If you are looking for Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies that are gluten-free and also feel good to eat, then I have a lovely recipe for you.
These no flour cookies are easy to make, delicious as a snack, and healthy enough to pass for breakfast (crumble one in your oatmeal bowl) with your favorite morning beverage or this summery date-sweetened iced coffee.
They're nutrient-dense with a soft bite, sweetened only with dates and molasses, and dairy-free. But I'll give you plenty of substitutions and variations.
I am sharing:
a peanut butter chocolatey flavor cookie (my favorite);
a version of almond flour peanut butter cookies (my husband's favorite);
an egg-free, vegan version, and I'll show you how different they look—but they still taste amazing!
And lastly, you can either use creamy peanut butter or crunchy peanut butter for a slightly different texture.
So, let's make this feel-good baked treat! They taste amazing.
Note: baking cookies for field trips, birthday parties, or preschool? You'll be happy to know that sunflower butter can replace the peanut butter in this healthy cookie recipe—nutritious and allergen-friendly.
We call them Feel Good cookies at home because each bite melts in your mouth and healthily gives you a satisfying feeling!
They're incredibly soft and are only slightly sweet due to the dates and a bit of Molasses (more about that in a bit and how to replace this ingredient).
You can also make them egg-free (and thus vegan-friendly), and although the structure changes slightly, they still taste incredible. So, we'll look at how to make them both ways.
Combining all the ingredients takes little effort, and they only need to bake for about 8 to 15 minutes in the oven, depending on what ingredients you use.
It's a convenient recipe to have on hand when you crave a healthy treat that quickly comes together.
I often make a fresh batch during the week. But you can prepare them over the weekend because they stay soft and delicious even when stored in the fridge or freezer—see all storage options below.
How to make flourless peanut butter cookies
Ingredients and substitutions
- cacao powder (or carob powder) for a peanut butter chocolate flavor; the alternative is blanched almond flour
- dates and molasses (or maple syrup)
- coconut oil
- plant milk (if you want to keep it dairy-free)
- smooth natural peanut butter; for a more crunchy texture, use crunchy peanut butter
- eggs (or Bob's Red Mill egg replacer to keep it vegan-friendly)
- cinnamon powder
- baking soda and a pinch of salt
Use cacao (or carob powder) for a chocolatey peanut butter flavor
Using cacao powder will add a hint of chocolate taste that goes so well with peanut butter.
But it also acts as a substitute for flour and gives these baked goods that solid structure.
You don't need much, though—¼ cup is enough—because you still want that delicious peanut butter flavor to come through.
Pure Carob powder is another ingredient I often experiment with and is excellent for gluten-free, dairy-free, and grain-free baking.
I've used it a few times when I ran out of cacao powder—a perfect replacement in this recipe—and it produces a similar tasting cookie.
Note: Carob is a natural plant that produces pods from the branches of its tree. They mill these pods into a (Carob) powder that tastes naturally sweet, is low in fat, and is caffeine-free.
Make almond flour peanut butter cookies
Instead of using cacao powder, you can add the same amount of blanched almond flour for adding texture to these flourless peanut butter cookies, but it certainly changes their taste.
It replaces the subtle chocolate flavors of cacao powder with a more mild nutty sweetness and gives these flourless cookies a more golden brown color.
You'll have to decide which one you like best!
Sweeteners and substitutions for Molasses
You know me by now; I often like to use dried fruits in cookie recipes to give them a naturally sweet taste.
This time, I use a combination of Medjool dates and Unsulphured dark blackstrap molasses.
Baking with dates adds a beautiful caramel-like note and a good dose of fiber, while dark molasses give these homemade cookies a unique mild sweet flavor and a beautiful dark color.
The molasses-date paste mixture works well here and keeps the cookies chewy and soft.
Note: Unsulphured blackstrap molasses is a good source of calcium and potassium—but you can easily substitute it with honey or dark maple syrup. Just keep in mind that these substitutions will make the cookies sweeter.
Plant Milk (different options)
You can use flaxseed milk, nut milk, or even unsweetened vanilla pea milk.
They are all dairy-free and great for baking. I have used these kinds of milk interchangeably in this recipe. But feel free to swap them with regular milk if dairy is not your concern.
Note: never used pea milk before? It's another source of lactose-free plant-based protein, calcium, and omega-3s.
Which Peanut Butter is Best
To obtain a smooth cookie dough batter, go for creamy peanut butter at room temperature that contains only peanuts—no added sugar, oils, or anything else. Salt is okay.
You might have brands where the peanut oil separates naturally and sits on top. However, I sometimes find it hard to stir that oil back into the nut butter.
So I usually transfer the entire content of the peanut butter jar to a big bowl to combine everything with a whisk, and anything unused goes back in a container.
Crunchy peanut butter can work as well. The chunks of real peanuts will surprise you with each bite—my favorite.
But you can always make peanut butter yourself too in a blender or food processor—it's cheaper.
How to make peanut butter cookies without eggs (vegan) and flourless
Although both equally delicious, the cookies will look and taste a bit different when baking them without eggs (see picture.)
The batter for no egg no flour peanut butter cookies will be a bit less sticky and have a thicker texture.
Also, allow the cookies to completely cool down before serving. Otherwise, their form won't hold. And they need to bake longer (about 15 minutes).
Although there are different ways of replacing an egg (the famous chia or flax egg), Bob's Red Mill egg replacer is, in my opinion, the best choice in this recipe to keep these peanut butter cookies from falling apart.
Let's bake (step-by-step instructions)
Everything comes together quickly:
Step 1: Make a date paste by blending the dates, coconut oil, milk, and molasses in a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix, NutriBullet) or food processor. You should get a beautiful brown sweet-tasting paste.
Step 2: In a bowl, stir the eggs (or egg substitute prepared according to package instructions), peanut butter, cinnamon powder, Cacao powder or almond flour, baking soda, and salt to combine.
Step 3: Combine the date paste with the dough until smooth. The cookie dough will be pretty sticky.
Step 4: Lightly wet your hands and drop the cookie dough by the (generous) spoonful onto a prepared baking sheet, leaving enough space in between them and slightly flattening them with your fingers into a more round shape by using circling motions.
Step 5: Now they are ready to pop into the oven for about 8 to 10 minutes for the chocolate flavored ones, 10 to 13 minutes for the almond flour peanut butter cookies, and about 15 minutes for the vegan-friendly bake.
Note: every oven is different, but I usually check at the 8 respectively 10-minute mark. The top should feel soft but solid. If it tends to sink in a bit with a gentle touch of a finger, the cookies need a few minutes more baking time.
They'll also finish setting as they cool on the baking sheet.
Storage and shelf life
I doubt that these treats will last long, but if you have more self-control than me, store them in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or in the fridge for up to two weeks.
Freeze them for more extended storage! There is no need to defrost either; they taste equally delicious and maintain their soft texture.
You might even like these cookies better when slightly chilled.
These no flour peanut butter cookies are a guilt-free treat in my book. And they often disappear as soon as they come out of the oven.
- Enjoy them with a cup of coffee or tea in the morning.
- Grab one as a pick-me-up snack in the afternoon.
- Or offer them to your guest. They look beautiful on the table.
- Or surprise your kids with a special after school treat.
Go ahead, make that cookie! And enjoy!
Like healthy, wholesome treats? Then you are also going to enjoy some of my other baked goods:
- Like my gluten-free speculoos cookies
- or my flourless brownies,
- and don't forget to try out my grain-free mango cookies
- as well as our favorite Buttery Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies.
- They are delicious!
Don't forget to PIN IT to your Healthy Cookie board to save for later! And don't forget to subscribe to my monthly newsletter!
At home, I make these cookies, usually with baking soda. Cacao powder and molasses contain some acid that can react with this leavening agent and encourage the batter to rise evenly.
It will also affect how these no flour cookies look, with a beautiful wrinkled appearance at the top.
Please note that cookie recipes can wildly vary, and that's also the case for the consistency of the cookie dough.
The dough is sticky for this particular flourless cookie recipe, so you can't "drop" the cookies onto the sheet without using your finger to scrape the dough out of the spoon.
Usually, I wet my fingers to make this whole process easier and to aid with flattening the dough a bit.
You might find that instead, it's easier to use a small ice cream scoop with a triggered blade to drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet.
If preferred, you can also chill the dough in the fridge for a few hours or overnight so it becomes easier to work with but still produces a superior texture in the finished cookie.
I usually never do this, but if you decide to chill the cookie dough before baking, I imagine that you would need to add a few extra minutes to the baking time.
Yes, depending on whether you use cacao powder, carob powder, almond flour, eggs or no eggs, a different type of milk, or even the type of peanut butter, your cookies might slightly be different in color than as shown in the pictures above.
Look at some of the color differences below because I used a few different substitutions. But either way, your flourless peanut butter cookies will taste delicious.
- 1 cup (185 grams) packed, pitted dates (about 10 dates)
- 1 tablespoon (13 grams) solid coconut oil
- ½ cup plant milk (120 grams)
- 1 tablespoon Blackstrap molasses or maple syrup
- 1 cup (265 grams) creamy or crunchy peanut butter
- 2 eggs, beaten or use Bob's Red Mill egg substitute
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- ¼ cup cacao powder or carob powder or blanched almond flour (25 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 pinch of sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (or 190 °C) and cover the bottom of a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the dates, coconut oil, milk, and molasses in a high-speed blender (like a Vitamix) or food processor. Blend for a couple of seconds at high speed until you have a beautiful brown paste; reserve.
- In a bowl, stir the eggs (or egg substitute prepared according to package instructions), peanut butter, cinnamon powder, Cacao powder or almond flour, baking soda, and salt to combine.
- Stir in the reserved brown paste until everything is well combined and smooth. The dough should be relatively sticky.
- Lightly wet your hands. Take a generous spoonful of the cookie dough and drop it on the parchment paper, round the edges with your fingers.
- Leave enough space in between each spoonful of cookie dough. Repeat until all mixture is used up.
- Bake for a full 8 to 10 minutes (10 to 13 minutes if you use almond flour, about 15 minutes for the egg-free version) or until the cookies are firm to the touch. Allow it to cool completely before consuming it.
- Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature or in the fridge for up to two weeks.
- Freeze them for more extended storage! No need to defrost. Enjoy immediately.
Note: please see the post for step-by-step instructions and pictures, as well as more information on how to make vegan-friendly flourless cookies.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 15 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 104Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 134mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g
Disclaimer: This nutritional data is calculated using third party tools and is only intended as a reference.
(Note: This post was published in January 2018 and has been updated to include new info and photos)