Love and Olive Oil

Peanut Butter and Fleur de Sel Brownies

Salted Peanut Butter and Fleur de Sel Brownies

Peanut butter and chocolate have a unique relationship. And most of the time, it’s bliss. Candy? Reese’s are my all time favorite. Ice cream? Pretty please with a cherry on top. Cookies? I’ll take 12. Cake? Er, I’ll pass.

Not sure if it is the texture of cake that just doesn’t quite mesh with the peanut butter, but it’s just not the same for me. Granted, maybe I just haven’t tried the right chocolate peanut butter cake. That could very well be it.

Luckily, these chocolate brownies are so dense and rich, not cakelike at all, that they fall into the realm of heaven in a square. No skimping on frosting here, these babies are smothered with a thick layer of sweet (but not too sweet) peanut butter frosting. The salt on top is just the icing on the cake, er, brownie.

Salted Peanut Butter Brownies

I made these particular treats for a Nashville food blogger potluck last month. To such events I’ve been told I’m not allowed to bring anything BUT dessert. I wonder why? Apparently I have a reputation as a sugar pusher.

Salted Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter and Fleur de Sel Brownies

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For Brownies:

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cold large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

For Frosting:

  • 6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) softened butter
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Maldon or Fleur de Sel.


  1. Prepare an 8 inch square pan. Butter and line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Butter parchment.
  2. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
  3. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a heat-proof bowl and place over a large pot of simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should rest in the pot but not touch the water.
  4. Stir over medium heat. When the butter is just about melted, remove the bowl and let the residual heat continue do the rest. Stir until smooth. At this point the mixture should feel warm, not hot to the touch. If hot, wait until warm to add the eggs.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring until each egg is fully incorporated before adding the next. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour, and stir about 40 times until the flour is completely incorporated and the batter is smooth and shiny.
  6. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
  7. To prepare the frosting, cream the butter and the peanut butter until combined. Slowly stir in the powdered sugar until completely incorporated. Spread over cooled brownies and sprinkle with flake salt (Maldon) or Fleur De Sel. Cut into squares.

Recipe from Bittersweet via Not Without Salt.

All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. Lots of comments about how good these brownies LOOK, but I made them about 5 days ago and they are divine, thank you so much for posting this recipe. My man and I have pretty much devoured the entire batch (6 pieces left)!

  2. Hi, could you please tel me if this is unsalted butter or salted? I live in Australia and when we refer to butter it is generally salted butter. Thank you :)

    • I always use unsalted butter in my baking. If you only have salted, just reduce the salt accordingly and you should be fine. :)

  3. Hi, on the weekend I tested your brownie recipe. Thanks for publishing it :)
    They were really tasty (I especially liked the salt on top!), and my boyfriend and his best friend loved them. However, visually, my brownies were a typical “pinterest fail” :-D They looked ugly because the frosting was way too soft. What would you recommend to change this? Maybe put more powdered sugar in the frosting, or cooling the brownies plus frosting before cutting them?
    I have to admit that maybe my measuring of the ingredients was a bit off, because I’m not American so I don’t have the standardised measuring cups, I just used a normal cup and tried to get close to your instructions.

  4. Would like to try this out this weekend. Just wondered about powdered sugar, this is not a term we use in the UK, could it be icing sugar? I think you also call icing sugar confectioner’s sugar. 

    • Yes, I believe they are the same thing! White, powdery stuff used in buttercream, right? :)

  5. I’ve made these several times now and LOVE them. After the first time I swore I would never bake another brownie recipe. Huge fan of the PB/chocolate combo, though even the brownie on its own is amazing. The frosting never looks like the picture however, not quite as stiff? It hardens a but after a day maybe but I’m wondering if I am doing something wrong. Doesn’t matter all that much, the taste is still superb, but I’d love them to be as gorgeous/flawless as yours!

  6. Love your blog.  Not to be a stickler here but you might want to credit the original creator of the brownie recipe.  They are by Alice Medrich and appear on her cookbook Bittersweet. 

  7. I made these last night, and we are still drooling over them. They were so delicious. One question, did you use and offset spatula to get the frosting that perfectly smooth?

  8. I made these for a party on the weekend and they were fantastic. The brownies were nice and thick and the frosting was light and very peanut buttery. Two of my favourite flavours all in one! I just wish I still had some left over.

    Thanks so much.

  9. I made these brownies for my students and they were a big hit! I doubled the brownie recipe and scooped batter into a mini muffin tin and then baked them for 15 minutes at 325*F. once they were done and cooled, I filled in the tops of the wrappers with the frosting… it’s really sweet, so I didn’t double that part. These were such a hit! I can’t wait to try it as a bar next time – this will be my new go-to brownie recipe!

  10. I made these brownies for a party- and put them in the freezer for some reason… but I ended up loving them even more! These are super great cold. I cut them up into small pieces, and they were an absolute hit. Thanks again for another home run dessert!

  11. I made these tonight and they were AMAZING! Your website is such a gem, please keep posting easy-to-make recipes!

  12. Sorry to say but I was very disappointed in these brownies. The chewiness of the brownie was pleasing but there was very little flavor. And the peanut butter frosting didn’t taste like frosting to me. It had way too much peanut butter in it. The whole thing tasted as if I had opened a jar of peanut butter and spread lots of it on top of a tasteless, but chewy, brown thing. Needless to say, I will not be making these again. In fact, I will be throwing away the batch I made tonight. Lesson learned: If I don’t see rave reviews about a recipe, there may be a good reason!

  13. I agreed with you on the PB cake UNTIL I had the Penzy’s Peanut Butter Pound Cake with Chocolate Ganache. Easy to make and worth a try…

    Scroll down to about page 51 of their catalog for the recipe… you’ll love it.

  14. I sort of made these. I followed your recipe to the point where I noticed I didn’t have enough cocoa. So I substituted some Williams Sonoma hot chocolate shavings to make up the difference and added another tablespoon for good measure. I also didn’t have enough peanut butter (which you would think I would have noticed early on – but we ALWAYS have peanut butter). So I used almond butter instead. And I added white chocolate chips since I was already going rogue – figured I should just take it all the way. it took much longer to bake (35-40 at the suggested temp) and the result was kind of a mix between a brownie and fudge. DELIGHTFUL. Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. You definitely have not had the 9-layer chocolate and peanut butter cake from this smallll little bakery in DE, where I live. It’s heaven!

  16. This look absolutely divine, I must make them ! Is it easy to get the peanut-butter layer so homogeneous? Any tips?

  17. These were delicious!!! We preferred them chilled, actually…don’t know if that is just our unique taste. In any case, chilling them helped with cutting them more neatly, although ours still didn’t come out looking remotely close to the photo above…the edges are much more crumbly looking in real life. I know this is awful to say from a culinary perspective, but we have tried these with boxed brownie mix, and that works as well if you are short on time/ingredients. These were very well received by our guests, and I would definitely recommend making them!

  18. I have a couple of holiday events coming up, can these be made in advance? If so, I assume just putting the salt when they are served, correct?

  19. That brownie-to-frosting ratio is pretty much perfect. And I love the fleur de sel topping!

  20. You should try the Smitten Kitchen chocolate peanut butter cake recipe, it just might convert you! It’s incredible.

  21. I made these for my students and they LOVED them!

  22. Those look amazing……..! Will definitely be trying them.

    [email protected]

  23. Recently, I have made some delicious brownies with black bean, but this recipe will be next on my list to try.

  24. Those look and sound TOO decadent!! Everything I love in one place – especially with the addition of fleur de sel. Well done!

  25. i made these this past weekend. they are absolutely divine! i cut them into bite-sized pieces and they are perfect. brought some into work and everyone loved ’em. :)

  26. Can I use natural peanut butter or do I need to use Jif, Skippy, etc?

  27. Looks simple and delicious! I love Peanut Butter and Chocolate together! Yum!!

  28. I think I’ve become a sugar pusher too…everyone is always requesting desserts from me! I love it :) And these brownies!

  29. I am totally trying these babies out for the holiday season! I love the contrast in colour between the brownie bottom and peanutbutter top. I will have to do some hunting for Skippy peanutbutter in Prague :)

  30. I wish I lived closer to you so that you could push some of this sugar to me! I bet these are amazing! :-)

  31. These. are. insane. I absolutely LOVE how the peanut butter part is just as thick as the chocolate. And I will pour sea salt on chocolate alllll day long. Thanks for sharing!

  32. If you want to make these for me again…I won’t complain! They were DELICIOUS!

  33. What is Maldon and Fleur de Sel?

    • Specialty salts. Maldon is a large flake salt, so you get a completely different texture than normal table salt. You could use coarse sea salt which would have a similar effect.

  34. I love Alice Medrich’s cocoa brownies, so have to try this. Would you store these in the fridge? Thanks!

  35. there is nothing wrong with being a sugar pusher :) especially if you come with these!

  36. wow those look absolutely amazing, who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate! Its like a delicious adult reeses peanut butter cup!!

  37. The only thing better than chocolate and peanut butter is SALTED chocolate and peanut butter. For reals.

  38. Holy cow, but these are stunning brownies. I might have to save them as a surprise for my husband — trying to arrange birthday stuff way early this year, so this is a big help!

  39. Yes, these brownies go on the “Must Try Soon” List. My Mom’s three favorite things are chocolate, peanut butter, and salt so these brownies have her name written all over them.

  40. This is what love is made of. The fleur de sel on the top makes it for me.

  41. These look amazing! I happen to have every ingredient except sea salt…it’s so tempting to make them right now.

    How on earth do you slice your bars that neatly? I have never figured out the trick and mine are always such a mess!

  42. Pristinely color-blocked squares with a sprinkle of salt on top….LOVE.

  43. These look soo soo good

  44. Okay.. just came across you blog when I was scrolling through the pages of blogs. Wanted to let you know that the name of your blog really stuck out to me.. I LOVE IT.. Whoever thought of that one did a great job… Second- I am super obsessed with this recipe.. my favorite combination is peanut butter and chocolate and I cannot wait to try them out.. Going to see if my mom and sister want to make them for the holidays.. I’m following you on bloglovin now so I can’t wait to get more recipes from you :) Thanks for sharing and great work!

  45. YUM! Just found these via Pinterest. I’m definitely making a gluten-free version of these sometime this holiday season. Thanks for the recipe!

  46. Mmmm.. these look sinfully delicious! I will definitely be trying these soon. I love chocolate and peanut butter. Unfortunately neither of my girls can have peanut butter so I don’t make things like this too often.

  47. Woah! These look amazing! So moist and creamy and soft… really really want one with my morning coffee…

  48. These look fabulous. I love the recipe. Can’t wait to make them..

  49. omg these are beyond fabulous! Featuring this on my Facebook page now

  50. These are so gorgeous! I absolutely love all of these flavors and I agree about the cake-like stuff not hitting the spot when it comes to this flavor combo. Love them!
    PS- Just made some distressed wood back-grounds thanks to your lovely tutorial!

  51. this has to be made and soon
    i am a pb junkie!

  52. Oh it sounds fab. My peanut butter coworkers will love that :)

  53. They looks so cute! I love the images they are just mouthwatering :)

  54. These look incredible! I’ll have to try them some time!

  55. OH. Em. Gee. I think I need to run to the kitchen NOW and bake :)

  56. Have you tried using the Peanut Butter and Co. peanut butter with these? They have a White Chocolate PB (which I think tastes like a reeses’s) and a Dark Chocolate PB. I made a PB buttercream of sorts with them for chocolate cupcakes once, it was pretty good. The White Chocolate version could be delicious?

  57. I’m known as a peanut butter pusher. So, these brownies, I think EVERYONE should have 1, or 6. They look FANTASTIC!

  58. OMG OMG OMG. I only had to read the title of the post to know I would make these. Maybe tonight. What to do, what to do? I totally SWOON over salted desserts and these looks absolutely amazing.

  59. Beautiful….They are so perfect. Drooling over them :)

  60. These look sooo good!
    I love the peanut-butter/chocolate combo and with the fleur de sel? It looks amazing. I’m a total fan of sweet and salty, and I can only imagine these are the best of both worlds!

  61. “Heaven in a square”… I bet! These look absolutely fantastic.

  62. Holy cow. What a perfectly pretty dessert! I’m not usually into frosting, so I distrust this a little, although with peanut butter? Quite tempting. And I love a bit of salt in my chocolate. (Again, I am floored by your photography skills!)

  63. sugar pusher! ;) not a bad rep to have, I think.

    an awesome looking take on the classic pb + chocolate. YUM.

  64. I might have to try these tonight. My husband loves brownies and I love peanut butter. Perfect for us both. They sound wonderful and look even better!

  65. i’ve had the good fortune of trying these brownies. yep. they’re amazing. though i’m not sure if ‘sugar pusher’ is entirely accurate, seeing as how you don’t have to do much convincing when you present virtually perfect offerings like these. more like ‘sugar enabler,’ and us junkies don’t stand a chance. ;)

  66. I love the fact that there is an equal amount of brownie and frosting! Delicious.

  67. I think that’s why we love you…because you’re a sugar pusher! Hehehe…I must make these! I love chocolate & peanut butter.

  68. I agree on the cake combination, it’s just not as appealing to me. But these brownies certainly are!

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