3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

These genius 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies are magic! Just a handful of ingredients make one dreamy flourless cookie.

3 ingredient peanut butter cookies

Here’s a baking trick every home cook needs…3 ingredient peanut butter cookies! Sometimes baking takes lots of ingredients, time, and mess…but not here! This genius combination of three ingredients makes for the most peanut butter-y, chewy, sweet and salty flourless cookies you’ll have. Really. It seems unbelievable, but it makes this recipe perfect for whipping up on moments notice and ideal for baking with kids. Alex and I took one bite and the flavor tasted larger than life! And it’s got the ideal chewy texture: pretty much our perfect PB cookie.

What you need for 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies

This magic trick is not something we invented: it’s been floating around the internet for a while. But it’s absolutely worth trying. We’ve put our own little spin on it, but it’s so simple it’s almost impossible to change. Here’s what you need for these 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies:

  • Peanut butter: We prefer all natural peanut butter with no added sugar or salt. But you can use any brand you have on hand!
  • Brown sugar: Brown sugar adds a nice nuance in flavor. If you prefer granulated sugar or that’s all you have on hand, you can use it. Coconut sugar also works!
  • Egg: All you need is 1 egg as a binder. For vegan, use a flax egg.
Flourless peanut butter cookies

Yes, they’re flourless peanut butter cookies!

There are lots of traditional cookie ingredients missing…like flour! These are flourless peanut butter cookies, meaning they’re also naturally gluten-free. This makes them a great option for eaters of different diet preferences. These cookies are so good, no one will know there’s no flour or butter! It can be our little secret.

Dough texture depends on the peanut butter brand

Here’s one thing to note about these 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies! The dough consistency depends on the peanut butter brand. Here’s what to know:

  • Very creamy peanut butter can make a sticky dough. Peanut butter brand textures can vary, from super creamy to more dense and thick. The dough can turn out very sticky with an oilier peanut butter, but don’t’ worry: it still works!
  • Oil your hands to help roll the dough. Our favorite peanut butter brand makes for a sticky dough. All you have to do is lightly oil your hands to help rolling the peanut butter dough balls. Do your best, and they’ll still come out great.
3 ingredient peanut butter cookies

Optional additional ingredients!

If you’re like us…you don’t mind bending the rules now and then. If you’re ok to think outside the box, you can add 1 or 2 more ingredients to step up these cookies. Don’t worry, they’re still the easiest cookies you’ll ever make! Here are two easy ideas:

  • Top with flaky sea salt. Just a hint of flaky sea salt makes the perfect salty sweet cookie. Plus it just looks cute.
  • Add vanilla (if desired). If you want, you can add a sophisticated flavor with 1 teaspoon vanilla in the dough. But it’s absolutely not necessary!

Vegan variation

Do you eat plant-based? It’s easy to make these cookies vegan. Simply substitute the egg with a flax egg. A flax egg is ground flax seed mixed with water. Let it sit for 15 minutes and it forms a gel-like substance you can use as a binder in vegan baked goods. It works well in muffins, quick breads, and cookies.

Flourless peanut butter cookies

Variations: almond butter and more

A fun thing about these 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies…you can make them with any type of nut butter! Switch up the nut butter and you have a whole new type of cookie. Here are some great options:

Also try: all our favorite peanut butter recipes!

Storage for 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies

Last up: storage info! These 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies hold up well in storage. They’re naturally soft and chewy, and they last well at room temperature. Here’s what to know:

  • Store at room temperature in a cookie tin for up to 1 week.
  • Freeze for up to 3 months. To freeze, cool to room temperature. Then wrap tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
Flourless peanut butter cookies

These 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies are…

Vegetarian and gluten free. For vegan, plant-based, and dairy-free, use a flax egg.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
3 ingredient peanut butter cookies

*Best* 3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (15 votes, average: 4.40 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 12 to 13 cookies 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

These genius 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies are magic! Just a handful of ingredients make one dreamy flourless cookie.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 large egg (or flax egg for vegan)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter*
  • 1 cup light brown sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • Optional: flaky sea salt for topping, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (add with the sugar)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the egg, then whisk in the peanut butter and brown sugar until a smooth dough forms. Chill for 15 minutes.
  3. Make 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls (using a size 40 cookie scoop, if you have it) and place them onto the 2 baking sheets, 5 cookies per sheet and evenly spaced about 2-inches apart. Roll the balls between your hands to make them as spherical as possible: if the dough is very sticky, lightly oil your hands to make it easier to roll*. 
  4. Use a lightly oiled fork to flatten the balls and make a criss-cross pattern (it’s helpful to dip the fork into a small bowl of water before each one to prevent sticking).
  5. Top the cookies with a small sprinkle of flaky salt if desired (oops, 4th ingredient!).
  6. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned on the bottom but still soft. Cool completely before eating. Store at room temperature in a cookie tin for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 3 months.

Notes

*The consistency of the dough will vary based on the peanut butter brand. A thinner, creamier peanut butter will yield a stickier dough. 

  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: 3 ingredient peanut butter cookies, flourless peanut butter cookies

Love baking? We’ve got lots of ideas for you. Here are some more great cookie recipes:

Subscribe for free weekly recipes & more!

About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.

5 Comments

  • Reply
    Kris
    December 10, 2020 at 8:47 pm

    Hi! Love your recipes and your cookbook!
    Assume that you meant oven temp to be 350 for these PB cookies, not 35? :)

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      December 10, 2020 at 10:55 pm

      You are correct! Fixed thank you!

  • Reply
    Breann
    December 11, 2020 at 10:32 am

    Hi! Any way to make these lower glycemic and reduce the brown sugar? Could monk fruit sweetener, agave syrup, or maple syrup be a substitute in any way? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Alex Overhiser
      December 11, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      They are already very sticky so I don’t think that would work in this recipe. Sorry!

    • Reply
      Sonja Overhiser
      December 11, 2020 at 1:47 pm

      Hi there! You can use any alternate solid sugar: liquid sweeteners would make the dough too thin! We haven’t worked with monk fruit sweetener, but from a little research seems like it could work? Let us know!

    Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.