Peanut Butter Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies (Vegan)

Vegan Peanut Butter Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies - yep, they're as awesome as they sound! //

Let’s kick Christmas cookie season up a notch, shall we?  These Peanut Butter Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies oughta do the trick.

Peanut butter cookies were always my favorite Christmas cookie.  My aunt Laurie would make a huuuuuge batch every year and gifted us each with our own tin of them.  They were THE BEST: soft and crumbly; they almost melted in your mouth.  It was heaven.

Vegan Peanut Butter Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies - yep, they're as awesome as they sound! //

My Nana tells me this recipe originated from the kitchen staff at the elementary school my dad and aunts attended.  Apparently, the kids kept telling Nana how delicious the peanut butter cookies at school were, so – obviously, being the head of the PTA – she marched down and secured the recipe herself.  That part always makes me smile; no one can say no to my Nana. 🙂

Luckily for me (and all of you, trust me), this recipe was super easy to veganize.  All that needed to be done was replace the chicken eggs with some flax eggs and bing, bang, boom – vegan Christmas cookies to knock all your socks off.

Being the dramatic person I am, you know I had to add a little extra flair to these cookies which is where the cheesecake filling comes in because:

peanut butter + cheesecake = my favorite dessert combo of all time

In fact, the very first recipe we ever posted on this blog was for peanut butter cheesecake ice cream!

Vegan Peanut Butter Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies - yep, they're as awesome as they sound! //

This recipe would make a GREAT addition to your holiday cookie tray; your friends and fam will be STUNNED by your creativity and have no idea there’s not a hint of dairy or eggs in there.  My favorite kind of recipe for that holiday situation. 🙂

A few things about these peanut butter cheesecake thumbprint cookies:

  1. Let them cool completely before eating them. I know.  I know it’s tough to resist cookies straight outta the oven.  And these cookies spell particularly fantastic if I do say so myself which makes it even more difficult to resist.  But resist you must because they need a little time to firm up for optimum delicious-ness.  You know I wouldn’t lead you astray here.
  2. There’s a gluten-free option!  The credit for this recipe development goes to my aunt.  She replaced the all-purpose flour with half coconut flour and half gluten-free all purpose flour, and it really does work like a charm making these cookies even more kickass for those big holiday parties with lots of different dietary needs.  Christmas cookies for all!
  3. This recipe makes a lot of cookies.  4 dozen to be exact.  That’s awesome if you’re making these for a crowd or giving them as gifts, but feel free to cut the recipe in half if that works better for you.

If you make these cookies, let us know!   Tag us in your epic photos on Instagram (we’re @theplantpowercouple, with the ‘the’) or Facebook (just Plant Power Couple there).  Happy baking, Plant Power People!

(And if you like these cookies, check out our classic Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies while you’re at it!)

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies (vegan, gf option)
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    For the cheesecake filling:
  • 2 oz vegan cream cheese (We love Tofutti.)
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • For the cookies:
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground flax + 3 Tbsp water)
  • 1 3/4 cups peanut butter
  • 2.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups + 2 Tbsp flour (or replace with 1/2 coconut flour, 1/2 GF all-purpose)


  1. Preheat your oven to 325F and mix your flax eggs in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Next, make the filling by mixing the two ingredients together with a hand or stand mixture. When combined, set it in the refrigerator while you make the cookies.
  3. In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and sugars. Add the peanut butter and flax egg and continue mixing until well-combined.
  4. Add baking soda, salt, & vanilla. Mix well
  5. Slowly add the flour, mixing after each addition.
  6. Roll the mixture into 48 1-inch balls and place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 325 for 10 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Then, wet a spoon and gently press the back of it into each cookie, making a slight divot.
  9. Fill each divot with cheesecake filling and bake for another 3-5 minutes.
  10. Finally, and I know this is tough, allow the cookies to cook completely before eating them. Then, enjoy!

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