Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies

Happy Friday, Cookie Enthusiasts!

To celebrate the end of the week, I decided to bake something. No really!

And this recipe worked out, though I had doubts. Even though it won a Best of Juniors award in the Dutchess County Fair in 2001, some things seemed sketchy. But in the end, and with a few small modifications, results were better than good.

marbled peanut butter brownies


Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A stiff dough bakes into a firm yet moist brownie. Take a look at the notes on how to weigh or measure flour if you have trouble with dryness in bar cookies. When baking with peanut butter, it's really important to measure properly.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 scant teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (generous -- slightly heaping) peanut butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Chocolate Swirl:
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Peanut Butter Topping:
  • ½ cup peanut butter (creamy)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Chocolate Swirl Topping:
  • 1 ½ to 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate – one that melts nicely, if possible (Dove)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with parchment or better yet, Release foil.
  2. Thoroughly stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, beat together butter, peanut butter and both sugars. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture, stir until incorporated, then spread in pan.
  4. Prepare chocolate swirl. Using microwave or double boiler, melt chocolate and butter. Drop by spoonfuls on top of peanut butter batter and drag a knife through the batter to marble.
  5. Bake on center rack for 30-35 minutes or until edges appear brown and center appears set. I baked mine for 30 to avoid over-baking. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare topping. Stir together peanut butter, vanilla and melted butter. Spread this mixture over the warm (not piping hot, not cool) brownies. Let cool completely.
  7. Prepare Chocolate Swirl. Put chocolate in a heavy duty freezer bag. Microwave the bag for 30 seconds. Knead it with your hands to melt chocolate. Repeat, microwaving another 30 seconds and kneading bag, until chocolate is completely melted. Make sure there are no lumps. Snip a tiny hole in bottom corner of bag and drizzle chocolate decoratively over peanut butter.
  8. At this point, it’s a good idea to chill the brownies to set the peanut butter and chocolate. I actually froze mine for about 20 minutes, then moved them to the refrigerator. The point, again, is to set the topping so you can slice the brownies nicely.
  9. When set, lift from pan and slice brownies in to squares or bars. If they're too firm to slice, let them sit at room temperature Let come to room temperature before eating. Store covered and at room temperature for softer brownies.
  10. Makes 1 8 inch pan.
Based on the comments ranging from excellent to dry, I'm adding a few notes to help you along.

1. Use mainstream peanut butter such as Skippy or Jif Natural, Reese's, etc.
2. Make sure your baking powder is fresh
3. Measure your flour properly. If it's still in the sack, dump it out and stir it to aerate. If you have a scale, weigh out 6.75 ounces or 125 grams.

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  1. Jennifer says

    Oh, my. Those look great. Much better than the recipe I made last night, it came out, kinda spongy? It’s hard to describe, not chewy or fudgy…
    I’ll have to make them this weekend!

  2. Sue says

    Mmmm! Mmmmmm!! That brownie looks so scrumptious! The photo makes me want to grab it off the screen!!

  3. says

    Ok, this one got me. I’ve got all this stuff on hand (except Dove choc, but I’ll see if regular works), I’m going to make them this afternoon. I’ll post it on my site later tonight or tomorrow and send people over here… I oughta steal your picture, but I won’t. 🙂

  4. says

    Kelli, I’d have to send them in a refrigerated truck.

    Sue, that’s what I was going for.

    VeggieGirl, TGIF! You know, I don’t even go to work and I still get excited about Fridays.

    K. Scrapbook, I’m looking forward to your picture. This recipe was easy to follow. The trick was melting the chocolate properly and having the patience to let the brownies set. You can use any type chocolate for the top, but something that drizzles nicely might be easier to work with. I used melted chocolate chips for the chocolate batter swirl and a little Dove chocolate for the top. You could use melted chocolate chips on the top, but they never seem to melt as smoothly and don’t always drizzle right. Then again, that’s probably my fault. Sometimes I get impatient and try to melt chocolate on too high a heat.

  5. says

    Yummo! I saw these late last week and knew I just had to try them. I made them yesterday and they were as good as they looked! My husband thinks whoever came up with mixing peanut butter and chocolate is a genius. Too bad I can’t take the credit for that, just for a good brownie (and really I can’t even take all the credit for that). Thanks.

  6. Becky says

    Hi all. New to the sight, and peanut butter/chocolate anything calls my name. I have these brownies in the oven as I type, but I’m a little worried cause the batter seems stiffer than any brownie I’ve ever made before. It was a little tough “swirling” but I got her done.

    I’ll check back and let you all know how it went.

    Nice website, I’ve found quite a lot that interests me. Thanks.

  7. Lindsey says

    Hi Anna, I made these at the weekend am not sure I got it 100% right. They looked great (almost as good as yours!) but the texture wasn’t right…as Becky said before me the mixture was very thick- my resulting brownie had a very dry, cakey almost bread-like texture. It rose really nicely and the taste was there, but I was disappointed with the texture.
    I am thinking maybe I added too much flour…I do have problems using US “Cup” measurements- do you know how much a cup of flour should weigh? Or perhaps not enough butter…someone even suggested that UK peanut butter might have a different consistency to US which might have affected it- what do you think?
    Becky how did yours turn out?


  8. MJ says

    This is a great recipe, I used to have a very simulair recipe in a recipe book, although i lost the book, and am so happy to find this recipe again!

  9. HK says

    I made cookies with this recipe after adding a little more flour and peanut butter. The ‘batter’ is kind of stiff as is, and if you’re careful you’ll end up with a cookie and not a puddle of peanut butter. Spreading melted chocolate in a swirl-ish fashion on top of the balls of dough before baking created the same lovely marbled results. Instead of spreading the topping, I put them in separate plastic bags and drizzled them over the tops of the cookies. Either in a pan or on a sheet, this is a fabulous recipe.

  10. says

    I am new in learning how to bake and want to develop my new-found hobby. 😀 Thus, I find your brownie recipe interesting ’cause it’s not that easy but not that quite hard too. This marbled peanut butter brownie will be a good start for me. Thank you!

    No matter how my baking results.. i’ll it though. 😀

  11. Dawn says

    These are seriously good! I’m making these at least twice a week for my husband! Keeping Jif in business! 🙂

  12. says

    Hi Dawn,

    Thanks for trying the brownies! It’s been a while since I’ve made those, but I could use a batch right about now. Speaking of JIF, they have a new one on their website which I’ve been meaning to try. It’s a boxed mix recipe with a mixture of peanut butter and honey swirled through it. I may try coming up with a scratch version.

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