Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

DessertBakingBrowniesPeanut Butter

Chocolate and peanut butter are made for each other. This recipe tugs at the nostalgia of those boxed brownie mixes from childhood—but ours is made entirely from scratch.

Photography Credit: Aaron Hutcherson

Chocolate and peanut butter are a definite contender for best dessert duo. Personally, my love for the pairing has a lot to do with the irresistible combination of sweet and salty.

These rich, chocolatey brownies with enticing swirls of peanut butter throughout send my taste buds into a tizzy with every bite. (And it doesn’t hurt that they’re so visually appealing.)

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The base of this recipe, of course, is the brownie. As a kid, I grew up on boxed mixes and loved them (especially the corner piece), but it took some time for me to develop a homemade version that I liked.

A lot of recipes that I tried tended to be more gooey and fudgy brownie. I, on the other hand, am all about the chewy and dense (in a good way) brownies.


This recipe uses both cocoa powder and semisweet chocolate for a double dose of decadence. A bit of brown sugar in addition to white sugar helps to give that chew I was looking for, and some instant coffee powder makes the chocolate flavor even more pronounced.

These are the adult version of the boxed brownies I loved so much as a kid.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe


The instructions below call for using a double boiler to melt the chocolate and butter. This just means melting the chocolate in a heat-proof bowl placed over a pot with a few inches of simmering water, which works to melt the chocolate gently and helps avoid scorching.

However, you can also use the microwave (or even a pot directly on the stove) as long as you keep a careful watch so as not to burn the chocolate.


When it comes time to swirl in the peanut butter, heating helps loosens it up and allows you to drizzle it over the top of the batter. (I’ve only used standard commercial brands with sugar in them; it might work differently with varieties that don’t have sugar, or where you have to stir the oils together.)

Then use a butter knife to swirl the peanut butter into the batter. Use both the thin blade and the flat edge of the knife so you get an artful mix of thin swirls and large swooshes of chocolate and peanut butter.

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies swirl the peanut butter


If you love peanut butter, try tahini! Tahini is a paste or sauce made from ground sesame seeds and used in a lot of Middle Eastern recipes. Like peanut butter, tahini has a nuttiness that works well with chocolate. Give it a try instead of the peanut butter in these brownies—it also makes your brownies allergy-friendly!


Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 34 minutes
  • Yield: 16 brownies


  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso coffee powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar


1 Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper; set aside.

2 Melt the chocolate and butter: Set the chocolate and butter in a heat-proof bowl over a pot of simmering water—the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Remove from heat.

Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe melt the chocolate and butter Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe melted butter and chocolate

3 Make the batter: Whisk together the eggs, both sugars, coffee powder, and vanilla extract. Add in the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and melted butter-chocolate mixture and stir until evenly combined. (The batter will be very thick, but don't worry! That's how it's supposed to be.)

Press the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish in an even layer.

Brownies with Peanut Butter Recipe whisk the sugar and eggs and cocoa Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies make the batter Peanut Butter Brownie recipe stir the batter together

4 Add the peanut butter swirl. Warm the peanut butter in the microwave until it's loosened enough to drizzle, about 30 seconds on high. Stir the powdered sugar into the peanut butter, then drizzle over the top of the brownie batter.

Use a butter knife to swirl the peanut butter mixture into the top of the brownie batter. Be careful not to over mix the peanut butter into the brownie mixture.

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies swirl the peanut butter

5 Bake the brownies: Bake the brownies until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean, about 35 minutes. (The peanut butter will probably stick to the toothpick a little bit; that's fine.) Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Brownies with Peanut Butter Recipe bake the brownies

6 Cool and slice: Let the brownies cool completely to room temperature before cutting them. For cleaner slicing with fewer crumbs, pop the pan in the freezer for a few minutes once it's cooled to room temperature to help with slicing to help keep them from sticking to the knife.

Brownies with peanut butter recipe slice the brownies

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Aaron Hutcherson

Aaron or “Hutch” is the blogger behind The Hungry Hutch, which features a delicious variety of savory and sweet recipes. He grew up in the Midwest, but has called New York City home for nearly a decade.

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10 Comments / Reviews

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Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Lisa

    Dry! Do not bake 35 min.


    Show Replies (1)
  2. Vanessa

    Made these for work. Everyone LOVED them. Including the diabetic that took an extra dose of insulin just to eat it.


  3. Lydia

    Hi! Quick question…is the instant coffee powder regular coffee like Nescafe or is it
    instant espresso coffee? Thank you!

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Karin

    Hi I’m wondering if I could use WOW butter as an alternative to peanut butter. Sadly I have become allergic to peanuts

    Show Replies (1)
  5. Chris C

    I would very much like to try this, but don’t like the taste of coffee. Can the instant coffee powder be omitted?

    Show Replies (1)
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