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Vegan Maamoul Cookies

Ma'amoul date filled cookies

I recently found a mason jar filled with old dried dates in the pantry. They looked like they had been there for a long time. They didn’t look very plump but I knew that if I rehydrated them I could at least make some date paste or syrup. What can you do with that? You make Ma’amoul cookies!  That’s what you do! Ma’amoul is a beloved dessert in many countries in the Middle East, including Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Palestine. This cookie is often served with tea or Arabic coffee, and consumed during religious holidays such as Eid, Easter, and Christmas.
The word “Maamoul” comes from Arabic and means “filled” or “stuffed,” referring to the sweet date filling that is encased in a short-bread cookie-like dough. It is usually made with flour, semolina, yeast, and butter, and is often scented with rose water or orange blossom water.

To veganize them, I have replaced the butter with tahini adding a halva quality to it! I ditched the yeast because these cookies do not need to rise and added some vanilla extract.

Are dates good for you?

You bet they are! Dates have a low glycemic index, which means they may help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of diabetes. Dates are also a good source of fiber, potassium (good for cognitive function), magnesium (bone health), copper, manganese, and vitamins B6, and K. One of my favorite way to eat dates is to remove the pit and insert a sprouted almond. It is the perfect snack for traveling, and anytime I am on the go.

Date paste

Is a great substitute for sugar in recipes. It is easy to make and one cup of date paste can replace one cup of sugar in most recipes. You can for example:

  1. Add to smoothies, yogurt: Add a spoonful of date paste to your favorite smoothie for a natural sweetener and extra nutrients.
  2. Spread on toast: Spread date paste on toast instead of jam or other spreads.
  3. Use in baking: Use date paste in baking recipes such as cookies, cakes, and muffins for a healthier alternative to sugar.
  4. Mix with nut butter: Mix date paste with your favorite nut butter for a sweet and satisfying snack.

It is so versatile that I usually double the recipe so that I can always have some in the fridge.

The raw cookie texture is very much like short bread cookie dough because it is held together with tahini and oil. So be warned that when you form the cookie and add the date paste it will be a little messy, and piece meal. But I promise that after they bake, the result will be delicious. I ended up using a knife to smooth the side as I rotated it making sure a little date paste was on top. Bake for only 8-10 minutes until they are golden.

Can Maamoul be gluten-free?

Yes. You can use a store-bought gluten-free mix or make your own combining:
1 ¼ cup almond flour
3/4 cup tapioca starch (also called tapioca flour)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt

These short-bread like cookies are rich like most Middle Eastern desserts, so one will make you feel satisfied. Serve with your favorite hot drink like Mint tea, Masala chai or strong Arabic coffee.

Ma'amoul date filled cookies

Vegan Ma'amoul cookies (date filled)

These nutritious cookies are crunchy on the outside and filled with delicious date paste
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Middle East
Servings 16 cookies


  • Baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat
  • Blender


Date paste

  • 8-10 Medjool dates
  • warm water

Cookie dough

  • 1 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame butter)
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 2-3 tbsp vegan milk
  • 2 tbsp rose water


Make the date paste

  • Place 6-8 pitted dates in a bowl and cover them with warm water. Soak for about 10-15 minutes to soften.
  • Remove 1-2 tablespoons of liquid and drain the water from the dates, and transfer them to a food processor or a mortar.
  • You can remove or leave the skin that came off. Add a 1-2 tablespoons of liquid to the food processor to help with the blending process.
  • Blend or process the dates on high speed for about 1-2 minutes, or until a smooth and creamy paste forms. You can also use a mortar.
  • You may need to scrape down the sides of the blender or food processor a few times to ensure all the dates are well blended.
  • If the date paste is too thick, you can add a little more warm water and blend again until it reaches your desired consistency.
  • Transfer it to an airtight container. Will keep refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Make the cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Combine the all-purpose and almond flour in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, whisk 1/2 cup of tahini, avocado oil, vegan milk, and rose water (if using).
  • Add the wet into the dry ingredients and mix until it forms a dough ball.
  • Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes.
  • Use a little oil on your hands and make about 16 small balls.
  • Flatten each ball with your palm or a jar lid and place a little spoonful of date paste in the middle. Just enough so that you can fold the edges.
  • Fold all sides and close each cookie. It will be a little messy at first but you can use a knife to smooth the sides. Place on a lined baking sheet.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden.
    Ma'amoul cookies
  • Cool down before serving.
Keyword vegan cookies
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