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Small Batch Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies

by on December 29, 2007 · 48 comments

Here’s another small batch vegan cookie. I came up with this recipe yesterday after making molasses cookies. Since this was highly experimental, I made a very small batch – 8 cookies. If you like the recipe, you might want to double it.

If you are not a vegan but like using natural ingredients, honey is a good substitute for the corn syrup. In fact, I made my first batch with honey and loved the flavor. For the vegan version, I changed it to corn syrup. Brown rice syrup or molasses might work too.

Peanut Butter Cookies

I used Smart Balance natural peanut butter because it has added Omega 3’s. Other natural peanut butters should work. Regular peanut butter would probably work, but the cookies might be too sweet so I can’t say for sure.

One last thing. For the flour, I used Eagle Mills Ultragrain, but you could use unbleached all purpose instead.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cookies (Makes 8 cookies)

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoons flour (70 grams) – lightly spooned, evenly swept
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (2.5 ml)
1/8 teaspoon salt (.6 ml)
1/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar (48 grams)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (30 ml)
1 tablespoon light corn/glucose syrup or honey (15 ml) — (honey’s not  vegan, though)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (1.25 ml)
1 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce (15 ml)
1/4 cup natural style peanut butter (64 grams)
Sparkly sugar or turbinado sugar for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F or 165 degrees C.

In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt.

In a second bowl, mix brown sugar, vegetable oil, corn syrup (or honey), vanilla, apple sauce and natural peanut butter. Stir until smooth.

Add flour mixture to brown sugar mixture and stir until mixed. Form dough into 8 equal pieces and shape pieces into balls. Press down slightly to make neat mounds. Place the 8 mounds about 2 1/2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet and sprinkle tops with sparkly sugar or use a fork and press a criss-cross pattern on top of each cookie. These don’t spread much, so if you don’t press the criss-cross, make sure you shape the cookies neatly.

Bake for 15 minutes. Let cool for 3 minute on sheet, then transfer to wire rack to cool.

Makes 8 cookies

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Published on December 29, 2007

{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurel December 29, 2007 at 1:03 pm

I just want to say thank you, Anna. I tried several of your cookie recipes last week before Christmas and every one was terrific! I guess that’s why I check this blog daily to see what you’ve discovered next and tried.

Happy New Year.


Cakespy December 29, 2007 at 1:37 pm

Ooh, I love the small batch idea. Since it’s just Mr. Cakespy and myself, a lot of the time we can’t go through them fast enough. Nice idea! And these look really good!

Average Jane Crafter December 29, 2007 at 1:58 pm

AK mentioned these and said they were YUMMY! The picture looks fantastic! Yay new camera!

Anna December 29, 2007 at 2:11 pm

Hi Laurel,

Did you have a particular favorite?

Cakespy, I really liked these, but would love to get a second opinion. They are very, very easy to make, so let me know if you throw together a batch.

AJC, AK and Fuzz both loved version one. This is actually version 2 — it’s slightly more peanut buttery. I’ll send you version one if you want to make it for AK. I think the girls liked version one better because it was more sugar cookie-esqe and less peanut buttery. This version is pretty peanut buttery. Thanks for commenting on the picture.

Laurel December 29, 2007 at 7:10 pm

Hmmmm….I think the caramel macchiato. They’re different and delicious.


meredith December 29, 2007 at 7:23 pm

Anna — do you like the Smart Balance pb? I found it VERY, VERY oily, even when I tried to stir it up. ‘Course, when I tried to remedy the situation by skimming off the excess oil, I found myself with a jar of [totally inedible] peanut butter concrete. I ended up throwing out almost 1/2 a jar (and kicking myself as I did so).
Regardless, I’ll definitely try these cookies, most likely w/ Skippy or Jif that I have on the shelf. Like Cakespy, I, too, love the “small batches”, since it’s just hubby and me. Made 1/2 a batch of the Gourmet Double-Chocolate Biscotti today, subbing a mix of chocolate-covered almonds and espresso beans for the walnuts (allergic) and chocolate chips. Yummy!

Anna December 29, 2007 at 7:50 pm

Laurel, those were really good. I wish they had been my idea!

Meredith, the oil doesn’t bother me. The peanut butter has added Omega 3’s (from flax) so I figure whatever oil that’s floating around on top is good for me.

jennywenny January 19, 2008 at 7:01 pm

Mmm these are great. Thanks for the recipe, I made them last night and they were yummy. A perfect snack for a really hard bike ride, they got me up all the hills!

Katherine April 23, 2008 at 8:33 am

I was looking for a vegan peanut butter cookie recipe and I came across this one. And I’m so glad! I just made them and they’re awesome. I’ve already ate two! I’m bringing the rest to my boyfriend at lunch.
I’ll definately make them again, and try your other recipes too.
Thank you!

Jessica August 4, 2008 at 10:39 pm

Oh my gosh! I just have to say, I tried that recipe yesterday, and I’ve already eaten almost half the batch (on my own!). I did make some modifications – I had hazelnut butter in lieu of peanut butter and added in organic semi-sweet chocolate chips. When I measured out the flour it “spilled over” so the dough was a bit dry. I added a bit of soy milk to moisten it up, and the end result was the SOFTEST & FLUFFIEST cookies I’ve ever eaten OR made! I just had to say thanks for the base recipe and let you know how my modifications turned out! Can’t wait to check out the other recipes…

Anna August 5, 2008 at 7:07 am

Jessica, I rarely have hazelnut butter around, but I might buy some (or make some) just to try your version of the cookies. Thanks for trying it with a different type nut butter.

That’s what’s so fun about these small batch recipes. You can alter them, play with them, and experiement all you want without wasting too many (if any) ingredients.

Monique March 22, 2009 at 2:03 am

Thank you for this recipe! Super delicious. I was inspired and in my second batch I added some cinnamon, a spoonful of almond meal and oat flour. A bit crumbly (but I enjoy them that way).

Mishelle May 13, 2009 at 7:38 pm

Loved these cookies…The only thing I changed was trading the olis for coconut butter. It turned out perfect.

Anna May 13, 2009 at 7:46 pm

Hi Mishelle,

Thanks for trying to cookies! I’ll have to buy some coconut oil so I can try your version.

LESLEY August 21, 2009 at 5:25 pm


Anna August 21, 2009 at 5:50 pm


Seah September 23, 2009 at 6:46 pm

Thank you sooooo much for the recipe!! It was the best peanut butter bikkies ever!!
My partner normally doesnt enjoy my bikkies that much cause I always try to make healthier version :D but these bikkies turned out wonderfully (chewy and just the right taste) and less guilty :) Thanks again! i am gonna bake them today again!!

George January 3, 2010 at 12:07 pm


Thanks for posting the recipe. I’m wondering what the texture of the cookies is suppose to be? Like is it suppose to be chewy and moist or something else? I tried this recipe exactly as stated except minus the apple sauce (I don’t have any) and the cookies came out very dry. The texture is kinda like this dusty/sandy type of texture. Do you know what I might be doing wrong? Thanks

Anna January 3, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Hi George,

My guess is your problem was due to the omission of applesauce and some sort of flour issue. Either you used too much (packed the cups) or used a brand that’s heavier. If you weighed out the flour and used 70 grams, then it was probably something else like the brand of peanut butter.

The cookies are naturally a little dry (but not in an unpleasant way) and crumbly. So it sounds like you just needed a little more moisture added to the dough (applesauce).

George January 3, 2010 at 1:39 pm

Thanks for responding. I used King Arthur All-Purpose Flour and Whole Foods 365 Peanut Butter (the type with peanut bits in them). I actually tried the recipe twice, in the second time, I increased the peanut butter to half a cup, thinking the recipe might need more fat. That only slightly helped the texture of the cookies. The cookies are still on the dry side, like if I bite into them, pieces would fall off. I will get apple sauce and give it a go again.

George January 3, 2010 at 1:41 pm

Also, I am not a vegan, just a vegetarian that wants to avoid using butter as called for in most peanut butter cookie recipes. I am wondering if adding an egg help? And if so, would it make a difference if I used egg whites or a full egg with the yolk. Thanks again.

Anna January 3, 2010 at 1:54 pm

George, if these cookies aren’t for you, here are a couple of others you may like better. Here’s a link to one of my favorites. It’s a wheat free peanut butter cookie with chocolate chips and it’s very moist and not too crumbly. If you have some oats and rice in the house, you can just grind them in a coffee grinder to make the flour.

Another good peanut butter recipe is the old flourless variety. It’s not vegan, but it doesn’t have any butter either.

If you want to keep playing with this recipe by adding egg, you might try beating an egg in a cup then adding in about 2 tablespoons of the beaten egg. I think the applesauce was supposed to be a stand-in for egg anyway.

Also, I’ve found increasing the peanut butter can make a cookie even more dry and crumbly. If you find the original too dry, you might want to keep the peanut butter the same, but increase the oil slightly. Then again, if you’re going to add egg you shouldn’t have too.

George January 3, 2010 at 2:13 pm


I really appreciate your responses. It helps out a newbie like me quite a lot. I love the taste of the original recipe, I’m just trying to figure out how to get it to the right texture. I’ll definitely try the apple sauce and see how it goes. Thanks again.

Melissa April 24, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Yummy but I think my regular peanut butter that already had honey flavor was just over powering it. And I also find them to be dry too as George did. Hmmm I did use applesauce but wondering if egg would help too make them more chewy. Next time I’ll use the corn syrup with this peanut butter because its just a tad more honey flavor than peanut butter.

Heather - Dollar Store Crafts May 11, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I happened upon your recipe via a Google search, but happy to see some of my friends have commented! I’ll be trying your recipe soon.

Dayton Jones May 25, 2010 at 1:11 am

These looks really good, but if they have honey in them, then they are not vegan. Also, if they have refined sugar in them, then they are again, not vegan. Refined sugar goes through an animal bone char, yum.

Anna May 25, 2010 at 7:01 am

Dayton, I knew about the honey but wasn’t sure about the refined sugar. Does brown sugar go through animal bone char as well? I’ll research that. Thanks for the heads up!

Jerry June 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm

Great recipe! I doubled the batch and used molasses instead of corn syrup and organic peanut butter. I threw an apple in the Blendtec to make the apple sauce. Made the whole batch in about 30 minutes. Very moist and just sweet enough. Just what I was craving! This one’s a keeper. Thanks!

Julie July 7, 2010 at 3:45 pm

These look delicious! I’ve been looking for a tasty vegan peanut butter cookie recipe and this one looks the best.

As for the question about sugar, some people say refined sugar is ok for vegan diets because none of the bone residue gets in the sugar during the refining process; some disagree, however. I recently started using Sugar in the Raw to replace refined sugar. Their website indicates that they are indeed kosher and ok for vegan diets. They mention that a lot of brown sugars are just refined sugars with added color and flavor. Here’s their website for more info:

Anyway, can’t wait to try the cookies! :)

Julie July 8, 2010 at 7:25 am


here’s another sugar brand that I used yesterday (I used the brown sugar for the recipe). They don’t use animal byproducts when making their sugar and it is ok for vegan diets, as well.

Cookies were delicious!

Anna July 8, 2010 at 7:34 am

Julie, thanks! I’ve actually used that sugar before and it’s great. I’ve been reading up on the bone residue issue. It sounds like it’s controversial even among vegans, but to be safe I think I’m going to use sugar in the raw next time I bake for actual vegans.

Mary August 1, 2010 at 10:13 pm

This is my first time visiting your blog. I was searching for a good vegan pb cookie for a good friend who just had a baby. Her new diet (for breastfeeding) is dairy free among many other restrictions. I wanted to make her a sweet treat for when she returned home from the hospital. After reading about 20 different recipes I decided on yours based on the ingredients and comments.

I have to say, they came out delicious! I ended up making a double batch for my friend (she loved them and ate two immediately), then an additional batch for my husband and I (neither of us are vegan).
The flavor is all there and more.
Thanks for the recipe. I’m now bookmarking your blog and can’t wait to try more recipes!

Rochelle December 23, 2010 at 11:27 am

I just tried these cookies and they came together quick and were easy to make. I used honey. Mine baked in twelve minutes instead of the fifteen and I’m sure that’s because of my oven. Some of your readers might want to try beet sugar which is another healthy choice. Thanks again.

Shelly March 21, 2011 at 5:55 pm

Thanks for the recipe! I changed it up a bit and used dark brown sugar, molasses instead of apple sauce, and added water for moisture. Also, added raisins. Very yummy! Thanks much!

Steve July 5, 2011 at 11:00 pm

Epic, I’m no Vegan, but I was hungry, had nothing to eat really, and found I could make tasty healthy cookies!


Lindsay August 2, 2011 at 12:11 pm

These are so good :) I add dairy-free chocolate chips when I make them. :) I’m about to make some!

CHELLY September 3, 2011 at 11:59 am

I made a few changes used an even 1/2 cup of whole wheat pastry flour don’t like to use sugar so substituted 3 small packets of stevia used olive oil for the oil and sun butter for the peanut butter instead of honey used agave everything else was the same
baked on parchment paper done in 14 min

came out so wonderful
thanks for the inspiration

Fadgirl October 1, 2011 at 11:16 am

Wow! These are so quick and easy to make; my house smells delicious too! Thank you for the recipe, I just made a small batch (perfect for me and hubby) substituting apple juice for apple saolden and using golden syrup and chunky peanut butter. They’re gorgeous and soooo quick, perfect for a vegan snack and hubby approves too (even though he’s an omnivore, eugh!).
Thanks again, look forward to trying some of your other recipes soon.

Colleen October 2, 2011 at 1:17 am

These were so easy to make for a late-night craving! I didn’t have any applesauce on hand, so I substituted 1 tbsp smoothly mashed banana, and they came out just fine. Since I’m vegan, I opted for the golden/corn syrup, and it worked well. I also used chunky natural PB instead of smooth, since that’s how I’ve always made my cookies.

Eating one now with a glass of chocolate almond milk as I type… thank you!

Anna October 2, 2011 at 8:11 am

Thanks for the review, Colleen!

Kait October 26, 2011 at 9:22 pm

These look great, I can’t wait to try them, do you think I can sub pure maple syrup for the corn syrup, I am not a big fan of corn syrup?

Did you find that these cookies were more cake like or chewy?

Anna October 27, 2011 at 7:30 am

Kat, I’d say they’re crumbly/chewy rather than cake-like. I think maple syrup would work well.

Molly November 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Delicious! Love the small batch size. I used a little less brown sugar b/c I only had no-stir pb (which has some sugar in it). I also used about 1/2tsp extra canola oil and 1/2tsb maple syrup in substitution for the corn syrup. Thanks for the recipe!

Susie November 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Hello! I happened upon this recipe via Google & I really loved the fact that the recipe only yields 8 cookies. I have never made peanut butter cookies, so again, a small batch was perfect to test out the recipe & see if I would like it or not. I loved it though! I am a vegetarian, so I used the honey & I only had applesauce sweetened with Splenda, so I went ahead & used that & the cookies were so good! I’ll definitely be adding this recipe to my recipe book & look forward to trying out more recipes.

Anna November 26, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Thanks for the info and the review, Susie! I’m glad you liked the small batch recipe.

Kelly January 22, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Thank you for this recipe!! Since becoming Vegan I have made some very “vegan” tasting desserts. These are AMAZING vegan or not! Such a great treat without breaking my Vegan commitment :) My whole fam loves them :)

Amalie March 26, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Pure awesomness! I sub’ed the oil for coconut oil and used agave sweetener. I haven’t tried the final result but I can tell you I loved the raw dough! I’m thankful that there are only 8 cookies as I will probably have to eat them all. :)

Amalie March 26, 2012 at 8:48 pm

BTW…the cookies were even better than the dough! Thank you!!!

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