Buckeye brownies taste like the classic candy, but better! My recipe is made with a chewy chocolate brownie base layered with peanut butter fudge and a chocolate topping. Recipe includes a how-to video!
Buckeye Brownies, AKA Your New Favorite Brownies
These buckeye brownies are like no other brownie you’ve had before! We start with a chewy brownie base, add a layer of creamy peanut butter fudge, then finish with a two-ingredient chocolate topping. Personally, I think this is the best way to eat buckeyes, but I might be biased 😉
Despite all the decadence and impressive layers, these brownies are actually quite easy to make. Each component takes just a few minutes to prepare with no fancy tools needed.
Why make my recipe:
- Amazing flavor: If you love chocolate and peanut butter desserts, these buckeye brownies were made for you.
- Fun textures: Chewy brownie base, fudgy peanut butter, and firm chocolate topping.
- Fast: Only 1 hour from start to finish!
- Great for parties: One batch makes 24 buckeye brownies, but you could get even more if you cut them into bite-sized treats!
Fun fact: I used to make these buckeye brownies as a potluck staple when I worked at Johns Hopkins doing pharmacology research. Every time I brought them in, they flew out of the Tupperware container before any other dessert. Co-workers used to offer to pay me to make them batches, but instead I gave them the recipe (it was one of the first on the blog). So I have a pretty good feeling you’ll love them too!
What You Need
This recipe uses just 12 ingredients between all three layers (which is actually less than my buckeye cookies!). Here are the most important ones.
- Cocoa powder. Stick with natural cocoa powder here for best results. While you could technically use Dutch cocoa (since we are using baking powder instead of baking soda), it will give a deeper, darker chocolate flavor. Is that a problem? Nope, not at all, but I prefer the milder chocolate to complement the peanut butter and ganache, rather than something more intense that vies for so much individual attention.
- Egg + egg yolk. Adding an extra egg yolk to the brownie base makes it super tender and chewy. I do this with my cosmic brownies too!
- Salted butter. Unlike most of my recipes, I actually recommend using salted butter here instead of unsalted. Feel free to substitute unsalted and add a pinch of salt, I’ve just been making it this way for so long I don’t see any need to switch things up here.
- Peanut butter. You could use crunchy peanut butter if you like, but I prefer to use creamy. I’m not sure how the natural variety would work here; if you try it, please let me know how it goes for you!
- Chocolate. I prefer to use semisweet chocolate for the topping, but if you’d like to use milk or dark chocolate, feel free! Just note that milk chocolate will yield a sweeter overall result (and will have more of a reese’s peanut butter cup feel).
SAM’S TIP: Adding the cocoa powder to the hot butter allows it to “bloom” much like steeping tea or coffee. This enhances the chocolatey flavor and makes a big difference in the final result!
Remember, this is just an overview of the ingredients I used and why. For the full recipe please scroll down to the bottom of the post!
How to Make Buckeye Brownies
- Stir the cocoa powder and sugar into the melted butter, then add the eggs and vanilla. Stir well to combine.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then gradually add them to the wet ingredients.
- Spread the batter into a greased or parchment paper lined 13×9 pan and bake at 350F (177C) for 25 minutes. Let cool completely before adding the fudge layer.
Peanut Butter Fudge Layer
- Microwave the butter and peanut butter in 15 second intervals until completely melted and smooth.
- Add the vanilla, then gradually stir in the powdered sugar.
- Check the consistency: the mixture should easily roll into a ball, but you should still be able to spread it. If it’s too thick, add a teaspoon of milk. If it’s too thin, add a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Repeat until you reach the proper consistency.
- Gently and evenly spread the fudge over the cooled brownies. I like to first drop spoonfuls all over, then use an offset spatula to smooth it out.
SAM’S TIP: The fudge layer is foolproof! If it turns out too stiff, just add more milk (by the teaspoon) until it thins out. If it’s too soft, add more powdered sugar (by the tablespoon) until it thickens up. It should be spreadable but still stiff enough to form into a ball.
- Microwave the chocolate chips and butter in 15 second increments until melted.
- Pour the melted chocolate over the fudge layer and smooth with a knife or spatula.
- Let set before slicing (about 30-60 minutes), then dig in!
SAM’S TIP: Use a hot knife to cut your buckeye brownies for gorgeous, precise squares. To do this, just run your knife under hot water, dry it off, and then slice straight down. This is even easier to do if you line your pan with a parchment paper sling!
Frequently Asked Questions
I haven’t tried this myself, but I think it would work just fine! If you do, make sure they are tightly wrapped (I’d recommend plastic wrap and foil) and freeze in an airtight container. They should last for at least several months.
They do not! You can refrigerate them if you prefer, but they will be just fine at room temperature. These buckeye brownies will last for 5 days at room temperature.
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.
Peanut Butter Fudge
- 2 cups (475 g) creamy peanut butter
- ½ cup (113 g) salted butter chopped into about 8 pieces
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- 2 ¼ cups (285 g) powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) milk if needed
- 1 ½ cups (265 g) semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 Tablespoons (85 g) salted butter cut into pieces
- Preheat oven to 350F (177C) and lightly grease/spray a 13×9 pan (or line with parchment paper).
- In a large, microwave-safe bowl, heat butter in microwave until melted.12 Tablespoons (170 g) salted butter
- Stir in cocoa powder and sugar until well combined.¾ cup (75 g) natural cocoa powder, 1 ⅔ cup (345 g) granulated sugar
- Add eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and stir until well combined.2 large eggs + 1 large egg yolk, 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- In a separate, medium-sized bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.1 ⅓ cup (165 g) all-purpose flour, ½ teaspoon (2 g) baking powder, ¼ teaspoon (2 g) 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 Layer
- Combine peanut butter and butter in large heat proof bowl and microwave at 15-second increments (stirring between each) until butter is completely melted and mixture is smooth.2 cups (475 g) creamy peanut butter, ½ cup (113 g) salted butter
- Stir in vanilla extract.1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- Gradually stir in powdered sugar until completely combined. If mixture is too stiff, add milk.2 ¼ cups (285 g) powdered sugar, 1 Tablespoon (15 ml) milk
- 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 by heaping spoonfuls over the cooled brownies and use a knife to gently spread until the brownies are evenly covered with a thick layer.
- Prepare chocolate topping 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.6 Tablespoons (85 g) salted butter, 1 ½ cups (265 g) semisweet chocolate chips
- Evenly pour chocolate over fudge and spread with a knife or offset spatula until smooth.
- Allow chocolate to set before slicing and serving (30-60 minutes).
ButterIf you do not have salted butter, simply use unsalted butter and increase the salt in the brownies to ½ teaspoon and add ¼ teaspoon of salt to the peanut butter layer.
Video note:I originally used a Tablespoon of water in the brownie recipe and you’ll see this reflected in the video. I’ve tested the recipe and no longer feel it’s necessary, so have removed it from the recipe.
StoringStore in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
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.