Buckeye brownies! Chewy chocolate brownies with a peanut butter fudge topping covered in a silky, buttery, chocolate fudge frosting.
I’m a little surprised it’s taken me so long to share this recipe with you. I have a whole pile of peanut butter & chocolate recipes, (even two peanut butter-infused brownies) on this site, and yet one of my oldest and favorite recipes somehow doesn’t even have its own space on the blog.
I used to make these buckeye brownies as a potluck staple when I worked at Hopkins. Every time I brought them in, the neatly cut squares flew out of the Tupperware container before any other dessert, and I even had one of the cleaning ladies offer to pay me to make her a batch for a party.
Instead, I gave her the recipe, because though they are decadent and impressive, they’re actually pretty darn easy to make!
Instead of using my standard favorite Best Ever Brownie Recipe, I went with a quick and easy chewy, chocolaty recipe that takes a little less time. You can get away with using a box-mix baked in a 13×9 pan if you’re really in a time-crunch, but the brownies come together so quickly I really recommend making them as written.
This chewy recipe works really well with the fudginess of the peanut butter layer, and the “frosting” is a simple, two-ingredient, chocolate spread made by melting together chocolate chips and butter.
Quick confession: I’ve never had an actual buckeye candy on its own before, but the peanut butter filling is true to the ingredients used to make the candies.
Considering how wonderful the peanut butter tastes sandwiched between the chocolate of the frosting and the brownie base, I don’t know why you’d ever want to make it without the brownie layer, anyway!
- 12 Tbsp butter cut into Tablespoon-sized pieces, (170g)
- ¾ cup cocoa powder (75g)
- 1 ⅔ cup granulated sugar (345g)
- 1 Tablespoon water (15ml)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5ml)
- 2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk lightly beaten
- 1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour (170g)
- ½ teaspoon baking powder (2g)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (2g)
Peanut Butter Fudge
- 2 cups creamy peanut butter (475g)
- ½ cup butter chopped into about 8 pieces, (113g)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5ml)
- 2 ¼ cups powdered sugar (360g)
- 1 Tablespoon milk (15ml)
- 1 ½ cups chocolate chips (265g)
- 6 Tablespoons butter cut into pieces, (85g)
- Preheat oven to 350F (177C) and lightly grease/spray a 13x9 pan (or line with parchment paper).
- In a large, microwave-safe bowl, heat butter in microwave until melted.
- Stir in cocoa powder and sugar.
- Add water and vanilla extract and stir until combined.
- Add eggs and egg yolk, stir well.
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
- Gradually add to butter mixture until completely combined.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pan and bake on 350F (177C) for 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely before covering with peanut butter fudge.
Peanut Butter Fudge
- Combine peanut butter and butter in large heat proof bowl and microwave at 15-second increments (stirring between each) until butter is completely melted.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
- Gradually add/stir in powdered sugar.
- Add milk and stir well. Mixture should be fudgy enough that you can mold pieces into a ball, but not too stiff that you won't be able to spread it over the brownies (feel free to add additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, if mixture is too stiff, or more powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon at a time if mixture is too soft).
- Drop peanut butter mixture by heaping spoonfuls over the cooled brownies and use a knife to gently spread until the brownies are evenly covered with a thick layer of fudge.
- Prepare chocolate fudge frosting by combining chocolate chips and remaining butter in a medium heat-proof bowl and microwaving at 15-second increments (stirring well between) until completely melted.
- Evenly pour chocolate over fudge, spread with a knife.
- Allow chocolate to set before slicing and serving (30-60 minutes).
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered an estimate only. Actual nutritional content will vary based upon brands used, measuring methods, cooking method, portion sizes, and more.
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I made these for my dads birthday. They were a huge hit for everyone. They were easy to make. Another amazing recipe!
I’m so glad everyone enjoyed them so much, Megan! 🙂
Hi! I’m making these in the morning for a party in the evening. Should I refrigerate the brownies after baking them? Thanks!
Hi Mikaela! You can refrigerate them if you want but you don’t have to. 🙂
These are amazing! I’ve made them several times, and they disappear right away every single time. The only one not happy with the situation is my waistline…
I’m so glad you enjoyed them so much! I definitely know the feeling there. 🤣
When I retired, one of the things I knew I would miss most were the peanut butter layer brownies our cafeteria made. This recipe is exactly like those brownies! I made them yesterday. They cut so cleanly. Would be a great dessert to take to a family get-together. They are rich and delicious and so easy to make.
I’m so glad you enjoyed them so much, Kathy! 🙂
Why why why could I not get the buckeye balls to roll smooth. I tried everything ! Added 1/2 cup more powdered sugar and didn’t want to do anymore for fear of losing peanut butter taste. Refrigerators them, froze them, touch of cooling oil on my hands on and on!! So I using the mixture on top of brownies. We’ll see how that goes!!
Hi Jane! You can always dust your hands with powdered sugar to help roll it smoothly. It does go well on top of brownies. 🙂
What kind of chocolate chips? Thanks!
Hi Mahina! Any kind will work, but I like to use semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips. 🙂
Can these be frozen?
Hi Jillian! You shouldn’t have any issue freezing them. 🙂
My husband had a buckeye brownie from a local backery and fell in love. The bakery closed, and he was very sad. I found your buckeye brownie recipe, because I use your buckeye recipe (by far, best buckeye recipe around; it must be the brown sugar). I have made it this year to add to my Christmas cookies. My husband is convinced it is better than the bakery one he loved. Very easy to make and very delicious. I made the brownies the night before, and the peanut butter fudge, chocolate ganache the next morning. Definitely a keeper recipe for my collection.
Sugar Spun Run
That is wonderful, Margie! I am so glad that the buckeye brownies exceeded his expectations and that everyone enjoyed them. Thanks for trying my recipe! 🙂