Homemade Paleo Diet Fig Newtons (Gluten-free and Dairy-free)

Homemade Paleo Diet Fig Newtons (Gluten-free and Dairy-free)

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Fig Newtons


I have a friend visiting from Baltimore this week, and when I mentioned that the dessert I’d be baking was paleo diet fig netwons that were also gluten-free and dairy-free, she was less than thrilled.  Why wasn’t I making a decadent cupcake topped with a pillowy pile of frosting?  How did she draw the short straw?  As the fig newtons baked and their smell began to waft through the house, she began to consider that her luck might be better than she had imagined.

Having only ever eaten store-bought fig newtons, none of us had realized how exceptional fig newtons would be straight out of the oven.  These soft, agave-sweetened cookies with a hint of sea salt and a warm fig filling are comfort food at its finest.  We had to stop ourselves from eating all of the cookies before Jonathan had a chance to snap the photo.  When the fig newtons cooled, they tasted more like what we were used to from the store, but fresher and more natural.

Don’t let the special diet thing scare you.  You’d never know that these fig newtons were missing all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, eggs, and butter.  They taste like cookies!  Plus, when you grab that third one off the plate, you can feel great about the quality ingredients you are putting into your body.

Have You Ever Looked at the Ingredients in Fig Newtons?



Homemade Fig Newton Ingredients

Here are the homemade fig newton ingredients that I used.

Bob's Red Mill Almond Meal/Flour, 16-Ounce (Pack of 4)

Almond meal is used in place of all-purpose flour.  Although you might think otherwise, it does not give the cookies an almond flavor.

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Depending on which paleo diet articles you read, you may find that different oils are allowed.  I used grapeseed oil in these cookies, but you could replace that with any vegetable or nut oil (especially if you aren’t on the paleo diet and just want to make the fig newtons!).

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There is also a touch of vanilla extract and a touch of cinnamon in the recipe.

Would you choose the store-bought fig newtons or the homemade ones?

10 Copycat Store-Bought Recipes

Copycat Cookies

Before I share the paleo diet fig newton recipe, I want to tell you about my new gig!  I’m now writing for Parade magazine!  For my first post there, I’ve shared ten different recipes for store-bought cookies that you can make at home.  Head over there to see if your favorite cookie is on the list!

Paleo Diet Fig Newton Recipe

The dough recipe for these fig newtons is a slight adaptation of one from Elana’s Pantry.  The filling recipe is from Brave Tart‘s Fig Newton recipe on Serious Eats – only I used agave nectar instead of honey (either would be fine).

Homemade Paleo Diet Fig Newtons (Gluten-free and Dairy-free)

Yield: About 20 fig newtons

Homemade Paleo Diet Fig Newtons (Gluten-free and Dairy-free)


    Filling Ingredients
  • 6 ounces dried black mission figs (about 1 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • Dough Ingredients
  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
  • 3/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


    Filling Instructions
  1. Remove any stems from the figs and place in a food processor with all other filling ingredients. Process until smooth.
  2. Dough Instructions
  3. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine almond meal and salt.
  4. In a small bowl, combine agave, grapeseed oil, and vanilla.
  5. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Note: This will look much wetter than most cookie doughs and you may question how it will ever be possible to roll this dough out. Don't worry; the dough will get much thicker after you refrigerate it.
  6. Refrigerate dough for one hour.
  7. Remove dough from refrigerator and preheat oven to 350 F.
  8. Divide dough into four equal sections. Starting with the first section, roll out the dough between two pieces of parchment paper to a rectangle that's about 10" long, 4" wide, and 1/4" thick. Note: The parchment paper is absolutely essential. If the dough directly touches the rolling pin, it will be impossible to keep it from sticking to the pin.
  9. Spread 1/4 of the newton filling along the right side of the dough.
  10. Fold the the dough in half lengthwise so that the dough on the left side completely covers the fig filling. The easiest way to do this is to lift the parchment paper from underneath to make the fold and then peel the parchment paper back after the fold is done. If there is too much overlap, trim the seam with a butter knife to make a straight line.
  11. Repeat with the remaining three sections.
  12. Place all four dough logs onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 12 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.
  13. Remove from the oven.
  14. Cool until you can comfortably touch the logs. Then, cut every 2" to form the fig newtons.

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19 comments on “Homemade Paleo Diet Fig Newtons (Gluten-free and Dairy-free)”

  1. Congrats on the new writing gig!

  2. Tanya says:

    Would honey or xylitol work as a sub for the agave? I believe agave is worse than HFCS.

    • Stef says:

      Yes, honey would work fine, I thought the same about agave for a while. But, recently read some articles that seemed to disprove that.

  3. Kerri says:

    As a former cupcake addict, I love your blog….as a current Paleo Eater, I love it even more when you throw in Paleo recipes!!! Thanks for keeping my interest, no matter what you write about!!!!!

  4. Melinda says:

    Don’t shoot me, but I’ve never been a huge fig fan…..But I love all the other flavors. If it wouldn’t take too much time, could you let me know how best to sub other flavors? Would you just use a different fruit in dried form? Fresh fruit would probably be too funny….

  5. Nessa says:

    Great post!

  6. Cathy Bert says:

    I have fresh figs, could I use these and how should I adapt this recipe?

  7. CK says:

    I tried subbing with maple syrup and vegetable oil and got a very different (but very delicious!) result. I also used fresh figs to make jam that I used for the filling– so Cathy perhaps that is your answer :)


    Thanks for the great inspiration, Stef!


  8. john says:


  9. andru says:

    Worst recipe ever. Complete waste of time, ingredients, and money! The “dough” was so thick and sticky as to be unusable. They didn’t bake properly, totally raw in the middle and burnt on the edges.

    Thanks for nothing.

  10. Kimberly says:

    Seriously these are AMAZING! Im having a hard time not eating the whole batch in one sitting. DELICIOUS! I went a little overboard with the fig filling and mine did not “cook” on the top of the newton. Still amazing tho and I can’t wait to make them again!! LOVE LOVE LOVE

  11. jennifer says:

    tried this and during baking it spread out…burnt on edges and not browned in between. oven too hot? (at 350). if i do this again i think i’ll use coconut flour in the crust. not sure how we’ll eat them yet…it just might be a yummy paste. do you think it must be ‘almond’ meal? what about ‘nut’ meal/flour?

  12. stephanie says:

    Well these are absolutely delicious. I will share this recipe and make it for many years to come! THANK YOU!

  13. natalie g says:

    Just made these and they are DELICIOUS!!! Thank you!!!

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