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.
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.
Pair this with
Oat Milk Ice Cream
Banana Ice Cream
Avocado Ice Cream
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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No matter your brownie preferences (or dietary needs) I have a brownie recipe for you:
Hi, these look delicious! By any chance is there a substitute for espresso powder if I don’t have that on-hand? I’d love to try these this weekend but won’t be able to get to a store by then. I totally understand if not. Thanks!
Hi Rachel! You can swap a larger amount (I’d suggest 1 1/2 times) the amount of regular instant coffee, but if you don’t have that on hand either, I’d simply omit it. The brownies are still super delicious, even without it. For future, if it were a chocolate cake or muffin, you could use a tablespoon or so of really REALLY strongly brewed coffee and then subtract the amount you add from the other liquids, but since brownies don’t have liquids to subtract, I’d use instant coffee or just omit it entirely. I hope that helps!
Thanks so much for the quick response. I do actually have some instant coffee laying around so I will try that! Great suggestion. Thank you again! :)
I made these and they were delicious!!! They were a big hit, so I will make sure to keep this recipe as my staple whenever I’m in need of brownies.
YAY!! I’m so happy to hear that Rachel. Thanks for trying the recipe and taking time to leave this wonderful review!
I wasted no time in making these. Within a few hours of receiving the post in my email, these delicious brownies were baking in my oven. I used Andes baking chips as my mix-in (omitting the chocolate chips), and the result was delicious! Thanks for an easy, scrumptious recipe.
I love your style Jocelyn! Life is too short to wait for brownies :) I’m sooooo happy to hear that you loved these. Thanks for trying the recipe and stopping back by to leave this review!
HI Erin, I’d like to make these for my sister-in-law who was recently diagnosed with celiac disease. Do you have any idea if GF flour would work as a substitute? She has had to radically change her lifestyle, lives in Canada and is coming for a visit. I’d love to surprise her!
Hi Marina! That is so sweet that you want to surprise your sister-in-law. I’ve never made these GF, but my best suggestion for where to start would be a 1:1 GF baking blend like this one: http://amzn.to/1TyLawC. Use 1/2 cup of it in place of the flour in this recipe. I hope that helps and that you both enjoy the recipe very much!
Hi Erin! I was wondering if you can swap the 1/2 cup butter for 1/2 cup coconut oil? My friend recently had a baby and her little boy is sensitive to milk so she can’t eat any. Would you still need to heat it and everything? Thanks!
Hi Rachel! The flavor won’t be as rich (butter does add a lot to the flavor), but I think it would bake just fine. I’m not sure if she needs dairy free chocolate too? If yes, I’ve heard good things about Enjoy Life brand chocolate, though I’ve never tried baking with it myself. If you decide to experiment with coconut oil/dairy free chocolate, I’d love to hear how they come out!
Also, here is a link to the Enjoy Life chocolate chips, in case you need them: http://amzn.to/2afb21a
Hello again! So I made half a recipe with coconut oil instead of butter and chopped up baker’s chocolate that was 100% cocoa and it turned out great! However it did have a distinct coconut flavor but my friend really enjoyed them. I also did not heat the the coconut oil since mine was already melted. Thanks again for help!
Rachel, thanks for reporting back! Did you use virgin coconut oil? I find the coconut flavor of it to be less pronounced, but I’m glad your friend loved them anyway!
Yes, I used organic virgin coconut oil from Trader Joes but maybe I just have a sensitive palate ? Thanks again!
I made these tonight and added a chopped Hershey’s bar to the batter along with a handful of dark chocolate chips. Served them with cookie dough ice cream for my own take on Ben & Jerry’s Half-Baked – fabulous! Such a quick and easy recipe – will definitely be my go-to when the brownie craving strikes!
Jenni, that sounds like a delicious batch of brownies! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave this awesome review and share your tweaks!
These turned out great! Thank you! I made them for a party tomorrow and wanted to know if you rec storing at room temp or in the fridge??
Anne, we keep ours at room temp. I hope you love them!
I wanted to make something from scratch but not too fussy for a coworker’s birthday and chose these brownies. They turned out amazing! My first time making brownies from scratch. Everyone was very impressed, and I was told they tasted like a mix between brownies, truffles, and fudge. Perfect description and such an amazing treat!
YAY Allison! I am so pleased to hear this, thank you! They are our go-to brownies too.
This recipe has ruined me for every box mix brownie. It’s just not the same once you have tasted the simple decadence of a homemade batch of brownies. Your recipe is the only one I make in my kitchen now!
Emma, I’m so glad you love the brownies! Thanks for taking the time to leave this lovely review.
I made the olive oil version of these, sprinkled with flaked salt. Delicious! My go-to brownie recipe from now on!
Hi Natalie! So glad you enjoyed the brownies! Thank you for this kind review!
Hi! These look great but it would be so helpful to have metric conversions for those of us not used to cups! (Mostly Europe I think)
Hi Ash! Unfortunately, I’m not able to provide metric measurements. There are several online conversion sites—one good one is from King Arthur! Here’s the link: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/ingredient-weight-chart. I hope you enjoy this recipe if you give it a try!
One Bowl Brownies are the best brownies in the world!!! I can’t say enough good things about their chocolately deliciousness and how easy they are to make. They are now my go-to dessert whenever I have company. Thank you Erin for introducing them to me and my family.
Hi Allison! So glad you enjoyed them! Thank you for this kind review!
This is the go-to brownie recipe at our house. So great!
Hi Kristy! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
I didn’t use the double-boiler method. Instead, I melted the butter in the microwave, then added the rest of the ingredients. Took a little longer in the oven than the recipe instructs as well. They turned out FABULOUSLY. Super easy and one of only two brownie recipes I’ve ever made that are better than the boxed mix. This one’s a keeper!
Hi Laura! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review and the feedback!
These are the gooiest brownies I’ve ever had. Just what I was looking for! I was making sure I could use margarine and saw canola oil and thought, good enough. So good. Thanks for the recipe 🙌
Hi Kristy! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
These are really rich and really good! I find they aren’t quite as sweet as a lot of brownie recipes, which is a good thing. My family loves them!
Hi Lisa! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
I needed a quick brownie fix and mannnnn did this hit the spot! These are fudgy and rich and go amazing with a big glass of milk!
Hi Jess! So glad you enjoyed the recipe! Thank you for this kind review!
I’m stuck on the double boiler part .. trying to figure out a bowl to use .. I’m guessing glass would work?
Hi Tiffany! Yes, glass works great! ENJOY!