If you love the flavor and texture of a great peanut butter cookie but don’t have the time or the ingredients, you’re going to love this simple recipe! These peanut butter cookies are light, fluffy, loaded with flavor, and best of all, they start with a white cake mix! (This is such an easy cookie recipe!)
Can I Make Cookies Out of Cake Mix?
I answered this question in my Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookie posts. Using a cake make to whip up a batch of cookies is not only easy, it’s affordable. It’s also fast. This recipe (from start to finish) took me about 30 minutes and I ended up with 24 nice-sized cookies.
I’ve been investigating all of the different recipes you can make with a white cake mix. Doctoring a cake mix has been my goal, but I wasn’t satisfied to just change the flavor of a cake from white to something else. I actually wanted to make other things. Like cookies. And muffins. And breads.
Ooo, bread! I think I’ll try that next! For now, I wanted to try peanut butter. (Side note: I checked my jar of Jif to make sure it wasn’t included in the recall. Fortunately, it was not!)
This is an easy peanut butter cookie recipe, y’all.
Simple Baking Can be Good Baking
Some people would argue that a recipe isn’t good unless it’s lengthy, complicated, and high-brow. I beg to differ. I want to give options to ordinary people in ordinary kitchens using ordinary items. . .things that they already have on hand in the pantry or refrigerator.
When it come to peanut butter cookies, I have a theory and it involves shortening. Hang with me, please. Many cookie recipes call for butter. It has a lot of flavor, but it’s heavy and greasy when combined with peanut butter.
Shortening, on the other hand? It creates a light, fluffy product that causes the most beautiful crumb! I submit as evidence, a picture of the inside of these cookies.
Some of the recipes I found for these cookies online called for oil. I’ve used it in other recipes but (again) I have experienced a gooey heaviness with oil that I simply didn’t want with these cookies. My own Peanut Butter Cookies Recipe produces a light, airy variety. It’s crisp and tasty, but oh, so light and fluffy.
That was the goal here, which is why I made a random decision to use shortening.
Want to know what else goes into these delicious, easy cookies? The ingredients are simple! For a full printable recipe card, skip to the bottom of this post. Here’s a quick glance at what you’ll need:
Ingredients for Peanut Butter Cake Mix Cookies
Peanut butter lovers, unite! Let’s make these cookies. It calls for simple ingredients you’ve probably got on hand, even now!
- 1 white cake mix
- 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 room temperature eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar (for rolling)
That’s it, y’all! Simple stuff.
How to Make these Delicious Peanut Butter Cookies:
Enjoy these step by step directions!
Preheat your oven to 350. The joy of this recipe is the low and slow bake. (Cakes usually bake at 350 while traditional cookies–at least mine–usually bake at 375.) You’ll want to stick with the cake temp for this version!
I feel kind of funny calling this a recipe because it’s pretty much a matter of tossing everything into a bowl and mixing it up.
Start with the shortening, peanut butter, and eggs. I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment but you can use an electric hand mixer. You could also mix by hand with a wooden spoon in a large bowl.
Whip the wet ingredients until creamy with no lumps.
Now work in your cake mix.
Mix until incorporated but don’t overmix. You don’t want to over-activate the gluten strands.
This dough looks just like my homemade dough, but I still wasn’t convinced. I had to see how it handled itself during the rolling, sugaring, and pressing process.
I used a regular cookie scoop (and the recipe made 24 cookies). Scoop and roll in sugar.
Place sugared cookie dough balls on cookie sheets covered in parchment paper. I love my NordicWare baking sheet shown in the photo below!
Using the tines of a fork, press each cookie ball in one direction and then the other. This criss-cross design is the signature peanut butter cookie look.
Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-11 minutes or until set and slightly golden on edges. (Baking time may vary, depending on your oven.)
Remove cookie trays and place on wire cooling rack.
After a few minutes transfer the cookies to the wire rack to continue cooling.
What to Expect From These Cookies
Do These Cookies Taste Like Regular Peanut Butter Cookies?
I was startled and delighted that they actually do! These soft cookies are dreamy!
Not all cake mix cookies emulate the real deal. This is the closest I’ve found so far. Next time I plan to reach for a tall glass of milk to enjoy with them.
Can I use another flavor of cake mix?
Yes, use your imagination with these cake mix peanut butter cookies!
Is the cookie dough the same texture as regular peanut butter cookies?
Yes, in every way! I loved working with it. Talk about a great choice for a quick treat!
Do I have to roll the cookies in sugar?
No, but that extra crunch is delightful.
Can I use brown sugar?
It won’t bake the same, so the risk will be yours! You might consider topping with Turbinado (or raw) sugar. It has a crispy texture after baking.
Do I have to use a white cake mix? Will a box of yellow cake mix work?
Yellow is fine! If you really want to think outside the box you might try something like a butter pecan cake or a spice cake. (Yum!)
Can I use natural peanut butter?
Natural peanut butter is drier so you will have to adjust your recipe.
Can I use this recipe to make muffins?
I haven’t tried it but I would think so. I would probably add a few tablespoons of milk to the dough to turn it into a tight batter. (Muffin batter is thicker than cake batter.)
Can I make these into cookie bars?
Yes! Just spread on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and bake until golden. Wait until cool to slice.
Do I have to add the fork marks?
Nope! Just press them down lightly with your palm or the bottom of a glass before baking.
Does it matter what brand of cake mix I use?
No, as long as you choose one similar in size to the Pillsbury mix I used, you’ll be fine. Use Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker, or even a store brand. You can also use sugar free or gluten free.
Can I use melted butter in place of shortening?
Yes, but it might be better to use room temperature butter instead of melted. Also, realize that the texture of the cookies will be slightly different if you choose butter instead of shortening.
How do I store these peanut butter cookies?
Store in an airtight container or cover with plastic wrap. You can freeze them in a freezer bag.
Do I have to use creamy peanut butter?
Nope! Use crunchy, if you like!
Can I Add Extra Ingredients to This Recipe?
Absolutely! Consider adding peanuts or chocolate chips. Another option would be peanut butter chips, Heath chips, or caramel chips. You might even consider reese’s pieces or white chocolate chips!
Other Peanut Butter Favorites from Out of the Box Baking
I hope you enjoyed these practically perfect peanut butter cookies! Here are some other peanut butter recipes:
- Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies: These are delicious!
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins: Easy and quick and very tasty!
- Peanut Butter Ranger Cookies: I’m thinking these could be made with a cake mix, too. I might try that next time!
- My friend Debby over at Southern Home Express has an amazing No Bake Peanut Butter Marshmallow Bars Recipe. I can’t wait to try it! (I have to buy a few ingredients first!)
Looking for Other White Cake Mix Recipes?
I hope you enjoy this sweet treat!
I’ve got so many it’s going to make your head spin! I would highly recommend you read my 20 Amazing Recipes that Start with a White Cake Mix post, followed by How to Doctor a Boxed Cake Mix: the Ultimate Guide.
Here are some of my favorites recipes that started with a simple white (or yellow) cake mix:
- Italian Cream Cake: This is my all-time favorite cake and it starts with a simple white cake mix.
- Banana Berry Cake: I took this one to my writer’s group last week and they loved it!
- Pineapple Upside Down Dump Cake: You can use a white or yellow cake for this one.
- The Most Delicious White Cake from a Box. The title says it all!
- Pink Velvet Cupcakes: This one will blow your mind, y’all! So light, fluffy, and tasty!
- Peruse my cakes category for many more cake ideas that start with a boxed mix!
Thanks for visiting! I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe for these easy peanut butter cookies.
See this recipe at:
Check back often for more ideas to doctor a boxed cake mix!
Learn more about doctored cake mixes, the theme of this blog.
For the master list of all doctored cake mix recipes on this site, visit Doctored Cake Mix Recipes, Master List.
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
- 1 white cake mix
- 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar (for rolling)
- That's it, y'all! Simple stuff.
- Preheat your oven to 350. The joy of this recipe is the low and slow bake. (Cakes usually bake at 350 while traditional cookies--at least mine--usually bake at 375.) You'll want to stick with the cake temp for this version!
- Start with the shortening, peanut butter, and eggs. I used my stand mixer with the paddle attachment but you can use an electric mixer. You could also mix by hand with a wooden spoon.
- Whip the wet ingredients until creamy with no lumps.
- Now work in your cake mix.
- Mix until incorporated but don't overmix. You don't want to over-activate the gluten strands.
- This dough looks just like my homemade dough, but I still wasn't convinced. I had to see how it handled itself during the rolling, sugaring, and pressing process.
- I used a regular cookie scoop (and the recipe made 24 cookies). Scoop and roll in sugar.
- Place sugared dough balls on cookie sheets covered in parchment paper.
- Using the tines of a fork, press the cookies in one direction and then the other. This criss-cross design is the signature peanut butter cookie look.
- Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 10-11 minutes or until set and slightly golden on edges.
- Remove cookie trays and place on wire cooling rack.
- After a few minutes transfer the cookies to the wire rack to continue cooling.