Peanut Butter Brownies

Fudgy and rich peanut butter brownies with a layer of peanut butter filling baked inside and a swirl of it on top. If you’re a fan of peanut butter cups, you will love this brownie recipe.

close-up of a peanut butter brownie.

For all the chocolate peanut butter fans I present these fudgy brownies that are like Reese’s peanut butter cups on steroids. They’re rich, decadent, and borderline gooey on the inside. In other words, they are the ultimate peanut butter chocolate brownies.

There’s a double dose of peanut butter in these treats starting with the simple swirl on top and a layer sandwiched inside between the fudgy brownie parts. A match made in heaven, a dream dessert bar for those afflicted with a serious sweet tooth, and the best way to treat yourself for… well, do we really need a reason to treat ourselves?

a stack of brownies.

Recipe Highlights

  • There’s nothing complicated about this delicious recipe, but there are a few parts that take a little time. They’re quite a few steps above a boxed brownie mix and totally worth the effort.
  • They’re not an everyday brownie by any means (I turn to my chocolate chip brownie recipe for that) – these decadent bites are more like a little black dress taken out of the closest for a special occasion.
  • And don’t overthink it. A “special occasion” can be as simple as surviving another work week.
ingredients for the recipe.

Ingredients

  • Creamy peanut butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • 2% milk
  • Unsalted butter 
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Large eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Salt
  • Peanut butter chips

Peanut Butter Layer

Place a piece of parchment paper on top of a 9×9″ baking pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Mix the creamy peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk with a hand mixer in a large bowl. Once the peanut butter mixture holds together, it’s ready.

Scoop it out of the bowl and place it on the parchment paper. Press the mixture into the pan with your hands so it is in an even layer and filling the pan. Use the parchment paper to lift it out and then set it aside.

Brownie Batter

Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl and then set it aside.

Place the butter and chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt them in the microwave in 30-second increments. Stir between each increment until the chocolate is melted and smooth.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the melted butter and chocolate with granulated sugar and brown sugar. It will look a little grainy which is fine. Add the vanilla and then add the eggs one at a time and mix until the batter is smooth after each egg addition.

Gently fold in the dry ingredients to the wet ones until just combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter.

Grease the 9×9 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray or line the pan with parchment paper. Place half of the brownie mixture into the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer.

Using a small knife, cut the formed peanut butter filling into four squares. Place the peanut butter filling pieces on the batter. Top the filling with the rest of the brownie batter and spread it into an even layer.

Peanut Butter Swirl

In a microwave-safe dish, melt creamy peanut butter and peanut butter chips in the microwave for approximately 40 seconds. Stir until smooth. Use a spoon to drop dollops of the topping on the top of the brownie batter.

Use a knife run lines on the top layer of brownie batter (you do not need to cut down through peanut butter filling) to make the swirl design.

brownie batter in pan with peanut butter swirled on top.

Bake the Brownies

Bake the brownies for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool them in the pan before removing and slicing.

overhead shot of the swirled brownies.

Recipe FAQ

Can you use natural peanut butter?

I haven’t tested the recipe with natural peanut butter so I can’t say for sure how that will work in the recipe.

Can you use crunchy peanut butter instead of creamy?

Yes, regular crunchy peanut butter will work if you want the filling and swirl to have a crunchy texture.

How long do the brownies last?

They will keep at room temperature for two to three days. Or you can keep them in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Can you use an 8×8″ baking pan?

I’ve tested this recipe in a smaller pan and didn’t love how thick the brownies were. The 9×9″ pan makes the perfect-sized brownie.

a brownie turned on it's side to show the peanut butter layer.

Make a batch of these peanut butter brownies for you or for someone you are trying to win over and thoroughly impress. They are a show-stopper, for sure. Enjoy!

Happy baking,

April
a stack of four brownies.

More Dessert Recipes

Print

Peanut Butter Brownies

overhead shot of the brownies.

Fudgy and rich peanut butter brownies with a layer of peanut butter filling baked inside and a swirl of it on top. If you’re a fan of peanut butter cups, you will love this brownie recipe.

  • Author: April Anderson
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 16 brownies 1x
  • Category: Desserts
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

Peanut Butter Filling

  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon 2% milk

Brownie Batter

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 
  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Peanut Butter Swirl Topping

  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a piece of parchment paper on a 9×9″ baking pan.

Make the Peanut Butter Filling:

  1. Mix the creamy peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk with a hand mixer in a large bowl. The mixture is ready when you can press it together.
  2. Scoop it out of the bowl and place it on the parchment paper. Press the mixture into the pan with your hands so it is in an even layer and filling the pan. Use the parchment paper to lift it out and then set it aside.

Make the Brownie Batter:

  1. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl. 
  2. Place the butter and chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt them in the microwave in 30-second increments. Stir between each increment until the chocolate is melted and smooth.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the melted chocolate with both kinds of sugar. It will look a little grainy which is fine. Add the vanilla and then add the eggs one at a time and mix until the batter is smooth after each egg addition.
  4. Gently fold in the dry ingredients to the wet ones until just combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
  5. Grease the 9×9 square pan with non-stick cooking spray or line the pan with parchment paper.
  6. Place half of the brownie mixture into the pan and spread it into an even layer.
  7. Using a small knife, cut the formed peanut butter filling into four squares. Place the peanut butter filling pieces on the batter so the layer is covering the brownie batter.
  8. Top the filling with the rest of the brownie batter and spread it into an even layer.

Make the Peanut Butter Swirl Topping

  1. In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the creamy peanut butter and peanut butter chips in the microwave for approximately 40 seconds. Stir until smooth.
  2. Using a spoon, drop dollops of the topping onto the batter.
  3. Use a knife run lines on the top layer of brownie batter (you do not need to cut down through peanut butter filling) to make the swirl design on the surface.

Bake the Brownies

  1. Bake the brownies for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  2. Cool them in the pan before removing and slicing.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 brownie
  • Calories: 327
  • Sugar: 30.6g
  • Sodium: 116.6mg
  • Fat: 18.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 8.4g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 7.9g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 37.1g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 6.3g
  • Cholesterol: 50.3mg

Keywords: peanut butter brownies, peanut butter swirl brownies, fudgy peanut butter brownies

Do you love this recipe? Don’t forget to leave a comment and your recipe star rating!

Recipe, post, and photos updated from the archives. First published in November 2009.

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25 Comments

  1. oh my that looks absolutely wonderful I love the combination of chocolate and peanut butter they go so well together

  2. these are amazing ! my husband would die for these! thank you for sharing – i will be making this asap in my house!!

  3. I made these tonight for my hubby – they are easy and AMAZING! Thanks so much for sharing. This recipe is gonna be a staple at my house 🙂

  4. Yum! What a great idea to give brownies a little something extra by adding a dollop of peanut butter. I could really use one of these right about now!

    1. Like in a muffin pan? I think it might be a challenge with the peanut butter layer – you would need to cut out circles to fit the pan, if that makes sense. Also, the baking time would need to be adjusted and can’t say for sure what it should be. Sorry, wish I had better advice for you.

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