Layered with homemade brownies, creamy peanut butter, and semi-sweet chocolate, these layered peanut butter brownies are easy to make yet still feel gourmet.

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Top down side view of three peanut butter brownies, sitting side by side on a wooden board.

About Layered Peanut Butter Brownies

Enjoy the classic combination of peanut butter and chocolate with these layered brownies that look like they came from a fancy bakery but are quick and easy to make at home.

What’s in layered peanut butter brownies?

  • Baked brownies – You can either follow the recipe listed here OR you can make from-the-box box brownies. Use whatever you prefer.
  • Creamy peanut butter – The namesake of this recipe that’s used to create the creamy middle layer of these brownies. I used creamy peanut butter, but in theory, crunchy peanut butter should work, too. I haven’t tried using natural peanut butter with this recipe, so unfortunately I can’t recommend it.
  • Powdered sugar – Used for adding sweetness to the peanut butter layer.
  • Whole milk and salted butter – Helps with flavor and consistency for both the peanut butter layer and the chocolate topping.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips – The base for creating the top chocolate layer.

Can you use box brownie mix instead?

In a hurry and need brownies fast? No problem! Feel free to use boxed brownie mix (or even store-bought brownies) for these layered brownies.

What type of chocolate should you use?

There are many different brands of chocolate chips – even some made by popular candy companies – but from my experience, the best chocolate for baking, fudges, or truffles is Ghirardelli. It consistently performs well while baking, has a great texture (never chalky), and has a delicious flavor. This brand is a little more expensive, but trust me, you’ll appreciate the flavor and consistency you’ll get from the premium quality.

You can find their semi-sweet chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate bar either in the bakery aisle of most grocery stores or you can buy it online.

Top down side view of three diagonally stacked peanut butter brownies, showing off the top chocolate layer.

How to cut perfect brownies

If you’re anything like me and get a little nervous when cutting food, fear not – there’s an easy trick you can use to get your bars to have perfectly cut lines and dimensions.

The trick: Before adding your ingredients to the baking dish, line it with parchment paper or aluminum foil, draping the edges over the sides of the pan. This will make it so you can simply lift the baked and uncut bars from the pan, set it on the counter, and cut the bars without the sides of the pan interfering with your accuracy. You can even whip out a ruler if you’d like to make sure every bar is the exact size you’d like them to be.

How should you store layered brownies?

For best results, these peanut butter brownies should be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to eat. This will ensure the layers stay firm, separated, and fresh.

Brownies can be softened at room temperature 15-30 minutes before serving. NOTE: I do not recommend heating these brownies as the top two layers may begin to melt. For best results, serve chilled or at room temperature.

Can you make these brownies in advance?

Certainly! All types of brownies are great for bake-ahead planning and these are no exception. Once prepared and stored in a sealed container,

Once decorated and cooled, these brownies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before serving.

Close up side voew of three peanut butter brownies, stacked, showing off the brownie, peanut butter, and chocolate layers.

How long are peanut butter brownies good for?

Once prepared and set, brownies can be stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Can you freeze layered brownies?

Yes, you totally can!

Once prepared and decorated, these festive brownies can be stored in a sealed container or freezer bag for up to three months.

Notes & tips for peanut butter brownies

  • Be sure to completely cool the brownies before adding the other layers. This will keep the peanut butter layer from melting.
  • Double-check that the consistency of the top chocolate layer is thin enough to spread easily. If it’s too thick, it’ll stick to and lift up the peanut butter layer.
  • Easily change up the flavor by replacing the semi-sweet chocolate chips with white chocolate or butterscotch chips.
  • You can change these brownies from layered to swirls by carefully dragging a butterknife through the peanut butter and chocolate layers before transferring the baking dish to the refrigerator to set.
Close up view of a hand holding up a layered peanut butter brownie with a bite taken out of it, showing off the different layers and the crumbly texture of the brownie.

More delicious recipes with peanut butter

Other great bar recipes

How to make layered brownies

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – Prepare the brownie batter by thoroughly mixing together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, sugar, melted butter, vanilla extract, and eggs.

Step 2 – Pour the batter into a 9×13 baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. If needed, use a spatula to spread the batter into an even layer.

Step 3 – Bake!

Step 4 – While the brownies bake and cool, prepare the peanut butter layer by whipping together the powdered sugar, butter, peanut butter, and milk.

Step 5 – Spread the peanut butter layer over the cooled brownies.

Step 6 – Add the semi-sweet chocolate chips and butter to a microwave-safe bowl and heat in the microwave until smooth. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes, then add a splash of milk. Check the consistency – it should be thick but also thin enough that it will easily spread over the peanut butter layer.

Step 7 – Top the peanut butter layer with the chocolate mixture, again smoothing it out into an even layer.

Step 8 – Cover the baking dish and let chill in the refrigerator until the top layer is set.

Step 9 – Serve and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Top down side view of three peanut butter brownies, sitting side by side on a wooden board.
5 from 1 vote

Layered Peanut Butter Brownies

20 mins prep + 35 mins cook + 1 hr Cooling Time
632 kcal
Yields: 15 brownies
Layered with homemade brownies, creamy peanut butter, and semi-sweet chocolate, these layered peanut butter brownies are easy to make yet still feel gourmet.

Ingredients 

Chocolate Brownie Layer
Peanut Butter Layer
Chocolate Topping Layer

Instructions

For the Chocolate Brownie Layer
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray, then set aside. NOTE: For easier removal, you can line the baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil before spraying with cooking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set bowl aside.
    1 cup all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), whip together the sugar, melted butter, and vanilla until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
    2 cups granulated sugar, 1 cup salted butter, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Drop mixer speed to low and mix in the eggs until incorporated, about 1-2 minutes.
    4 eggs
  • Keeping mixer speed on low, slowly scoop in the dry ingredients, about 1/2 cup at a time. Mix until dry ingredients incorporate and there are minimal clumps, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Use a spatula to spread the batter into a smooth, even layer.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a tester toothpick comes out clean with no crumbs.
  • Allow brownies to cool completely before moving on to next steps.
For the Peanut Butter Layer
  • Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer + large bowl), whip together the powdered sugar, butter, peanut butter, and milk on medium speed until smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
    2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup salted butter, 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • Pour peanut butter mixture on top of cooled brownies, then use a spatula to spread into an even layer.
For the Chocolate Topping Layer
  • Add chocolate chips and butter to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds on 50% power, then stir. Continue to heat for 15-second intervals, mixing in between, until chocolate is smooth and butter is fully incorporated.
    2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup salted butter
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  • Add milk to bowl and mix well. Consistency should be thick but easily spreadable. If needed, add 1 teaspoon of milk and mix again. Repeat until desired consistency is reached.
    1 tablespoon whole milk
  • Pour chocolate topping over peanut butter layer. Use a spatula to carefully spread chocolate into an even layer, covering the peanut butter.
Putting it all together
  • Cover baking dish and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or until chocolate layer has set.
  • Remove brownies from the baking dish (grip the edges of parchment paper and lift up) and transfer to a clear work area. Cut the brownies into desired shapes (typically 2-by-2-inch bars).
  • Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Serving: 1brownie | Calories: 632kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 40g | Saturated Fat: 22g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 111mg | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 288mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 52g | Vitamin A: 837IU | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 3mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy