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Peanut Butter Chess Pie

If you’re a big fan of Chess Pie but want something a bit different, then try this Peanut Butter Chess Pie. It’s got everything you love about the classic pie but with an irresistible peanut butter flavor!

Looking for a classic recipe? Try this old-fashioned chess pie!

slice of Peanut Butter Chess Pie topped with sweetened whipped cream and served on a green plate

Peanut Butter Chess Pie

Chess Pie is one of those desserts that I can never resist. I’ve loved it and its sweet, gooey filling since I was a child. And now knowing how simply it’s made with basic pantry ingredients, I appreciate it even more!

I’ve long had an idea to try adding peanut butter to this pie, thinking how that flavor addition would be such a great complement to an already fantastic pie. And now that I have, I so wish I’d tried it sooner!

To be honest, I was a bit worried what the addition of peanut butter would do to the filling. I thought it might make it too thick, but just one bite told me that it’s still just like chess pie. It has that soft, sweet, gooey filling that we know and love! But you get a big dose of peanut butter flavor, too. Score!

overhead view of Peanut Butter Chess Pie in a green pie plate

What You’ll Need

One of the beauties of chess pie is that it’s made with basic baking ingredients. See the recipe at the bottom of this post for ingredient quantities and full instructions. Here are some notes about the ingredients you’ll need to make your peanut butter chess pie.

  • Pastry for a 9-inch pie: I’ve included my go-to pie crust in the recipe, but feel free to use your favorite recipe for a 9-inch pie. I find that most bakers have their preferred recipe, so go for it. I happen to like this one for its simplicity and for all of that butter.
  • Unsalted butter: I always bake with unsalted butter because there are varying amounts of salt in different brands of salted butter. Learn more: Unsalted vs Salted Butter
  • Eggs: The eggs are vital for creating the custard filling.
  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar: I prefer light brown sugar in this pie, but dark brown sugar should work, too.
  • Milk: Whole milk works best, but I’ve also used 2% successfully in this recipe.
  • Cornmeal: This helps to thicken the filling.
  • Vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Peanut butter: I use traditional creamy peanut butter in this pie. Use caution with natural peanut butters, as they are likely not to perform in the same way.
  • Toppings: This pie is perfectly delicious all on its own, but I do like to add sweetened whipped cream or ice cream to warm slices of it. A few chopped peanuts on top are a nice way to finish.

How to Make Peanut Butter Chess Pie

This is a very simple pie to make. Besides bowls and tools for the pie crust, you’ll just need a single mixing bowl, a mixing spoon or whisk, and a pie plate!

Make the pie crust. Follow the recipe below, use your favorite pie crust recipe, or go with store-bought. After the crust is ready in the pie pan, place it in the refrigerator while you make the filling. If you need some tips for making homemade pie crust, see my All-Butter Pie Crust.

Prepare for baking. Heat the oven to 325°F. Measure all of your ingredients and grab a mixing bowl.

Combine the filling ingredients. All of the filling ingredients mix in just one bowl. The peanut butter may take a little effort to mix, but the filing should come together easily.

Bake the pie. After pouring the filling into the chilled pie crust, bake the pie for about an hour. When it’s finished baking, the pie should be golden brown and set in the center. The pie will puff up nice and tall as it bakes. Don’t be alarmed to see it deflate as it cools. That just leads to that characteristic cracked topping that chess pies have.

overhead view of a slice of Peanut Butter Chess Pie on a green plate

Tips for Success

Follow these simple tips to help ensure peanut butter chess pie perfection!

  • Measure accurately. This is always important in baking!
  • Allow the butter to cool. If the butter is too hot, the eggs will start to cook when they’re mixed together. You’ll end up with a less than optimal, lumpy filling.
  • Cover the crust edges if necessary. Keep an eye on the pie crust as it bakes. If the edges start to look done, then cover the edges with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning.
  • Cool completely before slicing. Allowing the pie to cool completely after baking gives the filling time to finish setting. Otherwise, you may have a gooey mess.

How to Store Leftovers

This Peanut Butter Chess Pie should keep tightly covered in the refrigerator for 3 days. Slices of pie can be rewarmed in the microwave or set on your kitchen counter to come to room temperature.

To freeze slices of the pie, first place them on a pan and freeze until solid. Then wrap each slice in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or for a few hours at room temperature.

Peanut Butter Chess Pie

Yield 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Add a peanut butter twist to a classic pie with this fantastic Peanut Butter Chess Pie!

Add a peanut butter twist to a classic pie with this fantastic Peanut Butter Chess Pie! - Bake or Break


For the crust:

  • 1 & 1/4 cups (150g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 to 4 tablespoons cold water

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 & 1/4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (50g) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (127g) creamy peanut butter
  • ice cream or sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
  • chopped peanuts, for garnish


To make the crust:

  1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal and the butter is the size of small peas.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of water and continue mixing. Add more water as needed, 1 tablespoon at a time, until a dough forms.
  3. Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. If necessary, let it sit at room temperature for 10 to 15 minutes until slightly softened but still cold.
  5. Lightly flour a work surface. Roll out the dough into a circle about 1/8-inch thick.
  6. Transfer the dough to a 9-inch pie plate. Trim and crimp the edges as desired. Place the pie plate in the refrigerator while you make the filling.

To make the filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cooled butter, eggs, sugar, brown sugar, milk, cornmeal, vanilla, and salt. Mix in the peanut butter until thoroughly combined and smooth.
  3. Transfer the filling to the chilled pie plate, spreading evenly.
  4. Bake 55 to 60 minutes, or until the pie is golden brown and the filling is set. Cool completely before serving.

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    15 Comments on “Peanut Butter Chess Pie”

  1. Hey Jennifer. I have always LOVED chocolate chess pie & so does my family.   Now I can’t wait to try a peanut butter chess pie. What a great idea. My dilemma is do I use a deep dish pie dish or a regular?  Thanks for your help.  

  2. ooooh I love chess pie and I think this pb version would be my new favorite!

  3. Do you think I could swap the peanut butter for cookie butter/biscoff spread to make a biscoff chess pie?

  4. Would that I could include the picture of your brain child recipe, I surely would be crowing from doing that! Yesterday mid-morning I realized that I had every ingredient at hand to have my way with your recipe. At first bite, this pie became relegated to heirloom status. We have a Southerner friend who I began a texting session with that was all about chess pies, in general. After he read your recipe and saw my pic, he was so wistful. I promised him that when this current hiccup in history passes, he will know from your pie in our home. Thank you Jennifer for your solid presence. Loved the pie, and you’re not so bad either 🙂

  5. Wondering if this tastes like pecan pie without the pecans when made w/o peanut butter. Similar ingredients except fir the milk. Thank you. 

  6. This is cornmeal not corn starch?

  7. Can you substitute something eise for the curnmeal? 

  8. I just made this and it was absolutely delicious! I’m thinking of adding some chocolate chips next time and I was wondering if anyone has tried it like that?

    • Hi, Stacy! I’m so glad you enjoyed the pie! I usually don’t mix anything into the filling for chess pies, but I think you could probably add chocolate chips. My guess is that mini chocolate chips would work best. If you try it, let me know how it works.

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