What could be better than brownies? How about brownies packed with Reese’s peanut butter cups?! These homemade Peanut Butter Cup Brownies are full of peanut butter flavor, from the Reese’s inside to the peanut butter frosting on top. Gooey, decadent, and completely delicious!
🥜 Homemade Peanut Butter Brownies
You know the old saying, “You can never be too rich or have too many brownie recipes“? Okay, that may not be a real saying, but it should be, because there is no such thing as having too many brownie recipes. Brownies come in so many different flavors and textures (cakey! gooey! fudgy!), there’s basically a brownie for every mood, and a mood for every brownie.
These Peanut Butter Cup Brownies check the following boxes on our Brownie Bingo card:
- Easy: the brownie batter is mixed in one bowl or saucepan!
- Gooey: peanut butter cups deliver deep pockets of melty candy goodness
- Sweet n’ Salty: if you like peanut butter cups, then you’re already a fan of the sugar and salt combination!
If you like the sound of these brownies, you won’t want to miss my Salted Fudge Brownies, Malted Milk Chocolate Brownies, or Campfire Rocky Road Brownies. Be sure to check out these delicious Brown Butter Brownies too!
One-bowl brownies for the win
These Peanut Butter Cup Brownies are an easy one-pot recipe, with my ideal balance of fudgy center and chewy, crackly crust. I’ve added big handfuls of chopped peanut butter cups and chunks of milk chocolate to the batter, and then topped them with a swirl of sweet and salty peanut butter frosting and half of a peanut butter cup.
The frosting is optional–definitely skip it if time is your biggest consideration. But if you’re looking to make the ULTIMATE peanut butter brownie experience, it adds the perfect boost of peanut power!
🧾 What You’ll Need
Ingredients & Substitutions
Most of the ingredients are pantry staples that you probably already have on hand. Here are a few tips and suggestions as you gather ingredients. (Links are affiliate links and I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.)
- Peanut Butter Cups:Obviously you’ll need some PB cups! My favorite peanut butter cups to cook with comes from Trader Joe’s, because they’re slightly taller than Reese’s and have a bigger proportion of filling, so you get these big, gorgeous pockets of melted peanut butter throughout the brownies. However, Reese’s mini peanut butter cups are a good choice as well. Other options include the tiny unwrapped pb cups, peanut butter chips, or chopped-up large cups. Looking to make these brownies peanut-free? Check out the Tips section below!
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder:As always, I recommend using a high-quality cocoa powder. Cheap cocoa powders can be nearly flavorless, or worse, impart a bitter, dusty, or stale flavor. My personal favorite is Cacao Barry Extra Brute – it hits that sweet spot between very high quality but also pretty affordable since it is sold in bulk.
- Semi-sweet chocolate: Chopping up a chocolate bar will give you the best results–I’m a big proponent of Trader Joe’s pound plus bars, if those are available to you. Otherwise, go for high-quality chocolate chips like Guittard–they’ll give you the best flavor.
- Peanut Butter: If you’re making the peanut butter frosting, reach for a standard creamy peanut butter like Skippy or Jif. Natural peanut butters sometimes throw of the texture of the frosting, so they’re not a good choice for this recipe.
💡 Tips and FAQs
Here are some of the most common questions people have about these brownies.
Can I make these peanut-free?
YES! It may seem counter-intuitive to try and make peanut butter cup brownies peanut-free, but hey, people with food allergies like sweet & salty desserts too!
There are multiple options for replacing the peanut butter cups: almond butter cups and sunflower seed butter cups are both great choices. I haven’t had the best luck using almond butter in frosting, so I would recommend skipping the frosting if you go this route.
Make-Ahead and Storage Instructions
These brownies can be stored for up to a week in an airtight container at room temperature, or 3-4 months in the freezer. Store them in an airtight container with parchment or waxed paper between the layers. I recommend freezing them without the frosting if possible.
🥜 More Peanut Recipes You’ll Love
After you devour these brownies, try one of our other popular peanut desserts:
Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
For the brownies:
- 8 oz unsalted butter, cubed
- 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate, (2 cups), finely chopped (good-quality chips can be substituted)
- 1.5 oz unsweetened cocoa powder, (1/2 cup)
- 14 oz granulated sugar, (2 cups)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 large eggs, at room temperature
- 8.5 oz all-purpose flour, (2 cups)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup peanut butter cups, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup chocolate chunks, coarsely chopped, I like using milk chocolate
To make the brownies:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 13×9-inch baking pan with foil or parchment, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chocolate, then melt the butter and chocolate together, stirring constantly while they melt to prevent them from overheating. Once the chocolate and butter are melted, remove the pan from the heat.
- Whisk in the cocoa powder, then stir in the sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. The mixture will be grainy. Whisk in the eggs one at a time. As you add the eggs, the batter will gradually smooth out and lose the grainy texture. After the last egg has been fully incorporated, the batter should be shiny and smooth.
- Add the flour and stir it in with a spatula until no dry streaks remain. Finally, stir in the chopped peanut butter cups and chocolate chunks.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it into an even layer. Bake in the 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the peanut butter frosting:
- Combine the peanut butter and the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer, and whip them together with the paddle attachment until well-combined.
- Turn the mixer off, add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and turn it on low speed until they’re incorporated.
- Finally, stream in the cream, and then increase the mixer speed to high, beating until the peanut butter frosting is beautifully light and smooth.
- When the brownies are completely cool, cut them into small squares. You will get the cleanest cuts if you chill them before cutting them.
- You can either spread the frosting in a thin layer on top of the brownies, or put it into a piping bag fitted with a wide star tip, and pipe individual stars or rosettes on top of each square. Garnish with additional peanut butter cups, if desired.
Our recipes are developed using weight measurements, and we highly recommend using a kitchen scale for baking whenever possible. However, if you prefer to use cups, volume measurements are provided as well. PLEASE NOTE: the adage “8 oz = 1 cup” is NOT true when speaking about weight, so don’t be concerned if the measurements don’t fit this formula.
Want to learn more about baking measurements and conversion?