Baking Cookies Made Easy (And Kid-Friendly!)

I love to bake, and I’m well known among family and friends as being an avid scratch baker. I do, however, make an exception for one thing: peanut butter cookies. I still make my peanut butter cookies the way my mother taught me when I was five years old; I use cake mix. I have made these cookies for bake sales, parties, and a host of other occasions and they always get rave reviews. I’ve tried other recipes and I still find mine to be the tastiest, not to mention easiest, recipe around.

I know that cake mix recipes are all the rage right now, but they’re definitely nothing new. My cake mix cookie recipes came from my great aunt, who I knew as Auntie Dal. These recipes have been in my family for generations.

The best thing about these recipes is that they are perfect for baking with small children! For little ones who are eager to help in the kitchen, but aren’t quite ready for all the precise measuring involved with baking from scratch, these cookies are just right.

To make my Auntie Dal’s famous cake mix cookies, combine the ingredients for one recipe and drop rounded spoonfuls of dough on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake all cookies at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (check at 9 or 10 minutes to prevent over-browning).

Peanut Butter Cake Mix Cookies

Peanut Butter Cake Mix Cookies
1 package yellow cake mix
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I use Jif)
½ cup vegetable or canola oil
2 large eggs

Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies
1 package white cake mix
½ cup vegetable or canola oil
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon water
1 cup chocolate chips

Happy Baking! I hope your family enjoys these recipes as much as mine has.

102 Comments

  1. These look awesome AND easy. I can’t wait to give these a try 🙂

    • Thanks! I hope you like them. 🙂

      • Hello, my husband is missing a chocolate cookie his mom used to make, he said it was cake like with a thin layer of chcolate on top. Do you know of a recipe like this?

      • Katie, I just came across this recipe on Pinterest and really want to make the PB cookies with my kids. BUT all we have is olive oil. Can I use that in the place of the veg or canola oil?

      • I tried the peanut butter cookie recipe and used chocolate cake mix instead and 1 stick of butter which is equal to the amount of oil needed. I then added MINT chocolate chips (they are chocolate chips with a mint filling. OH MY GOODNESS they were GREAT! Everyone loved them and it gave the whole cookie a different taste. I called them mint peanut butter chocolate chip.

    • The peanut butter cookies look delicious!!! I actually have all of those ingredients already, so I am going to make them right now!!! :). All I have is crunchy peanut butter, we’ll see how it goes.

  2. I’m definitely going to have to try those chocolate chip cookies! I’ve been trying to find a cakey chocolate chip recipe, and this might be the winner 🙂

  3. I make these peanut butter cookies all the time, but I’ve always used spice cake mix to amp up the fall flavor.

  4. I have got to try that!! My kids love peanut butter cookies! 🙂

  5. Rachelle Kennedy says:

    I am trying the peanut butter tonite!

  6. How long do you bake them for?

  7. This might be a silly question but do you melt down the Peanut Butter a little???

    • Hi Melanie! It’s not necessary to melt the pb at all; once you mix it with the oil and the egg it thins it out quite a bit. I just spoon it directly from the jar into a measuring cup and then out of the measuring cup and into the mixing bowl.

  8. Lucy Wesson says:

    I tried the peanut butter cookie recipe. They were delicious!

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  10. I made the peanut butter cookies. I have been a professional baker with my own bakery and I have to say that these are very good cookies. They are simple to make and have a good flavor. I usually make everything from scratch but this is a good recipe for the home cook that doesn’t know how to do more. I would recommend this recipe to any new cook or someone who wants great results without a lot of work.

  11. Would it be possible to use Nutella instead of peanut butter? 🙂

    • I’ve never tried it, but they’re about the same consistency so it would probably work. If you try it, please let me know! I would LOVE to hear how that turns out! 🙂

  12. Hi Katie, thanks for the follow and the cookie recipe ideas. My daughter and I made ANZAC cookies today which are a special Australian and New Zealand biscuit or cookie, first made by women in WW1 to send to their loved ones at the Front. The cookies last really well hence why they were a favourite during the War. Btw ANZAC stands for Australia and New Zealand Army Corps and today (25 April) is ANZAC Day (a public holiday for us) when we commemorate those who fought for us and our country. We made ANZAC cookies this morning of course as part of our celebrations and to remember (Lest We Forget). Cheerio Emma

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  14. Kelli R Schulba says:

    I just made the first batch (2nd still in the oven) and I want to say the peanut butter taste is phenomenal but the cookies seem to crumble when I try to pick them up. I was wondering if anyone else experienced this and if so what should I do different. I want to add the real test will be when my hubby gives them a taste….

    • Hi Kelli! Assuming all your measurements were correct, my guess is that they either baked for a bit too long or your oven is running a little bit hot. 10 minutes at 350 is what works for me, but every oven is different. Best of luck! 🙂

    • I had that issue too, but they still taste great and the kids don’t seem to mind it at all lol

  15. You had an oatmeal raisin recipe that I had tried. I made it for my father and its one of his favorites. I was wondering if you could repost the recipe. Thank you!

    • Hi Denise! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed the oatmeal raisin cookies. I took the recipe down because I am making some tweaks to it, but here is the recipe as it was originally posted:
      1 package spice cake mix
      3 cups uncooked quick oats
      ¾ cup vegetable or canola oil
      2 large eggs
      ½ cup milk
      ¼ cup brown sugar
      1 cup raisins (optional)
      1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

      • Thank you so much! My father’s birthday is coming up and I will be making them for him! He will be ver happy!

  16. Stephanie says:

    My 3 year old and I just made PB cookies using devils food cake mix. I can’t stop eating them!!! Thank you for the inspiration!!

  17. i tried the recipe and had the same issue with cookie crumbling. Agree they were delish, but trying to figure out what I did wrong. Measured, checked them at 9 mins and took them out at 11 mins. Coloring looked good. Put in the second batch and same thing. Wondering if it had to do with it being a yellow cake mix that had pudding in it?? Will try again with the Duncan Hines brand. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • I’ve never used one of the cake mixes with pudding in them, so I don’t know how that would affect the outcome.
      Like I’ve said to other commentors, some ovens run hot, so 11 minutes might have been too long to bake them. I usually take mine out at 10 minutes, but every oven is different. I’m glad to hear that they tasted good and that you’re planning on making them again! Best of luck.

  18. I was not impressed. They are kinda just blah for me, from scratch isn’t that many more steps anyway. Would use in a pinch for cheap quantity kinds of things but not for family traditions or anything.

    • I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t like them.
      I would like to point out that this is a post about baking with young children. I never tried to claim that cake mix cookies were faster or better than scratch cookies, but for a preschool-aged child, measuring exact quantities of flour, sugar, baking soda, etc. can be a daunting task.
      As far as whether this recipe is worthy of family tradition, perhaps not. It is a very simple recipe, after all. But we’ve been baking them in my family for decades. To each his own.

      • Hi we make these all the time . And the peanut butter have become a tradition in our house but I add a secret ingredient and I feel I should share your cookies will never crumble again……honey yep so easy omg it’s just sooo yummy give it a try.

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  20. My boys and I (4 and 6) just made these, we added 1C milk chocolate chips, they are so yummy! Turned out perfect! Thanks for sharing the recipe:)

    • I’m so glad you liked them! Milk chocolate chips sounds like a great addition. 😀

      • Just got done making these cookies, I made a couple changes/additions and they turned out great! I subbed half the oil for applesauce to make it healthier and less greasy, and I also added a cup of oats to it to make oatmeal peanut butter cookies! For the people who had crumbly cookies, I found that instead of just making drop cookies, roll them into balls then pressing a criss cross pattern into them helps them not crumble. It also is a must to flatten the cookies a little before baking because these cookies hardly spread. Next time I’d like my cookies to taste a little more peanut buttery…. Could I add in another half a cup or so of PB without it messing up the recip?

  21. Just made these today. I used 1/2 cup Nutella and 1/2 cup peanut butter (looking for a chocolate peanut butter cup flavor?) otherwise made exactly as printed using Pillsbury Moist Supreme (pudding in the mix) yellow cake mix. I baked them for 10 mins and let them cool just a bit before removing from cookie sheet. I think that helps with crumbling. I also took advice from another comment and flattened slightly with a fork in a criss-cross pattern. The flavor is quite good. Not too chocolatey but good. Very quick & easy to make. I would make these again but maybe chocolate cake mix next time or yellow mix and add chocolate chips. Many variations. The recipe made about 45-50 cookies with my small scoop. Give or take the ones I’ve already sampled 😉

  22. I tried these cookies.they are delicious and so so easy.good job.

  23. Would you be able to make these into cookie bars?

    • Probably. I’ve never tried it so I can’t vouch for the results. If you try it out and are successful I’d love to hear about it!

  24. I made the recipe for brownie cookies and no longer can find it. Can you share it.

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  26. I had to bake my cookies for almost 20 minutes per sheet and they kind of crumble. But I would add (& did add) a little salt because these are quite sweet. I also added chocolate chips. I just think the recipe calls for too much oil/fat and that makes the cookies crumbly. Good idea but for me, something didn’t quite work out. Though I’m sure my family will eat every last one! A cookie is a cookie, right?? Haha!

  27. These were unbelievable. I only had a vanilla cake mix in the house, so I used that, and they were awesome. just an FYI for anyone who doesn’t have yellow mix in the house. Thanks for the great recipe!

  28. Maria Murphy says:

    I was quite happy with how these turned out. I had no crumbling problems. My daughter loved helping me make them. Thank you!

  29. I love these!! We don’t eat sugar, so I replaced the cake mix with Pillsbury’s Sugar Free cake mix!! I’t’t awesome and so easy!!

  30. Barbara Couillard says:

    Just made these, they turned out great! I split the batch, half with chocolate chips and half without. The ones with the chocolate chips turned out better. They were a little larger size scoops and I think this is key to solving the crumbling issue. Can’t wait to try it with another flavor cake mix!

  31. I just made these with Marble Cake mix…used all of the yellow mix part and added about half of the cocoa part into the batter. They are sooo good! Thank you for such an awesome and super easy recipe! Can’t wait to try your Brownie Cookie recipe 🙂

  32. Kambree Christensen says:

    Hi! I am trying the recipe for the peanut butter cookies, but I was wondering if you squish them with the fork before or after you bake them?

  33. Has anybody tried making these with melted butter instead of the oil?

    • I’ve never tried it, but I imagine the finished product would have a slightly different texture since butter is solid at room temperature. If somebody tries it this way I’d love to hear the results!

    • I have and they just have a chewy consistency but still the same flavor.

  34. An even easier recipe for peanut butter cookies:

    1 cup peanut butter
    1 cup white sugar
    1 egg

    Roll 1/2 to 1 tsp ball of dough in additional sugar, bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

    Easier and there are fewer ingredients, without the harmful chemicals and GMOs found in conventional cake mixes.

  35. My wife made your recipe for peanut butter cookies today. She used a yellow cake mix that was gluten free and they were great. Firm,but melted in your mouth.yummy!!

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  37. I was out of peanut butter so instead I used Hershey’s chocolate spread and they turned out great!!!!

  38. I am making these right now for my daughter’s bake sale and they are super yummy! Not even a little crumbly, even less than the PB cookies my mom has been making forever. They are soft but not chewy, an absolutely delightful texture. I am so happy I found this recipe, thank you so much! I’m not sure why people are having trouble with crumbles, but just for information I used Jif creamy, Crisco vegetable oil and a Duncan Hines yellow cake mix. Thank you again!

    • Thanks for your comment, Katharine! I’m so glad you liked them. Your results sound similar to mine; I’ve never had crumbling issues either so it’s difficult for me to troubleshoot it for people. I also use Jif creamy so maybe that’s part of it! 🙂

  39. I make these all the time but I use butter instead of oil. They are a family favorite.

  40. Hi! Thanks for the recipe for peanut butter cookies! I did alter the recipe with substituting the cake mix with gluten free cake mix. (Our son has celiacs) and they turned out great! Well minus the funny gf sometimes leaves lol! I will say my first few were horribly crumbly, BUT I found they werent cooled all the way. We ket them sit for a bit and they were perfectly fine! I wonder if in your recipe readers may not have let them cool and set completely. Thank you again!!

    • Thanks so much for your comment! I’m glad to know the recipe works with GF cake mix. Thank you for sharing how you solved your crumbling issue. I’ve never found these cookies to be crumbly, but I always let them cool fully. I think you may have solved the mystery!

  41. Just made these for Christmas! They are delicious! I added hershey kisses once they started to cool down.

  42. I am about to try this recipe, but I don’t have the cake mix you have suggested. I will be using a chocolate cake mix that has pudding in it. I hope it still comes out delicious.

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  44. Wow!! These were awesome! I’m kicking myself because I didn’t know about this sooner. So easy to prepare and we loved them! I will be making them again many times to come. Thank you for taking the time to share, we grately appreciate it! Hope you have a great day!

  45. Judith Fisk says:

    I love these ideas, I’m going to try them today!

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  47. These are delicious!! I added a little brown sugar, put the dough in the freezer for a bit to get cold, rolled them in balls and sugar and of course the criss cross lines and they are delicious! They are a bit crumbly at first but put them directly on a cooling rack and let cool a bit before eating……then they are fine! Thank you for the easy and delicious recipe!

  48. I tried these cookies and they tasted gritty and had a funny taste to them. Did anyone else have them turn out bad? Was it maybe the kind of cake mix I used?

  49. How many cookies does this yield?

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  51. I have to admit that I did no like this recipe at all. It left an unpleasant, artificial aftertaste in my mouth. If you’re craving a peanut butter cookie, stay with the original recipe from Betty Crocker, it cant be beat.

  52. Oh my gosh, so excited to find this recipe! We used to make these all the time when I was a kid but the recipe was lost. Can’t wait to make them tomorrow. Thanks!

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