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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Trail Mix Peanut Butter Cookies

By Averie Sunshine
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
Servings: 16
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  • 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
  • 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


  • 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)
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Take care all ingredients used, such as the oats or any add-ins, are gluten-free and suitable for your dietary needs.


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.


Serving: 1, Calories: 210kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 183mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 15g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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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!

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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.

Recipe Rating


  1. 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!

  2. 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 :)

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

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

  8. 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 :)

  9. 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 :)

  10. 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…(=

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