Vegan rose and walnut cookies

rose cookies
Yields: 12 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 10 Mins Cook Time: 15 Mins Total Time: 25 Mins

Not sure how to use that rosewater you bought while feeling adventurous? Look no further: easy 5-ingredient vegan rose and walnut cookies. Inspired by Persian cuisine, these melt in your mouth shortbreads are perfect for gifts, parties or self-motivation treats. 

What is rosewater?

Rosewater is made by soaking rose petals in water, then boiling the water and collecting the steam. This results in a strong and aromatic liquid. Perfumes, skin products, and many international foods use rosewater for its fragrance and calming medicinal properties. Read more about rosewater uses and nutrition below.

Vegan Rose and Walnut Cookies

Rose and walnut is not a common flavour combination, but they taste so good together. Rose brings a subtle, aromatic sweetness, balancing out the earthy depths of the walnut. Both are common ingredients in Persian cuisine: walnuts are often used in savoury dishes and rose water gives flavour to syrups. In fact, rosewater is a popular ingredient in dishes across the Middle East and Asia, and I am excited to explore more ways to cook with rosewater. So sign up to the newsletter for future rosy recipes.

The texture of these vegan cookies is delightfully soft and crumbly. It is similar to shortbread, with vegan butter that melts in your mouth. As well as looking pretty, the roasted walnut adds a contrasting crunchy texture.

Consider giving these cookies to your neighbour – especially if they are in lockdown. Easily double the recipe quantity if making for a party or event – just use the recipe servings adjuster. Or, if you want to keep these goodies all to yourself, they can motivate you to work through your to-do list.


inside of cookie
Crumbly texture like shortbread


Rose has a cooling effect on the body so is often eaten in desserts after spicy food. Rosewater has been used as a herbal remedy for relieving digestive issues. Similarly, it is a common ingredient in skin creams for its soothing properties. So you can use spare rosewater as a facial toner or dab a little on your wrists for a natural perfume.

Walnuts are a great ingredient in sweet food because they contain proteins that take time to digest. This helps to prevent a spike in blood sugar. They also contain healthy fats, including omega-3, antioxidants and vitamins. Various studies suggest walnuts improve brain functioning (they look like a brain too!), help maintain a healthy gut, lower blood pressure, and are anti-inflammatory.

The rest of the ingredients are not really healthy – but it is a cookie after all, so enjoy!

Cooking tips

  • be careful with the rose water – too much will taste like soap
  • keep the dough cold when forming the cookie shapes
  • leave space between the cookies on the baking tray
  • turn halfway through baking

Decoration and serving

No need for complicated icing or other decorations, these vegan rose and walnut cookies are simple yet pretty. If you really want to show them off, sprinkle a few dried and ground rose petals for vibrant colour. This will also enhance the rose flavour. Show me how you decorate your cookies by tagging @vegan_middle_east on Instagram.

If giving as a gift, stack them high in a large jar tied with ribbon. Otherwise, store in a biscuit tin to keep fresh for a few days.

vegan rose and walnut cookies


0/6 Ingredients
Adjust Servings


0/5 Instructions
  • In a mixing bowl, mix the margarine, sugar and rose water together.
  • Sieve in the flour and mix. The dough should be lumpy and sticky. Place in the fridge for 5 mins. Meanwhile, line one large or two medium baking trays with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 180c.
  • Roll the dough into about 12 small balls (just larger than a teaspoon) with your hands. Use your fingers to gently flatten into 1cm thick circles. Place on the baking tray a couple of cms apart. Lightly press a walnut half into each.
  • Bake at 180c for about 15 mins. Turn the tray around halfway through to ensure the cookies brown evenly.
  • When slightly golden on the edges, remove from the oven and leave for a few minutes to cool and harden. Once able to handle, move to a cooling rack. These cookies look and taste even better with ground rose petals sprinkled on top.


Did you make this recipe? Tag @vegan_middle_east on Instagram or comment below.

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