Fudgy One-Pot Brownies

It had been dawning on me that the surest way to achieve brownie nirvana, the kind of fudgy chocolatiness that wimpy people say is too chocolaty (and then go on to polish off another brownie or two), is best achieved by combining cocoa powder and melted chocolate.

During this period of intense brownie contemplation I had lunch with Melissa Clark, food writer and mom to young Dahlia, and mentioned my brownie quest.

She thought she had a recipe somewhere with dueling chocolates, and she e-mailed it to me that afternoon. I tinkered with it a bit, determined to decode a perfect brownie that could be mixed right in the saucepan. This is the one-pot result. Fifteen minutes of hands-on time, max, and well worth every minute.

Fudgy One-Pot Brownies

This is one of the best brownies recipes in the whole world, and the whole thing is made in one pot.

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I am also ridiculously pleased to say that this recipe shaves off two more common brownie-making steps. 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.

Fudgy One-Pot Brownies

Kind of Famous Brownies

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

Also the brownies were featured in a great cookbook called Feed Our People by my friend Leslie Jonath, which you should get if you find yourself cooking for a crowd on the regular.

Fudgy One-Pot Brownies

Also, when I am making this for someone else, and my kids smell this baking, they get pissed.  And then I usually capitulate and make another batch.  Though they are now perfectly capable of making them on their own.  Hey….now that I think about this, I too would like someone to make me a batch of these Fudgy One-Pot Brownies.

Other Brownies and Squares!

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Fudgy One-Pot Brownies

The kind of fudgy chocolatiness that wimpy people say is too chocolaty – silly little rabbits.
Yield: 24 people
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Cooling Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


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


  • 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 size 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.

Nutrition Information

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

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  1. 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.

  2. 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. 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.

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