These gluten-free Trail Mix Cookies are perfectly chewy and loaded with crunchy nuts and seeds, dark chocolate, and sweet-tart dried cherries. They’re made without refined sugar, with a dairy-free option too!
There was a time when gluten-free cookies were nearly always a crumbly, dry disappointment, but these days, there are gluten-free flour blends that produce cookies that are every bit as delicious as the traditional recipe. Take these Trail Mix Cookies, for example. Using a measure-for-measure gluten-free flour blend means you’ll get cookies that are soft, chewy, and basically everything you want in a cookie.
In addition to making these Trail Mix Cookies without gluten, I’ve made them without adding any refined sugar; instead, they’re sweetened with coconut sugar and maple syrup. If you don’t eat dairy, you can even make them without butter by substituting coconut oil in its place.
The cookies get their name from the add-ins—bittersweet chocolate chips, dried cherries, pumpkin seeds, and crunchy chopped almonds, just like you might find in trail mix. Feel free to switch these out with your favorite trail mix ingredients!
What You’ll Need
Scroll down to the recipe card below this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions.
- Gluten-free flour – Use a measure-for-measure all-purpose flour substitute formulated for baking. Don’t substitute a single gluten-free flour (like coconut flour or almond flour); it won’t work in this recipe.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Kosher salt
- Unsalted butter – Use melted coconut oil if you prefer dairy-free cookies or don’t have butter on hand.
- Coconut sugar – Coconut sugar is derived from the sap in coconut trees. You can purchase it online or at most natural food stores.
- Maple syrup
- Eggs – You’ll need one whole egg and one yolk, both at room temperature.
- Vanilla extract
- Gluten-free old-fashioned oats – Don’t use quick oats here; you want the chewy, hearty texture of old-fashioned oats.
- Bittersweet chocolate chips – If you can’t find these, substitute semisweet chocolate chips or chop a bittersweet chocolate bar into chunks.
- Dried cherries – Look for cherries that don’t have any added sugar.
- Pumpkin seeds – Also known as pepitas.
What Is the Difference Between Gluten-Free Oats and Regular Oats?
Gluten-free oats are guaranteed to be free of gluten contamination, while regular oats are not. Although oats are naturally a gluten-free grain, they’re often grown alongside wheat, or processed in equipment that processes wheat, which means they can be contaminated with gluten.
How to Make Gluten-Free Trail Mix Cookies
Ready for chewy oatmeal cookies loaded with nuts, seeds, chocolate, and cherries? Let’s start baking!
Mix the dry ingredients. Place all of the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl and whisk to combine.
Mix the wet ingredients. Use an electric mixer on medium speed to cream the butter or coconut oil with the sugar. Reduce the speed to low, then beat in the maple syrup, egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Slowly mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, then stir in the oats. Once incorporated, fold in the chocolate chips, cherries, pumpkin seeds, and almonds.
Chill. Place the bowl of cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
Prepare. Near the end of the chilling time, position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
Form the cookies. Scoop tablespoon-sized balls of dough onto the baking sheets, leaving two inches between each cookie.
Bake. Place one baking sheet on the upper oven rack and the second on the lower rack. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, then switch the baking sheets from the upper rack to lower and lower to upper. Bake for another 8 minutes.
Cool. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack before serving.
How Do You Keep Gluten-Free Cookies Soft?
The secret to soft, chewy gluten-free cookies is to under-bake them ever-so-slightly. They’ll continue to bake and set from the residual heat on the baking sheet even after you pull them out of the oven, so it’s absolutely fine if the middles are still soft at that point.
Tips for Success
Follow these hints and tips and your Gluten-Free Trail Mix Cookies will turn out perfect:
- Measure the flour properly. Never scoop your measuring cup into the flour; instead, lightly spoon the flour into the cup and then level it with a butter knife. When you scoop the flour, it will be compacted and you’ll use more than you need, resulting in a dry cookie.
- Don’t over-mix. Even though this recipe is made with gluten-free flour, you still don’t want to over-mix the batter! As soon as the ingredients are combined, stop mixing.
- Chill the cookie dough. This is an important step that keeps the dough from spreading on the baking sheet. Chilled dough helps you get thick, chewy cookies!
You can freeze the cookie dough rolled into a log and wrapped tightly in plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Remove it from the freezer to thaw; scoop and cook while the dough is still chilled.
How to Store
Store these cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 to 4 days.
Can These Cookies Be Frozen?
Yes, once baked, you can freeze these cookies in a freezer bag or airtight container for up to 3 months. Place parchment paper between the layers to keep them from sticking.
More Healthy Cookie Recipes
- Superfood Peanut Butter Protein Breakfast Cookies
- Gluten Free Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies
- Cashew Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Double Almond Chocolate Chip Cookie
Gluten-Free Trail Mix Cookies
- 2 cups gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter room temperature or 1 cup of melted coconut oil
- 1½ cups coconut sugar
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups gluten free old-fashioned oats
- 3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons dried cherries chopped
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- 2 tablespoons almonds chopped
- Stir together flour through salt together in a medium bowl.
- Using an electric mixer, blend butter or coconut oil with sugar at medium speed for several minutes, or until completed blended
- Lower speed of mixer to low and add in maple syrup, egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract and blend for a few minutes.
- Once blended add in flour mixture, slowly. Once flour is incorporated into the sugar mixture, add in oats.
- Once oats are incorporated add in chocolate chips, cherries, pumpkin seeds and almonds. Mix for only a minute. You do not want to over blend.
- Place the mixing bowl with dough in the refrigerator for a minimum of 20 minutes. This will stop the cookies from spreading too much while baking.
- Meanwhile, place racks in upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350°F.
- Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Drop tablespoon size balls of dough onto prepared sheets, spacing about 2” in between each cookie.
- Place one cookie sheet on the upper oven rack and the second cookie sheet on the lower rack.
- Bake cookies for 8 minutes, then transfer the cookie sheet from upper rack to lower and lower to upper.
- Bake cookies for an additional 8 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool to set.
- Cool completely on a wire rack