So I recently had a startling revelation: I actually do have a sweet tooth.
After years and years of staunchly denying my sweet tooth, telling people that I have a ‘salty tooth’ in reference to my preference for chips, fries, pickles, and all things salty, I finally realized I’m a liar because I effing love sweets and what the hell was I ever talking about?
(Related: I also feel very ‘wtf’ in retrospect about my high school appearance, past boyfriends, and 90% of the mix-tapes I own that I once thought were great).
So yeah. I’m coming out with it: I have a sweet tooth. A massive one, in fact. I mean, as far as I’m concerned I could easily double-fist a basket of piping hot onion rings and a handful of macarons simultaneously. Just call me ‘classy’.
I figured this revelation out when I would look at my bank statements and realize I spent $70 on macarons from Laduree every time I visited New York. Or how whenever I visit a bakery, I have to try every. single. thing. and I secretly enjoy every. single. bite. It isn’t research; it’s because I’m a fat-ass who freakin’ loves food. End of story.
And brownies? LOVE ‘EM. While I’m still not wild about chocolate (you will not, in fact, find me shoveling a chocolate bar down my gullet — yet), I do love me some brownies. They’re pretty impossible to resist at any point in their short lifespan, but I’m especially weak for them right when they come out of the oven. They’re all hot and gooey, with those crackly-crisp tops. If there is anything sexier, let me know.
But so often, brownies are disappointing. It’s like when you highly anticipate the newest season in your favorite series because it’s about a circus and OMG, SOMUCHCREEPYPOTENTIAL but then they totally BLOW IT by making every lame character sing like this is some kind of disturbed Glee spin-off and you’re like, you really only had one episode with a ventriloquist doll? Really? and then you kinda sorta vow to never watch it again because it was such crap.
Hypothetically speaking, you know.
I’m here to change your views on brownies. Those “fudge” brownies that are drier than a Sahara desert in summertime? Never again. Brownies that are labeled as “chewy” but taste like chocolate cake? Sayonara, losers. And brownies that are too sweet, too fudgy, not sweet enough? Later dude. It’s time to say goodbye to mediocre brownies and HELLO to the most amazing, best, fudge brownies ever. I don’t like throwing around ‘best’ and ‘perfect’ all the time since I know brownie recipes can be subjective, of course. I don’t want to step on your ancient Grandma Mildred’s recipe, or your favorite boxed mix, but for me personally, this is my new favorite.
This recipe comes from a delicious bakery here in Sacramento called Ginger Elizabeth. If you’re ever here, I highly recommend stopping by for a sweet treat and some of their amazing hand-crafted artisanal chocolates.
But in the meantime… make these!
Best Ever Fudge Brownies
- 1 & 1/4 cups unsalted butter
- 3 cups white sugar
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract I recommend a high-quality vanilla like a Madagascar Bourbon
- 5 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 & 1/4th cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp instant espresso powder optional but recommended for a flavor boost; start with 1/2 tsp for a deeper flavor and use 1 tsp if you want something stronger
- 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips or baking bar
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate chips or baking bar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, melt the butter and chocolate together. You can either do this in a microwave-save bowl in the microwave, heating at 45-second increments, stirring after each round until smooth, or you can do it in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, like a double-boiler method (just make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl). I did the microwave method and it worked just fine.
- NOTE: if you are using baking bars (such as Baker's), break them up into individual, segmented pieces before melting. This helps expedite the melting process and make for a smooth batter.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the sugar, eggs and vanilla with the paddle attachment until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the chocolate butter mixture until smooth. Then, add in the flour, espresso powder (if using) and salt until a soft yet thick batter has formed.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs (not super wet). Here's where it's up to your preference. I baked mine for exactly 37 minutes, creating VERY fudgy brownies that almost seemed slightly undone which is how I like it. If you want something still fudgy but more structured, bake up to 45 minutes. Do not overbake, as brownies WILL continue to cook and set up once they cool.
- Allow brownies to cool, preferably overnight, before cutting into bars. Brownies may slightly sink in the middle during cooling; this is normal. If you'd like, you can frost them or sprinkle them with powdered sugar. Serve room temperature or warm, and store leftovers airtight at room temperature for up to a week. These would freeze well, too - wrap individually and freeze up to 3 months.
Oh my fudge.
I mean, these are positively irresistible! Like I said, buttery, fudgy, moist and chewy with those delectable crispy-crunchy tops that add such great texture to these monstrous fudge-bombs. As you may have noticed, there is no leavening in these brownies since they’re already so thick and tall on their own. Even for a 13×9″ pan, these bake up some seriously thick brownies. Feel free to substitute an 11×16 pan or something larger like a sheet pan if you’d like; just reduce the baking time and mind the brownies so they don’t burn or overcook.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some lost time to make up for 🙂
Have a delicious day!!
Melisa Wells says
I just bruised my nose, trying to dive into the monitor and grab one of those with my teeth. Okay, only in my mind but YUM.
Haha! It’s 2015. Why isn’t there smellovision, Melisa!? Thanks for the laugh! xo!
Fudgy brownies look WONDERFUL, and thank you for sharing them with all of us!
You are so welcome, Barbara! Enjoy! xo!
June Burns says
Those look divine! I can easily see why they are a favorite 🙂
June – I’m hoping if you give ’em a try, they’ll be your new favorite as well 🙂 thank you!
I know EXACTLY what show you are referring to! I liked freak show OK but yeah it was lacking. The best episodes were with the dummy! WTF!? And that all ended as quickly as it began!! haha my boyfriend, Cody, kept saying he hated each episode because nothing happened. I kind of agree. People died here and there and then the rest was blah. haha that aside, these brownies look to DIE FOR! haha get it? die? ok, i’m out of here…
In a Nutshell…
SaraLily, AGREED. I felt like there was no real connection to any of the freaks. I felt kinda bad when they died, but otherwise I was like… okay, and? They really stretched Dandy’s character out too far and I really wished they would have kept Twisty — he was the BEST! And so creepy. *sigh* oh well, at least I have my beloved first and second seasons!
Renee @ Tortillas and Honey says
So you know how everyone was their search for the best chocolate chip cookie? I have that as well with brownies! I absolutely love them… and I want the fudgiest, gooeyist brownie! I’m totally with you on the cakey brownies, not my thing. I’m gonna have to definitely try yours!!
Renee, eek – I’m so glad you’re on Team Fudgy with me. These brownies are the FUDGIEST EVER. Let me know how you like ’em!
Jocelyn @BruCrew Life says
Oh, my gosh! I am dying at how rich and gooey those brownies look! I want like 6 right now!!!
You and me both sista! I need to remake them STAT!
Janet Wells says
Hayley, just made these brownies for the second time and used 12 oz of 70% cacao chips and 4 oz of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Oh my! Pretty much need some ice cream with these to cut the sweet but oh, so yummy! I can’t keep them in the house!
Janet – ooh, I love your chocolate switch-up! These are so sweet but so worth it, and your ice cream idea is brilliant. So glad you enjoyed them! (Psst, I’ll gladly take some off your hands!) 🙂
Any way to substitute the unsweetened chocolate bar for unsweetened cocoa powder? TY!
Hi there, CB! Sure thing! I’m sure it’ll work just fine 🙂
Absolutely! Afterall, our Grandparents probably didn’t have ready to go chocolate chips and baking chocolate readily available. I found an absolutely wonderful site for such conversions….
Chocolate, Unsweetened: << 4 Oz called in this recipe which equals a 1/2 Cup. So 3/4 Cup of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder and 4 Tablespoons or 1/4 Cup of Butter,etc.
3 level tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder and 1 tablespoon butter, margarine or shortening for every 1-ounce unsweetened baking chocolate.
Chocolate, Semi-Sweet: <<<<< This recipe calls for 12 oz Semi-Sweet which is going to be 1.5 Cups ; So you will need a total of 36 Tablespoons of Unsweetened Cocoa Powder or 2 1/4 Cups Cocoa Powder, same with Sugar – 2 1/4 Cups Sugar and 3/4 Cup of Butter to Substitute the Semi-Sweet.
3 level tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon butter, margarine or shortening for every 1 ounces of semi-sweet baking chocolate.
OMG this looks sooooooo YUMMMMMY, I cannot wait to try it!!
They look amazing! What cup size is used?
Thank you so much for posting this recipe……just made these and they are fabulous! You were not exaggerating about the fudgey thickness of these, the are absolutely AMAZING!
SO glad you loved them Barbara!!
Maggie Shambrook says
Wow fabulous thanks for sharing this great recipe!!! I have made them and used half brown sugar this gave them a little more depth of flavour I think. Well done in working this one out.
Awesome, so glad you loved them Maggie!
How do you get the brownies to have that crispy top layer? Anytime I make brownies they never have that.
Hi Chelsea! You can achieve that crispy top crust by beating the eggs in the batter for longer than the recipe states, up to a minute or so longer. So cream the butter and sugar together, then beat the eggs in for about a minute before adding the other ingredients. This will aerate the eggs and give them more of a meringue texture in the final product, resulting in a crispy top!
Rosario Brondolo says
I can’t achieve the crackly top either but I am not too sure I understand. You mean that I should melt the Chocolate alone and cream the butter and sugar instead? Because I thought to beat eggs with sugar for much longer and then continue with the regular recipe, what do you think?
Hi Rosario! Well the recipe states that you should melt the chocolate and butter together. One of the tricks for getting the crackly tops is to cream the eggs and sugar together longer than usual to really incorporate lots of air pockets. I also like to add in the butter/chocolate mixture to the creamed sugar/egg mixture while the chocolate is still warm and mix well. I find that warming the sugar with the chocolate helps develop the crackly top too.
Thank you so much!! They came out thick and amazing and my Valentine loved them
Perfect! Thanks Chelsea!
DIDNT WORK. i made these for an event and they were dry and crumbly. i think it was because of the 5 EGGS that were in the recipie. maybe try like 1 egg or just dont use this recipie cause it sucks
Elizabeth, it sounds like you over baked your brownies. The eggs wouldn’t have anything to do with dryness.
Rosario Brondolo says
Maybe you can’t bake…I always use it and they come out great. Do not blame the book…blame the cook
Rosario Brondolo says
You did something wrong, probably overbaked. I’ve been using this recipe for some time and they always come out absolutely amazing
Blame the cook, not the book!
This was fantastic. Tried it this morning and absolutely loved it. Halved the recipe and used fructose in place of the sugar and 3 eggs. Simply divine but mine didn’t have the crunch on top. I read your comment to someone else’s comment so will definitely beat the egg mixture for a minute longer the next time!
Sham, so glad you loved them!!
Hi, can we substitute Greek yoghurt for the butter? if so what would the quantity be for half a recipe?
I have not tried this with Greek yogurt instead of the butter, so I couldn’t tell you. Sorry!
Samantha Kate says
Can’t wait to try these!! I’m going to switch the sugar for brown sugar and add some mini marshmallows for an extra surprise! These look absolutely divine!! Thank you so much for the recipe!!
Samantha, I love the twist you’re adding! Great suggestions! Enjoy!
Jo Kolowrat says
I fell in love with the photo of the perfect fudgy brownies . This recipe did not disappoint! They came out with the thin crisp top and deep fudgy soft middle. Make sure you beat the egg mixture well. I used a half cup less sugar and it made for a deeper richer flavor without using the espresso powder. AMAZING with good quality vanilla ice cream. This is an excellent recipe one of the best I’ve tried!!
Jo, I am SO happy you loved these brownies! Thanks for the review!
I make these brownies ALL of the time. Thank you for this amazing recipe. My mom has requested them for her birthday and mother’s day presents this year. The BEST brownie I have ever had – well deserved cap attack.
Woo! So so happy you and your mama love them, Kiki!
I’m going to try these because they look delicious… but who knows if they will turn out. There’s a stupid add directly over the directions that I can’t exit out of. Even when I try to hit the print icon it takes me to a the Buick page. Super lame.
I’m so sorry, Jacqui! I will look into it.
Made these, baked fore 45 minutes and they came out super moist and fudgy but still had a nice chew. The flavor was very intense and nice and sweet. This is the best recipe thank you! Also, glad it makes a lot because my family is big and they ate it all up!
So glad it was a success, Liz!
Suzy Homemaker says
This was to date the best brownie recipe I have ever encountered. It is life changing. I have dreams about these brownies and I have to work hard to make other baked goods the caliber of this recipe. I love that it didn’t need reworking, it was perfect. Sure, you could do some chocolate variations and such, but the way it is? I’m weak in the knees just thinking about the next pan. I have and will continue to spread this recipe far and wide since it is hands down the best damned brownie ever. No frosting necessary! 😀
Thanks so much Suzy! I am so so happy you loved them. They make me swoon, too!
Any suggestions for adding nuts? I would love to try this recipe but with some nuts added to it. Pecans maybe? My mother loves brownies but prefers them with nuts. Thank you!!
Hi Kylie, go ahead and add 1-1 & 1/2 cups of chopped nuts to the batter. Any kind of nut will work!
Made these numerous times and they are absolutely fabulous!!! Thank you!!
NW, love that! Thanks for your great comment!
A great big THANK YOU for the delicious brownie recipe! I’ve made them several times and can honestly say they are a little taste of heaven! I only bake them 37 minutes and they are very fudgy and yummy. My problem is that the edges are always hard. Do you have any suggestions?
Hi Jackie! Hm.. sorry the edges seem to be harder! Maybe try tenting the perimeter of the pan with foil, which may help prevent them from over-cooking.
Made the recipe and have mixed feelings. The texture was properly gooey and I very much appreciated the butter/chocolate amount used. I agree with the previous folks who lessened the amount of sugar and/or used dark brown sugar. I feel like this would have added more depth. I used a little coffee concentrate with chicory, which made for a nice flavor.
Here is what I would change–without flour, this is more of a custard, or a fudge, really. It’s not *really* a brownie, per se, but to each their own (meaning: if you dig it–right one. Just not quite my deal). The flour would also make it somewhat less sweet, which I would appreciate. It was kinda too sweet for me.
Fun to make. Thank you for the recipe, DR!
Hi I’ve made this before and it’s perfect! Thanks for the recipe! I want to make a smaller batch for a friend who could really use these right now. Can it be halved successfully and then baked in an 8×8 square pan? Thanks
Vixie B. says
These look amazingly delicious! Would love to make them as a birthday treat to share with family as I prefer brownies to cake! Do not have a standing mixer, though. Would a hand held egg beater work? Thanks for sharing!
Vixie, it sure will!
I’m waiting for them to cool right now (and its 2am!)….I come back to see my mate gouged a hole in the middle because they smelled so good he couldnt wait. He was “testing the doneness” he claims. I followed this recipe to a T except without espresso powder. Ill let you know tomorrow how they taste! Sweet dreams!!
Best brownie recipient ever. Have made so many and this is by far the best.
Diana Knuckles says
I love how simple your recipe are to print. The way you have them formatted it perfect. SIMPLE, PRINT BOOM DONE!
You are now in my Favorites!
I had a question regarding the butter. Is it 1 1/4th cup melted butter? Or how do u measure solid butter in cups?
Hi Narmeen, I know, it can be kind of confusing! So I’m not sure if you’re in America or not, but we measure via Tablespoons and cups which is very confusing! One stick is 1/2 cup which is also 8 Tablespoons. So you would need 2 & 1/2 sticks or 20 Tablespoons of butter to equal 1 & 1/4 cups of butter, which in turn you will melt for the recipe. Hope this helps!
I’ve been looking for a really good fudge brownies forever! This is exactly what I needed and this is going to be my go to recipe for sure.
HOWEVER the amount of sugar here is insane I used a little less than 1 cup and it was still a little too sweet.
Hi, is it posible to get measures in grams?