5. Let cookies rest on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack. Store in a sealed container in room temperature for 2 to 3 days.
Recipe Type: gluten free, dessert


SUBSTITUTIONS: The white chocolate chips can be replaced with bittersweet or semi-sweet chips! They taste less sweet and are delightful. If you don't have pecans on hand, feel free to substitute them with walnuts.


Disclsoure: The links to the cookie scoop and America’s Test Kitchen cookbook are affiliate links. I think the cookie scoop is excellent, but there are cheaper versions available online. If you are new to gluten-free cooking, America’s Test Kitchen’s How Can it be Gluten Free cookbooks are a great resource. I flip through them all the time!

21 thoughts on “Gluten-Free Matcha Cookies with White Chocolate and Pecans

  1. Rakhee@boxofspice
    Even though we didn't celebrate Christmas in India growing up, I do remember every now and then getting an advent calendar. There was never any gift or anything attached to them but it was always so exciting to open every day. These cookies look delicious. A great way to use match which I have been dying to try!
  2. traci | vanilla and bean
    I had never heard of an advent calendar until my early 30s! 'head in sand?' So sweet of your mother in law to send treats to you from afar. Getting little treats for days sounds divine to me. I love how you've combined matcha to make these delightful little cookies, Lisa! And how you developed them for us! Their color shouts holiday. Also... I just listened to your Dinner Special! It was so nice seeing you and learning more about how you came to food blogging. Your leap is such an inspiration my dear! xo
    1. Lisa Post author
      Traci, thank you so much for tuning in to the Dinner Special! I have listened to it recently, and I was just thrown off by the sound of my voice! It was definitely a lot of fun though, and I loved speaking with Gabriel!
  3. Tessa | Salted Plains
    I used to love my advent calendars! It is very hard to wait, ha! These cookies look so festive and delicious! I have not yet baked with matcha but I think this is a very good place to start. Thanks for sharing, Lisa!
  4. Jen Rox Hughed
    Wow, these are great! I used black matcha and when they came out plopped a green peanut m&m in the center of each, lovely! And very tasty too for sharing on St. Patrick's Day.
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