If you love a good vegan cookie (who doesn't), and you're a peanut butter fan then these ultimate vegan peanut butter cup chocolate chip cookies are bound to hit the spot. Imagine them as Reese's cookies, but completely eggless and dairy-free. The recipe is loosely based on those tahini chocolate chip cookies that I posted the other week. 

This recipe includes an option for using both store-bought or homemade vegan peanut butter cups. If going the homemade route you could also go all out and make your own vegan milk chocolate to coat them.

What to expect from this recipe

  • Easy to make
  • Thick, soft cookies
  • No added oil/butter
  • Eggless and dairy-free
  • Full of chocolatey peanut buttery flavor
  • Irresistibly delicious
  • Gooey melty chocolate peanut butter centers
tray of peanut butter cup cookies with sea salt.Pin

Ingredient notes

  • Natural peanut butter: Make sure you go for natural peanut butter with no added sugars or oils. You can also make homemade peanut butter if preferred. The Kitchn, Pinch of Yum, and BBC Good Food all have articles on making homemade peanut butter, just be sure to skip the honey to keep it vegan.
  • Vegan chocolate: When making cookie recipes I like to use both chocolate chunks and chocolate chips. The chocolate chunks melt into chocolatey pools of goodness whereas the chocolate chips tend to stay pretty firm and intact. You'll also need some vegan chocolate if you're making homemade peanut butter cups.
  • Vegan peanut butter cups: I've included instructions on how to make them at home but you can use ready-made if preferred. If you're going with store-bought peanut butter cups Love Raw chocolate butter cups, Pip & Nut and Unreal all have vegan options.
  • Soft brown sugar: Soft brown sugar will give you a soft and chewy cookie due to its moisture content. If you’re looking for a crispier cookie texture, use white sugar or use half of each.
  • Coconut milk: This together with the apple puree becomes the egg replacer to help keep these tahini chocolate chip cookies vegan. For this recipe, you’ll want full-fat canned coconut milk and if using apple sauce, make sure it is unsweetened. 
  • Vanilla extract: If you wanted to simplify this recipe further, you could get away without adding vanilla. It does add amazing flavor to your vegan cookie dough.
  • Plain flour
  • Baking soda: The leavening agent for your vegan chocolate chip cookies.
  • Sea salt: This enhances the other flavors of the cookies and also enhances the sweetness. 
Ingredients to make vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookies.Pin

How to make this recipe (with step-by-step images)

(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)

How to make vegan peanut butter cups

These cookies are essentially chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter cups in the middle.

If you decide to make vegan peanut butter cups from scratch they're actually super easy to make. I like to use these mini baking cases and an ice cube tray (yes, you heard me right). It is exactly the right size for holding your chocolate cups in place as they set.

Simply melt some vegan chocolate over a bain-marie (double boiler) and add a little into each mini baking case. Carefully swirl the melted chocolate around until it coats the bottom and outer edges of the baking cases and place them in your freezer to set.

making peanut butter cups in an ice cube tray.Pin

Once the chocolate shells have been set completely, you can fill them with peanut butter. Be careful not to overfill the cups as you'll need some space for more melted chocolate, which you can spoon on directly afterward.

Now just pop them back in the freezer to set and once solid you can remove the outer cases. For this cookie recipe, I recommend keeping the chocolate cups in the freezer until you're ready to cut them in half. This will help the peanut butter to solidify a little first.

stack of peanut butter cups with salt on top.Pin

How to make chocolate chip peanut butter cookies

This recipe couldn't be easier once you have your peanut butter cups ready to go.

First of all, you'll cream together the fats, sugars, and liquids (in this case peanut butter, brown sugar, coconut milk, apple puree, and vanilla extract). If you want to keep dishes to a minimum you can make the cookies in one bowl by using an electric whisk. You can also use a stand mixer if you have one handy. Once you have a uniform batter you’re ready to chuck in the dry ingredients.

creamed ingredients in a bowl for peanut butter cookies.Pin

Following that you’ll simply add all of your dry ingredients to the same bowl (the plain flour, baking soda, and salt). Now if you really want to minimize the wash-up just get in there with your hands and mix everything until you have uniform cookie dough. Alternatively, you can use a rubber spatula for this step.

Now just add in the chocolate chunks and chocolate chips. Be sure to reserve some of that chocolate so that you can stud the cookies with it before baking – this will create the most delicious chocolatey pools.

Now use a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop to measure out cookie dough balls on some lined baking sheets. Cut 6 of those vegan peanut butter cups in half and push one half into the center of each cookie.

You can alternate the peanut butter cup halves to face up or down to create some interesting chocolate and peanut butter pools on top of your freshly baked vegan cookies!

peanut butter cup cookie dough balls on a baking sheet.Pin

Storage instructions

Store these vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookies at room temperature in an airtight container. For a crispier cookie, enjoy them within the first hour or two of baking as after that they will soften and become chewier.

Additions

  • Peanuts: Add some crunch to these cookies by mixing some roasted peanuts into the cookie dough.
  • White chocolate: Why not add some vegan white chocolate chunks on top of the cookies for a double chocolate effect.
  • Sea salt: Add some flaky sea salt on top of your vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookies for an extra tasty sweet and salty twist.

Frequently asked questions

Can I make these cookies without peanut butter cups?

You can absolutely skip the peanut butter cups altogether and just make vegan peanut butter chocolate chip cookies instead.

Can you freeze peanut butter chocolate chip cookies?

You can freeze the cookie batter before baking. Simply scoop the cookie dough into servings and freeze on a lined baking sheet and cover with cling film. Bake the straight from frozen as usual, no need to defrost before baking.

Can I make a smaller batch of cookies?

You can half the recipe and make 6 cookies, by simply scaling down the recipe by half. No need to scale down the peanut butter cup part of the recipe if you want some extra to munch on along the way!

Why add both chocolate chips and chocolate chunks to the cookies?

Chocolate chunks melt and create pools of chocolate whereas chocolate chips remain intact. This creates interesting textures both visually and in taste.

flat lay of peanut butter cup cookies with chocolate chips.Pin

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Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies

4.72 from 7 votes
PREP TIME: 30 mins
COOK TIME: 12 mins
TOTAL TIME: 42 mins
Servings: 12
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Description

These vegan peanut butter cup chocolate chip cookies are everything you could want from a peanut butter cookie. Made using real peanut butter with no butter, they're completely eggless and dairy-free. They also come together in one bowl and are ready in under an hour!

EQUIPMENT

Mini baking cases (if making homemade peanut butter cups)

Ingredients

For the peanut butter cups

  • 5.3 oz (150 g) vegan chocolate
  • 2.8 oz (80 g) natural peanut butter

For the cookies

  • cup (172 g) natural peanut butter
  • cup (146 g) soft brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (60 g) chilled canned full fat coconut milk, see recipe notes
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) apple puree, (unsweetened apple sauce)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups (190 g) plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon (4 g) baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon (3 g) sea salt
  • 1.4 oz (40 g) vegan chocolate chips
  • 1.4 oz (40 g) vegan chocolate, roughly chopped into chunks

Instructions

Peanut butter cups (Make ahead of time)

  • If you're using store bought vegan peanut butter cups you can skip this step and straight to the cookies!
  • Line a mini muffin tray or ice cube tray with mini baking cases and set aside.
  • Fill a saucepan approximately ⅓ ways with water and bring to a simmer. Add the chocolate and coconut oil to a large heat resistant bowl and sit the bowl on top of the saucepan. Allow the steam to heat and melt the chocolate, ensuring that no water gets into the chocolate mixture.
  • Add 1 tsp of the melted chocolate to each bun case (or just enough to create an even layer of chocolate). Carefully swirl the melted chocolate around until it coats the bottom and outer edges of the baking cases. Place into the freezer to set for 15 minutes. Set aside the remaining chocolate for later.
  • Once the chocolate has set, add approximately one teaspoon of peanut butter into each case and top with more melted chocolate. Place back in the freezer to set for 10 minutes or longer if needed.
  • Remove the peanut butter cups from their cases and keep in the freezer until ready to use.

Cookies

  • Preheat your oven to 180°C (356°F) and line the base of 2 baking trays with a sheet of parchment paper. 
  • Add the peanut butter, soft brown sugar, coconut milk, apple puree and vanilla extract to a large bowl beat together using a whisk (electric if possible). Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix using a spatula until the ingredients stick together to form a dough. Add in two thirds of the chocolate chunks and chocolate chips and knead the mixture to evenly distribute them throughout the dough.
  • Use an ice cream or cookie scoop to measure out the cookies and place them on the lined baking trays, leaving at least 2 inches between each cookie. Top the cookies with the remaining chocolate chunks and chocolate chips (this will create lovely chocolate pools on top of your cookies).
  • Cut 6 peanut butter cups in half and press one half into the centre of each cookie.
  • Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow the cookies to sit on the baking tray to cool for about 5 minutes. Next carefully slide the sheet of parchment paper with the cookies off of the tray and on to a cooling rack. Cool for another 15-20 minutes until they reach room temperature before serving.

Notes

  • Chilled coconut milk: Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight, then use only the thick cream from the top of the can.

Nutrition

Calories: 331kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Sodium: 196mg | Potassium: 177mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 3mg
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