Cocoa Brownies

This is one of those… I-need-a-good-and-chocolatey-dessert-that-is-totally-quick-and-easy… kind of recipes.  I promise.

My husband’s family was coming over sort-of last-minute recently.  The sort of last minute where your husband says, “Oh yeah, I invited my family over for dinner tonight,” and forgets to tell you until the day-of.  Yeah, that kind of last minute.   The dinner part was easy- just grilled chicken and salad.  And I’m never, ever, ever big on buying already-made dessert from the grocery store, so I pulled a baking cookbook off my shelf that I hadn’t really used yet to see if I could find some easy inspiration in there.  I did!  I spotted brownies:  Cocoa Brownies

These brownies came together and were in the oven in about 15 minutes.  And with the way those brownies look right there… why would you ever want to eat a boxed version?  Seriously.  I mean, I’d eat a boxed brownie for sure- they’re good and all.  But this homemade brownie recipe pretty much rocked the house over a boxed mix.

Here’s the lady we get to thank for this brownie:  Alice Medrich.  If you’re not familiar with her already, Medrich is an 8-time, award-winning cookbook author and pastry chef, and she is considered one of the country’s foremost experts on chocolate and chocolate desserts.  I can’t believe this is the first thing I’ve baked from this Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy cookbook!  Why the heck did I wait so long?  I can’t wait to bake more from this book- all kinds of cookies and bars, and Medrich even includes several wheat-free and dairy-free options.  I’d say it’s a good cookbook to have on the shelf for those who get strong urges to bake often (like me!)

These brownies turn out to be extremely soft and gooey in the center.  The tops crinkle ever-so-slightly, and turn out a slight crunch that the tops of brownies are supposed to have.

Needless to say, they were a big hit as an after-dinner dessert.  My husband’s family is known for enjoying their chocolate, and they gave these a major thumbs up.

I say… they were a lifesaver.  Dear husband, I love you so… but please give me a day or two’s notice next time if you’re going to invite a crowd to dinner :)

Find out more about Alice Medrich by visiting her website, and you can purchase her Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy cookbook on Amazon

Print Print Recipe

Cocoa Brownies

Yield: Sixteen 2-inch or 25 smaller brownies

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 20 min


11 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (8.75 ounces) granulated white sugar
1 scant cup (3 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch process
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (1.75 ounces) Gold Medal® All-Purpose Flour


1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line the bottom and all 4 sides of an 8-inch square pan with foil. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven.

2. Melt the butter in a medium, heatproof bowl set directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Add the sugar, cocoa and salt. Stir until the ingredients are blended and the mixture is hot. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. Mix in the vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing vigorously with a rubber spatula after each addition. When the mixture looks thick, shiny, and well-blended, add all of the flour at once and stir until you cannot see it any longer. Then mix vigorously for 40 strokes with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Spread the batter evenly in the lined pan.

3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly dirty looking. Cool on a rack. Lift the edges of the foil liner and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares. May be kept in a covered container for 2 to 3 days.


**Gluten free folks: I have not tried this recipe as gluten-free yet, but there is not a whole lot of flour in the recipe- just 1/3 cup, so I'm hoping that a gluten-free flour blend can be substituted in this recipe without too much trouble. If you try it, please let me know of your experience with it!

Source: (via the cookbook: Chewy, Gooey, Crispy, Crunchy Melt-in-Your-Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich)

Leave a Comment

76 Responses to “Cocoa Brownies”

  1. 1

    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — September 24, 2012 @ 3:38 AM

    Mmm so delicious and simple! Love it!

  2. 2

    Aimee @ ShugarySweets — September 24, 2012 @ 4:35 AM

    I love a gooey brownie! These look perfect. You’re a rockstar to pull it off last minute :)

  3. 3

    Blog is the New Black — September 24, 2012 @ 4:46 AM

    Who doesn’t love the ” I-need-a-good-and-chocolatey-dessert-that-is-totally-quick-and-easy… kind of recipes.”???

  4. 4

    Parsley Sage — September 24, 2012 @ 5:17 AM

    15 minute perfect brownies? Heck yea! Great last-minute win :)

  5. 5

    Brian @ A Thought For Food — September 24, 2012 @ 5:22 AM

    These look super decadent!… I always go to brownies when we have dinner guests… easy and rich. Makes everyone happy.

  6. 6

    Carolyn — September 24, 2012 @ 5:41 AM

    Those brownies make me weak at the knees, Lori. For those, I’d run 20 miles! :)

  7. 7

    shelly (cookies and cups) — September 24, 2012 @ 5:55 AM

    Love having a go-to brownie recipe!!

  8. 8

    Ali @ Gimme Some Oven — September 24, 2012 @ 6:21 AM

    Whoa – these look amazing. There’s a reason these are classics! ;)

  9. 9

    Sandra Kaldas — September 24, 2012 @ 6:23 AM

    I love this recipe! I think I want to try it one day and make it for my family, especially for my mom’s birthday. She loves brownies. I’ve never really been experienced or good at cooking but your steps are easy and I think I’ll be able to manage because of this recipe! Thanks. I’ll definitely be sure to look at more recipes from your blog!

  10. 10

    Cookbook Queen — September 24, 2012 @ 6:40 AM

    So typical of a husband!! Don’t you hate that??

    These look perfect…so gooey and chocolately!!

  11. 11

    carrian — September 24, 2012 @ 7:12 AM

    My dad always does that to my mom, and my hubby used to as well. Finally I had to say, it throws me a little when I don’t expect company and he has never forgotten to tell me since. It used to bug the heck out of me!

  12. 12

    Averie @ Averie Cooks — September 24, 2012 @ 7:55 AM

    They look incredible – so dense, fudgy, rich, just everything a brownie should be. Props to you for pulling a rabbit out of the hat with no notice with these!

  13. 13

    Ashley@BakerByNature — September 24, 2012 @ 8:07 AM

    Can I give you my “I’m coming over for dinner” notice now?! These brownies look incredible… the shiny lid and the gooey interior, sigh. I need chocolate now! Happy Monday, Lori ;)

  14. 14

    Tara @ Chip Chip Hooray — September 24, 2012 @ 8:28 AM

    Wow, these do come together so quickly and simply! Definitely filing this one away. :)

  15. 15

    Crystal @ Crystal's Cozy Kitchen — September 24, 2012 @ 8:33 AM

    My resolve to start today to lose all my baby weight just got thrown out the window when I saw this post! My mouth is watering and I want some of these right now (for breakfast!)

  16. 16

    GingerMae — September 24, 2012 @ 9:36 AM

    Those look so incredibly chewy, chocolatey and delicious! It has ruined my resolve for not tearing into the bag of cookies I brought to work to give away. Great, now doughnuts just walked by!

  17. 17

    GingerMae — September 24, 2012 @ 9:37 AM

    Oh, I also made your Greek Yogurt Pancakes yesterday. Awesome! I really wanted pancakes and didn’t have any milk. Perfect timing to run across that recipe!

  18. 18

    Deliciously Organic — September 24, 2012 @ 12:37 PM

    That is one of my most favorite books. She’s quite brilliant when it comes to baking, isn’t she? I’m going to give these a try with almond flour. Thanks!

  19. 19

    Diana — September 24, 2012 @ 2:13 PM

    Hi Lori!

    Looks yummy :)

    For gluten free ideas, the flour could be replaced with blanched almond flour or a simple oat flour made by grinding gluten-free oats in the food processor.

  20. 20

    Lisa Cornely — September 24, 2012 @ 4:52 PM

    One of the best brownies ever

  21. 21

    April — September 24, 2012 @ 6:49 PM

    These look heavenly! I admit I am a boxed brownie user…everything else from scratch normally but I will have to give this a try sometime!

  22. 22

    Miss — September 24, 2012 @ 8:12 PM

    This would be a great fix for my chocolate cravings!

  23. 23

    DonnieJean — September 24, 2012 @ 9:32 PM

    These brownies look heavenly! And the recipe looks simple enough. I have to say I’m partial to nuts with my brownies, so I’ll be adding a heaping of walnuts or pecans. I’ve actually been embellishing brownie bites that I get from Samsclub. They are actually pretty good, but there is nothing like made-from-scratch recipes. And this one looks like a keeper!

  24. 24

    Kathryn — September 25, 2012 @ 2:02 AM

    Woah, these brownies sound and look amazing!

  25. 25

    Elizabeth@ Food Ramblings — September 25, 2012 @ 6:09 AM

    my mouth is watering!!

  26. 26

    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — September 25, 2012 @ 6:30 AM

    These brownies look so ,moist and delicious! Yummy!! I can go for one right now topped with some vanilla ice cream!

  27. 27

    Lori Lange — September 25, 2012 @ 10:58 AM


  28. 28

    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — September 25, 2012 @ 12:57 PM

    These brownies look amazing! I love her cookbooks – I have a one of her others, and everything in there is great!

  29. 29

    Kiran @ — September 25, 2012 @ 1:26 PM

    Mmmm this brownies looks so fudgy and gooey! I want!

  30. 30

    Elsbeth — September 26, 2012 @ 5:29 AM

    Just made a Paleo(ish) version of these brownies! :-D
    I substituted the flour for grated coconut & cooked rice flour and the sugar for applesauce, preferably without added sugar. I’ve also added some nuts and raisins.
    Maybe next time buckwheat flour instead of coconut and date/raisin paste for a little extra gooey sweetness. Or maybe add some fine grated sweet potato.
    Trail and Error.

  31. 31

    Renee — September 26, 2012 @ 10:48 PM

    That’s the great thing about cocoa brownies, you’re likely to have all the ingredients just hanging around. That and the fact that they’re freakin’ delicious.

  32. 32

    Shelly Donahue — September 28, 2012 @ 4:16 AM

    Blessed are you among women…..I was just wondering what to make for dessert this evening. Phew!

  33. 33

    Cookie and Kate — September 28, 2012 @ 9:54 AM

    Yum! Those look fabulous, Lori. I’ve been a huge fan of Alice since I got a copy of Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts. Sounds like I need her cookie book, too!

  34. 34

    Tracey @ Cooking With Love — October 9, 2012 @ 5:50 AM

    These are right up my alley! I have been looking for a gooey brownie recipe! I love how they crackle on top! YUM! :)

  35. 35

    Paige — October 9, 2012 @ 9:26 PM

    Oh my goodness, these are my new go to recipe no question. These are easy and taste like heaven with the consistency to match!

  36. 36

    GFGirlMd — October 28, 2012 @ 1:52 PM

    My hub just made these for me with a gluten free flour mixture (Jules GF Flour) and WonderCocoa (99% caffeine free) so I could have a decadent and rich treat even though I am GF and off caffeine. They were DELICIOUS. Gooey and chocolaty and oh-so-yummy. Thank you so much for this recipe! :)

  37. 37

    margaette — December 15, 2012 @ 4:51 PM

    how much water in the skillet?

  38. 38

    Lori Lange — December 16, 2012 @ 8:39 PM

    Just a little. Enough to get it boiling.

  39. 39

    jennifer — December 23, 2012 @ 7:55 PM

    these were a HIT! soooo good! and with the left overr (after everyone had their fulfillment b/c they are rich) i made them into truffles!

  40. 40

    Paula B. — January 5, 2013 @ 7:31 AM

    Checked to see if I had previously left a comment because I have made these brownies several times. I love to try my hand at all different kinds of brownie recipes and especially like the ones that call for cocoa as I always have that on hand. Besides getting a great tasting brownie I use this recipe because it always gives me consistent results. Taking a batch out of the oven right now, used Dutch processed Guittard cocoa, just like a baked version of a dark chocolate truffle. I have this bookmarked, thanks!

  41. 41

    Jwoodrome — January 7, 2013 @ 5:31 PM

    Just made these. Think they could have used another fourth to half cup of sugar.

  42. 42

    Flo Jo — January 12, 2013 @ 2:21 AM

    Mmmm just about to make these brownies, so excited!

  43. 43

    Paula B. — January 22, 2013 @ 5:06 PM

    Had to post again, yep, just pulled another batch of brownies from the oven. They are such a treat in this bitter New England cold. I “frosted” by letting a half cup of sem-sweet chocolate chips melt onto the hot brownies. Heavenly.

  44. 44

    Marilyn — January 27, 2013 @ 5:13 PM

    Best brownies that I have evermade

  45. 45

    Jessica — January 28, 2013 @ 3:55 PM

    Absolutely terrible!

  46. 46

    Court — January 31, 2013 @ 4:02 PM

    These brownies are the

  47. 47

    Lilly Sue — February 12, 2013 @ 2:09 PM

    These brownies look perfect! I love when the top cracks :) yum!

  48. 48

    Laura — February 19, 2013 @ 10:29 AM

    These turned out perfect. So delicious and gooey! The only things I did differently: I used the microwave to melt the butter, and heat up the chocolate mixture. (I had just done the dishes and winced at having to do more. LOL). I used half dark chocolate cocoa and half milk chocolate, which is what I had on hand. These are probably the best brownies I’ve ever had. Thanks so much for sharing. I love how quickly they baked, and that they held up straight out of the oven! :D

  49. 49

    Tania — March 12, 2013 @ 9:08 AM

    Took a little longer to bake…. But these were super moist and yummmmmm…… Really happy with this recipe…. My go to recipe now …. :)

  50. 50

    Sarah — March 31, 2013 @ 8:27 AM

    These brownies were nice and easy to whip up, however they took more like 40 minutes to bake.

  51. 51

    Rachel — April 3, 2013 @ 11:12 PM

    Just made these n they r amazing. Super moist n super easy. I suggest to
    Add walnut, almonds, or pecans for an extra crunch!!! :-)

  52. 52

    Karen BYRNE — April 13, 2013 @ 7:28 PM

    I made these with flax meal. The batter was not as smooth after I added it but it tasted wonderful. I think they are probably a little bit chewy nuty in comparison. Take note flax meal is very very high in fiber.

  53. 53

    Melissa — April 28, 2013 @ 8:43 PM

    I just made this recipe using a gluten free flour mix (cloud 9) and it turned out good. I suggest not baking quite as long and allowing it to sit in the hot pan to finish it off as gluten free flours do tend to dry things out more than wheat flour.

  54. 54

    Paola — May 2, 2013 @ 3:36 PM

    I made these yesterday with my daughter: They are by far the best brownies I’ve ever tasted! They were amazing and not even lasted a day!! Thanks so much for the recipe! :)

  55. 55

    Kel — May 19, 2013 @ 12:02 PM

    Just made them. They don’t look anything like the picture and aren’t very good :( very disappointed

  56. 56

    Lori Lange — May 19, 2013 @ 6:12 PM

    Bummer- recipe is directly from the cookbook featured. It worked out well for us!

  57. 57

    Ally — May 23, 2013 @ 5:14 AM

    SOOO PERFECT! brilliant, amazing. i added a bit of sugar, and if u 100% want a crispy crust, whisk the eggs with a hand mix and then add them to the mixture! It is BRILIANT! <3

  58. 58

    mary — June 29, 2013 @ 5:45 PM

    Amazing brownies. My whole family digs this recipe. But I have to bake longer than 25 minutes, otherwise the Center isn’t firm at all. More like 30-35 for me.

  59. 59

    Tori — October 2, 2013 @ 8:16 PM

    I love trying new brownie recipes but I find myself always coming back to these. They are literally the best brownies I’ve ever tasted! I’ve made them a dozen times, they are really simple, quick and everyone loooves them!

  60. 60

    nCrista — October 7, 2013 @ 12:04 PM

    You can use gluten-free flour. Use the same amount as called for in the recipe, just add xanthan gum.

  61. 61

    Amanda Taylor — November 5, 2013 @ 7:44 AM

    I just put a double batch of these in the oven. Hubby LOVES gooey chocolatey brownies and he’s a truck driver so when he comes home I try to make his favorites.

  62. 62

    Ann — November 15, 2013 @ 5:16 PM

    I made these tonight with a few changes – I added a bit more sugar since I like my brownies sweet. I also put in 1 Tablespoon of vanilla instead of 1 teaspoon.

    Even though I used a 8×8 pan, my brownies somehow took an hour to bake. They’re deliciously dark. Next time, a little less cocoa powder I think!

  63. 63

    Jane — November 23, 2013 @ 9:44 AM

    My brownies turned out quite bitter. Also, they taste a little off…I wonder what happened..

  64. 64

    Karen — November 24, 2013 @ 7:04 PM

    So easy and SO good! I was feeding 80 teens so made multiple batches, & they disappeared! I made them gluten-free by subbing buckwheat flour in some batches and a combination of buckwheat and millet flour in others. I measured the flour by weight, not volume, so the proportions would turn out right. All batches were equally good. I baked them for about 30 min, as I used larger pans with doubled recipes.

  65. 65

    Toni — November 28, 2013 @ 4:59 PM

    These were yummy!! Soft and chewy. I have cut back on my sugar intake. Maybe that’s why they seemed a little sweet to me, but oh so very good. I’ll try it next time with just the 1cup sugar.

  66. 66

    Mariam — December 7, 2013 @ 6:48 PM

    is the batter supposed to be a very thick one? been ages since i made brownies and I cannot remember this for the life of me.

  67. 67

    Lori Lange — December 8, 2013 @ 9:27 PM

    I don’t really remember…

  68. 68

    Barbara — December 14, 2013 @ 11:37 AM

    I just HAD to add my own comments: these were the absolute BEST BROWNIES I have ever made in my life !! I had inherited a cakey-brownie recipe from my mother and had always made it, always thought it was great … but now my daughter is getting married & I was baking for an engagement party and since she doesn’t like nuts, decided to try a NEW BROWNIE RECIPE without them. Yours was just amazing … I will never make any other brownie recipe again and BTW I used GHIARARDELLI unsweetened cocoa powder which I can’t help but think added to the wonderful taste. I’m going to search out all your other dessert recipes too!! (I did need to bake them an additional 15 minutes)

  69. 69

    Curious Cook — January 29, 2014 @ 9:57 PM

    Your recipe says scant cup but then says 3oz of cocoa powder. 3 oz is less than half a cup. Which is it? 3 oz or scant cup?

  70. 70

    Lori Lange — January 30, 2014 @ 5:46 PM

    This is how it is listed in the cookbook- the recipe comes from Alice Medrich. Go with either- I’m not sure it will matter all that much.

  71. 71

    Adriana — March 31, 2014 @ 12:47 PM

    Your picture looks great but my brownies did not look like that at all. There was no crinkly top .

  72. 72

    shreya — August 26, 2014 @ 10:31 AM

    can you please tell the measurements in grams?

  73. 73

    Lori Lange — August 26, 2014 @ 7:13 PM

    I don’t know, but you can always use an online converter like this one:

  74. 74

    shreya — August 31, 2014 @ 10:08 PM

    too bitter and dry for my taste

  75. 75

    Michelle — January 29, 2015 @ 3:23 PM

    It’s a miracle that this was only the second brownie recipe that I tried. It’s a winner! EVERYTHING that I love in a brownie. Super chocolate flavor and moist, gooey. Not the least bit with the cake texture. Today I tried a different recipe and what a mistake. There is no other than this recipe! Thank you!

  76. 76

    Lori Lange — January 30, 2015 @ 1:08 PM

    happy to heat- thank you!