These Gluten-Free Monster Cookies are chewy, thick, deliciously soft, and possibly the BEST cookies I have ever eaten! Made with shredded coconut, peanut butter, sweet mix-ins, and gluten-free flour, the texture will win you over. I can promise that the gooey chocolate chips and crunchy candy pieces will have you coming back for more!
My version of Monster cookies is gluten-free, one-bowl, and super easy to make. I also share how I make this loaded cookie recipe dairy-free and grain-free to accommodate other dietary needs.
It can be difficult to find those perfect recipes when maintaining or transitioning to a gluten-free lifestyle. I love sharing my tried-and-true recipes so you can enjoy all the best foods without loss of flavor. My Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies is another popular gluten-free cookie recipe that was created to fit our diets!
What are Monster Cookies?
Monster cookies are a type of cookie with peanut butter in addition to regular butter and multiple mix-ins like chocolate chips, M&M's, and oats.
These are the Frankenstein of cookies! They combine many different types of cookies like peanut butter cookies, candy cookies, coconut cookies, and chocolate chip cookies! We piece them all together for a MONSTER of a cookie!
Because I can't tolerate oats (even the gluten-free certified ones), I replaced oats with shredded coconut for a similar awesome chewy texture!
Why I love this recipe
- Gluten-free - I perfected this gluten-free Monster cookie recipe with gluten-free flour and shredded coconut.
- One bowl - I think we can all agree that the best recipes have minimal dishes! That may not actually always be the case, but this cookie recipe makes it super simple with just a bowl, a cookie sheet, and a measuring scoop for less clean-up.
- So easy - Because we mix everything in one bowl, this recipe is simple to make. There is an order and a method to adding the ingredients to the bowl, so be sure to follow the instructions.
- Kids LOVE them! - These are so fun and loaded with flavors that kids will love. These would be perfect to pack in a school lunch box or have ready to eat when they arrive home for an after school treat!
What are gluten-free Monster cookies made of?
This Gluten-Free Monster Cookie batter is made with gluten-free flour, peanut butter, and eggs, and stuffed with mini chocolate chips, M&M’s, and shredded coconut.
Traditional Monster cookies are made with oats, but for this version, I substituted shredded coconut. If you like, use gluten-free quick oats in place of the coconut measure for measure.
You're in for a real treat with these soft-baked Monster cookies. This recipe uses simple and easy-to-find ingredients. Check your local grocer for their gluten-free aisle and my Gluten Free Shopping List for helpful tips!
- Butter - I used dairy-free vegan buttery sticks, softened at room temperature. Feel free to use regular butter instead.
- Peanut butter - I used unsweetened creamy peanut butter but go for the crunchy if you want extra crunch and texture in your monster cookies! If you can't have peanut butter, go ahead and swap in sunflower seed butter, almond butter, or another nut butter spread of your choosing.
- Sugar - I used coconut sugar but regular white sugar or other granulated baking sugar will work here too.
- Vanilla extract
- Gluten-free all-purpose flour - I recommend Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 or Pamela's All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour. If picking the grain-free option, Cassava flour also works here.
- Baking soda - Arm & Hammer brand is gluten-free and my baking soda brand of choice.
- Shredded unsweetened coconut
- M&M's - See “Substitutions” below for alternatives that are cleaner and certified gluten-free.
- Mini chocolate chips
See the recipe card for quantities.
Mix the cookie dough ingredients in a bowl and bake. That’s how simple this recipe for chewy Monster cookies is!
Now let's go step-by-step:
Prep: Grease or line two cookie or baking sheets. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix wet ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, add the butter and use an electric mixer to cream until smooth. Add peanut butter and sugar and cream again for at least one minute until well-mixed. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until just combined.
Add dry ingredients: Add gluten-free flour, baking soda, and salt to the bowl. Mix until just combined.
Add mix-ins: Add coconut, M&M's or alternative, and chocolate chips. Mix until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Make dough balls: Use a large ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) ice cream or cookie scoop to make balls. Lightly compact each one with your hands before placing on the baking sheet, allowing a couple inches between them for spreading.
Bake: Bake for 9-11 minutes. The cookies are done when the edges are set and the dough has a light brown crust.
Flatten if needed & enjoy: If the cookies have not spread, use the back of a measuring cup to press them down slightly to flatten. This will occur if you used cold (rather than room temperature) butter and eggs. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy!
Why did my cookies not spread?
This will occur if you used cold (rather than room temperature) butter and eggs.
Hint: Use the back of a measuring cup to press them down slightly to flatten as soon as they are removed from the oven.
This recipe for Monster cookies is already gluten free. But we can do better than that with substitutions that will fit your dietary restrictions!
- Coconut - Instead of using shredded coconut substitute the same amount for gluten-free oats.
- Mix-ins - This is a great opportunity to get creative and use what you’d like. You can switch out the chocolate chips for peanut butter or white chocolate chips, or add walnuts, or mini marshmallows.
- Grain-free - Make this a Grain-Free Monster Cookie recipe by substituting the gluten-free flour for cassava flour with a one-to-one ratio. In my trial making this substitution for grain-free cookies, I couldn't tell the difference between the two!
- M&M’s - No Whey Choco No No's are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and vegan. Regular M&M's are gluten-free but not dairy-free.
- Anyone looking for a cleaner version of M&M's with a strict gluten-free guarantee should consider UNREAL Milk Chocolate Gems -- all recent batches are now certified gluten-free.
- Dairy-free - I use vegan butter in this recipe but would recommend using the No Whey Choco No No's as an M&M substitution for a dairy-free Monster cookie recipe. Also, choose dairy-free chocolate chips.
For another delicious gluten-free dessert recipe, try my Gluten-Free Blondies. They are dairy-free and paleo-friendly.
Try a new variation of Monster Cookies each bake by choosing alternative ingredients! This allows you to be creative and try new flavors.
- Almond Butter Monster Cookies - Use almond butter instead of peanut butter and change one of your mix-ins to almond slivers.
- Peanut Butter Chip Monster Cookies - Switch the chocolate chips for peanut butter morsels and the M&M’s for Reese’s Pieces.
- Oat Monster Cookies - This is a more common ingredient than shredded coconut found in the original variation of Monster cookies. Simply replace the coconut with quick oats.
- Christmas Monster Cookies - Use green and red Christmas M&M's, gluten-free pretzel stick pieces, and white and dark chocolate chips like this fun recipe from Half Baked Harvest!
Try my Edible GF Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough recipe but add in toasted coconut and mix-ins, like in this recipe, for another gluten-free cookie idea.
The best part about this easy Monster cookie recipe is that it is mixed in one bowl, so the amount of clean up is minimal.
You will also need a hand mixer, a cookie sheet, and a 4-ounce cookie scoop.
Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Cookie dough is perfect for freezing and can be frozen for up to 3 months for the best quality.
To do this, form the cookie dough as if baking and place them on a lined baking sheet. Place the cookie dough balls into the freezer for about an hour and then transfer them to an air-tight, freezer-safe bag or container.
When baking homemade frozen cookies, you can bake the dough straight from the freezer and add a few more minutes to the baking time. While they will still taste amazing, they may not spread as much.
For a taste and texture like freshly made cookie dough, allow the frozen dough to thaw in the refrigerator before baking.
Freeze baked cookies for up to 1 month.
Use vegan butter, cassava flour, vegan chocolate chips, and gluten-free M&M's alternatives for the most well-rounded gluten-free, dairy-free, ooey-gooey Monster Cookie that checks all the marks for diet-friendly desserts.