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Cacao Nib Vanilla Cookies

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Another scrumptious cookie recipe for you! Cookies a quickly becoming a favourite of mine and I have no doubt that they are some of your favourite things to bake and create also. There are endless flavour combinations and ingredients you can use in cookies and together we will discover many of them! Today we have Vanilla & Cacao Nib Cookies, how good is that combo?!

You’re going to be adding vanilla bean into your cookie batter, yes that’s right, the real deal!! Now I know vanilla beans can be expensive, so not to worry, if you would prefer, you can just stick with regular vanilla essence. If you’re going to be using the regular vanilla essence, you will just need a little more, I let you know this in the recipe notes so be sure to read through that too.



I wanted to also keep these cookies a little cleaner, I mean they’re cookies after all and we do use coconut sugar, which is a great alternative to nasty white sugar but instead of chocolate chips, you’ll be using cacao nibs. Don’t have cacao nibs? You can easily find them in your supermarket or local health food store. Not sure what cacao nibs are? They’re basically chocolate in it’s purest form. Cacao nibs come from the cacao seed, which has been dried, fermented and then crushed/cracked which create the cacao nib, pretty cool right? They aren’t sweet at all like chocolate, so don’t be expecting sweetness, they’re more on the bitter side, which makes cacao nibs an exciting new ingredient for you to use. What else is great about cacao nibs? They’re considered a superfood! Check out this article from Dr.Axe which outlines all the benefits you’ll get when munching on cacao nibs or when you’re enjoying a few of these cookies: article

Have I convinced you yet that these vanilla cacao nibs cookies are going to be amazing? I hope so! Enjoy! x



Cacao Nib Vanilla Cookies

Samantha Pickthall
3.73 from 11 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free all purpose flour I use ‘Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking 1:1 Flour’
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil softened at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 2 vanilla beans halved lengthways and seeds removed*
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla bean extract
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs plus extra for sprinkling


  • Preheat oven to 180ºC (356ºF). Line a baking tray with parchment paper, set aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Mix well and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add softened coconut oil and using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, lightly whisk oil for a few seconds to break it down. Add coconut sugar and beat until well combined and fluffy. NOTE: Add a splash of milk if your oil and sugar isn’t mixing together.
  • Add egg, vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract (or just vanilla extract if not using vanilla bean). Beat until light, fluffy and smooth.
  • Gradually add in flour mixture, beating well until it begins to form a soft dough.
  • Slowly beat through cacao nibs.
  • Form into a soft dough, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from refrigerator and form into balls/cookies. Approx. 2 tablespoons worth each. Place onto prepared tray, pressing down on them slightly, you don’t want them as a complete ball so press them down halfway. Leaving 2 inches between each cookie as they do spread.
  • Sprinkle each cookie with a few cacao nibs and slightly press them into the cookies.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden around the edges.
  • Remove and cool on tray for 10 minutes.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Serve and Enjoy!


Store in an airtight container, in the pantry or refrigerated, for 4-6 days. *If you don’t have access to vanilla beans, add an extra tablespoon of the vanilla extract, making the total quantity 3 tablespoons.
Tried this recipe? Let us know how it was!


  1. They look delicious! I am excited to try these out since I just discovered cooking/baking with cacao nibs. I don’t have coconut sugar though. Can you recommend any other healthy sugar to use instead? For instance Maple syrup or honey?

    1. Hi Ilona! Thank you 🙂 I would recommend using either rapdura sugar, demerara sugar or a raw granulated sugar. As this is whipped with the coconut oil creating the base for the cookies. I haven’t tried this method using a liquid sweetener so I cannot guarantee they would work, it would certainly alter the texture & baking of these cookies. Hope that helps! 🙂

  2. Made these and was my first time making cookies. So easy and they are amazingly delicious! Thanks for this fabulous recipe. Had a query, can you freeze the cookies or the dough for a later date?

    1. Hi Lisa! That is so wonderful to hear! How exciting that you made these for your first time baking cookies, yay! Did you enjoy the process?

      I haven’t personally yet tested the already made cookies or dough the freezer. However, I definitely think there will be no issues in doing so, I’ve read many people have success with freezing all types of cookie dough and also baked cookies. I highly recommend you read through Sally’s guide on how to freeze both baked cookies and cookie dough, here’s the link: https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/baking-basics-how-to-freeze-cookie-dough/

      Hope that helps! 🙂

    1. Hi Rouba! Thank you so much, I’m so glad you’re enjoying the cacao vanilla cookies, they are seriously morish! I’ll have to bake myself a batch again soon! x

  3. Hi Samantha,
    these cookies look amazing! I had a question-I live in India and the weather is really hot right now so my coconut oil at room temperature is in complete liquid form. should I still use it or butter will be a better option?
    Can’t wait to try these out!

    1. Hi Chandani, thanks so much! I would suggest putting your coconut oil in your refrigerator. So measure out what you need, put it in a bowl and put that in the refrigerator until it begins to turn solid again. It should only take 20 or so minutes, you don’t want it completely hardened but just allow it to turn white again and so it’s soft, just how it would feel at room temperature, hope that makes sense? Otherwise yes, you can use butter instead 🙂
      Hope you get to make these, they’re certainly delicious!

3.73 from 11 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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