Filed Under: Brownie | Chocolate | Dessert | Videos

Cosmic Brownies

Recipe By Tessa Arias
May 16th, 2019
4.85 from 220 votes
4.85 from 220 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

4.85 from 220 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. #
    Julie — April 24, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    So good!!! Shame I couldn’t get colorful candies!! Maybe when people stop hoarding the goodies…..

  2. #
    Jessica — April 24, 2020 at 1:04 pm


  3. #
    Taylor — April 24, 2020 at 11:54 am

    These are delicious and amazing. I would highly recommend you make these ASAP.

  4. #
    Michelle Ott — April 24, 2020 at 7:22 am

    These are so good, and just like the boonies I remember, only they aren’t fallling apart like mine used to in lunch. There’s a lot of sugar in then so a little goes a long way. My kids love them

  5. #
    Rona A Compton — April 24, 2020 at 6:40 am

    These brownies are so fudgy and delicious. I made them for dessert last night and everyone loved them.

  6. #
    Bonnie — April 23, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    The base is great. I didn’t have cream so I used milk in the frosting. It was so thin I had to add so many extra chocolate chips. I’ll use real cream next time.

  7. #
    Lila — April 23, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    I can’t find my metal 8 x 8, will using a glass pan make a difference?

  8. #
    Sarawit L. — April 23, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    The kids loved it!

  9. #
    Rae Jeffrey — April 22, 2020 at 10:21 pm

    These brownies are delicious! They’re so much tastier than the store-bought Cosmic brownies! I put mini M&Ms on them and sprinkled Maldon sea salt flakes on top; the salt made them even better, so if you like slightly less sweet desserts, still try the recipe and just sprinkle a little salt on top. 🙂

  10. #
    Jill Fielding — April 22, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    Definite keeper!! We all loved these. Intense chocolate taste, super fudgy, ganache was amazing.

  11. #
    Aimee Grey — April 22, 2020 at 12:04 pm

    These were ridiculously easy to make and had amazing texture and flavor!

  12. #
    Christine Ross — April 22, 2020 at 5:56 am

    Baked for 28 mins since I was using a glass pan and they turned out perfectly! I also only did a half recipe for the icing, only because I didn’t have enough cream but it was JUST RIGHT. I’ll definitely be making these again!

  13. #
    Christine Ross — April 22, 2020 at 5:47 am

    SO FUDGEY. SO DELICIOUS! Baked for 28 mins since I was using a glass pan, and they turned out PERFECTLY! I did a half recipe for the icing, since I didn’t have enough cream, and it was JUST RIGHT – so sooo good!

  14. #
    Lyndy Willis — April 21, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    My husband is a man a major fan brownies, and these were perfect for him! They are so fussy a and delicious.

  15. #
    Lia — April 21, 2020 at 5:14 pm

    Very yummy and fun to make with my toddler! The brownies were very fudge-y. The ganache was a little darker than I usually care for, so next time I will probably mix the semisweet with some milk chocolate chips. Very fast to make!

  16. #
    Megan Warnke — April 21, 2020 at 4:52 pm

    Very rich and delicious… so rich we can only take very small bites at a time! Just like cosmic brownie recipe!

  17. #
    Ashley Liautaud — April 21, 2020 at 2:30 pm

    Sooooo good! The recipe was easy to follow and the results were amazing! The brownies are nice and fudgy and the icing gives it that extra chocolate kicking! I let mine warm up just slightly under room temp when I eat it, but just as good right out of the fridge!

  18. #
    Maya Househ — April 21, 2020 at 11:59 am

    They look delicious! But i wanted to know if it’s ok to use chopped chocolate instead of chocolate chips

  19. #
    Maya Househ — April 21, 2020 at 11:56 am

    Can we use chopped chocolate instead of chocolate chips?

  20. #
    Melissa Hagman — April 20, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    Awesome. Easy to make

  21. #
    Melissa Hagman — April 20, 2020 at 6:28 pm

    My husband loved them.

  22. #
    kathy — April 20, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    Never had an actual little debbie cosmic brownie, i’ve been baking since was a child, rarely had store bought treats.. These brownies were dangerously delicious, thank goodness it only made 9.

  23. #
    Karen — April 20, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    These were amazing! Did not last long in my household!!! Brownies and I don’t typically get along, but these turned out fantastic!!!

  24. #
    Ocean Lee — April 19, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    As most of the recipes here, came out perfectly just as described. Super rich brownies and fudgy, fun change up on the chewy ones I normally go to.

  25. #
    Christina Lund — April 19, 2020 at 6:08 pm

    This was an easy recipe to make, and turned out SO YUMMY! Way better than store bought or boxed mix brownies.

  26. #
    Chaia — April 19, 2020 at 4:27 pm

    This was my first time with this. I had never heard of cosmic brownies nor have I tasted it anywhere. I made it and all of my family loved it. This is definitely one of our favorite recipes to keep. Full five stars!

  27. #
    Tracy Dhinsa — April 19, 2020 at 10:00 am

    These brownies are super chocolatey and fudgy and oh so good! My 10 year old helped with these and it’s an easy enough recipe a kid can make it. These turned out delicious. Will definitely make them again!

  28. #
    angie beasley — April 19, 2020 at 9:07 am

    So delicious, Tessa. Brings back memories of eating these as a kid. Love!

  29. #
    angie beasley — April 19, 2020 at 9:04 am

    So delicious. Brought back memories of eating these as a kid. Love love love

  30. #
    Kelly Fairbanks — April 19, 2020 at 7:16 am

    The brownies came out pretty good. I am not a fan of the frosting on this brownie though. I could tell from the ingredienta that it was going to be bitter. I should’ve made adjustments because the frosting does not taste like a cosmis brownie.

    Other than that, its a good recipes thats quick.

  31. #
    Larissa Castro — April 19, 2020 at 6:36 am

    Very easy to make and tastes divine. Something you’d get from chocolate heaven

  32. #
    Crystal Derrell — April 19, 2020 at 5:20 am

    I love cosmic brownies, even before I knew their name ahaha

    Alas I now realize these brownies must stay in the fridge for their whole life as my climate is way too hot for countertop stay 🙁

    But otherwise, they taste heavenly! So thick and chewy and the topping is a perfect balance for the base brownie

  33. #
    Clare Sim — April 19, 2020 at 3:25 am

    This hit the spot for my brownie craving. I liked the ease of assembling the ingredients too – no need for double boiling to melt chocolate! Very straightforward. It was a tad too sweet for me as I’m more of a dark-chocolate gal, but my friend loved it when she tried it. Also I forgot to let the brownie cool before pouring the frosting over, and somehow the brownies ended up really sticking to the knife and I couldn’t make clean cuts as Tessa managed to do here.

  34. #
    Anna — April 19, 2020 at 2:00 am

    So delicious!!

  35. #
    Kimberly Dierker — April 18, 2020 at 5:59 pm

    These were very good! They were very sweet and rich though! Will make again!

  36. #
    Sidrah Azhar — April 18, 2020 at 9:22 am

    Moist and scrumptious

  37. #
    Pamela — April 18, 2020 at 9:17 am

    I can see you are definitely a brownie girl. You should meet the British television chef, Lorraine Pascale, who used to do jobs, including ironing to earn pocket money so she could buy brownies as a young girl. You could almost say she loves brownies so much she lives for brownies and she too has multiple versions. My question is, which version of yours would you say is the best to package and ship to friends and family. During these unusual times I’m working on sending goodie boxes and care packages to friends around the country. Which brownie travels the best?

  38. #
    Rose Kovach — April 17, 2020 at 10:15 pm

    Delicious! I love how fudge the brownies are.

  39. #
    Adam Breitbach — April 17, 2020 at 6:18 pm

    These brownies were so easy to make, and so much better than the store-bought kind. I will definitely make these again!

  40. #
    Ana Smith — April 17, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    This recipe is really easy and fun to make!

  41. #
    Erhan Uyar — April 17, 2020 at 3:40 pm

    These are so good and fudgy. I never had little Little Debbie’s, but my wife says these are much better.

  42. #
    Carmen — April 17, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    These are delicious! So much better than store bought!

  43. #
    Kayla Burton — April 17, 2020 at 9:45 am

    I didn’t have any corn syrup, so I substituted honey and they still turned out perfect! I was amazed by how closely they resembled the cosmic brownie’s texture! It’s a great recipe but a bit too rich for me, I personally prefer Tessa’s best ever chewy brownies – those are amazing.

  44. #
    Debbie — April 17, 2020 at 9:16 am

    Love this recipe. Nice chew and chocolatey taste. My son loves these. A fav of our family.

  45. #
    Jillian Brown — April 17, 2020 at 6:24 am

    I always loved cosmic brownies as a kid and this was a great copycat recipe! The texture is soft like the store bought ones but the flavor is more chocolatey and “real” if you get me. Definitely let these chill before you try to cut them, but I like to let them sit out for a few minutes before I eat them so they’re nice and soft.

  46. #
    gslbhavani — April 17, 2020 at 5:30 am

    This is my first try at brownies. Turned out amazing

  47. #
    Kim Walker — April 17, 2020 at 5:21 am

    These brownies are delicious! Extremely fudgy and chocolaty! Using a square pan, I was afraid there wouldn’t be enough, but we cut them into small squares, they were gone in 1 day! Loves these!

  48. #
    GSL — April 17, 2020 at 5:16 am

    I made these today. My first try at brownies. Turned out amazing

  49. #
    Carla — April 17, 2020 at 4:12 am

    These we’re absolutely delicious and simple to make. Although I personally prefer a warm brownie with vanilla ice cream I also wouldn’t say no to making this recipe again. Thanks Tessa!

  50. #
    Carla — April 16, 2020 at 5:57 pm

    Delicious! Love how easy the recipe is to make and follow and the hardest part was waiting for the top to set in the fridge! Will definitely make again!

  51. #
    Juliana obando — April 15, 2020 at 10:44 pm

    This brownies are the BEST brownies I’ve ever had! – I bake brownies all the time and love experimenting new recipies from diferente people, but this ones are definitely out of the world brownies, no wonder why you call them “cosmic” hahaha!

  52. #
    Brooke Sprung — April 15, 2020 at 5:43 pm

    These did NOT disappoint!!

  53. #
    Chantal — April 15, 2020 at 12:56 pm

    I am making these tonight! I have Dutch process unsweetened cocoa and natural unsweetened cocoa. Which should I use? Thanks!

  54. #
    Allison G — April 15, 2020 at 7:28 am

    These brownies are delicious! Very rich and fudgy and easy to make. 🙂

  55. #
    Ana — April 15, 2020 at 12:08 am

    So easy and soooo yummy

  56. #
    Katrina Epperly — April 14, 2020 at 6:16 pm

    Wow! That’s all that comes to mind! It’s very rich and a little goes a long way. Make sure you have milk on hand!

  57. #
    Paulina — April 14, 2020 at 6:12 pm

    These are wonderful! The texture was rich & chewy & just what I was craving!

  58. #
    Kaysie — April 14, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Great recipe! Pretty dang close to the original.

  59. #
    Nancy — April 13, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    So yummy! So rich and creamy,

  60. #
    H — April 13, 2020 at 3:30 pm

    Q: don’t have heavy whipping cream… can I use (less) milk for frosting?

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