Brownies & Bars/ Chocolate/ Dessert/ easy/ no mixer/ quick

Cocoa Brownies

February 11, 2014

Incredibly fudgy and chocolaty cocoa brownies. Makes a perfect giveaway.

The BEST cocoa brownies. Incredibly fudgy! |

I always use chocolate bars to make brownies. So why did I try these cocoa brownies the first place? For the same reason you are going to. You really want to make brownies right now, but you don’t have any chocolate. Luckily, you have cocoa in your pantry (right?).

The BEST cocoa brownies. Incredibly fudgy! |

I used to stick to brownies made with chocolate bars, because every time I tried cocoa brownies, they didn’t compare in fudginess. But, that shows me that there’s always something new to learn.
I began searching for recipes that used cocoa and came across a recipe by Alice Medrich, who I adore, which seems to be recommended by everyone. Seems trustworthy to me! It was settled. This is the one I would try.

The BEST cocoa brownies. Incredibly fudgy! |

The results were surprising. They really were. These brownies are incredibly fudgy. The flavor screams chocolate. They are delicious! However, they are more like something between a cake and a brownie – just a really fudgy one. Regardless, I LOVED it and would definitely make them again.

The BEST cocoa brownies. Incredibly fudgy! |

Now, try to count the number of times I’ve mentioned the word fudgy so far.
Or don’t.

The brownies cut beautifully and are convenient to store and transfer, making them a wonderful giveaway gift! I attached a bite-size sample to my wedding invitations as a small gift and it was huge hit. People loved them!

To make the brownies place the butter, cocoa, sugar and salt in a bowl and melt in the microwave in 30-seconds intervals, stirring between each one. Do this until the butter is completely melted. For me it only took 2 intervals. If the mixture is hot, let it sit for a few minutes just until warm. A hot mixture can cook the eggs, which is the next ingredient we will add in. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon (or whatever you have). Mix until shiny and thick. Add flour and stir just until the ingredients are mixed. Now for the interesting part – beat the batter vigorously for 40 times (with the rubber spatula/wooden spoon). You know how I always suggest you never mix too much after adding the flour? This is an exception, since there isn’t much flour in the recipe it is OK. Just listen to Alice – she knows what she’s doing.

The batter will be very thick at this point. Bake it for 25-30 minutes – definitely not more than that. A skewer inserted into the center should come out with a few moist crumbs. If it’s still liquidy, bake for 3 minutes more and check again.


4.93 from 13 votes
Cocoa Brownies
YIELD: 8 *8-inch pan (16 brownies)
Incredibly fudgy and chocolaty cocoa brownies.

  • 10 tablespoons (140 grams or 5 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 grams or 8.8 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (75 grams or 2.6 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (62 grams or 2.2 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (75 grams or 2.6 ounces) walnut or pecan pieces (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F/160C. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large heat-proof bowl, combine the butter, sugar, cocoa and salt, and melt in the microwave in 30 second-intervals, stirring in between each interval, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. (Or you can set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally).
  3. The mixture will appear gritty and that is ok. If the mixture is hot, set aside for a few minutes until it’s warm.
  4. Using a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, stir in vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring after each one. Stir until the batter is thick and shiny. Add flour and stir until the mixture is mixed, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes. The batter will be very thick. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in pan and smooth the top.
  5. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs, 25-30 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack before cutting into squares (refrigerate them first for a clean, flawless cut with clean lines).
Recipe Notes

- Store the brownies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
- Brownies can be frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw them on the counter, still covered, or overnight in the fridge.

Recipe adapted from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet


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  • Reply
    February 11, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    Great photos! Looks so delicious!

    • Reply
      February 11, 2014 at 2:53 pm

      Thank you Lindsay!

  • Reply
    What Jessica Baked Next...
    February 11, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Shiran, these look absolutely delicious and super fudgy! Definitely trying your brownie recipe soon 🙂

    • Reply
      February 11, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      They are super fudgy! You should try them 🙂

  • Reply
    February 13, 2014 at 9:59 am

    I love that you’re giving these away with your invitations! I should attach a bite-sized piece to each of my student’s course evaluations next year (just kidding! or perhaps not…). These look like great bites to share. Pinned!

    • Reply
      February 13, 2014 at 11:47 am

      Thank you Ala! You should do this! It’s those little things that make people smile 🙂

  • Reply
    Kathi @ Deliciously Yum!
    February 13, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    You are not joking when you say that these are incredibly fudgy… pictures don’t lie. I mean, I can practically taste them through my screen, ha! Absolutely gorgeous!

    • Reply
      February 14, 2014 at 11:05 am

      Thanks Kathi! I love fudgy desserts. The fudgier, the better! 🙂

  • Reply
    Melanie @ Carmel Moments
    February 14, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Perfection! Well except for the fact that now I’m craving brownies at 9 AM. 🙂

    • Reply
      February 14, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      You’re in good company Melanie. I’m craving brownies every hour of the day!

  • Reply
    January 19, 2016 at 1:55 pm

    Probably the best cocoa brownies recipe out there and certainly the best I’ve tried! Moist and perfect… And the best part is that it needs ingredients that are always available at home!!!

    • Reply
      January 19, 2016 at 5:47 pm

      Exactly! I’m so glad you like it Anna, thank you! 🙂

  • Reply
    August 31, 2016 at 5:24 am

    Hi! I am in love with this brownie!!! Superlicious ?
    One query, if I want to half the recipe… Which pan size should I use??

    • Reply
      August 31, 2016 at 5:50 am

      Thank you Tanisha! For half the recipe, use a 6×6-inch pan. It’s not exactly half in capacity but it’s pretty close.

  • Reply
    August 31, 2016 at 5:57 am

    Thanks so much for such prompt reply. Really appreciate.

  • Reply
    July 28, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    This is a good recipe.

  • Reply
    Laura Tap
    November 6, 2018 at 1:01 pm

    The best brownie recipe BY FAR. So delicious if you mix in some chocolate chips into the mixture before baking.

  • Reply
    Laura Tap
    November 6, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    Best brownie recipe by far. It’s delicious if you mix in some chocolate chips before baking.

  • Reply
    February 24, 2020 at 9:48 pm

    I have spent years trying to get brownies right, they have been my baking nemesis… no longer!!! Thank you doo much for this awesome recipe, simple and straightforward, I am looking forward to making variations now I finally have a base recipe to with with! I used gluten free flour and it came out perfectly!

  • Reply
    Richard Tunner
    March 4, 2020 at 8:51 pm

    I love these brownies !! And without chocolate chips they still have such an amazing texture and flavour !! Also love all the tips you’ve provided

  • Reply
    May 19, 2020 at 11:03 pm

    Smell so good and taste so good.

  • Reply
    May 27, 2020 at 10:57 pm

    The best brownie recipe. Made once, they were gone within that day. Made a second time & added just a little bit of milk to the batter. I also melted some Nutella with the butter in the beginning to intensify the gooey-ness. Thanks for this great recipe!

  • Reply
    July 5, 2020 at 10:22 pm

    Surprisingly tasty. Cut the sugar down to 1/2 cup. Added a tiny bit of baking powder.

  • Reply
    August 22, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    Makes a perfect giveaway for my family

  • Reply
    Sharif Siddique
    November 17, 2020 at 8:16 am

    Hi there,
    This is a really so informative article about cocoa brownies .
    Keey our good job.

  • Reply
    April 28, 2021 at 4:10 am

    can i make this in an 9×13 pan? or will it be to thin?

    • Reply
      May 2, 2021 at 1:47 pm

      Hi Vanessa, I recommend doubling the recipe for this size pan.

  • Reply
    June 10, 2021 at 4:06 am

    Hi I used your the same recipe in a 8*8 inch pan but turned out little thiner than your photo. Can I add some baking powder for some more volume? Else that your brownies taste fudgy and wonderful!! Thanks so much xx

    • Reply
      June 21, 2021 at 1:52 am

      Thank you, sally 🙂 You can multiply the recipe by 1.5 for thick brownies. You might need to bake the brownies for a little bit longer.

  • Reply
    October 14, 2021 at 2:09 pm

    They look absolutely amazing!!!!
    Question… for just a itty bitty “cake-ier” brownies, can I increase flour by 1/4 cup or double the 1/2 cup in the recipe?…

    • Reply
      Talia @ Pretty. Simple. Sweet.
      October 15, 2021 at 10:14 am

      Hi Nayeli, brownie recipes made with melted butter are meant to be fudgy. I don’t think adding more flour would make them cakier, simply because of the method used in the recipe. I would recommend using a brownie recipe that start with creaming butter and sugar together 🙂

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