Chocolate Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

These chocolate flourless peanut butter cookies are gluten free, grain free, dairy free, low in sugar, and packed with protein. Just 6 simple ingredients—and that’s even including salt!

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

I love these cookies so much that I did the nearly unthinkable—at least to my children. I made a whole batch just for myself. I don’t much like eating cereal for breakfast, and I don’t always feel like making myself eggs.

So I’ve been having a couple of these amazing, flourless peanut butter cookies with a cup of coffee. Although I don’t want to overstate things or brag or anything, I’m fairly certain I’ve been more productive and just a better all-around human being.

The mysteries of baking with peanut butter

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, you get something 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 too indulgent. Just keep in mind that it’s only, like, 3 chips per cookie. Or 2. How about 2 chips per cookie? ?

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

Now 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!

The secrets to recipe success

You really must use a no-stir peanut butter (or almond butter). All that means is to use 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.

In this recipe, in particular, 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. 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, you’ll notice that the coconut sugar is drier and more coarse than refined sugar. I’ve started grinding it in a blender to a finer consistency before including it in the recipe, and I find that it yields a near-perfect result.

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. They’re also a great mid-afternoon pick-me-up snack.

Sometimes, it’s 2 of these cookies + a Banana Oatmeal 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).

And if you’re looking for a flourless recipe without any peanut butter at all, my classic flourless chocolate cake recipe is just the thing. Smooth, rich, creamy and delicious, it’s a flourless delight!

Ingredients and substitutions

These flourless peanut butter cookies are already dairy-free (provided you use dairy-free chocolate chips, or just don’t use them altogether). Here are my best guesses about how to replace other ingredients to eliminate remaining allergens or preferences:

Nut-free: The only way to make these cookies nut-free would be to replace the peanut butter with a nut-free butter, like sunflower seed butter. But because of the presence of baking soda in the recipe, your cookies might turn green. They’ll still taste fine, though.

If you’d just like to make them peanut-free, you can use no-stir almond butter or cashew butter in place of smooth peanut butter.

Egg-free: As always when a recipe only contains 1 egg, I recommend that you try to replace it with one “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel).

Cocoa powder: If you’d like to replace the cocoa powder to make these simply peanut-flavored and not chocolate peanut-flavored, try using powdered peanut butter (PB2) in its place, gram for gram. You could also try my recipe for plain flourless peanut butter cookies, without any cocoa powder or chocolate at all.

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

Like this recipe?

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—for best results, grind the coconut sugar to a finer consistency first)

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.

  • Originally published on the blog in 2016. Recipe and photos unchanged, video new. My love ❤ for this recipe has only grown. 



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Comments are closed.

  • Kristen
    April 25, 2017 at 7:55 PM

    Delicious recipe! I made them bite size (which is just an excuse to have more than 1) and just kept an eye on them in the oven. I also used salted caramel flavored peanut butter since that’s what I had on hand and we all loved them!

  • Carolyn
    April 19, 2017 at 2:55 AM

    Hi Nicole, these were really yummy! (and I’ll admit, I did have one for brekkie!) I did try and substitute (yes, I can see you shaking your head!) 2 Tablespoons of Splenda for the brown sugar…they did still work & were yummy…BUT…they would probably have been less crumbly if I’d just used all the sugar. Which is what I will do next time, to see. I weighed it all and everything else was right, so I’m thinking that was why they were crumbly…Not too much sugar really. And for those interested in the calories, I popped it into a calculator, and because I ended up with 13 biscuits/cookies, not 12, it worked out to aprx 153 calories per biscuit/cookie. I only added 2 choc chips per cookie, but they were Reece’s Peanut butter choc chips that we found in Woolies here in Aus! Yummmmmmm… Might be some left for the kids to try on the weekend…maybe…. ;D

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 19, 2017 at 9:09 AM

      You’re all the way on the other side of the world, but you can still see my head shake. You’re good! ? At least you knew without my having to say a word, Carolyn. So glad you enjoyed them!

  • Miss Diane
    April 16, 2017 at 5:12 PM

    I would like to make these cookies, they look so good. But I really don’t know what you mean by “no stir peanut butter”. I usually buy natural peanut butter without any sugar, salt or oil. Will it be ok?

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 17, 2017 at 7:42 AM

      As I explain in the text, Diane, if your peanut butter separates, then it won’t work.

  • Kellie
    April 15, 2017 at 12:31 PM

    I made this recipe…however they spread out across the entire pan…what did I do wrong? They looked similar to yours before the oven. Any guidance greatly appreciated.

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 16, 2017 at 9:29 AM

      Hi, Kellie, I would always begin with the ingredients. Did you make any substitutions? As I explain in the post, especially in such a simple recipe, every ingredient really counts—as does the proper amount of each ingredient. Did you use no-stir peanut butter? Did you measure by weight? These will work when made as written. You’ll need to retrace your steps to see where you deviated, at all, from the recipe as written.

  • Amy
    April 13, 2017 at 6:19 PM

    What’s the nutrition information on these?

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 13, 2017 at 7:34 PM

      I don’t provide nutrition information, Amy. Feel free to plug the ingredients into your favorite online calculator!

  • Rita Bubniak
    April 13, 2017 at 3:00 PM

    They do look delicious! Is it possible to substitute PB2 powdered peanut butter for the peanut butter to help bring the calories down? If so, how would you recommend doing that?

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 13, 2017 at 4:57 PM

      It’s worth a shot, Rita! I haven’t tried it, so I can’t really say, but my best guess is that you should replace the cocoa powder with PB2 gram for gram (not by volume).

  • Maggie Fleming
    April 13, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    Any suggestions for a gal who insists on using the natural peanut butter? What were the results? Sorry I just can’t put hydronated oils and chemicals in my food. Chocolate and peanut butter is a near perfect combo!

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 13, 2017 at 10:42 AM

      I’m afraid this recipe simply won’t work with fully natural peanut butter, Maggie.

  • Kathyinozarks
    April 12, 2017 at 6:11 PM

    these look amazing and I would love these for breakfast too–I never would have thought to put cocoa in these looks delicous

  • Melissa Gregory
    April 12, 2017 at 1:43 PM

    These look great!! Could you add some oats to this recipe? Would I just need to add more liquid?

    • Nicole Hunn
      April 13, 2017 at 10:03 AM

      You can’t just add oats to this recipe, Melissa. Please use the search function if you’d like recipes for oatmeal cookies.

  • Rachael
    April 12, 2017 at 12:32 PM

    What brand cocoa powder do you use? Sorry if you’ve mentioned this somewhere else and I missed it!

  • Monique Burn
    February 18, 2016 at 4:29 AM

    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!

    • February 18, 2016 at 9:20 AM

      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!

  • Candace
    February 16, 2016 at 9:06 AM

    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!

    • February 16, 2016 at 10:43 AM

      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
        February 16, 2016 at 2:53 PM

        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.

  • Mare Masterson
    February 8, 2016 at 2:40 PM

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

  • Jennifer S.
    February 8, 2016 at 11:39 AM

    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!

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