How to Make Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix Better

Cookie mix is undeniably convenient. But the flavor? Eh, it’s good, but it’s noticeably not “homemade.” Does that mean you should toss your packet of Betty Crocker cookie mix? No way! Just make it better using one of my many tips and tricks for revving up cookie mix.

Hey! I’m Michelle, a baker who lives in a home where we are 100% split on cookie flavors. The boys love peanut butter, and the girls prefer chocolate chips. So what do I do? Make both, of course! 

But hear me out – just because I have a peanut butter cookie recipe I use regularly doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes use packaged goods just for some convenience. It can get tiring trying to bake two batches of cookies in a single night!

However, I’ve found a way to amplify Betty Crocker’s peanut butter cookie mix – and you can, too.

How to Improve Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix: 7 Ways

Yes, you read that correctly. There are seven super ways to take the “package” flavor out of this cookie mix, replacing it with an exquisite homemade taste that will stump any cookie enthusiast. And with so many options, you can try something new every time. Hooray for creativity!

1. Swap Vegetable Oil for Butter

First things first – look at the back of your Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix. It will have a few ingredients and directions. The first thing that should catch your eye is the “three tablespoons of vegetable oil.”

While using vegetable oil in your PB cookies is perfectly fine, replacing it with three tablespoons of softened butter is better. Butter is impeccably decadent and rich, so it will easily enhance the flavor of your cookies. So much yum.

2. Swap Water for Milk

Water… in cookie dough? Excuse me while I cringe. This is an absolute no-no, at least in my kitchen.

I recommend replacing the water content with milk. I use full-fat milk just because I want the added flavor and moisture. But you can easily slide by with low-fat milk or a milk alternative like almond or oat.

Want to give your PB cookies a hint of chocolate? Use chocolate milk instead!

3. Use Brown Sugar

Peanut butter and brown sugar go together like milk and Oreos. It just works. If you want your peanut butter cookies to “sing” with developed flavors, consider using brown sugar in the dough.

Brown sugar will amplify the overall sweetness, but it will create a chewier cookie, too. And who doesn’t want that?

If you’re concerned about too much sweetness, sprinkle a touch of sea salt into the dough. This will level out the flavors, providing just the right amount of sweetness. 

4. Add Vanilla Extract

Honestly, I try to add vanilla extract whenever I can. The delightfully aromatic flavor, which is almost caramel in nature, is just so scrumptious. And, since peanut butter meshes with vanilla and caramel so wonderfully, it’s no wonder why it’s an excellent add-on for PB cookie mix.

All you need to do is add a tablespoon of vanilla extract to the dough, and voila! You will have cookies that have an enhanced flavor all around.

5. Don’t Forget Mix-Ins

Changing the ingredients is just the first step. And while those simple swaps will create decadent, homemade-tasting cookies, you shouldn’t stop there. Mix-ins are the gateway to superb cookies that taste like the “real deal.”

Which mix-ins are best, though? Honestly, there are an endless number of mix-in ideas. Here are just a few of my personal favorites.

  • Nuts – If you want to enhance the nutty flavor of your PB cookies and create an irresistible crunch, the easiest way to do it is to add peanuts to your dough. For some exciting flavor profiles, you can use other nuts, like almonds, pecans, or walnuts.
  • Coconut – If you’re a lover of peanut butter and coconut, I highly suggest adding coconut flakes to your bowl of cookie dough.
  • Chocolate chips – Go with the classic milk chocolate for a pairing made in heaven. Or, choose white chocolate for an intensely sweet flavor. Choose dark chocolate chips if you’re looking for a more savory and indulgent twist.
  • Pretzels/chips – For a salty twist, consider adding crushed pretzels or potato chips to your dough.
  • Jelly – Peanut butter and jelly, anyone? If you want to recreate your favorite childhood lunch into an adult-friendly treat, consider stirring some jelly into the mix. Strawberry also works wonders, but grape and blackberry are also tasty!

6. Add a Topping

Making Betty Crocker’s peanut butter cookie mix better isn’t solely an “inside job.” You can also add toppings to take the flavor to the next level. Here are a few crowd favorites.

  • Frosting – Frosting is always a wonderful topping for any dessert. Plus, it’s easy to make! Vanilla frosting is a definite win here, but chocolate is an undeniable runner-up.
  • Drizzles – Don’t want to make icing? No worries. Drizzle some chocolate, caramel, or marshmallow on top, and enjoy!
  • Ice cream – Everyone loves ice cream and cookies. So, feel free to add a scoop of your favorite complementing ice cream on top of your freshly made PB cookies.

7. Chill the Dough

Everyone says you should chill your cookie dough, but is it essential? In my opinion, yes, you should always chill your cookie dough, especially when you’re trying to rev up the cookie mix.

Chilling the dough will solidify the fat (butter), allowing the dough to hold its shape while cooking. The result is a cookie that’s softer and plumper. Chilling will also allow the ingredients to meddle together, ensuring that you get the boldest peanut butter flavoring. Yum!


Cookie mix doesn’t have to taste like “packaged” goods. These simple solutions will make your PB cookies taste as if they came from a bakery. Want to keep learning? Check out these fun FAQs below!

Can I add peanut butter to my peanut butter cookie mix?

You can add peanut butter to the peanut butter cookie mix, and it works wonderfully! This is best for PB lovers who want to “bathe’ in peanut butter flavoring. It can make your dough on the thick side, though, so that’s something to consider. (Add peanuts instead!)

How do you make peanut butter cookies less crumbly?

Peanut butter cookies are notoriously crumbly. The best way to fix it is to use enough fat (butter) and liquid (milk), chill your dough, and use brown sugar rather than white sugar. Try not to overmix the dough, especially when using a stand mixer.

Do you use salted or unsalted butter for Betty Crocker cookie mix?

Truthfully, it doesn’t matter. If you want more control over the salt content, use unsalted butter. If you use salted butter, you won’t need to add more to the mix.

Final Words

Betty Crocker’s peanut butter cookie mix is super convenient, but it doesn’t have that delightful “homemade” taste. You can enhance the flavor by using butter, milk, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Then, consider mix-ins and toppings, such as chocolate chips and vanilla frosting.

How do you enhance cookie mix? What are your favorite mix-ins and toppings for peanut butter cookies? Share below!

About Michelle
I have been a lover of sweets since day one. This led me on a self-taught baking journey starting at the age of 13. It's been over 10 years since the start of my baking adventures, and I’ve learned a lot along the way. Now, people rave about my delectable treats, whether it’s a chocolate cake or a strawberry crepe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Chris

    Can you roll your cookie balls in turbinado sugar before fork flatting?

    • Michelle

      I don’t think that would be a problem, Chris! Let me know how they turn out.

  • Brittany

    Literally nothing in the article about adding eggs or how many. ???? My cookie mix packs don’t require eggs, they just say for water and oil which I’m swapping for milk and butter.

    • Michelle

      Hey! You don’t *have* to add an egg if your cookie mix pack doesn’t require it. However, you can add one to improve overall texture and flavor, if desired. Why not do a batch using an egg and one without and see which you like better?

  • Anna

    I read over everything twice and where did I miss the part about adding an egg? Now I read it hear in the comments section where someone was asking if they had to add one. ????

    • Michelle

      Hi Anna,
      Peanut butter cookie mix typically asks for an egg to be mixed with the rest of the ingredients.

  • Theresa

    Just finished making the cookies. Added 1/3 cup peanut butter and 1/3 cup brown sugar. The vanilla, milk and eggs. Perfect! One pan plain one pan with butterscotch chips. Thank you! I love hacks to save time!

    • Michelle

      Hi Theresa,
      So happy to hear you loved these substitutions and that your cookies came out great!

    • Sheri

      How much vanilla did you add?

      • Michelle

        I usually add one tablespoon, Sheri.

  • spidy

    Michelle can I make the mix without an egg???

    Thank you!

  • Brigette

    How much butter, milk, brown sugar, and vanilla extract do you add?

    • Michelle

      Hi Brigette,
      So you’ll swap in butter and milk for however much water and oil is called for in your recipe.
      Add a tablespoon of vanilla extract.
      Start with a tablespoon of brown sugar and give it a taste test. Add more if desired. I usually use about a half cup, but I like my treats really sweet.

  • Wendy

    I love adding toffee on top.. Just about a teaspoon on each.. So good!

    • Michelle

      Hi Wendy!
      Great comment! I’m a HUGE fan of toffee. It’s one of my favorite things! I’m definitely going to have to try this.
      Thanks again!

  • Liz

    For a quick fix, mix helps. I rarely use it because I don’t like Palm Oil and like to avoid it. However , when cookies are “needed” quickly, your ideas are great to make them better! I added a little bit of honey roasted peanut butter too and it was tasty.
    I used Not milk plant based milk and it was perfect. Thanks again.

    • Michelle

      Hi Liz,
      That sounds delish! I’m glad we could help.
      Enjoy your cookies!

  • Dennis

    How much peanut butter and how long do you chill dough for? Thanks, looking forward to trying these add ONS.

    • Michelle

      Hi Dennis,
      I typically add 1/2 cup of peanut butter.
      It’s best to chill the cookie dough for as long as possible, but at least one hour will suffice.
      Happy baking,

  • Delaren

    U say add brown sugar but how much?

    • Michelle

      Hi, Delaren!
      A little goes a long way. I’d add a tablespoon.
      Happy baking.