Low Carb Vegan Kołaczki (gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free)

Low Carb Vegan Kołaczki (gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free)

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Oh, look, I’m finally posting Christmas things just a few days before Christmas. I’m the worst. Because my dad’s family is Polish, I grew up eating a lot of Polish foods, especially at Christmas time. These cookies are  a staple from my childhood. They’re called Kołaczki Świąteczne (ko-watch-ki shvee-ohn-tetch-ne …ish) and are really easy to make, but super delicious. This vegan keto kołaczki recipe uses few ingredients and is nut-free, gluten-free, dairy-free and egg-free. It’s perfect for the holidays!

So, if you’ve made the original recipe before, you’ll note that mine varies in a few ways. Firstly, I add a little sweetener to the dough. While this isn’t traditionally done, I’ve found that it dramatically improves the texture and keeps the cookies softer. You’ll also notice that the ratio of butter to cream cheese is a bit different. This is just the ratio that I found produced the best results. Traditionally, these are made with a 1:1 cream cheese to butter recipe, but because vegan cream cheese really lacks the tang of actual cream cheese, and vegan butter is a little more overpowering than typical butter, these proportions tasted best to me.

This recipe is super simple, and just requires the following ingredients:

  • vegan cream cheese
  • vegan butter substitute
  • lupin flour (see below for substitutes)
  • vanilla (optional!)
  • fillings: either jams or the nut filling below
  • powdered sweetener

That’s it. It’s crazy simple. If you don’t want to use processed cream cheese or butter, there are may whole foods options out there! Brands like Kite Hill, Miyoko’s Kitchen and Heidi Ho all make great vegan cream cheese substitutes from nuts. Miyoko also makes a great butter! I also have a vegan butter recipe in my cookbook!

process shot of making kołaczki

As for the filling, you can use sugar-free jams, dried fruit, chocolate, or my personal favorite, this nut paste…

Nut Filling For Vegan Keto Kołaczki Świąteczne

  • 1/4 cup (30g) walnuts or pecans
  •  1 tbsp powdered sweetener
  • 1-2 tsp ground cinnamon (depending on how cinnamony you want it!)
  • Enough water to form a paste (around 1/2 tsp)
  • Method: Use a mortar and pestle to mash ingredients together until a smooth paste forms. It takes a little while, but is worth it! You can also scale this up and make it in a food processor.

a tray of vegan keto kołaczki, polish cream cheese cookies

Notes on Making Low Carb Vegan Kołaczki (Polish Cream Cheese Cookies)

  • Traditional fillings include apricot jam, plum jam or a nut mixture like the one above. Feel free to use whatever sugar-free jam, jelly or other filling you want!
  • Truth time – I find it really tedious to make the cookies in the little folded shapes, especially if I’m making a lot of these. So, it’s totally acceptable to make these into thumbprint cookies as well (see the pic above). I totally did that when making larger batches for family celebrations, and they taste just as lovely.
  • If you are less concerned about the carb count of these, I’d recommend using chickpea flour or a chickpea and fava bean blend. While soy flour and lupin flour are far lower in carbs, they’re also more difficult to find and lupin flour is far more expensive (at least where I live).
  • I tried these with pea protein to try and make them more protein-rich, and while it technically worked…they just tasted like protein powder… So, while it’s technically an option, just be aware that it will taste very protein-y.
  • To make sure the filling doesn’t spill out of the thumbprints, I make the hole with the measuring spoon I’m using to scoop the filling (1/4 tsp in this case), so the hole is the same size as the scoop of filling.
  • If you can’t have walnuts or pecans, you can make the “nut” filling out of sunflower seeds as well!
  • The nutrition information here does not include a filling, so be sure to add that in to your calculations!
  • While I strive to provide accurate nutritional information, different brands and varieties of ingredients have different nutrient values, so your calculations may vary.

process shot of making kołaczki



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