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Close-up of peanut butter brownie square on gold wire rack, white surface

The Best Peanut Butter Brownies

Incredibly gooey and delicious, this brownie recipe has a peanut butter swirl that makes them irresistible! They keep well and can be frozen.

  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 9 medium squares 1x


Units Scale

For the brownie base:

  • 3/4 cup (4.5oz) semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Drops of almond extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

For the peanut butter swirl:

  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 5 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons cream (double, whipping or heavy)


For the brownie base:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
  2. Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment paper and spray the sides that aren’t lined.
  3. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a large glass bowl. I do it in the microwave oven, stirring every 10 seconds, until the chocolate is smooth. You can also do it over a pot of boiling water, careful the bottom doesn’t touch the water, stirring until it's melted.
  4. Mix both sugars into the chocolate.
  5. Add the eggs, vanilla, almond extract if using, and cocoa. Mix until well combined.
  6. Add the flour in 2 parts and mix carefully, but don't overmix.
  7. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.

For the peanut butter swirl:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla and cream. Make sure no lumps remain.
  2. Drop spoonfuls on top of the brownie base, then swirl lightly with a knife, making sure you leave whole chunks of peanut butter mix intact. Otherwise it all blends together and it’s not the same effect.
  3. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out with fudgy remains and the top looks dry. It's important not to over bake them.
  4. Let cool on a wire rack completely.
  5. I find that they are better the next day. I keep them wrapped in plastic.
  6. They can be frozen, well wrapped.


Peanut butter: I always make them with commercial peanut butter, the traditional type, but they do work with natural peanut butter also.

Swirl: when marbling or swirling the peanut butter mixture do so lightly. We want two distinctive batters to appear.

Pan size: it's very important to ensure a fudgy and gooey brownie that bakes well.

Lining the pan: I strongly recommend you only use a strip of parchment paper wide as the pan. It will only cover the bottom and two of the sides. If you line the whole with a square of paper and end up folding it in the corners, chances are the brownie will stuck in the corners because it is very fudgy.

Baking: brownies, in my opinion, should be slightly underbaked to ensure that soft and gooey bite we all love. That means the center should still jiggle when they are removed from the oven.

Keeping: I suggest eating brownies the next day that they are baked. The flavor is deeper and the texture has time to settle. These can be frozen, well wrapped, for a month at least.

Almond butter brownies variation: Almond butter for the peanut butter, same amount. Cocoa nibs for the cocoa powder: I finely grind 2 tablespoons of cocoa nibs and substitute it for the cocoa powder. Coconut sugar: I use it instead of the brown sugar. The rest of the recipe remains the same.

  • Author: Paula Montenegro
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Category: Brownies & Bars
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1/12
  • Calories: 332
  • Sugar: 33.6 g
  • Sodium: 27 mg
  • Fat: 16.9 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43.1 g
  • Fiber: 1.3 g
  • Protein: 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 79.8 mg

Keywords: peanut butter brownies