Dairy-Free Alfajores

Alfajores is my absolute favorite cookie. Can’t remember the first time I had one, but it was love at first sight and taste. Yes, also sight. It is a beautiful little pale cookie, 2 layers filled with Dulce De Leche, and coconut all around.

photo 1(13)As you probably know by now, I like figuring out how to turn recipes into Dairy Free, Gluten Free, or both. In this case I wanted to try coconut oil, for 2 main reasons (for  more on baking with coconut oil click Here)-

1. It is much better for you than butter.

2. It will make it dairy-free and open new options…..

My main concern with Alfajores was the very delicate texture of the cookies. They are, as is, very soft, breakable and crumble. Not adding butter raised the question of if they would still be similar in texture and if they would not completely collapse.

I decided to try a recipe I have made before, based on an allrecipe.com I found way back.


1 2/3 cups flour
2 1/2 cups cornstarch – yes it is a lot but this is where the texture comes from……
2 tsp.baking powder
1 1/4 cup refined coconut oil, room temperature – if you love the taste of coconut as much as I do, you might like to add raw coconut oil
3/4 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla

Lemon zest from a whole, medium sized lemon (ONLY if you like a scent of lemon, if not leave it out)

optional- a Tbsp. coffee, liqueur you like or another flavor

Very Cold water as needed

For Dairy Fillings:

Dulce De Leche
For Non Dairy Fillings:
Favorite jam
Non dairy chocolate spread
Biscoff spread
Melted chocolate
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
round, heart shaped or any favorite cookie cutter. i like to make bite sized Alfajores as well as medium sized ones.
To bake the cookies, turn the oven to 350F/180C. Place baking paper on 2 baking pans
          photo 1(14)
Mix  the sugar and coconut oil until well combined.
Add yolks one at a time.photo 2(15)
Add vanilla, lemon zest and if you like another flavor (coffee, liqueur etc about a tbsp.)
Place the bowl on the table, from here it is all by hand…..
In a sift place flour, corn starch and baking powder and sift it into the bowl. In this recipe sifting is very important to keep the very delicate texture. photo 3(16)Sift in the flour mixture and slowly incorporate it into the eggs.
Add very cold water until you get a nice soft dough.
Wrap the dough well and cool in the fridge for an hour.photo 5(8)Spread the dough the thickness you like, taking into account it does double in the oven because of the baking powder. I find it is easiest to roll the dough in-between 2 sheets of baking paper. Cut your cookies, place on a baking pan and bake for about 8 minutes- until they are very light brown. They need to be baked but stay almost white.
photo 1(12) photo 2(13) photo 3(14)
After baking, cool completely and then match couples.
On one, spread your filling- I use piping bags and find it easiest as they break easy and tend to break when spreading with a fork or knife.
Place the 2nd cookies on top and roll in coconut.
photo 4(10)With Dulce De Leche
photo 2(14)With Nutella
photo 5(7)
 photo 1(13)
IF you don’t finish them right away, you can store in a sealed container either in room temperature or in the fridge. I find that in the fridge makes them even better, similarly to Macaroons, they become a bit harder (still crubmle and delicate) and easier to eat.
These are beautiful and delicious!
Enjoy and I would love to hear from you.


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    • 2

      Gil, i believe you can replace the cornstarch with any of them 1:1. Regarding the honey, it should be interesting trying and I would guess you would not need any additional water, although they will probably be denser than with sugar. If you make them, let me know how they turn out

      • 3

        thanks! I’ll let you know how it worked with the honey. I usually add less honey than the sugar in recipes because honey is sweeter. Your alfajores are on my to-do list for this weekend 🙂

  1. 4

    Hi there – I’m another blogger who loves to find ways to make things parve without using margarine. I’ve never used coconut oil, but was searching for recipes for an upcoming shabbat dinner and am thrilled to find your recipe. I wonder if you have any thoughts on using powdered sugar (which I’ve seen in several recipes) to give the cookies the right melt in your mouth, crumbly texture. Thanks!

    • 5


      I like powdered sugar but even without, they will be very melty because of the corn starch…. just remember that Dulce De Leche is dairy, so you will need a different filling or make your own caramel- without butter…. You can use many non dairy options…

      • 6

        Absolutely! I plan to either make dulce de leche with coconut milk or something called miel (not the French kind…) that I found in a Peruvian cookbook.

        • 7

          That sounds interesting. Never tried to make Dulce out of coconut milk…. need to try and also look into Peruvian Miel…. Good luck and I’ve just spent a lot of time on your blog! great fun

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