Peanut Butter Brownie Recipe (Vegan & Gluten Free)
- Prep time - 30 minutes
- Cooking time - 45 minutes
- Difficulty - Medium
- Portions/ Servings - 16 to 20 people
- Storage - Ambient, Fridge or Freezer
- Shelf life - Weeks
- Gluten Free
Peanut Butter Brownie Ingredients
There is a relatively long list of ingredients, but if you’re into baking, you’ll hopefully have the staples in your store cupboard already, if not here’s a breakdown of what you need and things you may need to add to your shopping list.
Chocolate - Go for the best you can get and go dark
Peanut Butter - Find a brand that doesn't add palm oil and mainly uses peanuts and a touch of salt
Peanuts - If your peanuts are already flavoured or salted, give them a try anyway, just be careful not to bake them too long if they’re already roasted
Oil - A neutral oil is best like Rapeseed (Canola), Sunflower or Vegetable. Olive oil is good, just, best to avoid the really expensive stuff, unless you want the funky, fruity, bitter flavours
Sugar - Some sweetness is needed a fine caster sugar dissolves quicker than a coarse granulated kind
Cornflour - This is the binding agent, the glue to hold it all together and stop the brownie from splitting. It replaces the binding properties that eggs normally bring to baking
Water - Strangely an important ingredient to help with the binding of the oil and the corn flour, tap water is totally fine
Ground Almonds - This is to add structure and nut flour is very tasty too, try hazelnut also if you can get your hands on it
Oat Flour - More ballast to add to the structure of the brownie, remember to get the gluten free kind if you want to make this for celiacs or people with wheat intolerances
Coco Powder - This adds a richness to the cake and depth in flavour
Salt - This is a flavour enhancer and will make it all taste even more chocolatey
- 100g (3½oz) red-skin peanuts
- 1 tablespoon golden syrup
- a pinch of salt
- 370g (13oz) dark chocolate, broken into pieces
- 150ml (5fl oz) / (135g/4¾oz) rapeseed (canola) oil
- 225g (8oz) ground almonds
- 285g (10oz) caster (superfine) sugar
- 20g (¾oz) cornflour (cornstarch)
- 35ml (1¼fl oz) cold water
- 185ml (6¼fl oz) boiling water
- 150g (5¼oz) ground almonds
- 100g (3½oz) oat flour (gluten-free)
- 40g (1¾oz) cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 150g (5¼oz) smooth peanut butter
- Turn on the oven to 160°C fan/320°F/gas 4 and line your 22 x 33 x 5cm (8½ x 13 x 2in) baking tray (sheet pan), as well as a baking sheet.
- To make the candied peanuts, put the peanuts on the lined baking sheet with the golden syrup and a pinch of salt. Pop in the oven while it’s heating up. After 10 minutes, give them a stir with a spatula, then return to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the golden syrup starts to become really sticky and darkens in colour.
- Once done, take out of the oven (but leave the oven on) and separate out the peanuts so they aren’t all clumped together. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a bain-marie, then add the oil and leave to warm and merge evenly.
- Pour into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer, but leave the bain-marie on the heat with the water in the pan still simmering. Add the sugar to the chocolate and oil mixture and combine.
- In the same bowl you used for the bain-marie, mix together the cornflour (cornstarch) and cold water. Once they’re combined, add the boiling water, then place the bowl back on the simmering pan to heat up as you stir.
- The mixture will thicken. Add this cornflour mixture to the chocolate and sugar bowl and mix until glossy and fully emulsified. If the mixture splits, add a splash of boiling water to bring it together.
- Now add the ground almonds, oat flour, cocoa powder and salt, then mix to combine. Pour the mixture into the other lined tray and spread to the corners so it’s level.
- Fill the piping bag with the peanut butter and snip a 5mm (¼in) hole in the end of the piping bag. Use it to pipe patterns of your fancy across the brownie. If you don’t have a piping bag, just dollop the peanut butter on top. You can swirl it in with a toothpick to make pretty patterns.
- Sprinkle the candied peanuts over the top and bake for
40–45 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the top becomes firm, but the
brownie still has a little jiggle in it.
Best eaten once cooled. This will keep for weeks in an airtight container in the fridge.
Try replacing the salt in the brownie mixture with a teaspoon of Marmite. You can melt this into the boiling water. The flavour really plays off the peanut butter.
Can I swap out the peanut butter for other nut or seed butters?
Yes, absolutely, it will freeze perfectly and keep for months. Just keep in mind that added brittles, nuts and other crunchy additions may lose their snap and bite from being in the freezer.
How long does vegan brownie last in the fridge?
Yes, it works brilliantly. If the seed butter is a little runny or oily, you can thicken it with some corn flour.
Can I use Tahini instead?
Yes, tahini is a seed butter. Just make sure any separated oil is mixed in before adding it to the brownie mix. Some sesame seeds, pistachios or even some halva are a nice addition too.
Can I make these brownies as a blondie?
Yes, white chocolate and peanuts work well. But a blondie is a totally different recipe to a brownie, it’s actually more like a cookie dough recipe.
This is a great way to get started with combining peanut butter and brownies. You can experiment with mixing in the peanuts or adding a little peanut butter to the brownie mix.
We make a version of this brownie without peanut butter. Click here to see that recipe.
A Note On Peanut Butter
We use our friends at Yumello for a few reasons. Their company is based up the road in Bristol, so there rather local. But mainly that, Yumello peanut butter is recognised for its ethical stance, inspired by the flavours of the Atlas Mountains and the Berber culture. The brand emphasises using simple, additive-free ingredients and avoids palm oil, a common ingredient associated with environmental concerns.
Here are some other brands we can vouch for.
- Meridian Foods: They source their peanuts from sustainable sources and do not use palm oil in their peanut butter, which is significant as palm oil production can be associated with deforestation and other environmental concerns.
- Whole Earth: This brand is known for using sustainably sourced palm oil and is organic. The brand is also associated with various ethical and sustainability campaigns.
- ManiLife: Produced from peanuts grown in Argentina without the use of chemicals, ManiLife peanut butter also prides itself on fair wages for farmers.
- Suma: They offer a fair trade peanut butter, ensuring that producers and suppliers are paid fairly.
- Biona: Their peanut butter is organic, which means it's produced without synthetic pesticides and fertilisers.
- Butter Bike Co: Jeni lives in Exeter and her peanut butter is palm oil free and delicous.
When considering the most ethical option, it's essential to:
Check for Certifications: Look for certifications such as Fair Trade, Organic, Rainforest Alliance, etc., as they can provide some assurance about ethical practices.
Palm Oil: The use of palm oil can be controversial due to associated deforestation and habitat destruction. If palm oil is used, ensure it's sustainably sourced.
Local Sourcing: Brands that source their ingredients locally can have a smaller carbon footprint.
Packaging: Consider the environmental impact of the packaging. Glass jars, for instance, are more easily recyclable than plastic ones.
Company Practices: Investigate if the company engages in fair labor practices, contributes to social causes, or supports local communities.
We've got loads of vegan and gluten free recipes like this if you want more, check out our baking book - Bake It. Slice It. Eat It
One size cake tin, 90 banging recipes and load of fun mixed in.
There are loads of recipes from the book that you can adapt and make your own - Bake It. Slice It. Eat It - is the cookbook to expand your baking dreams.