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Peanut Butter Lava Cookies

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close up shot of Peanut Butter Lava Cookies stacked on top of each other
These peanut butter lava cookies are a fun dessert that, when served fresh from the oven, the melted peanut butter will burst out of the center of your cookies, just like the lava from a volcano!
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Table of Contents
  1. Peanut Butter Lava Cookies Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Peanut Butter Lava Cookies Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Peanut butter lava cookies are a molten cookie recipe that’s irresistible, easy to make, and only requires three simple ingredients. From the warm, gooey peanut butter-filled center, to the soft cookie outside, these are sinfully delicious and the perfect dessert.

close up shot of Peanut Butter Lava Cookies showing it's inside peanut butter filling on a plate

Peanut Butter Lava Cookies Ingredients

Peanut Butter Lava Cookies raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need: 

  • 14-ounce package of pre-made rolled pie crust, 2 crusts
  • 14 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (We used JIF Original, and it worked best for the lava)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

PEANUT BUTTER: I have found that Peter Pan Original or Skippy No-Stir natural are great options in place of JIF Original if you can’t find it. Traditional natural peanut butter with its natural oils doesn’t tend to give the lava effect we are looking for.

PIE CRUST: You can use the store-bought pie crust as mentioned above, or if you have a homemade pie crust recipe you prefer, that will work as well.

How To Make This Peanut Butter Lava Cookies Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Set out the pie crusts until they are at room temperature. It’s best to refer to the package instructions for time requirements.

STEP TWO: On a piece of parchment paper, unroll one pie crust layer and roll it slightly with a rolling pin to achieve a crust just a bit thinner than it comes in the package. You want it to be about 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch.

Peanut Butter Lava Cookies process shot of dough being rolled

STEP THREE: Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter or a glass/jar to cut as many circles as you can fit from the crust.

Peanut Butter Lava Cookies process shot of circles being cut out of dough with a cookie cutter

STEP FOUR: Spoon 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter onto the center of the round pie piece. Sprinkle it with ⅛ teaspoon of granulated sugar, making sure the sugar stays right on the peanut butter and does not spread to the edges of the pie crust. This will prevent the top from sealing to the bottom piece when we sandwich them together.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

The best way to get the lava effect is with a big dollop of peanut butter in the center and to be sure to smush the edges of the pie crust together really well.

Peanut Butter Lava Cookies process shot of peanut butter and sugar being placed on to dough circles

STEP FIVE: Place a second pie circle over the first to form a sandwich. Use your fingers to pinch the edges together firmly all the way around the cookie.

Peanut Butter Lava Cookies process shot of cookies being sealed with fingers

PRO TIP:

You can also use the tips of a fork to crimp and seal each cookie.

Peanut Butter Lava Cookies process shot of fork being used to crimp the edges of the cookies on a cookie sheet

STEP SIX: Gently toss the formed cookie in granulated sugar and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

PRO TIP:

The sugar on the inside and this double coating of sugar on the outside helps sweeten these cookies up. The pie crust doesn’t tend to be sweet enough for a good flavor.

Peanut Butter Lava Cookies process shot of cookies being dipped in sugar and placed on a cookie sheet

STEP SEVEN: Repeat for the remaining pie crust pieces. Collect the excess pie crust, press it into a ball, and re-roll to form additional rounds. 

STEP EIGHT: Bake cookies for 12 minutes until the pie crust is flaky and just beginning to brown. Do not overbake.

PRO TIP:

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cookies as the suggested baking time approaches.

Peanut Butter Lava Cookies process shot after cookies are baked on a cookie sheet

STEP NINE: While the cookies are baking, repeat the above steps with the other roll of pie crust.

STEP TEN: Remove from the oven and let cool for just a few minutes before serving. Be careful because the peanut butter will still be very hot while in the “lava” state. Peanut butter in the center remains in a lava state while the cookies are warm and firm up as they cool.

PRO TIP

No matter what kind of peanut butter you use or how much you put in there, the lava effect comes from being warm and melty, so once the cookies cool down, the peanut butter goes back to its room temperature state. 

How To Serve

This sinfully decadent dessert is amazing on its own. Serve with a cold glass of milk to wash it down. Or, you can turn it into an even more indulgent dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side and a drizzle of hot fudge on the top.

Peanut butter lovers, you are in luck. We have a couple more easy peanut butter cookie recipes to share with you. We love these chocolate peanut butter cookies for the chocolate lover out there and these peanut butter no-bake cookies. Both recipes are creamy and delicious!

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: You can store them in an airtight container for up to 2 days, but these are really at their peak when they are still warm straight out of the oven. 

IN THE FREEZER: These cookies don’t do well in the freezer, because they are meant to be served warm. If stored for too long, the peanut butter will harden completely and lose its lava effect. 

close up shot of Peanut Butter Lava Cookies being peeled apart by hand

With just three items on the ingredients list, these are the easiest lava cookies you’ll ever make. Bake and serve these straight out of the oven for a gooey and delicious molten dessert.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the easiest way to cut the circles out of the dough?

Either a 3-inch cookie cutter or glass would work fine. A ring top from a mason jar would also work if the size is right.

Can I use natural peanut butter for this recipe?

The oils in natural peanut butter do not give the oozing lava effect we want for these cookies. Stick to regular peanut butter for this recipe.

Can I freeze these cookies?

These cookies will not freeze well. They are meant to be served warm, and the peanut butter will harden and lose the lava effect once frozen. Since this recipe is so easy to make, it is best to stick to enjoying them right after they are baked.

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close up shot of Peanut Butter Lava Cookies stacked on top of each other

Peanut Butter Lava Cookies

5 from 2 votes
These peanut butter lava cookies are a fun dessert that, when served fresh from the oven, the melted peanut butter will burst out of the center of your cookies, just like the lava from a volcano!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 27 minutes
Servings 16

Ingredients
  

  • 14 ounce package premade pie crust, 2 crusts
  • 14 tablespoons creamy peanut butter (We used JIF Original, and it worked best for the lava)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Set out the pie crusts until they are at room temperature. Refer to the package instructions for time requirements.
  • On a piece of parchment paper, unroll/unfold one pie crust layer. Roll slightly with a rolling pin to achieve a crust just a bit thinner than it comes in the package, it should be 1/16 to ⅛ of an inch.
  • Use a 3-inch round cookie cutter or a glass/jar to cut as many circles as you can fit from the crust.
  • Spoon 1 tablespoon of creamy peanut butter onto the center of the round pie piece. Sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon of granulated sugar, making sure the sugar stays right on the peanut butter and does not spread to the edges of the pie crust. This will prevent the top from sealing to the bottom piece when we sandwich them together.
  • Place a second pie round over the first to form a sandwich. Use your fingers to pinch the edges together firmly all the way around the cookie.
  • Gently toss the formed cookie in granulated sugar and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Repeat for the remaining pie crust pieces. Collect the excess pie crust, press it into a ball, and re-roll to form additional rounds.
  • Bake cookies for 12 minutes until the pie crust is flaky and just beginning to brown. Do not over bake.
  • While the cookies are baking, repeat the above steps with the other roll of pie crust.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for just a few minutes before serving. The peanut butter in the center remains in lava state while the cookies are warm and will firm up as they cool.

Video

Notes

  • The best way to get the lava effect is with a big dollop of peanut butter in the center and to be sure to smush the edges of the pie crust together really well.
  • You can also use the tips of a fork to crimp and seal each cookie.
  • The sugar on the inside and the double coating of sugar on the outside helps sweeten these cookies up. The pie crust doesn’t tend to be sweet enough for a good flavor.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to keep a close eye on your cookies as the suggested baking time approaches.
  • No matter what kind of peanut butter you use or how much you put in there, the lava effect comes from being warm and melty, so once the cookies cool down, the peanut butter goes back to its room temperature state. 

Nutrition

Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 162mg | Potassium: 103mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 0.2IU | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg
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