I know my grandma would roll her eyes, but I’m telling you guys, there are so many amazing cookie recipes without butter!
I know it adds moisture and richness, and in some cases, there is no substitute. (I’m looking at you, shortbread.)
But being a baker for more than a decade, I can hold my hands up and say that a lot of cookie recipes are just as good – if not better – without butter.
Controversial, I know.
Maybe you’re on the hunt for something vegan, or perhaps you’re trying to reduce some calories.
Either way, there are so many amazing recipes on this list of 21 cookie recipes without butter that you should try.
Ready? Let’s dive right in!
1. Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies
I once worked in a bakery where we made both regular chocolate chip and vegan chocolate chip cookies, and I can honestly say I craved the vegan cookies more!
With dark chocolate chunks and sea salt, I had to work hard not to eat a whole tray.
Vegan doesn’t have to mean crazy ingredients. There are no flax seeds or chickpeas here.
Cookies are so easy to make vegan just by subbing out the butter for oil and a little milk. It’s that simple!
2. Snickerdoodle Cookies
These tasty cookies are butter-free, but not vegan. The recipe does include an egg, which you could substitute for some apple sauce if you want to keep it vegan.
For chewy cookies, place them on the baking tray in a ball and don’t flatten before the bake. If you like them crispier, press the dough balls gently with a fork.
3. Gluten-Free Vegan Orange Cookies
We’ve all been burned with some terrible gluten-free baked goods, right?
You know, those grainy muffins that leave a sandy residue behind in your mouth? Well, these are not those!
The truth is, gluten-free flour has come a long way, and this recipe gives you the lightest, most tender little cookie. And I especially love the orange flavoring.
4. Peanut Butter Cookies Without Butter
Since butter is used for richness, moisture, and as a binder, it makes sense that you don’t really need it when you’re adding in peanut butter.
I’m sure this recipe would work with other nut butters, but you’ll likely need to reduce the amount of oil to account for the extra you find in something like almond butter.
5. Lemon Cake Mix Cookies
Using a cake mix to make cookies might seem like an odd shortcut, but when you think about it, the mix has everything you’ll be adding anyway – flour, sugar, raising agent.
Why wouldn’t you want to cut your prep-time down?
And using a flavored mix is especially fun because you can play around and make something colorful and tasty.
6. 3-Ingredient No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies
Typically, for a cookie to not have butter, it’ll be replaced with oil. If you’re looking for something that isn’t full of butter or oil, this recipe is for you.
All you’ll need are oats, peanut butter, and a sweetener (I recommend honey or maple syrup).
And you can add to these with ease. I like some banana and chocolate chips in mine.
7. Soft Pumpkin Cookies
These melt-in-your-mouth cookies get all the moisture they need from the mashed pumpkin. Be sure to use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling!
These aren’t vegan, though again, you could always substitute the egg for apple sauce or mashed banana.
8. Chocolate Brownie Cookies
Double chocolate, ultra-fudgy, and hard to resist, no one will figure out these babies are don’t have butter.
The key to getting that amazing texture is to refrigerate the dough for a few hours and pull them from the oven when they look underdone.
As they finish cooking on the counter, they will firm up and leave a perfectly chewy center.
9. Easy Chewy Vegan Trail Mix Cookies with Chocolate Chips
What I love about these cookies is simple: they’re quick and absolutely loaded with goodness! I even make these to eat for breakfast.
I usually stick to the classics and add in vegan chocolate chips, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and nuts, but I’ve been known to go a little crazy and throw in some other fun dried fruits.
My favorite is dried mango!
10. 3-Ingredient Almond Butter Cookies
I was just as skeptical as you guys when I read through this recipe. No flour at all? Really?!
But they came out so great! Granted, they won’t taste like your favorite cookies, but if you’re on the hunt for something simple and easy, then you should give these a try.
11. 3-Ingredient Banana Cookies
These are like little bites of banana bread. They’re soft, chewy, and loaded with banana goodness.
I know a lot of vegans that struggle to find decent recipes that are also nut-free, so I had to include this one.
I like to add dark chocolate to mine and have even folded through oats in the past for some texture.
12. Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies
Given my love for both chocolate and coffee, I’m surprised that I don’t have more mocha recipes on hand.
I particularly like that these cookies don’t over-do it with the chocolate.
I often find mocha recipes to be beautifully rich and decadent with chocolate, but the coffee is too subtle.
These are just the right amount of each and are to die for.
13. Almond Flour Vegan Thumbprint Cookies
I know what I said before about certain cookies just needing butter, and I stand by it. These are not the crumble buttery shortbread cookies we all know and love.
That being said, these are soft, light, super tasty, and make a wonderful alternative for those that can’t/won’t/don’t eat dairy.
If you aren’t a fan of the olive oil taste, you can use coconut or another neutral-tasting oil.
14. Peanut Butter Blossoms Cookie Recipe
Not only are these ridiculously adorable, but they’re also soft, chewy, and so yummy.
If you’re questioning the use of three different kinds of sugar here, I don’t blame you.
The thing is, they each do a different job, and when combined, they make the perfect cookie.
Just don’t forget that you’re not supposed to add the chocolate kiss until the end. If you add them before the bake, they will melt into a delicious mess.
15. Vegan Gluten-Free Vanilla Wafers
Although I usually only eat vanilla wafers when they’re in banana pudding, this recipe is fantastic as a simple vanilla biscuit.
The trick to getting that light texture is to use solid coconut butter and whip it as you would butter.
Once baked, they’re lightly golden, a little crisp, and perfectly tender inside.
16. The Healthiest Breakfast Cookies
These are like little bites of flapjacks.
The oats and maple syrup give a wonderfully sticky and chewy texture, and with all those fabulous additions, you won’t be hungry any time soon.
As always, you can change up the addition with what you might have on hand, and I like to substitute the egg with some mashed banana for added sweetness.
17. No-Bake Peanut Butter Snowballs
No-bake cookies are always going to be high on my list of recipes to try.
Even in the winter, I like to make batches of these babies just for something sweet to nibble on.
I enjoy the texture you get from using oats, but I think this would work if you wanted to use flour instead. But I like the coconut the best!
It adds something special to the peanut butter.
18. Chewy Vegan Ginger Spice Cookies
Between the whole wheat flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, these are super warm and totally irresistible.
I prefer to use maple syrup here, but honey will add extra flavor. When ready to bake, be sure to chill your dough, so the cookies don’t spread too much.
19. Old-Fashioned Whoopie Pies Recipe
Whoopie pies are my go-to when I can’t decide between a cookie and a cake. They’re the best of both worlds and are so easy to make with different flavors.
This recipe uses shortening in place of butter, which gives great texture and moisture and also prevents the pies from spreading too much.
If you’re not a huge fan of it in your frostings, try a simple marshmallow fluff recipe instead.
Also known as biscotti, these twice-baked almond biscuits are best served with a cut of strong coffee on a sunny day.
To get the nice and crisp, bake the dough in a log and then cut into strips to bake again. Finish with a dusting of powdered sugar or by dipping in dark chocolate.
21. 5-Ingredient Chewy Coconut Macaroons
I’ve been making these since I was a kid, and the recipe has never changed. These five ingredients are all you’ll need for some chewy, light, sweet coconut cookies.
When I’m feeling extra naughty, I like to add in some freeze-dried raspberries and stripe them with lots of dark chocolate.
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