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It’s Anzac Day down under and the only way to celebrate is with some Healthy Vegan Anzac Biscuits! But what’s an Anzac biscuit you ask? Well, ANZAC is actually an acronym that stands for Australia New Zealand Army Corps, and April 25th is the annual day of commemoration for those who have served and passed on. It’s kind of like Memorial Day here in the US. Oh, and one more thing, biscuit = cookie!
These cookies are oaty, coconutty, thin cookies with a crisp edge and they’re absolutely delicious! Throughout middle school and high school, I studied at international schools where Anzac biscuits were offered at lunch pretty regularly. And thus, I attribute my knowledge of Anzac Day and the wonderful biscuits to the population of Australian and Kiwi students at my school.
Although I enjoyed the cookies almost weekly, it wasn’t until doing my own research last week that I realized why cookies were tied to the occasion. Well, the cookies were made with ingredients that were supposed to hold up longer than the average cookie. This way, they could be mailed out to loved ones serving in the ANZAC and still withstand the mailing time.
For this reason, the authentic recipe is fairly vegan-izable as is–the only ingredient used that isn’t vegan is butter, which could absolutely be substituted for vegan butter. The original recipe also calls for golden syrup, which does add its own unique flavour and colour to these cookies. If you have it available to you, feel free to use it, however I substituted with a refined sugar free option, as it can also be difficult to source in the US.
And with that said, I present to you these Healthy Vegan Anzac Biscuits. Not only are they vegan, but they’re also gluten-free and made with no refined sugars or added oil. My recipe calls for just 8 ingredients and takes about 20-25 minutes from start to finish!
so what’s in these Healthy Vegan Anzac Cookies?
Rolled oats → Add texture and that beautiful chew to the cookie! Use rolled oats for best results, and if you’re gluten-free like I am, make sure to opt for gluten-free certified oats.
Desiccated coconut → Sometimes also called shredded coconut. I like to use unsweetened coconut, as we are adding sweetener to the recipe! This also adds nice texture and a natural sweetness and gives the cookie its signature Anzac flavour.
Oat flour (or buckwheat or other GF flour) → In place of regular flour, I’m using oat flour, but I have also baked these with buckwheat flour and they work wonderfully!
Coconut sugar → Is the granulated sweetener I’ve used, however brown sugar or cane sugar will also work.
Coconut butter → Ah! The secret to this oil-free recipe. Cookies do need to be made with a source of fat, so I decided instead of nut butter, like I typically use, I’d go for coconut. It adds to the coconut flavour of this cookie and provides fat to keep the cookie moist and chewy.
Maple syrup → A touch of maple syrup, or liquid sweetener, is essential to create the sort of caramelization that occurs in these cookies. We’re only adding an additional 2 tbsp, it’s mostly for the texture of the cookie.
Baking soda → You know, for the science of baking. Be aware there’s an added step in this recipe–dissolving the baking soda in water before using. Make sure you do this as it’s a classic technique used in all traditional Anzac cookie recipes.
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For the flour, you can use buckwheat flour, oat flour or regular all purpose flour (if you’re not allergic to gluten). I’ve tried chickpea flour, which works, but does add a slight extra nutty-ness to the recipe.
To make your own coconut butter at home, you can actually blend desiccated coconut in a blender or food processor until completely smooth! It’s usually cheaper than purchasing coconut butter ready made at the store, but does require a little bit of extra work. If you’re purchasing desiccated coconut in large quantity however, why not DIY?
And finally, as always, I recommend using a non-stick baking mat for best results. It will not only ensure an even bake, but also makes for less clean-up and no cookies stuck to the pan! As an alternative, use parchment paper.
If you try this recipe out, tag me on Instagram @veggiekins so I can see your delicious re-creations and for a chance to be featured! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too!
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees while you prepare your batter.
In a large bowl, whisk together oats, coconut, flour and sugar. Separately, dissolve baking soda in hot water.
Melt coconut butter until liquid, and add maple syrup to combine over low heat. Add this wet mixture to dry ingredients and use a spatula or hands to combine. Add dissolved baking soda liquid and mix until a dough forms. If the mixture feels dry, you can add hot water by the half tablespoon as needed.
Take about 2 heaped tablespoons of dough and form large circular cookie shapes. Flatten with the bottom of a glass cup, or use your hands to thin out. Bake cookies for 10-13 minutes (mine were ready at about 11 minutes) and let cool completely before enjoying.
I made my cookies fairly large, with 2 heaped tablespoons of dough per cookie. If you do the same, make sure to flatten the cookie so it bakes evenly!
Feel free to add additional bake time if you prefer your cookies more on the crisp side.
Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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