If you’re looking for the BEST Fudgy Chocolate Brownies Ever, then you’ve come to the right place! 🙂 This tried and true recipe uses cocoa powder (instead of melted chocolate) to make double fudge cocoa brownies that are slightly chewy and fudgy at the edges of the pan, while the middle pieces are super fudgy.
Fudgy chocolate brownies made with cocoa powder – fudgy and bittersweet!
I’ve been waiting to share this recipe with you guys for a while now. I really wanted to perfect this recipe for the BEST fudgy chocolate brownies ever, and I finally got around to sharing it. 🙂
These fudgy cocoa brownies have just the right amount of sweetness with deep, bittersweet chocolate flavor. I’ve also included plenty of tips in this post to help you make the BEST fudgy chocolate brownies!
These fudgy chocolate brownies are a hit no matter who or what occasion I bake them for. But it did take me a few tries to get it right. I usually make brownies with melted chocolate (which is great, obviously), but I wanted brownies that were even fudgier with MORE chocolate (which is never a bad thing in my book).
So I started experimenting with cocoa brownies. And after numerous attempts, I’ve perfected the recipe for these addictive fudgy chocolate brownies (or as I’d like to call them Double Fudge Cocoa Brownies).
These fudgy chocolate brownies (cocoa brownies) have been tested over and over again, so I can confidently say that this recipe is foolproof! 🙂 And they don’t mess around in terms of flavor either. They are double chocolate cocoa brownies (or double fudge cocoa brownies), with deep chocolate flavor.
- 30 minutes for extra gooey, fudgy pieces in the middle, and perfectly fudgy pieces at the edges of the baking pan.
- 35 minutes for perfectly fudgy pieces in the middle, and chewy-fudgy edges.
- 40 minutes for chewy-fudgy pieces in the middle, and chewy edges.
Ingredients needed to make cocoa brownies
It helps to understand what each ingredient contributes to your chocolate brownie recipe, so that you can learn how to make the perfect fudgy chocolate brownie with cocoa powder!
Why does this chocolate brownie recipe use cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate?
The melted chocolate adds the fudginess to chocolate brownies. Or more specifically, it’s the cocoa butter and sugar in the chocolate that make chocolate brownies fudgy. However, since cocoa butter remains a solid at room temperature, the chocolate brownies tend to be a bit firm as well.
So instead of melted chocolate, these fudgy brownies are made with cocoa powder. The cocoa powder also adds a deeper chocolate flavor to these brownies. Another advantage of making cocoa brownies is that here you remove all the cocoa butter and replace it with regular butter instead.
And since regular butter is soft at room temp., this makes the brownies extra fudgy. It’s important to use melted butter for this recipe. Unmelted butter will make the brownies more cake-like than fudgy.
But by removing melted chocolate, you’re also removing a certain amount of sweetness (sugar) as well. So you must add extra sugar to compensate for that in this fudgy chocolate brownie recipe.
What does the sugar do in a cocoa brownie recipe? And which sugar is better? White sugar or brown sugar?
- The obvious purpose is to add sweetness. Cocoa powder is bitter, and the extra sugar will provide balance and make the chocolate brownie sweeter (instead of bitter, which obviously isn’t as desirable).
- Sugar makes the brownies “softer”. This is because sugar acts as a tenderizer for baked recipes. For example, with regular vanilla cakes, recipes with extra sugar tend to have a softer crumb. For this brownie recipe though, we are not really worried about getting “softer” brownies, as it doesn’t really provide an advantage as such. What we want is a fudgy chocolate brownie.
- White sugar makes the chocolate brownies chewier. Since white sugar is “dry” (with no molasses) it melts to create a chewier brownie.
- Brown sugar makes the brownies fudgy. The molasses in brown sugar melts to create a “wetter” batter that becomes fudgier when baked.
So with all this in mind, I decided that it was important to include both kinds of sugar in this fudgy cocoa brownie recipe. You can use ALL white sugar if you do want a chewier brownie, and use ALL brown sugar for a fudgier chocolate brownie recipe. However, be mindful of the baking times when you make those adjustments, as you could end up with slightly different results then.
Role of eggs in the brownies
Eggs play a big role in chocolate brownies as well. A brownie isn’t really a brownie without a shiny, nice, crackly top, amiright? Eggs + sugar is how you achieve that deliciously crackly brownie surface!
How to get the glossy, crackly brownie surface
The eggs and sugar are beaten together until you have a pale, thick mix. This stage is crucial to create that beautiful brownie crust. The eggs beating vigorously with the sugar incorporates air which creates an almost meringue-like mix. And THAT is what creates that crackly brownie crust we all love!
This also brings us to another reason why eggs are important in this fudgy chocolate brownie recipe. Egg whites help create the meringue-like crust, while the yolks help make the chocolate brownies fudgy.
Since I wanted extra fudgy brownies, I used 3 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk. When I make these cocoa brownies using ONLY whole eggs, the edges of the brownies become more cake-like than fudgy. And if I removed 2 whole eggs and used 2 extra egg yolks, the brownies were fudgy, but the batter was too dry. So 3 whole eggs plus 1 egg yolk is the sweet spot.
To make these cocoa brownies EXTRA fudgy, I added chopped dark chocolate to the batter as well! 🙂 You can substitute this (or add in addition to it) with chopped nuts, or other types of chocolate like white chocolate or milk chocolate, or even fruits like raspberries and strawberries, or even crushed Oreos!
How to make fudgy cocoa brownies
First step is to melt the butter. You can use your microwave for this (with a heatproof bowl), or even your stove top. Just remember to keep an eye on the butter.
Add the sugar (brown + white sugar) next along with the salt. The heat from the butter will melt the sugar and salt. It’s important to mix these ingredients well to form a smooth mix. This also helps to cool down the butter mixture.
The next step is to add the eggs and flavoring. This step is important because you want the brownie batter to transform into a pale, frothy, meringue-y batter! Use a hand mixer and mix on medium speed for at least 2 minutes, or until you see the batter thicken and become pale in color.
Sift and add the flour and cocoa powder (dry ingredients) next. You can do this separately and fold it into the brownie batter in two steps (this ight be easier for beginners, to prevent overmixing). OR you can sift the dry ingredients DIRECTLY into the brownie batter and then fold it in afterwards.
Remember to NOT OVERMIX!
Have the chopped chocolate or nuts ready to go. These are added during the folding process, while the dry ingredients are about 2/3 of the way incorporated. The reason I don’t incorporate the flour mix first before adding the chocolate is to prevent overmixing of the batter.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. If you feel generous, you can add a few chunks of chocolate on top too! These will bake into gooey melty chocolate pools once baked 🙂
Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C. Bake the brownies according to your liking (see the times above, or in the recipe card). Less for a fudgy chocolate brownie, and longer for brownie with a chewier texture. Once they are done, resist all urges to cut into them immediately! Allow them to cool completely, because these taste MUCH better once they have rested. If you ABSOLUTELY MUST expedite this process, let them cool in the fridge (uncovered).
Not only are the flavors better when these have cooled down, but they will be easier to cut too! Remember, the brownies are pretty fudgy…
Since these cocoa brownies are decadent, they don’t need any frosting. But you could drizzle them with extra chocolate sauce. They taste GREAT on their own, BUT I could NEVER turn down a slightly warmed up brownie with a scoop of creamy luscious ice cream either!
More tips on how to make these perfect fudgy cocoa brownies
- Use melted, very warm butter. The butter melts both types of sugar during mixing which helps create that fudgy and chewy texture, and the meringue-like, crackly surface.
- Use unsalted butter so you can control the amount of salt you add to the recipe. If you use salted butter, you will need to adjust the amount of salt in the recipe.
- Use both types of sugar for best results. That way you get the best of both worlds – chewy and fudgy brownies!
- Mix the butter, sugar and eggs together for at least 2 minutes. So that you have a pale, thick mix.
- NEVER over-mix the flour and cocoa powder. You want to avoid using a hand-held mixer to fold in the dry ingredients. Whether you use a hand-held beater or spatula, you should mix the flour and cocoa powder ONLY until they are just mixed through. This way you avoid the gluten from developing, and end up with a deliciously fudgy brownie. Over-mixed brownie batter on the other hand, results in cakey brownies.
- Make sure to cut with a clean warm knife, for every cut, to get those nice clean edges. Dip the knife in warm water and wipe clean in between each cut to get the cleanest cuts.
Frequently asked questions about these brownies
Since I want to keep these chocolate brownies fudgy and dense, I don’t use any leaveners. This could cause the brownies to rise and give them a cake like texture.
I don’t recommend it. I use AP flour that has no chemical leaveners, and self raising flour does. You could end up with a more cake like brownie.
Absolutely!! You can use a combination of chocolate and nuts, or just nuts too. Keep the total amount of additions to 8 oz / 226 g if possible.
You can! The brownies will take less time to bake because they will be less thick. So keep an eye on them as they bake. This can vary from 20 to 25 minutes for fudgy brownies and 30 to 35 minutes for chewy brownies.
You can use either for this recipe. I use a dutch processed cocoa (usually Callebaut), but you can use either one of these. You can even use cacao powder too.
I like to use anything between semi sweet chocolate to bittersweet chocolate (50% chocolate – 70% chocolate). But you can use milk chocolate or white chocolate too.
While I prefer buying blocks or using couverture chocolate, you can use store bought chocolate chips too. These are more likely to be compound chocolate that doesn’t melt as much during the baking process.
At room temperature, they will last 3 – 5 days.
In the fridge, they should last about 2 weeks. Let them come to room temperature before you eat (or warm it gently). This prevents the brownies and chocolate chunks from being too hard.
In the freezer, they should should last at least one month. Allow them to defrost at room temperature before eating them though!
These fudgy chocolate brownies are so decadent and rich in flavor with perfectly sweet, deep, bittersweet chocolate flavor. And they also keep really well in the fridge (in an air-tight container). It’s a great recipe for beginners too!
So you can make batches of brownies and store in the fridge for a special occasion or whenever you fancy some fudgy, chocolatey deliciousness in your life! 🙂 Remember to let them come to room temperature a little before eating them. These will be PERFECT for Valentine’s day as well. Who wouldn’t want the best chocolate brownie recipe as a present?
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EQUIPMENT & TOOLS I USED FOR THIS RECIPE
8 x 8 square cake pan – You can change the pan size, but this will effect the thickness of the brownies and the cooking time. An 8 x 8 cake pan give the perfect consistency to my brownies, with perfect gooeyness in the middle, and no dryness in the edge pieces.
Hand Mixer – makes the process of mixing the ingredients so easy.
Mixing Bowls – I love these microwaveable ones so that they are versatile.
Spatula – to mix, and scrape out the batter.
The Best Fudgy Chocolate Brownies
- 8 oz butter 2 sticks of butter
- 6 oz brown sugar packed 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp
- 6 oz white sugar 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp coffee extract optional
- 3 eggs
- 1 yolk
- 8 oz dark chocolate cut into chunks
- 3 oz cocoa powder I use Dutch cocoa powder (callebaut) 3/4 cup sifted
- 3 oz AP flour approximately 2/3 cup
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8 x 8 inch square pan with parchment paper. To make it easier to remove the brownies later, have an overhang of parchment paper over the edges of the baking pan. Set aside when done.
- Place the butter in a heat-proof bowl and microwave to completely melt the butter.
- Add the brown sugar, white sugar and salt while the butter is still warm. Mix to combine the butter and sugars together until you have a smooth paste.
- Add the vanilla, coffee extract (if using), eggs and egg yolks to the butter-sugar mix. Whisk in the eggs until they have been incorporated into the butter sugar mix. Using a hand mixer, whisk the butter-sugar-egg mix on medium speed, until the batter becomes pale in color (about 2 minutes).
- In a separate bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder together.
- Add the flour-cocoa mix into the wet ingredients (in two batches if that’s easier) and mix it in until just combined. DO NOT OVER-MIX. Add about ⅔ of the chopped chocolate halfway through the mixing in of the flour. The goal is to make sure the batter is not over-mixed when the flour is being incorporated.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Spread the batter evenly. Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate on top.
- Bake for 30 – 40 minutes (30 minutes = extra fudgy, 35 minutes = perfectly fudgy for my liking, 40 minutes = less fudgy).
- Remove from the oven and let it cool down to room temperature. Remove the brownies from the pan and let them chill in the fridge for a couple of hours (chilled brownies are easier to cut).
- Cut the brownies into 16 pieces. Use a warm knife to cut, making sure to clean the blade after each cut for clean, neat edges.