When you have a craving for gluten free peanut butter cookies, nothing else will do. This small batch recipe is perfect if it isn't safe to keep too many cookies around the house. Plus, all the cookies can bake on one tray, so you can be eating homemade peanut butter cookies in about 30 minutes.
We have a peanut allergy in our family, so I've included notes below on making these peanut free. I did a lot of testing to get the peanut free version to taste just the same for you peanut butter lovers who can't enjoy peanuts anymore.
Why you'll love these cookies
- It is a small batch of only 5 large peanut butter cookies.
- They are soft and thick and full of peanut butter flavor.
- It's gluten free and dairy free, easily made vegan or peanut free too.
- They will be ready to eat in less than 30 minutes.
- Vegan Butter - I have used Country Crock plant butter in this recipe. You can use your favorite brand, but avoid margarine. If you're not dairy free, use regular butter in the same measure.
- Peanut Butter - I always use natural peanut butter. I haven't tested this recipe with the no-stir types of peanut butter, but I think it will also work. Your cookie may turn out a little crispier with no-stir peanut butter, since it has some sugar mixed in.
- Sugar - I have used a small amount of white sugar to help the cookies spread a bit and get crispy around the edges. If you like your peanut butter cookies to be on the crunchier side, you could opt for all white sugar (6 tablespoons white sugar and omit brown sugar) in this recipe.
- Light Brown Sugar - The higher amount of brown sugar compare to white helps these cookies stay soft and thick.
- Egg Yolk - This is what holds the dough together. If you're egg free, use 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk in place of the egg.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend - I always use Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Flour in my recipes. It's a good quality gluten free flour. You can use your favorite brand, but results may vary.
- Baking Powder - This leavening agent helps the cookies stay thick and soft.
See recipe card for full list with quantities.
Substitutions & Variations
- Not Dairy Free - use dairy butter in the same measure.
- Make it Vegan / Egg Free - Replace the single egg yolk with 2 tablespoons of non-dairy milk.
- Make it Peanut Free - Replace the peanut butter with a nut butter of your choice. My favorite is a mix of 3 tablespoons sunbutter and 2 tablespoons cashew butter, which produces a cookie that tastes almost like peanut butter.
- Other variations - Add ½ cup of chopped peanuts, m&ms or chocolate chips to the recipe.
How to make gluten free peanut butter cookies
This gluten free peanut butter cookie recipe is easy to make and should take less than 10 minutes to mix together. No chilling time is required for this dough.
STEP 1: Combine the butter and peanut butter in a mixing bowl. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute until it's combined into a smooth mixture.
STEP 2: Add the sugar and brown sugar to the peanut butter mixture. Beat on medium speed for 2-3 minutes until fluffy and lighter in color.
STEP 3: Add the egg yolk and the vanilla and beat for 1 minute more.
STEP 5: Portion the dough into 5 balls, about ¼ cup each. Roll them between your hands to smooth the surface and place on a baking sheet.
STEP 6: Press down the cookies until they are about ½ inch thick. You can use cookie stamps (shown above) or the more traditional fork tines in a criss cross pattern.
If you like the outside of your peanut butter cookies to be a little crispier, roll the dough balls in granulated sugar before placing them on the baking sheet and pressing them down.
How do you make peanut free peanut butter cookies?
Some people make a straight substitute for another kind of nut butter (almond butter or cashew butter) or even sunflower seed butter, but I find that those cookies never taste exactly like peanut butter.
Almonds and cashews are too mild in flavor, with none of the roasted taste of peanuts and sunflower seeds are too savory.
The perfect substitution for this recipe is a combination of 3 Tablespoons of sunflower seed butter (for the roasted, savory flavor) and 2 Tablespoons of Cashew butter (for the mild nutty flavor). I have tested this mix numerous times and given them out to a lot of people and no one could tell that it wasn't peanut butter.
No. A standard peanut butter cookie will be made with wheat flour, so it won't be gluten free. There are definitely recipes out there for flourless peanut butter cookies. This recipe is made to be as close as possible to a regular peanut butter cookie, so it is made with gluten free flour.
Store leftover cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
Yes, they will freeze well. Wait until the cookies have cooled completely then store them in an airtight bag or container. Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw before serving.
The fork marks aren't a necessity, but pressing the cookies down is crucial. Peanut butter is a dense ingredient that doesn't spread well during baking. So pressing the cookies down, whether it's with a fork, a cookie stamp or just your hand, helps them bake into flatter cookies.
This recipe doesn't require any refrigeration. However, if your dough feels too soft to form into balls, you can definitely stick it in the refrigerator to firm things up. Refrigeration will also work well if you want to make the dough ahead of time and bake later. You can safely refrigerate unbaked dough for 2-3 days as long as it is stored in an airtight container.
More small batch recipes to consider:
If you try this recipe, please leave a 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 star rating and let me know how you liked it in the comments below.
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies (Small Batch)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line one large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine butter and peanut butter. Beat on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.5 Tablespoon Peanut Butter, 4 Tablespoon Vegan Butter
- Add sugar and brown sugar, beat for 2-3 minutes until well combined.¼ Cup Light Brown Sugar, 2 Tablespoon Sugar
- Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Beat for another 60 seconds.1 Egg Yolk, 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- Turn your mixer to the lowest setting and add the gluten free flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until the flour is just incorporated. If you're adding nuts or chocolate chips, fold them in by hand at this stage.½ Cup Gluten Free 1-to-1 Flour Blend, ½ teaspoon Baking Powder, ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Portion into ¼C sized dough balls and place on your prepared baking sheet leaving about 2 inches between. Flatten slightly until the dough ball is about ½" thick using a cookie stamp, fork tines, or your hand.
- Bake for 13-14 minutes, until edges are just set. Centers will still be very soft. Remove from oven and cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes. Sprinkle immediately with sea salt, if using.Sea Salt
Tiffany is the recipe developer, stylist and food photographer behind Well Fed Baker. As a lifelong baker who had to go gluten free and dairy free in 2016, Tiffany strives to share allergen friendly recipes that never feel like they are free from anything.