Peanut butter and chocolate are the perfect combination in these one-bowl, decadent, ultra-soft double chocolate peanut butter brownies!

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

I know that chocolate peanut butter brownies are far from a new thing (as in, I’m no pioneer with today’s recipe), but I’ve never had a brownie where the peanut butter was all wrapped up in the batter like this version, instead of being swirled and dolloped and layered all over the brownie batter.

And I’m pretty sure this is what I’ve always wanted a peanut butter chocolate brownie to be – deeply chocolate with a delightfully strong yet subtle presence of peanut butter.

It kind of sneaks up on you, that peanut butter factor, especially considering you aren’t looking at any pretty swirls of peanut butter before shoving a brownie in your face. But man, these brownies are amazing. The peanut butter gives them a velvety, ultra-soft texture missing from traditional chewy brownies.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

A MKC reader-slash-friend, Linda, sent me this recipe letting me know she won a bake-off with these divine double chocolate peanut butter brownies, and I can attest that winning a contest with these babies is not out of the realm of possibility. They are ridiculously yummy.

I’ve made them several times over the last few weeks and even froze a double batch for our family reunion at the beginning of July. All I can say is more than one extended family member ended up in tears when the brownies ran out. (Ok, so both those family members were under five years old, but still, I think a few of the 35-year olds were fighting back tears, too).

And I feel like a broken record since I’ve said this many times over the last few weeks, but these brownies are dangerously delicious straight out of the freezer. Just had to get that little tidbit of knowledge out of the way.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

UPDATE: You can just skip over all the mumbo jumbo below about cocoa powder because Linda, who gave me the recipe, let me know that she’s always just used regular, unsweetened cocoa powder in these brownies and it works great! So there you go! 

Can we talk for just a sec about the cocoa powder in the recipe? You’ll notice that it calls for Dutch-process cocoa power. Here’s an older post explaining the difference between Dutch-process cocoa powder and your every day natural, unsweetened cocoa powder. In short, Dutch-process cocoa powder is usually used in a recipe that has baking powder as a leavener, whereas natural, unsweetened cocoa powder (like Hershey’s) needs baking soda for leavening.

For recipes where no leavener is used (like this favorite brownie recipe or for puddings or chocolate sauces), you can usually use either Dutch-process OR natural, unsweetened cocoa depending on what flavor profile you are going for.

What does that mean for this recipe? I know some of you are wondering if you can you swap in natural cocoa powder for the Dutch-process? I hate to say it, but I don’t know.

I usually try to test that kind of thing out with recipes where I know it will be a big question, but even though I’ve made these several times, I didn’t try it because they are so fantastic just the way they are. I didn’t want to mess them up (when you make them, I think you’ll understand what I mean)! The deep, dark Dutch-process cocoa powder makes the flavor of the brownies mellow and rich and absolutely delicious.

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

If you don’t have Dutch-process cocoa powder, I’ve given some resources below so you can go out (or rather, not go out at all and just order online) and get yourself some!

If you still have a hankering to make these brownies with natural cocoa powder, my best advice is to experiment, and then of course, check back in and let me know how it goes (promising you won’t hate my guts if it ends badly). The cocoa powder you use will make a big difference in the end result, so keep that in mind. (UPDATE: Linda, who gave me the recipe says she’s only ever used natural, unsweetened cocoa powder, so it should work great!)

And if there’s ever been one recipe to give you that push to get some Dutch-process cocoa powder, it might be this one.

I’ve bought Dutch-process cocoa from many places over the years: Penzey’s, Amazon (the Droste brand), Winco (my local grocery store) bulk bins, Orson Gygi (in a 5 pound bag), and the Ghirardelli Majestic brand (also from Orson Gygi). I’ve been super happy with every one of those options (the bulk bins and Orson Gygi’s large bags are by far the most inexpensive option).

Phew! Enough talk about cocoa powder. Go make some brownies (preferably these delicious chocolate peanut butter brownies, of course)!

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Three Years Ago: Salted Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Chip Cookies

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

Yield: Makes a 9X13-inch pan of brownies

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

I've only ever used Dutch-processed cocoa powder in this recipe (the Ghirardelli Majestic brand - I've given suggestions for other brands up in the post), but Linda, who gave me the recipe says she uses natural, unsweetened cocoa all the time with great results (and she did win a bake-off after all!). Dutch-process cocoa will give the brownies a deeper, more mellow flavor - but it sounds like either will work!

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (6 ounces) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups (15 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) Dutch-process cocoa powder (see note above)
  • 1 3/4 cups (8.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chunk or chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9X13-inch aluminum/metal pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whip the butter and peanut butter together with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Add the sugar and mix well. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Stir in the cocoa until the mixture is smooth and no dry streaks remain.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir once or twice (there will still be dry spots) and then add the chocolate chunks or chips. Stir until no dry streaks remain; the batter will be thick.
  4. Spread the batter evenly in the pan.
  5. Bake for 20-24 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Don't overbake!
  6. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan. Cut into squares and serve chilled or at room temperature. The baked and cooled brownies freeze well.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/chocolate-peanut-butter-brownies/

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from a recipe sent to me by a sweet MKC reader, Linda T., who won first place in a bake-off with these babies!

45 Responses to One-Bowl Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

  1. Holy cow, these just appeared on my Bloglovin’ timeline and now I am hungrryyyy! I’ve been looking for a good PB brownie recipe and this could well be it!

  2. Lauren says:

    I was all set to make the Healthier Choc No-Bake Cookies today, since I sooooo love them! (It must be the totally yummy toasted almonds in them.) This, tho, looks really amazing, Mel. Decisions, decisions.

  3. Aunt Laurie says:

    Prepared pantry has a Belgium cocoa. Do you have any idea if that would be similar to the Dutch I’ve only used the Hersey so I have no idea what the difference is

    • Mel says:

      Hey Aunt Laurie – yep, that’s Dutch cocoa – but it’s their most expensive kind. I looked at their website and both of their Ramstadt Medium and Ramstadt Rich cocoas are Dutch-process, too.

  4. Teresa says:

    I haven’t done much baking this summer, so today was the day when I saw this recipe. It was a lot of batter and took longer than the stated time to cook in my aluminum pan. But they are really good. I do like the peanut butter mixed in rather than swirled. I am going to cut them up and freeze them like you said because it makes a big pan.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks for reporting back, Teresa! Glad you liked them. I think my oven tends to cook fast so I’ll put a note in the recipe that they may need a longer baking time.

  5. Valentina says:

    Could you use almond butter instead of the peanut butter? They look amazing but my kids can’t have peanut butter. Thank you

  6. I am still wondering why you specified a metal baking pan – is this just your preference or is there a specific reason?

    • Mel says:

      Glass pans tend to have a totally different baking experience with brownies and require a reduced oven temperature among other things in my experience, so I alway stick with a metal/aluminum pan for brownies and the like. 🙂

      • Laura says:

        Now I’m in a panic because I want to make these ASAP (I’m pregnant) but I don’t have a metal pan! What one do you use?

        • Mel says:

          I have a Farberware metal pan, I think – you can try using a glass pan. I know a lot of people use them for brownies and such but I always have a problem with baked cakes and brownies baking evenly in a glass pan so I didn’t test this recipe with a glass pan. If you try it, lower the temp by 25 degrees and just check on them often so they don’t overbake.

  7. Linda Turco says:

    They look amazing Mel! I’ll try them with the Dutch cocoa powder, and what could possibly go wrong with adding chocolate chips to the batter

    • Mel says:

      Hey Linda! I think the cocoa powder you told me you used IS Dutch-process? Am I wrong? If I am, that’s great news because it means they work great with natural, unsweetened cocoa powder, too. Let us know! 🙂

  8. Linda Turco says:

    Mel,

    No, the recipe called for just unsweetened cocoa powder not Dutch processed, and I’ve never used Dutch process in this recipe. After looking at your post, I went back to look at what I sent you and it says regular cocoa powder. I specified that I use only Ghirardelli so maybe that was the confusion? In any case, I guess it works with both

  9. Bonnie says:

    First off- hallelujah for a brownie recipe that makes a 9×13″ pan’s worth! What’s with all the lame-o recipes that only make enough for a square pan?? 🙂 haha. Also, I had to make these GF for my son and we had amazing success so I thought I’d share! We subbed the all-purpose flour for 1 3/4c of this blend:
    1.75 c tapioca flour
    1.5 c brown rice flour
    0.5 c almond flour
    I had to add about 15 minutes of baking time but they were dense and chewy and glorious! Woohoo! Thanks for a great recipe 🙂

  10. Monica says:

    Hi Mel – I have an 11 year old son and I try to get him into the kitchen with me in the summer for some fun cooking/baking projects. I saw this post and thought it would be perfect for us to make together, so we did this afternoon! We had fun making it and even more fun tasting it! Needless to say, the brownies got were a big hit – they’re fudgy and dense yet really light. Thanks so much for sharing!!

  11. Colleen says:

    I think the instruction to bake “until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs” might be misleading. At 24 minutes, my toothpick still had batter attached, so I baked them an extra 9 minutes (in 3-minute increments) and the toothpick still had batter, not crumbs, attached. But now that they’re cooled, they taste a little dry.

    • Mel says:

      Hmmm, sorry about that Colleen! I’ve always baked them with the toothpick test but I certainly don’t want anyone’s brownies to be dry! Thanks for adding your feedback.

  12. trish says:

    Can this be doubled and put in a sheet pan or would they over flow do you think?

  13. jamie says:

    yay! i needed a treat to bring to a relief society activity tonight, and nothing was sounding good. recipe is printed and i’m off to the kitchen. thanks!!

  14. sara says:

    I made this last night – these are awesome brownies!! Thanks for a great recipe. 🙂

  15. Ruthie says:

    These are amazing! I used raw cacao powder instead since it’s what I had and added a teaspoon of baking powder, a dash of cinnamon and a pinch of maca powder. I had to bake for an additional 15-ish minutes but otherwise no issues and simply scrumptious.

  16. J rich says:

    Hubby loved, even helped me make and clean up. Gave it a ten

    Found cocoa at Cost Plus

    I’m curious how this would work with Hershey ‘s Special Dark which is half natural, half Dutch Much cheaper

  17. Rebecca says:

    Mel, these brownies are amazing. Thank you so much! I cut the recipe in half since it’s just me and my husband here, and based on how much I have consumed in the short time since they came out of the oven, it’s probably good I didn’t make more… I might have to hide them from myself so I don’t finish them off tonight! So, so good! I am a long time fan of your site – though I haven’t commented before. I just wanted to make sure you know I think you are the best! I come here every single week when I am meal planning, and I love that I can always count on your recipes to turn out great.

  18. Becky says:

    I made these yesterday and they are phenomenal! So thick, and yummy, and fudge-y! I’ll definitely make them again!

    They are also very forgiving! I baked them in a glass pan for 30 minutes at 325 and was afraid I’d overbake them. I pulled them out, and after cooling for a bit, cut them. They weren’t done right, so I popped them back in the oven for about 15 more minutes. It worked like a charm 🙂

  19. Anne says:

    Yum! Super yum! I couldn’t stop eating the batter, even though I knew I was endangering my life by eating raw flour and eggs. But it was that good! Thanks for a recipe using Dutch cocoa because I have some without many recipes to use it in. I made it in a glass pan. Cooked it at 325 for 26 min. Thank you for a delicious and simple recipe!

  20. Paige says:

    Do you think they would turn out just as well without the peanut butter?

    Thanks!

  21. Anne says:

    Wow! These are some of the best brownies I have ever tasted! I am a chocolate-peanut butter lover, however! I could not stop eating the batter! I even risked it with the raw eggs and flour, because it was so delicious! ☺️. Also, I was happy to find a use for my Dutch cocoa. This is a very simple recipe and I used a glass pan. Thank you for an easy and super yummy recipe!

  22. Anne says:

    Sorry for the duplicate , it didn’t show up at first!

  23. Kristen says:

    These look amazing! What kind of peanut butter did you use? I usually only have natural peanut butter on hand, but sometimes that gets weird in baking. Did you use natural peanut butter? Or do you think this would be better with a more processed brand like Jif? Can’t wait to try baking these!

  24. Keri says:

    I have a silly question. How do you measure cocoa powder? If I spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off, it has a ton of empty spaces. I usually end up packing it in and leveling it off but I wonder if I’m using too much cocoa powder.

    • Mel says:

      Great question! I have a big container of it so I fluff it up really well and dip my cup in and level off. But mostly if there are weight measures, I use those.

  25. Tara says:

    I made these the other night!! Yum! I couldn’t believe how amazing they tasted. I promised myself to never buy a box of brownies again. These truly were divine!

  26. Louise E. says:

    I made these recently to take to an event. They were really delicious with a nice moist texture. I will definitely be making these again.

  27. Aubrie says:

    I love the texture of these. Definitely the best peanut butter brownies I’ve made! I topped mine with a chocolate ganache and chopped Reese’s peanut butter cups to take them over-the-top!

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