Food

The Best Peanut Butter Brownies You’ll Ever Have

It’s safe to say that Averie Sunshine loves peanut butter. She comes up with recipes for homemade peanut butter, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter cake, chocolate peanut butter, peanut butter Twix bars…you name it. She even wrote a book about it. So when she agreed to share her recipe for the best peanut butter brownies, I jumped at the chance to hear it. Here goes…

The Best Peanut Butter Brownies You’ll Ever Have
By Averie Sunshine, author of the blog Averie Cooks and the new cookbook Peanut Butter Comfort

These are the fudgiest, densest and richest brownies you’ll ever bite into, and they’re so easy to make. No mixer is required and only one bowl is needed. The edges have a bit of chewiness and the center is tender, soft, and the perfect fudgy texture for leaving teeth marks. They’re as easy as a boxed mix, but the taste infinitely better. I like to add a couple tablespoons of brewed coffee because it enhances the flavor of the chocolate, and I promise it doesn’t make the finished brownies taste like coffee.

Chocolate and peanut butter is one of the best flavor combinations on earth. I never tire of it. The peanut butter buttercream on these brownies takes an already good thing and makes it even better—it’s sweet, the way all frosting should be, but the natural saltiness of the peanut butter cuts some of the sweetness. It’s the perfect pairing for an intensely chocolate-y brownie that’s all about fudginess, with zero cakiness. Sprinkles are optional, but not—not for me, anyway (I use Trader Joe’s cocoa beads).

Recipe: Peanut Butter Brownies
Makes one 9-by-9-inch pan, or 16 generous squares

You’ll need:

6 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate or dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (such as Baker’s brand semi-sweet chocolate—I use a 72% Pound Plus Bar from Trader Joe’s)

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp. espresso or brewed coffee, any temperature; optional but recommended
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt to taste, optional

For the peanut butter buttercream:
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I recommend Jif or Skippy—not a fancy, high-end or natural peanut butter, since they separate, and your frosting results could be compromised)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 2 cups confectioner’s sugar
Pinch of salt to taste, optional
Sprinkles, optional

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-by-9-inch pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, add the butter and chocolate and heat on high power to melt, about 60 to 90 seconds. Stop to stir, and heat in 10-second bursts until the mixture has melted and can be stirred smooth. Add the sugars and whisk to combine; batter will seem granular. Add the coffee (if using) and vanilla, and whisk to incorporate. Add the eggs and whisk vigorously to combine. Then, add the flour and optional salt, stirring until just incorporated; don’t overmix. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for about 25 to 35 minutes, or until center is just set and not jiggly, and edges have pulled away slightly from sides of pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out mostly clean. (My perfect baking time is about 28 minutes based on my oven and the dry climate I live in.) Keep these gooey and don’t overbake; the brownies will continue to firm up as they cool. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour before frosting them, or before slicing and serving.

For the peanut butter buttercream:
Combine peanut butter and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed to soften and blend, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla, 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, and optional salt (which cuts some of the sweetness), and beat to incorporate until frosting is smooth and fluffy. Add more confectioner’s sugar based on desired thickness. (I use 2 cups so frosting is thicker and more paste-like.) Frost the brownies, add optional sprinkles, slice, and serve.

NOTE: Brownies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few hours (or longer, depending on your comfort level with buttercream frosting at room temp), but I prefer them chilled and like to store them in the refrigerator (brownies will keep for up to 5 days refrigerated in an airtight container). I’ve also successfully made them, frosted them, frozen them, and thawed them, up to 3 months later.

DELICIOUS! Thank you so much, Averie!

P.S. More best recipes, including salted caramel brownies and chocolate chip cookies. Plus, 11 Nutella recipes!

(Photos and recipe by Averie Sunshine of Averie Cooks. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)

  1. pat says...

    Please add a “PRINT” button to each of your recipes. It would be so helpful.
    Thank you.

  2. These look so delish! But, what are the sprinkles?
    Can I find them at my grocery store?

  3. these brownies are PHENOMENAL! really dense and fudgy with a gorgeous, flaky, paper-thin crust on top. this is going to be my new default brownie recipe; they’d be really great even without any toppings. i multiplied the recipe by 1.5 for a 9×13 pan for work.

    i swapped out hazelnut spread for the peanut butter, poured a hazelnut coffee ganache on top and sprinkled them with toasted hazelnuts, but the brownies really stole the show.

  4. Wonderful recipe..thanks for sharing :)
    I made these wonderfully tasty brownies for my sons who are away at school and hand delivered in pretty boxes! They thought I had stopped at the bakery, they were so special !!!!

    The recipe is a keeper for sure :)

  5. I made the peanut butter frosting and it’s heavenly! Averie does amazing things with peanut butter. :)
    Tina at http://www.tinaschic.com

  6. They did firm up a bit after being refrigerated, but they still seemed to be somewhat raw even after being cooked for almost an hour. People still loved them!

  7. I cooked these for 25 extra minutes and they were still complete goop on the inside.

  8. Your recipe is the bomb.com! I made these for a co-worker’s birthday and everyone went bananas devouring the entire pan! The best chocolate-peanut butter brownie recipe ever!!

  9. M says...

    I made these this week to bring to a gathering and they were a huge hit! Extremely delicious, so so rich, and incredibly moreish. I’m glad I kept some at home because every last crumb was eaten at the party!

    • Thanks for trying my recipe, M! I’m so glad people loved them and glad you kept a few at home for your private stash :)

  10. I love Averie’s treats! These are seriously so gorgeous! I love them!

  11. Yummmm. These look scrumptious!!
    Thanks for sharing!

    xo,
    Natalie

    notesfromnatalielouise.blogspot.com

  12. Ooooh. I just feel that my better half would love these and plan to attempt them as a surprise. Chocolate and peanut butter are the greatest tastes in the world! Thankyou :)

  13. I have never tried peanut butter brownies before. It’s not very common in the UK, but I can’t wait to give it a go! :)
    Joelle
    xoxo
    FebruaryGirl.

  14. A massive craving has begun. Yum.

    Jo – a request for future recipes – could they be provided with weight measurements in addition to cups/spoons/etc., for your foreign readers (or for Americans who prefer a more accurate approach to measurements!)? I would appreciate it and am sure others would, too.

  15. i’ve been looking for new dessert recipes & these are perfect! yum!

    -kim
    midnight snark

  16. Yuuuuuuuuuuum! these look soooooo delicious!!!!!!!

  17. I love the idea, but just a heads up, these brownies are crazy sweet. Like suger overload. I might try again next time with super dark chocolate and a little less sugar. I love this series of posts though! I’ve tried so many of them with great success!

  18. This looks yummy! I love a good peanut butter brownie. I’ve been using the same recipe for a few years but I think I might try this one. Thanks for sharing!

  19. oh no! Her blog will surely lead to me gaining five pounds.

  20. Wow these look delicious. I might give them a try!

  21. Looks like an amazing recipe, I might have to put it on the to do list for this weekend.

  22. Oh man, these look awesome!

  23. Oh my gosh I thought those sprinkles were choc+pb at first and was about to lose my mind. I cannot wait to get my hands on this cookbook because I love everything peanut butter. And these brownies look fabulous.

  24. Have GOT to make these NOW! And I’ve got everything on the ingredient list in my kitchen – no need to run to the grocery store. Ahh.. It’s meant to be. Wish me luck : )

  25. Wow!!! These brownies look amazing! Thanks for the recipe!

  26. These look soooooo yummy! Thanks for sharing! I think my boys would be into these as well. Milo never seems to tire of peanut butter, and who doesn’t love chocolate?!

  27. I want to reach through the screen right now and snipe one! Yum!

  28. This is the answer to the last dish on my mister’s birthday dessert buffet. I think these will become a new favourite.

  29. Yay Averie! Everything I’ve made from her blog has been to die for. These brownies look like they’re no exception!

  30. I love Averie’s blog and it was so cool to see her featured here on Cup of Jo! These brownies look absolutely divine :)

  31. Holy Cramoli, those look pretty amazing. Been needing a new recipe for brownies!

  32. Oh no – these look deadly and dangerous. ;-)

  33. Anything with peanut butter and chocolate is right up my alley.
    These look intense, but ohh so yummy!
    xo Quinn

    Quinn Cooper Style

  34. I will definitely have to try this – they look more like fudge than brownies!

  35. jm says...

    These almost look like fudge – so rich. The sprinkles are a pretty touch!

  36. Oh, wow. All this is missing is some strawberry jam mixed in. Ooh, and maybe bananas!