Dark Chocolate Brownies - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Brownie | Chocolate | Dessert

Dark Chocolate Brownies

September 3rd, 2019
4.78 from 9 votes
4.78 from 9 votes

Dark Chocolate Brownies are thick, fudgy, and chewy with a rich chocolate flavor throughout. Quick and easy recipe.

Yield: 9 brownies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Bold chocolate flavor.
Texture: Rich, fudgy, and chewy without being overwhelmingly dense.
Ease: Nothing difficult here!
Pros: Another great brownie recipe to add to your repertoire.
Cons: None!
Would I make this again? Of course.

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Brownies are a category of recipe I LOVE to experiment with.
Chopped chocolate for baking brownies

Just like cookies, brownies are deceptively complex. Small tweaks in the ingredients or process can lead to big affects in the final result. My Ultimate Brownie Guide demonstrates that point perfectly.

I find cookies & brownies to be the perfect playground for baking experiments. They both bake up easily so you can see the impact of your experiment quickly.

Melting chocolate for brownies

For this recipe I wanted to achieve a bold chocolate flavor without creating a texture that was too cakey or too rich and fudgy.

Too cakey can happen when you add more cocoa powder.

Too rich and fudgy? Is that possible? I found out through my experimenting that it actually is possible. One of my test batches was so rich I could only have 2 bites. It literally was like eating fudge.

Dark chocolate brownie batter going into metal baking pan

So after many batches I finally found my Goldilocks with this recipe. I hope you love it!

How to Make Chewy & Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownies

Dark chocolate brownie batter in baking pan

Do I have to use Dutch-process cocoa powder?

The reason I call for Dutch-process cocoa powder is actually because it typically has a smoother flavor and higher fat content that unsweetened cocoa powder. This can lead to richer fudgier brownies!

But since there’s no baking soda or baking powder in this recipe, you can actually use unsweetened instead if you need to.

Learn more about the differences between cocoa powder varieties here.

How to get moist brownies?

Be VERY CAREFUL about measuring your flour and cocoa powder correctly. Use the spoon and level method, or even better, weigh your ingredients to ensure accuracy. If you don’t, you’ll likely end up with dry brownies. See my full article on how to measure flour correctly here (applies to the cocoa too).

Why is there vegetable oil in this recipe?

You’ll see that in addition to the butter, there’s a small amount of vegetable oil in this recipe. I added this in to ensure these brownies retain a moist texture. Cocoa powder can zap baked goods of moisture, and the oil helps to give that sensation of moisture on the palate. It can also keep the brownies softer for longer after baking.

Do I have to use bread flour?

The bread flour has a higher protein content which contributes to a more chewy texture. However, if you don’t have bread flour you can just use all-purpose instead.

Can I omit the espresso powder?

Yes. You can omit without replacing it with anything. It simply enhances the chocolate flavor without adding a coffee taste.

What’s the best pan to bake brownies in?

METAL. All the way. I very rarely bake brownies in glass or ceramic because those materials don’t conduct heat as efficiently. You might end up with brownies that are undercooked in the center when using glass or ceramic.

This is my favorite metal baking pan for brownies. Just don’t use a dark coated metal pan which will dry out the edges.

How to Make Brownies with Shiny Thin Crust

You know that shiny, glossy, crinkly, tissue thin crust on top of brownies? The key to achieving that crust requires dissolving your sugar properly!⁠ I share my secret methods for perfectly crinkly brownie tops⁠ in this article. And some surprising mistakes you may be making which prevent the brownie “skin!”⁠

How to tell when brownies are done baking?

I always advice to err on the side of underbaking brownies. The residual heat will continue to cook them even after they’re pulled from the oven. And I’d rather have a slightly gooey brownie than a dry overbaked one. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached. If you have a digital kitchen thermometer, the internal temperature should be about 195°F.

Dark chocolate brownies cut into squares

More Brownie Recipes:

4.78 from 9 votes

How to make
Dark Chocolate Brownies

Yield: 9 brownies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Dark Chocolate Brownies are thick, fudgy, and chewy with a rich chocolate flavor throughout. Quick and easy recipe.


  • 1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons (27 grams) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, cold
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (57 grams) Dutch-process cocoa powder, measured correctly
  • 1/2 cup (64 grams) bread flour, measured correctly
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Line a metal 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl combine the chocolate, butter, and oil. Microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Add the sugar to the hot butter mixture and whisk vigorously until combined. Allow to cool until just barely warm.
  3. Add in eggs, yolk, and vanilla extract and whisk for about 1 minute, or until very well combined. This helps create that shiny crust on top.
  4. Use a rubber spatula to stir in the cocoa, flour, espresso powder, and salt until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure it’s all evenly combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached, about 30 minutes. The internal temperature should be 195°Do not overbake.
  6. Let cool completely to room temperature. If they’re still warm from the oven they will be more cakey. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : Chocolate, easy

Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

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. #
    Tara — August 13, 2023 at 12:05 pm

    Can we use coconut sugar instead?

  2. #
    Arwa — December 13, 2022 at 11:20 am

    why bread flour ?
    can I substitute it for all purpose flour ? as I don’t get it here

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — December 13, 2022 at 12:18 pm

      Hi Arwa! As Tessa mentioned in the pink tip box, above the recipe, the bread flour has a higher protein content which contributes to a more chewy texture. However, if you don’t have bread flour you can just use all-purpose instead. Let us know what you think once you have given these brownies a try 🙂

  3. #
    Lorna — December 9, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    Could this recipe work in a silver 8 inch round pan ( that’s what I have) or will there be too much batter?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — December 12, 2022 at 2:33 pm

      Hi Lorna! We haven’t tried that, but it should work! Let us know how it goes 🙂

  4. #
    Jen — November 17, 2022 at 8:27 pm

    I like that the weight measurements are provided as that is how I prefer to bake. I don’t use a microwave so I melted the butter and Scharfen Berger chocolate in the oven. A good brownie, but I’ll try another recipe next time.

  5. #
    Regina — October 31, 2022 at 6:11 pm

    do you have a recipe for a quart jar brownie. I would like to make for gifts

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 1, 2022 at 9:04 am

      Hi Regina! I’m sorry, but Tessa does not currently have a brownie designed for a quart jar. Good luck in your quest 🙂

  6. #
    Eugenia — May 15, 2022 at 7:14 pm

    These are the best brownies I’ve made in ages! They came out thick, fudgy and chewy as promised!

  7. #
    Carmen — May 9, 2022 at 7:32 am

    Absolutely FABULOUS recipe! I did a tester batch to make for a party on the 21st, but The Boyfriend says this is one of his favorites so far, so it might become a staple at our house!

    One query, is there anything special I need to do (or not do) when doubling this recipe? I have both the USA Bakeware 8″x8″ square pan and the 13″x9″ rectangular pan, so if it’s as easy as doubling the ingredients and using the bigger pan, I’ll do that. Another query: if I DO double the recipe, do you all think using 1 cup of the bittersweet baking chocolate and 1 cup of the semi-sweet baking chocolate would be a success? Nothing else would change (I do have Dutch Process cocoa), but I’m wondering if the semi-sweet chocolate would change the chemistry of the recipe too much.

    Getting back to my review, this recipe is super easy. The hardest thing you have to do is chop the bar of chocolate! Definitely recommend with either a bitter cup of coffee or espresso, or a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 16, 2022 at 8:54 am

      Hi Carmen! I’m so happy you and your boyfriend loved this recipe! Yes, all you need to do is double the recipe for a 9×13 pan, but watch the baking time closely, as this will vary greatly from the usual 8×8 baking time. Check out the tips in the pink box above the recipe, for help deciding when the brownies are done! As for altering the chocolate varieties, we have not tried that, so I couldn’t say for certain. You would definitely lose the powerful punch of using entirely bittersweet chocolate, and it would alter the sweetness. I recommend trying some of our other brownie recipes, such as our Best Ever Chewy Brownies, which utilizes semi-sweet chocolate! I hope this helps 🙂

  8. #
    Nova Kane — November 28, 2021 at 1:31 am

    I would love to try out one of your many brownie recipes, but I can’t always buy chocolate chips or bars. Is there a way to make the recipe by using cocoa powder, butter, and sugar ? I mean to make my own bittersweet chocolate? If not, then I’ll just wait till I can get the chocolate called for in the recipe.

    Thank you.

    • #
      Emily — December 1, 2021 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Nova, we haven’t tried making our own chocolate, so I can’t say for sure how that would turn out!

  9. #
    Saranya — October 5, 2021 at 3:16 am

    Can I substitute coca powder with dark chocolate (couverture)

    • #
      Emily — October 5, 2021 at 11:09 am

      We haven’t tried that!

  10. #
    Steve — December 17, 2020 at 11:48 am

    I went by the recipe with omission of espresso powder and substitute of all purpose flour. I also added walnuts and a little salt, which I think is probably helpful.
    I used a 9×9 silicon Tupperware baking thing and baked for 40 minutes and allowed time to cool as instructed.
    They turned out great! Thanks for the recipe. 🙂

  11. #
    Brynn Richter — October 9, 2020 at 9:52 am

    I don’t Instagram so I can’t upload a pic to that but I made this recipe and haven’t tried a bite yet but it has made my house smell delicious!

  12. #
    Debra Davies — June 21, 2020 at 7:06 am

    Delicious, fudgy, rich, naughty… my friends loved it when I left some on their doorsteps during lockdown! Brilliant recipe as flour was in short supply and this uses so little! I left out the coffee – didn’t need it. Have made 5 batches so far, each one perfect.

  13. #
    Erica — January 18, 2020 at 6:25 pm

    Just made these but I will be looking for a new recipe. There is no coveted shiny crackly crust and they were pretty underwhelming in taste and texture. I make brownies a lot and these are probably my least favorite so far. I am actually pretty disappointed because they sounded great. I am giving them 2 stars because I love weight measurements in recipes.

  14. #
    Niya — October 10, 2019 at 7:21 am

    I just had one out of a batch i made fresh and these are great! I baked them exactly for 30 min and they were really good but just a bit too soft and moist, i think maybe they need longer in the oven ?

  15. #
    Niyatee Ravipati — October 8, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    Hi if I want to replace some of the sugar with a tbsp of corn syrup how much should I reduce?
    I felt like corn syrup helped them stay fresh longer your cosmic brownies and am planning to courier these to a friend.
    Please help

  16. #
    Cindy — October 2, 2019 at 3:56 am

    Exactly like a brownie should be! Super easy to make with minimum mess.
    The batter tasted sooo gewd, I literally licked the bowl clean *guilty*
    Personally I choose to eat the brownie cold. So I wrapped individual pieces in foil and keep in fridge. Perfectly fudgy.

  17. #
    Mierta — September 18, 2019 at 3:36 am

    I just made the dark chocolate brownies, five stars for the flavor, but I can not say it is brownies, because it is too cakey. Too high also, just like a cake.
    Did I do anything wrong? I don’t know.
    But I will make it again, as a cake,
    Thanks Tessa, for sharing the recipe.

  18. #
    Sabrina — September 11, 2019 at 7:39 pm

    thank you for all of the research into the perfect balance with dark chocolate brownie, if I had to choose between too cakey and too fudgy, I’d go with too cakey, but still prefer a good balance, so much appreciated

  19. #
    angela — September 11, 2019 at 2:40 pm


    if I were to add a fruit puree to this, do you know how I would change the sugar by chance? thank you!

    • #
      angela — September 11, 2019 at 2:58 pm

      or also, I can add frozen raspberries without changing anything and it would be ok? thank you again

  20. #
    Niyatee — September 4, 2019 at 3:10 am

    Hi this recipe looks amazing :). I am looking for a slightly Cakey brownie recipe from sometime now. Could you please tell me how to adapt this recipe to make it slightly more Cakey ?

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