Bake Cookies With These Unexpected Ingredients

When looking to indulge your sweet tooth, there are few things better than a batch of delicious cookies. Some of the most popular cookies include chocolate chip cookies, holiday cookies and the iconic boxes of cookies sold by Girl Scouts, but there is so much that even the amateur baker can do with their next batch, including adding these unorthodox and unexpected ingredients that actually taste great.


There are many reasons to eat avocados every day, and you can even have them for dessert by making avocado cookies. Replace the butter in a recipe with avocado for a healthier fat alternative.

Cayenne pepper

Desserts aren't typically seen as spicy foods, but just a bit of cayenne pepper can give a nice kick to your cookies that won't be so noticeable as to burn anyone's tongue.

Sweet potatoes

Add sweet potatoes to your cookie batter for a healthier alternative. It can even act as a substitute for dairy, eggs and grains in some vegan-friendly and gluten-free recipes. It's a great way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers and make yourself something sweet at the same time.

Olive oil

Fats are surprisingly important for your health, and olive oil is an excellent fat to have in your diet. Add some high-quality, extra-virgin olive oil for a nice chew and, depending on how much, a nice olive oil flavor.


Chickpeas are a great ingredient for cookies that are gluten free, grain free, dairy free and vegan friendly. Just make sure to replace any milk with an almond, oat or soy alternative and use agave instead of honey, if required.

Ricotta cheese

If you're a fan of Italian flavors, some fresh ricotta can be a great idea for making cookies. Add it to your batter to add moistness, giving your cookies a lighter bite.


Fruits are popular additions in baking, but some contain more sugar than others. If you're craving something sweet and looking for an alternative with less sugar, blackberries can be a great addition to your cookie batter, adding some natural color to them too.

Sour cream

Sour cream may not sound like something you'd want to have in your baked goods, but with the right other flavors, it'll add a soft fluffiness to your delicious cookies.

Tea leaves

Tea drinkers around the world enjoy biscuits and cookies along with a nice, hot cup. So why not add the flavor of your favorite tea to the cookies themselves? Adding tea leaves in your cookie batter can give them a lovely herbal taste and aroma.


You may associate rosemary with delicious chicken recipes, but a sprig of fresh, chopped or minced rosemary can give the perfect hint of herbal flavor to a fresh batch of cookies.

Potato chips

Potato chips can give your cookies an unexpected yet welcome crunch. For some extra flavor, try sour cream and onion, honey barbecue or an interesting international variety.


Cornbread is an essential part of Southern cuisine, and you can give your cookies a Southern twist by baking them with cornmeal. Soft and subtle, cookies made with cornmeal can serve as a base for all kinds of more elaborate treats.


Lemons are popular ingredients with bakers, but it isn't often that we see their citrusy cousin, the lime, used outside of Florida's most iconic pie. Add some lime juice and lime zest to your cookies if you'd like a slightly more sour twist.


Throw a cup or two of cornflakes into your cookie batter to add some crunch to your cookies. It's not a bad way of justifying having breakfast that's more or less dessert, either.


You may think hot soup rather than cookies when you think of miso, but white miso paste — made primarily out of soybeans and rice — can add a savory and slightly nutty taste to your next batch.


A popular Middle Eastern sesame seed paste, tahini is typically used as a dip or ingredient for sauce, but adding it to cookie batter is a clever way to enjoy the earthy flavor of sesame seeds with a soft, creamy texture.


There's a lot more to coffee than just being America's favorite morning pick-me-up. Coffee grounds and coffee powder can be a great baking ingredient to give your cookies the kind of kick that'll keep you awake.


Eating an apple a day actually is quite good for your health, so why not throw some applesauce into your cookie batter? Applesauce is not only a sweet, healthy ingredient, but it's also a great alternative for dairy-free, vegan-friendly cookies.

Rose petals

Roses are among the many plants and flowers you probably didn't know you could eat. In fact, rosewater and rose syrup are popular ingredients in drinks and foods around the world, and if you add some rose petals to your cookies, you can give them a super aromatic flavor as well as a pretty look.


Zucchini is no stranger to baking, especially considering the popularity of zucchini bread. It isn't, however, often associated with cookies, but adding in some finely shredded zucchini to your batter can help you feel a little less guilty about indulging your sweet tooth as well as elevate the taste. Zucchini is also an unexpected ingredient you can add for even better pancakes.

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