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Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

These flourless peanut butter cookies are gluten free, grain free, dairy free and can be made refined sugar free, too. They’re packed with protein, and keep you going all morning long!

These flourless peanut butter cookies are gluten free, grain free, dairy free, packed with protein and a great start to the day!

Baking with peanut butter sometimes yields surprising results. I mean, you can usually expect something crispy and crunchy. But when you don’t add any grains at all (I don’t call something “flourless” if it has, say, almond flour or oat flour in it), and add little more than an egg, some cocoa powder and some baking soda, what you get is truly unexpected: rich-tasting, soft and tender peanut butter chocolate cookies. The chocolate chips are just about gilding the lily. Feel free to leave them off if they make you feel less virtuous first thing in the morning.

These flourless peanut butter cookies are gluten free, grain free, dairy free, packed with protein and a great start to the day!

Since this is such a simple recipe, each ingredient really really matters—if you want that soft, tender result and a cookie dough that is super easy to handle.

These flourless peanut butter cookies are gluten free, grain free, dairy free, packed with protein and a great start to the day!

You really must use a no-stir peanut butter (or almond butter), which means the kind of peanut butter that is smooth and silky as soon as you open the jar. If there’s some sort of caveat that says “some separation is natural,” for example, you’ll need something less, well, natural. And measuring the ingredients by weight is essential. When I was developing the recipe, I made a batch with just 1 more tablespoon (only 5 grams more) cocoa powder, and the dough was much, much harder to handle and the cookies baked up with lots of cracks. If you do choose to bake with coconut palm sugar instead of refined light brown sugar, the cookies will be darker and not quite as smooth. But they’ll still be delicious.

These flourless peanut butter cookies are gluten free, grain free, dairy free, packed with protein and a great start to the day!

But when you make the recipe just as it’s written, it’s so easy to bake up a batch of these amazing flourless peanut butter cookies. Right now, I have my freezer stocked with at least 3 dozen and I’ve been serving them to my children before school for breakfast. Sometimes, it’s 2 of these cookies + a Healthy Gluten Free Banana Breakfast Muffin. Sometimes, it’s 3 or 4 of these flourless cookies. No guilt, no worries that they’ll make it through to lunch all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed (j/k but still).

These flourless chocolate peanut butter breakfast cookies are gluten free, grain free, dairy free, packed with protein and a great start to the day!
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Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 1 dozen cookies


1 cup (256 g) smooth no-stir peanut butter (or almond butter)

6 tablespoons (82 g) packed light brown sugar (can substitute with an equal amount, by weight, of coconut palm sugar)

1 egg (50 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch-processed or natural)

2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (dairy free chips, if you like)


  • Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment and set it aside.

  • In a large, microwave-safe bowl, place the peanut butter. If the peanut butter seems very thick and difficult to stir, heat it in the microwave for 20 to 30 seconds to loosen it. Add the brown sugar, egg, baking soda, and salt, mixing to combine after each addition. Add the cocoa powder, mix to combine and, with clean hands, knead in the cocoa powder until the cookie dough is a uniform, brown color with no streaks of peanut butter remaining.

  • Divide the dough into 12 equal portions of 1 1/4 tablespoons each (a #50 cookie scoop is ideal for this purpose), and place about 1 1/2-inches apart from one another on the prepared baking sheet. Roll each piece of dough tightly into a ball between your palms, and press into a disk about 1/4-inch thick. Place 2 to 3 chocolate chips on top of each disk, and press gently to help the chips adhere.

  • Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake for 12 minutes, or until the cookies are puffed and set toward the center. The cookies will become more pale in color, and are set when the dough no longer glistens. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet or until firm. Serve immediately or wrap tightly and store in the freezer.



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  • Jennifer S.

    I’m not going to lie these look ah-mazing! Can’t wait to have these babies in the freezer for my breakfast adverse children….. I don’t know what’s wrong with them. I love breakfast!

  • Mare Masterson

    I love you, Nicole Hunn! This is just what my breakfast needs!

  • Candace

    I made these just a day or two after you posted the recipe. They’re long gone by now, lol. I thought they were delicious. Since I don’t have a kitchen scale, I had to use volume measurements, and mine baked up with more cracks (which you noted happened to you when you used slightly more cocoa powder), and fell apart when I tried to move them off the cookie sheet. At first I tried to move them after the recommended ten minute cooling period, but they were still much too warm and crumbly, so I waited until they cooled completely and that helped, although I had to be very careful. I stored them in the fridge in an airtight container and that also helped them sturdy up a bit, but they were still pretty delicate. Anyway, no matter, because they were melt-in-your-mouth good (but I didn’t eat them for breakfast)! Thank you!

    • Hi, Candace, I really can’t recommend purchasing the $15 or $20 for a basic digital kitchen scale enough. Volume measurements are just very, very unreliable, as you found out! And if you ever want to make a flour blend, even my basic gum-free blend, you simply can’t do it without a scale. Glad the cookies were tasty, anyway, but imagine how good they’d be if they didn’t fall apart! ;)

      • Candace

        I will definitely be adding a kitchen scale (probably the one you recommend) to my list of wants/needs for my kitchen. Thanks again! I love baking gluten free and it’s much more encouraging when my recipes, and others’, turn out how they’re supposed to. :) Sooner or later I’m going to try some recipes from your Gluten Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread cookbook, because I really miss my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

  • Monique Burn

    Hi Nicole
    Super excited to try making these. Any chance you know if they will work with Xylithol instead of sugar? Trying to go the sugar-free route, but not everything obviously works that well.
    Love your website and newsletters all the way from South Africa!

    • Hi, Monique,
      I’m afraid I’m not very optimistic about that. It’s such an incredibly simple recipe, and it relies upon the sugar not only for sweetness, but for texture and structure. Sorry!

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