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Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cup Brownies – Fudgy gluten-free peanut butter crunch brownies layered with salty peanuts & a chocolate peanut butter crispy layer you’ll dream about!

front view of stacked gluten-free peanut butter cup brownies

Let’s be upfront about this: a delicate, light dessert these brownies are not. (#sorrynotsorry)

BUT. If you’re in the mood for some seriously, delightfully epic GLUTEN-FREE peanut butter cup brownies, this is the recipe for you.

I don’t want to boss you around, but if you’re a chocolate peanut butter fan, you NEED to give these gluten-free Reese’s brownies a try. They’ve got layers of flavor and texture that are tough to beat:

  • A fudgy gluten-free brownie base stuffed with peanut butter cups
  • Crunchy salty peanuts
  • A chocolate peanut butter crunch layer on top

They are bonkers good, and will be a hit anywhere you serve them.

Here’s what you need to make our gluten-free peanut butter crunch brownies…

Overhead view of ingredients for peanut butter cup brownies
Front view of a gluten-free peanut butter cup brownie

Here’s What You Need To Make Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies:

  • Our Easy Gluten-Free Brownies (Or Your Favorite Gluten-Free Box Mix Brownies). If you have the time, I 100% recommend making the gluten-free brownie recipe we share in the recipe card below. It doesn’t take long, is made from simple ingredients, and tastes amazing. The texture is JUST right to go with these brownies!
  • Peanut Butter Cups. Next up is peanut butter cups. Using a mix of whole & chopped peanut butter cups in the brownies creates amazing textural contrast and makes each bite unique. (It’s like a happy little peanut butter surprise inside!)
  • Salty Peanuts. I’m all about that crunch, and some salty peanuts break up the texture and flavor here. YUM.
  • Gluten-Free Crisp Rice Cereal. Then, you’ll need some gluten-free rice krispies. Actual Rice Krispies brand is NOT gluten-free in the U.S., so we recommend one of these gluten-free brands of rice krispies. Aldi and Barbara’s are my two faves!
  • Peanut Butter. You can use creamy or smooth peanut butter. I gravitate toward natural peanut butter (with just peanuts or peanuts + salt) most of the time, but feel free to use your fave.
  • Chocolate Chips. Then, some chocolate chips. I recommend semisweet or dark chocolate chips as they’re slightly less sweet and we have a lot of sweetness going on in other places!

Want to use a boxed brownie mix? I get it! Our favorite gluten-free brownie mix is this one from King Arthur Baking. We did a big taste test a few years ago, and this was the hands-down winner for taste and texture.

How To Make Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cup Brownies, Step By Step

  1. Preheat The Oven & Prep Your Pan. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 square metal baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whip Eggs & Sugar. In a medium mixing bowl, beat brown sugar, sugar, and eggs for 3-4 minutes, or until about triple in volume, much lighter in color, and the sugar is mostly dissolved (there will still be some grains left, but the mixture should largely look smooth and glossy.)
  3. Mix In Butter & Vanilla. Next, add the melted butter and vanilla extract to the egg mixture and beat to combine.
  4. Add Dry Ingredients. Add the gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, and salt to the egg mixture and gently fold in with a spatula until just combined.
  5. Layer The Batter & Peanut Butter Cups In The Pan. Pour HALF of the brownie batter into your prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Add 8-9 whole peanut butter cups evenly around the surface, then fill in the gaps with halved & quartered peanut butter cups. Cover with the remaining brownie batter and smooth to cover the peanut butter cups.
  6. Bake Brownies. Pop the brownies in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs or streaks of chocolate.
  7. Cool Brownies & Prep Layers. Let the brownies cool for a few minutes on a cooling rack, while you measure and prep your other ingredients, like chopping peanuts or measuring ingredients for the peanut butter crunch layer.
  8. Make The Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer. In a small saucepan (or medium microwave-safe bowl), gently melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter together until smooth and glossy. (If using the microwave, melt in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval to prevent scorching.) 
  9. Assemble The Layers! Sprinkle the slightly cooled brownies with the salted peanuts and crisp rice cereal. Carefully pour the peanut butter layer over the peanuts & cereal layer and gently use a spatula or offset spatula to spread into an even layer.
  10. Refrigerate Until Completely Set. Chill the brownies in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, or until the peanut butter crunch layer is completely set (it shouldn’t be wet, sticky, or glossy. It’ll look more matte.)
  11. Slice & Serve. Cut the brownies into 16 squares (or even smaller rectangles for parties or dessert tables), and serve.
  12. Store leftover brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator 3-4 days, or in the freezer for 1 month. 

FAQ + Tips And Tricks For The Best Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies

Plan Ahead! Our gluten-free peanut butter crunch brownies are SUPER easy to make, but they do require some serious chill time to let all the layers set up properly. Make sure you have a full 2-3 hours in advance to let them set, or your peanut butter crunch layer will be gooey and slide off as you slice them.

Are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups Gluten-Free? Yes! Most Reese’s peanut butter cup products are gluten-free, other than their seasonal shapes (like eggs, pumpkins, and trees, which don’t contain gluten ingredients but may experience cross-contact/cross-contamination). Formulations change all the time, but you can see their list of gluten-free peanut butter cups here. You can also use Justin’s or unREAL brand peanut butter cups, which are both gluten-free (and some are also dairy-free!).

What Size Peanut Butter Cups Should You Use For Peanut Butter Cup Brownies? It’s totally up to you! I generally use the full-size Reese’s cups to cover most of the surface, then fill in the gaps with halved or quartered peanut butter cups. You could easily use the mini cups or the snack-size peanut butter cups if you prefer. Just know if you use a smaller size, you’ll likely end up with more chocolate & a little less peanut butter in each bite.

How To Store These Peanut Butter Cup Brownies: Store leftover gluten-free peanut butter crunch brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator 3-4 days, or in an airtight bag in the freezer for 1 month. 

Front view of a gluten-free peanut butter cup brownie

WE ♥

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front view of stacked gluten-free peanut butter cup brownies

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies


  • Author: Emily Dixon, Sweets & Thank You
  • Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 16 brownies 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

Fudgy gluten-free peanut butter cup brownies topped with a chocolate peanut butter crispy layer you’ll dream about!  


Ingredients

Scale

For The Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cup Brownies Layer:

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz, 1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) gluten-free measure-for-measure flour*
  • 1/3 cup (35 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Dutch-processed)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1012 Reese’s peanut butter cups, unwrapped (can also use unREAL or Justin’s brand)

For The Peanut Crunch Layer:

  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free crisp rice cereal, like Barbara’s

For The Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer:

  • 3/4 cup (3 oz.) semisweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup (384 grams) smooth peanut butter (we like natural peanut butter best)
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • Optional: flaky sea salt, like Maldon

Instructions

  1. Preheat The Oven & Prep Your Pan. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8 square metal baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whip Eggs & Sugar. In a medium mixing bowl, beat brown sugar, sugar, and eggs for 3-4 minutes, or until about triple in volume, much lighter in color, and the sugar is mostly dissolved (there will still be some grains left, but the mixture should largely look smooth and glossy.)
  3. Mix In Butter & Vanilla. Next, add the melted butter and vanilla extract to the egg mixture and beat to combine.
  4. Add Dry Ingredients. Add the gluten-free flour, cocoa powder, and salt to the egg mixture and gently fold in with a spatula until just combined.
  5. Layer The Batter & Peanut Butter Cups In The Pan. Pour HALF of the brownie batter into your prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Add 8-9 whole peanut butter cups evenly around the surface, then fill in the gaps with halved & quartered peanut butter cups. Cover with the remaining brownie batter and smooth to cover the peanut butter cups.
  6. Bake Brownies. Pop the brownies in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs or streaks of chocolate.
  7. Cool Brownies & Prep Layers. Let the brownies cool for a few minutes on a cooling rack, while you measure and prep your other ingredients, like chopping peanuts or measuring ingredients for the peanut butter crunch layer.
  8. Make The Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer. In a small saucepan (or medium microwave-safe bowl), gently melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter together until smooth and glossy. (If using the microwave, melt in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval to prevent scorching.) 
  9. Assemble The Layers! Sprinkle the slightly cooled brownies with the salted peanuts and crisp rice cereal. Carefully pour the peanut butter layer over the peanuts & cereal layer and gently use a spatula or offset spatula to spread into an even layer.
  10. Refrigerate Until Completely Set. Chill the brownies in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours, or until the peanut butter crunch layer is completely set (it shouldn’t be wet, sticky, or glossy. It’ll look more matte.)
  11. Slice & Serve. Cut the brownies into 16 squares (or even smaller rectangles for parties or dessert tables), and serve.
  12. Store leftover brownies in an airtight container in the refrigerator 3-4 days, or in the freezer for 1 month. 

Notes

*We recommend King Arthur Flour Measure-For-Measure Flour. If you use another brand, your results may vary slightly. Be sure the flour blend you use contains xanthan gum.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Chill Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: gluten free peanut butter crunch brownies, gluten free Reeses brownies, gluten-free peanut butter brownies, gluten-free brownies

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