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Easy Peanut Butter Cookies (No Brown Sugar)

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These easy Peanut Butter Cookies are gluten free and require only 4 simple ingredients (and no brown sugar!) Plus, they take only 15 minutes from mixing bowl to snack time! 

hand holding half a peanut butter cookie

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I’m not sure if you’ve realized this, but I’m a little bit of a peanut butter fiend…I mean behind Oreos it’s my biggest craving! (I recently combined those two when I made those PB dirt cake trifles, remember?!) So it’s crazy to me that I hadn’t yet shared this easy peanut butter cookie recipe here on the blog before now!

This is not only one of my favorite fast treats to make, but it’s also my go-to cookie recipe when making for my gluten-free family and friends. This recipe also doesn’t need brown sugar, regular old granulated sugar works perfectly here!

Why I love this recipe

These cookies are exactly the recipe you need when you get a crazy peanut butter craving because they only require 4 ingredients. I can almost guarantee you that you already have them all in your kitchen right now, they don’t even need brown sugar like many other recipes.) And they cook up in just ten minutes so you can go from hungry to warm cookies in 15 minutes total.


  • peanut butter
  • egg
  • vanilla extract
  • granulated sugar

Step by step

peanut butter cookie dough rolled into balls on cookie sheet
  1. Preheat oven and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or nonstick spray, see FAQs below)
  2. Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  3. For prettier cookies, refrigerate cookie dough for 1-2 hours, then roll into 1 inch balls. If you just want the cookie to taste amazing and don’t care how they look, use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough without doing the refrigerating step. Place on the baking sheet.
fork pressing into peanut butter cookie dough
  1. Spray a fork with nonstick spray and press down twice on the top of each cookie to create that classic crosshatch.
  2. Bake for 10-12 minutes and enjoy!


  • If you are gifting these cookies or super concerned about them looking “perfect” I recommend chilling the dough for about an hour and then rolling into balls before putting that classic fork crosshatch impression as they’ll have a little bit better-finished appearance. If its just taste you are after, don’t bother.
  • Spray the tines of the fork with nonstick spray before making the criss-cross pattern to prevent the peanut butter cookie dough from sticking.


Can I use crunchy peanut butter?

Yes! I love making these cookies with crunchy peanut butter or creamy peanut butter. Just like on your PB&J, it’s simply a matter of texture preference.

Can these be made with natural peanut butter?

Natural peanut butter tends to be oiler than regular causing it to spread during cooking. Depending on the brand, it also may not contain salt. It can really vary brand to brand, for this reason I recommend using regular peanut butter.

Why do you make these cookies without brown sugar?

While many peanut butter cookie recipes call for brown sugar, I stumbled upon my version years ago when I didn’t have any on hand and used granulated sugar instead. The result was less chewy, which I prefer in a PB cookie! If you substitute brown sugar, it is a 1:1 substitute and you will have a chewier, softer cookie result.

How should they be stored?

Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 7 days.

Can I make these ahead and freeze them?

Yes! This recipe is perfect for freezing either before or after baking the cookies.
To freeze baked cookies simply store in a freezer safe container with parchment paper between layers of cookies to prevent sticking. Store up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature. You can also bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes to give them a just-out-of-the-oven taste!
To freeze cookies before baking, refrigerate the dough for 2 hours, then roll into balls. Place the balls on a baking sheet and allow to freeze for 1-2 hours, then transfer to a freezer safe container with parchment paper in between layers. Bake from frozen by extending the baking time 3-4 minutes or thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bake as directed below.

Can I use almond butter or cashew butter in this recipe?

According to Cooks Illustrated, it is not advisable to use almond butter or cashew. butter in cookie recipes as they are not a good substitute for the peanut butter flavor.

Why do peanut butter cookies have the crosshatch?

The classic criss-cross pattern fork marks are thought to help flatten the cookie to have it cook more evenly. The first reference to making the criss-cross pattern with the tines of a fork was in a 1936 Pillsbury cookbook.

Why do you say to use parchment paper on the cookie sheet when baking?

Not only does parchment paper make cleanup easier, it also helps the cookie bottoms to brown more slowly and evenly. If you don’t have parchment paper you can use nonstick spray and watch your cookies carefully to make sure the bottoms don’t get overdone.
For a full explanation of how parchment paper affects the baking time of cookies, see this informative article.

Ready? Get your cookie on!

If you’re looking for easy cookie recipes, here are four more you might also like!

If you try this recipe, please comment and rate it below, I love hearing from you!

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hand holding peanut butter cookie broken in half

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

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4.7 from 3 reviews


Easy, delicious 4 ingredient gluten free peanut butter cookies!


Units Scale
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with nonstick spray.
  2. In a bowl combine all ingredients.
  3. For prettier cookies, refrigerate dough for 1-2 hours, then roll into 1 inch balls. If you just want the cookie to taste amazing and don’t care how they look, use a cookie scoop to scoop the dough without doing the refrigerating step. Place on the baking sheet.
  4. If desired add the classic peanut butter cookie crosshatch by pressing a fork into the top of each cookie. *See note below
  5. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
  6. Cool on rack and enjoy!


Spray the fork with nonstick spray to prevent the dough sticking when you make the criss-cross shape.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 cookie
  • Calories: 100
  • Sugar: 9.5 g
  • Sodium: 48.9 mg
  • Fat: 5.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 10.8 g
  • Protein: 2.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 7.8 mg

*This post was updated with new pictures and video in October of 2020, originally published in August 2013.

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  1. Tasty cookie but much too sweet for me with 1 cup of sugar. If I make them again, I will use 1/2 cup instead.

  2. These are by far my most favorite gluten free cookie that I can eat. So easy to whip up & serve!! Being stuck in the house with this Coronavirus I thought I’ve got to do something!! Thankfully I had all ingredients in my pantry 😃💜💜

  3. Our nanny made these today. She used less sugar (we will probably try honey next time) and added about 2/3-1 cup of oatmeal/gluten free oatmeal. I’m not a huge peanut butter fanatic (I crave it sometimes but my toddler and husband are crazy about it) and these were just right for me. Sweet but not too sweet and indulgent enough to satisfy a craving. Dangerous to keep in the house!

  4. These look great and sound perfect for coffee fellowship at church, etc. I don’t mean to complicate things, but do you use an all-natural type peanut butter or one of the popular creamy or chunky types ( no-stir)? I’m eager to try them no matter which type! I’m sure they will get raves. Thanks for sharing this easy gluten-free recipe.

    1. Hi Nell, I use the run of the mill normal peanut butter and I’ve used both creamy and chunky and they both turn out wonderfully. I haven’t tried it with the all-natural types yet. Hope that helps! ~Melissa

  5. Currently making these for my grandparents for Christmas, I had made them for thanksgiving so that I could actually have a desert (celiac here) and they loved them. So simple

  6. I love peanut butter! I am a vegan and do not eat processed foods and cannot eat gluten. What can I use to replace the eggs? I have some unrefined sugar.

  7. Love a good simple recipe like this! I’ve been craving peanut butter cookies, but I know I’ll be the only one who eats them so I’ve been putting off making them. Now that I’ve seen these though, I’m pretty sure I’m going to cave. 🙂

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