Extra thick and chewy gluten free monster cookies! Easy recipe loaded with nut better, chocolate chips, oats, and candies. Make it dairy free + nut free with an easy swap!
Monster cookies are thick and chewy oatmeal peanut butter cookies loaded with chocolate chips and m&ms. This monster cookie recipe is gluten free and nut free! You can even make it dairy free with one simple swap for plant-based butter of your choice.
Monster cookies are a fun way to use up some leftover halloween candy, or make them anytime of the year for a super delicious cookie filled with flavor and texture.
These cookies are thick and chewy, totally stuffed with flavor, and really easy to mix up and bake. I these these are the best gluten-free monster cookies ever!
Free from: Wheat, gluten, dairy (optional), casein (optional), soy, peanuts (optional), tree nuts (optional), coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, and more
Why You’ll Love these Gluten Free Monster Cookies
- Soft, thick, and chewy! Unlike other gluten free monster cookies, these ones are soft and thick, not thin and crispy.
- Easily customizable for different food allergies! Need them nut free? No problem. Dairy free? Easy peasy!
- Easy to make recipe. Mix it up in one bowl and made with ingredients you can find at most local grocery stores.
This ingredient list is a little longer than some other cookie recipes on the site but that just means more flavor in every bite. All these ingredients are ones that you can typically find at local grocery stores, so there is no reason not to bake some up today!
- Gluten free flour - All different gluten free flours have different blends which can give slightly different results. For these cookies, I recommend using King Arthur Measure for Measure flour or my own Homemade Gluten Free Flour which is nightshade free. If you use a different flour blend, you may need to adjust the level of wet ingredients in the recipe.
- Gluten-free oats - Make sure that you are purchasing certified gluten free oats for this recipe. My personal favorite is Bob’s Red Mill as I’ve never had an issue with them and I love their flavor. Trader Joe also makes a good gluten free old-fashioned oats. Quick-cooking oats or old-fashioned cooking can work in this recipe. Quick cooking oats will give you a flavor that kinda melts into the cookie. Old fashioned oats will give a heartier and chewier texture. I always reach for old fashioned!
- Nut butter of choice - Traditional monster cookies are made with peanut butter. However, you can use any nut or seed butter you like!
- Other ingredients you’ll need: Butter, white + brown sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder, baking soda, salt, chocolate chips, and m&ms
If you are avoiding food dyes, you can still make these cookies! Unreal makes food dye free chocolate covered candies that work just as well. Or, you can double the amount of chocolate chips.
If you are avoiding peanuts or tree nuts, you can easily use sunflower seed butter or soy nut butter in this recipe. In fact, the cookies in these photos were made with sunflower seed butter and they are soooo good!
Avoiding dairy? No problem! Simply use the equal amount of your favorite dairy-free butter. “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” and Earth Balance both make great vegan butter sticks that I use all the time. Also make sure you use dairy free chocolate candies!
If you are avoiding corn make sure to use gluten free flour and baking powder that are both corn free.
For the full recipe complete with measurements, please see the recipe card below.
In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, nut butter of choice, and both white and brown sugar together. Mix this up until it is smooth and creamy, about 4 minutes on a medium speed.
Next, while the butter is mixing, in a medium bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients: Gluten free flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set this aside.
After the butter is well mixed, add the eggs on low speed, one at a time. Make sure to really let the eggs incorporate into the batter.
Tip! If the butter starts to get lumpy that means the eggs were incorporated too quickly. It really won’t affect the taste of the final cookie, just that they won’t be as soft and fluffy as they could be. That’s why it’s so important to have room temperature ingredients and to go slow when mixing the fats (butter) with the protein (eggs). No worries! They will still taste awesome.
Now, add the vanilla and the oats. Finally, slowly add the flour mixture to the batter. It should be a softer cookie dough.
Finally, it’s time to add the chocolate chips and m&ms! On low speed, add these ingredients, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl so that all the chocolate gets mixed in.
Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, roll them into dough balls place them on a cookie sheet. You can pop a few more chocolate chips or m&ms on top of these cookies if you like. Cover with a bit of plastic wrap so they don't dry out. Then, pop it into the fridge for a 30 minute chill. This helps to hydrate the dough since we are using gluten free flour. Don’t skip this chill!
Baking the Cookies
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line 3 baking trays with parchment paper. Place 6 or 8 cookies on each tray, depending on how big your trays are, so that they have room to grow.
Bake each cookie tray for 14-16 minutes. They might look a little wet but they will be done. If you over bake them, they will be dry and crumbly.
Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes. As with most things gluten free, these cookies need to cool completely to get the best texture.
Try adding some other simple ingredients for some more great options. Here are some ideas:
White chocolate chips, broken gluten free pretzel bites, butterscotch chips, different candies like broken peanut butter cups, or a mix of milk chocolate chips and dark chocolate chips.
Why is it called a monster cookie?
That’s one of the mysteries of life. No one knows where the name comes from. Some say it’s because they look like monsters with all the fillings inside of them. Others suggest they are the “monster” of all cookies with so many mix-ins.
Do I need to chill the dough?
Yes. I find that gluten free cookies are always better when they rest in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes before baking. This allows time for the dough to really hydrate so that you have a better baking cookie, as well as a longer lasting cookie.
Are oats gluten free?
Yes, you can purchase certified gluten free oats at a lot of grocery stores. Naturally, oats are a gluten free food. However, they come into cross contamination with wheat or gluten based products in the manufacturing process. Make sure you always source out certified gluten free oats. I love the ones from Bob’s Red Mill!
What nut butter can I use in these cookies?
Any nut butter you like will work! Almond butter, Peanut Butter, and Sunflower Seed Butter are my go-tos for this recipe. Stick with things like creamy peanut butter and try to not use natural peanut butter. Those kinds are a little more liquidy than others. However, if you are using a nut butter that is more runny, just add 2 tablespoons more of flour.
Are m&ms gluten free?
Yes and no! In the United States, plain m&ms are gluten free. In Australia, they are not listed as gluten free. My bet would be due to cross contamination. If you are in doubt, use other candies you know are safe, like Unreal Chocolate Gems or just more chocolate chips!
Coconut sugar or brown sugar
Yes, you can replace the brown sugar in this recipe with coconut sugar. It doesn’t taste like coconut, but offers a sweet flavor similar to brown sugar. You do need to use the white sugar in this recipe, however, as the white sugar helps with the structure of the cookie.
Can I make smaller cookies?
Yes! This recipe makes for 24 large 2 tablespoon cookies. You can use a 1 tablespoon scoop and get 48 smaller cookies.
Top Cookie Tips!
- Make sure you chill the dough! I know that it is a bummer to have to wait before baking, but the gluten free flours need time to hydrate in the fridge before baking. The fridge helps to keep the butter and nut butter from melting before it gets in the oven.
- Let them cool on the cookie tray until almost totally cooled before moving. Gluten free cookies need time to set up before moving them.
- Use parchment paper to help these cookies be non-stick.
How to Store
Keep these cookies to enjoy all week!
Countertop: Store in a sealed airtight container on the counter top for a week.
Freezer: Store fully baked and cooled cookies in a freezer safe container for up to 2 months. Allow them to thaw totally before enjoying after freezing. To store unbaked cookie dough, roll cookies into balls and freeze on a cookie sheet until they are hard. Then transfer the raw cookie dough to a freezer safe container for up to 3 months. Bake as directed. The frozen cookies may require an additional 2 minutes or so of baking time.
More Gluten Free Recipes
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- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- mixing bowls
- mixing spoons
- hand mixer or stand mixer
- cookie sheets
- parchment paper
- Cookie scoop
- ½ cup butter room temperature
- ½ cup nut butter of choice or sun butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups oats
- 2 ¼ cups gluten free flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup chocolate chips
- ½ cup chocolate covered candies
- In a large bowl with a hand mixer or a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and nut butters together. Mix them on medium speed for about 3-5 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time, and next the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- While the butter is mixing, in a small bowl, sift together the gluten free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- On low speed, add the flour mixture and the oats. Finally add the m&ms and chocolate chips. Mix until just incorporated.
- Using a 2 tablespoon cookie scoop, roll balls of dough and place onto a prepared baking sheet. Press a few extra chocolate chips and m&ms on top if you like.
- Chill cookie dough for 30 to 60 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- Place cookies at least 2 inches apart on a baking tray. Slightly press down on the cookies with the back of a measuring cup.
- Bake for 14 to 16 minutes. The cookies will look soft, which is ideal. Remove from the oven and let the cookies chill for at least 15 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Cookies will firm up as they cool.
- If you are avoiding food dyes, you can still make these cookies! Unreal makes food dye free chocolate covered candies that work just as well. Or, you can double the amount of chocolate chips.
- If you are avoiding nuts or tree nuts, you can easily use sunflower seed butter or soy nut butter in this recipe. In fact, the cookies in these photos were made with sunflower seed butter and they are soooo good!
- Avoiding dairy? No problem! Simply use the equal amount of your favorite dairy-free butter. “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” and Earth Balance both make great vegan butter sticks that I use all the time.
- If you are avoiding corn make sure to use gluten free flour and baking powder that are both corn free.
The nutritional information on this website is only an estimate and is provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.