Ultimate Brownies - Handle the Heat

Ultimate Fudgy Brownies

December 1st, 2022
4.81 from 285 votes
4.81 from 285 votes

Ultimate Brownies are ultra thick, fudgy, chewy, and chocolaty with a gorgeous crackled crust on top. It took over 6 batches to get this recipe JUST right!

Yield: 9 large brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Ultra chocolaty. I think a lot of us enjoy the texture of box mix brownies, but they typically have an utter lack of wonderful chocolate flavor. This recipe uses a combination of semisweet chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate to give you a knockout punch of chocolaty goodness.
Texture: The best part. These brownies are thick, fudgy, and chewy. They are ultra moist without feeling heavy and underbaked. They have that perfect crinkly crust on top which I’m completely obsessed with. They are perfect to me!
Ease: There are definitely easier brownie recipes out there, however the ULTIMATE brownie takes a bit of extra work. You can still get these in your mouth within an hour but you’ll be melting chocolate and whipping eggs and sugar in an electric mixer. It’s all worth it!
Appearance: Ultra thick with a crackled crust on top!
Pros: Brownie perfection. At least I think so.
Cons: With the exception of a few dirty dishes, there aren’t many bad things about this recipe.
Would I make this again? Uh, yeah. Duh.

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These Ultimate Brownies are the definition of FUDGY. As dense, rich, and fudgy as a brownie could be without actually being candy.

closeup overheat shot of these decadent ultimate brownies with their stunning shiny crust

I’ve shared a LOT of brownie recipes throughout the years and have a lot of brownie recipes in the archives. 

Each brownie recipe meets different texture and taste cravings.

If you couldn’t tell, I really love brownies from scratch. I love them because they satisfy my chocolate craving and are the perfect amalgamation of cake, cookie, and fudge, all in one magical bite.

This recipe only took 6 batches to perfect. Yes, 6 batches.

I wanted to give you the ultimate version of this fudgy brownie recipe, because I’m here to make your life more delicious.

These Ultimate Fudgy Brownies are ultra fudgy, and also have the most incredible brownie crust imaginable.

I hope you love these brownies as much as I do!

two fudgy brownies stacked on top of each other, showing the gorgeous shiny crust and the rich, fudgy center

How to Make the Ultimate FUDGY Brownies

What Kind of Chocolate is Best in Fudgy Brownies?

  • With fudgy brownies, melted chocolate is key. If we add cocoa powder to this recipe they become more cakey or chewy instead of rich and dense.
  • In this recipe there are two types of chocolate: semisweet chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate. They’re melted together with the butter to form the base of this recipe.
  • I find this gives the perfect balance of chocolate flavor without tasting too bitter or intense. Plus the chocolate chips play a secret role… they help to form that brownie crust on top!
  • Be sure to let the melted chocolate cool slightly before adding it to the batter, you don’t want to scramble your eggs with molten hot chocolate.

Butter for Brownies

  • The recipe takes 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (6 ounces, 170 grams, or 12 tablespoons) and melts it down with the chocolate. This helps prevent the chocolate from seizing if melted by itself, and allows the ingredients to become homogenized.
  • To make these brownies ultra thick and tall, we’re basically baking a 9×13-inch pan worth of batter in an 8×8-inch pan. That’s why there seems to be so much butter.
  • The reason we melt butter in brownie recipes instead of beating room temperature butter with sugar is because that helps give a rich, chewy, fudgy texture. Beating butter incorporates air and gives a more light, airy, cakey texture, which we don’t want in a brownie. Well, you might want that, but I don’t!

I actually recently experimented with Butter vs. Oil in Brownies to see how the type of fat used affects the final result. Check out my Butter vs. Oil in Baking article for a full breakdown on each of these fats and how they affect tenderness, flavor, and texture in baked goods (and not just brownies). You might just understand why I opted to only use butter in these Fudgy Brownies!

sliced brownies side-by-side on a pan comparing whether oil or butter is better in baking

Can I Use Salted Butter Instead?

Yes, just omit the salt called for in the recipe.

How Much Sugar in Brownies?

  • 1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar is called for in this recipe.
  • Again, if this seems like a lot that’s because these are very tall brownies so there is a lot of batter.
  • Also, we’re using a large amount of unsweetened chocolate so we need to sweeten the brownies up a little.
  • Important to note: the sugar doesn’t just provide sweetness, it also affects the texture. Sugar is essential to creating ultra moist and rich brownies. If you reduce the sugar, the brownies become more dry and cakey. Learn more about the role sugar plays in baking here. 

How to Get Brownies With That Crinkly Crust on Top

  • In this recipe, we whip the eggs with the sugar.
  • Using an electric mixer, we beat the sugar with the eggs for three minutes, until the mixture is light and ribbon-thick.
  • Why? This ensures the sugar is dissolved into the batter, enabling a soft yet fudgy texture and crackly crust.
  • I learned this technique from this brownie recipe.
  • Note: the amount of time it takes for your mixer to beat the eggs and sugar will vary. You’re looking for the mixture to become lightened in color and really thick. This can take anywhere from 3 to 8 minutes depending on your machine and kitchen environment.
  • More tips for achieving those perfectly crinkly crusts in my How to Make Brownies with Shiny, Thin Crust article. Lots of shocking side-by-side comparisons included, like this one below:

overhead shot of chewy brownies recipe comparing shiny crusts: no chocolate chip brownies, powdered sugar brownies, and cooled butter brownies

Want Fudgy Brownies? Add an Extra Egg Yolk!

  • As you may know, eggs not only act as a binding agent in baked goods, but they also add structure, richness, and enhance texture.
  • This recipe calls for three whole eggs plus one egg yolk.
  • Why the yolk? The fat in the yolk creates a rich, moist, fudgy, chewy texture that just melts in your mouth.
  • I love adding an egg yolk to my cookie recipes too to get them really chewy. Try it!!
  • Also be sure to use large eggs (about 56 grams in shell).
  • I was so pleased when I discovered I was able to add an egg yolk and STILL get that tissue-thin crust on top. Beating the eggs and sugar is pretty magical.

Which Flour to Use For Fudgy Brownies?

  • All-purpose flour is the way to go here.
  • Cake flour makes these brownies way too tender and light.
  • To make chewy fudgy brownies, we only need to use a little bit of flour. Any more flour will create tougher or cakier brownies.
  • If you want to be super accurate and weigh your flour, which I highly recommend, 3/4 cup equals 94 grams or 3.3 ounces.
  • Otherwise be sure to use the spoon and level method to measure your flour to avoid dry brownies.

IMPORTANT: How to Tell When Brownies are Done Baking?

  • Bake these brownies in a 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • There will absolutely be moist crumbs attached to a tester by the end of the baking time. That’s what we want.
  • The brownies will continue to set as they cool.
  • This recipe must be served after they’ve cooled to room temperature completely.
  • In fact, they solidify into even more fudgy brownie bits if you chill them in the fridge before slicing and serving.
  • If you prefer less rich and gooey brownies, add 5 to 10 minutes to the baking time.

Use a METAL PAN for Brownies!!

Glass and ceramic pans will not work for this recipe. They take longer to heat up and will prevent the center of the brownies from cooking before the outside edges are too hard. You’ll be left with gummy brownies instead of perfectly fudgy brownies. This is my favorite pan to use for brownies. Learn more in my Glass vs. Metal Baking Pans article.

comparison in height and texture differences of brownies baked in a metal pan vs. a glass pan

How to Cut Brownies Perfectly

Science has shown our visual perception of food actually influences how tasty we perceive food to be. If you want to get perfectly clean, neat, and even brownie slices, check out my How to Cut Brownies Cleanly in 5 Steps article. Don’t worry – even if you don’t follow all these tips, your brownies will taste just as delicious.

two pans of brownies, one sliced messy with crumbs everywhere, and one sliced neatly and perfectly

How to Store Brownies

The brownies definitely taste best the day they are baked, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days at room temperature or up to 4 days in the fridge. They are even more fudgy when they’re chilled.


This brownie recipe is written exactly the way it is for very specific reasons, as noted in the explanations above. If you try to reduce the sugar, use a sugar substitute, use a butter substitute, or make this recipe vegan the results will NOT be the same. Feel free to add in nuts, chocolate chips, toffee bits, or anything else to the batter.

More Brownie Recipes:

4.81 from 285 votes

How to make
Ultimate Fudgy Brownies

Yield: 9 large brownies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Ultimate Brownies are ultra thick, fudgy, chewy, and chocolaty with a gorgeous crackled crust on top. It took over 6 batches to get this recipe JUST right!


  • 1 cup (170 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) high quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (94 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch metal baking pan with foil or parchment and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Do NOT use glass or ceramic baking pans for this recipe, they will not allow the brownies to cook through the center.

  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, unsweetened chocolate, and butter. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir. Continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly.

  3. In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs, egg yolk, and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick and ribbony, about 3 to 5 minutes or more depending on your mixer. Beat in the vanilla extract.

  4. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the cooled chocolate butter mixture. Gently fold in the flour and salt until combined.

  5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached, about 35 to 40 minutes. Do not overbake the brownies as they will continue to bake once they’re out of the oven.

  6. Let cool completely to room temperature before slicing. Serve at room temperature or chilled for an even fudgier texture.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

To double this recipe, use a metal 9x13-inch pan and bake for the same amount of time.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : brownie recipe, brownies, fudgy brownies

This recipe was originally published in 2014 and updated with additional recipe tips and baking science info. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

May 2021 Baking Challenge

This recipe was the May 2021 pick for our monthly baking challenge! Every month you can join the challenge by baking the recipe and snapping a photo for a chance to win prizes! Learn more about my monthly baking challenges here. Check out everyone’s brownies:

a collage of entries from our baking challenge


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. #
    Emma — November 17, 2023 at 6:26 am

    by unsweetened chocolate do you actually mean the 100% Cocoa solids stuff that tastes kinda like dirt? lol. or do you mean dark chocolate?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 17, 2023 at 8:13 am

      Hi Emma! Yes, unsweetened chocolate tastes awful if you eat it plain, but Tessa talks about why this ingredient is key in the pink tip box, above the recipe! Let us know what you think of these brownies once you have given them a try – or if you’re more interested in a cocoa-based chewy brownie recipe, give these Best Ever Chewy Brownies a try instead. Happy baking!

  2. #
    Vale pupi — October 14, 2023 at 4:15 pm

    Primera vez que preparo brownies, y honestamente estos SON LO MÁS RICO DEL MUNDO, todos quienes lo probaron lo amaron! Son muy chocolatosos, con una capa crocante en el exterior pero aún así cremosos y húmedos, se deshacen en la boca, son un placer al paladar. Muchas gracias por esta receta ❤️

  3. #
    Zehra Syed — September 22, 2023 at 10:55 am

    These are the best brownies I have ever eaten! Let alone bake. I can’t thank you enough for sharing this recipe. I pride myself on baking this, all thanks to you! Love and light

  4. #
    Staci Friedman — August 27, 2023 at 12:53 pm

    I’ve made quite a few of your recipes and all of them were good, but these are the best brownies I have ever had. I read your post about cheap vs expensive ingredients so I used Ghirardelli chips and for the unsweetened chocolate. My husband requested these with ice cream instead of cake for his birthday. Sooo good!

    • #
      Emily — August 28, 2023 at 1:04 pm

      Amazing to hear! So happy these were such a hit, thanks for sharing!

  5. #
    Hakima — May 28, 2023 at 5:36 pm

    These brownies are outstanding! Super easy to put together and sooooo delicious. EXTRA fudgy! (meant to leave a rating the first time and missed that, so leaving a second review).

  6. #
    Leah — April 3, 2023 at 7:52 am

    Very fudgy! I’ve been trying a few different brownie recipes lately and my husband always asks for more fudgy, this time he was happy with the fudginess haha. I used 100% dark chocolate because I couldn’t find a lower % without sugar added, so next time I might try a lower % dark choc but they were still really good, just slightly darker than I’d have liked to make them perfect.

  7. #
    Alli — March 18, 2023 at 10:59 am

    Perfect! Very fudgy, dense. Sooooo good!

  8. #
    Raquel — March 16, 2023 at 2:57 am

    THE best brownie. No pictures do this recipe justice. Please take a few minutes from the baking time and only cut it the next day. IT NEEDS ITS BEAUTY SLEEP. I promise you, it’s a whole new and better brownie the following day. You can quote me on that.

  9. #
    Heather — February 13, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    These are the BEST brownies I’ve ever made or tasted! I actually did a fun Super Bowl brownie vs brownie. This again your dark chocolate brownie. Our family of four had 3 votes for this and 1 for the dark! They are both amazing but this was magical. Thank you!

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