These gluten free and keto peanut butter brownies are ultra fudgy, ridiculously chocolatey and insanely delicious… at just 2g net carbs a pop!
Gluten Free & Keto Peanut Butter Brownies
(An Ultra Fudgy!) Heavenly Match
Absolutely decadent, these keto peanut butter brownies are a wonderful play on our famous (1g net carb!) suuuper fudgy brownies. With said peanut butter swirls doing absolute wonders to cut through the rich chocolate goodness!
They’re simply ridiculously good guys. And just like the original, expect easy-peasy stuff and with all staple pantry ingredients!
Oh, and if you’re into cheesecake (who isn’t?!), don’t miss out on our keto cheesecake brownies!
How To Make Fudgy Keto Brownies
Allow me to start with the most important brownie baking rule: do not over-bake the brownies! Timing might just be the most important rule when making any type of brownie, so you don’t end up with a dry and crumbly mess.
Keep an eye out for them, and take them out once the center is set and a toothpick inserted comes out moist (but not drenching). Remember that they continue to cook while cooling!
I even prefer to slightly under-bake them and chill them in the fridge before cutting. That’s the secret for extra fudgy brownies!
You’ll also want to use eggs at room temp. Reason being that if your cocoa/butter mixture is not warm enough (and your eggs are very cold), they’ll solidify the butter and your batter will be too thick (doesn’t affect the end results, just annoying to spoon rather than pour!).
As you can see from the pictures below, both the peanut butter and the brownie batters are relatively thick. And the closer in texture they are to one another, the cleaner your swirls will be.
Texture is most affected by the sweetener you use (see section below), but you can add a couple tablespoons of almond milk to loosen up the brownie layer if using erythritol (the peanut layer already has 1/4 cup).
Next you’ll want to spread half your brownie batter onto the baking pan and add the peanut butter layer and the remaining brownie batter in dollops.
Then simply swirl the two layers with a knife!
Cocoa or cacao? Both work great, just know that quality really matters here. My favorite will forever be the Dutch-processed alkaline cocoa Valrhona, known to be one of (if not the) best cocoas in the world.
But feel free to use a raw cacao powder (arguably more nutritional perks here), though keep in mind that your brownies will be lighter in color and more reddish in hue. Both are well and good, as long as they’re unsweetened.
p.s. a lightly sprinkle of flakey sea salt works wonders to cut through the chocolate in these guys! And Maldon flakes are the undisputed best, by a mile.
The Peanut Butter
My suggestion is that you go for an unsweetened and salted variety (I really like the 365 brand from Whole Foods). Though a crunchy peanut butter would create a nice texture contrast too!
Whatever peanut butter you decide, just be sure it’s runny at room temperature (i.e. that its natural). You see, the ‘always solid’ varieties have generally had some of the natural fat drained or have added emulsifiers.
The Keto Flours
This recipe uses almond flour only (!!). Yup, that’s it!
You’ve got a couple options here. Xylitol (non corn to avoid tummy troubles!) and allulose (using 30% more) have become my top choice (no aftertaste, best and chewier texture), followed by Lakanto (barely any aftertaste, but thicker texture).
If using erythritol in any form, because it needs a little extra help to dissolve than xylitol (and they vary so much from brand to brand because of different fillers and so on!), you’ll want to be sure to use a powdered form. If you only have granular on hand, don’t sweat it, and simply blend it in your (very dry!) bullet or blender until powdered. Easy-peasy!
And one more thing to keep in mind, is that a few of you who have used erythritol (Swerve in particular) report back periodically that your batter ends up thick. This seems to be improved by microwaving rather than using a water bath, and using powdered rather than regular. Though there seems to be no hard rule here.
Doesn’t seem to affect the taste in the end, so just spread the batter rather than pour it in. But if you’re finding your brownies feel too thick, simply add in an extra egg or a couple tablespoons of almond milk (just don’t over-whisk or they could become more cakey).
Fun fact: it might also be my taste buds here, but I’ve noticed that stevia-based sweeteners (such as Pyure) don’t work so great when chocolate is involved as the aftertaste is accentuated. So I cannot recommend enough that you don’t use stevia-based sweeteners here.
Oh, and if just paleo or gluten free (or not restricted by sugars), simply sub 1-to-1 with coconut or regular sugar.
And if using xylitol, make sure to be careful if you have a pup (or kitty!) around the house, as it’s highly toxic to the little guys! 🐕
(Ultra Fudgy!) Keto Peanut Butter Brownies
These gluten free and keto peanut butter brownies are ultra fudgy, ridiculously chocolatey and insanely delicious... at just 2g net carbs a pop!
Oh, and if baking with cups rather than grams is your thing, just click on US Cupsfor an instant conversion.
For peanut butter swirls
For keto brownie layer
- 1 batch (suuuper fudgy!) keto brownies
See recipe video for guidance on the keto brownies!
Position a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 350°F/180°C. Line with parchment paper the bottom and sides of a 8x8-inch baking pan. Set aside.
Make the peanut butter layer first by whisking together the ingredients until thick and smooth. Please note that xylitol and allulose will dissolve more readily, while erythritrol granules will remain! Set aside.
Whip up a batch of our (suuuper fudgy!) keto brownies. Please note that your batter with xylitol and allulose will be thinner than with erythritrol (where you can add an extra egg or a couple tablespoons of almond milk to losen up a bit for cleaner swirls!- see brownie post for more deets).
Spread half of the brownie batter into prepared pan. Add the peanut butter layer and the remaining brownie batter in dollops (see pictures in post for reference), swirling the two batters together using a knife.
Bake for 27-35 minutes (I did 30), or until the center is just set and still jiggly. This really does vary (a lot!!) from oven to oven (think convection etc), so give them a check from minute 20 the first time around.
Allow to cool completely on a rack. Lift brownies using the edges of the parchment paper and cut into desired size (I do 16!). To get extra clean edges (and extra chewy brownies!), place in the freezer for 15 minutes prior to cutting.
Store in the fridge for 3 days and freeze for up to 3 months (they freeze great!).
*The lower quantities are for more keto-adapted palates, while the larger ones will get you more 'traditional' sweetness. Please see section on sweeteners for deets and possible substitutions. Just keep in mind that stevia or pure monk fruit don't work (at all!) for these!
**If measuring the cocoa with tablespoons rather than grams, be mindful of how you scoop as you can end up with a lot more cocoa powder than needed. Drop the cocoa powder into the tablespoon and level it, rather than scooping it out of the bag with the tablespoon (which can lead to overpacked tablespoons!).
***Must use eggs at room temp. Reason being that if you add cold eggs, you'll solidify the batter and won't be able to mix the flours properly.
Please note that we always subtract sugar alcohols from total carbs to calculate net carbs (as is customary).