These Peanut Butter Date Cookies have all the flavor you love, without using any flour or refined sugar. They are naturally sweetened with dates, and taste like the perfect peanut butter cookie.
This recipe is inspired by my 4-ingredient peanut butter cookies, only this time we’re using dates instead of coconut sugar as the sweetener. And I’ve kept this recipe vegan by using a flax egg!
The result is a perfectly sweet peanut butter cookie, with a chewy, tender middle.
Why You’ll Love Them
These date cookies are some of the easiest and healthiest cookies I’ve ever made. This recipe 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:
- Gluten-free and grain-free
- Date-sweetened with no added sugar
- 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 Cookies
- 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)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.
- In a large food processor fitted with an "S" blade, process the dates until crumbly. (It's okay if a ball forms, too.)
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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!
Questions and Reviews
These are delicious and comforting. Any suggestions or modifications for high altitude?
Maybe this resource will help? https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/resources/high-altitude-baking
You mention that the peanut butter releases oil when overmixed, but I was wondering if you’re working with natural peanut butter (with the oil on top) or regular (cohesive and drier). Some recipes specifically mention not working out well with the natural one because of the oil, so it would be great clarify this in your recipe.
I always use natural peanut butter, so I haven’t tested this recipe with the processed versions.
Just an added tip here, but chilling the dough will help minimize the cracks in your cookies if you want. Also, since I’m not completely clear on the texture, do these cookies end up completely hard or a little soft?
I used one duck egg in this recipe in place of the flax egg and it worked perfectly! I still sprinkled some flax in just for fun though! I was also a little shy on dates (5.5oz) so I added a couple oz of maple syrup. I will def make these again!
What about using date syrup? How much u think?
I haven’t experimented with date syrup enough to know how to use it as a swap. Please let me know if you experiment with it!
Are these crunchy or chewy?
They are soft, not really crunchy unless you leave them in the oven longer.
I tried to make this recipe twice, both times it was delicious but so crumbly- each cookie just crumbles with the first bite… any ideas why?
I soaked my mejool dates in hot water first before blending. It did make the dough sticky to work with but made for the most moist, soft cookies!
Delicious and simple recipe! I baked at 350 for 12 minutes. Then I turned off my oven and cracked the oven door open and let the cookies sit in the oven for about 10 more minutes to crisp them up. This allowed the whole cookie to get a crispy/chewy texture instead of having such a high contrast of crispy and soft textures.
Second time making this recipe! Perfect every time. Thank you!
These are AWESOME! I’m in the middle of a 21 day sugar cut (processed and refined)and these the spot for my sweet tooth. Thank you for introducing me to the all natural sweetness of dates! Even my hubby and 13 month old loved them!
Today I was craving almond butter cookies, but I wanted to make a lighter cookie. I came across your recipe and I must say your recipe is outstanding! It was exactly what I was looking for, using healthier, natural ingredients like dates in place of sugar. I was surprised that the recipe didn’t call for flour. I used decaf coffee instead of water, and soaked chia seeds in place of eggs for additional health benefits. Everything else in the recipe I followed, I used medjool dates, and I also baked the cookies for 13 minutes at 350 degrees F. They came out slightly crispy on the top and edges, and the middle of the cookie was so soft. I’d describe this cookie as a “brownie, Fudgy” like type of texture. This was an absolutely delicious cookie, I’m so happy I found your recipe, thank you for sharing.
Great recipe! Very happy with results.
Can I sub acv for regular vinegar?
This may be a very silly question, but… Do you think you could use sultanas rather than dates?
I think that’s worth experimenting with! It might change the flavor slightly, but I’d love to hear if you try it.
I was out of flax seeds when I made this so I substituted almond meal, and the cookies came out great. Will be making these again soon (a double batch)!
AMAZING! I made these tonight and they turned out awesome – amazing texture and flavor. I really love the addition of the sea salt on top – it makes them extra special. I subbed the medjool dates for delget noor, and I used about half cup of peanut butter, 1/4 cup cashew butter and 1/4 tahini instead of all PB.
I’ll DEF be making these again – so easy and so good. Thank you for this recipe!
For vegan cookies, I’ll say they are better than I expected, but I’ll probably go back to using stevia as the dates are a very subtle sweetener here.
I weighed out 8oz of dates, which were literally spilling over the measuring cup. (zeroed out the scale after placing the measuring cup on it, before adding the dates. Added a couple of extra dates for good measure.)
Our tablespoons must be different sizes, (lol) because I was only able to get a scant 15 cookies instead of 20. (Certainly not a deal breaker- I just noticed the difference.)
The cookies baked up nicely, and I thought I’d take them out after 14 min, however, they were still incredibly soft, so I put them back in the oven after turning off the oven, to finish cooking in the residual heat. They came out quite a bit more brown, (understandable), but still soft. I was really looking forward to the traditional cookie texture, which I am finding as they are cooling. Perhaps noting that they crisp up after cooling might be stated in the directions, or tips.
Also, I did not notice any rising… they pretty much stayed where I place them and pressed them down.
Hear me say that THESE ARE GOOD COOKIES. *BUT* be aware that they will not be anywhere as sweet as you might be anticipating if you measure them against the traditional peanut butter cookie.
If I don’t have a food processor, would a blender work?
I am getting ready to try your recipe but I have a couple of questions. Can I use date syrup instead of whole dates? I read 1 Tbsp of syrup is equivalent to 1 date but have no idea how to convert that if you think it will work. Do you? Lastly is it possible to make this a peanut butter date bar instead of a cookie?
Best cookies ever. I like both but use almond butter more often than peanut butter. Add cinnamon. Replace flax with egg. These are so easy and delicious. I eat them all the time!
Yum and simple
I can have my PB cookie and eat it too!
I made them with almond butter and I think they´re really good but maybe I didn´t use enough dates. Not super sweet.
Hi, how much water do you use? It is not mentioned in the ingredients list. Thanks, Paula
oh sorry, it is,,,I will try your recipe now 🙂
Hi, I have another question. Is it safe to mix baking soda and apple cider vinegar? Isnt there a chemical reaction?
I almost always add vinegar to baking soda to help baked goods rise. Their reaction is what helps the rising process!
Title says Chocolate chip cookies. But once you click on it, it’s for the peanut butter date cookies
How strange! Which chocolate chip cookie recipe were you looking at? If you can let me know the main ingredients (like almond flour, or coconut flour) I can try to track it down for you. Your comment is on my Peanut Butter Date Cookie recipe, so I can’t figure out where the glitch is, but I’m happy to help with more info.
I made these cookies today,I was so excited to try them. They turned out great but I was interested in the date butter version because I make a lot of it. I also used the egg instead of flax. They both turned out great,the date butter version was a little softer. I do prefer the original recipe over the date butter,thank you so much for sharing!
I have made these 3 times… sadly, each time I end up eating 14 cookies the first day I make them.
Be warned, they are addicting.
This is a winner! Reduced ingredients by half and fit in my small food processor. Baked 14 minutes and they were the perfect texture. Way better than most “diet” cookies I’ve attempted. Definitely a keeper recipe!
I just made these and they turned out really good. I made your hemp milk recipe and threw the leftover pulp (which wasn’t much) into the dough. The cookies aren’t overly sweet but I don’t mind that. For my kids I put some chocolate chips on top of the second batch.
I love these cookies!!! They are soft and perfectly sweet with that great nutty flavor, perfect treat when you’re trying to limit sugar but just need a little something! The kids are huge fans too!
Love this recipe! Thanks so much for sharing.
Turned out really dark like molasses cookies. My husband (not a huge fan of substitution in baking) thought it tasted too obviously like dates. Since I was using older dates, I did soak them in boiling water for a few minutes. Maybe this recipe didn’t turn out because I messed it up, but I think the recipe would be better with some oat flour or something to give it another dimension beyond the dates and PB.
These were a hit with my kids and love that they don’t contain any cane sugar! Such a great “cookie” for snacks and school lunches.
This is awesome….a keeper. I used “Fix & Fog – everything butter”, & 1 TBS nut flour to replace the flax seed since it was already in the Fix & Fog.