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!
In terms of brands, for the almond either Anthony’s or WellBees work great. Both are super fine grinds.
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! 🐕
Looking for more peanut butter keto treats?! Don’t miss out on our (one bowl!) peanut butter blondies and (the easiest!) peanut butter cookies.
(Ultra Fudgy!) Keto Peanut Butter Brownies
For peanut butter swirls
- 190 g unsweetened, salted peanut butter softened
- 1/4-1/3 cup xylitol erythritol or xylitol (I do 1/4 cup)*
- 1 egg at room temperature
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- generous pinch kosher salt
- 1/4 cup almond milk
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!).
I’m obsessed with this recipe and would really like to try it, but I am allergic to almonds. I have tried replacing the almond flour with different combinations of flour but it never comes out even close. Do you have any substitute suggestions for us almond allergic keto peeps? Thank you!
Use sunflower seed or pumkin seed flour! I’ve tried with sunflower seed flour and it tasted wonderful!
Of course mine look nothing like the picture but they taste amazing as do all Paola’s recipes. I’ve made keto almond brownies before and didn’t like the taste at all but these are soooo good. Another winner like always!
Hi Paola, if I’m using allulose, is it 1:1 ratio replacement? If I don’t want it too sweet, how much allulose should I use? Thank you.
The link to change the ingredioent amounts to US Cups is not working and just takes me back to the top of recipe. Could you fix please as I’m looking forward to making these but don’t have a clue how measure in grams.
Thanks : )
Now it’s broken the other way!!!
Absolutely Devine recipe just made these OMG even my non keto family like these!!.
I’ve made these twice now. First time, I forgot to save half the brownie batter to layer on top, and they turned out very thick and didn’t blend nicely. Second time, I added a couple tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk to the brownie batter and remembered to save half. The thinning out helped immensely.
Tip: When adding the almond milk, I warmed it up first so it helped melt the sweeteners in both the peanut butter mixture and the cocoa mixture. I underbaked a little as well (only 25 mins). So good!
Can you use PB2 powder instead?
I’m try this recipe tonight! Looks reeeaaalllllly good! Pictures! Later.
Wow, these are incredible. I especially love them after a day in the fridge… 😋❤️
Made these yesterday to take to an outdoor concert. We all LOVED them! Another great recipe – thank you so much!
Really appreciate the range of cooking time you include too – in my convection these took under 20 minutes and would have been burned if I’d gone longer. 🙂
Hi, how would you recommend warming them up after putting them in the fridge or freezer for a few days? Is there an oven temp/time you like to use? I want to stay away from microwaving them!
Honestly I LOVE these cold! The xylitol/allulose gets super chewy in the fridge (seemed to be the consensus for everyone who tried them too!). Ahem, they’re even good frozen… (don’t ask lol!)
Do you think an alternative nut butter like almond butter would work?
Def! Tahini would be marvelous too 😉 xo!
Thanks for a great sweet treat….Really enjoyed this recipe it came out perfectly!!! Thanks again
I thought peanut butter wasn’t keto, because it’s a legume. Am I wrong about that?
That’s more for paleo. Keto focuses on a macronutrient split and carbohydrate restriction. Peanut butter is a staple in my keto diet!
I agree! I also tell peeps to listen to your bodies as pb does cause inflammation for some xo!
How would almond butter work in this?
Well! Tahini would be WONDERFUL too! Just sub straight for the peanut butter!
Peanut butter is allowed. Peanuts aren’t.
Hi Amy! I’m sorry, but that makes no sense- natural peanut butter is literally just peanuts! 😉
I would it if you would start including the measurements for pure Monk Fruit as a sweetener choice. (Not the stuff that is cut with other sweeteners, I’m referring to the “pure’ monk fruit.)
Hi Carolina! As stated in the notes pure monk fruit doesn’t work here as you need the bulk xo!
*DROOLS ALL OVER KEYBOARD*
They look amazing girl, they may need to happen tonight! Question, can I use the lakanto powdered sweetener that’s twice as sweet?
LOL Mary Anne!!
Regarding the sweetener, I haven’t tried tbh… but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work even better than the regular Erythritol. I didn’t know it was twice as sweet (makes sense, just has more monkfruit), so since it has half the amount of sugar alcohols your batter might end up the same texture as with xylitol.
Report back please if you try! Otherwise I just ordered some and will try this month too 😉 xo!!
What Lakanto powdered sweetener is twice as sweet?
This one is Marcella! https://amzn.to/2MFhq6w
I don’t see the ingredining for the the chocolate part
Your brownies including the cheesecake ones are my absolute favorite keto recipes! Cannot wait to try these thank you for all that you do Paola!!!!
Oh Kat how wonderful to hear! Hope you love this twist too!! Xo!