Oct 06

Soft and Tender Peanut Butter Cookies | Vegan and Gluten-Free

Soft and Tender Peanut Butter Cookies | Vegan and Gluten Free | blissfulbasil.com

Last week was a bit of a doozy. Lots going on at work and even more going on outside of work, and by the time I arrived home on Thursday night all I wanted for dinner was a handful of peanut butter cookies. A strange choice, I might add, considering we didn’t have any peanut butter cookies on hand but stranger cravings have happened. It’s a lovely thing to have a craving that is so easily accommodated for given the simplicity of ingredients needed. Had I been craving gold-flake encrusted peanut butter cookies, well then that might have posed a problem.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been trying to make at least the majority of my weekday meals vegan. I’ve noticed that I feel more clear-headed and full of energy when I do, so I’ve worked to make it a habit. The weekends are still a time for falling off the vegan wagon, and if you witnessed my weekday breakfast trends you’d think I was a stockholder for Chobani. Such is life.

Peanut butter cookies are a cinch to make vegan, so I went ahead and made that a priority. As I got mixing, I figured why not up the health factor by allowing oat flour take the place of white flour. Now we’re talking vegan and gluten-free. Check and check. But of course the bottom line in any recipe is taste, and I promise you that these peanut butter cookies will knock the socks off of your cookie cravings. Like socks on the floor and cookie crumbs everywhere. I’ll let you gnaw on that image.

These cookies are the softest, densest, and most tender peanut butter cookies I’ve ever tasted. The use of brown sugar adds to their density and lends a warm, caramely layer to their peanut butter decadence. The path to making them vegan and gluten-free means that all that extra stuff that interferes (white flour, eggs, etc.) is cleared away and their true peanuty potential is reached rather effortlessly. They have this melt-in-your-mouth goodness about them, and they pair perfectly with a glass of ice-cold milk.

Soft + Tender Peanut Butter Cookies | Vegan and Gluten Free | blissfulbasil.com

Soft + Tender Peanut Butter Cookies | Vegan and Gluten Free | blissfulbasil.com

Soft + Tender Peanut Butter Cookies | Vegan and Gluten Free | blissfulbasil.com

peanut butter cookie hearts

4.9 from 20 reviews

Soft + Tender Peanut Butter Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The softest and most tender peanut butter cookies ever… and you’d never know they were vegan and gluten free unless you read this recipe! Peanut butter heaven wrapped up in pretty little crisscrossed packages. (tip: make your own oat flour by tossing rolled oats in a food processor and processing for 2-3 minutes until a fine “flour” has formed).
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 12-14
  • 1 cup peanut butter (make sure you use a no-stir peanut butter — you can also use ½ peanut butter and ½ almond butter)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup oat flour (use 1 cup if you prefer chewy cookies rather than tender cookies)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup water (readers have also had success using ¼ cup almond milk)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter and brown sugar for 1 minute. Add in the vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds.
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients together (oat flour, baking soda, and salt).
  4. While beating the peanut butter mixture, slowly add in the oat flour mixture and beat until a crumby dough forms. Add in the water and continue to beat until distributed. Do not over mix.
  5. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Roll the dough into balls (about 1½ – 2 tablespoons per cookie), drop on parchment paper, and flatten with a fork one way and then the other to create a crisscross pattern.
  7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just starting to turn golden on edges (they bake FAST so watch them carefully).
  8. Let cool completely and enjoy with an ice cold glass of milk. YUM.
  9. Store in an airtight plastic container to keep the cookies soft and chewy.



  1. Those are making my mouth water…would be great with my coffee.

  2. Thank You!!! These were delicious :) I look forward to more vegan sweets from you!

  3. I made these the other day for a relative who is vegan and they were such a hit with everyone in the house. Thanks for posting this great recipe!

  4. Cassandra says:

    I made these yesterday, subbing crunchy natural (not no stir, it was what i had) almond butter, and coconut oil for the vegan spread. They turned out fantastic! chewy, tender, great flavor. my youngest is allergic to eggs, wheat, and dairy, and since I was making cookies for her sister I needed to make something for her. she is thrilled! Thank you for the great recipe!

    • What do you mean by vegan spread?

      • Hi Shelley, thanks for pointing that out in this comment! There isn’t any vegan spread, such as Earth Balance, in this recipe so that comment must be an error or a comment that should have landed on another recipe. Just follow the recipe exactly as posted :)

  5. Do you have any suggestions for baking soda and baking powder? That are vegan

    • Thanks for reading and commenting! Everything that I have read suggests that most, if not all, baking sodas and baking powders are free of animal products. Have you heard otherwise?

  6. I have pb that’s close to expiration (we stocked up!), so I looked up a vegan cookie recipe. I’m about to try these. I’ll let you know how they taste with my glass of “milk”.

  7. Just finished making these. Note: I used my regular All-Purpose flour, but this recipe made some soft, delicious cookies! I’m excited to share them with husband. He loves peanut butter! Thanks!

    • I’m so glad you’re enjoying them and it’s helpful to know that they’re still just as tasty with all purpose flour! Thanks for the update!

  8. Cassandra says:

    I just made these and they were so delicious! I split the brown sugar with maple sugar (my husband’s family is from NH, so there are a lot of maple products in the house!!) and it gave the cookies a wonderful maple flavor! I used regular all-purpose flour since that is all I had- for my variation I had to bake them a little bit longer, but they still came out chewy and delicious! I’m vegan, but my husband and his family are not; this sweet treat was a hit with everyone and they seemed very surprised that a vegan diet can taste so wonderful! Thanks so much for the recipe!!!

    • Hi Cassandra! Thanks for trying out the recipe and for commenting with how the adjustments worked out for you! I will have to make these with maple sugar next time — that sounds so delicious. I’m so glad that these cookies impressed non-vegans! Always an exciting moment when you can surprise people with how delicious vegan food can be :)

      • Cassandra says:

        Ashley! I tried to give you five stars, but my iPhone wouldn’t let me… but just know it is a 5-star recipe! The whole batch is already gone and my husband is begging me to make more :)

        • Oh my gosh, you’re so sweet! Thanks for commenting back with your 5-star rating! Also, love when the husbands beg for vegan food — it’s so cute, isn’t it?

  9. This is the perfect peanut butter cookie recipe!! They are just the texture and flavor I was looking for. Plus, they couldn’t have been easier to make. As a vegetarian making the transition to a vegan lifestyle, I am always looking for new tasty recipes to add to my recipe box, and this is a keeper. I did have to make one adjustment because I didn’t have enough creamy peanut butter, so I used 1/2 cup creamy and 1/2 cup crunchy. I have to say, I loved the added texture of the crunch! As another commenter said, they took a little longer to bake, about 10 minutes for me. My boyfriend tried these not knowing they were vegan and raved about how good they were. When I told him they were vegan, he said, “You tricked me!” Keep the great recipes coming!

    • Hi Becky! Umm, thank you for the amazingly sweet words! I need to try this creamy-crunchy pb combo the next time I make these cookies. Isn’t it the best when our loved ones unknowingly eat vegan foods and melt over their deliciousness?! I “trick” my husband all the time, too! Also, thank you for noting that the baking time was closer to 10 minutes — I will update the recipe to reflect the variance in baking times. I’m quickly learning that the oven in our new-ish home is like a mini inferno, and it seems to bake EVERYTHING quicker than expected!

  10. These look amazing, but do you think I could sub the peanut butter with Sunbutter?

    • Yes, I definitely think that would work! You might have to add a bit more oat flour if the sunbutter is runny but otherwise I think it should sub really well. Please let me know how it goes!

  11. I made these for my kids {and hubs} last night and they LOVED them!! We will def be making them again! I love your photography too btw. I also only had pb on hand that separates, and they still turned out amazing! Thanks for blogging this recipe and taking the time to stage them so lovely. :)

    • Hi Talia! Thanks for reporting back with kind words and helpful substitution hints! I’m glad to know that they do turn out with pb that separates, and I will add a note into the recipe. Also, thank you for the sweet compliments on the photos! It’s definitely the part of being a food blogger that challenges me the most, so your words mean a lot to me :)

  12. This recipe is great! Super easy to make and super tasty!! I’m allergic to peanuts so I subbed the peanut butter with a toasted soy spread called wow butter (tastes just like peanut butter). They were amazing!!!

  13. do you have to use oat flour? or can you use regular, and make it non gluten free, but still vegan

  14. Hello, Ashley. I don’t have brown sugar so can I make them with honey??

    • Hi Donika, I’m not sure how they’ll turn out with honey as I haven’t tried substituting with it but please let me know how it goes/went if you try it!

  15. This recipe was great! Just what I was looking for. Thank you.

  16. These were fabulous!!! I am not vegan, but have discovered the joys of vegan baking. At first glance, I wondered how cookies without the usual butter/egg combination would taste, but these are absolutely delicious and so easy to make. I used my Nutribullet to make oat flour – quick and easy!

    • Hi Pam! I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed them so much! Great tip to make the oat flour in a Nutribullet. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Roslynne Crawford says:

    These cookies are awesome! Next time, I am going to put the cookies in the freezer for 30 mins or so to reduce them spreading out. Mine were a bit thin. Thanks, Ashley. I am a new vegan so it’s a pleasure to read your blog and try out some delicious recipes.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed them and thank you for the feedback! Great idea about freezing the dough prior to baking, as they can spread out a bit. I might have to add that into the recipe notes!

  18. SOOOO GOOD! I added coconut oil in, and subbed the water with almond milk. BEST VEGAN COOKIES I HAVE FOUND TO DATE! Thank you so much for sharing it!

    • You’re making me blush! Thank you so much for the amazing cookie compliments, Carly (try saying that 10 times fast). Can I ask how much coconut oil you added? Just asking in case other readers want to make that addition since coconut oil has so many awesome health benefits. Thanks for reading, baking, and commenting!

  19. I made these tonight with maple syrup in place of the sugar. I was worried they’d be a bit too soft as the batter was quite runnuly but they turned out fantastic! I actually forgot about them and they didn’t over cook.

  20. I am not much of a baker, but I had a huge craving for (vegan, gluten-free) peanut butter cookies last night. After searching through recipes that had ingredients I didn’t care for, or long lists of various flours and binders, I found yours and thought it looked like something I could handle. I blended my own oat flour, leaving just a few larger flakes intact and used a combo of almond butter and peanut butter (because I didn’t have a full cup of pb). The cookies were fantastic! Exactly what I wanted – peanutty, not too sweet, chewy and a little salty. This morning, I ate one with my coffee and it had become satisfyingly crunchy around the edges and maintained a really good chewiness in the centre. Thank you, thank you! This may be my go-to recipe from now on.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed them, Mishka! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on them — you’ve inspired me to try these with my morning coffee!

  21. Alba Marina says:

    Hey! I was wondering if I could use baking powder instead of baking soda? Thanks!

    • Hi Alba! I’ve never tried substituting baking powder for baking soda in this recipe, so I can’t vouch for it having the same results. However, usually you need 2-3 times the amount in order to sub baking powder for baking soda, but it can affect the flavor. If you try it, please comment and let me know how it works! Good luck!

  22. Not sure how many vegans are going to want to dip their cookies in a cold glass of milk… but this recipe looks great!

    • Hi Natalie! Thanks for the sweet words! By “milk” I mean plant-based milk (almond, cashew, coconut, etc) — there is an entire world of non-dairy milk options :)

  23. this recipe is the BOMB! Eight cookies given to me as a take home treat for the hubby ( I am not a cookie kinda person) , and I nipped the corner of one for a quick lil taste… eight cookies later… I am a convert. And the hubby will just have to wait until i make them myself… FIVE STARS of perfect addiction… :)

  24. These were really delicious. Instead of water I used chocolate almond milk. They were sooo good.

    • What a fabulous idea to use chocolate almond milk! Thanks for the wonderful idea, and so glad you enjoyed the cookies!

  25. I just made these and they were amazing. I was really craving something sweet for dessert and it was really easy I already had all the ingredients. It’s so nice to find eggless recipes. Thank you!

  26. Best Peanut butter cookies ever! something so delish! Simple and quick. I am eatting too much though lol, also because of this recipe, I’m making my own oat flour which u drop your oats in a blender or proceesor and done! going to try the other recipesssss. You go girl!

  27. These cookies were amazing!!!! Followed the recipe exactly. Made my own oat flour out of oats like the notes said. Easy! My non vegan fiancé is on his 4th cookie. My stupid iPhone won’t let me rate w the stars but 5stars!!!!

  28. Thank you so much for this recipe, I can’t wait to try it!

    Please note that BROWN SUGAR IS NOT ALWAYS VEGAN as the processing of the sugar uses Bone Char from cow bones.

    • Hi Andrea! Thanks for the insight on brown sugar — I had no idea! I just checked on the one that I use (Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Sugar), and it is vegan. Thank goodness!

  29. Hi Ashley,
    I stumbled across your recipe and made them as fast as I could gather up the ingredients!!! I used 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt in lieu of the 1/8 teaspoon of regular salt and in my food processor I pulsed my own oat flour using gf whole oats. I went with your readers suggestion and used almond milk instead of water. Fan-friggin’-tastic peanut butter cookies!!! THANKS for sharing this recipe and I hope my readers love them as much as I do!!!

  30. PS….I went with the full cup of oat flour too!!!

  31. YUMMMMY! These are so so darn good! I had no idea what to expect because of no butter or anything but they are the BOMB! I just made myself sick though, they are very rich so please ladies no eating the whole batch :D


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