Deliciously Chewy Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

These chocolate peanut butter brownies combine a rich chocolate base with a thick peanut butter swirl! They’re perfect for bake sales, potlucks, or any time you need a decadent treat.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Calling all peanut butter fans! This recipe will have you tossing your box brownie mix out! It’s the perfect combination of rich chocolate brownies as a base, with a sweet and salty ribbon of peanut butter brownie running throughout. This easy recipe is a variation on my homemade fudgy brownies, and is just as simple and delicious.

Warning: This is not the recipe for those on a diet. When we go for dessert decadence around here, we go the whole way. This peanut butter swirl brownie recipe is one of my favorite dessert recipes ever, completely indulgent, gorgeously rich, and easy to whip up!

Ingredients

This recipe uses pretty simple ingredients, the majority of which you will find in your pantry!

Brownie Ingredients
  • Butter or Margarine: You can make this recipe with either butter or margarine. I’ve tested both, and found there to be no appreciable difference in texture between the two. I recommend using unsalted butter when baking; however, if you use salted butter, omit the salt.
  • Creamy Peanut Butter: Any brand of creamy peanut butter will work in this recipe. You can even use natural peanut butter: just be sure to stir it well before measuring because of the oil separation! I do not recommend using crunchy peanut butter as the nuts make it hard to swirl effectively.
  • White Sugar: White sugar does 2 things: provide sweetness and keep the brownies moist. You can replace up to half of the white sugar with brown sugar for a deeper molasses flavor. 
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla brings out the flavors of both chocolate and peanut butter in this. You can replace it with butter flavoring or almond extract for a different flavor profile.
  • Eggs: The eggs are partially responsible for that chewy texture that makes something a brownie. You can sub 1/2 the eggs in this recipe for either applesauce or mashed banana. 
  • Flour: This recipe has only been tested with all purpose flour. I can’t speak to how it would turn out with any other flours, but if you try it, I’d love to hear how it went in the comments!
  • Baking Powder: Baking powder provides the lift that gives your brownies a perfect texture!
  • Salt: Salt intensifies the other flavors in baking. If you use salted butter, you can leave out the extra salt. 
  • Cocoa Powder: I love making this with Hershey’s Special Dark, but any dutch-process cocoa powder or regular unsweetened cocoa powder will work here. 

Instructions

Step 1 | Make the Peanut Butter Batter

So, while it appears that you have two separate batters in this recipe, both are actually made with a peanut butter base, which means that you are really swirling peanut butter into peanut butter chocolate. I told you this was the ultimate treat for peanut butter lovers!

You’ll start by creaming the peanut butter, vanilla, butter or margarine, and white sugar in a large bowl. Then, add the eggs and mix everything together. Finally, add the remaining dry ingredients (except the cocoa powder!) and mix it until you get a smooth batter. 

This batter will be pretty thin, which is perfect for swirling!

Peanut Butter Batter

Note: You can actually just bake this batter to get delicious peanut butter blondies. Just put them in the oven at 350° for 40-45 minutes.

Step 2 | Make the Chocolate Batter

Next, remove about 3/4 cup of peanut butter batter from the bowl and put it in an small bowl. This is going to become your swirl.

Add your cocoa powder to the remainder of the batter in the large bowl. Mix it in until you have a smooth, chocolately batter.

Two Batters

Step 3 | Swirl

Next, either grease and flour or line a 9×9 pan with parchment paper. Spread your chocolate mixture into an even layer in the prepared pan. This will be your brownie layer. Now let’s add that peanut butter layer! 

Use a spoon to drop the peanut butter mixture on top of the brownie batter. Then, use a butter knife to swirl the layer of peanut butter into the top of the batter. Don’t do too much swirling — less is more if you want that gorgeous contrast on top of the brownies!

Swirl Step 1
Swirl Step 2

Step 4 | Bake and Enjoy!

Once you’ve got that swirl just the way you like it, you’re going to bake your brownies for 45-50 minutes at 350°. For fudgy brownies, remove them from the oven when a knife or toothpick inserted into the center come out with just a little bit of batter on it. For cakey brownies (like in the pictures), wait until the knife/toothpick comes out clean. 

If you want clean cuts, do not cut these chocolate peanut butter brownies until they have cooled completely down to room temperature. Then, use a plastic knife (yep, really!) for the cleanest cuts around! 

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

You can enjoy your peanut butter swirl brownies by themselves, or serve them warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Tips

  • Use a plastic knife, like the kind you use for picnics, to get a clean cut on brownies. It works better than a regular metal knife!
  • You can add peanut butter chips or chopped peanut butter cups to the chocolate batter if you somehow still need more peanut butter in this recipe (It’s me. There’s never enough peanut butter for me!)

Variations

You can use this recipe as the base for quite a few variations. Here are some of my favorites: 

  • Chocolate Swirl Peanut Butter Blondies: Flip the script and add 2 tbsp chocolate to the reserved batter rather than the batter in the large bowl. Then, swirl the chocolate batter into the peanut butter batter to create a reverse recipe!
  • Two-Tone Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies: Instead of reserving 1/2 cup of peanut butter batter, reserve 1 1/4 cup. Add only 1/3 cup cocoa to the remaining batter. Then, spread the chocolate mixture in the pan, and cover it with a layer of peanut butter batter. Bake as directed for a gorgeous two-tone dessert!
  • Almond Butter Swirl Brownies: Replace the peanut butter with almond butter in a 1:1 ratio to make this variation. 

FAQs

Can I add other ingredients like chocolate chips or nuts to the brownie batter?

Absolutely! Feel free to add chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or any other mix-ins to the brownie batter for added texture and flavor.

How should I store peanut butter swirl brownies?

Store the brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. You can also freeze them for longer storage; just make sure to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then foil before freezing.

Can I double the recipe to make a larger batch of brownies?

Yes, you can double the recipe to make a larger batch of brownies. Just make sure to put it in a 9×13 pan!

What’s the difference between dutch-processed cocoa and natural cocoa powder?

Both are made from roasted cocoa beans, but dutch-processed (or dutched) cocoa powder is made from beans washed in an alkaline solution before the roasted. This gives it a more mellow flavor, and in baking, results in a deeper chocolate flavor than natural. You can consider what kind of final product you want as you choose which type of cocoa powder to use!

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5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Chocolate and peanut butter combine to make a beautiful two-toned dessert!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12
Calories 472kcal
Cost $7.00

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup butter or margarine
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup cocoa powder

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Beat butter and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and vanilla and beat until blended.
  • Blend in eggs.
  • Add flour, baking powder, and salt and blend.
  • Reserve 1/2 cups peanut butter batter in a small bowl. Blend cocoa into remaining batter.
  • Spread cocoa batter evenly in greased 9×9.
  • Drop several spoonfuls of peanut butter batter on top of cocoa batter. Use a knife to swirl the peanut butter batter into the cocoa batter.
  • Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes.

Notes

Tried this recipe?Mention @homanathome or tag #homanathome

Nutrition

Serving: 1brownie | Calories: 472kcal | Carbohydrates: 42.6g | Protein: 16.4g | Fat: 27.8g | Saturated Fat: 11.6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9.6g | Cholesterol: 334.3mg | Sodium: 352mg | Potassium: 181.9mg | Fiber: 2.6g | Sugar: 31.1g
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4 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    These turned out so delicious!! Do you think sugar could be replaced by some other sweetener, like honey?

    1. I’m not sure — typically you can replace about half the sugar with applesauce or mashed banana for a more fudgy brownie, but I’ve never tried it on this recipe!

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