Frosted Peanut Butter Brownies

Generic Recipe Card Graphic
Photo: Southern Living
Hands On Time:
30 mins
Chill Time:
1 hrs
Bake Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 55 mins
4 dozen

This unassuming brownie recipe from the December 1992 issue of Southern Living has turned out to be a long-time reader favorite that has stood the test of time. Created by then-Test Kitchen Professional Patty Vann, these ultra-rich, multi-layer bar cookies are impossible to resist, and simple to prepare. The bottom layer, a fudgy chocolate brownie, is spread thickly with melted peanut butter, then chilled. (The original recipe calls for chunky peanut butter, but smooth works just as well if you prefer.) When the peanut butter has set, a layer of chocolate frosting goes on top, and it's made with a surprising ingredient: marshmallows. Although you can't see them, they're in there—melted into a mixture of butter, cocoa powder, milk, and powdered sugar. Brilliant! Originally created as a holiday treat, these Frosted Peanut Butter Brownies are too good to enjoy once a year. The recipe makes four dozen cookies, perfect for sharing. Or you can freeze cut brownies in airtight containers up to three months.


  • 1 ½ cups butter, divided

  • 9 Tbsp cocoa powder, divided

  • 2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

  • ½ tsp. kosher salt

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1 12-oz. jar chunky peanut butter

  • cup milk

  • 10 large marshmallows

  • 1 16-oz. pkg. powdered sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Combine 1 cup butter and 5 tablespoons cocoa in a saucepan over low heat; cook, stirring frequently, until butter melts. Remove from heat, and cool slightly.

  2. Combine granulated sugar, flour, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add chocolate mixture, and beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well. Spread into a well-greased 13- x 9- x 2-inch pan.

  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

  4. Transfer peanut butter from jar to a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on MEDIUM 2 to 3 minutes, or until peanut butter melts, stirring at 1-minute intervals. Spread over warm brownies. Chill about 30 minutes or until set.

  5. Combine remaining 1/2 cup butter, remaining 4 tablespoons cocoa, milk, and marshmallows in a saucepan over medium heat; cook, stirring frequently, until marshmallows melt. Remove from heat, and add powdered sugar, stirring until smooth. Spread over peanut butter layer, and chill until set, about 30 minutes. Store in refrigerator.

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