For all the peanut butter lovers out there, these chocolate peanut butter brownies are a dream come true! They’re the perfect combo of fudgy chocolate brownie, tasty milk chocolate chips and a generous swirl of nutty peanut butter deliciousness.
All in all, I love them and I could eat the whole batch in a day!
These fudgy homemade brownies are perfect snacks for a party or make an easy dessert. I quite like to eat them warm with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream or a hearty drizzle of cream.
✏️ Making a tasty and easy recipe
These chewy peanut butter brownies are based on my original recipe for fudgy chocolate brownies – my favourite brownie recipe of all time! It makes the perfect brownie – gooey in the middle with a papery crust. It’s actually an adaptation of the best ever brownies by BBC Good Food.
The texture of the brownies is next level. The creamy peanut butter filling is soft, sweet and salty, surrounded by the rich cocoa brownie with added chocolate chips. Using melted butter in the recipe really improve the fudgy brownie texture too!
I experimented creating this recipe with both natural peanut butter and the peanut butter spread kind, and both came out tasting amazing! Use your favorite brand of peanut butter for these brownies. Both smooth and crunchy peanut butter are amazing in these brownies!
🥘 Ingredients notes
- I recommend starting with room temperature ingredients for your brownies. This will improve the consistency and ease at which your ingredients will mix together.
- It's best to sieve your flour, cocoa powder and powdered sugar (also called icing sugar or confectioners’ sugar). I used to always skip this bit, but it does make a difference to get you a lump-free brownie batter and peanut butter frosting mix.
- When measuring your ingredients, it's best to use weights rather than cups where possible for greater accuracy. This is especially important for the amount of flour.
- This recipe uses cocoa powder. Using good quality unsweetened cocoa powder for baking is important, as this is different from using a hot cocoa powder (i.e. for hot chocolates) for example.
- I prefer to use a high-quality vanilla extract rather than vanilla essence, as it has a better stronger flavour. It’s a purer vanilla taste as it’s less processed than vanilla essence.
- I’d also recommend using unsalted butter where possible, rather than salted butter, so you can control how much salt goes into your brownies. I like mine to be low salt so I don’t add to the brownie batter, but you can add an optional ¼ teaspoon salt depending on taste.
- As weird as it sounds, for a typical peanut butter flavour, I’d recommend using the regular peanut butter type rather than the natural peanut butter type. However, if you’re a big fan of the all-natural peanut butter then that’s the one for you!
🔪 Equipment notes
- Use digital scales to weigh your ingredients. It's easier and more accurate than other types of scales. I like the KitchenAid and Salter digital scales.
- It’s good to use measuring spoons for your teaspoon and tablespoon amounts. Your standard teaspoon and tablespoon that you use to eat with won't be the correct volume.
- Be sure to level off any heaped scoops of your measuring spoons before adding the ingredient to your mix.
- If you're planning to use a stand mixer, I would recommend using the paddle attachment on a low to medium speed to whip up the sugar-egg mixture.
- You can also get great results for your brownie by using a medium bowl and a hand mixer for the sugar-egg mixture. It’s also possible to use just a fork or whisk if you don’t have an electric mixer (but it’s much harder by hand!).
- Even if your brownie pans are non-stick, I’d always recommend greasing and lining your tins with parchment paper or greaseproof paper before you use them. Leave a small overhang of paper so you can lift your brownies out after cooking them a lot easier.
It’s best to store your brownies in an airtight container. They should keep for up to a week stored like this.
Alternatively, if it’s hot where you live or you’d like to firm up your brownies a bit, you can store your brownies in the fridge. I quite like the cold fudgy texture of a fridge brownie!
If you want to freeze your brownies, you can wrap them in plastic wrap / cling film and then a layer of aluminium foil and freeze them. Or freeze them in an airtight container. They should last up to 2 months frozen.
💭 Top tips for success
- I find that the best way to mix your ingredients is to slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. This helps to reduce the lumps in your mixture giving you a smooth batter as it’s beaten together gradually.
- Once you’ve whipped up your sugar-egg mixture to a thick milkshake-like consistency, try not to knock any of that air out when mixing in your other ingredients – fold it all in gently where possible. It’s also best to work quickly to get your brownie batter complete and get it in the oven.
- I always position my baking pans in the centre of the oven on the middle shelf when possible. This usually gives a more even bake and my baking temperatures specified in the recipe are based on using this part of the oven.
- You’ll know your brownies are cooked once they’re cracked and papery on top, and there is only a slight wobble left in the middle when you give it a little shake.
- Once your fudgy brownies have baked, it's best to leave them in the tin to cool completely before you remove them and cut them into squares.
- For super neat brownie bars, place your cooled brownie slab in the fridge for 30mins – 1hr before cutting it up into squares and be sure to use a big sharp knife.
If you’ve got any specific questions on making the best chocolate peanut butter swirl brownies, please feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to help out!
🎂 Decorations and fillings
I love sneaking in milk chocolate chips to the brownie batter for this recipe, but there are SO many other options for your brownie fillings!
They’re not easy to get hold of where I am, but if you can find them, peanut butter chips work so well in this recipe, either alongside the chocolate chips or as a replacement.
Or, for a nuttier taste and added texture, you can add crushed roasted peanuts to your brownie batter or sprinkle them on top before baking.
You can also swap the milk chocolate chips for dark chocolate chips or white chocolate chips if you’d prefer.
Or why not break up pieces of Reece’s peanut butter cups to stir into your brownie mix instead! They’d make a great replacement for the chocolate chips.
I like to swirl peanut butter mix on top of the brownie batter before it bakes, but you can instead create a peanut butter filling. To do this, pour half the brownie batter into your prepared pan and then gently spread the peanut butter mixture over it before covering that up with the remaining half of the batter for peanut butter stuffed brownies instead.
I usually leave the peanut butter swirl as the only decoration on top of these brownies, but you can drizzle melted chocolate or warmed peanut butter (or both!) over the top before you cut them up into slices.
♻️ Alternatives and substitutions
Peanut butter is such a dream. For me, both the smooth and crunchy peanut butter varieties are delicious in this recipe.
I’m also a huge fan of both the natural peanut butter or the creamy peanut butter spreads you get such as Sunpat.
You can also give a different nut butter a try, such as almond butter or cashew butter. Simply swap out the peanut butter and you can keep the ratios the same.
If you’re looking for a dairy-free brownie recipe, then you can swap the milk in the recipe for a dairy-free alternative such as soy milk or almond milk.
You should also swap the butter for a plant-based baking block instead.
Be sure to check the dark chocolate you are using is dairy-free and also omit the milk chocolate chips if you can’t find a dairy-free alternative.
To make your peanut butter brownies gluten-free, swap the plain / all-purpose flour for a gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose blend of the same quantity. I usually recommend a pre-mixed blend such as King Arthur's measure for measure flour or Freee from Doves Farm
The other ingredients in this brownie recipe should be gluten-free, but please be sure to check the label on your ingredients, just in case!
This recipe makes a relatively small batch of peanut butter swirl brownies. I use an 8inch (20cm) square baking tin, which makes 16 fudgy brownies. They’re small in size, but not quite brownie bites when I cut into 16!
If you don’t have an 8inch square pan, you can instead use a 9inch (23cm) square pan and cook for 5mins less time. Your brownies will be slightly thinner but still delicious with no recipe changes needed other baking adjusting cook time.
If you have a larger brownie pan, such as a rectangular 13-inch pan, it’s best to double the recipe and cook for an extra 10-15mins.
🧁 Other goodies
I definitely recommend that you whip up a batch of delicious fudgy chocolate peanut butter brownies. But as an avid home baker, I’m sure you’re always on the hunt for more goodies to bake - I know I am!
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Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
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Peanut butter swirl:
- 80 g (⅓ cups) peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, natural or regular type)
- 15 g (1 tablespoon) icing sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 30 ml (2 tablespoon) milk (semi-skimmed, whole or dairy-free)
Peanut butter swirl:
- Gently warm the peanut butter in the microwave (10-20 secs) until slightly runny and then add the vanilla and salt, mixing until smooth.
- Sieve in the icing sugar and stir until fully combined.
- Slowly stir in the milk until you get a smooth, thick liquid.
- Pre-heat oven: 180°C / 160°C (fan) / Gas 4 / 350°F
- In a heatproof bowl, melt the butter and dark chocolate either in the microwave (30secs at a time) or over a double boiler, stirring until smooth.
- In a separate mixing bowl, using an electric mixer beat the eggs and sugar. This should whip up to thick and creamy like a milkshake and can take roughly 3-8mins.
- Pour the cooled chocolate mixture over the eggy mousse, add in the vanilla extract and then gently fold together.
- In a separate bowl, sieve the plain flour and cocoa powder, whisking together and stirring in the chocolate chips.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry mixture, slowly folding in until only just combined.
- Pour ¾ of the brownie batter into a greased and lined 8inch square baking pan.
- Scoop big dollops of the peanut butter mix at spaced intervals on top of the brownie batter and then spoon the remaining brownie mix in the gaps between the peanut butter dollops.
- Use a knife or skewer to swirl the peanut butter and brownie mixes together until you get a nice swirly pattern.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35mins until there’s only a slight wobble in the middle and the crust is papery and slightly cracked. Allow your brownies to cool in the tin before removing and cutting them into squares.
Nutritional information is an estimate based on an online nutritional calculator, actual values may vary.