If you’re a fan of PB, you’re going to love these gluten free peanut butter cookies. Soft, moist & fluffy - they are a light and cakey version of a classic cookie.
You only need 1 bowl. Oh, and they are freezer friendly, too!
Can’t get thoughts of gluten free peanut butter cookies out of your head? Yea, me too. Here’s what you need to make your own:
- Unsalted butter: if you need a dairy free version, use dairy free butter. (But skip adding salt - most dairy free butters are already salted.)
- Granulated sugar
- Brown sugar: I used light brown sugar, but any will do. (Learn about the differences in brown sugar right here.)
- Natural peanut butter: the drippy kind that contains only peanuts.
- Eggs: 2 of ‘em.
- Vanilla extract
- Gluten free flour: I use a homemade blend (get the recipe here). If you want to use another blend, give it a try but the texture of your cookies may not be the same.
- Baking powder
- Xanthan gum: if you’re using a different gluten free flour blend that contains xanthan gum, omit it from the recipe.
If you need to change the recipe because of dietary restrictions or taste preferences, here are a few suggestions on how to do that...
- To make the recipe dairy free: use dairy free butter. If it’s already salted, omit the additional salt from the recipe.
- To make the recipe vegan: use dairy free butter and two flax eggs (2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed and 6 tablespoons of water - let it sit for 5-10 minutes).
- Don’t like/have peanut butter: there are so many different nut and seed butters you can use instead of peanut butter. Almond butter is a good choice, so is sunflower seed butter.
- Gluten free flour options: I used a homemade blend, but if you have a preferred blend that you use - feel free to give it a whirl! The texture may not be the same, though, as gluten free flours can be wildly different in composition. If the blend you are using contains xanthan gum, omit it from the recipe.
Why these aren't flourless cookies
The internet is filled with flourless peanut butter cookie recipes, but this isn’t one of them.
In order to get a light, cakey texture in these cookies, flour and baking powder are essential. Together they create a moist, delicate crumb. No heavy, dense peanut butter cookies around here!
This recipe uses a gluten free flour blend of white rice flour, tapioca starch and sorghum flour. Be sure to check out the linked recipe as there are lots of substitutions for the flours that go into that mixture.
You can always use your preferred blend of gluten free flour, but the texture may not be the same.
Is peanut butter gluten free?
If you’re on a strict gluten free diet and wondering if peanut butter is gluten free - check out this post.
Coles notes: peanuts are naturally gluten free, but things can get tricky when it comes to manufacturing and packaging peanut butter.
What type of peanut butter to use
There are so many types of peanut butter on the market. Which one should you choose? I tested this recipe with natural peanut butter. The only ingredient: dry roasted peanuts.
Natural peanut butter will separate when it sits for a while. The oils will rise to the top, which means you have to mix every time you use it. It’s worth it, though. Nothing compares to the taste of natural peanut butter!
Classic peanut butters made by Skippy, Jif and Kraft contain peanuts, but they also contain lots of other ingredients like sugars, oils and other preservatives. These “extras” are mainly to change the taste (why, I’m not sure) and prevent separation of the oils.
It appears Skippy, Jif and Kraft all make natural versions of peanut butter. Choose those products for this recipe - you won’t regret it.
For other brands of natural peanut butters that are safe on a gluten free diet, check out this post.
How to make gluten free peanut butter cookies
This cookie recipe is so easy. One bowl is all you need!
In your favorite large bowl, combine the unsalted butter & sugars. Use a spatula, electric mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment and mix until it’s pale and fluffy. Next, add in the natural peanut butter, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix well until everything is combined.
Into the same bowl (oh yes!) add the gluten free flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Mix the dough until it’s fully incorporated, smooth, and there are no lumps.
The dough is super sticky, so it needs some time in the fridge to chill. Wrap the top of the bowl in plastic and pop in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
After chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drop tablespoon-sized amounts of dough onto the cookie sheet about 1-2” (2.5-5cm) apart. They will puff up and spread beautifully!
Bake cookies for about 10 minutes, until they are golden and edges slightly crisp. They’ll be super soft, so carefully transfer them to a rack to cool off.
But there's no criss-cross on these cookies!
I know, I know, classic peanut butter cookies have a criss-cross pattern on the top. These ones don’t. Why is that?
Traditionally, a fork is used to add the classic marks on the top of peanut butter cookies and this serves two purposes:
- Peanut butter is a dense ingredient. Flattening them with a fork and applying the criss-cross ensures that the cookies bake evenly.
- It looks really cool.
This gluten free peanut butter cookie recipe doesn’t need any criss-crosses, because the texture of the cookies isn’t dense. (Despite using a full cup of PB in here!) They’ll bake evenly without flattening and have a soft, fluffy texture.
Keep cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Can you freeze peanut butter cookies?
You bet! Freeze these gluten free peanut butter cookies in a freezer bag or wrap them tightly and pop them into an airtight container. They’ll be good for a few months.
Anyone else like to make a big batch and then use the frozen cookies as secret snacks? I always hide them under the vegetables where no one in my house seems to look…
Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies
- ½ cup (110g) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup (110g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (80g) brown sugar, packed
- 1 cup (260g) natural peanut butter
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup (120g) gluten free flour (see note)
- 1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (2g) xanthan gum (if using a commercially available gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum, omit this from the recipe)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, mix the unsalted butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until fluffy. You can use a spatula, electric mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment.
- Add the natural peanut butter, eggs and vanilla extract. Mix well.
- To the same bowl, add gluten free flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt. Mix thoroughly until no lumps remain. The dough will be very sticky.
- Place plastic wrap over the bowl and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
- After chilling, preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop tablespoons of dough (approximately 20g) onto the cookie sheet, 1-2” (2.5-5cm) apart.
- Bake cookies for about 10 minutes, until they are golden and edges slightly crisp.
- Carefully transfer cookies to a cooling rack. They will still be soft, but will firm up once cooled.
- Gluten free flour: I used a blend of 50% white rice flour, 30% tapioca starch, and 20% sorghum flour. You can blend your own by following this recipe: Gluten Free Flour Blend (All Purpose). Another blend can be used; however, results may not be the same.
- To make this recipe dairy free: use dairy free butter. (Omit the additional salt if dairy free butter is already salted.)
- To make this recipe vegan: use dairy free butter and 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed and 6 tablespoons of water - let it sit for 5-10 minutes).
- Storage: store in an airtight container at room temperature or the fridge for up to 5 days. For longer term storage, freeze in a freezer bag or airtight container.