This smooth, creamy peanut butter pie is a quick and easy dessert to make at home.
Easy peanut butter pie is always the answer for those late night peanut butter cravings! This will become one of your favorite guilty pleasures. The decadent filling captures an amazingly smooth, creamy texture along with the classic richness of the peanut butter.
Historically, this type of pie has been regionally popular in North Carolina and Virginia. However, it has started gaining a devoted following outside of the region. While some may refer to it as the “poor man’s pecan pie,” this version makes you realize how royally delicious a pie can be.
You know how passionate I am about crafting peanut butter confections. If you enjoy this recipe, you should check out my no-bake peanut butter cookies, chocolate peanut butter cheesecake, or peanut butter cup cookies. My peanut butter frosting makes for an excellent addition to many of your favorite recipes.
There are so many ways to personalize this pie to your tastes. You can stick with the standard topping of homemade or store-bought whipped cream.
For the chocolate and peanut butter lovers, you can top this dessert with chocolate ganache or chocolate chips. Candy lovers might enjoy Reese’s Pieces or chopped peanut butter cups as a topping. Crushed chocolate graham crackers also add pizazz to this pie.
Another option is topping the pie with warm peanut butter. You can never have too much peanut butter!
If you like this pie and you love chocolate, give my chocolate pie a try next!
Why this recipe works
- A simple chocolate cookie crust pairs wonderfully with the rich filling in this peanut butter pie. It’s the perfect balance of peanut butter and chocolate!
- The crust is baked as part of the assembly of the pie. This ensures it is sturdy enough to hold its shape and support the no-bake filling. You won’t have to worry about the crust crumbling.
- At the end of this recipe, the whipped cream is folded into the filling. This lightens the filling and gives it a luxurious mousse-like texture.
Peanut Butter Pie recipe details
You’ll love how easy this recipe is to whip together. It’s the best answer to peanut butter cravings. It just takes two basic steps to assemble this pie.
Unlike some other versions of this pie, my recipe has a baked crust. This makes it firm while also creating enough strength to hold up all that delicious peanut butter filling. You don’t want your crust crumbling when you go to serve your pie.
The short baking time of the crust makes this recipe perfect for the warm summer months. It’s also handy for anytime you want to conserve energy at home. The filling requires no baking at all. Simply, place the prepared filling into the prebaked pie shell.
This recipe also has the baker gently fold the whipped cream into the filling mixture. No handheld electric mixer is needed for combining the whipped cream. This method of folding also preserves the fluffy and airy texture of the whipped cream.
You’ll notice that this recipe recognizes the importance of ingredient temperatures. The heavy cream must be cold before you begin whipping it to stiff peaks. Otherwise, you’ll end up with weak peaks and a thin filling.
It is equally important to allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature. This prevents the filling from being lumpy. A smooth, creamy filling is a must for this dessert.
- Chocolate cookies: The cookies are crushed to make the crust for this peanut butter pie. You may find using a food processor works well for this task. If you prefer not to crush cookies, you can buy a store-bought graham cracker crust to save time.
- Butter: The butter acts as the glue in the crust. It holds the cookie crumbs together.
- Heavy cream: This helps thicken the filling by adding fullness with stiff peaks.
- Cream cheese: Full-fat cream cheese works best. It adds a creamy texture to the filling.
- Peanut Butter: This ingredient adds the rich, nutty flavor to this recipe. Commercial brand peanut butter works best. Natural peanut butter tends to be oily, which will ruin the texture of the filling.
- Vanilla: It adds flavor on its own, while also enhancing the flavor of the other ingredients in the filling.
- Sugar: You must use confectioners’ sugar, also known as powdered sugar, in this recipe. Granulated sugar is too coarse, which will make the filling seem gritty.
- Mixer: You’ll need a handheld electric mixer for this recipe. It’ll help you whip the heavy cream and adequately blend the filling ingredients.
- Pie pan: This recipe requires a 9-inch pie pan. You’ll want a sturdy pan as you will be pressing the crust into the bottom of it.
How to make peanut butter pie
This mostly no bake peanut butter pie recipe is so easy with so much flavor. It’ll be your newest guilty pleasure for peanut butter flavor.
And, it only takes two steps. First, you’ll create the crust, and then, you’ll blend the filling. This is the perfect recipe for the novice baker or the devoted peanut butter lover!
Step 1: Make the crust
To start, preheat your oven to 350°F. Then, combine the cookie crumbs and butter. Stir these until well combined.
Take this mixture, and then, press it into a 9-inch pie pan. Finally, bake in the oven for 7 minutes. You will want to allow the crust to completely cool at this point. You’re halfway to creating your peanut butter pie!
Step 2: Make the filling
Grab your handheld electric mixer. In a medium bowl, whip the heavy cream to stiff peaks at medium-high speed. Set this bowl aside.
Then, take a large bowl and put in the cream cheese and powdered sugar. Beat these with the mixer at medium-high speed until completely smooth and creamy.
Once blended, add the peanut butter and vanilla into the mixture. Use the mixer on medium speed until fully combined. It is normal if the mixture doesn’t appear smooth at this point.
Gently fold in the whipped cream with a silicone spatula. Continue until well combined, smooth and creamy. (This may take a few moments to get the whipped cream fully blended. Just keep stirring!)
Grab the cooled pie shell. Then, spread the pie filling into the pie crust and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Refrigerate the peanut butter pie for at least 4-6 hours or overnight.
When ready to serve, top with whipped cream. This recipe is best served cold.
Tips for success
- The heavy cream needs to be cold. If it is not at that temperature, it won’t whip to stiff peaks as required by this peanut butter pie recipe. You’ll notice that soft or medium peaks will result in the filling being too thin.
- Let the cream cheese come to room temperature before starting the recipe. Otherwise, it will cause the filling to be lumpy.
- After making the pie, allow it to refrigerate for at least 6 hours or it will be difficult to slice. You should keep the pie refrigerated until ready to serve because the filling will soften considerably at room temperature.
Storing & Freezing
To store: Before storing, cover the peanut butter pie tightly. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This pie must be refrigerated because the filling loses its firmness at room temperature.
To Freeze: Make sure to tightly cover the pie before freezing. You can freeze the pie for up to 1 month. When you want to thaw it, let the pie defrost overnight in the refrigerator.
This is a perfect make ahead recipe. It’s easy to pull out of the freezer before a celebration or special occasion.