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15 Best Peanut Butter Dessert Recipes

Photo grid of the various peanut butter dessert recipes.

Not surprisingly, peanut butter has earned itself quite a few fans, and one of the reasons may very well be its versatility.  With a standout flavor on its own, it still pairs well with a long list of foods.  It blends well in either sweet or savory dishes, bringing a sweet nutty flavor to desserts or giving a rich base to main courses. 

It’s a favorite around the world, featured in Chinese and Thai dishes, and of course, remains a household staple in the United States.  Its contents make it a good source of protein and it rounds out plant-based meals with ease.  Because it’s loved by so many it stays in frequent use with dessert recipes, and the peanut-butter-themed sweets we’ve compiled here represent just a few. 

You undoubtedly have a jar of it on your shelf today, so why not have some fun in the kitchen?

No Bake Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cheesecake 

Chocolate and peanut butter cheesecake topped with cocoa balls and almonds.

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Dessert lovers, those who look forward to that sweet and decadent confection after dinner, frequent bakeries and ice cream stands and have their own cache of go-to recipes.  This one deserves a top spot in the repertoire for its sure-to-satisfy-cravings richness, the favorite flavor combination of peanut butter and chocolate, and the ease with which you can whip it up.  The recipe is also thorough in its explanation for each step and helpful tools. 

Mix up a crushed graham cracker and butter crust and flatten into a pan, and for the cheesecake filling combine cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla, then blend in melted semi-sweet chocolate chips.  For the top layer, you’ll mix peanut butter and confectioners’ sugar and spread over cheesecake.  Chill for several hours and it will be ready to serve! 

Peanut Butter Balls

Peanut butter balls cut in halves.

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Often passed around at holidays or gatherings of friends, these convenient and celebratory little bites are a quick little burst of goodness that, unlike a large helping of a plated dessert, you can have as much or as little of as you want.  Sweet and creamy and satisfying, they are also surprisingly easy to make in your own kitchen, using only your microwave.  Blend softened butter, peanut butter, and confectioners’ sugar into a soft dough, which you’ll refrigerate to reach a better consistency to shape it into balls. 

Staggering them on waxed paper helps for easy lift and removal, especially once you melt the chocolate coating and cover the peanut butter balls.  This store well and stay fresh in air-tight containers, and can even be frozen.

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Dessert Bars

Peanut butter and chocolate dessert bars topped with sugar.

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These layered bars bring the double flavor punch of iced brownies, but are so much easier to make—no baking involved!  The winning combination of chocolate and peanut butter gets an extra crunch in the lower layer thanks to crushed graham crackers, blended with butter, confectioners’ sugar, and peanut butter.  So the standard graham cracker and butter crust combine with the filling layer in this recipe for one crunchy, creamy layer. 

Melted chocolate and peanut butter make up the ganache layer, and then the dessert should be chilled before cutting into bars.  Easy and delicious!

Flourless Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut butter and chocolate cookies with chocolate chips and almonds.

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Dessert items made without flour, like chocolate tarts or cakes, generally speak to us about their dense, rich texture.  However, many people follow a gluten-free diet that completely eschews flour in order to maintain a healthy balance in their gut bacteria or to avoid a painful gastrointestinal allergic reaction.  You can actually still bake cookies that don’t crumble apart without gluten; peanut butter provides the substitution here to hold things together, and also adds a burst of golden flavor. 

Combine white and brown sugars, baking soda, and salt with peanut butter, an egg, and vanilla before folding in chocolate chips.  They bake into the classic chocolate chip cookies with an even more flavorful dough.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut butter cookies with a spread on the side.

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They’re easy to take along anywhere, they bring big peanut butter flavor, and you’ve loved them since you were a kid.  Baking a batch of these, especially with a favorite person, will awaken carefree, playful stirrings of old memories.  ¾ cup each of peanut butter and butter keeps cookies soft and moist.  Beat the dough into a soft, malleable consistency and roll into balls for a smooth appearance, then coat a fork with flour and make the old familiar grid design to flatten them—you know the one! 

They only need 10-12 minutes for baking since soft and chewy centers suit these cookies wonderfully.

Vegan Peanut Butter and Banana Cookies

Top view of vegan peanut butter and banana cookies against a rustic table.

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These full-flavored cookies won’t feel like you’re cutting out any ingredients, and light, silky banana flavor, and texture goes perfectly with rich peanut butter.  For these cookies you’ll make a binding ingredient from dissolving and thickening ground flaxseed in hot water, an inventive idea you could use in other recipes too.  Freeze banana slices, and meanwhile mix the dough of peanut butter, sugar, plant-based butter, vanilla, flour, salt, baking soda, and flaxseed mixture. 

Once you form dough into balls on the baking sheet, press a frozen banana slice on top of each before baking.

Healthy Peanut Butter Mousse

Two glasses of peanut butter mouse with nuts and chocolate pieces on the side.

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How can a bona fide sweet tooth enjoy a dessert that is low carb, sugar-free, and vegan?  Because peanut butter flavor is so gloriously indulgent, that’s how.  Besides giving you the decadent dessert taste you crave, this mousse will fill you up with its lean protein content. 

It also comes together quickly, without the use of unflavored gelatin, unlike many mousse recipes.  Drain a block of firm tofu and cut into a few large chunks, then put it in the blender or food processor along with vanilla almond milk, vanilla extract, stevia, or your favorite diet sweetener, a generous helping of peanut flour, and a pinch of salt. 

Thick and creamy, this dessert uses somewhat less delicate ingredients than other mousses and can hold its consistency longer.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

Peanut butter chocolate cake topped with nuts and Reese's cups.

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Loaded with candies on top and creamy fillings within, this dessert has everything:  spongy chocolate cake, peanut butter cheesecake, Reese’s Cups, Reese’s Pieces, and chocolate frosting.  Pull this recipe out when it’s time to treat yourself or make any occasion special.  Using a cake ring or springform pan as a frame, layer chocolate cake, and no-bake peanut butter cheesecake, then arrange Reese’s Cups face down, which makes for a beautiful cross-section cake slice. 

Cover with more cheesecake filling and then the second layer of chocolate cake.  The no-bake peanut butter cheesecake filling acts as an outer frosting to cover the cake, and rich chocolate ganache is spread on top, anchoring all the decorative candy goodies.

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Cake

Peanut butter cake topped with nits and caramel.

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The very definition of comfort food, this moist and flavorful cake looks exactly like what your mother spent hours in the kitchen perfecting for your birthday.  Charmingly old-timey in every way, it bakes in a rectangular sheet pan and the runny, buttery frosting pours over the warm cake while still hot and soaks deliciously into the cake’s surface.  Mixing the cake batter uses a different procedure as well, boiling some of the wet ingredients while combining them and then folding in the dry ingredients. 

After baking the cake, simmer together butter, buttermilk, and peanut butter, and then add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla while still warm.  After pouring the heated mixture over the cake the frosting quickly begins to harden, so at this point, you can add garnishes like peanuts for even more of a homespun effect.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Close-up of peanut butter and jelly bars  on a white plate.

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The sweet and nutty flavor combination of the beloved sandwich gets boosted with a buttery crumble and baked-goods appeal.  Like the sandwich, the bars are also made with berry-rich jam in the center, between a crust and crumble made of the same batter.  Beat together butter, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and 2 cups of peanut butter for a big flavor. 

Two-thirds of this mixture gets pressed into the pan for the crust, and then your favorite flavor of jam is spread on, much like making the namesake sandwich.  The texture of the crust batter is much like the consistency you’re aiming for just before a pie crust or other similar dough gets its final shot of milk, so it sprinkles over the top perfectly as a crumble to complete the bars.

Peanut Butter Toffee Topped Blondies

Peanut butter toffee topped blondies on a baking sheet surrounded by nuts.

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A fun variation on brownies, blondies shine the spotlight on a buttery sugar cookie and vanilla flavor, and when teamed with peanut butter and the crunch of toffee they get elevated to truly crave-worthy.  You’ll still be baking up a pan of scrumptiously soft, chewy bars with the eggs-butter-flour formula, but in leaving out the cocoa and putting in gobs of natural peanut butter the batter really locks in the moist, melt-in-your-mouth texture. 

For the frosting, you’ll create a ganache by warming peanut butter chips with cream.  Pour while still warm over the bars so that when you scatter mounds of crushed toffee over them afterward, it will adhere.

Peanut Butter Bread

Freshly baked peanut butter bread on an iron grill.

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What I most love about home-baked bread, what I was ecstatic to discover that virtually all of these bread have in common from banana right down to zucchini bread, is the perfectly moist, almost sticky texture.  Usually from vegetable oil, applesauce, or another such ingredient, fruit and vegetable bread stays almost visibly moist when you cut into it.  Peanut butter bread is not only moistened but even more creamy and soft than other breads, and this recipe actually allows you to mix up the batter in your blender. 

Start with milk, eggs, sugar, and then peanut butter, and then gradually pulse with the dry ingredients until combined and smooth.  The bread bakes for 50 minutes and stores well in a sealed container.

Peanut Butter Banana Baked Oatmeal

A slice of peanut butter banana baked oatmeal topped with peanut butter spread and banana slices.

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If you love dessert crisps and crumbles as I do, the grainy little nooks and crannies in this oat-packed dish will look as inviting to you like any dessert—never mind that it’s a breakfast food brimming with healthful ingredients and so little of the bad stuff.  The recipe is also incredibly flexible and offers myriad ways of tailoring it to you and your family’s tastes, whether that’s making it vegan, upping the sugar factor, or serving it either warm or cold.  The batter doesn’t even require flour to hold it together. 

You’ll mix dry ingredients together first, which are oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and then fork-mash 2 bananas with egg, milk, honey, vanilla, and peanut butter.  Combining the mixtures will result in a liquid-y batter, but reaches a brownie-like texture after baking.                                                                                                                                  

Peanut Butter Silk Pie

Top view of peanut butter silk pies covered in chocolate and caramel syrup.

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You’ve likely sampled this classic when family members have brought it to events, and maybe it’s because we picture our beloved grandmothers whiling away the hours baking for their families, but this pie is so deceptively simple to make.  Other than the crust, if you so choose, it is actually a no-bake item, though its richness is comparable to fudge due to that wonderful peanut butter. 

A graham cracker crust, a great accompaniment to so many things and wonderful with peanut butter, goes in the pan first, and the filling is a beaten mixture of cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and peanut butter, with whipped topping gently folded in last.  Chocolate syrup or chocolate curls would go beautifully on top.

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Fudge

Close-up of peanut butter fudge on a ceramic plate.

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If you’re interested in enjoying some kitchen time trying those truly old-fashioned recipes that use the same methods your grandmother did, this recipe will take you back.  It sets up to fudge consistency after boiling sugar, corn syrup, and heavy cream to what is known as ‘soft ball stage’, or forming a soft ball when you drop a spoonful into cold water.  This is a handy skill to master because it gives you the superhero ability to whip up wonderful things like fudge with standard kitchen ingredients instead of buying so many added products like marshmallow crème. 

At this point, mix in peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and nuts if desired before pouring in the pan to set.  Frying the nuts in butter first makes it even more heavenly!