Vegan 5 Spice Peanut Butter Cookies

When I was younger I used to like to go to a local spice shop and walk around and open all of the sample jars and smell them.  Even if I had already smelled them before, it was all part of the experience of shopping there.  Some things smelled better than others of course, and I especially had a thing for the baking spices.  Cinnamon was one of my favorites, as was Chinese 5 spice powder.  It is a sweet heavenly aroma.  If you have never heard if it, it is a mixture of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper and fennel.  It smells sweet and a little like licorice and of course cinnamon.  Just the thing to use in Christmas cookies, even though it does have lots of savory applications as well.  I had made 5 spice peanut butter cookies back when I was in college because I had thought it sounded good and it totally was.  But sadly they were not vegan so I haven't made it in a long time.  But I decided that it was about time I veganize it.  I have been waiting several weeks to do so actually until I had time after Thanksgiving.  Because the last few weeks have been super busy I feel like with food prep and getting together with people and stuff going on.  So, finally Monday I had time to relax and bake.

Peanut butter cookies are already pretty simple to make, so it is not a hard recipe to veganize.  I just substitute ground flax seed mixed with water for the eggs and coconut oil for butter and it works just as well.  Everything else is pretty much the same, except I have swapped out coconut sugar for the brown sugar. I added in a generous tablespoon of the 5 spice powder and the dough was delicious!  I have to say, I like cookie dough even more than actual cookies, and I do "sample" a lot of it when I make them. It is kind of tradition, and what makes baking the cookies so enjoyable!  That, and the warm ones when they come out of the oven.

These smelled amazing while baking!  The sweet aroma of 5 spice, coconut oil and peanut butter filling my kitchen.  I did not wait until they cooled completely to try them, they had to be warm and still very soft.  I love that.  They were sweet, yummy, and just as good as the non-vegan version I made back in the day.  If you are a peanut butter cookie fan and want to try a jazzed up version give these a try!

Vegan 5 Spice Peanut Butter Cookies 
Makes 12 cookies



  • 1 Tbsp ground flax sseed
  • 3 Tbsp filtered water
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 Tbsp 5 Chinese 5 spice powder
  • 3/4 cup organic peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, warmed to liquid
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups gluten free all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt



  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flax seed and water.  Place the bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes, this is your flax egg.
  2. In a large bowl, with a wooden spoon, mix together the sugar, 5 spice powder, peanut butter, coconut oil, vanilla and flax egg, until smooth.  Then mix in the flour, soda, baking powder, and sea salt in until the mixture is smooth.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375F degrees.  Line a sheet pan with parchment.
  4. Shape the cookie dough into 2 inch balls, place on your baking sheet a few inches apart and flatten with a fork, like you would with peanut butter cookies.
  5. Place in the oven and bake at 375 for 12 minutes or so, until lightly browned and set.  Allow to cool on a rack.
  6. Enjoy!
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