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The Best Fudgy Brownies

These brownies are rich, fudgy perfection that are easy to make in one bowl – no mixer required! If you’re gluten or dairy free, try my paleo double chocolate brownies or fudgy chocolate banana brownies.

A fudgy brownie with a bite taken out on a white platter

I’ve been on a quest to make the perfect brownies for literally years. I don’t even want to think about how many batches of brownies I’ve made, let alone eaten – that calorie count is not math I want to do. My requirements were that they had to be:

  • made in one bowl
  • made without a hand or stand mixer
  • fudgy, but not so gooey they’re heavy and falling apart
  • not cakey
  • rich, but not overly sweet
  • packed with pockets of melty chocolate
  • made in an 8×8″ pan and easily adapted for a 9×13″ pan
A stack of fudgy brownies with pockets of melted chocolate on a white plate

It was a lot of pressure to put on a batch of brownies, but it’s totally paid off because I finally got them to be everything I wanted. Calling them “the perfect fudgy brownies” felt a little pompous, so I took it down a notch to call them “the best fudgy brownies” instead.

They’re rich enough to warrant a partnership with a glass of cold milk, but not so rich that you turn into a motionless slug after finishing a piece. They taste wonderful at room temperature, and even better warmed up so the pockets of chocolate get all melty and gooey.

A yellow baking dish with baked brownies dotted with chocolate chips

What kind of pan should I use for baking brownies?

Let me start by emphasizing that the type of baking pan matters. Truly. If you’ve ever made brownies from a boxed mix, you probably noticed that they call out different baking temperatures and times based on the type of pan that you’re using (usually calling out 8×8″ metal pans vs. 8×8″ glass pans). There are reasons for that – so let’s talk about that a little.

For the best results, bake brownies using a light colored metal baking pan or stoneware.

These types of pans allow for the most even cooking because they are efficient heat conductors. I personally prefer my stoneware, but many people report inconsistent results simply due to the differences in how the stoneware may have been made (hand thrown vs. poured in a mold). So to be on the safe side until you’ve learned how your pans perform, stick to light colored pans.

Why not a dark colored metal pan?

Well, dark metal pans distribute heat more quickly than light colored pans. You might be thinking, “I get to eat brownies faster then, what’s the problem?” Valid point. Except that since they’ll bake more quickly, there’s a higher chance of them overbaking and the edges burning.

Fair enough. But what about glass pans?

Glass pans are insulators, which means the glass slows the flow of heat around your batter until the glass has heated up – and then it retains that heat a lot longer than metal or stoneware. Generally speaking, you want to turn the temperature down by 25° and bake longer (but how much longer can be tough to determine).

So that means that brownies baked in a glass pan take longer to bake, and it’s unfortunately easy to overbake them because the center takes longer to bake than the edges. Which leads me to my next point…

Overhead shot of brownies with one standing on its end showing the fudgy center

Avoid the dreaded curled, tough brownie edges

This is another plug for using the a light colored baking pan or stoneware. With these types of baking dishes, you won’t see that thing where the brownie edges climb up the sides of the pan and get tough and burnt.

As I mentioned above, brownies baked in a glass pan will cook the edges before the center is done, so you end up with tough, sometimes burned edges. Your brownies should be even from the middle all the way to the edges, and stoneware is my personal favorite for this recipe for even baking.

A bowl of brownie batter with a pile of chocolate chips

What kind of chocolate chips should I use?

I personally like dark chocolate, so my go-to is a chopped 60% bittersweet chocolate baking bar or dark chocolate chips – but you can use anything you like: semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, or a combination of any of those.

Can I add nuts to this recipe?

Absolutely you can! I would recommend adding 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts of pecans at the same time you add your chocolate chips for a little added crunch.

A stack of fudgy brownies with pockets of melted chocolate on a white plate

6 tips for making the perfect brownies

  • Make it a truly one bowl recipe by using a microwave safe bowl to melt your butter at 50% power as your first step. Then you can just add the rest of the ingredients and you don’t need a second bowl or saucepan!
  • Don’t overmix. This is the worst thing you could do to your brownies! They’ll be tough and you’ll be sad. So when the recipe calls for stirring until just combined, I’m serious. If you see a single streak of flour, stop stirring and just leave it! You’re going to fuss with the batter again when you pour it into the baking pan, so it’ll take care of itself.
  • Don’t overbake, either. We’re not going for cakey brownies, we’re going for rich and fudgy. But not fall apart, needs a spoon fudgy. There’s a fine line between underdone and overdone, so you just want to watch them closely and have a good sense of how your oven is calibrated.
Four photo collage showing the process of making brownie batter
  • Grease the pan, line it with parchment, and grease it again! Next to overmixing and overbaking, another terrible thing would be the brownies sticking to the pan. You want every last bit of that batter because it is so freaking good. I use nonstick spray (aff link) on the pan and on the parchment paper, but you can also use shortening or butter. Another method I’ve had success with is spraying the pan with nonstick spray (aff link), and coating it with cocoa powder before pouring in the batter.
  • Get clean slices with this handy trick. Wait for the brownies to cool completely. I know, I know. Now warm your knife under hot water, wipe dry with a cloth, use one fluid movement for each slice across the pan, and then wipe the knife clean between each cut. Re-warm and dry between cuts as necessary as well. It’s extra work, but worth it for nice presentation and even slices!
  • Even better, use a rocking pizza cutter (aff link)! My favorite tactic is to lift the brownies out of the pan, place them on a cutting board, and use a rocking pizza cutter (aff link). It’s big enough to span the width and the length of the bars, so you get one long, even cut.
Four photo collage showing brownie batter being prepared

Want to make it in a 9×13″ pan?

Just double the recipe – easy peasy. The brownies will be ever so slightly less deep, but still delicious. Take a look at this post about converting recipes for different pan sizes to understand more about how the volume and surface area of each pan matters.

Can I freeze brownies?

Sure can! To freeze these brownies, bake them according to the instructions and let them cool completely. Don’t slice them into bars, and wrap them tightly in a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil, and place in a resealable plastic bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months, then let come to room temperature before slicing into squares for serving.

A fudgy brownie with a bite taken out on a white platter

After you’ve made this recipe, please leave a comment below with a rating – and if you came from Pinterest, add a photo to the Pin of what you make to the pin to share your experience!

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A fudgy brownie with a bite taken out on a white platter

The Best Fudgy Brownies


  • Author: Leslie Kiszka
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 16 brownies 1x

Description

These brownies are rich, fudgy perfection that are easy to make in one bowl – no mixer required!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional, but encouraged)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate, divided (optional, but encouraged)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8×8″ light colored or stoneware baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, then line with parchment paper so that there’s an overhang on each side, and spray again with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine eggs, butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract and stir until smooth and combined.
  3. Sift in flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder and salt and stir until just combined. Gently fold in 3/4 cup chocolate chips – no more than 2 or 3 turns to mix it in. 
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly. Top with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes on the middle rack or until the tops of the brownies are set to the touch – for my oven, 28 minutes is perfect. Carefully remove from oven and let cool completely in the pan. Remove from pan, slice, serve and enjoy!

Notes

If using a glass baking pan, reduce the oven temperature to preheat at 325°F and bake for longer – likely around 32 minutes, but you’ll need to keep a close eye on them depending on your oven. See the post body above for more information about making these in a glass pan.

Make it a truly one bowl recipe by using a microwave safe bowl to melt your butter at 50% power as your first step. Then you can just add the rest of the ingredients and you don’t need a second bowl or saucepan!

Don’t overmix. When the recipe calls for stirring until just combined, I’m serious. If you see a single streak of flour, stop stirring and then fold in the chocolate chips.

Don’t overbake, either. We’re not going for cakey brownies, we’re going for rich and fudgy, so take them out of the oven once the tops are just set.

Get clean slices with this handy trick. Wait for the brownies to cool completely, warm your knife under hot water, wipe dry with a cloth, use one fluid movement for each slice across the pan, and then wipe the knife clean between each cut. Re-warm and dry between cuts as necessary as well.

Even better, use a rocking pizza cutter (aff link). My favorite tactic is to lift the brownies out of the pan, place them on a cutting board, and use a rocking pizza cutter (aff link). It’s big enough to span the width and the length of the bars, so you get one long, even cut. 

Store in a covered airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

To make in a 9×13″ pan, just double the recipe. The brownies will be ever so slightly less deep, but still delicious.

To freeze, bake them according to the instructions and let them cool completely. Don’t slice them into bars yet, and wrap them tightly in a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil, and place in a resealable plastic bag. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months, then let come to room temperature before slicing into squares for serving.

  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: the best fudgy brownies, fudgy brownies, easy brownie recipe, one bowl brownie recipe

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Recipe rating

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Lauren

Saturday 13th of March 2021

I am thinking about doing this recipe and was wondering can I use a stand mixer to mix them

Leslie Kiszka

Monday 15th of March 2021

No, you want to freehand it with a whisk otherwise they're going to be overmixed and tough.

Marissa Olvera

Wednesday 18th of November 2020

I'm a brand new baker. This is my 3rd batch of brownies, ever, and I'm 30 years old.

I did not know that glass pans took longer to cook and cooked unevenly. In fact, I thought that glass pans were the superior in cookware.

I made the recipe and the batter tastes great.

I am so uncertain if my brownies are done though. They cooked for about 28 minutes. I let them sit out fkr 30 minures but they're still gooey. I'm reheating the oven and throwing them in for jla few more minutes.

I don't have much time as it is wayyyyyy past my bedtime and well, work will be here sooner than I would like.

Any tips or suggestions for a beginner baker/cook?

Should I have let the brownies cool longer? Was my batter truly raw if still gooey after 30 min? The chocolate was still warm, which is why I cannot tell. If I had more time, I would have allowed them to cool longer. I'm so confused!! I'm afraid of over baking them!!

Either way, wonderful recipe

Leslie Kiszka

Friday 20th of November 2020

Hi Marissa! As a new baker, I'd love to suggest you take a read through everything I have in my Baking Basics series: https://stressbaking.com/category/baking-basics/

Unfortunately since I'm not in the kitchen with you and can't see what's going on, it's hard for me to troubleshoot your results. But here are my first thoughts:

1) Make sure your oven is properly calibrated, as it might run on the low side or have cool spots, which would mean it wasn't truly baking at the proper temperature: https://stressbaking.com/how-to-measure-ingredients-for-baking/ 2) Make sure you're properly measuring out your ingredients - the most common error is over-measuring flour (but it doesn't sound like it's the case for your situation though): https://stressbaking.com/how-to-measure-ingredients-for-baking/ 3) When you say they were still "gooey", how do you mean? If they were still like raw batter, then it sounds like it's definitely an oven issue. But if it was just that they weren't totally "set" (meaning the tops were no longer wet, but if you lightly shook the pan side to side you could see some wiggle), then it could have used a few more minutes in the oven. 4) When you say the chocolate was still warm, are you talking about the batter, or the chocolate chips, or something else?

I hope this is of some help, and don't hesitate to email me at leslie@stressbaking.com with any more questions - and feel free to include photos or video so I can try to be more helpful!

Tiff

Friday 25th of September 2020

The brownies came out extremely bitter.

Leslie Kiszka

Friday 25th of September 2020

Oh no! That's definitely not how they should have turned out.

Did you make any ingredient swaps, or reduce the amount of sugar? And what kind of cocoa powder did you use? I've found that if you use raw cacao powder or Hershey's Special Dark, you could end up with a more bitter result than typical unsweetened cocoa powder.

Some people also don't enjoy the flavor that espresso powder lends to recipes, so it could also be a matter of your personal preference as that flavor could be polarizing for some people who don't enjoy it as much as I do.

Sharon

Sunday 14th of June 2020

Can we substitute kosher salt with normal cooking salt?

Leslie Kiszka

Sunday 14th of June 2020

You can! Typically you'd want to use a smaller quantity since the crystals for table salt is so much smaller than kosher salt - but in this case, just can use a small pinch.

Mira

Sunday 10th of May 2020

After many failed attempts with other brownie recipes, I have finally found my holy grail and it is this recipe. The only thing I changed was switching out 25% of the butter for coconut oil, and they're so rich and fudgy. I would fight people for these brownies. Incredible.

Leslie Kiszka

Tuesday 12th of May 2020

This made my day - thank you so much for coming back to leave a comment and a rating!

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