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

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

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

  1. Laura@ FoodSnobSTL July 18, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    Congrats on the new writing gig!

  2. Tanya July 19, 2013 at 7:47 am #

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

    • Stef July 22, 2013 at 11:13 pm #

      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 July 19, 2013 at 9:59 am #

    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!!!!!

    • Stef July 22, 2013 at 11:14 pm #

      Aww… thanks so much, Kerri. Hope you like the paleo cupcake that I’m posting next as well!

  4. Melinda July 20, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    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….

    • Stef July 20, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

      Yes, you could use a different dried fruit or even a jam.

  5. Nessa July 22, 2013 at 7:05 pm #

    Great post!

  6. Cathy Bert August 3, 2013 at 10:13 am #

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

  7. CK September 11, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    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 October 22, 2013 at 12:32 am #


    • Stef February 24, 2014 at 3:37 pm #

      There’s no milk in this recipe.

  9. andru February 23, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    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.

    • Stef February 24, 2014 at 3:38 pm #

      I’m sorry that you had trouble with the recipe. I’m not sure what went wrong for you.

  10. Kimberly August 27, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    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 December 23, 2014 at 6:55 pm #

    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?

    • Stef December 23, 2014 at 7:04 pm #

      Sorry the recipe didn’t work for you. :( I’m not sure exactly what you are asking about the almond meal. Any nut meal should work.


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