21 Fudgy Brownie Recipes for the Ultimate Chocolate Lover
How do you define the best fudge brownies? For starters, how about classic decadent chocolate, frosted mint, and Mississippi mud.
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!) In my humble opinion, 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 too warm to cut still 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.
Okay: dense, fudgy, homemade 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. And 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.
Before we dive into recipes, though, 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. The dense, moist, chocolatey treats here include plenty of fat and chocolate and not too much flour. The batter is made with melted butter or other fat, rather than softened butter that’s whipped with sugar (which would incorporate air and make the brownies cake-like). Fudgy brownies may also be slightly underbaked 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, if you stir or whisk vigorously you’ll 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. 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. Bake longer—until the toothpick comes out completely clean—and 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 there’s a frosting involved (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 / 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.
Now, on to the brownie recipes!
Classic fudgy chocolate brownies
Straight-up decadent chocolate: 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. (Note that 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 most excellent with a scoop of ice cream on top.
Outrageously Amazing One-Bowl 5-Ingredient Brownies
The name almost says it all for this extra-easy recipe. 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 (only 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.
Melt-In-Your-Mouth Fudgy Brownies
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. As with the previous one, you start by microwaving the butter and bittersweet chocolate to melt them, but here, you fold semisweet chocolate chips into the final batter so you’ll get little bursts of chocolate in the finished brownies.
Seriously Fudgy Homemade 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 cocoa for a deeper, richer chocolate flavor, and then stirs chocolate chips into the batter. Another trick: No leavening means the brownies come out yummy and dense. (The first recipe takes this approach, too.)
Fudgy Cake Mix Brownies
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.
Rose Levy Beranbaum’s Fudge Brownies
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.
Super Fudgy Chocolate Frosted Brownies
This blogger swears by a touch of honey to keep her brownies moist. That, plus the combo of cocoa powder, dark, 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.
Chocolate brownies for special diets
Whether you eat vegan, keto, gluten-free, or Paleo, there’s no need to give up your brownie craving!
Best Ever Vegan Brownies
Vegan butter and dairy-free chocolate chips in lieu of their dairy-based counterparts, and ground flax seeds instead of eggs: These are vegan subs you can easily make these days using ingredients from a supermarket. A generous amount of unsweetened cocoa in addition to the chips delivers on the rich chocolate flavor and fudgy texture.
The next recipes give you another vegan option, with Mexican cinnamon and chili; we also have a sugar-free recipe that works if you eat keto or gluten-free; and a brownie with less-refined ingredients that works beautifully for Paleo folks.
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, coconut, and any number of other favorite ingredients.
Fudgy Oreo Brownies
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.
Chewy Fudgy Salted Caramel Brownies
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.
Nuts plus chocolate
One of our favorite partnerships, nuts and chocolate, is a flavor theme you’re going to want to explore via the addition of Nutella, chopped hazelnuts (with an ultra-rich coffee ganache frosting), or a coconut-pecan German chocolate frosting.
Just a few additions to your brownie base in the form of marshmallows, graham crackers, or butterscotch chips (in the case of the blondie recipe), and you suddenly have a completely different treat.
Why not show off a bit with your brownies by adding a minty butter frosting plus chocolate glaze, a layer of melty marshmallows for Mississippi mud, or a swirl of red velvet and cream cheese?
Whether you're baking for your family at home or preparing a spectacular dessert to bring to a dinner party, there are thousands more brownie recipes to browse on Yummly.