Best One-Pot Fudgy Brownies

4.86 from 7 votes

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These are the best brownies I have ever made, and I've made them hundreds of times. They have the kind of fudgy chocolatiness that wimpy people say is too chocolaty — silly little rabbits.

Fudgy One-Pot Brownies

This is perhaps the recipe I have tested and tested and tested the most, and I honestly don’t think it can get any better. I realized that the surest way to achieve homemade brownie nirvana is best achieved by combining cocoa powder AND melted chocolate. They are rich, they are fudgy, and they only take 15 minutes to get into the oven!

These audaciously rich and fudgy brownies are the perfect answer to what to make for Superbowl parties, potlucks, or housewarmings. And while the brownies are rock stars on their own, maybe you don’t want to stop there. They can be topped with No Churn Ice Cream and/or Caramel Sauce for a dazzling dessert. (Or just buy some ice cream and/or caramel sauce and call it a day!) Whipped cream is another option!

Fudgy Brownies piled on a light yellow plate.

The Best Brownie Recipe Ever

So, here’s the thing. If I had to say which of my recipes were kind of “famous,” these One-Pot Fudgy Brownies would be in the top 5. People love this recipe. I have friends and also random people who have written to me who make this on the regular. Some folks make these for their kids’ birthdays every year because that’s what the kids requested instead of cake. So cool.

One-Pot Fudgy Brownies: This is one of the best brownies recipes in the whole world, and the batter is made in one pot (easiest clean up!)

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Woman holding a Fudgy Brownie.

Ingredients

If you are a baker, you probably have all of these things in your pantry!

  • Unsalted butter – Unsalted is always for baking, so you can control the amount of salt in the finished dish (even baked sweet things need salt!).
  • Unsweetened chocolate – Unsweetened chocolate is frequently used in baking due to its rich, concentrated cocoa flavor. It doesn’t take much but packs an enormous, chocolatey punch!
  • Dutch-processed cocoa powder – Cocoa beans, native to the Amazon rainforest, contain both solids and fats. Once separated, the solids are dried and ground up to create cocoa powder! Meanwhile, the fat (cocoa butter) is processed for a variety of other uses. Be careful not to purchase cacao powder for this recipe. Despite the confusingly similar spelling, they yield very different results! Also, make sure not to use sweetened cocoa powder — that’s the stuff for hot chocolate!
  • Sugar – All of that decadent chocolate needs something to sweeten it, and sugar is the only way to go.
  • Kosher salt – A small amount really amplifies the chocolate flavor.
  • Pure vanilla extract – This potent, amber-colored liquid adds depth of flavor to the fudginess of this recipe.
  • Eggs – Eggs add moisture, tenderness, and structure to the brownies.
  • All-purpose flour – Flour is the structural base of these brownies, but the relatively small amount keeps these brownies quite fudgy vs. cakey.
Stacked Fudgy Brownies.

How to Make Fudgy Brownies

  1. Get the oven ready: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 13-by-9–inch baking pan or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Melt the butter and chocolate: Place the butter and chocolate in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat. Melt, stirring frequently, until smooth. 
Melting butter and chocolate for brownies in saucepan.
  1. Add the chocolate and vanilla: Stir in the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt, then blend in the vanilla. 
Spoon stirring melted chocolate and butter in saucepan for brownies.
  1. Beat in the eggs: Add one at a time, stirring quickly so they don’t have a chance to cook at all before they are blended in. 
Woman cracking an egg into a pan of chocolate.
  1. Blend in the flour.
Wooden spatula blending flour into a pot of chocolate.
  1. Bake the brownies: Scrape the thick batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until the edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. 
Pouring Fudgy Brownie batter into a baking dish.

How to Cut Brownies

When completely cool, cut them into squares. Here’s a great way to cut these brownies — you can’t do this with all brownie recipes, only the dense, fudgy kind. And you have to make sure you really greased or sprayed the pan, and the brownies are COMPLETELY cool.

  1. Prep your brownies: Run a knife just inside the pan to loosen the brownies. Place a cutting board over the top of the pan.
Baking dish covered with a cutting board.
  1. Flip your brownies: Holding both together, flip the cutting board and pan over. Lift the pan from the brownies, and the brownies should come out in one solid block.
Turning baking pan upside down on a cutting board.
  1. Slice the brownies: Using a sharp knife, cut the brownies into 12, 18, or 24 squares, depending on how large you want each brownie.
Woman slicing brownies into rectangles.

FAQs

What’s the difference between cocoa powder and cacao powder?

This recipe called for cocoa powder, not its similarly spelled “cousin,” cacao! Cocoa powder and cacao powder both derive from the same plant and bean, the cacao bean. But the two are treated in different ways.

To begin, the beans are fermented, but then cocoa is processed at an extremely high temperature before it’s milled into a powder. Roasting makes the cocoa darker and gives it a more neutral flavor. Cacao, on the other hand, is processed at a much lower heat and is more bitter in taste. Use cocoa powder in your fudgy brownie baking.

What is the difference between regular and “Dutch-processed” cocoa powder?

Dutch-processed cocoa powder begins with cocoa beans washed in an alkaline solution, which neutralizes their acidity and makes the resulting powder smother and more mellow. Because it is Dutch-processed cocoa powder is neutral, it does not react with baking soda, so is usually paired with baking powder for leavening. Natural cocoa powder does not receive the alkaline bath, and so it remains acidic and bitter. It is usually used with baking soda to foster the leavening process.

This recipe can be successfully made with either Dutch cocoa powder or natural since it contains no leavening agent (hence the fudginess of the brownies), though the natural cocoa powder will give a “darker” (e.g., slightly more intense) chocolatey taste. In general, natural cocoa powder can be substituted for Dutch-process, but not the other way around.

What makes a brownie fudgy versus cakey?

Fudgy brownies have a higher level of fat! More butter and more chocolate, in relation to the flour and leavening agents. Cakey brownies often have just cocoa powder in them and also frequently have some sort of leavening, usually baking powder or soda.

Pro Baking Tips

  • Often, a recipe will tell you to chop the chocolate before melting it. Here, you just make sure to melt it with the butter over low heat, and the chocolate will dissolve gently into the butter without scorching.
  • Also, you can skip the whole double boiler thing if you keep the heat low enough, don’t stray too far, and stir frequently. This saves you from washing a chopping board, a knife (or a food processor bowl and blade), and the second double boiler pan. You will want to celebrate this with a brownie.
  • The brownie batter is very thick and will need to be spread out evenly in the pan. It will thicken even further as it cools, so it’s best to get it into the pan as soon as it’s blended.
  • For extra fudginess, lean on the side of very slightly underbaked, which will give you that amazing moist and fudgy texture.
  • Another reminder to let the brownies cool completely before slicing, as the fudginess will cause them to fall apart if warm.

Storage

  • The brownies can be made ahead and kept in a sealed container or well-wrapped at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • The brownies can be frozen for up to 6 months. Wrap them in foil or plastic wrap, then tuck them into a labeled freezer-proof bag. Press out all the excess air, seal, and freeze.

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4.86 from 7 votes

Best One-Pot Fudgy Brownies

These are the best brownies I have ever made, and I've made them hundreds of times. They have the kind of fudgy chocolatiness that wimpy people say is too chocolaty — silly little rabbits.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 24 people
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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter (plus optional butter for greasing the baking pan)
  • Nonstick cooking spray (optional)
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • ½ cup unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Generously butter a 13-by-9-inch baking pan or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Place the butter and chocolate in a medium-sized saucepan over low heat and let melt together, stirring until smooth. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt, then blend in the vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time, stirring to mix quickly so they don’t have a chance to cook at all before they are blended in. Blend in the flour.
  • Scrape the thick batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake until the edges just begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Let the brownies cool in the pan on a wire rack. When completely cool, cut them into 12 or 24 squares.

Notes

  • Often, a recipe will tell you to chop the chocolate before melting it. Here, you just make sure to melt it with the butter over low heat, and the chocolate will dissolve gently into the butter without scorching.
  • Also, you can skip the whole double boiler thing if you keep the heat low enough, don’t stray too far, and stir frequently. This saves you washing a chopping board, a knife (or a food processor bowl and blade), and the second double boiler pan. You will want to celebrate this with a brownie.
  • The batter is very thick and will need to be spread out evenly in the pan. It will thicken even further as it cools, so it’s best to get it into the pan as soon as it’s blended.
  • Another reminder to let the brownies cool completely before slicing, as the fudginess will cause them to fall apart if warm.
 
Storage
  • The brownies can be made ahead and kept in a sealed container or well-wrapped at room temperature for up to 5 days.
  • The brownies can be frozen for up to 6 months. Wrap them in foil or plastic wrap, then tuck them into a labeled freezer-proof bag. Press out all the excess air, seal, and freeze.

Nutrition

Calories: 208kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Cholesterol: 41mg, Sodium: 59mg, Potassium: 75mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 21g, Vitamin A: 266IU, Calcium: 12mg, Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Katie Workman

Katie Workman is a cook, a writer, a mother of two, an activist in hunger issues, and an enthusiastic advocate for family meals, which is the inspiration behind her two beloved cookbooks, Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook.

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9 Comments

  1. Adrienne Wing says:

    You will never need another brownie recipe after this! Couldn’t be easier to make, super quick clean-up and perfect brownies every single time. Easy enough for kids to make independently also, to the delight of their friends!

  2. Jenny Mandel says:

    This is simply the BEST brownie recipe EVER. I’ve literally made this recipe hundreds of times and then anyone who eats them does the same. Thank you!!!!

  3. Krista Matheson says:

    Yes I totally agree these are the best! Ever since I first made them when I got the cook book, it’s been my go to brownie recipe! They are really really good.

  4. Annie says:

    I’ve had mixed results with brownie recipes until I found this one. It comes out perfectly every time.

    1. Katie Workman says:

      thank you Annie!

  5. Annie says:

    In the oven right now

  6. Cindy says:

    I just made this recipe this weekend. The first time it came out perfect. My second time the batter looked greasy as i finished mixing everything and when it was done baking there was butter bubbling on top but the brownie was somewhat burned. What am I doing wrong? It seems like the butter was separating from the batter.

    1. Katie Workman says:

      Cindy, it’s hard to tell. Were you using the same ingredients both times? Is it possible the chocolate was past its prime? And if the oven was running hotter, that could have also been the issue.

  7. S says:

    Haven’t tried these yet, but I wanted to chime in on melting the chocolate. You should not have to keep the pot on low heat if you chop the chocolate into small pieces and add it to the butter while it is still hot. Simply remove the pot from the burner, add the chocolate and come back in 2 minutes. I’ve used this method for as long as I can remember and it has never failed.