Home > Desserts > Peanut Butter Cup Brownies Peanut Butter Cup Brownies August 25, 2018 | 63 Comments SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Jump to Recipe This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy. These indulgent Peanut Butter Cup Brownies combine a soft, gooey brownie base and then we press peanut butter cups into it. Top it all with a thick, fudge-like layer of peanut butter and chocolate and you’ve got a show stopper of a dessert! Peanut Butter Cup Brownies These rich, gooey, and fudge-like brownies are a dream come true for chocolate and peanut butter lovers. The brownies have actual Reese’s® cups pressed into them and then we top the bars with a thick layer of chocolate and peanut butter. Two layers of chocolate and peanut butter? Count me in! Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Base We begin with a boxed mix for these peanut butter cup brownies. Brownie mixes are tasty and convenient, especially since we want this dessert to be quick and easy. If you want to make your brownies from scratch, use your favorite brownie recipe in place of the mix in this recipe. (Whatever brownie recipe you use, make sure it fills a 9×13-inch pan.) My personal favorite mix for this recipe: Betty Crocker’s Fudge Brownie Mix®. There are different versions of this mix, so make sure to get the mix that will fit a 9×13-inch pan (18.3 ounces). Any store-bought brownie mix will work, as long as it’s intended for the larger pan (not an 8×8 or 9×9 pan). As far as homemade goes, I do have this amazing Brownie Recipe or this Gluten-Free Brownie recipe on my site that can be used in place of the boxed mix. (If making the homemade gluten-free brownies, leave off the frosting). Reese’s cups We partially bake the brownies and pull them out of the oven a few minutes before they’re done. Working quickly, we then press unwrapped Reese’s candies into the brownies and return the bars to the oven to finish baking. There are so many different sizes and variations of Reese’s peanut butter cups. For these Peanut Butter Cup Brownies, we’re looking for the original-sized Reese’s cups. This recipe requires 15 full-sized Reese’s cups. Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Topping Once the bars have fully cooled, we melt chocolate and peanut butter and spread them over the bars. They create a thick fudge-like topping that is ridiculously rich and delicious! A few topping tips: Use a commercial, sweetened peanut butter. Our favorite is Skippy’s® creamy peanut butter (not sponsored). Avoid natural or no-stir peanut butters; they won’t work the same or be as tasty. Pick high-quality chocolate chips for the best melt and superior flavor. We love and recommend Ghiradelli® and Guittard® (not sponsored). We love milk chocolate chips for the topping on these brownies, but use whatever chocolate you like best. If you’d like to control sweetness, use semi-sweet or dark chocolate instead. For a more nuanced flavor, mix two types of chocolate — try milk and dark, milk and semi-sweet, or semi-sweet and dark. Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Tips To avoid burned chocolate, microwave the chocolate for 20 seconds at a time, and stir it for at least 20-25 seconds between each microwave burst. Keep in mind that the chocolate is still melting even after it has been removed from the microwave. I like to microwave it as little as possible, focusing instead on stirring to melt the chocolate with residual heat. When measuring ingredients, measure the coconut oil or shortening in the solid-state form, not melted. When swirling the top, run a table knife gently through just the milk chocolate and peanut butter layer, but not deep enough to go through to the brownies. Plan ahead. While this recipe is simple to make, it requires quite a bit of (hands-off) time waiting for the layers to cool. Avoid refrigerating or freezing brownies. If the brownie base is chilled when the chocolate is added on top, it can cause spotty or streaky chocolate. See “quick tip” below. Additionally, if the brownies are chilled after the chocolate and peanut butter topping is added, it makes these brownies very difficult to cut out — the top cracks instead of cutting smoothly. And finally, we think these brownies taste best at room temperature, not chilled. Wait for the bars to fully set up before cutting into them. Once they’re fully cool, use a sharp chef’s knife and make steady cuts. Run the knife under hot water, dry it on a kitchen towel, and repeat for each cut. This is the “secret” to getting the chocolate to cut out nicely and not break. QUICK TIP Streaky or spotty chocolate is simply the cocoa solids separating out and rising to the top. If the brownies do end up with white spots, they are still perfectly safe to consume. Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Storage These bars are best enjoyed within 3-5 days. Store, covered tightly, at room temperature. There is nothing about these bars that requires refrigeration. These bars can be frozen, but when thawed, they will most likely form white spots on top. They’re safe to eat; this is just the milk solids separating and rising. More dessert recipes Dessert Cheese Ball brownie-batter flavored Chocolate Peanut Butter Snack Mix no baking required! Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Treats with a chocolate topping Strawberry Frozen Yogurt made in an ice cream maker Magic Bars with a graham cracker crust FOLLOW ALONG! Subscribe to my newsletter and follow along on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram for the latest updates, recipes and content. Peanut Butter Cup Brownies 5 from 13 votes - Review this recipe These indulgent Peanut Butter Cup Brownies start with a soft & gooey brownie base and then we press peanut butter cups in. We top it all with a thick, fudge-like layer of peanut butter and chocolate for a show stopper of a dessert! SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe Peanut Butter Cup Brownies 5 from 13 votes - Review this recipe SAVE TO RECIPE BOX Print Recipe These indulgent Peanut Butter Cup Brownies start with a soft & gooey brownie base and then we press peanut butter cups in. We top it all with a thick, fudge-like layer of peanut butter and chocolate for a show stopper of a dessert! Course Dessert Cuisine American, Vegetarian Keyword peanut butter cup brownies Prep Time 30 minutes Cook Time 23 minutes Setting Time 4 hours Total Time 4 hours 53 minutes Servings 24 brownies Calories 208kcal Author Chelsea Cost $9.52 Ingredients1 package (18.3 oz; 519g) fudge brownie mix Note 1Ingredients called for on the brownie mix (oil, eggs and water)15 regular-sized Reese's peanut butter cups, unwrapped2 and 1/2 cups (445g) milk chocolate chips3/4 cup (175g) creamy peanut butter (We love Skippy)1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional2 and 1/2 tablespoons shortening or coconut oil, separated InstructionsPREP: Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper and set aside. Preheat the oven according to brownie mix instructions.BROWNIE MIX: Prepare the brownies according to package directions. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 2 minutes less than the package directs. Meanwhile, unwrap the peanut butter cups. PEANUT BUTTER CUPS: Working quickly, press the unwrapped peanut butter cups evenly into the brownies -- 3 rows of 5 each. FINISH BAKING: Return the brownies to the oven and bake for the remaining 2 minutes. Remove brownies and allow to fully cool at room temperature. If you refrigerate or freeze them, allow them to come back to room temperature before topping with the melted chocolate (otherwise you'll risk streaky/spotty chocolate -- See Note 2).CHOCOLATE TOPPING: In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons (23g) of shortening or coconut oil. Microwave in bursts of 20 seconds stirring in between the bursts for 20 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted (See Note 3). Melt slowly, stirring well in between bursts to avoid burning chocolate. Use a spatula to scrape every bit of the chocolate on to the cooled brownies. Smooth the chocolate into an even layer. PEANUT BUTTER: In another small microwave-safe bowl, combine the peanut butter and remaining 1/2 tablespoon (6g) coconut oil or shortening. Microwave for 30 seconds. Remove and stir until smooth. If desired, stir in the vanilla extract. Pour in long stripes over the melted chocolate. Using a knife, marble the top by running the knife horizontally from left to right just through the top chocolate and peanut butter layers. Don't go deep enough to hit the brownies. ENJOY: Allow brownies to completely set up at room temperature (do not chill!) before enjoying the bars. Cut into bars -- this can get a little messy! I recommend using a very sharp knife and running it under hot water for 10 seconds, drying it off, and then making a cut. Repeat this process for each cut. Use a metal spatula to remove brownies.STORAGE: These bars are best enjoyed within 3-5 days. Store, covered tightly, at room temperature. These bars do not require refrigeration. The bars can be frozen, but when thawed, they will most likely form white spots on top. They're safe to eat; this is just the milk solids separating and rising. Video Recipe NotesNote 1: Brownie mix: We love Betty Crocker's Fudge Brownie Mix best in this recipe. Be sure that whatever brownie mix you use, it will bake properly in a 9x13-inch pan. Note 2:Chilling notes: If the brownie base is chilled when the chocolate is added on top, it can cause spotty or streaky chocolate. Additionally, if the brownies are chilled after adding the chocolate and peanut butter topping, it makes these brownies very difficult to cut out -- the top cracks instead of cutting smoothly. And finally, we think these brownies taste best at room temperature, not chilled. If you do end up with streaky or spotty chocolate, it's perfectly safe to eat; this is simply cocoa solids separating and rising to the top. Note 3: Melting chocolate: Keep in mind that chocolate is still melting even after it has been removed from the microwave. I like to microwave it as little as possible, focusing instead on stirring to melt the chocolate with residual heat. Nutrition information does not include the ingredients called for in the brownie mix, since that will vary by brand. Nutrition FactsServing: 1serving | Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 136mg | Potassium: 85mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 1mg We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed. DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? I love hearing from you when you've made one of my recipes! Tag me on Instagram at @ChelseasMessyApron or leave me a comment below.