Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Cookies have a lovely peanut butter flavor made even better with the addition of cream cheese. Such a wonderful variation of classic peanut butter cookies!
Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Cookies
These may look like pretty standard peanut butter cookies, but one bite of these Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Cookies will tell you that’s not the case. There’s just a little extra something. Something a little richer. Something more flavorful. Yep, it’s cream cheese!
I tweaked my basic peanut butter cookie recipe, decreasing the butter and adding some cream cheese. I had done a similar thing with chocolate chip cookies a while back, so I was excited to try a similar twist with peanut butter cookies.
And I’m happy to tell you that it was a more than worthwhile experiment. The result is a soft, chewy, irresistible cookie with just a bit bigger, more interesting flavor than the original. If you’re looking for something a little different in the peanut butter cookie category, then give these a try.
It’s not the kind of change that will hit you over the head. Rather, it’s more likely to garner questions like “What’s different about these?” from cookie eaters. Whether or not someone trying one of these cookies can guess the cream cheese addition, they’ll be smitten with the wonderful flavor and the soft, chewy texture.
For a more traditional peanut butter cookie recipe, try Classic Peanut Butter Cookies. And for a quicker, easier version, you can’t go wrong with 3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies.
What You’ll Need
If you’ve got peanut butter and cream cheese, then you’ve likely got everything you need to whip up a batch of these fantastic cookies! Scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions. Here are some notes about the ingredients you’ll need.
- All-purpose flour – Use a kitchen scale to measure by weight for best results. Otherwise, spoon and sweep.
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Unsalted butter – Set out the butter about half an hour before baking to allow it to soften properly. Learn more: How to Soften Butter
- Cream cheese – Bring the cream cheese to room temperature so it will mix more easily and smoothly. Full-fat cream cheese that comes in blocks will work best.
- Granulated sugar
- Light brown sugar – I prefer light brown sugar for these cookies. Dark brown sugar will work in a pinch, but the flavor may be a bit strong. Firmly pack it in the measuring cup or measure by weight.
- Egg – Set out the egg when you set out the butter and cream cheese.
- Vanilla extract
- Peanut butter – Either creamy or crunchy peanut butter will work for these cookies. Just use whatever you prefer. I often like to bake with the crunchy variety for the extra crunch it adds.
- Sanding sugar – This isn’t necessary, but it gives the cookies a little extra sweetness and a bit of sparkle.
Ideas for Variations
- Add about 1/2 cup of chocolate chips or mini chocolate chips to the dough.
- For a nuttier, crunchier cookie, add 1/2 cup of chopped peanuts or just use crunchy peanut butter.
- Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon along with the dry ingredients.
- Skip the sanding sugar and add a pinch of coarse salt to the tops of the cookies.
How to Make Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Cookies
These cookies are very straightforward to make. You won’t need any special tools, and there’s no chilling time for the dough!
Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.
Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Combine the wet ingredients. With a hand mixer or stand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, cream cheese, sugar, and brown sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla, and mix well. Mix in the peanut butter.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. With the mixer speed on low, gradually add the flour mixture. Don’t over-mix the dough; mix just until combined.
Portion the dough. Using a tablespoon of dough at a time, drop the dough onto the prepared pans. If you have a 1-tablespoon cookie scoop, this is a great time to use it! If you like, make a crosshatch pattern on top of the cookies using a fork. Sprinkle a pinch of sanding sugar on top of each cookie if you like.
Bake. Place a pan of cookies in the oven, and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. (I prefer to bake one pan at a time. Refrigerate the remaining dough between batches.) When done, the cookies will be lightly browned.
Cool the cookies. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cookies from the pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tips for Success
- Use regular peanut butter. There’s so much variation among natural peanut butters that I simply don’t recommend baking with them.
- Use full-fat cream cheese. It will give you the best result in flavor and in texture.
- To make the cross-hatch… I can’t resist adding the traditional crosshatch effect to the tops of the cookies. I see that pattern, and I instantly want one of these! Of course, you can certainly make them without that if you prefer. If you do choose to add the crosshatch effect, try dipping the fork in a little bit of flour to keep it from sticking to the cookie dough.
How to Store These Cookies
Place the cooled cookies in an airtight container. They should keep at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. For slightly longer storage, place them in the refrigerator for another day or two. Just be sure the container is tightly sealed so they cookies don’t dry out.
Can These Cookies Be Frozen?
Sure! To freeze the baked cookies, place them in an airtight, freezer-safe container after they’ve cooled completely. They should keep up to 3 months if properly stored. Thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or for a couple of hours at room temperature.
To freeze the unbaked cookies, portion them and add the cross-hatch as directed and place them on a lined, rimmed baking sheet. Freeze until solid (about 2-3 hours), and then place the frozen dough balls in an airtight, freezer-safe container. When you’re ready to bake, there’s no need to thaw; just bake them as directed, adding a couple more minutes to the baking time.
91 Comments on “Cream Cheese Peanut Butter Cookies”
I am so making these tonight! I’m going to use the cinnamon peanut butter! These sound fantastic! Thanks for the recipe!
I, too, will be making these very soon. Thanks for sharing. dw
These sound amazing! Peanut butter cookies are my personal favorite and while I already have several recipes that yield perfectly delightful cookies, I wanted to try something new. I was sitting here thinking about it when out of nowhere I remembered that I had some leftover cream cheese tucked away in the fridge so I added it to the search bar and *BAM!!!!* there it was! Thank you so much for sharing this. I am heading in to the kitchen now to make a batch.
TIP: You can dip the fork into sugar rather than flour when pressing cross hatches into the dough. Just grease the bottom of the fork by pressing it into the dough in the bowl, then dip into the sugar, and then press the cross hatch into the top of the cookie. Continue until all cookies are classically cross hatched with the perfect amount of sugar. You may need to grease the fork as needed if sugar does not stick to the fork. We always rolled the dough into little 1″ balls too rather than dropping from tblsp. It won’t change the flavor of course…But it sure does bring back warm memories of my dear mom…As well as my childhood joy. I wish she was still here and I miss her deeply but I am sooo blessed to have all the wonderful memories she gave me just by being with me and patiently teaching me how to make all of our family favorites, each with just the perfect amount of love.
I hope you enjoy the cookies, Dorrinda! Peanut butter cookies are a nostalgic favorite for me, too.
This recipe thank you so much is my go-to recipe my husband is diabetic should I use diabetic sugar diabetic brown sugar and the cookies are delicious even my friends that are not sugar-free love them thank you so much for this recipe
Se ve riquisimo , si pusieran la receta en español fuese expectacular
I have several sizes of scoops I would like to use in place of table spoons. What size would you recommend?
Hi, Denis. If you’re referring to the sizes of dishers or ice cream scoops, the number on those is representative of how many scoops of that size would fill a quart. I believe the closest to a tablespoon is 60. I use this 1-tablespoon scoop.
I sprinkled a pinch of sea salt on top. Really made the flavor pop!!
Sounds like a perfect addition!
Just tried these we with nutella, instead of peanut butter. They were amazing!
I’ll have to try that variation, Alisha! I <3 Nutella!
You just blew my mind right now
Loved these! I did add chocolate chips, because of course, everything is better with chocolate! I will be making these again!
I’m glad you liked them, Julie! I’ve showed amazing restraint not adding chocolate chips to these yet. 😉
Has anyone used organic peanut butter? It is much more runny than regular.
I haven’t, Louann, but I often find that thinner peanut butters don’t perform as well in baking recipes that require a good amount of peanut butter.
Thank you. If I decide to try it , I will let you know.
I did try the organic peanut butter, Jennifer. They baked perfectly, however, it was very greasy to work with the dough.
Thanks for sharing your experience, Louann!
Can you freeze these
Hi, Leslie. I’ve not tried freezing them, but I would guess that it would be fine.
Have you ever used whipped cream cheese for these cookies?
I don’t think I’ve ever used whipped cream cheese at all, actually. I don’t think it would substitute well. I’d stick with traditional brick cream cheese for baking.
These look absolutely wonderful! thank you so much for sharing! will def try these 🙂
I made these & added 2/3 cup of mini chocolate chips. My grand daughter & everyone else loved them. Used a medium scoop & made 3 dozen cookies. Will be making these again.
I’m glad they were a hit, Pamela. I can’t believe I’ve not yet tried these with chocolate chips!
Highly recommend! Very easy to make and very tasty! I added choxolate cbips and reduced temp to 340 and baked for about 10.5 minutes. I’m on my 9th cookie since the last batch came out of the oven.
Ok if you like a chewy cookie. The cream cheese takes away from the peanut butter taste. I prefer a crunchier peanut butter cookie
These are soft and delicious! My kids loved them. Can you make batches of these and freeze them?
Hi, Lynn. I’ve not frozen them after they’re baked, but I think they’d be fine.
Delicious… simple to make and fun for the kids! I drizzled chocolate on some and dipped half a cookie in the chocolate for the others….then sprinkled chocolate with finely chopped peanuts. This recipe is perfect for that because it’s not too sweet and compliments the chocolate perfectly!!
Hi…its delicious peanut butter cookies…I will try to make it..But what the kind the peanut buttet to make this receipe? I’m from Indonesian and it is so difficult to find the better peanut butter…
Hi, Theresia. I usually use just a normal store-bought peanut butter. Natural peanut butters will likely work, too, although often not quite as well.
How can we replace egg in these peanut cookies. Please suggest the perfect substitute as am waiting to make the same.
I’ve never tried substituting the egg in this recipe, so I can’t give speak from experience. I have read that you can use 2 tablespoons of water plus 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil plus 2 teaspoons of baking powder in place of 1 egg. Again, I’ve not tried that myself.
Look up “flax egg” for a substitute. I think it’s 1tbsp ground flax seed and 1tbsp water, but the ratio could vary. Flax egg is the vegan substitute for eggs. It’s supposed to work really well. I’ve never tried it, but I know lots of vegans that use it. I guess it would come in handy in a pinch when you don’t have access to eggs.
In sweet recipes 1tab of golden syrup substitutes for an egg well. I doesn’t have the same rising effect but it has a good binding effect. (I’ve not yet made this recipe so don’t know if the binding or rising of the egg is the most important. )
My schedule is crazy this week but I’m making these as a Christmas gift for someone. Do you think I could make the dough ahead of time and refrigerate until I’m ready to cook them?
Hi, Andrea. You can make the dough a day or two in advance. Just keep it tightly covered in your refrigerator until you’re ready to bake. You may need to let the dough sit at room temperature for 5 or 10 minutes so it’s easier to scoop.
.Good flavor. Texture was so dry . Cookies crumbled apart . I had to add some liquid to make it work.
I’m sorry you had troubles, Justina! If you didn’t change anything at all about the recipe, my first thought when I hear dry is that there was too much flour. Be sure you’re either measuring by weight or using the spoon and sweep method. You can read more here: How to Measure Flour.
Do these have to Refrigerated because of the cream cheese?
No, they’re fine in an airtight container at room temperature.
These were delicious! I made these for a friend who loves peanut butter cookies and she just loved the taste and texture. Definitely a keeper.
I made these 2 weeks in advance and froze them. You would never know.
That’s great to know, Lynn!
These were nice and soft, but not as peanut buttery as I was hoping. Maybe next time I will decrease the butter and use more peanut butter. I also rolled the balls in regular sugar then did the cross hatch, no fork stickage. I used a tiny scoop (abt 1/2 oz) to make smaller cookies.
Can you make these with coconut flour or another flour? I am trying to stay away from wheat flour.
These look amazing and I really want to try them.
Hi, Kim. I’ve not tried these cookies with a non-wheat flour, so I can’t say for sure. If you have one you like, I’d recommend referencing the manufacturer’s guidelines for substitution.
My kids and i tried it just now. It was really great! Love it. Can ot be kept in fridge? Thank you for the recipe.
You don’t need to refrigerate the cookies. They’ll keep for 3 or 4 days in an airtight container at room temperature.
Omg, I love the idea of adding cream cheese! I am a sucker for peanut butter!
Absolutely fantastic recipe. Light and fluffy cookie. Not too sweet! Perfection! Thank you!!
I’m glad you liked them, Megan!
Made these, they were amazing, such a rich flavor and texture but not overwhelming. Everyone loved them, definitely bookmarking this recipe!!
That’s great to hear, Anastasia!
We make SO many peanut butter cookies in our test kitchen – This will be a great tweak to the recipes! Thanks for sharing!
I’ve made this recipe a couple of times, using white whole wheat flour and coconut sugar, instead of all-purpose flour and the white and brown sugars. They are a big hit with my office-mates! Thanks for the recipe.
My pleasure! I’m glad they’ve been a big hit for you!
I made these the other day. They seem dry. Did anyone else find that. Good flavor. Thinking of dropping the 1/4 cup flour. Or anyone else have idea. Thanks
Hi, Linda. You might look at how you measure your flour. Here are my tips.
I was wondering if it would be ok to use margarine in place of butter ? I want to try these,but don’t have butter,just have margarine..Hoping it’ll work.. Thank you, Carol
Hi, Carol. I don’t bake with margarine, so I can’t give you a definitive answer. In general, margarine doesn’t perform well in baking.
This recipe sounds and looks deliciously amazing! Peanut butter cookies have always been one of our favorites especially growing up. This is definitely something new to try ASAP. I haven’t tried cream cheese with peanut butter before so this will be my first time and fingers crossed, it won’t be the last. Thanks for sharing, Jennifer!
I have made these twice already & they were the best peanut butter cookies I have ever had! I am an amateur baker so I am so excited to find a recipe even I can make to come out melt in your mouth good!! 😋 the only difference I did was used a rubber spatula to work in the dry flour ingredients instead of continuing with the mixer. I was worried working the flour too much would make it flat. 🤷♀️
Thank you for the awesome recipe! It was a hit with my family!
I’m so glad you like them, Stefanie! 🙂
Thank God for kitchen scales and I just recently ordered one weeks ago. I love peanut butter & cream cheese vey very much. I’m prepping to make these cookies right now. So glad I stumbled upon this recipe and can’t wait to see the end results!
I made these cookies with my granddaughter. They were the best peanut butter cookies I have ever had. The cream cheese adds just enough creaminess to the texture and the flavor to take these over the top. They were gone in no time flat. I highly recommend this recipe for any peanut butter lover. Thanks for sharing. A definite 5 star cookie.
That is high praise, Cindy! Thanks so much! 🙂
Can most of these recipes be doubled? Thanks, they sound delicious!
Hi, Judy. Yes, you can scale this recipe as you like.
Hi Jennifer: I love peanut butter cookies and really like the idea of adding cream cheese. Because my husband does not like peanut butter, I usually use almond butter. Do you think I could add half almond butter and half sesame tahini because I like the taste of tahini?
PS: When I saved your recipe to Pinterest, It did not allow me to include “from Bake or Break” It’s very clear when you open the image that the recipe is from you. I hope this is okay.
Hi, Kit. Other butters don’t have quite the same fat content as peanut butter, so there may be some differences in texture and how they spread. Without trying it myself, I don’t know how much they’d be affected, but I think it work okay. Saving a Pin from here should always link back to me, so no worries at all. Thanks for sharing!
do you think we could use freshly ground almond butter? My version is not oily.
Hi, Susan. It’s possible, but it’s hard to say definitively without testing it. Different brands are likely to work better than others.
These cookies turned out great. Thank you!
I’m so glad you liked them!
I have made these cookies several times now and everyone just loves them. I follow the recipe, but instead of crosshatches I make a thumbprint and fill with jam. So I am making peanut butter and jelly cookies.
That sounds really good, Judi!
These are the best Peanut Butter cookies I have ever made!
I’m following you for more ideas.
I’m glad to hear it, Linda!
These cookies sound so good. I will have to try them soon. Can you use cookie cutters with this recipe? I thought it would be nice for the holidays to try this.
Hi, Merrilee. I’m not sure this dough would do very well for rolling and cutting.
Husband diabetic. I use splenda sugar and splenda brown sugar they are great friends dont know they are sugar free thanks for recipe
I’m glad the cookies are a hit for you, Mary!
To just made these. This will be my go to recipe for peanut butter cookies! Great recipe!!
I’m so glad you liked the cookies, Teresa!
I just made these wanted something sweet and had all the ingredients in the cabinet. Idk what I did wrong… mine are like brownies lol 😂
I was skeptical but made them and they were excellent! My partner who hates cream cheese even loves these because you can’t taste the typical cream cheese flavor but it gives the cookies a little something extra. I made them with just the cross hatch and a batch with Hershey’s Kisses and both were a hit in their own way! Thanks for sharing! I doubled the batch and they were so easy and great for sharing! 🙂
I’m so happy to hear that these cookies were a hit for you, Yuchen!