Oil-free and easy Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies taste just like the classic version. Whip up a batch in less than 30 minutes or freeze them for later. Simple ingredients only!
These classic Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies taste just like the version you enjoyed as a kid. Super soft on the inside and perfectly crispy on the outside, it will be hard to stop at just one!
Even better, this recipe is totally oil-free, doesn’t need an egg replacement, and can be easily adapted for gluten-free.
A one-bowl recipe and freezer-friendly, you can enjoy these vegan cookies whenever you want and not have to worry about much cleanup. Bake a batch in just 30 minutes for an after school snack, dessert, or to enjoy with a glass of dairy-free milk.
What ingredients do I need?
These cookies have no complicated ingredients. Head to your pantry and get started!
These are the ingredients you need:
- Peanut butter - Both smooth and crunchy will work. Use your favourite brand of peanut butter, whether it’s all-natural or “non-natural”. The peanut butter at the top of a new jar is best as opposed to the end because it’s super creamy and easier to work with.
- Granulated sugar - Use white or cane sugar (you’ll need a little extra for sprinkling).
- Vanilla extract - For flavour. You can omit it if you don't have any though.
- All-purpose flour - Also known as plain flour in the UK. Make gluten-free peanut butter cookies using oat flour instead.
- Baking soda - Feel free to omit if you don’t have any, but the texture is marginally better with it so use some if you can.
- Baking powder - To help the cookies rise and keep them fluffy.
- Salt - Use only 1⁄4 teaspoon of salt if your peanut butter is already salted.
- Unsweetened non-dairy milk - Any kind will work. Use less milk if using gluten-free oat flour.
How to Make Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
This is an easy vegan cookie recipe that can be made in less than 30 minutes. There’s no need to worry about egg replacements or adding the right amount of oil. Mix in 1 bowl and you’re done!
Follow these steps to make the peanut butter cookies:
Step 1 - Preheat your oven and line a large cookie or baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Step 2 - Blend the peanut butter and sugar (by hand or with a hand mixer or stand mixer)
Step 3 - Add everything else and mix until combined.
Step 4 - Form your cookies by scooping out dough (use an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop so each cookie is uniform in size) and rolling into balls.
Step 5 - Press a fork into each ball of dough to flatten them down and form the classic criss-cross pattern then prinkle the top of each cookie with some granulated sugar.
Step 6 - Bake the cookies and when done leave on the tray for 5 to 7 minutes before attempting to move them.
- Do not add the milk to the peanut butter before the other ingredients. The peanut butter will seize. Make sure to mix the ingredients in the order stated.
- Never place cookie dough balls on a hot baking sheet. They’ll spread out too much and turn out thinner than you want. Keep your prepared sheet away from the preheating oven while mixing the dough.
- Weigh the flour with a scale. Measuring cups are not accurate enough for consistent results.
- Use a good quality salt and not cheap table salt. It makes a big difference to flavour in recipes like this. Maldon Sea Salt Flakes are my favourite for finishing food.
- Don't overmix the dough or the cookies will be dense and not soft.
- If you don't have an electric mixer, mix the dough by hand. Be aware that this does become hard work when the dough eventually stiffens up.
- If the fork sticks as you press down into the dough balls, dip it in water first and shake off the excess. Alternatively, dip the fork in flour.
Ways you can adapt this recipe
- Fold in chopped peanuts or chocolate chips to the dough.
- Dip or half dip the baked and cooled cookies in melted chocolate for a chocolate and peanut butter dream.
- Add a sprinkle of cinnamon to the dough for warmth.
- Sprinkle each cookie with a little flaky salt instead of granulated sugar.
- Set out a small bowl of extra granulated sugar to roll the dough balls in before baking for a sugar-coated cookie.
- Looking for an almond flour cookie instead? Try my recipe for Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies.
- Too hot to bake? Try my No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars instead.
Storage and freezing tips
Storage - Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. You can also freeze them in a container for up to 3 months.
Rolled balls of cookie dough can also be stored carefully in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Lay them out on a lined baking tray and press the tops down with a fork before baking.
Freezing - Freeze baked cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
To freeze the dough, roll out the cookie balls as instructed. Lay them out on a lined baking tray and flatten down with a fork. Freeze the entire tray uncovered until the cookies are hard, then remove from the tray and add to freezer bags or an airtight container.
Bake the frozen cookies straight from the freezer. Lay them out on a lined tray and sprinkle the tops with granulated sugar then bake, adding an extra 2 minutes to the bake time.
Do I need to chill the dough?
Many peanut butter cookie recipes require you to chill the dough for 30 minutes in the refrigerator before baking. This helps to prevent the cookies from spreading out too much in the oven. This step isn’t necessary for this recipe, so feel free to form your cookies as soon as the dough is ready and bake them up right away!
Having said that, if you get called away while making them, the dough will keep in the fridge whether rolled or still in the bowl, until you get back. Just let it warm up a little at room temperature for a bit so it softens enough to roll and flatten them with ease. If already shaped and on the tray you can bake right from the fridge.
Do I need to use peanut butter?
You can use any nut or seed butter you like, but the taste will be different depending on which kind you use. Almond butter or cashew butter will work, or you can use sunbutter or other seed butter as a nut-free option.
Hungry for more?
For more peanut butter treats, try any of these delicious recipes:
- Healthy Breakfast Bars
- Easy Banana Peanut Butter Ice Cream Bars
- Peanut Butter Banana Cups
- No Bake Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars
Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 cup / 240 grams peanut butter , smooth or crunchy
- ¾ cup / 150 grams granulated sugar , white or cane (plus some extra for sprinkling)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup / 125 grams all purpose flour , (plain flour in the UK), use gluten-free oat flour for GF
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda , (bicarbonate of soda in the UK)
- ½ teaspoon salt , (use ¼ teaspoon if your peanut butter is salted)
- ¼ cup / 60 mls unsweetened non-dairy milk , if using oat flour you will need less. See instructions.
- Preheat oven to 350 ° F ( 175 ° C) and line a large cookie or baking tray with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Using a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the peanut butter and sugar together really well until smooth. If you don't have a mixer you can do the mixing by hand but it does become hard work when the dough becomes stiff later.
- To the bowl add the vanilla, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and milk (don't add the milk if using oat flour) and mix again until everything is combined and you can no longer see any dry flour. You will probably need to stop and scrape the sides of the bowl down with a spatula a few times during mixing so all of the flour gets incorporated. It will become stiff and difficult to mix. That's normal and is what gives us perfectly short, melt in the mouth cookies! If you are using oat flour start without the milk and add it slowly and gradually only if you need to, bearing in mind the batter should be very stiff.
- Scoop out about 2 tablespoons of mixture per cookie (using an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop will enable you to get them all even sizes). Roll into balls and place on the baking tray at least 2 inches apart. Using a fork flatten them down in a criss-cross pattern so they are about ½ to ¾ inch high. If the fork sticks you can dip it in water and shake off the excess before using it to press the dough down.
- Sprinkle the top of each cookie with some granulated sugar and bake for 12 to 14 minutes. 12 minutes will give you soft, underbaked in the middle cookies and 14 minutes will give you crunchier, crumblier cookies. These cookies don't really spread so will look much the same when they come out as they did going in.
- Remove from the oven when done. They will be really soft while hot so leave them on the tray for 5 to 7 minutes before attempting to move, then transfer to a cooling rack with a spatula. They will firm up as they cool.
- Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Baked cookies can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
- Do not add the milk to the peanut butter before the other ingredients. The peanut butter will seize. Mix the ingredients in the order stated.
- Never place cookie dough balls on a hot baking sheet. Keep your prepared sheet away from the preheating oven while mixing the dough.
- Weigh your flour. Measuring cups are not accurate enough for consistent results.
- Don't overmix the dough.
- Use a good quality salt and not cheap table salt. It makes a big difference to flavour in recipes like this.
- A handful of chopped peanuts or chocolate chips can be added to the dough.
Nutritional information is provided for convenience & as a courtesy. The data is a computer generated estimate so should be used as a guide only.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you don't have vanilla extract you can simply omit it.
Yes, follow my directions for making them with gluten-free oat flour.
If you don't have baking soda simply omit it from this recipe. The difference it makes to the texture is negligible.
The peanut butter contains all the fat you need for a good cookie. Butter or oil is not necessary in this recipe.