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Chocolate Sunbutter Cookies that are ultra-soft, brownie-like, and extra fudgy. These sunbutter cookies are the perfect cookie, right?
You’re going to love how easy this recipe pulls together.
Let’s get baking! The holidays are almost here and there’s nothing better around this time of year than the smell of fresh, chewy cookies in the oven. These SunButter cookies are perfect for the holiday season or just when you’re craving a sweet treat. They’re easy, and you can make them peanut and allergy-free, and vegan-friendly. What more could you ask for in sunflower seed butter cookies?
Sugar cookies without butter are a classic drop cookie recipe and make soft, chewy, tender, and irresistibly sweetened cookies. This no-butter cookie recipe uses everyday pantry staples and is ready in 30 minutes. Perfect for when those cookie cravings strike, but you are out of butter!
Enjoy my popular Snickerdoodle cookie recipe – they are the best no butter cookies and cookies without butter!
Last week I was craving some yummy cinnamon and sugar coated Snickerdoodle cookies like my grandparents used to make.
I was excited to make some when I discovered I was out of butter, one of the main ingredients in my recipe. Arggghh.
I’m a determined sort of gal so I scoured the web for a recipe for Snickerdoodle cookies without butter. It wasn’t easy, but I eventually tracked one down!
I’m sharing my no butter adapted version with y’all below because they turned out so soft and delicious, you would never guess they are cookies without butter.
Turns out that Snickerdoodle cookies without butter might be even more delicious than those made with butter!
I have been promising this recipe to folks for a very long time. Like six years. The problem is that I very rarely measure the ingredients for this recipe. However, I finally sat down and figured out the exact proportions so you can replicate it. You need raw sunflower seeds for this recipe as the roasted ones wont stick together as well as flour. I use a coffee grinder to turn my sunflower seeds into flour but you can use a food processor or even a ziploc bag and a rolling pin or hammer. I generally use avocado oil to toast my sunflower seeds in a pan on the stovetop but you can use a different type of oil. However, I prefer a high smoke point. Bits of your cookies will fall off and burn in the oil so try to keep your oil clean of charred bits.
Also, absolutely nothing in this recipe NEEDS to be cooked and you can very easily keep your cookies as raw maple protein balls. As a final serving suggestion, I like mashing up fresh berries to make a type of sauce to put on top of the cookies.
- sunflower seed flour
- real maple syrup
- Avocado oil for pan
- Use coffee grinder, food processor, mortar and pestle, or a Ziploc bag and a hammer or rolling pin to grind raw sunflower seeds without their shell into flour.
- Mix ingredients thoroughly and form cookie patties
- Heat avocado oil in pan on stovetop on medium heat and toast each cookie until golden brown on both sides.
- Eat by themselves or serve with mashed fresh berries.
Our most popular cookies of all time are butterless chocolate chip cookies! Baked with oil instead of butter, these cookies come out delicious every time. They have the perfect amount of chewiness, and sweetness and are filled with flavor. Cookies are one of our favorite desserts and are worth every bite!
Try these cookies without butter, you’ll be surprised at how amazing they are!
Also, try our popular oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and the best chocolate chip cookies with walnuts too!
Butterless chocolate chip cookies, what else can I say? I conducted an experiment when I tried making chocolate chip cookies without using butter.
Why? Because I didn’t have any butter on hand! Also, sometimes recipes with butter can turn out flat and cake-like. I thought about all the different fats I could use in a recipe; butter, Crisco, or oil. So I opted to give the oil a try.
To my amazement, the cookies baked very nicely! They taste delicious and they’re not even close to cakey or dry. They’re the best chewy cookie with crispy edges. It’s an easy recipe to make and they’re a great easy everyday cookie recipe!
Here are all of the supplies you’ll need:
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- Cookie Sheet
- Cookie Scooper
- Electric Mixer
- Rubber Spatula
- Cooling Rack
The full recipe and measurements are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
These sunbutter cookies are the perfect combination of sweet, salty, chewy, and wholesome. They’re vegan, nut-free, oil-free, refined sugar-free, and easily made gluten-free. Ready in 25 minutes!
If you’re a fan of sunflower seed butter you’re going to love these deliciously rich and nutty-tasting cookies!
We love sunbutter cookies because they’re:
- made from healthy, plant-based ingredients (WFPB)
- easy to prepare and ready in less than 25 minutes
- nut-free, vegan, and great for school lunch boxes
- naturally sweetened with maple syrup and coconut sugar
- and every bit as delicious as peanut butter cookies!
- roasted sunflower seed butter – I usually buy the unsweetened one from Trader Joe’s, but there are several other brands available in stores and online, including the Sunbutter name brand. Or see tips below for making your own sunbutter at home!
- coconut sugar or other granulated sweetener
- maple syrup – if using sweetened sunbutter, decrease the maple syrup to 3 tablespoons and add 2 teaspoons non-dairy milk.
- flour – I’ve tested both spelt and oat flour in this recipe; all-purpose gluten-free flour should work, too.
- vanilla extract
See recipe card below for quantities and full instructions.
To make this recipe you’ll need:
- a mixing bowl and fork
- parchment paper or a silicone baking mat
- and a large baking sheet
How To Make Sunbutter Cookies
I promised you they’re easy, right? Here’s a quick overview of the process. See recipe card below for full instructions.
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- In a mixing bowl cream together the sunbutter, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. *Add ¼ teaspoon salt if using an unsalted sunflower seed butter.
- Add flour and stir just until a smooth dough forms.
- Use the tines of a fork to create a criss-cross pattern on top of each cookie. This also flattens and helps them bake evenly.
- The cookies will be very soft straight from the oven. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to a plate or cooling rack.
Tips and Substitutions
I haven’t had a chance to test other flours in this cookie recipe (only oat and spelt), but I find it to be a pretty forgiving cookie. Similar to my peanut butter cookies, I suspect a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend would work well, as would whole wheat or all-purpose.
The recipe makes exactly one dozen cookies, so if you have a hungry family or are baking for a crowd, go ahead and double it!
Sunbutter cookies are freezer-friendly. Just make sure they are wrapped/sealed well to protect from freezer burn, then thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
Love nut-free recipes? Try our favorite Nut-Free Vegan Mac and Cheese and Nut-Free Vegan Ranch Dressing!
More oil-free vegan cookie recipes
I hope you love these nut-free sunbutter cookies as much as we do! If you try the recipe comment below to let us know.
By the way, they’re perfect for vegan ice cream sandwiches!
Easy, 5-ingredient sunbutter cookies are irresistibly sweet, salty, and chewy and free from nuts, oil, dairy, and refined sugar! So delicious and ready in 25 minutes.
- sunflower seed butter, unsweetened
- coconut sugar or other granulated sweetener
- – *Reduce to 3 Tbsp if using sweetened Sunbutter, and add 2 teaspoons non-dairy milk for consistency.
- oat flour or ½ cup spelt flour
- fine sea salt – only needed if using unsalted sunbutter
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- In a mixing bowl, use a fork to cream together the sunbutter, coconut sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. If using unsalted sunbutter, add ¼ tsp salt. Add the flour and and stir until just mixed. The dough should look moist and smooth but not be too sticky.
- Scoop up one rounded tablespoon of dough per cookie. Roll the dough betwen your palms and place on cookie sheet at least 3 inches apart. The cookies will spread during baking. Use the underside of a fork to create a criss-cross pattern into the top of each ball of dough, gently pressing down to flatten into shape.
Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for 2 or 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
The cookies are also freezer-friendly for up to 2 months. Wrap well to protect from freezer burn.
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com.
These butter-free sugar cookies are perfect when you have run out of butter and don’t want to go to the store. The recipe is ready in about 30 minutes, and you will be snacking on delicious sugary cookies!
Prepare for baking
Adjust a baking rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4. Line cookie sheets with parchment (baking) paper or non-stick silicone baking mats. Set aside.
Mix dry ingredients
In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
Combine wet ingredients
Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer + a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract until well combined, and you no longer see streaks of egg yolk.
Add the dry ingredients into the bowl and mix until the dough is well combined. It will be thick but shouldn’t be sticky. Be careful not to over-mix. Once everything is incorporated, use a rubber spatula to help it come together and form a ball.
Using a cookie scoop, portion 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls. Gently roll into a ball and optionally roll each ball in the additional sugar to coat. Arrange the balls 2 in / 5 cm apart on the lined baking sheets (trays). Gently press each ball flat as they won’t spread out much on their own.
Bake the cookies for 7 to 10 minutes. They will rise and the centers will appear soft, but should look matt, not glossy. Don’t overbake and remove the cookies just before the edges begin to turn golden.
Take out of the oven. Allow cooling on the baking sheets (trays) for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. At first, the cookies seem a little puffy but will flatten as they cool.
How long do the cookies need to bake?
The baking time is 7 to 10 minutes. Mine are perfect at around 8 to 9 minutes. Since every oven bakes differently, yours might take longer or shorter, so keep an eye on them as they bake.
The vegetable oil cookies are done when they have spread a little, don’t look undercooked in the center, and the edges are still pale and not quite golden.
Should I chill the cookie dough?
No, you can bake the cookies without chilling the dough. Since they don’t contain butter, they will not firm up in the fridge anyway.
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How to make these cookies
No one wants an overly complicated sunflower butter cookie recipe and these bad boys are fast, ooey, and gooey, and everyone will love them. I make these all the time and Andrew can’t ever stop eating them. They’re dangerous but delicious! Here’s how you make them:
Step One: Preheat your oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Step Two: To a large mixing bowl combine your SunButter (or nut butter) and sugars. Stir till well combined and smooth. You can now add the oat milk or almond milk and then the vanilla. Mix till well combined and begin to add the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. I used a wooden spoon to stir as the mixture get’s a bit tough, feel free to use your hands to form a ball.
Step Three: Place your mixture into the fridge for 15 minutes, this helps with forming the balls but is not necessary if you’re short for time.
Step Four (Optional): Using a 1 1/2 tbsp. scoop, scoop out dough, and roll into balls. Now roll your balls into the cinnamon sugar and roll around till well coated (this step is optional). Now, place 8 cookies on each sheet and place around 2-3 inches apart. Use the back of your fork to create a criss-cross pattern on the top of the cookie.
Note: You do not need to roll your cookies in sugar if you want to consume less sugar. These are just as good without!
Step Five: Bake for 11-12 minutes. Remove from oven, let them cool for 2 minutes on the sheet then completely on a cooling rack.
The best vegetable oil sugar cookies without butter
Are you desperately craving sweet and tender sugar cookies but just realized that you have no butter? Good news! You’re in the right place because I’ll show you how to make amazing sugar cookies without butter.
I can’t wait for you to try these cookies! They are sweet, chewy in the middle, crispy on the edges, and everything yummy. Plus, the recipe comes together in minutes and uses easy-to-find ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.
And please note that these are drop-style cookies, NOT cut-out cookies. They won’t hold the shape if you try to roll the dough and cut out cookies. See this post for my favorite cut-out cookie recipe.
Perfect Butter-free Chocolate Chip Cookies
I was so happy with how these delicious butter-free cookies turned out, and with no added effort! It’s so easy to make the dough, and the process is really straightforward forward so you can whip up a batch in no time at all!
What Oil Does in Butterless Chocolate Chip Cookies
Making cookies with oil instead of butter is definitely something you need to try if you haven’t already!
The oil gives the cookies a cake-like crumb texture and because of the high-fat content, they stay wonderfully moist.
It’s also a great way to enjoy cookies if you have an intolerance to dairy.
Are Sunflower Seeds Gluten Free
Yes, sunflower seeds are gluten free. All seeds and nuts are gluten free naturally. They can become contaminated with gluten during the growing or processes stages.
Check labels to see if there are any disclaimers that contain wheat or gluten.
No Butter Snickerdoodles Tips & Tricks
I bake ALL of my cookies on a silicone baking mat like this one from Target.
I’ll never go back to dirty pans or parchment paper again. My silicone baking mat might be my most-loved kitchen item.
I use a small cookie scoop like this one to get consistently sized cookies. This makes them cook evenly and all turn out perfectly every time.
Rolling the cookie balls in cinnamon sugar is a critical step in getting perfect cookies.
Yes, it is a bit time consuming but I promise it is worth it. Don’t skip this step!
And last, the dough will seem a bit greasy compared to traditional cookie dough.
Don’t be alarmed – they will turn out fine. If they seem WAAAAYYY too greasy though, you may have under measured your flour.
I suggest adding a tablespoon or two or flour and see if that helps.
How to Store Butterless Chocolate Chip Cookies
You can store cooled cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for about three days.
You can also freeze cookies in an airtight sealed bag or container for up to three months. However, there is nothing better than a warm chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven!
Decorating sugar cookies
- Sprinkles: Roll the cookies in sprinkles instead of sugar for a quick decoration. Try green and red sprinkles for Christmas, pink and red sprinkles for Valentines, pastel-colored ones for Easter, orange, purple and black sprinkles for Halloween, and red, white + blue sprinkles for patriotic holidays.
- Icing + frosting: Royal icing, buttercream, or cream cheese frosting would make delicious additions to these no-butter sugar cookies.
- Chocolate: Melt some chocolate and drizzle over the cookies or dip the cookies in melted chocolate. Use any flavor you like. White, milk, and semisweet are all yummy options.
More Cookie Recipes to Try
If you love cookies as much as we do, here are a few more of our favorite cookie recipes to try! These are ALL amazing recipes and are perfect for all occasions.
Butterless Chewy Snickerdoodle Cookies
My Favorite Chocolate Cherry Cookies
Chocolate Cherry Chunk Cookies
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
Our Favorite Thumbprint Cookies
Kitchen Sink Cookies
Also, try our chocolate chip cookie pie!
Yes, you can bake delicious sugar cookies with vegetable oil. It’s an excellent substitute for butter in sugar cookies. Oil creates a soft crumb, keeps the cookies soft and tender for days, and creates a perfectly chewy texture.
Can I make these cookies with all white sugar?
Yes, you can make these vegetable oil cookies with all white sugar instead of adding a little brown sugar. The cookies’ texture will be slightly different and a little less soft.
Can I add butter flavor?
Of course! If you still want that warm, buttery aroma, add a few drops of butter flavor to the cookie dough.
Can these sugar cookies without butter be made with gluten-free flour?
Yes, most likely. Though I haven’t tested this, I imagine this sugar cookie recipe will work well with a 1-to-1 gluten-free flour blend. I recommend King Arthur’s gluten-free measure-for-measure flour or Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free 1-to-1 baking flour.
Are these sugar cookies without butter vegan?
These are not vegan sugar cookies because the dough contains an egg. Rather, I created this recipe for those times when you crave a delicious sugar cookie but are out of butter.
These butterless chocolate chip cookies can also be dairy-free if you swap out the eggs with an egg substitute. Some good options are apple sauce or a “chia egg.”
To make a chia egg, mix 1 tablespoon of ground chia seeds with 3 tablespoons of water and let it sit for 5 minutes until it forms a gel. You can also use a flax egg which is 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water.
You will also use dairy-free chocolate chips too!
Why These Cookies Are Amazing
First, these cookies are way cheaper to make then traditional Snickerdoodle cookies with butter.
I knew that vegetable oil is cheaper than butter, but when I actually did the math I made a discovery: Butter is actually six times more expensive than vegetable oil!
So not only are these cookies with oil instead of butter delicious, but they are also frugal.
To keep this recipe simple and easy to make with ingredients on hand, I have omitted the cream of tartar called for in some traditional recipes.
This ingredient is supposed to make the cookies rise better but I think you’ll find that these Snickerdoodle cookies without cream of tartar are plenty light and fluffy without it!
Some people claim that the cream of tartar gives Snickerdoodles a characteristic “tang”, but honestly I’ve never noticed that.
I have made this recipe with and without cream of tartar and I can’t tell them apart.
- 1 ¼ cup unsalted sunflower seed butter
- ½ cup coconut sugar (or light brown sugar)
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup gluten-free, dairy-free chocolate chips (or 4-6oz of gfdf chocolate, chopped)
Tips for the best sugar cookies
This crave-worthy recipe comes together in no time. Use these tips to ensure your sugar cookies without butter hit the mark.
- High-quality ingredients: With so few ingredients, you’ll want to go for the best quality you can, especially when it comes down to the vegetable oil you use.
- Measure the flour accurately: The best way is by weight with a digital scale. If you don’t have one, use the spoon and level technique. First, stir your flour, then scoop it into a measuring scoop and level off the top with the back of a knife. Do NOT pack and compress it into the measuring cup.
- Don’t over-mix the dough after adding the flour. Overmixing activates too much gluten protein and causes the cookies to be tough and unpleasantly chewy.
- Size the dough balls 1 1/2 tablespoons each. This amount is just right for well-sized cookies. You’ll need to adjust the baking time if the portions are smaller or bigger.
- Hand mixer: A hand mixer will work as well in case you don’t have a stand mixer. If the dough gets too heavy as you add the flour, stir in the remainder by hand with a wooden spoon.
Butter substitutes for sugar cookies
Before ending this post, I want to talk a little more about possible butter substitutes for sugar cookies, so you have more options to choose from. Just keep in mind that the texture and taste will turn out to be different with each substitution.
Vegetable oil is an excellent substitute for butter in cookies. While it won’t give your cookies that yummy buttery taste, vegetable oil works well as a 1:1 baking sub for butter.
You can also use other flavorless oils such as sunflower oil or fractionated (liquid) coconut oil. I don’t recommend olive oil as its characteristic taste will be noticeable.
Coconut oil is a great butter substitute as the oil behaves similar to butter in cookie recipes. Refined coconut oil is almost tasteless, while raw coconut oil has a mild coconut flavor. It’s up to personal preference!
Margarine & shortening
Margarine and shortening are easy 1:1 substitutes for butter. For cookies, opt for margarine sticks instead of tubs. Shortening has a higher melting point than butter, so let it sit out on the counter for at least 1 hour before getting started.
Ghee is a type of clarified butter originating in India and can be swapped for butter. It produces a strong buttery aroma and a soft, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
6 Steps for Making Cookies without Butter
Combined Dry Ingredients – Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and set aside.
Cream Butter and Sugars – In a mixing bowl cream together oil, brown sugar, and white sugar.
Beat Eggs and Extracts – Beat in eggs one at a time, then add in the vanilla and almond extract.
Combine – Blend in dry ingredients and fold in the chocolate chips.
Scoop – Using a cookie scooper, scoop balls of cookie dough and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place them 2″ apart.
Bake – In a preheated 350-degree oven, bake for 8 to 9 minutes, and then let them cool on the pan before moving them to a wire rack.
Tips for Making Butter-less Chocolate Chip Cookies
Line your baking sheet with parchment or use a silicone mat so your cookies don’t stick to the pan.
Add the eggs one at a time and mix them well.
Space the cookies far enough apart on the baking sheet so they don’t spread into each other when they cook.
Use a cookie scooper to portion out the dough on the baking sheet for evenly baked cookies.
Let the cookies cool on a rack before serving them.
Don’t overman the cookie dough. Using an electric mixer is perfect, but once the flour goes in the bowl, keep the mixer on low and scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Prevent spreading by chilling the dough. You can chill the dough for 30 minutes or even overnight! This helps the cookies hold their shape and prevents a thin cookie.
Use fresh ingredients and always check the dates. Ingredients like eggs, baking powder, and baking powder all need to be fresh for the best quality cookies.
Bake the cookies on the middle rack in the oven. This ensures even baking.
For the chocolate chips, you can use all one flavor or you can use a mix of semi-sweet and milk chocolate.
Always measure your ingredients properly, especially the flour!
Don’t overtake the cookies as they will turn out dry. Also, remember the continue to cook as they cool on the baking rack.
Remember, baking time always varies depending on many factors like true oven temperature, locations, and the temperature inside your home.
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- For Sugar Coating:
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- In a medium mixing bowl, mix sunflower seed butter, coconut sugar, and egg.
- Add cocoa powder, and baking soda, and mix until incorporated. Depending on how thick your sunflower seed butter is, you may need to work it with your hands.
- Work in the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate until evenly incorporated.
- Form 18-24 small cookie dough balls and place them 12 at a time onto your cookie sheet, 2-inches apart.
- Press down lightly on each cookie to form a circle.
- Bake from 8 to 10 minutes, or until set.
If you like them softer, aim for 7-8 minutes.
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.
So far I’ve used Sunflower seed butter to make my Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies.
It worked wonderfully in both recipes. These Gluten-free Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies are super simple to make.
If I had to describe them in one phrase, it would be death-by-chocolate – but in a healthy way!
They are rich, tender, chewy and they will satisfy any chocolate craving. If you don’t have access to sunflower seed butter, you can substitute with almond butter.
What is your favorite way to bake with Sunflower Seed Butter?
Did you make these sunbutter cookies? If so, please leave me a comment below letting me know what you thought.
A few years back almond butter was recalled in my area. With my youngest being intolerant to peanuts, we turned to sunflower seed butter.
Up until that week, I had never really baked with sunflower seed butter – but I’m glad I started. Sunflower seed butter is such a great source of protein, and it tastes great.
You can use all sunflower seed butter in these sunflower cookies or you can use half sunflower seed butter and half of another milk nut or seed butter, like almond butter or cashew butter.
These Gluten-free Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies have been a huge hit with my family since I developed the recipe for them.
Sunflower seed butter is a great substitution in recipes for other nut butters like almond butter and peanut butter.
It’s also great for making flour-free cookies, like these Gluten-free Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cookies.
This sugar cookie recipe without butter is simple to make from scratch with only a handful of pantry staples. And it’s easy to double or triple the amounts if you need to feed a crowd or for a bake sale. Check out the recipe card further down for exact measurements.
- White sugar: We need granulated (white) sugar to sweeten the dough and roll the cookies in before baking. You could also use caster sugar if that is what you have.
- Light brown sugar boosts the chewiness and adds a touch of molasses flavor. You don’t need much, just 2 tablespoons.
- Vegetable oil acts as a substitute for butter in these cookies. The oil keeps the cookies soft and tender for days. You need a neutral-tasting oil like vegetable oil, sunflower oil, grapeseed oil, or fractionated (liquid) coconut oil.
- Egg: An egg helps to bind the dough together. Allow the egg to come to room temperature before making the dough.
- Vanilla extract adds wonderful warmth and depth of flavor to these no-butter sugar cookies. The scraped seeds of 1 vanilla bean or vanilla bean paste are good substitutes for extract.
- Flour: All-purpose flour (plain flour) gives the perfect structure and texture for the sugar cookies.
- Baking powder: The leavening agent helps the cookies to rise.
- Salt: A pinch of salt balances out the sweetness. Be sure to use fine salt (rather than flaked salt) for an even distribution throughout the dough.
No Butter Cookies Variations & Substitutions
You can use many different oils in this recipe
As you can find in the almost 100 comments below, there are MANY substitutions and variations you can make on these no butter cookies!
Here are some common substitutions people have tried and that appear to work:
- Using rice bran oil, olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil in place of vegetable oil
- Using almond flour or gluten free flour in place of all purpose flour
- Substituting 2 packets of hot cocoa mix for 1/2 cup of sugar
- Replacing the teaspoon of vanilla extract with 1/2 tsp of almond extract
And if you’d like to try a chocolate variation, check out my new chocolate cookies without butter recipe here!
As you can see there are many options for making Snickerdoodle cookies with oil instead of butter.
These butterless cookies even come together in 5 minutes and in one bowl (now that’s my kind of baking). Here is the recipe so you can give them a try.
Check out these other great cookie recipes on my site:
How To Make Cookies Without Butter
I’m trying to make more of our snack foods as opposed to buying them, both to save money and keep scary ingredients out of our house.
This has been my go-to cookie recipe for a while now and it is so much easier to make compared to other cookies since it is butter free.
If you are wondering how to make cookies without butter, you’ll be happy to know that you make them just like any other Snickerdoodle cookie.
You mix up the dough, roll it into a ball in your hand, coat it in cinnamon sugar, and bake.
The only challenge to making cookies with oil instead of butter is that they might flatten out too much if you place them on a hot pan.
My suggestion is to use a cool pan each time. This will help your cookies keep their shape and not flatten out!
The Best Chewy SunButter Cookies
This super simple SunButter cookies recipe is perfect for the holiday season and beyond. They’re allergy-free, and vegan-friendly.
Vegan, Vegetarian, Dairy-Free
- SunButter – no sugar added
- oat or almond milk
- Preheat your oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- To a large mixing bowl combine your SunButter and sugars. Stir till well combined and smooth. You can now add the oat milk or almond milk and then the vanilla. Mix till well combined and begin to add the flour, baking soda and baking powder. I used a wooden spoon to stir as the mixture get’s a bit tough, feel free to use your hands to form a ball.
- Place your mixture into the fridge for 15 minutes, this helps with forming the balls but is not necessary if you’re short for time.
- Using a 1 1/2 tbsp. scoop, scoop out dough and roll into balls. Now roll your balls into the cinnamon sugar and roll around till well coated (this step is optional). Now, place 8 cookies on each sheet and place around 2-3 inches apart. Use the back of your fork to create a criss-cross pattern on the top of the cookie.
- Bake for 11-12 minutes. Remove from oven, let them cool for 2 minutes on the sheet then completely on a cooling rack.
The recipe can be substituted for all coconut sugar to be made Paleo.
When flattening the cookie, be sure to dip the fork in sugar between pressing to help them not stick.
Recipe can be doubled or tripled.
Cookies will last up to 1 week in a tightly sealed container at room temperature or 2 weeks in the fridge.
To freeze, let your cookies cool completely and place them in a tightly sealed container in the freezer for up to 2 months.
Let us know how it was!
What to Serve with Butterless Chocolate Chip Cookies
These are perfect to serve year-round with other cookies or a large fruit platter.
You can serve these on a giant dessert platter.
Serve them with ice cream and make an ice cream sandwich.
You can also dip them in a delicious snickerdoodle coffee.
How To Get Thick & Chewy Butter Free Snickerdoodles
Sometimes oil based cookies spread on the pan and turn out flat and hard.
Here are my secrets to getting thick and chewy no butter Snickerdoodles:
- First, be sure to roll the cookies into a ball and coat thoroughly with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Then place them on the pan at least 2 inches apart and slightly press them down with your hand. They should still be mostly in a ball shape.
- Be sure to bake them on a cool pan each time – a warm pan will make the cookies spread and flatten out.
- Do NOT overbake! They should still be soft when you take them out of the oven. They will finish cooking on the pan.
These cookies are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and nut-free and they taste incredible. You guys are going to love how easy they are to make.
There are only six ingredients in these amazing allergy-friendly cookies, and each ingredient is standard in most households.
If you like your sunbutter cookies on the softer side, pull these yummy cookies out of the oven a few minutes early.
They will set up but the centers will still be soft.
Make sure to use unsalted sunbutter. Sunflower seed butters tend to be salty and can overpower the other flavors in this sunbutter cookie recipe.
What if I can’t find sunflower seed butter? No problem! These cookies are versatile and you can definitely use your favorite nut butter instead. As you can see from my photos above, I’ve made them with cashew butter before when I couldn’t find sunflower seed butter or didn’t have it on hand.
How do I lower the sugar in these cookies? One way to lower the sugar without compromising the taste of the cookie is to not roll the cookies in sugar. These cookies taste just as good without it!
Why do you chill your dough before rolling and baking? Chilling prevents cookies from spreading out too quickly once they’re in the oven.
Can you freeze these? Yes! Let your cookies completely cool and pack them up in an airtight container. They’ll last in your freezer for about 2 months.
If the dough seems very soft and sticky, you probably have to increase the amount of flour. Add 2 to 3 more tablespoons flour.
The dough is too dry
A dry, crumbly batter indicates that too much flour was added. Try adding a little extra oil to soften and smooth the dough.
The way you measure your flour is important for these cookies. I recommend weighing flour with a kitchen scale for the most precise measurements. Alternatively, employ the spoon-and-level method, which I explain in the tips section above.
If you need to make these butterless chocolate chip cookies gluten-free, you can use a 1:1 ratio of all-purpose gluten-free flour. I like Bob’s Red Mill and Cup4Cup.
Funfetti cookies loaded with colorful sprinkles are perfect for birthdays and will be a big hit with kids. To make sprinkle cookies, stir 1/3 cup sprinkles into the dough. For the best results, add sprinkles or jimmies. I find that nonpareils tend to bleed into the dough and leave color streaks.
Brown Sugar Cookies
To bake brown sugar cookies, prepare the cookie dough with 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 3/4 cup dark brown sugar. The cookies won’t spread, so be sure to flatten them before baking.
Chocolate Chip Sugar Cookies
To make cookies that are half sugar cookie and half chocolate chip cookie, fold 1 cup chocolate chips into the dough. I prefer mini chocolate chips, but you can surely use regular chocolate chips.
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
For chocolate sugar cookies, prepare the cookies with 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour and 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder. This version isn’t overly sweet. If you like your cookies on the sweeter side, increase the brown sugar and add 1/2 cup brown sugar.
Citrus Sugar Cookies
Citrus sugar cookies are on repeat in my kitchen! To make them add the finely grated zest of 2 organic lemons to the dough. To switch things up, try orange zest or lime zest.
I also like to roll these cookies in lemon sugar. To make lemon sugar, mix 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest.
Spiced Sugar Cookies
If you crave warm and cozy holiday cookies, infuse the recipe with delicious gingerbread spices. You can try my gingerbread spice blend or simply add 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves.
Frequently Asked Questions
For this recipe, I used vegetable oil to replace the fat from butter – it has a neutral flavor, and there’s always some hanging around in most kitchens!
Oils have a higher content than butter, so it is often not a straight swap, you only need to use about 3/4 of the amount called for.
If you are into experimenting in the kitchen, here are some other substitutes you can make. Please note I only used vegetable oil in my recipe and haven’t tried these variations! These variations below will change the outcome of the cookie.
- coconut oil
- canola oil
- soy margarine
Can I substitute margarine for butter in chocolate chip cookies?
Yes! This recipe is made for substituting butter with oil. The cookies come out even chewier and more flavorful.
What to use in cookies when you don’t have butter?
You can use oil if you want a butter-free cookie. Just make sure to use a natural oil such as sunflower oil, canola oil or vegetable oil. This will give the cookies a crispy and chewy texture.
Can I use oil instead of butter in cookies?
Yes, you can! Oil is the best substitute for butter in cookies. This recipe uses only oil (no butter) and they have the best texture and flavor.
For more amazing recipes
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- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix the oil, sugar, egg and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon on top, then mix everything together to form a thick dough.
- Form the dough into walnut-sized balls and roll each ball in the sugar coating.
- Place cookies a few inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet, flattening them slightly if desired.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until slightly brown on the bottom. Do not overcook or they will be hard as rocks!
1Amount Per Serving: 5g 0g 0g 4g
What you’ll love about these sunflower butter cookies
Now picture yourself sitting by the fire, warm cookies fresh out of the oven, a glass of (vegan) milk, and cozy slippers on your feet. Do you really need more convincing to make these cookies? Well just in case you do, these cookies are:
- Allergy-friendly: So kids can take them to school with them as they are made with a delicious sunflower seed butter, however, you can also make these with cashew butter, or your favorite nut butter if there are no allergies in your family
- Quick & Easy: You only need one bowl and under 20-minutes to make these
- Versatile: Throw in the ingredients you love like dried fruit or chocolate chips
Let us know what you think!
We hope you enjoy these butterless cookies! If you our recipe for cookies without butter, please rate it and let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl cream together oil, brown sugar and white sugar.
- Beat in eggs one at a time, then add in the vanilla and almond extract.
- Blend in dry ingredients and fold in the chocolate chips.
- Using a cookie scooper, scoop balls of cookie dough and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Place them 2″ apart.
- Bake for 8 to 9 minutes and then let them cool on the pan before moving them to a wire rack.
SunButter: The magical ingredient in these easy cookies, I used the No Sugar Added SunButter. SunButter makes delicious creamy sunflower butter. Yep, that’s right. This butter is peanut-free and made with sunflower seeds instead. They only use four key ingredients in their jars of butter, and it’s free from the top eight major allergens. With so many restrictions on foods you can bring to school and work, this easy SunButter cookies recipe is perfect for the next bake sale, or special treat. The No Sugar Added SunButter contains 7g of plant-based protein and more vitamins and minerals than most nut butter.
Nut Butters: As you may see from my photos, I’ve made this recipe a few different ways before and I’ve made them with cashew butter when I don’t have sunflower butter on hand. They turn out amazing no matter if you choose nut butter or SunButter so use whatever you have on hand!
- Use unsalted sunbutter for best results.
- You can use half sunbutter and half of another milk flavored seed or nut butter, like almond butter or cashew butter, to make these.
1 cookieAmount Per Serving: 10g 2g 0g 7g
This nutrition info is based on the exact ingredients and brands that I used a the time. It may not be 100% accurate. Please check your ingredients nutrition labels.
Use a Neutral Oil
Use neutral oil such as sunflower oil, canola oil, or vegetable oil in your butterless chocolate chip cookie recipe. If you use a strongly flavored oil in the recipe like olive oil or peanut oil you will taste the flavors.
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If you want more Greek Recipes, check out our Free Greek Recipe Mini Cookbook! We also have an incredible APP for you to access at all times (yes, online and offline) all our recipes with a click of your finger – check it out here.
Store the no butter cookie recipe in an airtight container on the countertop for up to 5 days. They will last in the fridge for up to one week.
Can you freeze no butter sugar cookies?
Yes, these vegetable oil sugar cookies freeze well! Allow the baked cookies cool to room temperature, then pack them in an airtight container or zip-lock bag and freeze them. Thaw the cookies in the fridge or on the counter when ready to eat.
To freeze the unbaked dough, wrap it well in plastic wrap (cling film) and place it in a freezer-safe airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months and defrost overnight in the fridge.
Making sugar cookies without butter ahead of time
The cookie dough can be prepared a couple of days in advance. Wrap very tightly with plastic wrap (cling film) and store the dough for up to a week in the fridge. Once it’s time to bake, simply scoop into balls, roll in sugar, and bake as indicated in the recipe.
How long do sugar cookies last?
No butter cookies last at room temperature for about 5 days, in the fridge for 1 week, and in the freezer for up to 3 months. However, these cookies are so good I doubt they will last very long.
- 2 3/4 cups / 360 g / 12.6 oz all-purpose flour (plain flour, scoop and level to measure)
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup / 225 g / 8 oz light-tasting oil (e.g., vegetable oil, sunflower oil, fractionated coconut oil)
- 1 cup / 200 g / 7 oz granulated sugar (white sugar)
- 2 tbsp / 30 g / 1 oz light brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup / 50 g / 1.8 oz granulated sugar (for rolling)
- Prepare for baking. Adjust a baking rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F / 180°C / gas mark 4. Line cookie sheets with parchment (baking) paper or non-stick silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Mix dry ingredients. In a medium-size mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Combine wet ingredients. Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer + a large mixing bowl, mix the sugar, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract until well combined, and you no longer see streaks of egg yolk.
- Make dough. Add the dry ingredients into the bowl and mix until the dough is well combined. It will be thick but shouldn’t be sticky. Be careful not to over-mix. Once everything is incorporated, use a rubber spatula to help it come together and form a ball.
- Form cookies. Using a cookie scoop, portion 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized cookie dough balls. Gently roll into a ball and optionally roll each ball in the additional sugar to coat. Arrange the balls 2 in / 5 cm apart on the lined baking sheets (trays). Gently press each ball flat as they won’t spread out much on their own.
- Bake. Bake the cookies for 7 to 10 minutes. They will rise and the centers will appear soft, but should look matt, not glossy. Don’t overbake and remove the cookies just before the edges begin to turn golden.
- Cool. Take out of the oven. Allow cooling on the baking sheets (trays) for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. At first, the cookies seem a little puffy but will flatten as they cool.
1Amount Per Serving: 8g 1g 0g 7g