This recipe for easy peanut butter cookies involves one bowl, melted butter, no mixer, and no chill time. It delivers soft, intensely peanut butter flavored cookies every time!

The Easiest Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe | katiebirdbakes

I have a bone to pick with most peanut butter cookie recipes.

And that bone is: they aren’t peanut buttery enough.

Recently at work we went around the lunch table discussing our favorite foods. As a serious food lover, I am hard-pressed to pick just one food to rank above all others; being forced to choose is pretty unfair.

I remember in childhood I would default to “pizza” as the answer to this question, mostly because I knew that while I did legitimately love pizza, others were assured to love it too. Thus my response would be universally accepted rather than ridiculed, or worse, dismissed as “weird.”

But luckily, adulthood brings with it an acceptance of self and also a certain devil-may-care regard for the opinions of others (well, sometimes at least). So when my turn came around, my answer to the “what’s your favorite food” question was: peanut butter.

Yes. Peanut butter. And I wasn’t the only one who chose it! My 10-year-old self would be proud.

Peanut butter may seem like a very boring choice, but let me count the ways that I love it and you’ll see why. It started, as I imagine for most people, with PB&Js in childhood.

Actually, it started when my dad would mix peanut butter and honey together in a small bowl and then spread it on toast for me. Aren’t childhood memories so oddly specific sometimes? It was true heaven in a bite.

Then later, for after-school snacks, my mom would spread PB on banana slices, and that began my drive to put it on everything.

I could (and do) eat the stuff every day and never get bored of it. I love it cold, warm, natural, conventional, creamy, chunky. I love it spread on toast, banana bread, waffles, and pancakes, mixed into my oatmeal, drizzled on top of an açaí bowl or pretty much any fruit, and most recently, I’ve taken to eating it straight up in a bowl topped with honey, blueberries, and hemp seeds.

Also, I’m of the opinion that if you haven’t made a PB&J with toast instead of plain bread, you haven’t lived. Trust me on this one.

All of this is to say that when I eat a peanut butter cookie rather than just going straight for the jar of real stuff, it better knock my socks off. I’m talking intense, practically fudgy peanut butter flavor with deep, slightly salted caramel notes and a dense chew. The bakery-style kind, where peanut butter residue remains on your fingers long after the cookie is gone.

You know the ones I mean.

Unfortunately, most peanut butter cookie recipes just don’t live up to that standard. They can be dry, crumbly, too crispy, too sweet, or worst of all, NOT peanut buttery.

Most, if not all of them, rely on the creaming of butter and sugar to create crispness and lightness in the cookie. Usually the peanut butter is added during the creaming process, and then the finished dough is chilled to prevent spreading before the scooping and rolling and shaping can commence.

Again I find myself asking: why does this have to be so complicated?

The Easiest Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe | katiebirdbakes

Conventional baking wisdom suggests that the creaming and chilling method is the best for cookie baking, but I have some issues with it. I detailed these reasons in my post containing the recipe for the easiest chocolate chip cookies, which has become the most popular recipe on this site by far.

If you’re like me (and by virtue of your reading this post, I assume that you are) you want less steps and complication in your recipes, not more. You want excellent baked goods that don’t skimp on flavor or texture, but that won’t take all night to make.

I’m here to deliver.

The Easiest Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe | katiebirdbakes

Elements of Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

Melted butter. In addition to my issues with an overcomplicated process, I realized that the common thread in my unfortunate experiences with homemade peanut butter cookies was a lack of density, or fudge factor, in the cookies. Usually, in fact, they are on the dry side. How could I go about fixing that?

As so many of my recipes do, it comes back to this: melted butter.

Melted butter makes the mixing process a lot less complicated. If we don’t need to cream room temperature butter and sugar, then we don’t need a mixer at all. And if we’re not using a mixer, we don’t whip as much air into the batter, and as a result we get the denser texture we want for these peanut butter cookies.

It also adds moisture. Added moisture equals a heavier, denser cookie. And that’s exactly what we want when it comes to peanut butter cookies.

The Easiest Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe | katiebirdbakes

One bowl. If you have a large microwave-safe bowl (I use glass), the entire recipe can be made in one bowl.

You start by melting the butter and peanut butter together in the microwave. Then stir in brown sugar, followed by the egg, then the vanilla, salt, and baking soda.

Yes, I want you to stir in the salt and baking soda before the flour, not with it. This is because we want them to be fully incorporated and evenly distributed throughout the wet mixture before adding the flour. Because we’re doing this all in one bowl, we don’t want to run the risk of unmixed pockets of baking soda or salt in the mixture. That would be gross.

Lastly, the flour is stirred in until a cohesive dough forms. The dough becomes pretty stiff once all the flour is mixed in. You may have to turn it over a few times with a spatula or even your hands to get it to come together, but it will.

The Easiest Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe | katiebirdbakes

No chilling. Yes, you can use this peanut butter cookie dough immediately, no chill time required.

Once the flour is mixed in, simply scoop the dough using a tablespoon cookie scoop (I use this one), roll between your hands if desired to create a smooth ball, then press down in a hashtag pattern with a fork.

Sprinkle with some sugar over the top if you want. 10 minutes later, you will have the best, super easy peanut butter cookies ever.

Smaller yield. This recipe makes about 20 cookies in total. I find this is the perfect amount of cookies to make for a party, or just for yourself on a Tuesday. The point is, you won’t be spending an hour pulling cookie sheets in and out of the oven.

And whether you live in a small apartment with limited counter space like me, or you have all the kitchen space in the world, I think we can agree that less time spent laboring over cookies and more time spent eating them is a good thing.

The Easiest Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe | katiebirdbakes

What type of peanut butter to use?

A frequent question when baking with peanut butter is which type to use. Most recipes will advise you to use conventional peanut butter. Well, I have made this recipe with both “natural” (i.e., just peanuts and salt) and “conventional” (i.e., shelf stable) peanut butter, and I only noticed a slight difference.

The cookies made with natural peanut butter had a bit of a grainier, sandier texture than the cookies made with conventional peanut butter. They also crumbled a bit more. I think this is because conventional peanut butters contain added sugar and oils (either hydrogenated vegetable oil or palm oil) to make them shelf stable. This in turn adds a bit more fat/sugar and therefore moisture to the cookies, helps them hold together, and gives them a soft texture.

The results, however, were not so different that I would clearly recommend one kind over the other. Both produced delicious, soft peanut butter cookies. So all of this is to say that you should use whichever kind is your favorite!

I hope you love this recipe for the easiest peanut butter cookies. We certainly haven’t been able to keep them around for longer than a few hours around here.

The Easiest Peanut Butter Cookie Recipe | katiebirdbakes
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4.72 from 28 votes

The Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies

This recipe for the easiest peanut butter cookies you'll ever make involves one bowl, melted butter, no mixer, and no chilling. It delivers soft, intensely flavored peanut butter cookies every time!
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cookies, peanut butter
Servings: 20 cookies
Author: Katiebird Bakes


  • 6 Tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter
  • cup (132g) brown sugar (packed)
  • ½ cup (130g) peanut butter*
  • 1 large egg (50g)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup (156g) all-purpose flour**


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and peanut butter together (this takes about 45 seconds to 1 minute in my microwave). Stir until there is one homogenous melted butter-peanut butter mixture, then whisk in brown sugar. My whisk of choice is actually a fork, but a normal whisk works too.
  • Whisk in egg and vanilla until mixture is well-combined. Add the salt and baking soda, and whisk until fully incorporated.
  • Add the flour and stir with a fork or spatula until a fairly stiff dough is formed. You may need to put in some elbow grease with the spatula or your hands to get it to come together, but it will.
  • Scoop dough using a tablespoon cookie scoop, then roll it between your palms to create a smooth dough ball. Place on the cookie sheet then press down gently using the tines of a fork to form a criss-cross or hashtag pattern. Repeat with remaining cookie dough balls, spacing 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Sprinkle granulated sugar over the cookies before baking if desired.
  • Bake for 10 minutes, until the cookies are slightly puffed and smelling amazing. Enjoy!


*conventional or natural peanut butter both work. I tried it both ways, and slightly prefer the texture of the cookies when conventional peanut butter is used.  Natural peanut butter tends to produce slightly grainier cookies, but either result is delicious so pick your favorite.
**Note on measuring flour: for best results, please make sure you either weigh your flour using the gram measurements OR if you don’t have a kitchen scale, use the “spoon and level” method for measuring flour, rather than using your measuring cup to scoop flour directly from the bag.  The spoon and level method produces a lighter cup of flour, while scooping from the bag produces a packed, heavier cup that will prevent the cookies from spreading as they should.  If you haven’t heard of this method before, Sally’s Baking Addiction has a great tutorial!
Recipe adapted from my Peanut Butter Blondies.
Cookies will keep (and stay soft!), stacked in an airtight container at room temperature, for up to 5 days.  You can tightly wrap and freeze baked cookies for up to 3 months.  To freeze cookie dough for later, scoop, roll, flatten and then freeze the cookie dough on a plate or baking sheet for 30 minutes, then keep in a freezer bag and bake cookies directly from frozen, adding 2 minutes to the baking time.

Like this recipe for easy peanut butter cookies?  Please rate it and leave a comment or tag me on Instagram @katiebirdbakes, and sign up for my email list to receive my recipes straight to your inbox every time I post!

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  1. 5 stars
    My youngest was bored and wanted to bake…so we decided on this recipe today! So happy we did, as they turned out amazing and it was so easy to put together! Thank you!

  2. 5 stars
    Just pulled my first batch out of the oven & they look really good! Excited to try! They are going to be Christmas present to that one person that’s impossible to shop for …oh yeah & my hubby! Very easy recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    You’ve outdone yourself Katie! Stumbled on the recipe because I don’t currently have a mixer and loved it. Just made a second batch adding Hershey Kiss to the after baking (and omitting fork hashtagging step).

  4. 5 stars
    Great recipe 😋 I was searching for an easy one bowl situation and no creaming butter with sugar business either! Ha!! It can be done.. thanks for sharing this will be my new ‘go to!

  5. 5 stars
    I love these cookies! Just the right ingredients for a peanut butter flavor. Only thing I did was spread some mini chocolate chips over them when I brought them out of the oven. Oh my!
    I was going to add a picture but didn’t see a way. These are wonderful cookies! Thank you

  6. 5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe! Was craving somethingg sweet I could make with what I had on hand that didn’t require a hand mixer since my toddler is so scared of them! This hit the spot for this urgent pregnancy craving 😉

  7. 5 stars
    My wife and I enjoy these. I use baking powder instead of baking soda, sometimes. I use Benecol instead of butter, sometimes. I use half Truvia’s Brown Sugar, half regular sometimes. A bit more peanut butter sometimes. I incorporate a bit of whole wheat sometimes. Potassium chloride in place of salt. I even use almond butter sometimes. These always work for me, as long as I keep the measurements right and don’t undercook them! Thanks for the simple recipe, no chilling required… Nice.

  8. 4 stars
    Easy to make and makes attractive cookies but I agree with a previous commenter…not enough peanut butter flavor and the texture is a bit too floury. I might add an extra 1/4 cup of PB next time.
    I also made a batch using a keto friendly almond flour and they were nuttier and tastier. I would make those again.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  9. 2 stars
    Better than other PB recipes my wife has tried, but they were all disappointing. All lacked a strong peanut butter taste. However, I have to disagree with your statement that the recipe delivers intensely peanut butter cookies every time! Intensely is not true. Mild peanut flavor at best. Thought that 1/2 cup of peanut butter seemed too light. Add more? Note: Followed the recipe steps to the ‘T’. 🤷‍♀️

  10. 5 stars
    I love to cook, but I rarely bake. Things just never turn out quite right for me. The fact that this recipe has gram measurements was so helpful. I love that these are on the mellower side flavor-wise. Not too sweet or overly heavy on the PB flavor. Nice soft texture. They were really good, thank you!

  11. 5 stars
    I swear, cookies spread every time I make them, but these did not!! I even made several substitutions (Earth Balance spread, whole wheat flour, and coconut sugar) and there still turned out lovely. Thank you for the brilliantly simple recipe!

  12. 5 stars
    I wanted to make peanut butter cookies yesterday but all the recipes said “Cream the butter and sugar….” and I thought…no…cannot be bothered with that faff. Then today I thought, some clever person surely has a recipe for using melted butter and ta-dah! This is definitely it! These are absolutely delicious and just no trouble for a lazy person like me to make! Thank you so much 🙂

  13. 5 stars
    Great recipe! The first few times I made them, they spread way too much. I realised it’s because what I was using had around 15% added fat, so I increased the peanut butter amount to 150g and decreased butter to 65g, and they stopped spreading! Make sure you check your labels. 15g of peanuts has 7.4g of fat, so if your peanut butter has 8g of fat it’s probably around 10% fat. Or you could just buy 100% peanut peanut butter.

  14. 5 stars
    I don’t cook but I’ve made these twice now and even my wife likes them. I learned just now from her that the “Sugar in the Raw” I’ve used isn’t “Brown Sugar”, even if it is brown, but regardless the cookies come out really good. FYI I used 2/3 cup of peanut butter since it’s crunchy. And on my cookies I put a few semi sweet chocolate chips on top. 😋

  15. 5 stars
    Curious whether you cool the cookies on the pan or off (using parchment paper). We chose to cool them on the cookie sheet for 10 mins. before eating. Love the 1-bowl easy process, not having to remember to soften butter ahead of time. Flaky and moist simultaneously. Yum.

  16. 5 stars
    Best peanut butter biscuits I’ve ever made or had!! Just the right amount of PB and light and crunchy. Also don’t have a mixer at the moment as just moved countries so I’m happy to have found a recipe that doesn’t need one.

  17. 4 stars
    Made these tonight. Maybe my taste buds are off because of spring time allergies, but not as strong a PB as I anticipated (No I don’t have the Covid LOL). I did chill the dough while the first test batch was in the oven. It was tacky to work with (oily) with the 1st batch. Much easier and less oily after fridge’d for 10 mins or so. Thanks for the share will be a great road trip snack!

  18. 5 stars
    As usual, your recipes never disappoint. I was looking for a small batch recipe for PB cookies and made this. Super easy and they are perfect! Keep the recipes coming!

  19. I am a peanut butter fanatic and was extremely excited by this recipe. The texture of these cookies are spot on. I baked them for ten minutes and took them out, and they did not quite reach that level of peanut butter I was looking for. That said, I think it was my fault in not baking them long enough so my question is this: how do you know when peanut butter cookies are done? Should they be slightly browned on top, or only on the bottom?

    1. Hi Allyshia – they do not get browned on the top when they’re done, so it’s a matter of personal preference for how crispy you’d like the edges to be. I’d recommend 12-13 minutes bake time if that’s what you’d prefer!

  20. 4 stars
    These were pretty good. We didn’t think there was enough peanut butter flavor in them and we were concerned that there was no regular sugar in them like in most peanut butter cookie recipes. But, they were easy to make. We only baked ours for 9 minutes though, instead of 10 minutes because they were already slightly brown around the edges and they do cook a little bit after you pull them out of the oven.

    1. Hi Katie – I don’t, but you can plug the ingredients you use into any online nutrition calculator and it will work! Nutrition facts are hugely dependent on the brands you use so I don’t publish them on my blog. All the best!

  21. I love your Easy Chocolate Chip and Easy Peanut Butter recipes. So easy that I want to make them all the time and oh so delicious! Love that a batch only makes 20-24 cookies. Just right for me and my husband. I will never make the traditional recipes I use to make for these cookies. I’m planning to bake the Anzac Biscuits.

  22. 5 stars
    Oh boy this is a great recipe! I dreamed about peanut butter cookies last night so first thing this morning I have 2 batches made. Thank you so much for this amazing recipe.


  23. 5 stars
    Amazing and easy peanut butter cookies! Honestly, you can’t go wrong with any of Katie’s recipes. I’ve made so many now and keep going back!
    Thank you

  24. 5 stars
    These peanut butter cookies were so easy and fast! Not needing to chill the dough was so helpful in a time crunch. The cookies were soft and flavorful – in my opinion, an improvement over a traditional crunch cookie. Katie, thanks for always scaling down your recipes! I needed to take something to a backyard barbeque and this was the perfect amount. I made the cookies a little smaller (so people could feel empowered to eat more than one) so it yielded at least 26!

  25. Hello!

    I have two questions, can I use almond flour instead of all-purpose?

    Also if I’m using natural peanut butter, do you think I should add unsweetened apple sauce to give it more moisture?


    1. Hi Sofia – I wouldn’t recommend using almond flour. I’d use a GF all purpose mix if you need it to be GF. I’ve successfully made these peanut butter cookies with natural peanut butter, so no need to use applesauce!

      1. 5 stars
        I’m off wheat/gluten for awhile now too, so I substituted a mix of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten free flour, cornmeal, oatmeal and buckwheat flour in no particular proportions and they were still fantastic.

  26. 5 stars
    I’ve made these FOUR TIMES already during this quarantine. Peanut butter cookies are my favorite. (You can keep your stupid chocolate chip cookies. They’re a cliche.) I found this recipe with the search term “peanut butter cookies no mixer” because, well, I don’t have a mixer. They are so easy to make! I used King Arthur gluten-free flour – my friend with whom I share baked goods has that dietary requirement – and they turn out just fine. Also, I prefer a cripsy peanut butter cookie rather than soft, so I squish them down flatter with the fork when I do my crosshatches. And I cook them about 13-14 minutes. I eat the tray of cookies on the bottom (they’re crispier), while I give my friend the top tray. Thanks for developing/sharing this great recipe!

  27. 4 stars
    Easy recipe to follow, love that you’re able to use one bowl and go without a mixer! However!! I definitely needed more peanut butter….

  28. I plan to make these delicious sounding cookies – but don’t have any brown sugar, just refined white sugar. Is the same amount an ok equivalent?

  29. 5 stars
    These were perfect for late night craving when I got up at 11 pm because of cookie craving. I have about five different peanut butter cookie recipes from Joy of Cooking to other well known cookbooks, all with notes in the margins about what was wrong with them. Usually not enough PB taste or too dry…… So I made these because it was late and the recipe looked quick. These were hands down the best of any of them! I did substitute some of the flour with oatmeal. I love your hints! This is the only PB cookie recipe I’ll ever use from now on. thank you!

    1. Becky, I couldn’t agree more with you. Most PB cookie recipes are dry and not peanut buttery enough! SO glad you loved this. Thank you!!

  30. Thank you for this recipe, I was just looking for a yummy recipe with PB. Can you please provide ingredients also in European metrics (grams instead of cups and tablespoons)? Especially for the butter, because 6 tablespoons might weight quite differently depending on how generous you are :-). Thank you!