Peanut Butter Brownies

published Mar 7, 2022
Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe

A thick swirl of peanut butter makes ordinary brownies even better.

Makes16 (2-inch) brownies

Prep12 minutes to 15 minutes

Cook33 minutes to 40 minutes

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a closeup of brownies swirled with peanut butter
Credit: Kelli Foster

I’m not the biggest chocolate fan — except when it’s paired with peanut butter. I’ll bargain and beg for all the Reese’s peanut butter cups in my daughter’s Halloween stash, and I absolutely love chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting. So it’s no surprise that I’m all about swirling peanut butter into a pan of brownie batter. This easy brownie recipe comes together without a mixer, and there’s a generous amount of creamy peanut butter swirled throughout in a pretty pattern. I promise it tastes as good as it looks.

The Ingredients You’ll Need for Peanut Butter Brownies

  • Chocolate: Bittersweet chocolate plays really nicely with peanut butter, so go for a dark chocolate. You can cut up chocolate bars or just use chocolate chips here.
  • Butter and eggs: You’ll need one stick of unsalted butter and two eggs.
  • Dry ingredients: The dry ingredients are a standard mix of flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Vanilla: A touch of vanilla extract rounds everything out.
  • Peanut butter: Use a smooth peanut butter that’s at room temperature so it’s easy to swirl. I’m partial to Skippy or Jif for its ultra-smooth texture, but you can use a natural peanut butter, if you prefer.

How Do You Create the Swirled Brownie Pattern?

The swirled pattern looks fancy, but it’s easy to create. Start by dolloping the peanut butter in small small spoonfuls evenly over the brownie batter. Drag a skewer or chopstick through the peanut butter to create the decorative swirl. The peanut butter might seem a bit stiff and reluctant to swirl in the beginning, but keep at it and it’ll start to incorporate nicely. Stop swirling when you get the pattern you like.

Is Oil or Butter Better for Fudgy Brownies?

I’ve always used butter in brownies because it gives the treat a richer flavor, which I prefer. Oil has less water than butter, so it does produce a fudgier brownie, but the amount of chocolate I use in this brownie batter means that even with butter, the end results are still plenty fudgy!

Credit: Kelli Foster

How Do I Store Peanut Butter Brownies? 

As much as I love a warm brownie, it’s hard to get a clean cut through the layer of peanut butter on top if it’s still warm. Let the brownies cool completely before cutting. Once cut, they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. If you really want warm brownies, just re-warm a piece briefly in the oven or microwave!

Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe

A thick swirl of peanut butter makes ordinary brownies even better.

Prep time 12 minutes to 15 minutes

Cook time 33 minutes to 40 minutes

Makes 16 (2-inch) brownies

Nutritional Info


  • 6 ounces

    bittersweet chocolate, or 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 cup

    granulated sugar

  • 2

    large eggs

  • 1 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 cup

    all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 cup

    room temperature creamy peanut butter, preferably Skippy or Jif


  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-by-8-inch metal baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

  2. Cut 1 stick unsalted butter into 8 pieces and place in a medium saucepan. Coarsely chop 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (no need to chop chocolate chips, you will need 1 cup) and add to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until melted and smooth, about 3 minutes. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds, about 1 1/2 minutes total.) Remove the saucepan from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

  3. Place 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt in a large bowl and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until just evenly incorporated. Add the chocolate mixture and stir until evenly combined. Add 1 cup all-purpose flour and fold in until just incorporated and no white streaks remain, about 20 strokes.

  4. Scrape the batter into the baking pan, push it to the edges in an even layer, and smooth the top. Dollop 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter in small spoonfuls (about 1/2 tablespoon each) evenly over the batter. Run a skewer or chopstick through the peanut butter into the batter to decoratively swirl the two together.

  5. Bake until a cake tester or skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 37 minutes. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan, 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Grasp the excess foil and lift the brownie slab of the baking pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into 16 (2-inch) squares.

Recipe Notes

Storage: The brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.