21 Fudgy Brownie Recipes for the Ultimate Chocolate Lover
How do you define the best fudge brownie recipes? For starters, how about classic decadent chocolate, frosted mint, and Mississippi mud.
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I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I don’t know why anyone would make cakey brownies. (Dry! Disappointing!) IMHO, the whole point of brownies is a treat that’s over-the-top rich and so fudgy that it barely holds together, especially when they’re technically still too warm to cut but you Just. Can’t. Wait. Yeah, that’s how brownies should be. And I’m guessing that since you landed here, you feel the same way. Right on.
OK: dense, homemade fudgy brownies. So delightful and so easy, they’re the original one-bowl dessert, with no baking skill required. And yet, should you feel a tad more ambitious, the world of fudgy brownies holds many creative variations featuring Nutella, caramel, Oreos, and even homemade coffee ganache. Then there are fudgy brownies for special diets, because vegans, gluten-free, keto, and Paleo diet folks need their brownies too. Which is the best brownie recipe? You’ve got work ahead to find out. But friend in fudgy brownies, I know you’re up to the task. To that end, here are 21 brownie recipes for serious exploration.
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Before we dive into recipes, let’s get a few pressing questions out of the way, in case it's your first time baking brownies or you're just brownie-curious.
How to make brownies from scratch. The basic brownie formula is: Melt butter (unsalted butter or salted) and chocolate over low heat or in a microwave. Stir or whisk in granulated sugar, a couple of large eggs, and vanilla extract. Then add all-purpose flour and baking powder or baking soda. Scrape the batter into a baking dish or square pan, and bake.
How to make fudgy brownies. Achieving the perfect fudgy (aka fudgey) brownie is partly about proportions and partly about technique. For dense, moist, chocolatey treats, include plenty of fat and chocolate and not too much flour. Use melted butter or other fat, rather than softened butter that’s whipped with sugar (that would incorporate air and make the brownies cake-like). Also consider underbaking the brownies slightly for a gooey texture.
How to make chewy brownies. Compared to fudgy brownies, chewy ones often have a little more flour and a more substantial bite — though some people use the terms fudgy and chewy interchangeably.
How to make brownies with a crackly top. As you incorporate the eggs and sugar into the butter and chocolate, stirring or whisking vigorously will work in a little air, and this will create the crackly look. But to keep the brownies tender, don't overmix when you add the dry ingredients, just stir gently.
How to prepare the pan for brownies. To keep brownies from sticking, grease the pan with room-temperature butter or cooking spray, then shake a little flour all over to coat. Or line the pan with parchment paper.
How do you tell if brownies are done? A toothpick inserted into the center should come out with a few moist crumbs. If you overbake — until the toothpick comes out completely clean — the brownies may turn out dry.
How long do you let brownies cool? “As long as you can stand to wait” may be your answer, but at least 20 minutes to keep them from burning your mouth, and 45 minutes to an hour if you want the brownies to hold together nicely when cut. Or let them cool completely, if the batter was an especially gooey type or if you're adding a frosting (warm brownies will melt any frosting).
How do you cut brownies? A small sharp knife or a small serrated knife will cut through the brownies neatly, though if a table knife or butter knife is all you have, it will totally do the job, and leave crumbs for nibbling. And crumbs are calorie-free, right? Use a small offset spatula or a table knife to help you get the brownies out of the prepared pan.
How long do brownies last? Stored on the counter in an airtight container or wrapped tightly in the baking pan, brownies stay fresh for two to three days. Though they may only “last” a few hours after baking, if you know what I mean.
Can you freeze brownies? Perhaps you’re someone with remarkable willpower and find yourself with too many brownies on your hands. In that case, I salute you, and yes, brownies freeze very nicely in an airtight container up to three months or so.
Let's set the oven to preheat. On to the brownie recipes!
Classic fudgy brownie recipes
Straight-up decadent chocolate brownies: That’s what we have in this category. Here you’ll find easy brownie recipes made with semisweet and bittersweet chocolate, with cocoa powder, and with chocolate chips. (Milk chocolate gets a pass here.) Tweaks in technique and ingredients create some delightfully different results. If you're feeling fancy, any of these would be excellent with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.
Using a combination of bittersweet chocolate chips, semisweet chocolate chips, and unsweetened cocoa powder, plus both granulated and brown sugar, creates deep, layered chocolate flavor in this one-bowl recipe. You start by microwaving the butter and bittersweet chocolate to melt them. Fold semisweet chocolate chips into the final batter so you’ll get little bursts of chocolate in the finished brownies.
Maybe you’d prefer starting with chocolate bars for your brownies, as this blogger does — some people feel they melt more smoothly than chips. She adds Dutch process cocoa for a fudgier chocolate flavor, and then stirs chocolate chips into the batter. Another trick: No leavening means the brownies come out yummy and dense. (The next recipe takes this approach, too.)
The name almost says it all for this easy fudgy brownie. All you do is microwave salted butter and your favorite chocolate chips (dark chocolate or bittersweet) in a microwave-safe bowl until melted, then add the rest of the (five total) ingredients, and bake. Keep an eye on the cook time and doneness and look for some crumbs on the toothpick if you want to ensure the brownies will be moist.
Craving brownies but in a rush? With two boxes of cake mix, a box of pudding mix, some eggs, butter, and chocolate chips, you’ll have yourself a 9x13-inch pan of brownies in less than a half hour: Just 15 minutes baking time and 25 minutes total time.
This blogger swears by a touch of honey to keep her brownies moist. That, plus the combo of cocoa powder, dark chocolate, and unsweetened chocolate — and a thick slathering of buttery cocoa-and-powdered-sugar frosting — make them positively swoon-worthy. Add some cute rainbow candy chips on top, and you have something dessert-lovers of all ages will clamor for.
Fudgy brownies with nuts
One of our favorite partnerships, nuts and chocolate is a flavor theme you’re going to want to explore not just with different kinds of chopped nuts, but with nut spread.
Fudge brownies with walnuts are a classic combination, and this famous baking expert takes a smart additional step: She toasts them so they’ll stay crunchy after baking in the batter. She also adds a more unusual ingredient, chopped white chocolate, for an extra touch of cocoa butter.
Roasted hazelnuts plus Nutella add up to a double measure of rich, nutty flavor. Using brown sugar and melted butter helps ensure chewy brownies.
What, regular fudgy brownies aren't rich enough for you? How about gilding them with a layer of satiny ganache made from heavy cream, melted bittersweet chocolate, and coffee?
A full pound of chocolate goes into the fudgy base for these brownies. After baking, they're spread generously with a coconut-pecan frosting that will remind you of the classic cake, but in an even more indulgent brownie form.
Creative brownie recipes
While brownies are all about the chocolate, there’s no reason you can’t improve on a very good theme by adding in cookies, caramel, marshmallows, peanut butter, and other favorite ingredients.
To create this magic meet-up of Oreos and chocolate, you spread half the brownie batter in a pan, top with whole Oreos, then the rest of the batter, and some chopped Oreos. The brownie batter bakes up shiny and handsome around the cookies.
Homemade caramel plus salt plus chocolate? Mmm. To deliver on the flavor theme, there's half a teaspoon salt in the batter plus a good pinch of sea salt on top.
A graham cracker crumb crust, chopped Hershey bars, and a crown of toasty marshmallows will remind you deliciously of the campfire treat. You can start with a boxed brownie mix or a favorite from-scratch brownie recipe.
Once you've baked a panful of cocoa brownies, you'll top them with a rocky road topping made from heavy cream, milk chocolate chips and semisweet chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and chopped almonds. Don't miss the sprinkling of sea salt on top!
If your favorite brownie recipe features butterscotch rather than chocolate, but you still want chewy bars, you're in luck with this recipe.
The recipe creator had Andes Mints in mind when she came up with this knock-out recipe. You'll cover the baked dark brownies with a creamy mint filling and then a layer of melted chocolate.
A little espresso powder and dark cocoa go into the chocolate mixture to create the batter for these brownies. From there, a broiled marshmallow topping, gooey chocolate frosting, and chopped pecans guarantee they'll be irresistible.
If the idea of pairing peanut butter and chocolate brings a big smile to your face, try making a melted chocolate-coconut oil-brown sugar batter with warm peanut butter swirled throughout.
Chocolate brownies for special diets
Whether you eat vegan, keto, gluten-free, or Paleo, there’s no need to give up your brownie craving!
With this recipe you'll learn how easy it is to make vegan baking subs with supermarket ingredients, including vegan butter and dairy-free chocolate chips, and ground flax seeds instead of eggs. A generous amount of unsweetened cocoa in addition to the chips delivers on rich chocolate flavor and fudgy texture, but not saturated fat or cholesterol.
If you love the cinnamon and chili flavors in Mexican hot chocolate, just wait until you try them in brownie form. This vegan recipe calls for chocolate chips, but you could also use chocolate chunks if that's what you have on hand, since they simply get melted for the batter.
Folks who follow keto watch their carbohydrates very closely. These delicious brownies, made with sugar-free sweetener and gluten-free almond flour, will work very nicely.
Grain-free hazelnut flour and cocoa powder add rich flavor to this dense, moist cross between a brownie and a cake. Maple syrup and dates sweeten the deal.
More chocolate desserts to satisfy your craving
Still dreaming of all things chocolaty? You'll find more of our favorites in these next recipe collections.