How to Get the Perfect Peanut Butter Drizzle

a smoothie bowl made of fruits and peanut butter.Jun 2, 2023

By Sherry Coleman Collins, MS, RDN, LD

Ever see a picture on social media and think, how did they get that perfect drizzle?! The short answer, I think, is that they practiced…a lot. I set out to perfect the drizzle in my own kitchen and here’s what I discovered. Creating the perfect peanut butter drizzle really is all about trial and error, patience, and tapping into your artistic side!

First, a word about “perfection”. What’s perfect to me may not be perfect to you – and the other way around. Also, what’s perfect depends on a number of factors. For instance, when drizzling a cake or cookies, you’re probably looking for something a little different than you are when you’re drizzling your oatmeal or smoothie bowl. Let your own taste and preference guide you to the perfect peanut butter drizzle for you.

Next, let’s talk nuts and bolts. You can make your peanut butter with just peanut butter or with a variety of other ingredients. For this post, I made a straight-up peanut butter drizzle for pancakes (because they’re already sweet), a drizzle with peanut butter powder for a smoothie bowl, and a spicy peanut butter drizzle for a savory avocado toast. Each one was a little different and each one was perfect!

Peanut Butter Only

When using peanut butter only, the key is heat. Peanut butter is naturally high in fat, but that fat is nearly solid at room temperature. In order to soften it up, you need some heat. In my case, I heated two tablespoons in a heat-proof bowl and then stirred like crazy. Using the pointed end (this is a really important POINT – see what I did there?) of a spoon, I drizzled the warm peanut butter over the pancakes from side to side allowing it to drape over the edges. I think they turned out perfectly!

stacked pancakes drizzled in peanut butter

Powdered Peanut Butter

The beauty of using powdered peanut butter is that you can make it as thick or thin as you like by adjusting the water or adding more powder. I started with two heaping tablespoons of peanut butter powder and added about one tablespoon of water. Then I added more water until it was the consistency I was looking for. In addition, I added a touch of honey and cinnamon to complement the flavors of the smoothie bowl. In this case, I was looking for a thinner consistency so that it almost melted into the smoothie bowl. Again, flawless.

smoothie topped with blueberries and diced peanuts

Spicy Peanut Butter Sauce

For the spicy peanut butter sauce, I combined two tablespoons of peanut butter with two tablespoons of water, the juice of ½ a lime, and two tablespoons of sambal olek (spicy chili garlic paste) in a squeeze bottle and shook it like crazy! As I began to squeeze it out of the bottle, I discovered that the chili flakes were getting stuck and clogging the nozzle. I ditched the lid and using a pointed teaspoon, I drizzled the peanut butter sauce over a slice of toast covered with smashed avocado and a sprinkle of cilantro.

toast topped with smashed avocado garnished with a cilantro leaf on the side

At the end of my experiment, I came away with three primary tips:

  • Peanut butter is super forgiving and is easily thickened or thinned by the addition of water and/or heat.
  • Different applications benefit from different types of peanut butter “sauce”.
  • If something isn’t working with your drizzle, eat and repeat.

In all three cases, I ended up with a beautiful end product. And regardless of how “perfect” the drizzle, every one of them tasted amazing.

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