Easy Afghan Biscuits {GF + V}

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Easy chocolate Afghan Biscuits free from gluten and entirely vegan.

Plate filled with Afghan biscuits

Afghan biscuits are traditional New Zealand cookies made from flour, butter, cocoa powder and crunchy cornflakes, iced and served with half a walnut pressed on top. I’ve given them a gluten free makeover, and left out the butter to make them vegan.

But before we go any further – I know my non-Kiwi readers will be asking – what is the origin of the name? The truth is – it’s all a bit of a mystery!

There are some interesting Afghan biscuit theories discussed here, which include a nod to the mountainous landscape of Afghanistan (why though?), and a reference to the second Anglo-Afghan war… most curious…

Anyway, that aside, they’re damn delicious – sweet, crunchy, addictive!

They were also something my Nana used to make on the regular for the family on the orchard – along with other Kiwi favourites like ginger slice, raisin squares, peanut brownie’s and Louise slice.

I hope you enjoy this modernized rendition!

Easy Afghan Biscuits - gluten free and vegan. Find this Kiwi favourite here! Click To Tweet

Flat lay of a plate full of Afghan biscuits on the kitchen bench

How to make Afghan Biscuits

Traditional recipes will ask you to whip out the cake mixer to cream the butter and sugar. We’re not going to do that.

Instead, we’ll start by sifting all our dry ingredients together – buckwheat flour (sorghum and oat are great alternatives), raw cacao powder, almond meal (adds fluffiness), sea salt, baking soda and cornflakes.

Then, we’ll melt down some quality, dairy free dark chocolate, with coconut oil. I did this in a pyrex jug resting in a pot of boiling water.

Once melted – we’ll add a dash of vanilla extract and a couple of tablespoons thick coconut milk – the stuff from the tin, not the tetra pack.

Hot tip – I always have on hand a few small-sized tins of full fat coconut milk and cream for recipes like these that only call for a small amount, to avoid wastage.

A step by step showing how to make Afghan biscuits

Now we have a lush chocolate mixture, ready to pour over our dry ingredients.

Use a spatula to bring it all together, then roll into small balls ready to bake. So easy!

Raw Afghan Biscuit dough rolled into a ball on a baking tray ready to bake

While the Afghan biscuits cook (literally done in 10-12 minutes), we’ll make a thick chocolate icing using the same method – combine all ingredients (cashew butter, cacao powder, vanilla, coconut milk, maple syrup and sea salt) in the pyrex jug, then mix vigorously to combine.

Another hot tip – raw cashew butter works better than roasted.

Close up of homemade icing in a pyrex jug, for Afghan biscuits

Don’t forget to cool the biscuits before icing them – and finally – top with a half a walnut!

Close up of an iced Afghan Biscuit on a plate

More yummy cookie recipes

Afghan biscuits on a plate

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Close up of a plate of Afghan Biscuits
Print Recipe
5 from 2 votes

Afghan Biscuits

Crunchy, chocolatey Afghan Biscuits made without gluten or butter. A Kiwi favourite! Makes 18 small cookies.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Icing time5 mins
Total Time22 mins
Course: Baking
Cuisine: Gluten free, New Zealand
Keyword: Afghan Biscuits
Servings: 18 biscuits
Calories: 188kcal


  • Pyrex jug
  • Saucepan or pot
  • Baking tray
  • Mixing bowl


Afghan Biscuits:

  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • 100 g dairy free dark chocolate
  • ½ cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk tinned, full fat
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • ¼ rounded cup cacao powder
  • 2 cups cornflakes
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda ensure this is fresh

Thick Icing:

  • 1/4 cup raw cashew butter unroasted is best
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch coarse sea salt
  • 12 walnut halves to top


  • Pre-heat oven at 165˚C (329˚F).
  • In a bowl, sift and combine buckwheat flour, almond meal, cacao powder, cornflakes, salt and baking soda.
  • Combine coconut oil and dark chocolate in a pyrex jug and stand in a saucepan filled with boiling water. Stir until melted, then add coconut sugar, coconut milk and vanilla, continue to heat until smooth, then pour over the dry mixture and use a spatula to combine.
  • Shape the mixture into rounds, about 1 tablespoon per, and space evenly on a tray lined with baking paper.
  • Place on a rack in the middle of your oven and bake for up to 12 minutes. Remove and let cool entirely before icing.
  • Icing:
  • Combine all ingredients in a pyrex jug and stand in a saucepan filled with boiling water. Stir vigorously to melt and combine, the texture should be thick.
  • Remove from the heat then use a teaspoon per mixture to ice the biscuits. Top with half a walnut. Enjoy!


  • Sorghum and oat flours will work just fine in place of the buckwheat
  • Raw, unsalted cashew butter works better than roasted (taste wise)
  • Choose a quality, dairy free dark chocolate
  • Don't skip the cornflakes! They're the best part
  • Biscuits are great without the icing if you can't be bothered
  • Check in on them at the ten minute mark so they don't burn
  • Store in an airtight container
  • Nutrition panel is per serve, and an estimate only


Calories: 188kcal | Carbohydrates: 18.6g | Protein: 3.4g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7.7g | Sodium: 66mg | Fiber: 2.8g | Sugar: 7g | Iron: 9%
Close up of Afghan Biscuits iced with a walnut on top


Hi I’m Lauren, practising Naturopath, Medical Herbalist, Nutritionist, and essential oils educator in Auckland, New Zealand. I’m incredibly passionate about food as medicine, and helping people connect with the healing power of Nature. I’ve been sharing my recipes and health articles here since 2012.

BNatMed, AdDip NutMed, BCS, Certified FitGenes Practitioner.