Paleo Peanut Butter Cookies (vegan option, dairy-free)

These paleo peanut butter cookies use sunflower seed butter and have a crisp edge and chewy center! With a vegan option. Includes a video.

Is peanut butter paleo? Unfortunately not. These cookies don’t actually use peanut butter but they taste similar to peanut butter cookies! As close as you’re going to get without any actual peanut butter.

These paleo peanut butter cookies use sunflower seed butter and have a crisp edge and chewy center! With a vegan option. An amazing paleo cookie recipe!

I used unsweetened sunflower seed butter, which is a fantastic sub for peanut butter. I used it in this healthy peanut butter and jelly fudge and this chocolate peanut butter fudge for the paleo version (both are vegan) and the sunflower seed version is really just as delicious as the peanut butter one.

You’re probably not going to fool your kids into thinking these are made with peanut butter, though. Thought I should give you that warning. :)

These paleo peanut butter cookies use sunflower seed butter and have a crisp edge and chewy center! With a vegan option.</em>

Even if you think you don’t like sunflower seed butter (some people think it’s a bit bitter), I bet you’ll love these paleo “peanut butter” cookies! Believe me – there’s enough sweetener in there to take care of any bitterness issues!

I will say that the strength of the sunflower seed taste depends on your sunflower seed butter. I use homemade sunflower seed and on those days when I accidentally toast the sunflower seeds a little too long and they’ve started to brown, the sunflower seed taste in the cookies is naturally stronger.

If your paleo peanut butter cookies turn green or have some green spots, don’t panic! It could happen (though I haven’t had that issue). It’s a normal reaction between the chlorophyll in the sunflower seeds and the baking soda. It doesn’t change the taste and they haven’t gone bad!

I read in the SunButter FAQ that a splash of lemon juice helps. So that’s what I’ve done! So far, no green cookies. :)

These paleo peanut butter cookies use sunflower seed butter and have a crisp edge and chewy center! Has a vegan option.</em></p>

I also read that reducing the baking soda helps but I tried that and these cookies need the full amount of baking soda.

Want to make these as vegan peanut butter cookies? A chia egg works great!

Something else I did to transform my paleo chocolate chip cookies into these paleo peanut butter cookies was to add another tablespoon of coconut flour. Sunflower seed butter is a little runnier than almond butter and you could see it by looking at the dough.

Or is that just my homemade sunflower seed butter? I’ve made different variations of these cookies over 100 times and every time, the sunflower version comes out very wet – at least until you chill the dough very well!

Paleo peanut butter cookies that use sunflower seed butter and have a crisp edge and chewy center! With a vegan option.</em></p>

Using different sweeteners

I’ve gotten SO many questions about using maple syrup or honey in place of the coconut sugar in my chocolate chip cookie recipe. I’ve tried it loads of times and just don’t like the result.

You unfortunately can’t sub a liquid sweetener for a granulated one and not reduce the liquid. The problem with my recipe is that there’s no liquid to reduce! More liquid in a recipe = more cakey, which is definitely not how I like my cookies.

I experimented with just using the yolk, adding more flour, and stuff like that but nothing worked.

So the same goes for this paleo peanut butter cookies recipe – you have to use a granulated sweetener unless you want to totally change the texture of the cookies. When you sub in a liquid sweetener, these cookies will taste like a healthy cookie.

Want to use peanut butter?

And as for using actual peanut butter in these cookies, I still haven’t had success with that. I’ve had loads of people tell me in the original recipe that they used it with success, but I really wonder if they first tried the almond butter version.

These paleo peanut butter cookies use sunflower seed butter and yield a soft and chewy cookie! Includes a vegan option.</em></p>

Every single time I’ve tried, the resulting cookie texture is definitely different. The peanut butter ones are cakey and don’t have the awesome texture and they don’t taste very peanut buttery. I actually prefer these sunflower seed butter cookies over the real peanut butter version!

By the way, I used Nordic Ware’s Insulted Baking Sheet, which I featured in this paleo “oatmeal” cookies post. I’ve used this pan a lot recently and love it!

Until I master a grain-free peanut butter cookie, you can always make my vegan chickpea cookies! They’re like ooey gooey peanut butter cookie dough when eaten straight out of the oven. :D

Click here to view, comment or share the video on Facebook! Thank you. :)

Paleo Peanut Butter Cookies (vegan option, grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)

Rated 5.0 by 3 readers
Paleo Peanut Butter Cookies (vegan option, dairy-free)
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Ready in:
  • Yield: 8 huge bakery-style cookies or 16 regular-sized cookies


  • 1 cup (100 grams) blanched almond flour
  • 5 tablespoons (40 grams) coconut flour, sifted if lumpy
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt (or 1/4 teaspoon if using salted sunflower seed butter)
  • 6 tablespoons (84 grams) coconut oil or unsalted butter, room temperature (if your coconut oil is a little soft, put it in the fridge for about 10-20 minutes or until firmer, like softened butter. If you use very soft coconut oil, the dough will be greasy and the chocolate chips will be hard to incorporate.)
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) coconut sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (98 grams) salted natural sunflower seed butter (the kind with just sunflower seeds in it and no added fat / sugar), room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice, if desired, to prevent cookies from possibly turning green
  • 1 large egg (50 grams, out of shell), room temperature or 1 chia egg for vegan
  • 1 1/4 cups (213 grams) semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided (use dairy-free / vegan / paleo chocolate), if desired)


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer or using a stand mixer, beat together the fat, sunflower seed butter and sugar for about 1 minute.
  3. Beat in the vanilla and egg or chia egg on low and mix until well incorporated. Stir in the lemon juice and then the flour mixture until well combined. Then stir in 1 cup (170 grams) chocolate chips. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap (I form a flat disc so it chills quicker) and chill for about 4 hours or until firm. If you're in a hurry, press into a very flat disc or two and freeze for about 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 °F (175 °C) and line a baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  5. Roll the dough into 8 (75-gram) balls, press down very slightly, and place the remaining 1/4 cup (43 grams) of chocolate chips on the top and on the sides of the dough balls. You can also roll them into smaller balls but then you need to adjust the baking time. Place 4" apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 13-17 minutes or until the surface of the center of the cookies no longer appears wet. They'll be very soft but will continue to cook as they sit on the cookie sheet.
  7. Let cool completely on the baking sheet. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Don't be alarmed if there are green spots in the cookies – this could happen (see post for more details).


  • For paleo: use coconut oil, and paleo chocolate.
  • For dairy-free: use coconut oil and dairy-free chocolate.
  • For vegan: use coconut oil, vegan chocolate and a chia egg.

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31 comments on “Paleo Peanut Butter Cookies (vegan option, dairy-free)” — Add one!

4 comments are awaiting moderation!

  • Holly
    January 9, 2021 @ 10:05 pm

    Hey Erin, happy new year! I can’t believe I haven’t tried this cookie yet but I really haven’t. All the cookies I’ve made from you so far that are in this category have contained almond butter. We love sun better so I can’t wait to try these. Do you think these could be doubled successfully? Thanks in advance.

    • Erin replies to Holly
      January 12, 2021 @ 6:54 am

      Hi Holly! Happy new year to you, too! :) Yes, I’m pretty sure you can double them without issue. I’ve doubled several of the other perfect paleo chocolate chip cookie adaptations without a problem. :) I hope that you’ll enjoy them!

      • Holly
        replies to Erin
        January 12, 2021 @ 9:03 pm

        OMGosh, these are soooo amazing! They’re chewy, gooey, crispy, just sweet/salty enough and downright addictive! Every time I make one of your recipes I think it’s the best one yet but the next one is even better.

        • Erin replies to Holly
          June 13, 2021 @ 1:25 pm

          Well, darn! I just saw this one was still unanswered when I searched for your name to find your other comment that I just replied to (I knew you had left feedback on a review but couldn’t remember which). I’m so happy that you enjoyed the cookies! And even happier that you think so many of the recipes are so tasty. :D Thanks for your comment!

  • Kate says
    January 8, 2021 @ 2:25 am

    Can you use earth balance instead of coconut oil?

    • Erin replies to Kate
      January 8, 2021 @ 7:03 am

      I haven’t tried it but believe that would work fine!

  • Lucy says
    August 16, 2020 @ 12:59 am

    Hi! I have made these cookies twice, and they are delicious! I have however, had problems with the texture. They were very cakey and crumbly, though I didn’t use any sweetener. I didn’t think that would make much difference, but do you think that’s what the problem is? Thank you for the recipe!

    • Erin replies to Lucy
      August 16, 2020 @ 6:00 am

      Hello! You’re welcome for the recipe. :) So you completely omitted the 3/4 cup of coconut sugar? Then yes, that’s definitely the problem! Sugar is a binder – it holds baked goods together. If you reduce the sweetener, they become cakier. You could maybe reduce it to 1/2 cup coconut sugar, but even with reducing it that much, the cookies will be much cakier and not chewy. But I think they’d still hold together.

  • Deb says
    February 20, 2018 @ 11:05 pm

    Just baked these fabulous cookies! I’m a recent Paleo convert and I couldn’t be happier or more surprised at the great depth of flavor as well as the chewy texture of these cookies. Thank you for making me very happy that flavor and texture are not something I have to give up to bake healthy :)

    • Erin replies to Deb
      February 23, 2018 @ 8:16 pm

      You’re welcome! I’m happy that you found this cookie early on in your paleo days and that you won’t have to miss regular cookies. :) Thanks for your comment!

  • Colleen says
    November 7, 2017 @ 9:10 pm

    Can’t stop making these as they are AMAZING! My son refers to them as, “cookie bombs”! I’ve tried several of your cookie recipes & love them all! Keeping me Paleo. Thank you!!

    • Erin replies to Colleen
      November 8, 2017 @ 7:47 pm

      I’m so happy that you and your son have been enjoying the cookie recipes! Thanks a bunch for your comment. :)

  • Ginny says
    October 1, 2017 @ 1:49 pm

    Can I use a sugar substitute such as Splenda? Would it be measured the same ?

    • Erin replies to Ginny
      October 1, 2017 @ 5:12 pm

      I’ve unfortunately never used Splenda so I have no idea. Does it give you some guidelines on how to use it on the bag? Like use it cup for cup in place of sugar? Sorry I can’t give you a better answer!

  • Kam says
    September 26, 2017 @ 2:20 am

    Just tried these cookies and they were fantastic!! Really surprised and how cookie-like they came out for being vegan and gluten free. I used peanut butter, chia egg and enjoy life chocolate chips (dairy and egg allergy) and they’re soooo good! Thanks for a great recipe!

    • Erin replies to Kam
      September 27, 2017 @ 7:16 pm

      You’re welcome! :) I’m so happy that they came out well with peanut butter and a chia egg. Thanks a bunch for your comment!

  • Bev Gorlach says
    September 15, 2017 @ 8:04 pm

    If you want them to taste more peanut buttery add some toasted sesame oil; that’s what I did and they were yummy (I eat Paleo so that works for me). These were very good and def will make again! I love your recipes, Erin, including the Paleo apple crisp which I’ve made twice so far!

    • Erin replies to Bev Gorlach
      September 17, 2017 @ 7:37 pm

      Ooh! That sounds interesting. I’ll have to try that! Thanks so much for the tip. :) And I’m happy you liked the cookies and the crisp!

  • Cindy
    September 9, 2017 @ 6:06 am

    It’s unanimous in my household. These are the BEST COOKIES EVER!!! I can’t wait to try the almond butter version for when I want a “regular” chocolate chip cookie.
    I am hoping these turn green (I didn’t use the lemon juice), as my kids think that’s pretty cool (and so do I!).
    I did flatten them with my hand before baking… wasn’t sure if I was supposed to do this or not. I used a 1.5 Tbsp cookie scoop and it made 23 cookies. Baked for 10 min.
    Thanks for an awesome recipe!! Wish I could give it 10 stars!

    • Erin replies to Cindy
      September 9, 2017 @ 9:22 pm

      Haha. Good luck with them going green! I made SO many of these cookies while working on the recipe that they were stashed in tupperware here and there and I found a box just yesterday. And they had gone quite green! But they didn’t taste very fresh. ;) Thanks a ton for your feedback! I’m thrilled you liked them so much. :)

  • Katherine Petty says
    September 7, 2017 @ 3:47 pm

    I made these with almond butter instead of sunflower (I happened to have some in the larder that needed using up) & they are AMAZING! I omitted the lemon juice, otherwise followed the rest of the recipe verbatim (unlike me!) & so pleased to have the tastiest Paleo cookie ever! I tried some in a ball & some in a flattened ball as they didn’t spread much at all, either way taste was great. Thanks!

    • Erin replies to Katherine Petty
      September 9, 2017 @ 9:17 pm

      Yay! So happy that you liked them. :) I love these with almond butter, too! Thanks a bunch for your comment. :)

  • Jessica | Novice Chef says
    August 31, 2017 @ 3:07 am

    I was just turned on to sunflower butter! Definitely need try this!

  • Diana says
    August 29, 2017 @ 11:55 pm

    Can I substitute the sunflower seeds with something else?

    • Erin replies to Diana
      August 30, 2017 @ 7:27 am

      Check out the last section of the post concerning peanut butter and if you want to use almond butter, just make the original recipe I based this recipe on – paleo chocolate chip cookies.

  • Catalina @ Peas & Peonies says
    August 29, 2017 @ 5:50 pm

    Can’t believe that these cookie are vegan!

  • carrie @ frugal foodie mama says
    August 29, 2017 @ 2:53 pm

    I have never tried sunflower seed butter before! :) And these cookies look perfect.

  • Katerina @ diethood .com says
    August 29, 2017 @ 11:37 am

    I LOVE these cookies!! They sound amazing!

  • Jen says
    August 29, 2017 @ 5:52 am

    What a great looking cookie! Peanut butter or not, I’d eat them all!!

  • Julia Mueller says
    August 28, 2017 @ 8:30 pm

    Ohhhh momma my face is watering! I love sunflower seed butter, and am super anxious to try these! I think I’m looking at my next addiction! ;)

  • Allyson Zea says
    August 28, 2017 @ 8:03 pm

    These look like the perfect cookies!! YUM!


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