Cocoa Brownies
Filed Under: Brownie | Dessert | Easy

Cocoa Brownies

By Tessa Arias
December 22nd, 2010
5 from 2 votes
5 from 2 votes

It doesn't get any better than these Cocoa Brownies! Rich, chewy, AND gooey.

Yield: 16 or 25 brownie squares

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Intensely chocolatey and not too sweet. Texture: Rich, chewy, and gooey. Does it get any better? Ease: One of the easiest scratch-baked brownie recipes I've ever made. Appearance: Brownies always look delicious, especially when they have that crinkly crust like these ones. Pros: Convenient, cheap, delectable. Cons: None. Would I make this again? Maybe tonight!

It doesn’t get any better than these Cocoa Brownies! Rich, chewy, AND gooey.

Easy Cocoa Brownies from @handleheat

Cocoa Brownies

Brownies have always been one of my all time favorite desserts. I especially love chocolate-y, gooey, and chewy brownies with a lovely crinkly crust. But I hate brownies that are overly sweet, cakey, or artificial tasting. I’ve tested quite a few brownie recipes and for a while the Baked brownie was my favorite. But that recipe requires a little work and a lot of chocolate. Actually, most homemade brownie recipes require either expensive chocolate, or that your butter be a room temperature (who wants to wait for that?) or require you to use multiple bowls and tools before you’ve got your batter in the pan. Not these cocoa brownies. No expensive blocks of chocolate, just cocoa. And only one bowl. These brownies are so easy and cheap to bake which makes them a wonderful holiday gift.

5 from 2 votes

How to make
Cocoa Brownies

Yield: 16 or 25 brownie squares
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
It doesn't get any better than these Cocoa Brownies! Rich, chewy, AND gooey.


  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, cold
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour


  1. 1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
  2. 2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and microwave for 1:30 minutes. Remove and stir until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. It looks fairly gritty at this point, but don’t fret — it smoothes out once the eggs and flour are added.
  3. 3. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
  4. 4. Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 25 to 30 minutes. 5. Let cool completely on a rack. Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

Recipe Notes

From Bittersweet by Alice Medrich - seen on Honey & Jam
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

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!)

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!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Laura — February 2, 2022 at 9:26 pm

    I’ve now made this recipe 3x and it has quickly become my favorite brownie recipe! I have made several of your recipes and they are my all incredible. One question – I doubled the recipe this last time and made it in a 13×9 pan, but had trouble figuring out the baking time. Do you have a recommendation for how long to bake for?

    • #
      Emily — February 3, 2022 at 10:36 am

      Hi Laura! So happy you love this recipe so much, thanks for letting us know! When doubling brownies in a 9×13 pan, it shouldn’t take that much longer than the original time (completely depending on your pan–glass/ceramic will take longer). I’d still check it at the 25 minute mark, then every 2-3 minutes beyond to make sure it’s not overbaked. I hope that helps!

  2. #
    Marissa Roberts — August 13, 2021 at 6:51 am

    I’ve made these in the past and wasn’t impressed they turned out dry and lacked flavor- but even though I was hesitant, all I had was cocoa powder and no unsweetened baking chocolate today so decided to try this recipe again- NOT DISSAPOINTED this time they were PERFECT and delicious, guess I did all the things right! Moist and flavorful, my son loved how the top turned out with just a slight crinkle! And you can’t beat that it only takes one bowl!

    • #
      Emily — August 13, 2021 at 10:32 am

      Yay! So happy you came back to this recipe and tried again with perfect results! Thank you for letting us know, Marissa!

  3. #
    Ronnie Donaldson — January 1, 2021 at 2:57 am

    Hi Tessa

    Your recipe does not say at which temperature you bake the cocoa brownies….

    Ronnie from South Africa

    • #
      Ronnie Donaldson — January 1, 2021 at 3:06 am

      oop sorry, new year’s blues, I overlooked the temperature (325F). But my brownies came out rather flat
      Ronnie from South Africa

  4. #
    Anna — August 25, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Hello, I l absolutely love your blog. I baked these twice and they were so yummy but didn’t get crinkly on top. I believe I followed all the instructions. Could there be something I did wrong? Thank you!

  5. #
    Janrio — May 25, 2016 at 8:23 am

    Hi! This recipe is great… super easy and delicious.. have one problem though,i didnt get the top to be crinkly like yours on the pic.. and while baking, it formed big bubbles on top… 🙁

  6. #
    Saarah kahlon — April 24, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    I love this recipe tessa! It’s 2:40 am in Pakistan right now and I just got done baking them!
    My 10 year old follows this recipe easily and has made these brownies 4 times! I’m not allowed in the kitchen when he’s in the mood to be independent!
    One question though, what is the reason for mixing with a wooden spoon and not an electric mixture?

    • #
      Tessa — April 24, 2016 at 5:29 pm

      Wow, that’s awesome Saarah! Great question. Mixing with a wooden spoon instead of an electric mixer helps ensure the brownies stay chewy and rich, instead of light and cakey. An electric mixer would incorporate more air, causing that cake-like texture. Hope that helps 🙂

  7. #
    Bre — January 24, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    I made these on a whim today and they are the best from-scratch brownies I have made! They were super easy, and they weren’t too cakey like most of the brownie recipes I have tried. They were fudgy and super rich.Yum!

  8. #
    Sal — December 18, 2015 at 7:03 am

    I’ve just made it, and it does get crinkly, just the way I like it! However, I forgot the salt. I’m so sad… How could I have done that? Oh, well, I’ll remember next time. Thank you!

  9. #
    Pam — September 28, 2014 at 5:41 pm

    These are THE BEST brownies I’ve ever eaten!! They were much like a fourless cake. Chocolate Heaven!!! Thank you so much for the recipe! Oh! And SO EASY to make!!

    • #
      Tessa — September 29, 2014 at 5:25 pm

      Wonderful! Glad you enjoyed 🙂

  10. #
    Rebecca — July 19, 2012 at 2:22 am

    I just made these today and they're insanely fudgy!! I had trouble cutting into them. How did you get yours to look so neatly cut?

  11. #
    runnergirl — January 15, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    I am going to make these today!

  12. #
    Jenn — December 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    I just made these and the husband could not get enough of it! FANTASTIC recipe!!! I sprinkled two crushed candy cane into the mix. Thanks for posting. I'm now a fan! Merry Christmas!

  13. #
    cakeje van eigen deeg — December 22, 2010 at 8:33 pm

    this recipe does sounds easy and quick! most good recipe do require lots of chocolate, or a couple of bowls. that's why I went for a brownie mix this weekend. I'll try this recipe for sure!!

  14. #
    Cornelius the Pig — December 22, 2010 at 5:57 am

    these look like the perfect kind of brownie – fudgey with a crinkle top – beautiful picture, too!

  15. #
    Maria — December 22, 2010 at 12:52 am

    I have made these brownies, love them! I could go for a few right now:)


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