Cocoa Brownies

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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

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)

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  • Angie wrote:

    Can anyone tell me if they baked a double batch what size pan you used and for how long you baked them?

  • Leah wrote:

    I tried this recipe with coconut oil and gluten-free flour (Bob’s Mill) and it was delicious! Easily converted. I recommend it.

  • Carly Holtzman wrote:

    Can you sub the eggs with mayo? Ive heard its possible. We have celiac, nut, soy, egg allergy in our family.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I’m not sure- I have never tried that!

  • Heidi wrote:

    I used almond flour instead just to cut Some carbs out lol….. It was so yummy still gooey and delish! Great recipe!

  • Cindy R wrote:

    I had to leave these in the oven for 31 minutes and still a little soft in the middle.  Suggestions?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      A little gooey in the middle is good!

  • Judi wrote:

    OMG! I just made these. to be honest II was looking for a good brownie recipe without the need of melting a lot of chocolate. Somehow I feel its a waste to melt a chocolate into a cake :). Anyhow I covered these in nutella and sprinkled with himalayan salt. so so so delicious! Thanks Lori!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I love your adaptations!

  • Sya wrote:

    This is the best brownies recipe ever! I tried baking it last night, and it taste awesome! Its crunchy, chewy and moist too.. definitely will bake again and again..
    Thanks Lori for sharing this!

  • Michelle wrote:

    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!

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      happy to heat- thank you!

  • shreya wrote:

    too bitter and dry for my taste

  • shreya wrote:

    can you please tell the measurements in grams?

  • Adriana wrote:

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

  • Curious Cook wrote:

    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?

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      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.

  • Barbara wrote:

    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)

  • Mariam wrote:

    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.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      I don’t really remember…

  • Toni wrote:

    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.

  • Karen wrote:

    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.