Healthy Middle Eastern Cardamom Cookies

Growing up in the Middle East meant I got the chance to enjoy plenty of desserts flavoured with cardamom. I love it so much that I can safely say it’s my favourite spice. The hubby on the other side, hates cardamom, so I don’t get to use it as much as I would like to. However, with Eid (the festival of breaking of the fast) fast approaching, I really wanted to create a Middle Eastern dessert, something that I grew up eating during this time.


Last year I created a healthy, vegan and gluten-free version of the most popular Iraqi cookie – Kleicha, or date rolls/date filled cookies and they were a big hit! This year, I wanted to create the second most popular Eid cookie (the most popular in my family anyway) – cardamom cookies, or Shakarlama, which are basically sugar cookies made with flour, butter and sugar with a hint of cardamom to make them even more delicious. I still remember how mouthwateringly buttery and crumbly they were and they were always topped with a whole almond or cashew. 


Of course, they were void of nutrients. So I’ve created a healthier version with the following ingredients:

  • Ground almonds – high in vitamin E, biotin, B2, magnesium and fibre. Also helps lower cholesterol, helps with weight control and helps prevent diabetes and heart disease.
  • Flaxseed – good source of omega-3 fatty acids, phytonutrients and antioxidants. Also aids in preventing cardio vascular disease. 
  • Coconut sugar – even though it’s still a sugar and should be used sparingly, it has a low GI number making it a much better contender compared to things like white or brown sugar.

This healthy middle eastern cardamom cookie recipe is also vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free. They also contain fibre, good fats and are so tasty! 😀 


Healthy Middle Eastern Cardamom Cookies
Serves 12
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  1. 1/2 cup (85g) gluten-free flour
  2. 1/2 cup (50g) ground almonds
  3. 1/4 cup (33g) coconut sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  7. 1 flax egg - 1 tbsp milled flaxseed + 3 tbsp hot water
  8. 1/4 cup (4 tbsp) coconut oil, melted
Nadia's Healthy Kitchen

If you liked this healthy Middle Eastern cardamom cookie recipe, you may also like my Iraqi date cookies

iraqi date cookies (klechia - كليجة)