Today, I present my little black dress of dessert recipes: One Bowl Brownies. Easy to make, requiring a single bowl, and ready for your oven in under 15 minutes, these easy brownies will become a staple in your dessert lineup.
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This brownie recipe is the product of a long, obsessive, chocolate-stained quest to find the perfect homemade fudge brownie recipe.
Meet the winners!
These from-scratch brownies are classic, supremely satisfying, and make my chocolate-loving heart (I submit my full collection of chocolate dessert recipes as evidence) go pitter-patter. Here’s why I love this recipe:
- Ultra soft and chewy.
- Unapologetically fudgy and chocolaty (just like my irresistible Brownie Cookies and Brownie Bites!).
- Boasting that elusive, shiny, crackly top layer—boxed brownie devotees, you know the one.
- Quick and easy to prepare—as the name implies, this recipe requires just a single bowl, just like the incredible Chocolate Covered Strawberry Brownies in my cookbook. (If you’re okay with multi-bowl brownies, try these Guinness Brownies.)
- Endlessly customizable. In fact, I’ve included my favorite one bowl brownie mix-ins and toppings at the end of this post.
5 Star Review
“Such a quick and easy recipe – will definitely be my go-to when the brownie craving strikes!”— Jenni —
How to Make One Bowl Brownies
These soft, fudgy one bowl brownies with cocoa powder will become your new go-to recipe.
Make them once and I promise, you’ll never reach for a box of brownie mix again.
- Cocoa Powder. This one-bowl brownie recipe uses cocoa powder, which I’ve actually come to prefer over brownie recipes that call for solid chocolate. Cocoa brownies are softer and chewier than their solid chocolate counterparts, and cocoa powder has a more intense chocolate flavor too.
- Butter. For fudgy brownies like these, I’m a big proponent of butter which makes them rich, flavorful and decadent.
- Granulated Sugar and Powder Sugar. A combo of both sugars was a recent discovery of mine, and now I don’t want to make brownies any other way. It makes these brownies tender, chewy and sweet.
- Espresso Powder. Optional, but so worth it if you have it in your pantry to deepen and enhance the chocolate flavor of the brownies.
If you don’t have espresso powder, you can swap for 1 1/2 times the amount of regular instant coffee. If you don’t have either on hand, simply omit it. The brownies are still super delicious.
- Vanilla Extract. It may seem odd to add vanilla to such a chocolate-focused dessert, but the vanilla actually enhances and enriches the chocolate flavor.
- Eggs. Egg whites give the brownies structure while the egg yolks lend fat for richness.
- All-Purpose and Whole Wheat Flour. Don’t worry, the whole wheat flour isn’t detectable among all the rich, fudgy chocolate goodness.
Be sure to accurately measure your flour when making brownies—especially if you like them fudgy. Too much flour and your brownies will quickly become cakey.
For Best Results:
- Spoon the flour into the measuring cup.
- Then, scrape a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level it. Never scoop your flour right from the bag without lightening it or pack your flour.
- Dark Chocolate Chips. Makes these brownies extra fudgy and extra chocolaty. No complaints!
- Flaky Sea Salt. Optional, but in all honesty, it has become an essential finishing touch to just about any brownie recipe I bake (even these Avocado Brownies).
One Bowl Brownie Additions
Every now and then, it’s fun to dig through my pantry and see what bits I have leftover to give the brownies a little extra pizzazz.
Unique Mix-in Ideas
All of these should be chopped first, then folded into the batter just before baking.
- Chocolate covered espresso beans
- Oreos (and all of their derivative flavors)
- You favorite candy bar (Reeses peanut butter cups, Rolos, and Snickers are all winners)
- Freeze-dried raspberries
- Andes mints (for you chocolate-mint lovers)
Delicious Brownie Topping Options
- Caramel sauce (drizzle on after the brownies are baked.)
- Chopped pretzels (try combining with the caramel sauce. Heaven.)
- Mini marshmallows and chopped graham crackers (sprinkle over the baked brownies, then place the brownies in the oven for 2-4 minutes, until the marshmallows melt. Ta-dah!)
- Mocha cream cheese frosting (spread over cooled brownies.)
My current favorite one-bowl brownie variation: Mix chopped pecans into the batter, then top with caramel sauce and crushed pretzels. It’s salty-sweet seduction.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
Pan size matters! Double-check the size of your pan. DO NOT use a 9×9 inch pan for this recipe as-is or your brownies will be thin and overcook.
- Combine the first six ingredients in a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water and warm until the butter is melted.
- It will look gritty but that’s OK.
- Add the wet ingredients (be sure to stir the eggs one at a time).
- Stir in the flours.
- Add the chocolate chips.
- Transfer batter to the prepared pan, then bake 25 to 30 minutes.
- Let brownies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Lift parchment and brownies from the pan and cut into squares. ENJOY!
- To Store. Store leftover brownies in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- To Serve. I enjoyed my brownies best either right out of the refrigerator or warmed in the microwave for a few seconds.
- To Freeze. Freeze brownies in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 2 months.
Recommended Tools to Make this Recipe
- Nesting Mixing Bowls. I use this set almost daily in my kitchen.
- Favorite Spatula. Obsessed with this one! Easy to wash, sturdy, and perfect for folding in ingredients.
One Bowl Brownies
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter or canola oil or extra-virgin olive oil*
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar sifted if lumpy
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder sifted if lumpy
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder optional; will yield a more intensely chocolaty brownie
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole wheat flour or additional all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
- Flaky sea salt such as Malon or fleur de sel (optional)
- Place a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. DO NOT use a 9×9 inch pan or your brownies will be thin and overcook.
- Place the butter, granulated sugar, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt in a medium heat proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
- Stir periodically until the butter is melted and the mixture is evenly incorporated. It will be thick and gritty. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and set aside to cool, until it is just warm.
- Add the water, vanilla, and first egg. Stir until the egg is fully incorporated. Then add the second egg and stir until it is fully incorporated. Continue stirring until the batter looks shiny.
- Sprinkle the all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour over the top and stir until combined.
- Once the flour has disappeared, stir the batter for 40 rotations (strokes). Stir in chocolate chips or any other desired mix-ins.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, smooth it into an even layer, then bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean with just a few crumbs clinging to it, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Let brownies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. (I recommend cooling for at least 2 hours if you can stand it. They taste even better!). Using the parchment paper “handles”, gently lift the brownies onto a cutting board. Slice into squares and enjoy.
- *Butter will yield brownies with the richest flavor and is tied for my top pick with olive oil. For dairy-free brownies, you can use canola oil for a taste that is the most similar to a boxed mix, or make olive oil brownies, which is my other favorite way to make this recipe. You can taste the olive oil; I love it as a pairing with chocolate, but for a more neutral flavor, use butter or canola oil.
- TO STORE. Store leftover brownies in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- TO SERVE. I enjoyed my brownies best either right out of the refrigerator or warmed in the microwave for a few seconds.
- TO FREEZE. Freeze brownies in an airtight freezer-safe storage container for up to 2 months.
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