Filed Under: Brownie | Chocolate

Brown Butter Brownies

Recipe By Tessa Arias
  |  
April 15th, 2020
4.76 from 62 votes
4.76 from 62 votes

Brown Butter Brownies are ultra rich, chewy, and fudgy with that classic shiny crinkly crust on top and gooey chocolate chips inside.

Yield: 9 brownies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: The brown butter + brown sugar give these brownies such an incredible depth of flavor!
Texture: Ultra rich, fudgy, and slightly chewy.
Ease: Not the easiest recipe. This one involves browning the butter on the stove and an electric mixer. But it’s so worth the effort when you want something extra special!
Pros: Fabulous brownie recipe to add to your repertoire.
Cons: Dirties several dishes.
Would I make this again? I already have!

I have a confession to make.

I am FULLY and COMPLETELY obsessed with brownies.

thick and rich brownie batter in a mixing bowl

This year it’s taken on a whole new level of insanity.

I can’t stop dreaming up and experimenting with brownie ideas! And I already have so many brownie recipes on the blog it’s kind of crazy.

But truly that hasn’t stopped me. I don’t know if I’ll ever run out of texture or flavor ideas and variations.

Brown butter brownies cut into squares

I have a feeling you guys won’t mind, though, because brownies continue to be among my most popular recipes. And this Brown Butter Brownie Recipe is one that literally came from a dream. The image of exactly how I wanted them to look like came to my mind and it took over 7 trials until I had it *just* how I pictured it.

The most important part I wanted to nail was that shiny crust on top and just look how perfect it turned out!! Tips for that are in the pink box below.

If you follow me at all you know that browning butter is kind of my secret trick to improving the flavor of just about every classic baked good and these brownies are no exception. I truly hope you’ll give them a try!

How to Make Fudgy Brown Butter Brownies

Below are tips and insights into the HOW and WHY of brownie baking. I definitely suggest you read before making the recipe! And if you want even more info on the science of brownies, check out my original Ultimate Brownie Guide here.

browned butter fudge brownies cut into squares

How to Brown Butter for Brownies

A skillet works better than a saucepan for browning butter because there’s more surface area for the brown bits to develop. Whatever you do, never use nonstick for browning butter.

In a medium skillet set over medium heat, melt the butter. Swirling the pan occasionally, continue to cook the butter. It should become foamy with audible cracking and popping noises. Once the crackling stops, continue to swirl the pan until the butter develops a nutty aroma and brown bits start to form at the bottom. Once the bits are amber in color, about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops, remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl. Let cool completely.

How to Make Brownies with Shiny Thin Crust

This is arguably the best part of any brownie but also often the most elusive to achieve.

If you follow the directions in this recipe exactly by using an electric mixer to whip the eggs and sugar, you will get that beautiful tissue thin crust on top. The key here is to allow the sugar to completely dissolve into the eggs to create an ultra light, pale, and fluffy foam. The amount of time this takes will completely vary depending on your kitchen environment and your mixer, so pay attention to the visual clues over the time listed in the recipe.

An electric mixer with the whisk attachment works best, but you may be able to get away with a hand mixer too. Whatever you do, just don’t stop beating until the eggs are ultra light in color and thick and foamy in texture.

More tips for achieving those perfectly tissue thin, crinkly crusts in brownies are shared in this article. I also share some surprising mistakes you may be making which prevent the brownie “skin!”⁠

How to Make Chewy Fudgy Brownies

Whipping the eggs and sugar helps incorporate air into the brownie recipe. That means we don’t need to use any baking soda or baking powder. The result are brownies that are rich and fudgy without being so dense you can only have two bites. I first learned this technique years ago here.

Brown sugar and high-fat Dutch Process cocoa powder also help contribute richness not just in flavor but in that moist fudgy texture. That’s also why a very small amount of flour is used. Too much flour and brownies become cakey or dry. Make sure not to over-measure the flour or cocoa powder.

Do I have to use Dutch Process Cocoa Powder?

No, but I personally prefer it.

Since there’s no leavener (baking soda or powder) in this recipe you can use Dutch Process OR natural unsweetened cocoa powder.

But I find Dutch process creates a deeper chocolate flavor and richer fudgier texture. ESPECIALLY if you use a cocoa powder with a higher fat content which unfortunately is hard to find at most grocery stores.

My absolute favorite cocoa powders for brownies lately have been the Penzey’s high fat Dutch process or the King Arthur Bensdorp Cocoa Powder. Neither are particularly easy to source but if you can get your hands on the they make for insanely rich & fudgy brownies (and ultra moist chocolate cake!).

The BEST Brownie Pan (so important!)

For this recipe I highly recommend using a reflective metal baking pan. I like this baking pan.

Dark metal pans will dry out the edges, often before the center can cook through. Glass or ceramic baking pans will take LONGER to bake these brownies, and the texture may become more gummy. If you must use glass, add about 10 to 15 minutes to the baking times.

I like to line my pan with two sheets of parchment, leaving an overhang so I can easily lift out the entire pan of brownies to cut and serve.

Can I Double the Recipe?

You can easily double this recipe by simply doubling all ingredients and bake in a 9 by 13-inch metal baking pan for about 30 minutes.

How to tell when brownies are done baking?

You never want to overbake brownies. There should absolutely be moist crumbs attached to a tester by the end of the baking time. With a recipe like this, however, the gooey chocolate chips make it hard to tell when the brownies are done baking.

I always err on the side of underbaking brownies. The residual heat of the oven will continue to cook them even after you place the pan on a cooling rack. I wouldn’t bake much longer than the recipe suggests unless you’re using a glass pan (see above).

How to Store Brownies

The brownies definitely taste best the day they are baked, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature or up to 4 days in the fridge. They are even more fudgy when they’re chilled. You can microwave them for a bit to serve them warm and gooey too.

brown butter brownies with a glass of milk

More Amazing Brownie Recipes:

4.76 from 62 votes

How to make
Brown Butter Brownies

Yield: 9 brownies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Brown Butter Brownies are ultra rich, chewy, and fudgy with that classic shiny crinkly crust on top and gooey chocolate chips inside.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (64 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (43 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably Dutch Process
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a metal 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a small saucepan set over medium low heat, melt the butter. Swirling the pan occasionally, continue to cook the butter, increasing the heat to medium. It should become foamy with audible cracking and popping noises. Once the crackling stops, continue to swirl the pan until the butter develops a nutty aroma and brown bits start to form at the bottom. Once the bits are amber in color, about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops, remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl, scraping the brown bits into the bowl.
  3. Immediately add in the chopped chocolate and stir until melted.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Beat mixture on high speed until completely thickened and fluffy in texture and lightened in color, about 8 minutes. On low speed, gradually pour in the warm brown butter chocolate mixture.
  5. Use a rubber spatula to stir in flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, and salt until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  6. Pour into prepared pan and smooth out with a spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 22 to 25 minutes, or until set but not overbaked. Let cool in pan completely before slicing and serving.
  7. Brownies can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Recipe Video

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Abigail Cleary — October 14, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    This was okay a little bit too buttery for my liking. I added extra chocolate to make it better. I like how it has a quick baking time. Overall i would rate it a 6.2 out of 10.

  2. #
    Raquelle Mikhael — October 8, 2021 at 2:44 am

    Hello there, I can’t express how much I love your recipes I’m obsessed with those brownies and I really want to make them because I never taste it in my life but the problem is that I live in a small town that only has small markets that’s why most of the ingredients and brands aren’t available like peanut butter, chocolate chips, different kind of cocoa… Could you please make a simple cocoa brownies without chocolate

    • #
      Emily — October 8, 2021 at 10:49 am

      Hi Raquelle! This is an older recipe post that needs updating, but check out our Cocoa Brownies, I think it’s just what you’re looking for: https://handletheheat.com/cocoa-brownies/. Let us know what you think!

  3. #
    Samantha H — September 7, 2021 at 8:29 am

    Anything with brown butter will be a winner but I especially love the nutty flavour in these brownies! The espresso powder is a subtle addition and the chocolate flavour really stands out without being too sweet. Love the melty chocolate chips too! 100% will make this again.

    • #
      Emily — September 7, 2021 at 2:31 pm

      So glad you loved it! I agree, I think brown butter makes anything better 🙂

  4. #
    Melanie Pena — August 31, 2021 at 12:10 pm

    I took these brownies to a family dinner and EVERYONE raved about them! They were soooo delicious. Since the dinner, I have had several requests for the recipe. My husband said “make them again.” This will be our go-to brownie recipe. Thanks so much! BTW- I have your Cookie cookbook – great!

    • #
      Emily — September 1, 2021 at 3:56 pm

      So happy to hear your brownies were such a hit, Melanie!! I love the rave review from your husband haha, he keeps it simple just like mine does, but you know he means it (i.e. How does this taste? “Really good.”) 🙂 Glad you’re enjoying the cookie book too. I’ll be sure to pass along your wonderful review to Tessa 🙂

  5. #
    Ruth — August 31, 2021 at 9:57 am

    As a self-declared brownie snob, I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect brownie recipe for ages: one that was chewy, fudgy, chocolatey, not at all dry or cakey, and had the quintessential shiny, crinkly top. Last year I discovered your chewy brownie recipe and thought “omg, these are the best brownies I’ve ever had, I can finally stop searching!”. Then a few months later I wanted to try a chocolate-based recipe and gave your ultimate brownies (I think the recipe is now called “fudgy brownies”) a go and thought “wait, these are also the best brownies I’ve ever had?!”. Now here I am several months later with a newfound love for all things brown-buttered and I knew I just had to give these a try too. Somehow they are ALSO the best brownies I’ve ever had!! It boggles my mind but all three recipes are truly perfect. I love that I can now choose any one of the them based on my pantry, or on the technique I want to use that day, and rest assured that they are all equally to die for! I know you’re considered the queen of cookies in many ways, and I think brownies should be added to that title too. Anyway, long story short, these brownies are A-MA-ZING, especially warmed up, and anyone reading this should make them immediately! (Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk on HTH brownie recipes LOL)

    • #
      Emily — September 1, 2021 at 4:08 pm

      haha your Ted Talk 🙂 What a wonderful and such a kind comment to read through, Ruth! I’ll definitely pass this along to Tessa, and I know it’ll make her day! You’ve definitely figured out why Tessa creates so many brownie recipes, so you can pick and choose like she loves doing depending on the type of brownie you feel like enjoying that day (or based on what’s in your pantry)! Can you believe she’s created over 40 brownie recipes?! We’re actually in the process of revamping our website, so it’ll be super easy to find a specific brownie recipe based on your preferences (thick, chewy, fudgy..,etc.)! I hope you’ll enjoy using it for future brownie bakes 🙂

  6. #
    Ilene — August 30, 2021 at 6:26 pm

    Hello,

    The recipe and brownies look amazing! I have been trying to find a recipe to replicate Starbucks brownies, but with brown butter. They are dense and fudgey, yet light and airy at the same time. I have NEVER had a brownie with all 4 textures before. I think this might be the one. I use Muscovado Brown Sugar when baking. The molasses content is a bit higher and imparts more moisture and depth of flavor. I have only found at Whole Foods and online. Can I use this type of brown sugar in your brownie recipe?

    • #
      Emily — August 31, 2021 at 8:20 am

      Hi Ilene! We haven’t experimented with muscovado brown sugar in this recipe, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work! Muscovado has more complex flavors, so if anything, it might just add more pronounced caramel and toffee notes! Please let us know how it goes!

  7. #
    Rosalind Cuneo — August 27, 2021 at 2:42 pm

    Is this 170 g of brown butter or start with 170 g of butter and use what is left after browning?

    • #
      Emily — August 30, 2021 at 9:21 am

      Hi Rosalind, great question! Start with 170 grams of butter and use what remains after browning in the brownies. No need to add any more butter. Enjoy! 🙂

  8. #
    Angela :) — August 20, 2021 at 1:57 pm

    I make this recipe often and have to quadruple it! I serve these at the coffee shop I bake at and they are a hit every time. I do like to switch it up and add espresso and espresso powder and cinnamon to it, another way is to add cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne pepper with a dash of nutmeg. I then drizzle with house made fudge sauce(made with a little burbon) If you’ve never had a spicy caffeinated brownie come see me at Mokaska!

    • #
      Emily — August 20, 2021 at 2:33 pm

      Wow, so amazing to hear what a success your brownies are, and I love your add-in suggestions! House made fudge too? Yum!! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and let us know!

  9. #
    Kay — July 2, 2021 at 12:32 am

    Can I half this recipe for a small batch

    • #
      Tessa — July 2, 2021 at 9:20 am

      I haven’t tried that, but it should be fine! Just make sure to use a reflective metal baking pan. Good luck!

  10. #
    Bonnie Mac — June 26, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    Amazing brownie recipe! Beautiful crust on top and rich, fudgy flavor (highly recommend Penzey’s high fat cocoa powder). My 8X8 is glass so that’s what I used. They took 43 minutes (yikes, I know. I was worried too.), but they were just perfect! Our guests raved about them and my husband told me to hold on to the recipe!

    • #
      Tessa — June 28, 2021 at 10:55 am

      I”m happy they were such a hit!

  11. #
    Simran Sethi — June 24, 2021 at 6:16 am

    Probably the best brownies I’ve ever had. Paired it with fresh strawberry compote and it was divine. Thanks for sharing!

    • #
      Tessa — June 24, 2021 at 9:48 am

      Sounds delicious! I’m so happy you loved them 🙂

  12. #
    lola — June 21, 2021 at 8:58 pm

    i just made this and Its a great brownie.. but just a warning for people that i did not taste the brown butter.. it tastes like a regular chocolate brownie

  13. #
    anonymous — June 19, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    These brownies are the fudgiest brownies you’ll ever make. If you’re having trouble with the thin shiny top, I suggest not reducing the sugar. Use dark chocolate, and keep the sugar level the same. the amount of cocoa in brownie definitely undercuts the sweetness. I always reduce the sugar level by 50-75%, but with this recipe I don’t. Keeping the same sugar level (1cup total), I managed to get the shiny top on my first try. This recipe is definitely the best recipe I’ve tried. I’ve never been able to successfully make a brownie. Usually it’s too dry and crumbly with no shiny crust, but this is the absolute best. So rich, so fudgy, absolutely immaculate.

    • #
      Tessa — June 21, 2021 at 1:30 pm

      I’m so happy to hear you had perfect results! I’m also glad you tried the recipe first and didn’t make any adjustments to this recipe as reducing the sugar will definitely alter the outcome, especially the shiny top like you said 🙂

  14. #
    Austin — June 3, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    Step involved sure but not really that hard to prepare. These Brownies turned out spectacular. Deep rich complex flavor and I made these with just regular cocoa. I’ll leave another comment when I can find some Dutch process. Thank you for this recipe.

    • #
      Tessa — June 4, 2021 at 9:42 am

      So happy to hear you loved them, Austin!

  15. #
    Tieghan — May 26, 2021 at 9:28 am

    It’s so good! I halved the recipe and it turned out fine. Didn’t have brown sugar so I used double the white sugar, and the halved recipe calls for 1 1/2 eggs but I used 1 only. Turns out great!

    I used dark chocolate, and put in dark chocolate compound chips into the batter at the end, so there are larger bits of gooey chocolate.

    Good when warm, but amazing when cold. I’m not kidding, pop this in the fridge or leave it out and it’ll taste like a super decadent chocolate bar or ice cream. The cold pieces of chocolate chips adds an extra bite that is just. So. Good!

    • #
      Tessa — May 27, 2021 at 9:10 am

      Happy to hear your substitutions worked! I’d love for you to try this recipe again with the brown sugar-it really adds to the depth of flavor 🙂

  16. #
    Madhura — May 23, 2021 at 9:37 pm

    Hi .. when you say 170gm of butter and recipe calls for browning the butter.. won’t the butter reduce quite a bit.. so 170gm is the final amount after melting. A little confused

  17. #
    Nishwa — May 22, 2021 at 8:51 pm

    so I doubles the recipe and I usually dont do that when Im trying out a new brownie recipe, but….OMG IM SO GLAD BECAUSE THEY WERE SO FRIGGIN DELICIOUS!!! it was definitely worth browning the butter! my kitchen smelled like an expensive chocolatier shop after I mixed the browned butter with the chocolates.

    • #
      Tessa — May 24, 2021 at 4:19 pm

      I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed these brownies!! I absolutely LOVE the smell of them mixed together as well, YUM!!

  18. #
    Diana Lopez — May 6, 2021 at 7:36 pm

    Made these TWICE in one week! Added peanut butter and doubled the recipe! Some baking powder and a bit of bread flour for more rise and ooooooo I can’t believe these! Thanks!

  19. #
    Rashi jain — May 5, 2021 at 9:09 am

    Pls share eggless version of this recipe..

    • #
      Tessa — May 5, 2021 at 10:01 am

      Sorry, the eggs are necessary for the texture and crinkly crust of these brownies!

  20. #
    Kelly — April 25, 2021 at 10:30 am

    These Brownies are delicious! The top was paper thin and perfect! The browned butter adds an intensity to the chocolate goodness.

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