Molasses Peanut Butter Cookies

I have a love-hate relationship with these cookies. I was trying to make a simple peanut butter cookie, but every version I tried was either an outright failure or just not-quite-right, and I went through seven iterations before I reached the final recipe that we have here. The reason for the struggle is because, at One Ingredient Chef, I have very tight constraints. Everything I publish has to meet the criteria of being obnoxiously delicious while also being made with healthy, unprocessed ingredients. My conscience simply won’t let me publish anything that doesn’t meet both criteria. Thus, my unique job is to find that perfect balance with every recipe.

Anyone can make a delicious vegan peanut butter cookie: just dump a cup of margarine into 2 cups of brown sugar with some flour and peanut butter. On the other hand, it is easy to make a “healthy” peanut butter cookie that tastes like sawdust. Through all my trials this week, I ended up on both ends of that spectrum: terrible tasting cookies and terribly unhealthy cookies. None of them were good enough for you, lovely readers.

I’m glad I persevered, though, and I hope you will be too. What I finally settled on is a cookie that has absolutely no oil or processed fats, is very high in fiber and nutrients, is sweetened with molasses (see my article championing molasses), and has great complimentary flavors. The peanut butter shines, of course, but there are also deep notes from the molasses and a hint of banana as well. All in all, this was one tough cookie 🙂 but I’m really pleased with how the flavors came together.

Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies

Makes ~16 cookies


  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup Sucanat
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Flax egg (ground flaxseed + water)

Step One

First, make the flax “egg” which is a staple in ‘One Ingredient’ baking. To make a healthy egg replacer, simply combine 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds with 3 tablespoons water. Set this aside, as it needs 5-10 minutes to create a gel-like consistency.

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Next, combine all the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, sucanat) in a mixing bowl. Same with the wet ingredients: in a separate bowl, mash 1/2 cup banana and add peanut butter, molasses*, non-dairy milk, vanilla, and the flax egg. Mix well. Then, add the try ingredients into the wet and gently combine.

* Molasses is what makes these cookies so much darker than a typical peanut butter cookie. I love the strong, slightly-bitter flavor of molasses and I think it works great in these cookies. If you, however, aren’t such a big fan, feel free to add a little more Sucanat (unprocessed cane sugar) and a little less molasses.

Step Two

Form the batter into ~1 inch balls onto a baking sheet or Silpat and press lightly with a wet fork to get the trademark criss-cross patterns of oatmeal cookies. Bake for about 15 minutes at 350º F until the edges are just turning brown and the cookies have firmed up a bit. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5+ minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies Pile

Peanut Butter Molasses Cookies Stacked


Leave a Reply
  1. Thank you for explaining how to make flax egg. I have been enjoying ground flax for years & never knew this! Now, off to make these cookies!

    • Definitely! Any baking recipe that calls for eggs can generally be substituted with 1 tbsp ground flax and 2-3 tbsp warm water. Just whip it together and let sit for 10 minutes… Voila! You have a flax egg 🙂

      • wow your recipes are awesome and i love your comments below ..i saw the flax milk and thought errr what ?? so thank you

        just came back with a shopping trolly full of goodies to try out some of your vegan goodies

        thank you so much
        kind regards


  2. I just made these tonight! My dough was super sticky and impossible to put any fork marks into but the cookies came out moist and super delicious. I really like the banana flavor. Next time I may add some unsweetened coconut to the mix. Thanks!

    • Ah, thanks for pointing that out, Jennevieve. That actually happened to me as well. I was going to mention that the dough can be sticky and it’s hard to leave the fork marks. I ultimately added them after they finished cooking.

      I’m glad you liked them and the coconut sounds like a great addition!

  3. These are awesome! I love the texture. I did add grated ginger to hide the peanut butter taste from my son. He was happily eating the dough and couldn’t tell it was in there. I am making the mushroom sliders for inner tonight and have looked at the cauliflower alfredo for this week. I love your simple recipes! Thank you!

    • That’s great, mamababa! Thanks for letting me know. I’m glad you liked the cookies (great idea with the ginger) and I hope the sliders and cauliflower Alfredo turn out well for you! 🙂

  4. All I have is blackstrap molasses…do you think this will work if I use a little less than is called for, and increase the sucanat? I really want to make these! 🙂

  5. So so tasty, love the molasses flavor with the bananas and the texture is chewy and soft. First time using a flax-egg and it was perfect! Will probably be making the sesame rice bowls for dinner too…

    • Awesome! I’m glad you like the flavors, Karolyn! I’m always a little worried that people will think molasses tastes like tar, haha, and be turned off by its flavor. But I totally agree – the molasses, paired with the banana, works well in this recipe.

      Peanut butter cookies and sesame rice bowl?! I wish I was at your house for dinner 🙂

  6. yum yum they look delicious! Can I substitute the granulated sugar with honey or maple syrup? thank you for the awesome recipes.

    • Thanks, Zainab! You’re more than welcome. 🙂 The short answer is “probably” but it’s always good to be cautious when substituting a solid sugar for a liquid sugar, as it might mess up the consistency.

  7. I made these gluten-free (brown rice flour) and they turned out great. I put in coconut in the last bit of batter and those ones are super yummy too. Thanks for introducing Sucanat into my pantry!

    • Also – they were better when they were cooled, than still warm. I think some cookies are MUCH better when they are warm / first out of the oven, but these are best when cooled. So good.

    • Ooh, coconut sounds like a great addition! And I’m glad to hear that they worked with gluten-free flour as well. I agree – some cookies are just better at room temperature… 🙂

  8. Thank you for the nice recipe! The combination of blackstrap molasses and peanut butter is awesome. I replaced sucanat with date sugar and it turned out great.

    • Oh, you’re so welcome! I’m glad to hear that date sugar worked well here – that’s a much healthier option 😉

  9. made these tonight with applesauce instead of banana, didn’t have any on hand. I was super surprised at the texture! I was expecting a dense chewy cookie, but it’s more like soft pillow cookies! They taste so rich and buttery!!! Is that the molasses?

    First time using molasses and I’m really happy with the result!

    thank you!

    • I’m glad you liked them, Sonia! Baking powder definitely helps “aerate” the batter and make them lighter. Also *gently* combining the batter helps prevent too much gluten from forming, which results in less dense/chewy cookies.

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