Dense, fudgy, and with a crackly top, these double chocolate peanut butter brownies are perfectly sweet with a peanut butter swirl. Made all in one bowl! This recipe is adapted from our dairy-free brownies.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Flour: we haven't tested this, but think that a good gluten-free flour blend could be subbed for the plain flour since it uses so little. Alternatively try Alex's almond flour brownies or Kelly's buckwheat brownies.
- Brown sugar: you can use light or dark brown sugar for this recipe.
- Chocolate: bittersweet chocolate is 70% cocoa solids, so you can sub a dark chocolate bar that specifies that it's around 70% (a 5% difference is fine, but no more).
- Cocoa: since this recipe is leavened with baking powder, you can use natural or Dutch process cocoa with no need to change the recipe.
- Peanut butter: this needs to be a natural peanut butter, with no extra sugar or oil added. Sweetened peanut butter will make for extremely sweet brownies and the texture will be off.
- Add-ins: for an extra peanut boost, fold some chopped peanuts into the batter. If the peanut butter isn't salted, try topping the brownies with some flake salt.
- Make it dairy-free: use a good vegan butter that comes in stick or block form, and check that the chocolate doesn't have milk solids added.
Use the JUMP TO RECIPE button at the top, or scroll to the bottom of the post to see the printable recipe card with full ingredient measurements and complete instructions.
Step 1: add the butter and chocolate to a heat-safe bowl.
Step 2: melt over a double boiler, making sure the bowl doesn't touch the water. Take off the ehat and whisk in the eggs.
Step 3: add the sugars, cocoa, salt, and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
Step 4: stir in the flour.
Step 5: pour the batter into a prepared tin.
Step 6: add dollops of peanut butter all over the top of the batter.
Step 7: use a butter knife to swirl the peanut butter in.
Step 8: bake for about 23 minutes and cool before slicing.
- Melt the peanut butter: if your peanut butter is a little dry or hard, gently heat it until it's soft enough to swirl. If yours is from a fresh jar or was really well stirred, you'll be able to swirl it in without heating.
- Don't over-bake: the brownies will seem slightly underdone when they come out of the oven, and this is part of what makes them fudgy. Baking too long, or too hot, will make for dry brownies.
- Cool fully before slicing: because they are a wee bit underbaked when they come out, the brownies need time to fully cool and set. If you slice too early, they will crumble.
Be sure to use bittersweet chocolate. A chocolate that has a very different cocoa percentage - 40 or 90, for example - will have different results. If you're making brownies and consistently wondering why you're not getting a crackly top, or why the texture isn't as described, it's probably due to a lack of specification in the chocolate that should be used.
If the butter and chocolate mixture is overheated, it can cause splitting and a burnt flavour. Make sure it's heated very gently, in a double boiler and not directly in a pan, to prevent this. While you can use a microwave, it's so easy to burn chocolate that way – to reduce the risk, it's better to melt it where you can see it.
Use room temperature ingredients. The eggs really must be at room temperature for success here. To quickly warm up cold eggs, submerge them in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for 10 minutes before use.
How to Store
Storage: keep the brownies in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a week. They can be kept at room temperature for a day or two.
Freezing: transfer fully cooled brownies - sliced or unsliced - to an airtight container. Freeze for up to 2 months, then thaw at room temperature before serving.
Why are my brownies hard?
If your brownies are coming out hard, it can be due to a couple things. Reducing the sugar or butter content is a major factor, as is over-baking, the oven being too hot, or burning the chocolate mixture. Stick to the recipe and get an oven thermometer if it's a common problem for you.
Can I use less sugar?
You can, but the brownies won't turn out like the ones pictured. Sugar contains a lot of water and reducing it in turn reduces the moisture in your brownies, making them dry and hard.
Can I use normal peanut butter?
Using a peanut butter with additives like oil and sugar will make for very sweet brownies. It also tends to puff up more in the oven and can burn, so you won't get consistent results. We recommend using natural peanut butter.
If you make this Peanut Butter Brownie recipe or any other chocolate recipes on the Baked Collective, please take a moment to rate the recipe and leave a comment below. It’s such a help to others who want to try the recipe. For more baking, follow along on Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.
Peanut Butter Brownies
- Measuring cups and spoons or a digital kitchen scale
- Large heat-safe mixing bowl
- 8-inch (20cm) square baking pan
- Parchment paper
- ½ cup butter
- 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate chopped
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup natural peanut butter smooth or crunchy
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180°C). Line an 8-inch (20-cm) square baking pan with parchment paper.
- Add the butter and chocolate to a large heat-safe bowl.½ cup butter, 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
- Bring a small saucepan of water to a simmer over medium heat.
- Place the bowl of chocolate and butter on top of the pot of water (the water shouldn't touch the bowl).
- Let the steam from the water warm the underside of the bowl (double boiler-style) until the chocolate and butter are just melted. Don't overheat.
- Once the chocolate mixture is melted, remove from the heat. Whisk in the eggs, then add the sugars, cocoa, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Whisk again until smooth.2 large eggs, ¾ cup white sugar, ¼ cup packed brown sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon baking powder, ¼ teaspoon sea salt, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Next, stir in the flour until the mixture is smooth, being careful not to over-mix.½ cup all-purpose flour
- Transfer the batter into the prepared tin. Drop teaspoon-fulls of peanut butter over the batter, then swirl with a knife.¼ cup natural peanut butter
- Bake for 23-25 minutes. They will seem slightly underdone. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan, then slice to serve. Once cool, store in the fridge.