Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies (5 Ingredients, Gluten-Free)

by Dorothy Reinhold on June 2, 2020

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Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies: Improbable as it seems, you can make an extremely delicious peanut butter cookie without any flour. With 5 simple ingredients, a gluten-free snack or dessert is only 20 minutes away.

Rediscovering an old recipe is like running into a long-lost friend, isn’t it? You’re so happy to meet up unexpectedly, and you wonder why you let the friendship lapse.

It was that way when I ran across this old recipe for a flourless peanut butter cookie. Some 30 years ago, back in the early ‘90s when I first heard about it, I made it as a lark, thinking a cookie without flour couldn’t possibly work as well or taste as good as one with.

Wrong and wrong. I recall making them numerous times back then, but of course, there are lots of recipes to try, and so little time, so I kept moving on to the next new thing.

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies with dots of dough on top, and sugarSo a decade ago when I ran across this recipe from my past, and immediately turned on the oven to make a batch, it struck me that in today’s world, this isn’t just a whimsical recipe, but one that might delight those who can’t eat flour, or those following a gluten-free diet.

It also might appeal to people who just plain don’t have any flour in the house, due to supply-line shortages or they simply ran out.

Today, the important factor in this recipe is what is missing from it.

How to make Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

It’s easy!

Orange-handled cookie scoop in the bowl with cookie doughStir the ingredients up in a mixing bowl. You can do this by hand, or very briefly with an electric mixer, your choice.

Cookies on parchment paper with an orange-handled cookie scoopLine a cookie sheet or baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone liner, for easy cleanup. Portion the dough out using a cookie scoop. I like to make them on the smallish side.

Woman's hand pressing fork tines into the top of peanut butter cookiesFlatten the cookies by pressing the top with the tines of a fork. This flattens and gives them a pattern. A crosshatch from fork tines is traditional, and signals to people that these are, in fact, peanut butter cookies!

Black spatula pressing down on cookies to make a patternYou could also use other kitchen implements to make patterns on the top. For example, a perforated spatula worked well for me!

The top of this Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie looks like a LegoDon’t they kind of look like the tops of Lego blocks?

Hand sprinkling sugar on top of peanut butter cookiesSprinkle the tops with coarse sugar crystals before baking.

Coarse sugar crystals decorates the top of a peanut butter cookieVoila…I present 5-Ingredient Gluten-Free Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies!

Whatever you call them, put a batch in the oven now. I challenge you to detect the missing flour.

5-ingredient Gluten-Free Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies on parchment paper

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies (5 Ingredients, Gluten-Free)

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Cook Time: 11 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 24-30 cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies (5 Ingredients, Gluten-Free)

Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies: Improbable as it seems, you can make an extremely delicious peanut butter cookie without any flour. With 5 simple ingredients, a gluten-free dessert is only 20 minutes away.


  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (Jif, Skippy or your favorite commercial brand work fine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Garnish: coarse sugar crystals (I often use raw washed sugar crystals)


  1. Heat oven to 350F degrees. Place parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on a baking sheet and set sheet aside.
  2. Using electric mixer, blend all ingredients (except sugar crystals for garnish) together for 1 minute or so.
  3. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to portion tablespoon-sized balls of dough, and place them on parchment-lined baking sheet. You could roll these into balls if you like, but it is not necessary if you want to skip that step. Press top of each cookie with fork tines twice crosswise to form a classic crosshatch pattern. Or you can use another kitchen tool to create a different pattern on top. The cookies won't spread too much.
  4. Sprinkle tops of unbaked cookies with coarse sugar crystals or additional granulated sugar if desired. (Yes, you should desire this.)
  5. Bake for 11 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on baking pan at least 5 minutes (they are fragile until cooled). Remove to a rack and cool completely.
  6. Store in an airtight container.
  7. Makes about 30 cookies about 2 1/2 inches in diameter each.
  9. --Mix some mini chocolate chips into the dough before baking.
  10. --Sprinkle colored sprinkles or jimmies on top before baking, instead of the coarse sugar.
  11. --Melt some chocolate and once the cookies have cooled, dip an edge of the cookies (like 1/3 of the cookie) into the chocolate, and allow to cool on a rack.


Recipe source: Dorothy Reinhold | Shockingly Delicious


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Cookies on a wire cooling rack

This recipe was originally published April 10, 2012 and has been refreshed and republished today.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Aimee Haywood May 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm

Oh my goodness! This is my first attempt at a gluten free cookie and I think I actually like it better than “normal” peanut butter cookies. DELISH! Thank you for sharing!


Gwen May 5, 2013 at 7:04 am

Oh my. I lost my recipe for gluten free pub cookies, so I googled it and found yours at the top. I am making them now, and perusing your site while they are in the oven. Great stuff on here! Time to bookmark you. Right after I have another cookie.


Dorothy Reinhold May 5, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Welcome! Although I don’t specialize in gluten-free recipes, I think you will find lots here that suits a GF kitchen!


Laurie February 27, 2013 at 2:11 pm

These are awesome!!! The only thing wrong with them, was I doubled the recipe expecting a double batch and it only made 45 cookies total. I even measured them out using a tsp to make sure I would have enough.

Just wanted to give everyone a FYI just in case they were planning on a certain amount.


Dorothy February 27, 2013 at 3:14 pm

So glad you love them!
My cookie scoop must be smaller than yours. I get exactly 32 cookies from a single batch, but I am making them small. I would rather eat 2 small cookies than 1 big cookie (it’s mental!).


Kelly February 1, 2013 at 9:37 am

I made these with Sunbutter because we have a peanut allergy in our family, and it worked out great. My peanut free kid won’t eat anything that smells or looks anything like peanut butter, but my other children loved these.


Dorothy February 1, 2013 at 9:38 am

Great to know it works with Sunbutter!


holly January 26, 2013 at 11:59 pm

I used ALMOND BUTTER and added a 1/2 cup finely chopped PECANS <3 soooooo yummy! thank you for the recipe!


Dorothy January 27, 2013 at 6:01 am

Great to know it works with almond butter! Love your tweak!


Mel January 24, 2013 at 6:27 am

The extra egg and leaving out the baking powder worked for me, and I used oil on the paper rather than marg so good for my dairy free Mother-in-law too.


Dorothy January 24, 2013 at 6:38 am

Sounds perfect!


Christienne December 15, 2012 at 7:13 am

Hi – thanks for the advice to check my oven temp- found out its at least 80degrees above what I set to! Our appliance repair guy will be making a visit ASAP so I can bake for the holidays without anxiety 😉 enjoy the season!


keri December 14, 2012 at 10:18 am

try adding 1 more egg to make it not be crumbly! 🙂


Christienne December 2, 2012 at 8:04 am

I tried my first batch – oven temp 350 cooking time 11 min – and they were all burnt! My 2nd batch I only let cook for 7:25 and they seem ok. Did I miss an instruction to lower temp somewhere?


Dorothy December 2, 2012 at 8:30 am

Sorry you burned your first batch. I have been told that oven calibration can vary by 25 degrees and still be considered correct (so, for example, your oven might run at 375 degrees and it would still be considered correctly calibrated for 350 degrees). If yours are correctly baked at roughly half the time of mine, obviously your oven is quite a bit hotter than mine! (Or perhaps it is a convection oven?). Hope you enjoyed the cookies once you got your timing adjusted.


Confused European October 22, 2012 at 3:41 am

Is it 350 degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius?


Dorothy October 22, 2012 at 4:06 pm

350 degrees Fahrenheit.


amber October 18, 2012 at 10:23 pm

just baked these for my bosses birthday, she’s always claiming how bland and dry gluten free baked goods are so i think these cookies are really going to hit the spot for her. thanks!


Dorothy October 19, 2012 at 7:03 am

So glad you thought of these as the solution!


Rob P. September 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Just tried these – the taste is great, but they are very crumbly, even after thorough cooling. I’m not sure what can be done about that absent flour though.


Dorothy September 29, 2012 at 12:12 am

Hmmmmm…did you cool them completely before taking off the baking sheet? Also, did you make them large or small? You might be able to see the smallish size I made mine, in context to the fork tines in the photo. I didn’t have a terrible crumbly problem, so I’m not sure what the issue might be for you. Hmmm…


facebook_jenna.richardson.773 October 30, 2012 at 4:36 am

The one thing I would wonder is if normal peanut butter was used when Rob made them. If some sort of natural pb or low fat pb is used, perhaps that accounts for a crumbly texture. Just a thought.

A number of years ago, I pulled a similar recipe from a Kraft magazine. The cookie part is only three ingredients: pb, sugar, and egg. Then a half dip in melted chocolate and chopped nuts. I’ve made them several times and they always go fast.


Dorothy October 30, 2012 at 10:45 am

You might be right!


Deanna Figueroa April 20, 2012 at 11:59 am

Love your blog! Nice variation on the older GF peanut butter cookies, will try it with the vanilla and cornstarch, thanks!


Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet April 10, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I’ve been in the mood for peanut butter cookies this week! These look yummy!


LiztheChef April 10, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Sounds incredibly taste-worthy!


Dorothy April 10, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Oh yes, you must try these! You won’t miss the flour.


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