Make the best gluten-free peanut butter cookies that will rival any cookie recipe out there! These old fashioned chewy treats utilizes easy gluten-free baking tips for crispy edges with a glorious gooey, soft centers.
are peanut butter cookies gluten free?
Traditional, old fashioned peanut butter cookies, like the ones you grew up with, are made with wheat flour, so they are not safe for a gluten-free diet.
However there are many peanut butter gluten free cookie recipes that taste just as good as the soft and chewy treats you once knew!
The gluten free peanut butter cookie recipe shared below is made with gluten free flour for an old fashioned taste. They are quick and easy to make and require no speciality ingredients except for gluten-free flour (just like all the recipes shared in my gluten-free cookbook!)
However, there are many other gluten-free peanut butter cookie recipes to enjoy, such as almond flour peanut butter cookies, peanut butter cookie sandwiches (copycat Do-Si-Dos), monster cookies, or flourless chocolate chip cookies.
- Peanut Butter – Use creamy peanut butter, such as Skippy or Jif brand, which are both certified GF. I don’t recommend using natural peanut butter, which will make the cookies dry and crumbly. I have not tested it with an alternative nut butter, such as almond butter.
- Sugar – A combination of granulated sugar and brown sugar adds structure and chewiness
- Butter – The butter is melted to coat the gluten-free starches, eliminating grittiness. For dairy-free gluten-free cookies, use vegan butter sticks.
- All Purpose Gluten-Free Flour – I use and highly recommend Cup4Cup gluten-free flour for this recipe. For more information on why and suggested alternatives, see the gluten-free flour section.
how to make gluten-free peanut butter cookies
(Below shows step-by-step photos and modified instructions. For the complete recipe, along with ingredient amounts, scroll down to the recipe card.)
- Begin by lining baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. You may also use ungreased cookie sheets.
- In a large bowl beat together the peanut butter, light brown sugar, sugar, and slightly warm melted butter. Add the egg and vanilla extract and stir until smooth.
- Blend in the gluten-free flour, baking soda and salt until no flour pockets remain. The dough with be shiny and soft.
- Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- Use a medium cookie scoop (equivalent to 2 tablespoons) to scoop dough balls quickly and evenly. For perfectly round cookies, roll the balls in your hands before distributing 9 per baking pan.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown and the tops just set and start to crack. For chewy cookies be sure to not over bake.
- Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.
How to Prevent grittiness in gluten free cookieS
Although gluten-free flour blends are easy to work with, there is a trade off. Especially when it comes to gluten-free cookies, they have a tendency to yield gritty or sandy results. Fortunately this unpleasant texture can be easily combated by following these simple gluten-free baking tips!
- Quality gluten-free flour – There are variety to choose from, so how do you know which is best? For gluten-free cookie recipes I highly recommend Cup4Cup GF flour which has the least gritty texture. (Scroll down for alternative recommendations.)
- Chilling cookie dough – I continually experiment with this because if it’s possible to save a step, I’m all about it! However, the peanut butter cookie dough that rested for 30 minutes yielded a softer cookie with no hints of grittiness. The extra rest time gives a chance for the butter to fully coat and hydrate the starches.
- Baking temperature – Cookies usually bake at 350ºF, but I find using a lower temperature melds the flavors more, further assists in softening starches, and yields a chewier cookie.
recommended gluten free flour
All gluten-free flour blends contain xanthan gum, so it will not be necessary to add with the dry ingredients. If your preferred mix does not contain it, add 1/4 teaspoon.
I’ve done a lot of testing with gluten-free flours and how they affect different baking recipes. I look for what replicates the original recipe best and how easy they are to work with. You can see the results and conclusions from those experiments in my best gluten-free flour guide.
As far as cookie recipes, I prefer how Cup4Cup performs because the added cornstarch gives a nice boost of chewiness and the grittiness is less detectable. My runner up is King Arthur Measure-for-Measure, which also works as a dairy-free alternative.
Add-ins and Modifications
Of course these cookies are the best just how they are! If you would like to add your own unique flavors to peanut butter cookie dough, try one of the following modifications!
- Sprinkle on flaky sea salt before baking
- Mix in chopped peanuts or roll the cookie ball tops in crushed peanuts before baking.
- Stir in 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- After the cookies have baked and cooled, dip half in melted chocolate.
- Use a small cookie scoop to portion out smaller cookies. Once they come from the oven place an unwrapped Hershey Kiss in the middle to make gluten-free peanut butter blossoms.
I have not tried making peanut butter cookies using dairy-free, plant based butter, but a lot of readers have had success with substituting vegan butter sticks, such as Earth Balance, in other gluten-free cookie recipes.
Please note, my recommended gluten-free flour, Cup4Cup, does contain milk powder so use King Arthur Measure-for-Measure alternatively.
storing and freezing tips
Once the cookies have fully cooled, store in an airtight container up to 2 days. I don’t recommend longer than that because GF cookies lose moisture quickly.
This recipe for gluten-free peanut butter cookies may be frozen baked or unbaked. To freeze unbaked, portion out the dough on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer the unbaked cookies to an airtight freezer container and freeze up to 3 months.
When ready to bake, place the dough about 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets and bake for 1-2 minutes longer.
To freeze baked cookies, make sure they have cooled completely and the chocolate chips have hardened. Wrap the cookies in stacks of 2-3 and then transfer to an airtight freezer container up to 3 months.
more gluten free peanut butter desserts
SAVE THIS gluten-free peanut butter cookies recipe TO YOUR PINTEREST BOARD!
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Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies (Soft & Chewy)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter not natural
- 8 tablespoons melted butter slightly warm
- 1 cup light brown sugar packed
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cup gluten free all purpose flour Cup4Cup brand recommended
- Begin by lining baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. You may also use ungreased cookie sheets as well.
- In a large bowl beat together the peanut butter, butter, light brown sugar, and sugar until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix again until smooth.1 cup creamy peanut butter,8 tablespoons melted butter,1 cup light brown sugar,¾ cup granulated sugar,2 large eggs,1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Blend in the baking soda and salt on low speed. Add the gluten-free flour and mix again until no flour pockets remain. The dough with be shiny and soft.1 teaspoon baking soda,½ teaspoon salt,1 ¾ cup gluten free all purpose flour
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 325ºF.
- Use a medium cookie scoop (equivalent to 2 tablespoons) to scoop large dough balls. For perfectly round cookies, roll the balls evenly in your hands before distributing 9 per baking pan.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, rotating pans halfway through, or until the tops are just set and start to crack. Be sure to not overbake. Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack.
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