Taste Test: Best Peanut Butter for Baking

November 23, 2009 | By | Comments (15)

For our December 2009 Taste Test column, we sampled 16 different peanut butters over the course of four days. The results may surprise you (as they did us). Some staffers decided to ditch their household favorite for the brands that performed best in our blind taste test.The winners: 

  • Best Crunchy — TIE!: Jif and Skippy
  • Best Creamy: Skippy
  • Best Natural Creamy: Adams
  • Best Natural Crunchy: Krema

Read more about the winners in this story.

IMG_8695-skippy-creamyWe took it a step further with a peanut butter cookie bake-off. We tested the four top brands with a very basic, no-frills recipe: 1 cup peanut butter, 1 cup sugar, and 1 egg. The cookies were surprisingly different. 

Skippy Creamy won top honors, producing a nice balance between salty and sweet. "The peanut butter seemed a little saltier," says Senior Food Editor Ann Taylor Pittman. "It made the flavor more rounded, not too over-the-top sweet."

The result was a very classic peanut butter cookie that lived up to our childhood cookie standards. "They reminded us all of school cookies," says Test Kitchens Director Vanesssa Johnson. "Other lost their nuttiness."

Interestingly, natural peanut butters produced cloyingly sweet cookies, possibly because they contain less (or no) salt compared to other brands. (Salt helps to balance the natural sweetness of the peanuts.) Natural peanut butters also produced a slightly denser texture and needed to cook a little longer — an extra minute or two. While we don't recommend natural peanut butters for baking, they are great in sates and other cooked recipes.


  1. Farrell

    I baked the gluten-free peanut butter cookies (with eggs, sugars, unsalted peanut butter, baking soda, little butter) and found that baking too long cooked away the peanut butter flavor. Just brown at the edges made chewier cookies that stiffened on drying and tasted better.

    February 22, 2016 at 11:10 am
  2. ptc

    I really enjoyed this post. You describe this topic very well. I really enjoy reading your blog and I will definitely bookmark it! Keep up the interesting posts!

    March 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm
  3. ClubPenguinCheats

    It helps see the end product. Peanut better is delicious but I see few recipes with that.

    March 29, 2011 at 3:43 am
  4. ClubPenguinCheats

    It has no salt and is very healthy for you, which makes eating the cookies that much better.

    March 29, 2011 at 3:42 am
  5. Captive Insurance Companies

    Peanut butter cookies are pretty tasty, but you know whats even better? Pnut butter chococalte chip (creamy skippy based, imho)!

    September 27, 2010 at 5:05 pm
  6. mortgage brokers

    Had no idea you could make cookies with such a simple recipe! They turn out great too!

    August 11, 2010 at 9:38 pm
  7. Peacebyrd

    I have a problem with my cookies not tasting like peanut butter. Any tips? I’ve tried Jiff, Skippy, Laura Scutters (with the oil on top) and they still don’t taste right. Someone help….please.

    March 1, 2010 at 9:23 pm
  8. freelance writer

    My personally best – Best Natural Crunchy: Krema! Really tasty!

    February 9, 2010 at 5:03 am
  9. Danny

    I like the Krema Natural Crunchy, It has no salt and is very healthy for you, which makes eating the cookies that much better.

    January 15, 2010 at 9:20 am
  10. kingston accountants

    yummy, I am now officially sold on peanut butter cookies.

    December 21, 2009 at 10:21 am
  11. ottawa duct cleaning

    I really like using the organic crunchy peanut butter, it tastes richer somehow.

    December 11, 2009 at 4:16 am
  12. Krikri

    Thanks for the photos. It helps see the end product. Peanut better is delicious but I see few recipes with that. Your post will make the ingredient popular.

    December 5, 2009 at 6:02 am
  13. Angela

    What about Smucker’s Natural? I use them a lot – they didn’t produce good results?

    December 2, 2009 at 10:18 am
  14. Jennifer (Running With Cake)

    Hi there! Thanks for the peanut butter test! Just wondering – did you use regular Skippy or the all natural version? Skippy’s all natural peanut butter is fantastic and has less sugar/ingredients than the regular version. And, you don’t have to stir it!

    November 24, 2009 at 9:48 pm
  15. Ready Meals

    thanks for ready meals recipes article post , this article i gain some cooking tips and i improve our cooking method.
    please post other related post . thanks in advance

    November 24, 2009 at 7:08 am

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