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Brownies with a crunchy cereal, peanut butter cup, and peanut topping

Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies

I’m calling these Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies on the blog, but my secret name for this is “Crack Brownies”. But I guess that’s not a secret anymore. Seriously, these are addicting. Creamy peanut butter, peanut butter cups, chocolate & butterscotch chips, and a satisfying CRUNCH from the Rice Krispies and peanuts. All on top of a chewy, chocolate brownie. And they are so easy – you can use a box brownie mix if you are pressed for time. 

The Brownie - A Chewy, Chocolate-y Base

My brownie recipe is adapted from King Arthur Baking. Their directions and ingredients are a bit more than my adaptation. My simplifications do not impact the taste, I promise! There is one thing I won’t change from the KAB recipe though, and that is using a Dutch cocoa powder. Dutch cocoa powders give your chocolate desserts a beautiful, rich, dark color. Unlike your typical natural cocoa powder, Dutch cocoa powder is not acidic. It is neutral, and it does not react with baking soda. It’s often paired with baking powder in recipes. If you use a natural cocoa powder in this recipe,  the brownies may taste slightly acidic, and might be denser. 

This is where one of my favorite ingredients comes into play, though. It is hard to find Dutch cocoa powder in the grocery stores around my house. Instead, I love to use Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder in my recipes. This is a cocoa powder that will give your desserts a deep, dark color and a rich taste. It is a blend of natural and Dutch cocoa powders, so it is versatile for many recipes that call for either natural or Dutch cocoa powders.

The Topping - A Crunchy, Peanut-buttery Delight

This topping is amazing. Creamy peanut butter, butterscotch & chocolate chips, Rice Krispies, Reese’s peanut butter cups and chopped peanuts. It adds such a nice crunch and so much flavor. This transforms your brownie from “really good” to “I can’t stop eating these!”.  It’s easy to bring it all together, too – just melt the chips and peanut butter together, and then stir in the cereal. Remove it from the heat and pour over the baked brownies as soon as they come out of the oven. Let this cool for a bit – around 15 or 20 minutes. You don’t want it too hot or all the peanut butter cups will melt! Then add the chopped peanuts and finish with the chopped peanut butter cups. Let the brownies cool completely before you cut them up into bars in order to get nice, clean lines.

Peanut Butter Crunch Brownies

Recipe by Katie Schultz


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time




  • 1 - 9x13 pan of brownies (from a box mix or recipe below)

  • 3 c. Rice Krispies cereal

  • 1.5 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

  • 1.5 c. butterscotch chips

  • 1.5 c. creamy peanut butter

  • 1/2 c. peanuts, chopped

  • 8 Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, chopped

  • Brownie Ingredients
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, melted

  • 2.25 c. sugar

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 Tbsp vanilla

  • 1.5 c. flour

  • 1.25 c. Hershey's Special Dark cocoa, or Dutch-process cocoa (Do NOT use regular cocoa! Brownies will be too bitter.)

  • 1 tsp baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • While the brownies are baking, melt the chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and peanut butter on low heat. Gently stir in the Rice Krispies. Remove from the heat so it doesn't burn.
  • Immediately after removing the brownies from the oven, pour the cereal mixture evenly over the brownies.
  • Let cool for about 15 minutes. Top the cereal mixture with the chopped Reese's peanut butter cups and chopped peanuts. Cool completely.
  • Once cool, cut into bars. I recommend cutting the bars into four rows lengthwise and eight rows widthwise.
  • Brownies
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside.
  • Combine melted butter and sugar into a bowl and mix on medium-low speed. Slowly add eggs and vanilla.
  • Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and mix on medium-low speed until combined. The batter will be thick.
  • Pour into the greased 9x13 pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until edges are set and a toothpick tested at the center comes out clean.

One Comment

  1. Love this idea am definitely making

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