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These 6-ingredient vegan peanut butter cookies have crisp edges, a soft, chewy middle, and bake in just 12-15 minutes! Plus, they’re optionally refined sugar-free & gluten-free!

completed Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies on white surface
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Peanut lovers unite! Between batches of peanut butter flapjacks, PB oatmeal balls, peanut butter granola, and even peanut milk, there’s never a wrong time to whip up a batch of easy vegan peanut butter cookies. Ideal for potlucks, lunch boxes, and afternoon snacking, these cookies come together in 40 minutes and are make-ahead and freezer-friendly.

Regardless of making these brown sugar peanut butter cookies without eggs or butter, they boast a crunchy exterior and a soft, slightly chewy interior that melts in your mouth, bursting with sweet peanut butter flavor. Best of all, the recipe requires just 6 simple, inexpensive pantry ingredients, no egg substitutes, and only a couple of bowls—no dough chilling needed.

Looking for more ways to get your peanut butter fix? Try chocolate-covered peanut butter cookie dough, double peanut butter sandwich cookies, and chocolate peanut butter bark.

The Ingredients and Substitutes

Please refer to the recipe card for the full list of ingredients and their quantities.

ingredients for Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies measured out on a white surface

What Could I Add to Peanut Butter Cookies?

Add up to two cups of your favorite mix-ins in this easy recipe for vegan peanut butter cookies.

  • Vegan chocolate chip peanut butter cookies (white, milk, or dark choc chips/chunks)
  • Chopped nuts (peanuts, walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios, etc.)
  • Dried fruit (like raisins, cranberries, dates, cherries, etc.)
  • Apple and peanut butter cookies (add 1 finely diced apple, like Granny Smith)
  • Coconut (shredded, unsweetened – add just a few tablespoons)
  • Spices (like ¼-½ tsp of cinnamon/pumpkin pie spice)
  • Pretzels (chopped/ in small pieces for salty crunch)
  • Flaky sea salt (to sprinkle over the top)

How To Make Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

process shot showing mixing ingredients in bowl
process shot showing mixing ingredients in bowl

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F/180C and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Then, in a stand mixer or bowl, whip the peanut butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Scrape sides regularly.

Step 2: Mix in the plant-based milk and vanilla extract.

process shot showing mixing ingredients in bowl
process shot showing balls of dough on baking sheet

Step 3: In a separate small bowl, combine the flour and baking powder and add it to the bowl with the peanut butter mixture and mix with a spatula or the paddle attachment of a mixer into a thick, sticky dough.

Step 4: Using a medium cookie scoop (or about 1 ½ tablespoons), divide the cookie dough into balls, transferring them to the baking sheet, 2 inches apart.

process shot showing making design on cookies on sheet
pre-baked cookies on baking sheet

Step 5: Use a fork to press the cookie flat, adding a crisscross pattern (the cookies won’t spread when baked). Then, optionally, sprinkle with sugar or flaky salt. Press the cookies until the edges begin to crack lightly.

Step 6: Bake the peanut butter cookies for 12-15 minutes. Finally, remove the baked peanut butter cookies from the oven and leave them to cool on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

FAQs

Can I make gluten-free vegan peanut butter cookies?

Yes, use a 1:1 ratio of gluten-free all-purpose flour like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur’s.

Do I have to crisscross the peanut butter cookies?

No, that’s just decoration. But flattening the dough is necessary as they don’t spread much in the oven.

Can I substitute the peanut butter?

You could try almond, sunflower seed, or other nut/seed butters. If it’s drippy, chill the dough for 30 minutes and adjust the flour as needed.

Can I make air fryer peanut butter cookies?

Complete steps 1-6 of the recipe, then place the flattened cookies in a single layer in the air fryer basket, with space between (in batches if necessary).

Air fry for 7-9 minutes at 300F/150C, then leave in the air fryer for 5 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool.

Pro Recipe Tips

  • Use creamy peanut butter: (Like Jiff’s or Skippie’s) It prevents excessive cookie spreading unlike natural, drippy peanut butter.
  • Measure flour properly: Fluff the flour in its bag, spoon into a measuring cup, and level with a knife to avoid dense, cakey cookies.
  • Don’t over-mix the dough: Otherwise, you can overwork the gluten, which affects the texture and spread.
  • Adjust the texture: Reduce the baking time by a minute or two for a softer interior. Increase it by 2-3 minutes for a crunchier cookie.
  • Adjust the sweetness: But be aware that reducing too much sugar may affect the texture of this chewy peanut butter cookie recipe.
completed Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies on baking sheet

Storage Instructions

Store these chewy soft peanut butter cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 4-5 days or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Warm them for a few seconds in the microwave for a softer texture.

Can You Freeze Peanut Butter Cookies?

Freeze the dairy-free peanut butter cookies by flash-freezing them on a tray and storing in a Ziplock/Stasher bag for up to 2 months.

You can also freeze the unbaked cookie dough, shaped and flash-frozen, then transferred to a Ziplock/Stasher for up to 2 months. Bake from frozen, adding 2-4 minutes.

completed Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies in storage container

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 cookies
These 6-ingredient vegan peanut butter cookies have crisp edges, a soft, chewy middle, and bake in just 12-15 minutes! Plus, they're optionally refined sugar-free & gluten-free!

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup of unsalted creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • ½ cup of brown sugar, plus more for topping
  • cup + 1 tablespoon of plant-based milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, add the peanut butter and sugar. Mix for 2 minutes, scraping the sides regularly.
  • Add the plant-based milk and vanilla extract to the bowl and mix until fully combined.
  • In a small bowl, mix the flour and baking powder. Add it to the bowl with the peanut butter. Mix by hand using a spatula or the paddle attachment of the mixer. It will be a very thick and sticky dough. Mix until fully combined.
  • Scoop dough into your hand using a medium size cookie scoop or 1 ½ tablespoons. Form a ball and place it on the baking sheet. Repeat the process until you have used all of the cookie dough. Make sure there is about 2 inches between the cookie balls.
  • Using a fork, gently press down the cookie until a nice imprint of the fork is left on the cookie. Make a second imprint in a crisscross pattern. Press only until you see the sides of the cookie become slightly cracked, but lightly enough that it doesn't come apart.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes for a crunchy exterior and soft and chewy interior of the cookies.
  • Remove from the oven and allow it to cool on the baking sheet or a cooling rack for 10 to 15 minutes.

Notes

  • Use creamy peanut butter: (Like Jiff’s or Skippie’s) It prevents excessive cookie spreading unlike natural, drippy peanut butter.
  • Measure flour properly: Fluff the flour in its bag, spoon into a measuring cup, and level with a knife to avoid dense, cakey cookies.
  • Don’t over-mix the dough: Otherwise, you can overwork the gluten, which affects the texture and spread.
  • Adjust the texture: Reduce the baking time by a minute or two for a softer interior. Increase it by 2-3 minutes for a crunchier cookie.
  • Adjust the sweetness: But be aware that reducing too much sugar may affect the texture of this chewy peanut butter cookie recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 203kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 6gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 139mgPotassium: 145mgFiber: 1gSugar: 11gCalcium: 48mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Method: Oven
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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Comments

  1. I can’t find how this recipe is refined sugar-free. I have Diabetes, would like to try these, but what can I substitute for the brown sugar that would definitely work?

    1. Hi! Sorry about that! Unrefined coconut sugar also works, or a sugar-free brown sugar alternative (though the latter may affect the texture slightly).