Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies


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Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies – I love trail mix, and I love it even more when it’s baked into my favorite peanut butter cookies. The cookies are naturally gluten-free and have NO butter, flour, and I didn’t add any white sugar. They’re guaranteed to disappear!

Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies (GF)

I love trail mix so much. It’s dangerous for me to even keep it around.

One handful turns into five, which very quickly turns into the whole bag. You too?

After recently baking caramel corn into Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies, I decided to bake in trail mix. I loaded up favorite Peanut Butter Cookie recipe with my favorite trail mix add-ins.

The result is a chewy, dense, hearty cookie that’s loaded to the max with texture.

Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies (GF)

Interestingly, this cookie dough base contains NO flour, NO butter, and I didn’t add any white sugar.

I doctored up the rich peanut butter dough with 1/3 cup each of: oats, raisins, chocolate chips, and peanut butter-filled M&Ms.

Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies (GF)

If you have a bag of actual trail mix, adding 1 generous cup of that will save you from piecing together one-third cup of this and that. However, this is a great recipe for using up bottom-of-the-bags of chips, pretzels, random baking chips, and various odds and ends that plague my cupboards.

Work in your favorite trail mix goodies such as crumbled pretzels, dried fruit like craisins or apricots; butterscotch or white chocolate chips rather than semi-sweet. Add mini Rolos, peanut butter cups, or any diced candy bar. I don’t like nuts in cookies but if you do, sprinkle in some peanuts, almonds, or another favorite. Add sunflower seeds or pepitas. Mix-and-match.

Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies (GF)

When mixing the dough, make sure to cream the peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla for at least 5 minutes, or until it’s no longer gritty. The dough will likely be oily, and this is okay. It’s important to use storebought, conventional peanut butter like Jif or Skippy. Don’t use natural peanut butter and don’t use Homemade Peanut Butter. Your cookies will be prone to spreading if you do.

Add the baking soda, oats, and add-ins. The dough is jam-packed with goodies. Almost as many add-ins as there is dough. No complaints from me.

Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies (GF)

Form 16 mounds of cookie dough with a medium 2-inch cookie scoop or make balls with your hands. It’s important to compact the mounds so the add-ins don’t slip out because the dough is oily. Just push them back in and squeeze the mounds firmly if the add-ins try to wiggle out.

After the mounds are formed, flatten them slightly and refrigerate the dough for at least two hours, up to five days, before baking. Cookies baked with unchilled dough will spread and bake flat and thin rather than thick and puffy.

Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies (GF)

The advantage to forming the dough into mounds and refrigerating them is that you have the option of only baking off as many as you want. Sometimes I just want a few cookies, not a whole batch. That said, this is a small-batch recipe, making only about 16 cookies total so feel free to bake them all at once. They stay soft for up to one week.

The cookies are supremely texture-filled from the firm chocolate chips, chewy raisins, hearty sprinkling of oats, and M&Ms. They’re like having a handful of trail mix and a peanut butter cookie, all in one.

They’re peanut butter flavor is present and distinct, but the oats and other add-ins temper it a bit. If you’re looking for a really intense, unadulterated peanut butter cookie, try these.

Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies (GF)

And if you’re a trail mix fan, I suggest you bake it into cookies.

It’ll be the best tasting trail mix you’ve ever had.

Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies (GF)

Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies (GF) - NO Butter & NO Flour in these healthier cookies with trail mix baked right in!

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Yield: 16

Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies

Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies

I love trail mix, and I love it even more when it's baked into my favorite peanut butter cookies. The cookies are naturally gluten-free and have NO butter, flour, and I didn't add any white sugar. They're bursting with texture from oats, chocolate chips, raisins, and M&Ms. They're easily customizable based on what you like in your trail mix. Mix-and-match the add-ins used or simply use your favorite prepared trail mix. The cookies are my new favorite way to eat trail mix.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I prefer creamy honey roasted; plain may be used; do not use natural or homemade peanut butter)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned whole rolled oats (not quick cook or instant)
  • use 1 heaping cup of your favorite pre-made trail mix (Check notes for Substitutions)


  1. To the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or a mixing bowl using a hand mixer), combine peanut butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until well-combined and the sugar is fully incorporated and is mixture is no longer gritty or granular, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stop to scrape down the bowl as necessary. (Regarding peanut butter - although natural peanut butter or homemade peanut butter may work, I recommend using storebought peanut butter like Jif, Skippy, Peter Pan or similar so that cookies bake up thicker and spread less. Using natural or homemade peanut butter tends to result in thinner and flatter cookies that are prone to spreading while baking)
  2. Add the baking soda, optional salt, oats, and beat to incorporate. Add the 1 heaping cup pre-made trail mix OR add the chocolate chips, raisins, M&Ms and beat to just incorporate. Using a 2-inch medium cookie scoop (about 2 tablespoons), form 16 dough mounds. Squeeze and compact the dough mounds so all the add-ins stay in place. They will be prone to falling out because they're abundant and dough is oily, just keep pushing them back in. Place dough mounds on a large plate. Flatten mounds slightly with your finger. Cover plate with plasticwrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 5 days, before baking. Do not bake with warm dough; cookies will spread and bake thin and flat.
  3. Preheat oven to 350F, line 2 baking sheets with Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mats, parchment, or spray with cooking spray. Place mounds on baking sheets, spaced about 2 inches apart. I bake 8 to a tray. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until edges are set and tops are barely set, even if slightly underbaked in the center. Allow cookies to cool on trays for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Cookies may not appear to be done at 10 to 12 minutes, but they likely are, and they firm up as they cool. Baking longer results in cookies with dark or burnt bottoms and that set up too crisp and hard and don't keep well.
  4. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Alternatively, unbaked cookie dough can be stored airtight in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, so consider baking only as many cookies as desired and save the remaining dough to be baked in the future when desired.
  5. Take care all ingredients used, such as the oats or any add-ins, are gluten-free and suitable for your dietary needs.
  6. Adapted from Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies


Alternative Trail Mix Substitutions

  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (or butterscotch, white, cinnamon chips)
  • 1/3 cup raisins (I used TJ's raisin medley blend; try dried apricots, dates, cranberries, craisins)
  • 1/3 cup Peanut Butter-Filled M&Ms (or another M&M variety; Reese's Pieces, mini PB Cups, mini Rolos, or any diced candy barl)

Optionally, swap out some of the add-ins for white chocolate or butterscotch chips; peanuts, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts; sunflower seeds, pepitas; another type of dried fruit. Mix-and-match as desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 12mgSodium: 183mgCarbohydrates: 21gFiber: 2gSugar: 15gProtein: 6g

Related Recipes:

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies (GF) – The BEST PB Cookies I’ve ever had. There’s NO Flour, NO Butter, and NO White sugar used! Soft, chewy & oozing with dark chocolate. Crazy good! This is the dough base I used to create the Trail Mix Cookies

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Soft and Puffy Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Cookies – Baking with coconut oil doesn’t make the food taste like coconut and instead makes it richer, better, softer, and more moist

Soft and Puffy Peanut Butter Coconut Oil Cookies

Thick and Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies – Richly and intensely chocolate-flavored cookies with NO Flour, NO Butter, and NO White sugar used. They’re thick, dense, soft, chewy and almost brownie-like

Thick and Soft Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – One of my favorite cookie recipes on my site. Chewy, filled with texture, and combines three of my favorite cookies in one – chocolate chip, oatmeal, and peanut butter – and very easy to make, no mixer required

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies – Baking caramel corn into cookies is one way to make sure you don’t gobble the whole bag in a sitting. Gobble the cookies instead

Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies

Compost Cookies – Potato chips, butterscotch and chocolate chips, and so much more is added to these cookies with a salty ‘n sweet, crunchy and chewy profile

Compost Cookies

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies – Everything but the kitchen sink is tossed into these cookies: Cornflakes, potato chips, pretzels, marshmallows, and chocolate chips. The recipe comes from a popular cookbook and I’m glad I tried them to see what all the hype was about

Cornflake Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookies

Do you like Trail Mix? What are your favorite trail mix add-ins?

Thanks for the entries in the Kitchen Grater and Zester Giveaway and the KithenAid 5-Quart Stand Mixer Giveaway!

About the Author

Welcome to AverieCooks! Here you’ll find fast and easy recipes that taste amazing and are geared for real life. Nothing fussy or complicated, just awesome tasting dishes everyone loves!

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

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  1. Do you think the dough would be freezer friendly (instead of refrigerating, also better longevity of the dough prior to cooking)? These look delicious – I’d like to make a big batch of dough and freeze some cookies.

    1. You probably could just bake them in a pan and then slice them up but I haven’t tried it that exact way.

  2. Flourless does not instantly make something gluten free. Make sure if you WANT/NEED these to be gfree that you use a gfree brand of oats and make sure the premade trail mix (if that is what you are using) is gfree. 9/10ths of the time both of these are NOT gfree.

    I’m sure that most that would be dealing with celiac or a gluten sensitivity would already be aware of this, but for someone wanting to make a treat for their friends that aren’t aware of all the in’s and out’s, it should be noted that they need to make sure to have the proper ingredients.

    Sorry to be all Debbie Downer on the post, but I felt it needed to be stated.

  3. All of these cookies look absolutely fabulous and I can’t wait to make these. But is there a reason why using natural peanut butter doesn’t work?

    1. Yes because it can separate and you’ll have oil/solids. Not what you want to happen to your baked goods!

  4. I used trail mix-(with chocolate chips, peanuts, almonds, raisins, and sunflower seeds) and coconut, and they turned out great. Nice and chewy and very tasty! So easy to make, and nice that they are gluten free. Really nice that the cookies have so much protein, because I’m also insulin resistant. I used the roasted peanut butter honey. Thanks for the great recipe.

    1. Your trail mix sounds delish and love that you were able to work in some coconut, peanuts, raisins, choc chips, seeds – yum! Happy that you were able to get this recipe to work for your insulin resistance and yes, as cookies go, lots of protein in these. Thanks for LMK you had great success with these!

  5. Today I made these with chocolate chips and sunflower seeds. Rolling the dough was like a free moisturizing treatment!
    The other day I made cookies from another site, and they were not it. This is what I wanted those cookies to be. I should just stick with your recipes – they’ve never let me down.
    I hope you’re enjoying Aruba today!

    1. Lol. I made some pb cookies today too and my hands thank me for the free moisturizing treatment, too :)

      So glad these worked out for you, as do my recipes in general. There is nothing more frustrating to me than trying out recipes (from a blog..or worse..cookbooks) and they don’t deliver! Glad mine work for you :)

  6. We are going to try these out today. I am planning on adding some homemade granola in place of the trail mix!

  7. I have the same problem with trail mix…I just can’t stay out of it. These cookies would give me the same problem I’m thinking. They look awesome!!!

    1. It was sort of like punishment, baking trail mix into PB cookies. Layers of temptation lingering around the house!

  8. You had me at Trail Mix Cookies. Seriously.

    These look and sound so amazing. I’m the same exact way when it comes to trail mix and I hate that no bag of it is safe in my presence.

  9. What a fun recipe! :) Thanks for sharing.

    Will this also work with Nutella, Cocoa Almond Butter or other nut butters?

    1. No because they are thinner than peanut butter and don’t bake up and behave like peanut butter does in the oven. You could of course try, but I fear the cookies won’t hold together and will spread really thin or crumble on you.

  10. I love how thick and chewy your cookies always are! Makes me want to grab a fistful and shove them in my face!

    Thanks for linking up to What’s Cookin’ Wednesday!

  11. You’re a girl after my own heart! This makes me want to rush to Target, buy every variety of trail mix they have and make multiple batches!

    1. And I didn’t even buy trail mix for these, I just pieced together some odds and ends…I don’t need any more goodies laying around in this house :)

  12. I looooove trail mix! So sweet and salty and perfect for snacking.. though I have to admit, I’m never on a hike nor trail while eating it. Regardless, I am loving these cookies, Averie! If trail mix weren’t perfect enough, you had to add it into a cookie. Simply perfection.

    1. I’m never on a hike nor trail while eating it <-- you and 99.9% of the rest of us :)

  13. Averie, you seriously always amaze me…trail mix cookies WITH pb! My total weakness. These are SO on my cookie list this week…gotta keep the cookie jar filled with yummy cookies! Especially with these! Might be hard to keep them in the jar for the neighbor kids after schoo! They love stopping over to grab treats before they get to their own homes…(=

  14. They look so peanut buttery, dense, and delicious, and no flour? So awesome and such a unique idea!

  15. Trail mix has always been one of those “I can take it or leave it” kinds of foods for me, but adding it to peanut butter cookies changes everything. Everything!

  16. Oh, wow! As someone who goes in for more than five handfuls of trail mix, these cookies look almost too irresistible. (Is that cosmicly even possible?) :D

  17. Wow, you keep making the best cookies? I think I shall call you my private cookie guru. These look amazing!

  18. These look great! I just pinned them. I was just thinking the other day how great it would be to make cookies out of my favorite trail mix! Thanks for sharing a great post :) Krista @ A Handful of Everything

  19. I LOVE trail mix, and when you put it inside an already awesome peanut butter cookie?? So smart, Averie!! I love the browned edges too!!

  20. i AM a trail mix fan and i have a feeling that you’re correct that this will be the best trail mix i’ve ever had. :) great idea!

  21. These cookies are perfect! I went away last week and I ate so much trail mix it isn’t funny! Matter in fact I WAY over did eating it and I ended up throwing it out, dam I should of kept it to make your cookies. Stinky! Your cookies look beautiful. I really admire your photography!!

  22. I agree with you! Who can stop eating trail mix once the bag is opened?
    Great recipe. Planning on making it this weekend. Thanks!

  23. oohhhh my. So glad I decided to take a study break and get on foodgawker!! These look to.die.for!

    1. When I was in college and took a study break, I would watch soap operas. Lol I love that you get on FG!

  24. Averie, this looks amazing! I love trail mix. I’ve found that Trader Joe’s has some that are awesome- some that are mostly chocolate :)

  25. I am SO like that with Trail Mix. We only buy it on vacation, because, well. I’m on vaca so it’s okay. :) I’ve been toying with the idea of a trail mix cookie. I love that you used peanut butter!

  26. OMG! Another insanely amazing cookie recipe that I have to try. Those peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies were so good and were gone in a day! I’m just going to call you the cookie lady :) We’re down in Carmel at my in-laws house and the winds are a gusting. You can’t even walk on the beach it;s so bad. We’re heading down your way tomorrow. Making a stop for the night in Santa Barbara and then we’re at Disney for 2 days and 2 nights. CRAZY! I actually can’t wait as the kids haven’t been in 4 years. Eli will finally be able to hit all the rides. I do hope that the weather is better down there! xoxo, Jackie

  27. Averie – you put two of my favorite things together! Both that are so hard to resist once I start… peanut butter cookies and trailmix. They look so so good!

  28. These cookies look amazing – love how dense they are! These would be great to take on a hike this summer!

    1. I totally feel like I need to strap on a backpack with a Camelbak or something and take these along with!

  29. You are the cookie queen, Averie! These look fantastic – I love trail mix too!

  30. These look great. All of my favorite flavors and maybe you can feel a little less guilty about it – cause trail mix is healthy right?

    1. They’re totally perfect for all that outdoorsy stuff you do…hearty and satisfying!

  31. Yup – me too! Trail mix has no chance of surviving in my presence. I love cookies full of texture. These would be perfect!

  32. Is it an explotion in a mouth or what. Girl, your ideas are extream and in a very very very positive way. It happens that M&M’s are my favorite sweets that a man can buy in a store :)

  33. These look so good! Love you blog! I just pinned some of your recipes and I’m excited to give them a try :)

  34. These sound absolutely delicious! Is it totally weird that I completely love oats in cookies? :)

  35. These look delicious! But I worry I’d have a similar problem that you have with trail mix itself – I don’t know if I could eat just one…

  36. Averie, you make the best cookies! These trail mix cuties look SO delicious, and I love that there’s no flour or butter in the cookie dough base!

  37. I used to regularly compete with co-workers on making the best trail mix an I got SUPER creative. Goldfish, Cheerios, pumpkin seeds, teddy grahams, raisins, m&ms, chocolate chips, craisins, wasabi peas….tons of flavor. My favorites were m&ms (gotta have chocolate, and the chips melt all over the place), teddy grahams, and wasabi peas.

  38. I’m with you! I love trail mix and don’t keep it around for the very reason that I consume way to much of it in one sitting! These cookies look great! Alex

  39. Love all the recipes with no white sugar, no butter and no oil! And especially love the one where you add coconut oil to the peanut butter cookies. I haven’t tried baking with it yet but I want to!

  40. I love this idea. Why not throw trail mix into a peanut butter cookie? You’ve done it again with another amazing looking cookie!

  41. Now my stomach is growling!
    I love trail mix–WFM has a few good ones. A favorite includes almonds, raisins, pistachios, dried cherries.

    1. Oh they have glorious ones but I never buy them. Too expensive $$ We can inhale $10 worth of mix in 10 minutes! I settle for TJs or just make my own :)

  42. I find trail mix to be EXTREMELY dangerous stuff to have around also…all that sweet salty nuttiness is too good not to eat the whole bag in one sitting! Love that these cookies uses it up in a delicious way…although then I’d probably just end up eating the whole batch of these!

    1. At least with cookies it is easier to say, okay I have already had 2, I don’t need a third. With trail mix, those mindless handfuls keep happening!

  43. Trail mix is one of those things I have to buy in multiple quantities because I can eat the whole bag in one sitting, just like that. What a fabulous idea to add it to flourless PB cookie! I need to make it again and adding trail mix sounds like the way to go! Pinning!

  44. girl I just love how you think!
    who doesn’t always have leftover trail mix in the cupboards?
    what a great way to use it up!

    1. Or any random odds and ends. I love cookies that help clean out random little baggies of stuff!

  45. I love how simple the ingredient list is . . . and being customizable is KEY! The cookies look absolutely delicious!!

  46. Trail mix doesn’t stand a chance around this gal. I love the stuff. It’s a snack I don’t have to feel bad about eating, so I tend to go a bit wild. These cookies look so hearty and delicious. Yum!

  47. Oh Averie, how did you know that I’m a trail mix fiend? I have a jumbo sized contain that sits far too near eye level in my kitchen. Turning it into these fantastic cookies is destiny. Amazing all the healthy steps you were able to take with the batter. Pinned it, loving it, baking it!

  48. Oh my gosh – I see not only see but taste all that texture going on in these cookies! Great idea!

  49. The colors in these trail mix cookies are gorgeous! I also love the fact that these are customizable to our tastes. Another winning recipe!

  50. I love trial mix too…it’s so addicting! These sound amazing and easy to make! Look forward to giving them a try!

  51. These look so puffy, I love it! Its cranberries all the way in my trail mix. And pumpkin seeds!

  52. Yum, love trail mix too. So addicting! I’ve never made up my own combo – try to stay away from it LOL. Love the idea of trail mix cookies.

    1. I know. It really is better to just not start. Because once you do…mindless handfuls :)

  53. M&M’s are a definite must for trail mix and all that texture from the oats and dried fruit makes for a great cookie to sink your teeth into! So many possibilities–I think I’d like some little pieces of dried banana chips in there too. I finally used my new food processor and made the fudgy brownie bites. My husband was hovering a little during the process–he loves those as much as I do!

    1. So glad you got a new food proc and broke it in with the brownie bites. YAY! And that your hubs was hoovering. Too cute :)

      And yes these are just so thick and chewy and tooth-sinking dense!

  54. I absolutely LOVE these Averie! Kevin and I eat trail mix all the time and at the moment – have about 3 bottom-of-the-bag leftovers in the cupboards right now. Perfect excuse to use up all the extras so we can go buy fresh new bags of the stuff. I love trail mix, especially trail mix with M&Ms, lots of raisins, banana chips, and nuts! I make my won trail mix at those bulk bins in our grocery store. I go a little crazy in that aisle. :) And this peanut butter cookie base is amazing. I have yet to try a no flour peanut butter cookie. I really should because more and more folks these days around me are going GF. Your photos are always so tempting for me to stray from my favorite PB cookie base! Love the pretty M&Ms in these, especially those pink ones.

    1. Sally I think you’ll love the flourless base. When I was recipe testing for PBC I was making batch after batch of both floured PB cookies and flourless. And side by side, I couldn’t tell you which one I liked more. They each had selling points, based on the day. Point being, I stack it up against a cookie with butter AND with flour, any day of the week. I tried a dough base similar to what you use I think for my coconut oil PB cookies. But that’s with melted oil not creamed butter, so it’s not a fair comparison. Plus coconut oil adds a diff flavor. I need to try your base at least once…right after I don’t have all this other baked stuff around :)

  55. It is so cool these don’t have any flour. They’re still so puffy and thick. I haven’t had trail mix in years, but now I’m craving it and these cookies.

  56. How have I never thought of putting trail mix in cookies?! GREAT idea, Averie! I love the little pops of red from the M&Ms :)

  57. I can’t stop eating trail mix if it’s in the house either. Love the idea to put it in cookies.

    1. It’s safer that way. Less temptation b/c after a couple cookies you just stop. After a couple handfuls of trailmix, you just keep going. Well, me anyway :)

  58. What a great mid-afternoon energy snack. I love the other cookies you profiled also. I am the same with trail mix, one handful turns into two…

  59. These sound delicious! I might have to be careful to make them with plenty of other people around so I don’t just eat the whole batch ;) One question, why wouldn’t you use homemade peanut butter? Is it because of the texture?

  60. That’s one very loaded cookie and how perfect is that! It would make a great snack anytime :)

  61. Yep, definitely have the same problem when it comes to eating trail mix. :)
    I love love love the flavors in these cookies! These would be great to bring along on a hike.

    1. I feel like I should throw on a backpack and get al rugged when eating one of these! They’d be the perfect hiking fuel!