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Secret Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

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What’s better than a vegan peanut butter cookie?

peanut butter cookies

How about a whole stack of vegan peanut butter cookies? Mmm yes, that’s better. Much better.

If you’d really rather just have one, see this recipe: Single Serving Peanut Butter Cookie.

vegan peanut butter cookies

I’ve been a vegan over ten years, which is also how long I’ve been making these vegan peanut butter cookies—my foray into the world of vegan baking. When I first went vegan, I was clueless about how to replace eggs in a cookie. Many of the recipes I found online contained a product called Energ Egg Replacer… but I was living in China and therefore couldn’t buy such a thing. So—out of necessity—I experimented to make up my own recipe.

I’ll never forget how proud I was the first time I brought these healthy cookies to a pool party. Everyone raved about them, and I loved seeing their surprised faces upon hearing the secret: these cookies were vegan! Yes, vegan peanut butter cookies that didn’t taste vegan! (Ten years ago, veganism was much less mainstream than it is today.)

The vegan peanut butter cookie recipe has another secret: applesauce! It makes these cookies so soft.

Melt-in-your-mouth soft.

Print This Recipe 5/5
5/510

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup peanut butter, or almond or sunbutter (I like Whole Foods 365 brand, with salt)
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3 tbsp flour (whole-wheat pastry, all-purpose white, spelt, Bob's gf mix all work)
  • 1/4 cup sugar or evaporated cane juice (for sugar-free cookies, see below link)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • optional: tiny pinch salt (around 1/16 tsp) (Taste dough to decide - I like to add it.)
Total Time: 8m
Yield: 12-16 cookies

Instructions

Mix dry ingredients very well. Then add wet and form cookie balls. If you want soft cookies, fridge the dough for at least an hour. Then bake in a preheated oven (350F) for 8 minutes. They’ll look underdone when you take them out, but that’s ok. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before removing from tray.

See the following link for: *Sugar Free Peanut Butter Cookies*

To keep these cookies soft, store leftover cookies in a plastic container. This recipe will make about 12-16 cookies, depending on how big you roll them. (For 16 cookies, they’ll have 65 calories per cookie.)

vegan peanut butter cookies

Have you ever made vegan cookies?

Or have you ever made any vegan dessert? The best part about vegan peanut butter cookies is the lack of raw egg in the batter. So no one can stop you from eating as much cookie dough as you want!

For more peanut butter recipes: 50+ Healthy Peanut Butter Recipes.

Rate this recipe

Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. Olivia says:

    Omgg those cookies look amazing! will be making them today for sure (:

    1. Michelle says:

      Just a tip after decades of baking. In general, peanut butter, banana, and applesauce recipes tend to do ok without eggs, as these ingredients often act as sticky binders to hold ingredients together (the applesauce, not as much). Applesauce when added to cookies, tend to take away the crunch, and create a more cake-like cookie. For serious cookie lovers, this may be disappointing. If you try this recipe, you might want to “half” it – to see if you like the texture. I personally prefer PB cookies that have a texture more like a shortbread cookie, but that’s me, and cookies are my number one obsession in life. Very picky. Saying that, I am still going to make these out of sheer curiosity.
      As to this website blog…..absolutely superb Katie! I am without words at your talent, creativity, and imagination. You are a very very talented lady. Thank you!

      1. Sarah says:

        thanks for this.. Me and my bf are avoiding eggs due to mild-ish allergies and we sure miss them, especially when it comes to baked goods. I have yet to try applesauce as a replacement.

        1. Michelle says:

          The best vegan egg replacement I have found in baking is chia seeds soaked in water. I use them when I run out of eggs and still want to bake.

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      2. Sara says:

        Do you know how to make crunchy vegan cookies without vegan bugger or tons of added sugar? I’m trying to make a crispy PB cookie (like shortbread) but they all turn out cake-like.

        1. Karen says:

          I know it’s been like 8 months since you commented, but have you tried these cookies? I personally really like them and don’t think they’re cake like. I think they taste a lot like traditional peanut butter cookies if not better.

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  2. Sounds so good! Quick question: Do you think it would be possible to scale back on the applesauce and use a date paste to make these sugar free?

    Either way, I am totally making these!!!!

    1. No clue, but if you try it I’d love to know!
      Ironically, I just posted a recipe for cookies sweetened with dates! We’re on the same wavelength!

      1. Colleen says:

        I’ve looked up the conversion to use my favorite all natural sugar substitute. For my TRUest favorite, it’s 6 packets that equal 1/4 cup.

    2. Amy says:

      I have tried using date sugar in place of sugar and they just did not come out as yummy as the original recipe. They were OK but not amazing..

      1. Thanks for reporting back Amy! Haha. This was SO long ago. I just got an e-mail notification from your comment and saw that is was in 2011. 🙂

  3. Clair says:

    Yes! Vegan cookies and other desserts…inspired by you. 😀

  4. Michelle says:

    I’ve been Vegan since New years…started out baking … theppk site made it so easy
    ..muffins first, cookies, brownies you name it. Best part you can safely eat the dough.. but I have to admit im Loving you almost daily recipes….what will Katie think of next 😉 love it

  5. Audrey Smith says:

    Oh this recipe came one day late for me (made some peanut butter cookies last night), but I can’t wait to try it! I made some last night using maple syrup instead of sugar and applesauce, but this sounds even better! Thanks for the recipe!

  6. I have never made vegan cookies, but I might have to now that I see how amazing these look!

  7. Kristy says:

    I feel dumb for asking, but is it really 3 T of flour? I can’t wait to try these!

    1. Yes! I use less flour so they’ll be less doughy and the pb flavor/texture will show through more :).

      1. Silvia says:

        Can the flour be almond flour or oat flour or coconut flour instead? If so, which of these substitutions do you recommend Katie? And can I replace the sugar with maple syrup?

  8. Erin says:

    Yum, Katie! These look delicious. I want to try them right away. I’m so looking forward to all the recipes you plan to post before Christmas… can you say baking party? 🙂

  9. Hooray for peanut butter cookies! These look so chewy, gooey, soft and delicious. I bet the raw dough is quite good too 🙂

  10. Aja says:

    I have made so many vegan desserts since becoming a blogger and stumbling into the food blogging community. Mostly the vegan blogs. It’s funny how people think they will taste horrible but they are, in my opinion, WAY better than non-vegan desserts.
    Congrats on 10 years of veganism! I’m slowly making the transition into veganism myself.
    And I know what I’m baking today. Peanut butter cookies are the best.

  11. DawnW says:

    I’ve been baking vegan for a few years now,but I avoid recipes using applesauce because I’m afraid it will tast apple-y. (I like apples,but not in cookies!) Do these taste like applesauce?

    1. No not at all! I usually don’t like using applesauce in a recipe either, because it can sometimes make things taste gummy. But these aren’t gummy, and they only taste like peanut butter :).

      1. DawnW says:

        Thanks! I gotta try these and throw in some chocolate chips 🙂

  12. Ashley Wilson says:

    These look absolutely delicious! But I have a rather large problem…I live in Spain and I’ve looked everywhere and I can’t find applesauce!!! Is there something else I could use?

    Thanks!

    1. Hmmm… I’ve only ever tried them with applesauce. Maybe cook apple and then puree it to make your own? Or maybe pumpkin or oil, but I haven’t tried either of these.

      1. Ashley Wilson says:

        I actually tried substituting soy yogurt and they turned out great!

        1. Anonymous says:

          I made raw applesauce in my vitamin by just pureeing a whole apple With the skins and made the cookies with that and it turned out beautifully.

          1. Anonymous says:

            Oops! I meant to say vitamix 🙂

  13. Ashley says:

    I was vegan for a while and tried making peanut butter cookies once. I was SO excited to try them-until I took them out of the oven. All you had to do was barely poke them and they would crumble… Oops 🙂 I’m definitely going to try these though!

  14. I used to make peanut butter cookies all the time with my mom and brother! We’d always make some oatmeal raisin too for my dad… he’s allergic to peanuts. poor guy.

  15. KellyB says:

    HI
    My favortie vegan baking book is Babycakes. Babycakes is a NYC bakery that is vegan and mostly GF. These baking books are fabulous (she has 2 out). They contain great pictures with every recipe and a little story behind each recipe. And best of all they are easy to follow and even my husband will eat these healthier versions of great treats. Oh and they are refined sugar free too!

  16. Ooh I love soft cookies, the softer the better! I really like peanut butter but haven’t made peanut butter cookies before, crazy!!

  17. Megan says:

    Soft peanut butter cookies are the best! I am so glad you posted these! Congrats on 10 years as a vegan too! I recently began to experiment with vegan baking. I have only made your blondies and a vegan pie thus far. Hopefully, I will make some more items soon because both were a success!

  18. totally agree about vegan cookie dough! I always have to restrain myself when baking now otherwise only half the batch actually gets made into cookies 🙂

  19. Rachel says:

    these look so good!! and I love doughy cookies 🙂 do you think oat flour would work? I’m gluten-free

    made your 5 minute chocolate oatmeal for breakfast with the microwaved banana trick (which I am now completely addicted to!) that is DEFINITELY going to be one of my go-to breakfasts now

    1. I bte it would! Let me know if you try them with oat flour. I’d love to know how they taste with it. 🙂

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