These 3-ingredient Sunflower Butter Cookies are easy, nut-free vegan cookies perfect for your Christmas platter and, they are ready in about 20 minutes, baking included. Plus, this cookie recipe is very versatile, and you can add chocolate chips to the mix for some crunch!
If you love my chewy vegan peanut cookies with chocolate chips but have a peanut allergy, try these sunflower seed butter cookies instead. This recipe is inspired by my 3-ingredient vegan peanut butter cookies. At first, my goal was simply to check if the sunflower seed butter was turning cookies green. I have done a lot of research on the science of sunflower seed butter in baking and learned that if you mix sunbutter with baking soda, a chlorophyll chemical reaction happens, releasing chlorophyll and a green crumb as the cookie cools down.
As an avid baker, I wanted to try and see with my own eyes. After baking the same recipe four times (yes, I have tons of cookies in the freezer now!) I noticed that the green color in sunbutter cookies doesn’t show up every time – it only happens once out of 4 trials, and the picture below shows you how sharp the green color can come out.
Ingredients and Substitutions
I tried replicating the same recipe but with different ingredients substitutions: all-purpose flour, oat flour, baking soda, almond flour, and adding vanilla extract with alcohol. I also wanted to create a crunchy cookie, but not too dense either, and my goal was to use maple syrup to avoid white sugar. After many experiments, I found that the best combination of ingredients was three simple ingredients:
- Sunflower Seed Butter – I recommend using unsalted, unsweetened seed butter, or the cookies come out too sweet and salty.
- All-Purpose Flour – While oat flour or almond flour works, the result is less crunchy, fragile, and a bit powdery. That’s why flour is my go-to ingredient for this recipe.
- Maple syrup or any liquid sweetener like agave syrup or coconut nectar.
Then, feel free to stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. Vanilla adds flavor, and if yours contains alcohol then it inhibits the chlorophyll reaction when you add the baking soda. It means you should have a brown, crunchy cookie without any green color showing.
Making and Baking
- To make the batter, simply stir the 3 ingredients together in a mixing bowl. The dough is sticky so grease your hand to roll small ball of cookie dough then released on the lined baking sheet.
- Repeat until you form 8 balls and press down the cookie with the back of a fork. I like to press twice in alternate directions to create a crisscross shape on top like I always do in my classic vegan peanut butter cookie recipe.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, you can use the same amount of oat flour or almond flour, but these options make the cookies fragile and crumbly. Otherwise, all-purpose gluten-free flour should work.
Absolutely! The green color is a harmless result of natural chemical reactions and doesn’t affect the taste or safety of the cookies.
Baking powder is already slightly acidic, so using it alone can help prevent the green color. However, it might not provide enough leavening power. Experiment with a combination of baking powder and baking soda for optimal results.
Yes, fold in 1/3 cup of dark chocolate chips in the dough and stir to incorporate.
More Vegan Cookie Recipes
Did You Like This Recipe?
Sunflower Butter Cookies
Optional but recommended
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ⅓ cup Dark Chocolate Chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add fresh sunflower seed butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract if used.
- Combine with a spatula until it forms a creamy paste.
- Fold in the flour, and baking powder if used.
- Stir until it forms a sticky cookie dough. Fold in chocolate chips now if using and stir to incorporate.
- Grease hands, divide the dough into 12 balls, and roll each between oiled hands.
- Place each ball on the prepared cookie sheet and, using a fork, flatten the cookies. I love to flatten each cookie twice, forming a crisscross shape on the top of the peanut butter cookies.
- Repeat until all cookies are shaped and leave a thumb space between each cookie. They won't expand while baking, but you don't want the cookies to touch each other.
- Bake for 11-12 minutes or until the sides are golden brown.
- Cool the cookies down for 10 minutes on the tray, then transfer them to a cooling rack. If they turn green in the middle, they are safe to eat, and it won't alter the taste of the cookies.