Throw away the box! These fudgy brownies from scratch are chewy, chocolately and absolutely addictive.
With crackly tops and an intense chocolate flavour, you'll understand why this is my go-to brownie recipe.
Fudgy Brownie Ingredients
- Dark OR semi-sweet chocolate: these varieties of chocolate are perfect for balancing out the sweetness of the brownie. Make sure to use a high quality (NOT compound) chocolate which is suitable for melting.
- Can I use milk chocolate? I don't recommend using milk chocolate as it is too sweet for this recipe.
- Can I use chocolate chips? You can also use high quality dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips which are suitable for melting down. Don’t use chocolate chips which state 'holds shape during baking.'
- Unsalted butter: using unsalted butter allows you to control the amount of salt added in the recipe later. If you only have salted butter, you can use it but omit the added salt.
- Caster sugar (superfine sugar) + brown sugar: caster sugar gives the brownie some structure (and a shiny, crackly top!) while brown sugar is the key to making brownies super fudgy.
- Can I use regular granulated sugar instead of caster sugar? Yes, but it may make the brownie a bit more 'cakey' with a less shiny top. It will still taste delicious.
- Can I substitute the brown sugar with more caster sugar? If you use all caster sugar, the brownie will be less fudgy and a bit cakier.
- Vanilla essence OR vanilla extract
- Unsweetened cocoa powder: this is NOT hot cocoa powder. Use a high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder (such as Hershey's brand) which is suitable for baking. Note that Dutch-processed cocoa powders (or 'cacao powder') tend to be more bitter and less sweet.
- Plain flour / all-purpose flour
How To Make Fudgy Brownies
1. Add the butter and sugars to a large mixing bowl.
2. Whisk together until well combined. NOTE: I use a basic whisk because I find it easier (and there is less washing up!). You can also use a hand-held electric mixer or even a stand mixer if you wish.
3. Add the eggs one at a time and whisk well in between.
4. Add the vanilla and whisk until the mixture is quite pale and creamy. It does not need to be fluffy.
5. Melt your chopped chocolate in the microwave in a clean, dry bowl. Make sure you melt the chocolate in slow bursts, stirring well in between, so it does not burn or seize.
To melt chocolate using a double boiler: fill a small saucepan a quarter of the way up with water. Bring to a simmer on the stove. Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl over the pot of water. Stir well until the chocolate is melted.
6. The chocolate should be smooth and lump-free once it is properly melted.
7. Pour melted chocolate into butter mixture.
8. Whisk until well combined.
9. Add the cocoa powder, flour and salt to the batter (no need to sieve).
10. Stir together until well combined. I use a wooden spoon at this point instead of a whisk because it is easier to work with.
11. Scrape the batter into a 20 cm (8 inch) square cake tin.
12. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the brownie has a crackly, shiny top and wobbles only slightly.
FAQ + Top Tips
- What makes brownies fudgy?
- Brown sugar: brown sugar contains a small amount of syrup which keeps the brownies fudgy once baked.
- Melted chocolate: stirring melted chocolate through the brownie batter gives it an intense chocolate flavour and a higher fat content.
- Butter: butter is the key ingredient for increasing the fat to sugar ratio of the brownie batter, which keeps the brownie thick and fudgy.
- Are my brownies fudgy or undercooked?
- Check for a shiny, crackly top: your brownies are cooked when they have an even, shiny surface. Any particular dark patches, particularly in the centre, may indicate undercooked batter which needs more baking time.
- Check for a slight wobble: if you shake the tin of the brownies just slightly, the brownies should wobble just a little. If they wobble a lot or sink down, the batter requires more baking time.
- How to bake brownies with crackly tops?
- Whisking together the butter and sugar: incorporating the sugar fully into the butter is the key to having shiny tops. Caster (superfine) sugar will be more quickly dissolved into the batter than granulated sugar.
- Using melted chocolate: adding melted chocolate incorporates more sugar into the batter which helps create a shiny and crackly top. It's more difficult to get a shiny and crackly top on brownies which only use cocoa powder!
- Are fudgy brownies safe to eat?
- Yes. Fudgy brownies are NOT the same as undercooked brownies, but rather have a higher fat to sugar ratio. Baking the brownies for the recommended cooking time will heat the batter all the way through to the centre and kill any nasty bacteria in the flour and eggs.
- What is the best way to cut brownies?
- Let the brownie cool down completely. I use a serrated/bread knife to cut the brownie without ruining the beautiful crackly top.
- TIP: store the whole (un-cut) brownie in an airtight container overnight and then cut the next morning. I find the brownie tastes better on the second day and is much easier to cut!
What is the best way to store brownies?
- You can store the baked brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days.
- Freezing the batter: scrape the prepared batter into an airtight container. Freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bake as normal.
- Note: I don't recommend freezing the baked brownie squares.
- 200 g (7 oz) block dark or semi-sweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 125 g (4.5 oz / ½ cup) unsalted butter, softened
- ½ cup caster sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla essence OR 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup plain flour / all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 160°C / 320°F (fan/convection) or 180°C / 355°F (standard). Grease and line a 20 cm (8 inch) square tin with baking paper, ensuring there's at least 3 cm (1 inch) overhang for easy removal of the brownie.
- Place chopped chocolate in a small heat-proof bowl. Microwave for 1 minute on full power. Stir well. Microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. If needed, microwave in further 10 seconds bursts until completely melted. Set aside.
- Place softened butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl. Using a whisk (or a hand-held electric mixer), cream the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking well in between, until pale and creamy. Add vanilla and whisk until combined.
- Add the melted chocolate and whisk well. Stir through cocoa powder, flour and salt until the batter is thick and combined.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared baking tin and spread out evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the brownie doesn't wobble when moved. Allow to cool in the tin for 30 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely.
- You can keep the brownie un-refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
- Can I freeze the brownie? It is better to freeze the brownie batter rather than the cooked brownie. Place the prepared brownie batter in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Allow to defrost in the fridge overnight then bake as normal.
Substitutions & Tips
- Chocolate: you can substitute 200 g of chopped dark chocolate for 1 heaped cup of dark chocolate chips. Make sure to use high quality (NOT compound) dark chocolate chips which can easily be melted down. If you use milk chocolate, the brownie will be a lot sweeter.
- Sugar: you can use all brown sugar or all caster sugar if need be. The texture of the brownie might be a little less fudgy but it will still be delicious.
Nutrition Information:Serving Size: 1/16th of brownie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 206Total Fat: 11.3gSaturated Fat: 6.5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 39.9mgSodium: 12.2mgCarbohydrates: 23.9gFiber: 1gSugar: 19.3gProtein: 2.6g