Gooey and rich vegan peanut butter brownies you simply need to try. Easy, fail-proof and so delicious.
Why this recipe works
Wondering why you should pick this exact recipe? Let me tell you!
- The most chocolatey brownie you've ever made.
- It tastes like Reece’s Pieces peanut butter cups (need I say more?)
- You can try endless flavour combinations.
- It uses no (vegan) butter, just oil.
- It's easy and super forgiving.
- The perfect dessert for a beginning baker.
To make your vegan peanut butter brownies, you'll need these ingredients.
Coffee: You will need instant, not regular ground coffee as this needs to fully dissolve.
Chocolate: I used a mix of dark and milk (vegan) chocolate.
Vanilla: Any kind of vanilla extract will do. I recommend using either a vanilla paste or liquid vanilla extract.
You will also need the following equipment:
- Baking tin (I used a 23 cm / 9" square Chicago Metallic Professional cake tin in this case)
- Kitchen scales
Here's my little visual guide to making this super easy brownie. You can find all the measurements in the recipe card below.
- 1. First, make your flax eggs and your coffee mixture and set aside. Then sift together flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
- 2. In a second mixing bowl whisk together oil, sugars, and flax eggs until shiny and gloopy. Add vanilla, coffee mixture, and melted chocolate to your oil mixture.
- 3. Combine the dry and wet mixtures to form your brownie batter. Stir until just combined and no flour can be seen. Do not overmix.
- 4. Grease and line a baking tray with two sheets of baking paper cut to size (one going horizontally and one vertically).
- 5. Pour your batter into the lined baking tin.
- 6. Use a silicone spatula to even out the top slightly.
- 7. Top with 4-5 heaped tablespoons of peanut butter, one in each corner and one in the middle.
- 8. To create the swirls, use a skewer to draw the pattern. Stick the skewer into the brownie mixture and drag through the peanut butter topping making a figure 8 movement from left to right.
- 9. Bake for 45-50 minutes at 180°C / 356°F fan oven setting. Let cool before cutting and serving.
For best results, you'll want to follow these expert tips when baking the brownie.
Use boiling hot water in your flax egg. It might seem like a small difference between using warm and boiling hot water but it's actually so important.
The heat from the boiling water will create a jelly when combined with your ground flaxseed. Moreover, the warmth will also help dissolve your sugar, which will help create the fudgy flavour in your brownie.
Whip your sugar, oil, and flax egg. To create a lovely fudge-like structure you need to whip the sugar, oil, and flax egg until the mixture is glossy and thick. The sugar also has to dissolve a bit. The dissolved sugar will then create a smooth, sugary caramel flavour rather than your average sweet flavour.
Do not over mix. It’s key not to overmix this batter. Doing so will create a rubber-like brownie. It will also prevent the rise and crumb structure of your brownie.
Once you’ve folded in the dry ingredients and you don’t see any more flour or cocoa stop mixing immediately. Read more about the importance of not overmixing your batter here.
Don’t overbake. When baking cakes, the general rule for checking whether or not it's fully baked is to insert a wooden skewer. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is baked.
However, the same rule does not apply to baking brownies. You'll want the brownie to be gooey, so the skewer needs to come out gooey, with a few bits of crumb here and there. This way your brownie will be fudgy once cool.
If it has sunk in the middle, then you’re actually doing a good job. This way it will be gooey in the middle.
However, if you’d still like the brownie a bit less gooey and more fluffy, bake it for a bit longer next time and that should do the trick.
If the brownie is dry in the middle it has most likely been baking for too long. This will create a more cakey texture and the high cocoa content will give the brownie a dry texture when eating.
You might also have added chocolate that was very high in cocoa (over 70%) and low in sugar which will make the brownie taste drier.
It might have been slightly underbaked so if you have just taken it out of the oven, simply pop it back in and bake for a little longer.
If not, try putting the brownie in the fridge overnight which will harden all the chocolate in the batter.
If you switched out some dark chocolate for white, it could have slackened the batter too much. Again, try and set the brownie in the fridge overnight.
You’re best off storing your brownie in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3-5 days.
If you prefer a more set brownie structure you can store the brownie in the fridge for approx. 5 days.
Yes! This brownie is perfect for freezing, especially because this recipe makes 16 portions.
Cut the brownie into pieces (the size you’d like to serve) and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a month.
To keep the pieces from sticking together, separate the brownie pieces using baking paper. When you’re ready to eat your brownie, defrost at room temperature for 4-6 hours.
Or, simply defrost in the microwave (use a Defrost setting) and serve with dairy-free vanilla ice cream.
Possible Ingredient Substitutions
Below are a few suggestions on how you could still make a delicious brownie even without having all the ingredients listed.
If you want a milder chocolate flavour, add only milk chocolate to the batter (instead of a combination of milk and dark). You could even add some vegan white chocolate as well.
It will work with any chocolate but will have a more intense flavour if you add dark only. It will also be a bit less sweet than if you've added more milk and/or white chocolate.
You can use any vegetable oil. Try to go for one that has a mild flavour and is light in colour (such as light olive or sunflower). You don’t want to change the flavour of the brownie too much with your oil.
This recipe is very forgiving and will be delicious with any sugar such as white, brown, muscovado, cane, coconut etc. The more fudgy and caramelly you want the flavour to be the darker the sugar should be.
Every sugar will work in varying quantities so feel free to add whichever you have at home. Just make sure to add the same total weight of sugar.
This is the perfect recipe to experiment with in terms of alternative flavours. You can add any essence, spices, nuts, or chocolate chips and it will still turn out amazing. Try orange and pecan, or cherry and almond.
If you liked my vegan peanut butter brownie, I would love it if you checked out some of my other vegan desserts. My personal favourites are my chocolate banana bread, matcha cookies and oat milk pancakes.
Thank you for reading this and if you have any comments or suggestions, please don't hesitate to get in touch via the comments below. I would love to hear from you.
Vegan Peanut Butter Brownies
- Baking tin and paper
- Kitchen scales
- 6½ tbsp ground flaxseed to be mixed with 280ml boiling hot water (equals 1¼ cup water)
- 1 tsp instant coffee to be mixed with 1 tsp boiling hot water
- 120 g all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅔ cup cocoa powder
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 200 ml light vegetable oil such as olive oil
- 200 g brown sugar
- 150 g white or cane sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla essence
- 50 g dark chocolate melted
- 70 g vegan milk chocolate melted
- 4 tbsp peanut butter natural, 100% peanuts
- Make your flax eggs by combining 280ml of boiling water with your ground flaxseed. Stir well and set aside for later.
- Next, make your coffee mixture by combining a teaspoon of instant coffee and a teaspoon of boiling water. Stir well and set aside for later.
- Sift together flour, salt, cocoa powder and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
- In a second mixing bowl whisk together oil, sugars and flax eggs until shiny and gloopy. You want the sugar to dissolve in the oil and flax egg.
- Add the vanilla essence, coffee mixture and melted chocolate (dark and milk) to your oil mixture.
- Combine the dry and wet mixtures to form your brownie batter. Stir until just combined and no flour can be seen. Do not overmix.
- Pour your batter into a lined square baking tin. Use a silicone spatula to even out the top a little. Top with 4-5 heaped tablespoons of peanut butter, one in each corner and one in the middle.
- To create the swirls, use a skewer to draw a pattern. Stick the skewer into the brownie mixture and drag through the peanut butter topping making a figure 8 movement from left to right.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes at 180°C / 356°F (fan oven setting).
- Always cool the brownie in the pan fully before cutting and serving.
- Make sure to use boiling hot water to make your flax eggs.
- Be careful when adding instant coffee. You want it to fully dissolve in boiling hot water first, before adding to the mixture (see 'Ingredients' section and note 1 tsp of boiling hot water in the brackets next to instant coffee).
- It’s key not to overmix this batter as doing so will create a rubber-like texture.
- If you don't have a metal/wooden skewer to create swirls, you can simply use a chopstick or a thin knife.
- Do not overbake. When a wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, your brownie is way overbaked and dry. Make sure the skewer comes out gooey, with a few bits of brownie here and there.
- If not using a fan oven, bake at 200°C / 392°F.
- Never cut the brownie when it's still warm as it will be crumbly and very likely to fall apart.