THE BEST Peanut Butter Swirl Cocoa Brownies

My dudes. I have been on a quest for the perfect peanut butter / cocoa brownie. And I mean a soft, fudgie, chocolatey brownie being hugged and encompassed by a peanut buttery smoothness, not too sweet and not too salty, and definitely not dry. Get out of here with that dry peanut butter stuff. I use a cocoa brownie recipe that I have heavily relied on any time that brownie craving strikes. I don’t always have chocolate, but I do always have cocoa powder. As should you.

THE BEST Peanut Butter Swirl Cocoa Brownies

Makes 16 small brownies

Based on Smitten Kitchen’s Best Cocoa Brownies


For the Brownie

  • 10 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (heaping, yo)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour

For the Peanut Butter Swirl

  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter (I use Jif because that’s what I grew up with and no other peanut butter will cut it when I’m craving)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar


For the Brownie

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line an 8×8 brownie pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a heatproof bowl, combine the butter, sugar, salt, and cocoa powder. Melt the butter. This can happen in the microwave or on the stovetop, double boiler method. (I’ve done it both ways, but now that I actually own a microwave, I tend to use it for this.) Stir it, it will look a bit weird and gritty but that’s okay.
  3. Add the vanilla and eggs, one at a time. Then add the flour, mixing well. Pour in prepared pan, spreading in an even layer.

For the Peanut Butter Swirl

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter and egg. Stir in the powdered sugar. Mix well.
  2. Plop on top of the brownies; I usually start in the corners, do one in the middle, and then see where the pb needs to go. With a butter knife swirl the pb, either up and down, figure 8’s, or whatever works for you.
  3. Pop the pan in the oven for about 40 minutes. I like to set my timer for 20, give it an 180 degree spin, and set it for 20 more. Let cool before you slice them up!

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