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This easy peanut butter pie is a classic Southern dessert! With a vanilla wafer cookie crust and a light, creamy peanut butter filling, it’s the perfect combination of salty-and-sweet flavors with smooth and crunchy textures. Best of all, the old fashioned peanut butter pie comes together with a no-bake filling that requires just minutes of hands-on effort! Finish each slice with a dollop of whipped cream for a decadent addition to your next cookout, Sunday supper, or holiday table.

Big slice of the best peanut butter pie recipe served on a small white plate with a dollop of whipped cream on top

Here in Virginia, we’re very proud of our pork, oysters, and peanuts! Whether it’s a baked ham on Easter, a pot of oyster stew on Christmas Eve, or an easy peanut butter pie for dessert, these ingredients are a way of life in our culture and find their way into many of our favorite recipes.

The good news is that you don’t need to be a Virginian to enjoy the true decadence of a rich and creamy Southern peanut butter pie from scratch. This make-ahead dessert comes together with a handful of kitchen staples and a few minutes of prep. It’s perfect year-round — from birthday celebrations to casual cookouts, Sunday suppers to Thanksgiving dessert buffets. It’s a sweet treat that the whole family loves!

Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut butter pie is a dessert made with a pie crust (either traditional pastry, graham cracker, or cookie-based) and a creamy peanut butter filling. There are endless varieties, from no-bake peanut butter pies with Cool Whip, to frozen pies and chocolate peanut butter pies. The no-bake filling for this particular old-fashioned recipe includes 4 simple ingredients: peanut butter, cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and whipped cream. They’re blended together until smooth and thick, then chilled in the pie crust until set. It doesn’t get much easier!

Hands holding a peanut butter pie in a white pie plate

The Crust

While the filling is decadent and perfect, the crust is what really sets this recipe apart from other peanut butter pies. Instead of a classic pastry crust or a graham cracker crust, this buttery, rich crust is made with vanilla wafer cookie crumbs. The cookies create a thick, flavorful crust that doesn’t become soggy (even after multiple days in the fridge). Since the crust is par-baked, it has a subtle, toasted, nutty taste and is incredibly sturdy. It’s the best counterpart to the light, creamy filling.

Old fashioned peanut butter pie in a white pie plate with slices taken out

Ingredients

This is a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for an easy peanut butter pie from scratch. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Vanilla wafer cookie crumbs, butter, and sugar: combine to form the crust. Make sure that the cookies are in fine crumbs so that the crust holds together well.
  • Peanut butter: use a processed creamy variety such as Jif or Skippy.
  • Cream cheese: make sure that it’s softened at room temperature so that it easily blends with the peanut butter. Use a block of full-fat cream cheese (not a tub).
  • Confectioners’ sugar (also called “powdered sugar”): sifted for a smooth, sweet filling.
  • Heavy whipping cream: for a thick, rich, creamy pie. Do not substitute milk, half-and-half, or other lower-fat alternatives for the heavy cream.
Square image of a close up shot of a slice of old fashioned peanut butter pie

How To Make Easy Peanut Butter Pie

This peanut butter cream cheese pie is quick, easy, and totally decadent! It satisfies every craving — salty, sweet, smooth, creamy, and crunchy. The easy pie is also perfect at any time of year, for any celebration. Nobody can resist a slice of this classic Southern dessert with so much peanut butter flavor!

  1. Bake the crust in a pie pan; then let it cool completely.
  2. Mix together the filling with a hand mixer or stand mixer.
  3. Spread the peanut butter mixture in the crust.
  4. Chill the pie for at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  5. Slice and serve!
Nilla wafer cookie pie crust
No bake peanut butter pie filling in a white mixing bowl
Process shot showing how to make peanut butter pie
Square image of hands holding a white dish with a homemade peanut butter pie

how to serve homemade peanut butter pie

The creamy peanut butter pie is best served cold (straight from the fridge), with a dusting of crunchy, chopped, salted peanuts on top. Add a dollop of sweetened freshly-whipped cream on top (or take a shortcut and use some store-bought Cool Whip or other whipped topping). Feeling really extravagant? Garnish with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, a sprinkling of miniature chocolate chips, chocolate shavings, or a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

Fork taking a bite out of a slice of southern peanut butter pie

Storage

Cover the pie and store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. It is best when enjoyed within the first 2 days of preparation.

You can store peanut butter pie in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Overhead shot of two plates with peanut butter pie slices on a white surface

Recipe Variations

  • Make the crust with Oreos instead of vanilla wafers. The oreo crust will give you that delicious chocolate and peanut butter flavor combination. Chocolate graham cracker crumbs would also make a great crust!
  • Add a dash of vanilla extract to the filling.
  • Garnish the top of the pie with chopped reese’s peanut butter cups, chocolate shavings, chocolate chips, or chocolate syrup.
  • For a truly no bake peanut butter pie that’s even easier and faster, purchase a store-bought graham cracker crust instead of making your own crust from scratch.

Tips for the best peanut butter pie recipe

  • Use a processed peanut butter (like Jif or Skippy) rather than all-natural peanut butter. The processed nut butters do not separate.
  • Use full-fat block-style cream cheese for the filling. The texture will not work with low fat cream cheese or cream cheese spread from a tub.
  • Sift the confectioners’ sugar to avoid any lumps in your filling.
  • Be careful not to overmix the filling. Beat just until the mixture thickens (which happens pretty quickly). Too much mixing can give the whipped cream a grainy, broken texture.
  • You may have more filling than will fit in the crust. Refrigerate any extra filling — it will set up and be a delicious peanut butter mousse to eat with a spoon or scoop with cookies. The chef’s treat!
  • Allow at least 4 hours for the filling to set in the refrigerator. I typically prepare the pie a day ahead and let it sit overnight.
  • Garnish the chilled pie with chopped peanuts and whipped cream just before serving. Don’t add the peanuts too early or they can become soft.
Front shot of a slice of easy peanut butter pie on a white plate with a fork and chopped peanuts
Square image of a slice of peanut butter pie

Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Pie

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 40 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Chilling Time 6 hours
Total: 6 hours 50 minutes
Servings 8 slices
Calories 952 kcal
An old-fashioned peanut butter pie is a classic (and easy) Southern dessert!

Ingredients
  

For the Crust:

  • 2 cups vanilla wafer cookie crumbs (I use 60 whole Nilla wafer cookies)
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted and cooled
  • ¼ cup sugar

For the Filling:

  • 1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) block cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • Optional garnish: chopped peanuts; whipped cream

Instructions

Prepare the Crust:

  • Preheat oven to 400° F.
  • In a bowl, combine cookie crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Pat the mixture onto the bottom and sides of a buttered 9-inch pie plate. I use the flat bottom of a small measuring cup to press the crumbs in an even layer.
  • Bake the shell in the 400° F oven for 10 minutes, transfer it to a rack, and let cool completely.

Prepare the Filling:

  • Once the crust is completely cool, prepare the filling. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the peanut butter and cream cheese on medium speed until combined. Add confectioners’ sugar, beat to combine. Add cream; mix on low speed until combined. Increase mixer to high speed; beat just until the mixture thickens (be careful not to overbeat).
  • Spread the filling in the pie crust. Cover and refrigerate until firm; at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • Garnish with chopped peanuts and whipped cream just before serving.

Notes

  • Use a processed peanut butter (like Jif or Skippy) rather than all-natural peanut butter. The processed nut butters do not separate, which yields a better quality filling.
  • Use full-fat block-style cream cheese for the filling. The texture will not work with low fat cream cheese or cream cheese spread from a tub.
  • Sift the confectioners’ sugar to avoid any lumps in your filling.
  • Be careful not to overmix the filling. Beat just until the mixture thickens (which happens pretty quickly). Too much mixing can give the whipped cream a grainy, broken texture.
  • You may have more filling than will fit in the crust. Refrigerate any extra filling — it will set up and be a delicious peanut butter mousse to eat with a spoon or scoop with cookies. The chef’s treat!
  • Allow at least 4 hours for the filling to set in the refrigerator. I typically prepare the pie a day ahead and let it sit overnight.
  • Garnish the chilled pie with chopped peanuts and whipped cream just before serving. Don’t add the peanuts too early or they can become soft.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 952kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 17gFat: 72gSaturated Fat: 32gPolyunsaturated Fat: 11gMonounsaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 592mgPotassium: 438mgFiber: 4gSugar: 41gVitamin A: 1518IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 90mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: easy peanut butter pie, old fashioned peanut butter pie, peanut butter pie
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Southern
Author: Blair Lonergan
blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I followed the instructions of this pie. The only thing I did wrong was, I pressed the crumb crust in hard with the bottom of a flat bottom measuring cup. Made the crust hard. It was in the fridge two days, & it didn’t soften up, like you said it wouldn’t. Other than that, It’s a fabulous pie. The filling is lite & very flavorful. I didn’t add Vanilla Extract. I will make again.