These flourless coconut peanut butter cookies are low in sugar, packed with protein and take just minutes to throw together. They’re naturally grain-free and dairy-free, too!
This recipe for flourless peanut butter cookies is a riff on my chocolate flourless peanut butter cookies, which I almost always have a batch of in my freezer. I even frequently make a dozen of them for myself and eat two for breakfast.
Can I leave out the….?
I’ve gotten many requests for making flourless peanut butter cookies without the cocoa powder, but that’s easier said than done. Although I do try to provide as much information on substitutions as possible in my recipes, I’m afraid many readers still assume that they should just be able to leave out an ingredient and still have the recipe turn out. I’m afraid it just doesn’t work like that!
I understand what it’s like when you see a recipe that looks so tempting, but it calls for an ingredient you simply can’t eat. So I do my best.
Unless an ingredient is merely perched on top of, say, a cookie right before it goes into the oven (like an extra few chocolate chips), it enters into the chemical reaction that results in these delicious cookies. In fact, that chemical reaction is most amazing in a flourless baking recipe like this one.
As a general rule of thumb, too, the simpler the recipe, the more important the role of each individual ingredient. In flourless baking, something other than an ingredient ground into flour must provide the structure.
We eat a ton of nut butter in my house, and much of it is in baking. Not only does nut butter provide an amazing base for creating all sorts of flourless baked goods, but it’s high in good fats and high in protein—plus, each of my 3 children loves it.
These cookies have an amazing chewy texture that you wouldn’t think was possible without any flour. And they’re so, so different from their O.G. chocolate flourless peanut butter cookie cousins. The toasted coconut flakes help add structure, taste and texture.
My husband and I certainly didn’t have 3 children knowing that I would become a recipe developer by trade, but it’s certainly been very useful. All 3 of them have such different taste and texture preferences, so when they all 3 love something, I figure there’s a good chance you will, too!
Ingredients and substitutions
I have tested these cookies many, many times and many ways, but not without eggs and not without peanuts. So these are my best-educated guesses for substitutions:
Egg-free: You could try a “chia egg” for each of the two eggs in this recipe. A “chia egg” is simply 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel.
Peanut-free: You could try making these flourless peanut butter cookies with cashew butter or almond butter. I bet they would work great!
Dairy-free: This recipe is naturally dairy free, provided you are careful to use dairy-free chocolate chips.
Coconut-free: If you don’t like coconut sugar, you can replace it with an equal amount, by weight, of light brown sugar. In place of the toasted coconut chips, you can use an equal amount, by weight, of certified gluten free old-fashioned rolled oats.
Chocolate chips: In place of chocolate chips, you can use any sort of chips you like, or just use more coconut flakes in their place. You do need something to help provide some structure to the cookies, though, so you can’t simply leave them out.
Watch this super-short 45 second video of me making these peanut butter cookies.
Just push play ▶ below to watch me, then make your own!
Flourless Coconut Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup (80 g) unsweetened coconut flakes (chips)
1 cup (256 g) no-stir natural peanut butter (no stir is the kind that doesn’t separate in the jar)
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (86 g) coconut palm sugar, ground finely
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup (4 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat your oven to 300°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the coconut flakes on it in a single layer. Place in the center of the preheated oven and toast until the edges of the flakes begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F.
In a large bowl, place the peanut butter, eggs, baking soda, salt, sugar, and vanilla, and mix to combine. The mixture should be thick and smooth. Add the toasted and cooled coconut flakes and most of the chocolate chips (reserving a few for placing on top of each cookie after shaping), and mix until evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.
Scoop 2 to 3 tablespoon-sized portions of the cookie dough onto the prepared baking sheet, placing about 1 1/2 inches apart from one another. With wet hands, roll each piece into a round and then press gently into a disk about 1/2-inch tall. Place a few of the reserved chips on top of each disk. Place in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 12 minutes, or until set in the center. Don’t overbake.
Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Store leftovers in a sealed container at room temperature for about 3 days. Freeze for longer storage.