Gluten Free Florentine Cookies

Gluten Free Florentine Cookies Recipe

There is a lot I love about these Gluten Free Florentine Cookies and one thing that sort of droves me a little crazy. Aside from being divinely decadent, this is a naturally gluten free recipe, pretty quick and simple to make and all the ingredients are easy to find in a regular grocery store.

With their burnished brown and copper tones studded with bright pops of ruby red, they remind me of an antique jewelry box filled with precious jewels. They are, for the most part, quite lovely to look at. Which brings me to the one thing about this recipe that I struggled with.

These cookies have a tendency to spread out when baking, any which way they want. Not really a bad thing, it’s what they are supposed to do. So why does it bother me a bit? Because I can’t control the way the final cookies look. I can’t make them perfectly round and identical in appearance. And believe me, I have tried! I made this recipe countless times over the past few days, trying every way I could think of to harness and control the spreading; I tried baking them in muffin pans and silicone baking liners, I tried corralling the baked cookies with a cookie cutter and on and on and on. My husband was delighted with my frustration, as it meant he got to enjoy all the “flops”.  And ENJOY he did!!

I have been told I am a perfectionist. I used to think that was a compliment but it turns out complimenting me was not the intention of the people saying it. I don’t think I am a perfectionist. I wish I was a perfectionist. What that says about me is a subject for another day…

In the end, I had to let go – let the cookies do what they do and learn to appreciate the irregular beauty. “There are no two snowflakes or roses exactly the same” I told myself. “Let it go!” And so I did!

This recipe is so far removed from my original Florentine Cookie recipe it almost deserves a new name. For one thing, I left out the flour completely making them grain free. If I can find a way to make a gluten free recipe without flour, I will. My original recipe had a ton of butter; I cut back the amount and made it with Earth Balance instead for a dairy free cookie. Instead of sugar, I used honey thus cutting back on the refined sugar. Since candied fruits are hard to find for me any time except the winter holidays, I used maraschino cherries and fresh orange zest instead. Finally, the original recipe called for the cookies to be dipped in chocolate – now, while I will be the first to admit that adding chocolate to just about anything is never a bad idea, I felt that the chocolate masked the caramelly, fruity, nutty flavor of the cookies.

I have stopped obsessing over how to make these cookies conform to my idea of what they SHOULD look like and am appreciating them for what they do look like – a bit wild, a bit recalcitrant, free, lovely and (in their own way) perfect!

Gluten Free Recipes Florentine Cookies

5 from 2 votes
Gluten Free Florentine Cookies
Print Recipe

Gluten Free Florentine Cookies Recipe

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24 Servings
Calories: 80kcal
Author: Gluten Free & More


  • 4 tablespoons dairy free butter substitute (such as Earth Balance)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 12 maraschino cherries , stems removed, patted dry and quartered
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • Zest of 1 large orange , finely grated
  • 2 tablespoons rice milk (or other dairy free milk)


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheet with silicon baking mats or parchment paper.
  • Heat the butter substitute over low heat in a large saucepan. Add the honey, increase the heat to medium-high and add the cherries, pine nuts, almonds and orange zest. Bring to a boil stirring to coat all the ingredients. Add the rice milk and continue to boil, stirring, until all the additional liquid has reduced and the mixture starts to hold together.
  • Place well-spaced tablespoons of the mixture on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool in a dry place on the baking sheets until they become crisp. Carefully peel the cookies off the baking mats or parchment paper.
  • Store cookies in a cool, dry place – humidity will make them sticky.


Nutrition Facts
Gluten Free Florentine Cookies Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 80 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Sodium 16mg1%
Potassium 53mg2%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 1g2%
Calcium 17mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Disclaimer: All nutrition facts on Gluten Free & More are meant only as a guide and may differ depending on product brands used or ingredient substitutions. Some errors may occur, so you are encouraged to confirm the recipe’s ingredient and nutrition suitability for your own diet.
Have you tried this recipe? Give it a star rating and let us know your thoughts in the Ratings & Reviews section below.
Tags: Almonds Baking Cookies Dairy Free Florentine Gluten-Free Gluten-Free Recipes Maraschino Cherries Pine Nuts
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  1. May 18, 2012

    Love the recipe! Could you use coconut butter instead of he dairy free butter? Just curious, thanks!


    1. Gluten Free & More
      May 18, 2012

      Hi Elisa – I don’t see why not. In fact I think it would add some great flavor to the cookies!

  2. Wendy Hampton
    May 18, 2012

    These are the most beautiful cookies! I agree…they look like jewelry! Glad i can eat them though. They are REALLY good. I think I’m going to try them with dried pineapple chunks too.

    1. Gluten Free & More
      May 18, 2012

      Oh Wendy – dried pineapple sounds fabulous! Let me know how they taste :)

  3. May 18, 2012

    I had exactly the same issue! I like my baking to have uniformity, especially when I’m baking for cafes and don’t want customers to bicker over cookie size. I decided to go for weight rather than size conformity instead. Oh so yummy indeed!

  4. May 23, 2012

    Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  5. Cait
    August 14, 2014

    How about dried apricots?

    1. Gluten Free & More
      September 2, 2014

      Hi Cait,
      Yes, that would work too!

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