Gooey Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Gooey Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies - The Baker Chick

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So Ok- do you remember the first time you made a recipe from scratch? I definitely can picture that moment when I first made a cake without a mix, not believing that how easy and delicious it was! When it comes to brownies, I never ever fail to be impressed when a recipe tastes better than a box. I’ve always really loved boxed brownies, but the ingredients aren’t my favorite and I obviously love trying to make everything from scratch.

Gooey Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies - The Baker Chick

When it comes to these particular brownies, I keep thinking of a friend from grade school whose Mom used to always make peanut butter swirl brownies for class events and bake sales. I remember being obsessed with them and after awhile asked for the recipe to give my Mom hoping she’d make them for us. (Wishfully thinking she wouldn’t health them up with natural flours and sugars.)  I remember my friend’s mom saying they were from a box, and at the time I thought that meant boxed brownies were my favorite thing in the world! Now 20 years later, all I can think about are ways to throw all that out and make them from scratch…

Gooey Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies - The Baker Chick

Well I’m sure you can guess that I’m pretty happy with the results. I used the darkest Valharona cocoa powder which gave the brownies an amazing rich taste and texture. The peanut butter layer was everything I wanted it to be- tasting just like Reese’s filling and perfectly nutty and sweet.

As delicious as these brownies turned out, I did realize that I’m a horrible “swirler.” I guess I don’t have the delicate hand needed to gently pull the layers together so a lot of my peanut butter filling ended up in the middle. I totally suck right? You know for ending up with a gooey peanut butter layer that oozed out between the layers of fudgy brownie. How could I? Now I just need a bake sale or something to make these for :)

Gooey Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Gooey Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Yield: 16 small or 9 large brownies


  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • For the filling:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8x8 baking pan by either greasing or lining it with parchment.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the cocoa and baking soda. Add half of the 1/3 cup of vegetable oil and the boiling water. Mix until well blended and thickened. Stir in the sugar, egg, and remaining oil. Finally, add the flour, vanilla and salt; mix just until all of the flour is incorporated. Don't overmix!

For the Filling:

  1. Stir together the peanut butter, melted butter and vanilla until thinned and smooth. Add the confectioner's sugar and salt. Mix until creamy and well-combined.

To assemble:

  1. Pour 1/3 of the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Dot with half of the peanut butter filling. Pour the rest of the brownie batter into the pan. Spoon the remaining peanut butter filling over the brownie batter. Use a butter knife to gently swirl the peanut butter into the batter, making sure it touches the bottom of the pan. (This doesn't have to be perfect.)
  2. Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the brownies comes out clean. Allow to cool a bit before serving.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Recipe adapted from: Martha Stewart and All Recipes


    1. Ha! As an adult I am so glad she did…but as a kid- I really just wanted a regular rice krispie treat instead of the ones she made with peanut butter and honey.

      It makes me wonder what I’ll do when I have kids…you guys may be seeing much more healthy treats!

  1. Oh Audra! I would eat these up in a second. I think that the messy, gooey looking brownies are always the better ones. These look AMAZINGly delicious. There’s a recipe by Rick Kats on Dorie Greenspan’s book: Baking with Julia called “best brownies ever”….. These too taste better than the box and are a fudgey, gooey mess! I hope you try them, I am never making boxed brownies again after trying that recipe. Happy weekend!

    1. Hey!! I like WordPress- just having some server issues/down time which is frustrating. Overall though- it’s good!! :)

  2. Okay, it sounds dumb, but the best way to “swirl” brownies is actually to blob the filling, then run a butter knife or offset spatula in straight parallel lines. Turn the pan and make lines perpendicular to ones you just made. I figured this trick out when I over swirled once and promised to never over swirl again. No really.

  3. I’ve never heard of adding boiling water to brownie batter before. I’ve seen it done on a couple chocolate cake recipes before, but never brownies. And boy do these look so delicious! My goodness. I wish I could take a fudgy bath in that pan :P

  4. Oh sweet mother of sweets! SO DELICIOUS! The whole family was wanting more! Ooey, gooey, chocolatey, peanut-buttery perfection! Thanks so much for the recipe! Mmmmm

  5. This looks AMAZING and I can’t wait to try it!! I had one question — have you ever tried any egg substitutes with this recipe? Greek yogurt, maybe? I was hoping to modify the recipe to make fewer brownies and not sure how to use less than one egg :) Thanks SO much for posting this!!

  6. Mmm! I have been making brownies all week.. Today I decided to use up some PB and stumbled upon your blog on my hunt for PB brownies…

    I did however use a different brownie recipe, but I am using the filling recipe! They are in the oven now… They smell incredible!!! Will update you on how they taste!

  7. Hi!,
    Loved this recipe, and tried once with good results taste-wise but didn’t quite managed to get the gooey aspect. How do you do it? I ask this because the recipe says to bake until the toothpick comes out clean… Could yoi give me some tips?


    1. Hi Carla. I think you need to test the brownie part which should be fully baked and not the peanut butter part which is still gooey. Does that make sense? Only the brownie batter needs to be cooked through :)

      1. Hi Baker Chick!.,
        In you picture the brownie batter also looks deliciously gooey… :) How do you achieve that baking it in full?

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