I love brownies and these easy cocoa powder brownies are the ones I turn to when I crave decadently dark and fudgy brownies. These brownies are slightly different than my chocolate brownies here in that they are made entirely with cocoa powder. The texture is different too. These cocoa powder brownies are darker and have a more intense chocolate flavor and despite both being equally moist and chewy, these brownies are slightly less dense than the chocolate brownies.
I have always had a love-hate relationship when it comes to making brownies. I have tried making these goodies a good number of times in the past. In all those times, I have used many different recipes and while some come out really good at one time, they disappoint me at another.
I know the problem is probably not with the recipe but rather ME. I mean, how can the same recipe turn out good at one time, and not turn out good at a different time?
So I have set on perfecting my brownies making skill this week.
I tried a combination of 4 different recipes and from there tweaked the ingredients, baking temperature and time until I hit the right combination for a truly fudgy brownie recipe.
Brownie Success Factors
My definition of fudge brownies are brownies that are solid and moist, with rich chocolate taste and not overly sweet. I do not however, fancy brownies that are so moist that they look almost under cooked. Fudgy brownies, for me should be soft and moist without any cake-like texture, but not too moist that they look gooey and under cooked.
This cocoa powder brownies recipe I have here is just that. It yields brownies that are dark and intensely chocolate with a very moist and fudgy texture, it's almost like eating a soft brownie-like fudge.
In making these cocoa powder brownies, I have come to learn 2 most important factors (other than the recipe) that literally determine how your brownies turn out. The first factor is the baking time and the second factor is the baking dish or tin. Read more about these factors in the notes section below.
How to Make Cocoa Powder Brownies
I have used a total of 7 ingredients in this recipe and they are:
- Self-raising flour + salt
- Brown sugar
- Cocoa powder
- Vanilla essence
If you notice, this recipe is based entirely on cocoa powder without any chocolate (hence the name cocoa powder brownies). I used unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder for an intense cocoa flavor and coupled with the brown sugar, the brownies had a deliciously intense chocolate flavor.
Mixing the cocoa powder brownies batter
Making these cocoa powder brownies is pretty simple. No mixer needed, everything can be mixed in just one bowl.
- Start the process by melting the butter over very low heat. Once fully melted, transfer it into a large bowl.
- Add in the brown sugar and whisk it into the hot butter for about 30 to 45 seconds.
- Let the butter and sugar mixture cool down a little, and then add in the eggs.
- After a good one minute of whisking, add the salt followed by the flour and cocoa powder that are sifted together. Mix until all the dry ingredients are well combined into the brownie batter.
- Finally, add the vanilla essence and mix well. Pour the cocoa powder brownie batter into a well-greased and lined square tin.
- For easy lifting of the brownie after baking, it is recommended that the parchment lining on the sides of the cake tin is left long enough to help with the lifting.
You will notice that the brownie batter will rise during baking. That is perfectly fine. Bake the brownie for 20 minutes. To test if the brownie is done, you can use a toothpick to test the sides of the brownie. Ideally, it should come out with moist crumbs sticking to it and the center of the brownie should still be soft. Let the brownies cool in the tin for about 10 minutes. Lift them up carefully by holding the parchment lining and transfer onto a wire rack to cool the cocoa powder brownie completely.
Baking time and baking tins
- Always make sure you keep to the time and tin size of these chocolate fudge brownies as mentioned in the recipe. If you change the tin size for something larger or smaller, the time has to be adjusted accordingly. For larger tin sizes, since the batter is spread thinner, you would need to reduce your baking time. And for smaller tin sizes, since the batter is spread thicker, it would require a longer time. These changes need to be adjusted manually. And this is often the most frequent reason why people end up with over-baked or under-baked brownies.
- If these brownies are over-baked, they will end up with a cakey texture. And if yours turn out like that, you need to reduce the baking time the next time you make these treats.
- The other note about brownie tins is that brownies baked in metal tins cook faster compared to glass dishes. So, if a recipe calls for a metal tin and you make yours in a glass dish, be mindful that the baking time would need to be adjusted accordingly as well.
- Oven temperature is another factor that could affect the texture of these cocoa powder brownies. The tricky thing about oven temperatures is that different ovens require different degree of heat for the same results. For example, I always set my oven to 160 to 170 degrees Celsius for cakes, even if the recipe requires the oven temperature to be 180 degrees Celsius.
- The oven temperature for brownies is often the same as that used for cakes. And so when baking my brownies, that is the temperature I use. You should ideally set your oven temperature to the heat you use when baking cakes.
Cocoa Powder Brownies Recipe
Here is the full printable version of my dark and fudgy cocoa powder brownies recipe:
Cocoa Powder Brownies
- 125 g butter
- 55 g unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
- 85 g self raising flour
- 200 g brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 160 °Celsius. Grease and line a 7 inches square cake tin.
- Melt butter over very low heat. Once melted, turn off the heat and add brown sugar and whisk for about 30 – 45 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and let it cool slightly.
- Add the eggs and whisk them into the butter and sugar mixture. Whisk until the eggs are all well incorporated, for about 1 minute. Add salt and stir.
- Next, sift flour and cocoa powder into the mixture and fold them in until they are well incorporated.
- Add vanilla essence and mix well.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared tin and level the top.
- Bake for about 20 minutes at your normal cake baking temperature. Remove brownie from oven and let it cool in tin for about 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Cut into 16 pieces or large pieces as desired and serve.
And that's pretty much my fudgy brownies recipe for you.
Here are my other posts you might want to check out:
- Fudgy Chocolate Banana Cake - A Perfect Snack Cake
- Chocolate Cake Recipe
- Chocolate Cupcakes from Scratch
- Easy Brownies with Chocolate
Happy baking 🙂