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. #
    Wajiha — May 1, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    Hey Tessa,
    I want to ask what is the size you cut your brownie into?


  2. #
    Mae — April 30, 2020 at 11:14 pm

    I never heard of Cosmic Brownies before and these were out of this world! No pun intended. These tasted like a dense fudge more than a brownie cake. I love the chocolate color chips because it gives it pop of color as well giving it a sweet crunch. So easy and worth to do!

  3. #
    Elicia P — April 30, 2020 at 9:57 pm

    Subbed out the sprinkles for chips in mine as we can not do colors. Recipe is a keeper.

  4. #
    Janna — April 30, 2020 at 8:15 pm

    I’ve never been able to make homemade brownies this fudgy before! They’ve always turned out cakey and dry. These were so moist and the frosting is an amazing addition.

  5. #
    Bev Zadiraka — April 30, 2020 at 7:30 pm

    I have already ordered the cocoa for my next batch!!

  6. #
    Bev Zadiraka — April 30, 2020 at 7:26 pm

    I’m already ordering more cocoa to make this again!

  7. #
    Greta Stolte — April 30, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    So yummy! I haven’t tried actual little debbie cosmic brownies but I’m sure these are 10 times better!

  8. #
    Kara Grubb — April 30, 2020 at 6:10 pm

    Such a great idea to take this sophisticated spin on a childhood favorite! The recipe was easy to follow and came together quickly. The results were rich and decandant brownies that put little Debbie herelf to shame! I personally don’t have a microwave so I melted the butter in a pot on the stove and made the frosting in a double boiler and all turned out well. The next time I make these, I plan to try the frosting with milk chocolate chips rather than semi-sweet to cut the dark chocolate taste a bit.

  9. #
    Francisca Gomes Pinheiro — April 30, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    These brownies are pure heaven for any chocolate lover! It feels like eating a dense and rich, premium-quality piece of chocolate, with the amazing combination of both textures – the fudgy brownies and the silky frosting!

    Thank you so much, Tessa!

  10. #
    Lindsay A. — April 30, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    My SO absolutely loves cosmic brownies, so these were a hit! I used milk chocolate chips instead of semisweet as per his taste preferences, and he requested Reese’s pieces for the topping. Definitely will make again!

  11. #
    Juliana Alonso — April 30, 2020 at 11:38 am

    Amazing recipe! Pure chocolate heaven!

  12. #
    Emily Illenberger — April 30, 2020 at 10:41 am

    Delicious brownies! Your recipes never disappoint!!

  13. #
    Sonam Ghag — April 30, 2020 at 10:18 am

    Highly recommend! These had that fidget chewy texture you get with the store bought ones! Everyone loved!

  14. #
    Salina Tesfay — April 30, 2020 at 7:45 am

    Very fudgy and dense just like the original! I left out the corn syrup (and didn’t make a substitution), and they still came out great.
    Does this recipe use natural cocoa or dutch cocoa. I used dutch because that was all I had and still loved it.

  15. #
    liezle1116 — April 30, 2020 at 4:11 am

    Super love this recipe! This is the first time I made a Cosmic Brownie and it’s really good! 🙂

  16. #
    Liezle — April 30, 2020 at 3:43 am

    Super love this recipe, first time to bake this! It’s moist and the sweetness is just right. 🙂

  17. #
    zle mahinay — April 30, 2020 at 3:37 am

    The recipe is super yummy and easy to bake. The sweetness is just right and it’s chocolatey good!

  18. #
    Nour aljeddaimi — April 29, 2020 at 9:37 pm

    MMmmmm is all I can say. I just took my first bite.The frosting is the key. These brownies were certainly rich and fudgy so delicious

  19. #
    Nancy — April 29, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    One of the easiest recipes I’ve made. It’s so good and so easy to double

  20. #
    Cherish C — April 29, 2020 at 8:59 pm

    Easy recipes and I couldn’t Believe how much it resembled my childhood memory!! Sweet and rich!

  21. #
    Cherish C — April 29, 2020 at 8:50 pm

    Super sweet and soft but delicious! Taste was rich and fudgey!

  22. #
    Nour aljeddaimi — April 29, 2020 at 7:36 pm

    MMmmmmm is all i can say ‘ I just took my first bite they taste more fudge ‘ i love it !
    Theee frosting is the key , these brownies were certainly rich & fudgy

  23. #
    Lucy — April 29, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    The brownies were delicious – I personally feel like they were alittle dense with the topping.
    Can’t wait to try them again, they will be delicious with vanilla ice cream <3

  24. #
    Crystal — April 29, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    Easiest “from scratch” brownies I’ve ever made! Fudgy and delicious! My family loved them, I will definitely make them again!

  25. #
    Crystal — April 29, 2020 at 3:06 pm

    These are the easiest “from scratch” brownies I’ve ever made! They were moist, fudgy, and delicious. My family all loves them! I will definitely make them again!

  26. #
    Nouraljeddaimi — April 29, 2020 at 1:12 pm

    The best fudgy Brownie you’ll eat ever, yummy!

  27. #
    Jazz Fung — April 29, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    Like you mentioned, these brownies are ultra rich, fudgy, and chewy. However, they were a bit too sweet for my liking.

  28. #
    Nour aljeddaimi — April 29, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    Thank you tessa for the recipe !

  29. #
    Leah Janik — April 29, 2020 at 6:30 am

    The recipe was very simple and came together quickly. Letting it cool took longer than anything else. The brownies are super delicious, I just had another for breakfast 🙂

  30. #
    Kenny — April 29, 2020 at 3:38 am

    These brownies are great. Very rich so I halved the amount of ganache on top 🙂

  31. #
    Andy Hernandez — April 28, 2020 at 11:26 pm

    Love the recipe, it was amazing!! Thank you Tessa!!! Definitely making again some time

  32. #
    Candace Merkens — April 28, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    Very yummy brownie. Personally I would like less of the ganache on them, but that is a personal preference. My husband loved them!!

  33. #
    Amanda Iacullo — April 28, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    LOVEDDD these cosmic brownies, I’m a huge fan of the ones from the store and was surprised how much they tasted alike. I also forgot to sift the cocoa powder and they still taste amazing! After posting the picture I had 5 people respond and ask for the recipe!! highly recommend

  34. #
    Mary P — April 28, 2020 at 9:28 am

    So easy to make and tastes 100x better than store bought!!

  35. #
    Inayah Owais — April 28, 2020 at 4:52 am

    I am only 11 years old and making these brownies was a great experience. the recipe was pretty easy. THANK YOU TESSA.

  36. #
    Michelle — April 27, 2020 at 6:36 pm

    Rich, fudgy, and delicious! Super easy recipe.

  37. #
    Lori Jones — April 27, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    I could only take a bite of one because they are not gluten free, they are delicious and rich! Definitely making them again but gluten free!

  38. #
    Regina — April 27, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    Very easy, and tasty! My husband doesn’t usually eat dessert, and he asked for seconds!

  39. #
    LaQuinta Malone — April 27, 2020 at 9:41 am

    Super good. Really easy to make. I love how chocolate-y the brownies are

  40. #
    LaQuinta Malone — April 27, 2020 at 9:37 am

    My family LOVES these brownies. They’re so chocolate-y and I love it

  41. #
    Megan — April 27, 2020 at 8:59 am

    SO delicious! Puts store bought to shame!

  42. #
    Katie Ferguson — April 26, 2020 at 6:53 pm

    Super yummy and rich!!

  43. #
    Sheilla Picon — April 26, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    My kids loved this, and I love how yummy they are without all the preservatives

  44. #
    Angelic Dudley — April 26, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Delicious easy to follow recipe. Great copycat but taste so much better!

  45. #
    Angelic Dudley — April 26, 2020 at 4:49 pm

    Super easy and delicious! I had one of the commercial made brownies not long ago and was disappointed in the processed flavor. These are delicious and rich. A good brownie recipe.

  46. #
    Andrew Blue Hernandez — April 26, 2020 at 3:43 pm

    Amazing recipe, came out so fudgy/chewy and cakey, can’t get enough of those brownies i loved this months challenge, hopefully the next one is just as good!! Love the recipe Tessa!

  47. #
    Erin M Mauro — April 26, 2020 at 11:41 am

    These are delicious and so easy to make!

  48. #
    Kami — April 26, 2020 at 10:39 am

    These brownies were rich and delicious! The recipe was easy to follow and they turned out great.

  49. #
    Amelia — April 26, 2020 at 6:57 am

    Amazing simple and delicious brownie recipe! I’ve made this two times, one with cream cheese chocolate frosting and once with the normal frosting. Both turned out great! Definitely keep these brownies in the fridge after you cut them.

  50. #
    Kneaded & Baked — April 26, 2020 at 5:16 am

    Thank you Tessa for the recipe. They are rich, fudgy and chew brownies. Everyone at home loved it.

  51. #
    Ruth — April 26, 2020 at 5:09 am

    Easy to make and taste amazing!!

  52. #
    Andrew Hernandez — April 26, 2020 at 12:56 am

    Came out amazing I didn’t have corn starch so I subbed it for all purpose flour, I also swapped the semi sweet chocolate chips for dark chocolate chips, so amazing, I would make again and recommend to a friend and bake with them when all this is over

  53. #
    Chelsea — April 25, 2020 at 10:09 pm

    I made these for the April baking challenge and made them again before the end of the month – they were that tasty. They also freeze really well (I cut them up and froze them in Tupperware and just take out a piece at a time).

    Because corn syrup isn’t available where I live, I used golden syrup and it seemed to work well (I cannot directly compare to those made with corn syrup, but mine were very tasty and fudgy).

  54. #
    Chelsea — April 25, 2020 at 10:06 pm

    I made these for the April baking challenge and made them again before the end of the month – they were that tasty. They also freeze really well (I cut them up and froze them in Tupperware and just take out a piece at a time).

  55. #
    Angela Kuzmenko — April 25, 2020 at 6:43 pm

    These are so delicious! Even better than the store-bought ones!

  56. #
    Taylor — April 25, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    These are a serious chocolate lovers brownie! I loved them cold out of the fridge AND sitting out at room temperature! The cosmic sprinkles made them so fun!! Thanks for the recipe!

  57. #
    Angela Kuzmenko — April 25, 2020 at 6:39 pm

    These are so delicious!! Even better than the store bought ones!

  58. #
    Kelly — April 25, 2020 at 4:40 pm

    I haven’t even eaten these brownies because they have to chill first but my mouth is watering! You can see the texture in the pan and smell the chocolate! Bonus points they are mostly made in one bowl!

  59. #
    Sania Fatima — April 25, 2020 at 5:11 am

    Tried this and it turned out AMAZINGGG!

  60. #
    Cynthia Lucey — April 24, 2020 at 9:32 pm

    Absolutely delicious! Fudgy, moist and much needed during this quaratine. You can never go wrong with brownies.

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