Soft peanut butter cookies made with pancake mix are so easy and tasty. This recipe is a kitchen time saver and the cookies are irresistible.
Peanut butter is one of my favorite dessert ingredients. I love peanut butter brownies and peanut butter stuffed chocolate cookies. Today I’m sharing one of the most classic peanut butter treats: Peanut Butter Cookies!
Why Use this Recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies?
This recipe uses pancake mix to make things a little easier. Using pancake mix does not change the taste much from using traditional ingredients but it does save you time to gather ingredients. Pancake mix already includes salt and baking soda so that’s two less ingredients.
Everyone should have a peanut butter cookie recipe in their back pocket and this one is super easy. I’d say the only part that is annoying is the chill time.
Ingredients you will need for Easy Peanut Butter Cookies
You can make these cookies with a few basic ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Here’s what you will need to make the cookies:
Unsalted butter: Make sure it’s at room temperature. Leaving it out for an hour is enough time but if you are in a hurry see my tips on getting butter to room temperature quickly.
Brown sugar: I used light brown sugar but either light or dark is fine. The amount of sugar in this recipe is slightly reduced from other peanut butter cookie recipes because there is some sugar included in the pancake mix.
Eggs: Eggs hold your cookie together. They should also be at room temperature so it mixes well into the batter.
Vanilla Extract: This will give your cookie flavor a boost. Always use quality extract not imitation extract for the best taste.
Peanut Butter: The main ingredient! Use creamy not chunky peanut butter. Processed peanut butter works best. Brands such as Skippy and Jif work well.
Pancake Mix: I used King Arthur Flour buttermilk pancake mix but you can use any mix that says “just add water”. These types of mixes already contain a leavening agent as well as fats for better texture.
Granulated sugar: This is completely optional. So, if you are trying to cut out some sugar feel free to skip it. It’s for rolling the dough in to create a crunchy sparkly exterior.
How to Make Pancake Mix Peanut Butter Cookies
Combine the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Stop to scrape down the sides as necessary.
Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Add the peanut butter and mix until fully incorporated.
On slow speed, add the pancake mix and mix until just combined. Cover and chill the dough for 3 hours or up to 1 day.
Preheat the oven to 350F and line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper. If you only have one, I suggest letting the pan cool before setting the next batch to bake. Also, keep the dough chilled while the first batch is baking.
Scoop the dough into tablespoon sized portions, roll into a ball and then into sugar to coat the exterior. Place the balls on the cookie sheet and gently press down with a fork in a cross pattern. It helps to dip your fork in sugar first so it doesn't stick to the dough.
Be sure to spread the cookies out on the sheet pan to allow room for them to expand. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until they appear golden brown around the edges. Rotate the pan halfway through to ensure even baking.
Let the cookies cool slightly on the cookie sheet and then transfer them to a cooling rack.
Why Do You Have to Chill the Dough?
This cookie dough is very soft so it needs to be chilled anywhere from 3 to 48 hours before baking to prevent overspreading in the oven. There is no skipping this step! It will be very difficult to even roll the dough if it's too soft.
Why Do You Make Cross Marks?
Besides just being the traditional look of a peanut butter cookie, the cross marks allow for even baking of the cookie. You don't have to do it, but the results are much better if you do! I baked one without making the marks so you can see the difference:
How to Make Ahead and Store Peanut Butter Cookies
You can store the unbaked dough in your freezer for up to three months. Roll them into balls and then freeze, but coat them with sugar only when you are ready to bake. For more details and tips, you can read my post on how to freeze cookie dough.
Baked peanut butter cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days.
If you enjoyed these cookies...
You might want to add some chocolate chips as an option! I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter! I suggest skipping the cross mark step because the chips will just get in the way.
You may want to try other pancake mix recipes, check out my pancake mix coffee cake for an easy breakfast treat!
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup brown sugar, light or dark
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup peanut butter
- 1 ⅓ cup pancake mix (add water only type)
- Granulated sugar, optional (for rolling)
- Combine the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Stop to scrape down the sides as necessary.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Scrape down sides as necessary.
- Add the peanut butter and mix until fully incorporated.
- On slow speed, add the pancake mix and mix until just combined. Scrape down sides as necessary.
- Cover and chill the dough for 3 hours or up to 1 day.
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- Scoop the dough into tablespoon sized portions and roll into a ball and then into sugar to coat. Place the balls on the cookie sheet and gently press down with a fork in a cross pattern. Dip the fork in the sugar before pressing to prevent it from sticking to the dough.
- Be sure to spread the cookies out on the sheet pan to allow room for them to expand. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until they appear golden brown around the edges. (Rotate the pan halfway through to ensure even baking.)
- Let the cookies cool slightly on the cookie sheet and then transfer them to a cooling rack.
- Serve or store the cookies in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Ingredients: I used Jif peanut butter. I have not tried this recipe with natural peanut butter. For the pancake mix, I used King Arthur Flour buttermilk pancake mix.
Baking Tips: If you only have 1 cookie sheet, make sure you put the dough back in the refrigerator while the 1st batch bakes.
Freezing: Unbaked cookie dough balls can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Coat with sugar just before baking. You do not need to thaw, just bake a few minutes longer.