Filed Under: Brownie | Chocolate | Dessert | Videos

Cosmic Brownies

By Tessa Arias
May 16th, 2019
4.84 from 218 votes
4.84 from 218 votes

This copycat recipe for Cosmic Brownies is ultra rich, fudgy, and chewy just like the kind you buy at the store but oh so much better with no preservatives!

Yield: 16 brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 25 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: These homemade Cosmic Brownies have a much better chocolate flavor than the store-bought ones! No weird artificial flavors here.
Texture: Ultra rich, fudgy, and chewy. So good.
Ease: Very easy!! Have a batch of these made in just over an hour.
Appearance: I think they look pretty darn similar to the store-bought version, if not more mouthwatering.
Pros: Super fun copycat recipe that’s so much better when homemade.
Cons: Although these are not laden with hydrogenated oils and preservatives like the purchased kind, they still aren’t exactly health food 😉
Would I make this again? Absolutely!

When I was in elementary school anytime I’d bring a sack lunch it was basically the same exact thing every time. I always ate a peanut butter sandwich, I didn’t even like jelly necessarily. There’d usually be some other element in my lunch bag but I’d ALWAYS request my mom add in a Little Debbie brownie.

Overhead look of all the cosmic brownies cut into squares

Before Cosmic Brownies came into existence, it was just the Little Debbie brownies with the nuts on top. I would always pick off all the nuts. In my child mind, nuts shouldn’t be part of any dessert. Gross.

So you could imagine my excitement when I spotted Cosmic Brownies on the shelf at the store. Candy > Nuts any day! I freakin’ loved those Cosmic Brownies.

Cosmic brownies with sprinkles on top

I knew I had to make my own version from scratch. I got started making the most fudgy, chewy brownies I could, using everything I learned from my Ultimate Brownie Guide.

I even managed to find the exact candies Little Debbie tops the brownies with, they’re Wilton Rainbow Chip Crunch and I found them at Michael’s and I’ve seen them at Joanne’s, but they’re also available by a different brand on Amazon.

Cosmic brownie squares lined up

I think I managed to create something that will evoke all those childhood memories of snacking on those little plastic-wrapped store-bought brownies. But these babies are SO much better! Real and satisfying chocolate taste with no crazy artificial ingredients.

What are cosmic brownies?

They’re an invention of Little Debbie that basically summarize a childhood in the 1990s in each bite. Cosmic brownies are ultra chewy with a rich fudgy frosting that’s dotted with rainbow colored candies. They come individually wrapped and are super sweet and quite artificial tasting, so making them from scratch tastes SO much better.

How to Make FUDGY Brownies

These little brownies are ultra rich and fudgy, almost like candy. I got as close to the texture of the store-bought kind as I possibly could.

Do I have to use cornstarch + corn syrup?

There is a small amount of both cornstarch and corn syrup in this recipe to help make the brownies super chewy and fudgy. Feel free to omit the corn syrup or use golden syrup if you prefer! Your brownies just won’t quite have that same Cosmic texture.

Extra egg yolk = fudgy & chewy!

You’ll notice in most of my brownie recipes I add an extra egg yolk. This adds fat and protein which translates to rich, fudgy, and chewy brownies.

Make sure to measure properly!!!

To get moist, fudgy, and chewy brownies you want to be extra careful to measure your dry ingredients properly. Namely the flour and cocoa powder. I like to use a digital kitchen scale to ensure 100% accuracy. If you don’t have a scale, then use the spoon and level method for both the flour and cocoa powder to ensure you don’t add too much and create dry & crumbly brownies. You can learn more about how to measure properly here.

How to store brownies

These brownies, with the frosting, can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days at room temperature and for 1 week in the fridge. Brownies are best sliced and served chilled for neat squares.

Cosmic brownie with bite taken out

More Brownie Recipes

4.84 from 218 votes

How to make
Cosmic Brownies

Yield: 16 brownies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Inactive Time 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
This copycat recipe for Cosmic Brownies is ultra rich, fudgy, and chewy just like the kind you buy at the store but oh so much better with no preservatives!


For the brownies:

  • 10 tablespoons (142 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (67 grams) packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (88 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 2/3 cup (85 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the frosting:

  • 1 1/2 cups (255 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Wilton Rainbow Chip Crunch or mini M&M’s, sprinkles, or other candy


To make the brownies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8-by-8-inch metal baking pan with parchment or foil and spray with cooking spray.

  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter for about 90 seconds on high power. Stir in the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa powder. If still very hot, let cool slightly before adding in the vanilla, eggs and egg yolk, and corn syrup. Stir until very well combined. Add in the flour, cornstarch, and salt and stir until just combined. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan.

To make the frosting:

  1. Place the cream in a small microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high for 1 minute. Add in the chocolate chips. Let stand for 3 minutes before stirring until smooth. Pour over the cooled brownies and smooth evenly. Sprinkle with the Rainbow Crunch Chips. Refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours, or until the frosting is set, before cutting.
  2. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days at room temperature and for 1 week in the fridge. Brownies are best served chilled.

Recipe Video

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

This recipe was originally published in 2014 and recently updated with recipe improvements and new photos. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

April Baking Challenge

This recipe was the selection for the April 2020 baking challenge! See all the entries submitted below. Check out the current monthly challenge here.

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. #
    Natalie Ramos (Patodulce) — April 13, 2020 at 6:45 am

    Loved this recipe. Easy and fun to make! Love how the colors of the sprinkles shine brighter on top of the dark, yummy and shinny layer of chocolate ganache. Hugs from the Dominican Republic!!

  2. #
    Jennifer — April 12, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Great chocolate flavor and the texture is spot on!

  3. #
    Evgeniya Kuzina — April 12, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    Great recipe, but the frosting amounts seem to be off. I ended up using twice the cream amount for half the chocolate

    • #
      Jessica — April 12, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      I’m really considering halving the frosting recipe if I make them. Everyone is saying it’s so sweet, and I’m not a huge frosting fan.

  4. #
    Kathryn A Gorman — April 11, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    so delicious! My roommates and I are going to eat the entire tray in 2 days, I have no doubts.

  5. #
    Debbi Sherer — April 11, 2020 at 2:59 pm

    These are dangerously delicious! Definitely a recipe to keep!

  6. #
    Kelsey Loureiro — April 11, 2020 at 6:39 am

    Super fudge and nostalgic

  7. #
    Emily Farr — April 10, 2020 at 11:34 pm

    These were fun to make and brought back some nostalgia! Super easy and quick – and tasty (especially if you like a chewy brownie)!

  8. #
    Emma Cox — April 10, 2020 at 9:06 pm

    I used chocolate chips instead of the rainbow chips but they still came out pretty well for a first time. Would recommend.

  9. #
    Dani — April 10, 2020 at 3:27 pm

    These are pretty fudgy! I’m so glad I made them.

  10. #
    Caroline Vaczy — April 10, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    These are a more sophisticated version of a childhood favorite! It makes a nice, dark brownie with a lovely ganache topping.

  11. #
    Emily Leishman — April 10, 2020 at 2:32 pm

    These are heavenly! I used sprinkles for the top and they look perfect! The ganache was so gooey and delicious, especially eaten when the brownies were still warm! The best brownies I’ve ever made!

  12. #
    Joanna — April 10, 2020 at 11:37 am

    My whole family and I loved these!!! Will definitely be making again.

  13. #
    Melissa Thompson — April 10, 2020 at 11:22 am

    The batter was made twice since it was so sticky that the first round resulted in a broken bowl. So glad my daughter roughed it out though and made them again because they were delicious. Definitely rich but nothing a chocolate lover can’t handle .

  14. #
    Jamie — April 10, 2020 at 8:08 am

    Very easy to follow recipe! Everything Tessa makes is so clear to follow and turns out tasty! These were not my personal cup of tea. They are very fudgy and for some reason a little bitter. The frosting is best the next day after it has really set. I think I’ll try it with milk chocolate chips next time. I’m not sure what to do differently with the brownie recipe.
    Notes: 90 seconds was too long for butter in microwave. Mine blew up. 3 min was too long for cream. I took mine out at 2 min before it exploded too. (I learned and watched this time. Lol)

    • #
      Sandy — July 28, 2021 at 2:44 pm

      I followed recipe to the T and used Droste dutch cocoa powder. I did not have the candies so substituted with mini m&ms which I actually prefer! The brownies came out picture perfect I even cut them with an oil sprayed knife to get clean slices. The brownie itself was the perfect texture, fudgy, and flavorful. My only problem was the frosting… I used high quality chocolate chips, but it was too bitter and I felt it overpowered the brownies themselves which were quite tasty. I would definitely recommend to use milk chocolate or 50/50 with semi-sweet if you don’t want an overpowering frosting layer. I will try that next time.

  15. #
    Lauri Rottmayer — April 10, 2020 at 4:19 am

    Yummy! The only disappointment is having to wait so long to eat them.

  16. #
    Jenni — April 10, 2020 at 1:25 am

    Delicious! Very creamy and fudge. I ran out of cocoa so made a caramel icing which was amazing.

  17. #
    Felisha Stevens — April 9, 2020 at 6:52 pm

    So rich and decadent!

  18. #
    Bridget — April 9, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    Yes, made these for my grandson. That’s my story and I’m sticking with it. That is if there are any left …
    Rich, dense and delicious! Did I mention easy?

  19. #
    Stephanie Soos — April 9, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    Definitely better than the original! I didn’t leave them in the fridge long enough when it came time to cut them…I was just too excited and eager to try them. Definitely would make again!

  20. #
    Lanita Weisinger — April 9, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    So yummy…out of this world!!

  21. #
    Carla — April 9, 2020 at 11:07 am

    Soooo good! Will definitely be making these again. Easy and delicious

  22. #
    Crystal Cruz — April 9, 2020 at 9:32 am

    The brownies are outstanding!! I broke out my fancy cocoa (Valrhona) and have no regrets. They’re fudgy and decadent. I didn’t have the rainbow crunchies but plain M&M’s work in a pinch! Will definitely make this again.

  23. #
    Kelly D — April 9, 2020 at 6:25 am

    My kids loved these!

  24. #
    Nic — April 9, 2020 at 5:01 am

    My 10 yr old chose this recipe for his birthday cake on April 6th. It was superb!! Delicious, indulgent, fudgey brownies. I used weight rather than cups and they turned out perfectly.

  25. #
    Nic — April 9, 2020 at 4:58 am

    My 10 year old chose this recipe for his birthday cake and it did not disappoint! Turned out perfectly (I used weight rather than cups) and was so yummy. One very happy 10 year old.

  26. #
    Meena Patel — April 8, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    Brings back memories of eating these brownies as a kid. Except these are so much better and less chemical tasting! Delicious!

  27. #
    Jill Puhlmann-Becker — April 8, 2020 at 7:00 pm

    These brownies are so good! They are like the cosmic browines, but so much better! My family loves peanut butter so I used peanut butter chips for the candy on top!

  28. #
    Zoe — April 8, 2020 at 6:11 pm

    I loved these! They came together in such a short time. If you need a quick recipe for a get together in the future I would suggest using this recipe and just doubling it!

  29. #
    Ali — April 8, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    These are so delicious and rich!!! If you love chocolate these are the brownies for you!!

  30. #
    Lacey Fitzgerald — April 8, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    These are so good! They’re the perfect amount of chocolatey and fudgy. They’re also super easy to make. My daughter and I especially love to put the sprinkles on together.

  31. #
    Emily — April 8, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    A really nice copycat recipe. Loved the chewy texture. I think my oven is too hot because the bake time in the recipe was a little over. Will make again!

  32. #
    Elizabeth Bogges — April 8, 2020 at 7:30 am

    Simply the best brownie I’ve ever eaten or made!!
    Next time I will only use half the frosting/Ganache- but that’s not changing my rating!!!

  33. #
    Katrina Matijczyk — April 7, 2020 at 5:23 pm

    They are fudgy and yummy. I had no heavy cream and used light and the frosting didn’t set well. Was “forced” to eat this as a chocolate fudgy sundae…it was still devine.

  34. #
    Alyssa England — April 6, 2020 at 7:09 pm

    Very pretty! The ganache frosting is a bit too “dark” for me. May try it with milk chocolate chips next time.

  35. #
    Britney S — April 6, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    So fudge-y and delicious! Super easy to make, as well!

  36. #
    Amanda Juarez — April 6, 2020 at 3:57 pm

    These brownies take me right back to my childhood! I didn’t have corn syrup but they still came out perfect. Will definitely be making these again!

  37. #
    Amanda — April 6, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    This recipe takes me right back to my childhood! I didn’t have corn syrup so I had to omit it but these brownies came out wonderful.

  38. #
    Josabeth Conlee — April 6, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Delicious! Make sure to let them set in the fridge! They taste amazing once they’re all set. Fun thing to do with the kids

  39. #
    Josabeth Conlee — April 6, 2020 at 2:33 pm

    Delicious! And easy to make as well. Make sure to let them get nice and cold in the fridge. They taste absolutely amazing once they set in the fridge.

    • #
      Carmen — April 17, 2020 at 12:29 pm

      These are delicious! So much better than store bought!

  40. #
    Kira Olsen — April 6, 2020 at 12:16 pm

    It nailed the texture, but was far too rich for my taste.

  41. #
    PJ Bibby — April 5, 2020 at 8:09 pm

    A truly decadent Brownie. Super easy to make.

  42. #
    Kennedy Mullen — April 5, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Delicious!! They are super sweet and chocolatey. Easy recipe. I swapped out the corn syrup for honey worked perfectly. Will absolutely make these again.

  43. #
    Donya — April 5, 2020 at 5:52 pm

    These brownies are so chewy and rich. So much better than the store bought ones. I will definitely make these again!

  44. #
    Donya — April 5, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    These brownies were so yummy! They are so chewy, rich, and chocolaty. I will definatley make this recipe again!

  45. #
    Amber Cockrum — April 5, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    Very chocolaty and fudgey

  46. #
    Jeff — April 5, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    It is a dense brownie with a lot of frosting – but if you like those things (and my family does) then it is great!

  47. #
    Megan — April 5, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    These are way better than cosmic brownies! Great recipe 🙂

  48. #
    Kim Battin — April 5, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Great recipe & everyone loved it!

  49. #
    Dana Eriksen — April 5, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Easy to make and pretty. Final product is super crazy fudgy and dense, not a very traditional brownie texture.

  50. #
    David — April 4, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    So fudgy and rich. Serve cool with a cup of coffee or glass of milk. Really easy to make.

  51. #
    Maggie — April 4, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    OMG these are SO. GOOD. So if you like truly fudge brownies, you need to make these. My new favorite brownie recipe!

  52. #
    Elizabeth Casey — April 4, 2020 at 11:04 am

    This was such a fun recipe to make. Once I got everything ready, it came together so quick — my favorite part was the step to mix in the eggs/egg yolk, vanilla and syrup in — that’s when you know it’s brownies!!! (I only had golden syrup and it was fine.) I found Wilton star sprinkles in the baking aisle – they look so great. These brownies are DANGEROUSLY delicious which makes them perfect for sharing. I will bake these again!

  53. #
    Joanna — April 3, 2020 at 11:23 pm

    These were so fudgy and perfect!

  54. #
    Jorjean Murphy — April 3, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Ummm….so rich and chocolaty!! We loved these.

  55. #
    rashida — April 3, 2020 at 3:41 pm

    This recipe was great!

  56. #
    Aynr — April 3, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    Love it!

  57. #
    Monica Prudencio — April 3, 2020 at 5:33 am

    Super delicious and pretty easy to make! The consistency was so much like the original cosmic brownies but the flavor was SO much better! My roommate and I devoured these. I did find, however, that I had to bake an extra 10 min to get the brownies fully cooked.

  58. #
    Cassie — April 3, 2020 at 4:59 am

    Love these! They are so easy to make. Definitely one of my go tos!

  59. #
    Joanne Johnsen — April 2, 2020 at 6:05 pm

    These are really yummy but almost too sweet with the icing. My husband doesn’t seem to have any problems taking them off my hands though!

  60. #
    Sue Galbraith — April 2, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    We thought it was terrific! I didn’t have any heavy cream so I made a different chocolate frosting.

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