No-bake PB&J Thumbprint Cookies (vegan with paleo / nut-free options)

These no-bake peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies are naturally vegan with a paleo and nut-free option. Thanks to Bob’s Red Mill for making today’s post possible!

I used to hate natural peanut butter. The flavor was never as strong or as tasty as with the junky commercial kind or the “natural” variety with added fat and sugar (that I don’t consider natural at all).

And I’m still not happy with it in peanut butter cookies. I’ve tried at least a dozen different grain-free peanut butter cookie recipes and although I enjoyed the dough, I was always disappointed with the outcome.

No-bake PB&J Thumbprint Cookies (vegan, grain-free, gluten-free with a paleo and nut-free option – please click through to the recipe to see the dietary friendly options)

Then I realized I was being dumb and that I could just not bake the dough! So here we are. No-bake peanut butter “cookies” with lots of peanut buttery taste! And because it’s summer and I’m feeling fruity, I added some raspberry jam to turn them into thumbprint cookies.

For the paleo and nut-free alternative, you can use unsweetened sunflower seed butter (the kind with just seeds and salt – no added sugar of fat!). Just like in my healthier peanut butter fudge recipe, I had to add additional sugar that the peanut butter version didn’t need.

And in this recipe, I also had to reduce the amount of sunflower seed butter (down to 2/3 cup from 3/4) and add extra coconut flour. It was just too greasy without it.

No-bake PB&J Thumbprint Cookies (vegan, grain-free, and gluten-free with a paleo and nut-free option – please click through to the recipe to see the dietary friendly options

I tried a cashew butter version but that didn’t work out at all. If you want to try using another nut butter other than peanut butter or sunflower seed butter, be prepared to experiment. :)

And is often the case with nut butter + coconut oil no-bake treats, you’ve got to keep these refrigerated or frozen. You can still at least pick up the peanut butter version when kept at room temperature but the same isn’t true of the sunflower seed version.

Like I mentioned in my perfect paleo chocolate chip cookies post, flour brands can vary a lot. I used Bob’s Red Mill super-fine blanched almond flour and coconut flour in the recipe listed below but I also tested it with a random German brand, just to see if there’d be any difference.

No-bake PB&J Thumbprint Cookies (vegan, gluten-free, grain-free with a paleo and nut-free option – please click through to the recipe to see the dietary friendly options

I did in fact have to use more flour in that version because the flour was less finely ground and was therefore less absorbent. So check out the Bob’s Red Mill website for some $1 coupons and save yourself the frustration of experimenting. :D

By the way, have you seen that they now carry paleo baking flour?! I can’t wait to get my hands on some of that!

Thanks again to Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring today’s post. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. If you’re not already familiar with Bob’s Red Mill, they have a huge selection of gluten-free flours you should check out! They also have loads of organic flours that don’t cost that much more than the conventional kind. I can’t afford to buy all organic food but Bob’s Red Mill makes the decision to go organic easy when it comes to flour. :)

No-bake PB&J Thumbprint Cookies (vegan with paleo / nut-free options)

Rated 5.0 by 3 readers
No-bake PB&J Thumbprint Cookies (vegan with paleo / nut-free options)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 18-22 cookies


  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp (224 grams) natural peanut butter or 2/3 (171 grams) sunflower seed butter1
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • if using sunflower seed butter: add 1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons coconut sugar in addition to the maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) blanched almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon (8 grams) coconut flour if using peanut butter or up to 2 tablespoons (16 grams) if using sunflower seed butter
  • a pinch of salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons raspberry, strawberry or another jam of choice


  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the nut / seed butter, maple syrup, coconut sugar (if using sunflower seed butter), coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Add the almond flour, coconut flour2 and salt and stir until combined. If it's too soft to roll into balls, place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes. If you used sunflower seed butter, you'll likely need to do this.
  2. Roll into 20-gram balls (about 1") and place on a parchment-lined plate. Create an indentation with the back of a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon (or create whatever size indentation you'd like).
  3. Fill each with 1/2 teaspoon jam (or however much you'd like).
  4. Refrigerate for about 2 hours until firm and then serve. These need to be kept refrigerated or frozen.


  1. Use the kind with just salt and peanuts or sunflower seeds.
  2. If using sunflower seed, add 1 tablespoon to start with and add the rest, if needed, once everything is combined. It should be almost firm enough to roll into balls.
  • For the nut-free + peanut-free version using sunflower seed butter, use 6 tablespoons (48 grams) - 1/2 cup (64 grams) coconut flour in place of the listed almond flour + coconut flour. You may also want to add a little more coconut sugar. Start off with 6 tablespoons and add a little coconut flour at a time until it's almost thick enough to roll into balls.

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40 comments on “No-bake PB&J Thumbprint Cookies (vegan with paleo / nut-free options)” — Add one!

  • Florencia
    November 16, 2020 @ 6:20 pm

    HELLO :)
    These look great, can’t wait to try them!
    I was wondering how much time can i keep them in the freezer and in the fridge.
    Hope I get a reply from you,

    • Erin replies to Florencia
      November 17, 2020 @ 1:58 pm

      Hello! You could refrigerate them for a week or freeze them for several months. :)

      • Florencia replies to Erin
        November 17, 2020 @ 2:28 pm

        Thanks! Do you happen to have the nutritional info of this recipe uploaded somewhere?

  • Miranda
    July 7, 2016 @ 6:44 pm

    No bake cookies are so nice! Don’t have to wait around for them to bake. Looks tasty!

    • Erin replies to Miranda
      July 14, 2016 @ 7:11 pm

      Exactly! Thanks for your comment. :)

  • Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen says
    July 6, 2016 @ 2:23 pm

    These look beyond wonderful, Erin!

  • Rose @ Half Her Size says
    July 4, 2016 @ 5:17 am

    These sound super yummy! My kids (and I) would gobble them up. I love using Bob’s Red Mill grains they are so consistent so my recipes always turn out.

    • Erin replies to Rose @ Half Her Size
      July 4, 2016 @ 8:35 pm

      Same here! I’m super exact when baking so I am all about consistency. :) Thanks for your comment!

  • Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction says
    July 1, 2016 @ 3:32 pm

    I love experimenting with different no bake cookies this time of year! Can’t wait to try these!

  • Laura says
    June 30, 2016 @ 11:22 pm

    I LOVE natural peanut butter! But you’re so right…there are certain recipes that don’t turn out right unless Jiff or Skippy is used! :) These look awesome!! Love that they’re no-bake so I don’t have to turn my oven on to make them!

  • Michelle @ Blackberry Babe says
    June 29, 2016 @ 8:38 pm

    I just love thumbprint cookies! They always make me think of Christmas growing up. These are particularly beautiful!

  • Karly says
    June 28, 2016 @ 3:15 pm

    Oh my goodness, what a perfect summer treat. Love that these are no bake!!

    • Erin replies to Karly
      June 28, 2016 @ 6:04 pm

      Thank you, Karly!

  • TidyMom says
    June 28, 2016 @ 2:55 pm

    I can’t get enough no-bake recipes this time of year!! the cookies sound fantastic!!

  • Demeter | Beaming Baker says
    June 28, 2016 @ 2:14 pm

    Erin, I loved hearing about your trial and error process with natural PB. Natural is definitely a completely different… thing. Lol. For the record, you were SO not being dumb! No bake is kinda the coolest part of vegan baking though, right? Oftentimes, when I’m working on a cookie recipe, I’ll save a scoop to put in the fridge/freezer to try as a no bake dough. And there I was thinking I was crazy. Lesson for both of us: be less hard on ourselves. Haha. Meanwhile, these thumbprint cookies look simply perfect. :)

    • Erin replies to Demeter | Beaming Baker
      June 28, 2016 @ 6:03 pm

      I love your idea of saving some of the dough to try as a no-bake treat! I actually wanted to bake some eggless macaroons recently and liked the dough so much that I just posted them as balls. :D Thanks so much for your comment!

  • Amanda | The Chunky Chef says
    June 28, 2016 @ 3:31 am

    These look so cute and tasty!! My daughter LOVES sunflower seed butter, so I’ll have to try them with that :)

  • Jen Schall says
    June 28, 2016 @ 2:54 am

    Those are lovely! I don’t think they would last long at my house… And, conveniently, I have all of the ingredients on hand! Can’t wait to give them a try!

    • Erin replies to Jen Schall
      June 28, 2016 @ 6:01 pm

      Woohoo! Let me know how you like them. :)

  • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet says
    June 28, 2016 @ 1:54 am

    These sound terrific! Love the maple syrup, almond flour and coconut oil…yeah, pretty much everything! :)

  • Kacey @ The Cookie Writer says
    June 28, 2016 @ 1:53 am

    I am so excited to try these! There were foods I used to dislike because I felt they were missing sugar or sweets or just something, but I am slowly enjoying the homemade route (and natural peanut butter is delicious!)

    • Erin replies to Kacey @ The Cookie Writer
      June 28, 2016 @ 6:01 pm

      Yay! I hope you’ll enjoy them. :) And that’s so awesome that you’re starting to like the homemade versions of things!

  • Florentina
    June 28, 2016 @ 1:05 am

    I have never made this cookies before, but now I’m motivated as I also have the best apricot jam from my mom. Yummy!

    • Erin replies to Florentina
      June 28, 2016 @ 6:00 pm

      Oh, yummy! Let me know how they are with apricot jam. :)

  • Renee - Kudos Kitchen says
    June 28, 2016 @ 12:49 am

    Awesome recipe. I can almost taste them just by looking at them. I love that they’re no-bake, have a huge peanut butter flavor, and that you added the jam for that final touch!

  • JulieD says
    June 27, 2016 @ 7:16 pm

    I love that these are no bake! Lovely!

  • Peabody (SweetReciPEAs) says
    June 27, 2016 @ 6:33 pm

    I love all things Bob’s Red Mill. Loving these cookies using alternative flours.

  • Emily @ Life on Food says
    June 27, 2016 @ 3:38 pm

    Saving this for the next batch of heat we are going to get later in the week. Love no bake in the summer.

  • Rachel @ Rachel Cooks says
    June 27, 2016 @ 1:06 pm

    These look so good, I love that they are no bake! I’m probably missing something obvious, but for the nut-free version, what replaces the almond flour?


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