Oh figgy figgy fig bars how I love you. Even the fact that you are a bit tedious to make can’t change that. And now with this homemade Vegan Fig Newton recipe in my arsenal I love them even more!
Why I love Vegan Fig Newtons
You dance on the border between cookie and bar. But we’ll call you a cookie.
You bring some much needed fruit to the cookie aisle.
You are a cookie that is 100% acceptable to eat at all times of day. Because fruit.
The seeds in your filling aren’t annoying like raspberry seeds in jam, rather they are part of your charm.
The figs in your filling have tons of fiber, more than prunes, but somehow retain a much sexier reputation.
And you have a little known citrus secret: orange in your cookie…who knew!?
If I had to pick a favorite cookie it’d be Fig Newtons all the way. If I had to pick a favorite FF recipe it’d be Gingerbread Fig Newtons without a doubt. Request for a non-gingerbread gluten-free vegan fig newton recipe? Oh let me clear my entire schedule and make that happen asap! All for you of course. Not at all because I just wanted an reason to eat gobs of fig cookies.
Very Fruity Fig Newtons
Do you know what is really exciting about this recipe? Five forms of fruit in one cookie. Five! Dates, applesauce, orange juice, lemon juice, and figs. That’s gotta be a record or something.
I really don’t think it’s possible to put into words how wonderful these Vegan Gluten-Free Fig Newtons are. A little citrusy. A little spiced. A little chubby because when you make them yourself you have to pack them extra figgy full.
Best of luck to you to not eat them all in one day. Seriously, it’s a tough task.Print
- Prep Time: 75 minutes
- Cook Time: 12 minutes
- Total Time: 87 minutes
- Yield: 8 1x
- Cookie dough
- 14 pitted medjool dates
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 tsp orange zest
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 3/4 cups oat flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups dried figs (I used black mission)
- 2 tbsps coconut sugar
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 3/4 cup water
- Cookie Blend the dates, orange juice, applesauce, vanilla extract, and orange zest until smooth.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the oat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
- Add the date mixture.
- Mix to form a slightly sticky ball of dough. If it is overly sticky, add 1/4 cup more oat flour.
- Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Filling: Remove any stems from your figs.
- Combine the dried figs, water, lemon juice, and coconut sugar in a medium sauce pan.
- Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the figs are soft.
- Blend briefly to form a paste without any large chunks.
- To assemble: Roll out the chilled cookie dough to about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut off any ragged edges to make a rectangle. Cut the rectangle in half width wise.
- Working on one of the halves, spread a line of filling about 1 inch wide down the length closer to one edge. Fold the other side of the dough over the filling and pinch the edges together to close. Cut into 4 cookies. Or just [url undefined]see diagram[/url].
- Repeat with the other half of the dough.
- Transfer to a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
- Bake for 12 minutes at 350F.
- Let them cool briefly then enjoy! Keep leftovers in the fridge in an airtight container.
Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine says
I’m mad about the dates…FIGS should be the only star, but I kinda like the orange, that’s a nice zing!
Don’t hate on the date! They’re what make these babies soft and moist and sweet 🙂
Natalie, I think I just need to tell you that you are the queen of creating the healthy, vegan version of all the delectable not so healthy treats. These are another win:)
Aww thanks Laura 🙂 It’s those classic childhood treats that everyone seems to request, and I’m more than happy to bake and taste test my way through them all!
Kaila @ Healthy Helper says
THESE ARE PERFECTION. Just the cookie dough alone is incredible. I want to make just that!! But then you add figs into the mixture?! HEAVEN. Making.
The orange-y cookie could totally be it’s own thing! Or heck just make the cookies, stick some fig jam on top, and bam lazy-persons fig newton! That’s a really good idea actually 😀
Kaila @ Healthy Helper says
I might actually do that!! LOL
Kaila @ Healthy Helper says
PS: what do you use for backgrounds in your photos? Like the tan backgrounds above…
It’s homemade out of reclaimed fence posts screwed together that I snagged from a neighbors garbage pile.
Harriet Emily says
Mmmmmm these fig newtons look absolutely amazing! I can’t believe I haven’t tried a fig newton before, they sound like my idea of heaven! I can’t wait to try your yummy recipe! Thank you for sharing Natalie <3
You’ve never had one!? They are only the best cookie, you have to try them!!
Faith VanderMolen says
I used to hate fig newtons, but then I made my own and grew obsessed! These look incredible…so soft and chewy:)
I used to hate them too, I don’t know what changed my mind tbh, but homemade all the way now 🙂 Thanks Faith!
Tiina @myberryforest says
Am I a total weirdo because I’ve never tasted fig newtons in my life 🙂 Hahaha you must think so. Actually I am the BIGGEST weirdo because I’ve never actually heard of them either!! But fig newton’s really sound (and look) like a classic successful and tasty sweet treat. And the way you describe them makes me want to put on my baking apron and start baking! Now i just need to get some dried figs 🙂 I bet these taste really delicious <3
No actually I don’t think you are a weirdo, I think they are just another American creation that makes the rest of the world go whaaaaaaa??? :/ But I know you like figs and I’m pretty sure you like cookies (you don’t make many cookies do you?) so I’m sure you will be a fan! I think it’s kinda funny that they are so beloved by so many because compared to the usual chocolate and peanut butter decadent cookie options I’d think a figgy cookie would have no chance. I hope you can find dried figs, those little guys alone are such a treat!
Bianca - ElephantasticVegan says
I just had to google Fig Newtons, because I had no idea what this is all about 😀 But I have to say, your version looks so much better than the google images of the store-bought thing! These look way to decadent to be healthy, but you did it again 🙂 Looks awesome!
Yep I’m realizing they are not an international cookie haha. They are probably the only way the majority of the american population ever interacts with figs tbh. But I love them so much, if you like figs than you should definitely try them <3
Becky Striepe says
Ooh these look amazing! I used to love Fig Newtons.
You’re right. Figs are so much sexier than prunes. Poor prunes. Your fig newtons look so tasty!
I know, their reputation really has doomed them 🙁 LOL Prune Newtons? Nope, just not the same 😀
Nicole Dawson says
I was just telling my husband last night that he couldn’t eat my figs because I was going to be making some FN Bars, they are one of my favorites also but a healthier option is always best! And I agree, figs are much sexier than prunes!
BTW, loved the video too.
Oooh I can’t wait to see yours! I’m sure your husband’s patience will be rewarded 😀 Thanks for watching the video too!
Sophia, Veggies Don't Bite says
LOVE this Natalie! These look amazing. Fig Newtons were always a fave of mine!!
Thank you Sophia 🙂
My favourite!! I absolutely love fig newtons so I’m super excited about this recipe! I seriously love all your recipes 🙂 Your ability to make something so delicious looking with such healthy ingredients is wonderful!
Yay another massive fig newton fan!! They are the best aren’t they, I can eat a whole pack of those probably even faster than a whole pack of oreos…although both are pretty fast haha 😀 And thank you Aimee, that is so sweet <3
We LOVE fig bars. I usually buy the Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars as they are the cleanest I’ve found. But not as clean as these!! I’m going to have to try these (right after your donuts!)…my kids would love these!
I actually have yet to try the Nature’s Bakery ones. I’ve heard they are good and they do have some fun flavors…definitely could be inspiration for some more homemade ones 🙂 I might go for fig newtons before donuts!
I LOVE fig newtons!!!!! Or I should say, loved…I haven’t had them in ages. These look waaaaaay better than the ones I ate as a kid. I love that you used orange juice and dates in the cookie part – sweet, citrus-y is such a great combo! I’m bummed more than ever now that i can’t have oats, but maybe I’ll make them for Willow! She watched your video with me and immediately said we had to make them…she’s never had figs before, but I’m sure stuffed in a cookie will be the perfect way to introduce her to them 😉
I refused to try fig newtons for years because I had no idea what this foreign fruit was all about and why someone shoved it in a cookie, but once I did I loved them. Willow is pretty open minded about the sweet stuff, or if all else fails just cover them in chocolate and I’m sure she’ll eat them up instantly 😀 Or pink frosting LOL I never realized they had orange in them, but every recipe calls for it so it must be a thing. It tastes very right 🙂 The dates do so much of the binding in this dough, I think other flours could work here!
Alisa Fleming says
I make wheat-based versions of these and haven’t tried gluten-free yet. May need to give these a go.
I used to make the PPK ones all the time, they are really yummy too! But yes the oat flour works great for a Gf version 🙂
audrey @ unconventional baker says
They look absolutely incredible. But wait, didn’t you have a fig newton recipe on the blog already?! Anyhow, these look good, and I absolutely agree with your little ode to figs <3
Yes, yes I did. Gingerbread fig bars actually, but apparently some people don’t want warming spices and molasses in everything…can’t figure why that would be though 😉
The Vegan 8 says
Yay!! You put orange juice in these, yum! I’m in the biggest orange-y mood lately after my orange muffins, like I want it in everything, hahahha, so these look incredible! These look only 10,000 times better than any fig newton I ever saw growing up…which were pretty nasty, by the way. I love your gingerbread ones, so I would still pick those because hey, I’m a ginger fanatic, but I’m seriously crushing on this orange version! Who knew a fig newton could be so pretty, healthy and delicious?! You are definitely the fruit queen!
I was a little shocked when I realized all the fig newton recipes had orange in them, but once I tasted it just worked so well! I am in a citrus mood too right now, I’m working on a lemon recipe right now and loving taste testing it 🙂 The gingerbread ones are still my fave too, but I wouldn’t say no to an orange + ginger version! Thank you Brandi!
Linda @ Veganosity says
Fig Newtons are my favorite cookie ever. It must be a nostalgic thing because I loved sharing a sleeve with my dad when I was a kid. These look amazing, Natalie. Thanks for the wonderful recipe.
It’s funny how food attached to good memories will always be favorites 🙂 My dad always ate them too, but I was weirded out by this unknown fruit called a fig haha. It took me forever to actually try them and realize how amazing they are!
Mel @ avirtualvegan.com says
They look so good! My husband was just looking over my shoulder and spied them and is now insisting I make them as fig newtons are his absolute favourite!
Hahaha I get the same comment from mom’s a lot that their kids get a peak at the screen and then beg for whatever it is 😀 You better make the man some cookies!
Sina @ Vegan Heaven says
Natalie, you simply make the best vegan and healthy snacks in the world!!! These look amazing! 🙂
Aww thanks girl <333
Great recipe! I made them blueberry flavored by replacing 1c. of figs with 1c. fresh blueberries and I omitted the water as it didn’t need any extra thanks to the berries. They were delicious and so fun to make. I will be making these again.
I love the blueberry swap in idea, that sound fantastic! Will be trying 🙂 Thank you so much for taking time to leave feedback, I’m so glad you liked them Taylor!
I totally love this!!! Figs are one of my favs, this recipe sounds so awesome! Will try to make these noms soon! X
Figs are so good! I have to admit I actually prefer the dried to fresh though ? And the inside-a-cookie are my favorite lol! Thanks Anna!
Jules Schnedeker says
I’m a newbie vegan (~ 6 weeks) and was so excited to try this recipe! I ADORE Fig Newtons and love to bake, but had never cooked with figs! Got two packages from HomeGoods (my go-to spot for traditionally expensive ingredients) and set to work.
All in all, these were fabulous. I don’t think I used quite enough dates, so my dough was dry and I had to add some water which made it a little tough (I made my own oat flour by processing rolled oats in my Cuinsinart), and I seemed to have too much filling, but that was a win since I could eat it by the spoonful! Love-love-LOVED the citrus components and cinnamon!
I might even like them better raw! Given that, next time I might cook for just a few minutes, and cut the sugar altogether (I used cane instead of coconut). It’s kind of like an awesome energy bar-meets-healthy fig newton. I’m obsessed. Thank you!!
Hi Jules! Congrats on 6 weeks vegan, woohoo!! I’m so happy you tried these, they are one of my favorites. The citrus makes such a big difference, right?! Yes not enough dates could definitely make it too dry. Dates are hard to measure and standardize as every pack/brand/variety can be different. If your dates feel dry instead of gooey, try soaking them before using next time. And figs at HomeGoods?? Who knew! I will have to check that out, thanks for the tip. I am loving the sound of a raw version, have fun experimenting with them!!
Oat is NOT gluten free!
If you buy certified GF oats they are.
Hi Natalie, I totally love this!!! Figs are one of my favs, this recipe sounds so awesome! Can I use rice flour or chickpea flour?
Figs are amazing, right? One of my fave fruits (and cookie fillings!) too! Brown rice flour alone will be too dry/crumbly, although a GF rice flour blend with tapioca or another type of starch added could work. I am not very familiar with chickpea flour but I have seen cookie recipes that use it by itself before so it could work and may be worth trying. If you have a favorite roll-able cookie dough using either of those flours already though, you could just use that recipe with this filling too. Just an idea. Sorry I couldn’t give you a solid yes on either, but i hope you that helps and good luck 🙂
Beth C. says
How can I make this with fresh figs?
I don’t think this will work with fresh figs unfortunately. They just have too much moisture, you would have to cook them down a TON to get the right consistency for the filling. Sorry!
Looks so good, I have to give it a try! I generally prefer crispy/crunchy cookies, is there a way or ingredient swap to crisp it up on the outside?
I used to make a crispy date filled cookie, but it used a ton of butter, would love to have a guilt free crispy version 😉
Crispiness in cookie baking comes from a combo of sugar and fat, so it’s really hard to achieve with only “healthy” ingredients and lots of fruit involved unfortunately
I’m so confused because the video shows you using 1/4 cup of coconut sugar but it is not in the directions. Did you use the coconut sugar or not in the dough? Thanks.
That’s a typo, my bad! Yes I did use it in the dough, but with the dates it is optional. The dough is pretty sweet without but it will make it a bit sweeter and richer 🙂
I’m ready to sink my teeth into one of these, or 100. I was a savage young child who used to take two or three Fig Newtons from their sleeve and bite into them stacked because one alone just wasn’t enough ecstasy. Sadly, I can’t handle the sugar in orange juice, even when it’s hidden in a dough. What would you suggest for a substitution? Could I possibly up the applesauce and the orange zest or use another liquid sweetener instead?
Hahaha I love your triple stacked style😆 I was obsessed as a kid too! With the Medjool dates in there you will be fine without the sweetness of the OJ, so feel free to just swap in almond milk or water. But more applesauce would be fine too!
I love making them. Will never again buy newtons. Have you ever stored them in the freezer.
I am SO happy you love them, Susan!! I haven’t tried freezing these, the cookie part might be a bit soggy after defrosting but you can certainly try it😊