Here’s the proof, I’m just not into New Year’s diets.  For those of you on that bandwagon, click away immediately.  Otherwise, I give you one of the most indulgent desserts I’ve made in a while.  As I mentioned recently, I’ve been on a bit of a peanut butter-chocolate kick these days.  Last week I was at work when the need for a birthday treat arose suddenly and unexpectedly.  I checked for any special requests or preferences but was given free reign over the decision.  In an effort to 1. satisfy my peanut-butter chocolate craving, 2. avoid a trip to the grocery store, and 3. bring an awesome birthday treat, I chose these brownies.  Very, very good decision.

I think nearly 90% of those who tried them asked when the recipe would be posted on the blog…that should speak for itself.  Per my usual, I have doubled the recipe to fit a 9 x 13-inch pan because anything less is just not enough.  If you are in the fudgy brownie camp (holla!), you’ll love these.  The addition of cream cheese to the actual brownie batter results in a brownie that is dense, moist and super fudgy.  Then add the peanut butter cheesecake swirl, and well, I think I’m off to go have one from the fridge.  (I’m so not kidding.)


For the brownies:
14 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
2 cups sugar
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
6 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the peanut butter cheesecake swirl:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
6 tbsp. sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract


  • 01

    Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray.  To make the brownie batter, combine the butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over simmering water.  Heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is completely melted and smooth.  Remove the bowl from the heat.  Whisk in the cocoa powder, sugar, eggs and cream cheese until smooth and well blended.  Mix in the vanilla and salt.  Add the flour to the bowl and whisk just until incorporated.  Pour the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish and smooth the top with a spatula.

  • 02

    To make the peanut butter cheesecake portion, combine the cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until completely smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Blend in the egg and vanilla until incorporated, scraping down the bowl as needed.

  • 03

    Drop spoonfuls of the peanut butter mixture over the brownie batter in the pan, creating a cobblestone appearance.  Use a knife or wooden skewer to gently swirl together the peanut butter mixture and brownie batter.  Bake 30-35 minutes, until the center is just set.  Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate until well chilled before slicing and serving.


  • I am on a diet, but I can’t click away… these look amazing!

  • Fudgy brownies are the best! These sound delicious.

  • I’m so a fudgy brownie person! Brownies should not be fluffy. ;)

  • You couldn’t have posted this at a better time! I’m going to visit my brother and his family this weekend and he is a total peanut-butter-and-chocolate junkie! I will definitely be giving this recipe a try

  • haha these are evil on January 5th! But I can understand your hatred of the bandwagon dieting this time of year. Plus, your baby needs chocolate!

  • Oh my goodness this is so evil. I absolutely adore taking some of my favorite things (chocolate, peanut butter, cheesecake) and mixing it together into something totally decadent. I also love getting a new brownie recipe – thanks for sharing!!

  • O.M.G. I think I’m going to make these today. Like right now. And I’m totally serious.

  • Annie

    They look fantastic. I will be trying them this weekend. Thanks for providing such great inspiration.

  • I never thought about putting the cream cheese in the brownie batter! OMG, that sounds wonderful!

  • These look amazing. I’m going to have to wipe the drool off my keyboard. Eeeww.

  • Celeste

    Annie, these look delicious! Do you use full-fat cream cheese in all your baking? I know that you often make note of when you use a lower-fat substitution in your recipes, but I thought I would ask just in case. Thank you!

  • Annie

    I actually don’t normally make note of when I use reduced fat dairy, such as cream cheese or sour cream since it almost never makes a difference. I typically use full fat because it’s not like it is a health food when you use reduced fat cream cheese. The only time I am adamant is with cheesecake, and in that case I always use full fat.

  • Amazing. This definitely falls into the category of “Why didn’t I think of that?”!!

  • Stephanie

    Do you ever use semisweet chocolate chips when bittersweet chocolate is listed? Or do you always use a Ghirardelli bar or something like that?

  • Annie

    No, I always use bar chocolate. Chocolate chips have different melting properties than bar chocolate due to their different butter fat content, and never have as good of a result when melted. I use chocolate chips only when indicated.

  • Antoinette

    Oh my goodness, these look like they will work perfectly for knitting group tomorrow night. I’m the default treat bringer and I was looking for something decadent, as well as something I’ve never tried before. Thanks, Annie, your website in aaaamazing!

  • I’m a HUGE fan of desserts than can be made with ingredients already in my pantry. And, as it would be, I have all the ingredients on hand too! Whoo! Now… if only I could have an event for these to come up suddenly & unexpectedly! ;)

  • Angie B.

    YUM! I have been waiting for this recipe! Printed…can’t wait to try making these myself.

  • These look divine! I’ve been on a chocolate-pb kick for, well, my whole life.

  • I am in the midst of my lifestyle change, but I can still gawk and plan these for a special occasion :) Looks divine!

  • Oh, these look incredible!!!

  • I love fudgy brownies, and I love peanut butter – your site is amazing!

  • Looks fantastic–I’m a sucker for the peanut butter/chocolate combination as well!

  • Oh my God, YUM! I want some!!

  • Um… brownies? yes, fudgy brownies? yes, yes. Fudgy brownies with a peanut butter cheesecake swirl? OMG yes! I must make these immediately!!

  • wow, these look wonderful! your swirl is so pretty :)

  • Hey, Annie! I’ve been blog-stalking you via Bobbi’s site for several months, ever since your photo session with her. Hi!

    If you’re into chocolate and peanut butter lately, I can’t recommend these chocolate peanut butter balls enough:

    My mom and I made them every Christmas. I still make them even though I live faaaaar away from home.

  • Delicious! What a beautiful swirl.

  • Jen

    Long time reader, first time commenter … this recipe had me antsy to go home and get my bake on at the title. I am also pregnant and have a love affair with anything involving the heavenly combination of peanut butter and chocolate, so this may just make my month. Thanks for always being there for us with something wonderful!

  • Aimee

    On Saturdays I take the day off from dieting and eat whatever I want. This Saturday I will be making these brownies!!! I kind of want to hug you for posting the recipe (and all of your recipes, for that matter).

  • Chocolate brownies, peanut butter, and cheesecake! These sound like heaven in a pan

  • bergamot

    The brownies look delicious. The contrasting colors make it look so tempting.

  • Ha! i have these same brownies but with pumpkin over on my blog today! These look great! Peanut butter and chocolate rocks! Thanks!

  • chocaholic

    I was so excited to try these… but i guess i made a mistake or something like that, which screwed up my batter.
    At first I halved the recipe to have the right amount for my 8×8 inch pan. When I had finished my batter, it was not pourable at all, more like a cookie dough.
    Will I need to buy a 9×13 pan and your recipe quantities to get better results? :)
    I double checked if I divided the amounts properly but couldn’t find any mistake… help!

    Btw: Love your blog! Always inspires me to try new recipes. Thx a lot!

  • Annie

    Yep, there was a typo – I omitted the eggs!!! So very sorry about that. The mistake is fixed now. Hope you give them another shot!

  • These look AMAZING! chocolate and peanut butter fudgyness – just heavenly!

  • Oh, I am so glad you made that correction. I printed the recipe before the correction, made them, and everyone loved them. They didn’t look anything like yours because they were too thick to marble. I had to press them into the pan like cookie dough, and the pb topping just sort of sat on top. After they came out of the oven, I drizzled them with a little melted chocolate – since they weren’t very pretty. I will try again with eggs.

  • Amy

    I also made these without the eggs and couldn’t pour or marble the batter, I was wondering what I did wrong. I also used bittersweet chips, didn’t realize there was a difference vs the bar. These are way too chocolatey for me, but even with the 2 mistakes, my family loves them! I will have to try again with all of the correct ingredients and see if I like them better.

  • Mollie

    I made these last night and they are delicious! So rich and yummy. Thanks for the recipe =)

  • I made these with Nutella in place of the peanut butter and decreased the amount of sugar in the cheesecake filling. They were incredibly rich, but so delicious! Thanks for the recipe!

  • ok, I now know that I will be obsessing about these until I make them and then subsequently devour the whole pan!

  • Ammie

    Unfortunately, I printed this recipe before the egg correction and I just came here now to see what I may have done wrong! Anyway, I’m going to give them another shot because they smell amazing and I’m sure they are still going to taste good!

  • Kristin

    Absolutely delicious. These treats are very irresistible!

  • Erin Romine

    Annie, just made this tonight as a little treat for my boyfriend. It was really easy for me and they taste – and look – amazing!!

  • nimra

    I actually made this two days ago for my friends birthday and we LOVED it !!!
    I love your site annie :)

  • sophie

    hi annie. is it possible to not put the brownies in the fridge and leave it at room temperature? will it spoil as there is cream cheese? anyway, will the brownies become very hard after placing them in the fridge?

  • Annie

    Please see the FAQ page.

  • Shree

    Hi Annie, the peanut butter cheesecake looks awesome and i am sure it taste good too. Can i know 14 tbsp of butter is equivelant to how many grams? Thank you.

  • Annie

    Try Google for conversions.

  • David Printz

    I’ve got a batch in the oven as we speak. I can’t wait to see how they turn out. I just found your blog yesterday, Annie – and I’m already in love.


    A friend asked me to bring a dessert for New Year’s Eve involving peanut butter and chocolate. These brownies more than fit the bill! Thanks for the inspiration from a fellow foodie and blogger.

  • Gwyn

    Annie – I just popped these in the oven. I didn’t do a very good job making a cobblestone pattern with the pb blobs. I put them too close together so when I mixed (with a wooden skewer) it made an almost completely solid pb top. Do you just make like 8 or so really large blobs & then lightly drag the skewer through? The top of the brownie shown in your photo looks very pretty. My guess is that my pb might not go as deep into the brownies as yours will (time will tell on that!) since I did smaller blobs (my guess). Thanks for your help! I can already tell from the batter that this recipe is a winner so I’d like to perfect the visual on it along with the great taste!

  • Anonymous

    Gwyn, I don’t think there is really a wrong way to do it, but yes, I just drop a few blobs on top and then drag a knife or skewer through. That’s it. Hope they tasted great!

  • I have these in the oven right now! Super excited :)

  • they were incredible ,, ty

  • just made these ,, but i spread a thin layer of cream cheese frosting over the top and let it melt in the oven then set , now its perfect :)

  • I’m on a bit of an Annie’s Eats commenting spree because I’ve made some tasty, tasty dishes lately! The peanut butter ‘n chocolate combo gets me every time, but add cheesecake to the mix and… SWOON.

  • Whitney

    I have never had success with homemade brownies in the past but these were perfect! I am a chocolate/peanut butter junkie so of course I couldn’t resist. As another poster was asking, I halved the recipe and baked in an 8×8 pan, but it took closer to 45-50 minutes for them to bake through.

  • annieseats

    So glad you enjoyed them! I need to make them again soon :)

  • Annette L.

    These were super yummy, like Reese’s peices. I made these this morning to share with my niece who is 5 months pregnant and I’m 8 months pregnant. We were both craving chocolate. Thank you for another delicious recipe.