These fudgy buckeye brownies are an easy dessert packed with chocolate and peanut butter, just like buckeye candy. I take chocolatey homemade brownies, load them up with chocolate chips, and top them with chewy peanut butter fudge and rich chocolate ganache.  

Two buckeye brownies stacked on top of one another, with a bite missing from the top brownie..

The Best Buckeye Brownies

You might already know buckeyes, those deliciously fudgy peanut butter balls dipped in chocolate. We always make them during the holiday season! If there is one recipe that can rival my favorite homemade brownies and my love for buckeye candy, it’s these gooey buckeye brownies. I’ve loaded these brownies with chocolate and added a melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter layer, topped with melted ganache. They’re everything I love about homemade buckeye candy in a chewy, chocolatey multi-layered brownie!

Why You’ll Love This Buckeye Brownies Recipe

  • Layers of chocolate and peanut butter. This brownie recipe starts with a thick layer of cocoa powder brownies. That’s topped with the creamy peanut butter fudge from my peanut butter buckeye cookies and finished off with decadent chocolate ganache. It’s super fudgy and decadent in the best possible way.
  • Easy to make. You can make this recipe with homemade brownies, or get a headstart with a box of brownie mix. Each layer is easy to make and the hardest part is waiting while the brownies bake.
  • Perfect for parties. Just like the original buckeye candy, these brownies are a hit at parties and holidays. They’re a great potluck dessert, and they’re almost always first to vanish from the table!
Buckeye brownies stacked on a plate.

Ingredient Notes

These buckeye brownies come together in three layers. Here are some quick notes on the ingredients you’ll need. For a printable list, be sure to scroll down to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Oil – Same as when I make an ultra-moist chocolate cake, I use oil instead of butter in these brownies. I also skipped adding baking soda, for chewier, denser brownies, as opposed to cakey ones. Vegetable oil is best, as it won’t overpower the taste.
  • Cocoa Powder – I recommend using natural, unsweetened cocoa powder for an extra fudgy brownie that isn’t overly sweet. You can see the differences between cocoa powders in my tutorial, natural vs. Dutch-processed cocoa powder.
  • Chocolate Chips – I like semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks, but use your favorite.
  • Unsalted Butter – For the peanut butter fudge layer. Feel free to use salted butter if you’re using peanut butter with no salt or sugar added. Let the butter come to room temperature before you start so that it’s easier to combine with the other ingredients.
  • Creamy Peanut Butter – You’ll want to use shelf-stable, creamy peanut butter (like Jif or Skippy) and not the natural kind. Natural peanut butter contains oils that can lead the fudge to separate.
  • Powdered Sugar – Also called confectioner’s sugar, also for the fudge. I recommend sifting the sugar first to break up any lumps.
  • Chocolate Ganache – I finish off these buckeye brownies with homemade chocolate ganache. It turns out best with a high-quality, dark chocolate bar. You can break larger bars into pieces to help them melt faster. You’ll also need full-fat heavy whipping cream for the perfect creamy and spreadable ganache.
Two buckeye brownies stacked on top of one another.

How to Make Buckeye Brownies

Let’s start with a short step-by-step showing just how easy it is to make a batch of the best buckeye brownies from scratch!

Make the Brownies

  • Mix the batter. Combine your wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately. Gently stir the dry ingredients into the batter (be careful not to overmix!). Finally, fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Fill the pan. Next, transfer the brownie batter to a greased and lined baking pan. Top the batter with more chocolate chips.
  • Bake. Bake the brownies at 350ºF for 18-22 minutes. Afterward, they’ll need to cool completely before you add the peanut butter layer.

Make the Peanut Butter Layer

  • Combine the ingredients. Beat the butter with the peanut butter, then add powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until the fudge is smooth and free from lumps.
  • Spread over the brownies. Using a spatula, spread the peanut butter mixture over the cooled brownies.

How to Make Chocolate Ganache 

To make the ganache, melt chocolate with heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl. I recommend microwaving in increments, stirring in between. I have an in-depth tutorial on how to make chocolate ganache with lots of helpful tips, and you’ll also find printable instructions in the recipe card.

Give the mixture a chance to cool off, and smooth the chocolate over the peanut butter layer. After the ganache has set, it’s time to slice and serve!

Recipe Tips

  • Don’t overmix the batter. Overly mixing the brownie batter will result in brownies that are tough and chewy (and not the good kind of chewy!). Make sure to mix the ingredients until they are just combined, and don’t work the batter too much.
  • Check the brownies for doneness. A toothpick stuck into the middle should come out damp but not too wet. Just be mindful that you’re not hitting a chocolate chip.
  • Sift the powdered sugar. You’ll want to use powdered sugar, not regular granulated sugar, when making your peanut butter fudge so that it doesn’t turn out grainy. Also remember to pass the powdered sugar through a fine mesh sieve or sifter to knock out any lumps that might find their way into the finished fudge.
  • Wipe the knife between slices. When slicing your brownies after they’ve set, use a clean knife and wipe it dry between cuts. This will make for cleaner slices.

Three buckeye brownies stacked on top of each other.

How to Store

  • Refrigerate. While most traditional brownies are fine to store at room temperature, buckeye brownies should be refrigerated. This way, the peanut butter and ganache layers won’t soften too much. Take the brownies out of the fridge about 15 minutes ahead of serving.
  • Freeze. Buckeye brownies can be frozen after they’re fully cooled and set. I’ve found that slicing the brownies before freezing makes them easier to thaw. I like to wrap the brownies tightly in plastic wrap, plus an extra layer of aluminum foil. Freeze for up to 2 months and defrost the brownies in the fridge before serving.

More Brownie Recipes to Try

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Two buckeye brownies stacked on top of one another.

Buckeye Brownies

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  • Author: Julianne Dell
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 9-12 slices
  • Category: Brownies
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These buckeye brownies are an easy dessert recipe filled with chocolate and chewy peanut butter, just like the classic homemade candy. With a thick and chewy brownie layer, peanut butter fudge, and creamy chocolate ganache!


Ingredients

For the Brownie Layer

  • 1 ¼ cups (238g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (78ml) vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup (59ml) milk
  • 2 teaspoons (10ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (140g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (40g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ cups (168g) semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus additional for garnish

For the Peanut Butter Layer

  • 6 tablespoons (85g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (264g) creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups (260g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon (5ml) pure vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Layer

  • 2 ounces (56g) dark chocolate
  • 5 tablespoons (75ml) heavy whipping cream

Instructions

For the Brownie Layer

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease an 8-inch baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the granulated sugar with the oil, milk, and vanilla extract and beat together until well combined.
  3. Next, add the egg and beat just until combined, about 30 seconds or so.
  4. Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
  5. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and sprinkle another handful of chocolate chips over top. Bake at 350°F for 18-22 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center will be damp but not gooey or wet.

For the Peanut Butter Layer

  1. In a medium-sized mixing bowl combine the butter and peanut butter and beat until completely smooth and free of lumps. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until well combined. Spread over the cooled brownies.

For the Chocolate Layer

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate with the heavy whipping cream. Melt the chocolate in the microwave at 50% power in 30-second increments and stir until completely combined. Allow to cool. Spread over the peanut butter and allow the ganache to set. Slice and serve.


Notes

  • Storing: These are best stored in the refrigerator to keep the peanut butter and chocolate layers from softening.
  • Freezing: Finished brownies can be frozen once they’re fully set. I recommend slicing first so they will thaw faster.
  • Slicing: Use a clean knife to slice, wiping dry between cuts.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Brownie
  • Calories: 555
  • Sugar: 52.9 g
  • Sodium: 103.4 mg
  • Fat: 30.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 67.6 g
  • Fiber: 4.1 g
  • Protein: 8.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 34.7 mg

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