Vegan Peanut Butter Date-Sweetened Cookies

date sweetened peanut butter cookies on a pan

I’m on a roll with the date-sweetened desserts. Since many people are already loving the date-sweetened brownie recipe I posted last week, I thought I’d try my hand at sweetening another favorite dessert with dates: peanut butter cookies.

You know those super-easy peanut butter cookie recipes that call for only three ingredients? Usually it’s something like 1 cup of sugar + 1 cup of peanut butter + 1 egg. I’ve made that recipe numerous times using coconut sugar and a vegan egg, so it got me thinking… what if I substituted one cup of dates for the one cup of sugar? Could it be that easy??

peanut butter cookie dough in food processor

The simple answer is, yes. It’s that easy.

This recipe is one of the easiest and healthiest cookie recipes I’ve ever made. It calls for slightly more than 3 ingredients because I wanted to add a splash of vanilla for flavor, and a touch of baking soda and vinegar to help them rise, but they still have a short ingredient list and quick preparation.

These cookies are also:

  • Flourless!
  • Gluten-free and grain-free
  • Date-sweetened with no added sugar
  • Dairy-free
  • Egg-free
  • Vegan
  • Paleo-friendly, if you use a different nut butter
  • Moist and delicious

They’ve passed my picky 3-year-old’s taste test with flying colors, so I hope you’ll love them, too.

date sweetened peanut butter cookie split in half

4.89 from 9 votes
Print
Vegan Peanut Butter Date-Sweetened Cookies
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
13 mins
Total Time
23 mins
 

NUT/SEED/DRIED FRUIT  |  Gluten-free, Egg-free, Soy-free, Dairy-free

A healthy cookie recipe naturally sweetened with only dates. They are moist and delicious! 

Course: Dessert
Servings: 20 cookies
Calories: 99 kcal
Author: Detoxinista.com
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Medjool dates , pitted (8 ounces)
  • 1 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds , ground
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • Coarse sea salt (optional; for topping)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. 

  2. In a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the dates until crumbly. (It's okay if a ball forms, too.)

  3. Add in the peanut butter, ground flax, water, vanilla, baking soda, and vinegar. Process until a sticky, uniform batter is created. Be careful not to over-process the mixture, as the peanut butter will release excess oil when over-mixed, and that will make the batter feel very oily to work with. (Don't worry if this happens, though-- the cookies still turn out totally fine!)

  4. Use a heaping tablespoon to scoop the dough into your hands, then roll the dough into a ball between the palms of your hands. Repeat with the remaining batter, making about 20 balls. Place each ball onto the baking sheet about an inch apart, then use your hands to gently flatten each ball into a cookie shape. Sprinkle a bit of coarse sea salt over each cookie, if desired, then bake until the edges of the cookies start to feel dry, about 13 to 15 minutes. (The cookies will still feel fragile at this point, but that's okay.) The longer you bake the cookies the more firm they will be, so at 13 minutes of baking you'll have a soft, almost under-baked middle (which is how I love them!) and at 15 minutes they will be a little more firm and brown around the edges. I imagine you could bake them up to 20 minutes without burning them, if you want a cookie that is even more firm, but my family likes our cookies to be soft and tender in the middles.

  5. Allow the cookies to cool completely before removing them from the baking sheet and serving. Leftover cookies can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. (The cookies will soften if you leave them out on the counter overnight, so chilling them is best for texture and shelf life.) 

hand holding date sweetened peanut butter cookie

Substitution Notes:

  • I imagine these cookies could be made using any nut butter you love, so if you want to use almond butter or sunflower seed butter (for a nut-free cookie!) go for it. Beware the sunflower seed butter + baking soda can produce a green-colored cookie due to a chemical reaction, so don’t be startled by that if you make the substitution. (It’s still totally safe to eat!)
  • I haven’t tested this recipe using date paste yet, but I would guess you could replace the dates with 1 cup of date paste with similar results. (Maybe omit the extra water in the recipe?)
  • If you don’t need this recipe to be vegan, I think you could swap a real egg for the “flax egg.” Simply omit the flax seeds and water and use a real egg instead.
  • As always, please leave a comment below if you try making any modifications to this recipe so we can all benefit from your experience.

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite type of cookie? My dad’s favorite is Oatmeal Raisin, so I’m thinking of tackling a date-sweetened version for Father’s Day!

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Comments

Kathleen Casey

These were so good. I added 5 stevia-sweetened chocolate chips on top of each cookie, and this was unnecessary decadence, but very nice when you have them around. I baked them the first time for 20 minutes because I love a well-done cookie, but yes, 14 minutes turned out to be tastier even for me. Also, I later made a version with almond butter and added 1/2 tsp almond extract to the recipe, and my roommate and I liked them even a bit more. Such a great recipe! I’m so grateful to have something so delicious that’s truly healthy, not to mention easy. Also, if you don’t have medjool dates, adding another tablespoon of water to compensate for the dryness of the dates worked well for me.

Macy @ Paleo Crumbs

I love how simple + delicious these cookies look! Must try these! ?

Audra

LOVED these! My son has FPIES (food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome), and can’t have dairy, soy, wheat, oats, bananas or avocados. It’s hard to find fun treats for a 3 year old with those cut out. He LOVED these! I need to figure out the cooking time exactly with my oven, because mine burned a little on the bottom after 13 minutes. They still tasted great and we’ve been fighting over them the last few days. 🙂 Thanks!! 3 year old boy approved!

    Megan Gilmore

    I’m so glad your son was able to enjoy these cookies! My 3-year-old son and I fight over them, too. 😉

Nicole

The ingredients are quite healthy. Ill be trying this recipe out.

Sandra

This look great. I was actually craving cookies for breakfast this morning. Then I look at my email and see this post. The Universe always has a way of answering us. I look forward to giving these a try this weekend or tonight.

Gina

Can apples be used in Place of flax? Thank you 😊

    Megan Gilmore

    I don’t think apples would bind the cookies as well as flax or chia seeds would, but let us know if you try it!

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