Subscribe to Cookie Madness by Email

One Bowl Cocoa Brownies

by on August 2, 2008 · 25 comments

Today’s recipe isn’t flashy, but it’s very good and definitely worth trying — especially if you have some top quality cocoa powder on hand. I happened to have a can of Scharffen Berger natural cocoa powder which I brought back from San Francisco, and this recipe put it to good use. The brownies are rich and kind of chewy – not too fudgy and not too cakey either. Plus, they’re sturdy enough to be wrapped individually for bake sales or lunch boxes. I will definitely make these again.


One Bowl Cocoa Brownies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A very basic and good brownie recipe. I like to chill them before slicing.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 16
  • 12 T. unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks or 6 oz)
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (natural)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 12 walnut halves (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13x9 inch metal pan or line it with parchment or foil. If using foil, spray the foil with cooking spray.
  2. Melt the butter in a microwave-safe mixing bowl. Whisk in the sugar, then whisk in the cocoa powder, followed by the vanilla extract and eggs. When mixture is smooth, add salt and baking powder and whisk thoroughly, breaking up any lumps in baking powder and taking care that it is thoroughly distributed. Scrape sides of bowl and stir (do not beat) in the flour. Pour into pan and spread to edges. Arrange nuts over top.
  3. Bake on center rack of oven for 22-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs. Cool completely and chill before slicing.
  4. Makes 12 or 16 (depends on how big you cut them)


Related posts:

Published on August 2, 2008

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa Ernst August 2, 2008 at 1:15 pm

I always welcome another brownie recipe!

Katrina August 2, 2008 at 2:14 pm

I was wondering when you were going to use that cocoa I’d seen in your picture! Someone just told me they could use some brownies. I just have plain old Hershey’s cocoa, do you think it will still be good? Brownies seem to be “the thing” right now. I bought stuff to make those Butterfinger Blondies again from Recipe Girl, to give away. These look yummy!

ling August 2, 2008 at 2:47 pm

Hi Anna, these brownies sound good… “not too fudgy and not too cakey”… just the type I like. Just to check… is it 12 oz butter or 1 1/2 sticks (6 oz)? Thanks. Can’t wait to try this recipe.

Anna August 2, 2008 at 2:56 pm

Lisa, I looked at a billion recipes and it all came back to brownies ;).

Katrina, I think the Hershey’s cocoa would be fine. I’d like to know how you think these stack up to the other one bowl brownies. I liked these a little better.

Ling, thanks!!! It’s 12 tablespoons not 12 ounces. I have been a terrible typist this week. So it’s 12 T. or 3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks or 6 oz :).

Erin Mylroie August 2, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Your pictures are looking so pretty.

Katrina August 2, 2008 at 5:30 pm

I’ve made the brownies. They are cooling. I’m bummed because I didn’t have as much cocoa as I’d thought, so used 1/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa and 1/2 cup Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa (which I think is way too “dark”/rich, whatever, but we’ll see, they look good! I added about 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips.

Anna August 2, 2008 at 5:38 pm

I sometimes mix the Hershey dark with natural too. Can’t wait to hear what you think!

These remind me of a popular brownie here in Austin called Mrs. Butters’ Brownies. They’re not quite as thick as MB’s, but they have a similar texture.

giz August 2, 2008 at 10:53 pm

The one bowl is great – I’m so into keeping it simple. They look just great with enough for a taste and not so much that you feel like you knocked out your chocolate allotment for a year.

Katrina August 3, 2008 at 5:27 am

These ARE really good. I actually liked mine with the 1/4 cup regular cocoa and the 1/2 cup Hershey’s dark.
So easy and great!

Lucy August 3, 2008 at 11:39 am

My husband’s favorite brownies are from a bakery in Rhode Island, where he grew up. Although we’ve been married 13 years, I’ve only made it a quest to duplicate those brownies in the past couple of months. I made these last night and you know what? They are darn close! So close that I don’t think I’ll keep trying…I might just play with different types of cocoa and maybe mixing the light & dark. The RI brownies are more dense, I actually like that these are lighter. Thanks for another great recipe, Anna!

Anna August 3, 2008 at 12:04 pm

Giz, I’m in a keep-it-simple mood too. Sometimes I tend to make-it-too-complicated ;).

Katrina, thanks for posting your results with the mixed cocoa powders. I think you may be onto something!

Lucy, that’s great that you are so close! Maybe all you need is a better cocoa powder or a bit less sugar or maybe sub some brown sugar for the white? You might have to go to Rhode Island and get one of those brownies so you can do a side by side taste test.

Becca A August 3, 2008 at 5:04 pm

These are awesome! I’m bringing them into work tomorrow before I eat the whole pan!

Carol August 20, 2008 at 1:16 am

Im sorry but I’ve got to ask, isnt 12 tbsp butter suppose to be 2 1/2 stick butter? Im trying this recipe but want to get it right like the others. HELPPP!

Anna August 20, 2008 at 6:28 am

Hi Carol,

Thanks for asking! It’s always good to double-check and I’m not a perfect typist. However, 1 1/2 sticks of butter is 12 tablespoons — at least in America. I’m not sure where you live, but I think it may be different in other countries.

1 stick = 4 oz
4 oz = 8 tablespoons

mariah August 24, 2008 at 11:00 am

If y ou were to make these in an 8×8 or a 9×9 pan (to make them thicker) how long would you go on the baking?


Anna August 24, 2008 at 11:02 am

Hi Mariah,

It’s hard to say. First off, I’d go with the 9×9 inch pan because I think the 8×8 inch pan might make them a little TOO thick. I’m guessing in a 9 inch pan, the full recipe would take between 28-32 minutes.

mariah August 24, 2008 at 11:51 am

Gosh you are FAST! These are in the oven now (9×9). My family likes THICK brownies….as soon as my H heard the cocoa can pop open he came running in the kitchen like a dog after bacon….ROFL.

Thanks again for a new recipe.

mariah August 24, 2008 at 2:54 pm

These were best recieved by the family member who likes brownies the least…LOL. We all liked them, but both me and my 9 year old brownie expert agree the shiny topped dark chocolate brownies are better. I got that recipe here too….I think it was a KA recipe..

Anyhow, my H who has very recently returned from deployment enjoyed them immensely. He said having me in the kitchen is way better than stealing cheesecakes from the mess hall.

Anna, thanks again.

FFichiban August 30, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Hey Anna,

Thanks for the recipe but mine turned out a bit dry :( so what could have gone wrong? Did I bake too long or something? Help pleaseeee

Anna August 30, 2008 at 8:25 pm

Sounds like you either packed too much flour into the measuring cup or over-baked.

FFichiban August 30, 2008 at 8:42 pm

Yeah thhhxx oh well :'( shall try again some other time and make it better then!

Yum-Yum September 2, 2008 at 10:29 pm

Do you have to use a metal baking pan? I have glass baking dishes of various sizes. Cooking newbie here… I would love to make my first batch of [easy] brownies!!

Anna September 3, 2008 at 6:52 am

Glass and metal conduct heat differently, so your results might not be quite the same is you use a glass pan. BUT don’t let that stop you. Some people use glass pans exclusively. I think the trick is to reduce the heat by 25 degrees. Metal conducts heat better than glass, so I think cooking the brownies at a lower, slower heat keeps the crust from browning too quickly. If you bake the brownies at 350, there’s a chance you’ll get really crusty brownies with soft (if you are lucky!) or undercookied (boo!) centers.

It would be great if you could use the glass pan and let us know how it worked out.

krista November 27, 2008 at 3:14 pm

i’ve been searching for a brownie recipe that lives up to my husbands love for brownies from a boxed mix – this one was pretty good!!!
i used organic fair-trade cocoa powder from cocoa camino and it was delicious!
i was wondering if i could reduce the amount of flour a bit to make them slightly fudgier? would they still turn out? i’m assuming that baking them less wouldn’t help since they’d just be undercooked…
thanks for a yummy recipe!

Catharina January 6, 2009 at 5:19 am

I made these last weekend and they were so great! I was a little worried, because it seemed like they rose so much in the oven, but they turned out delicious and looked a lot like in your photo. The perfect recipe to have on hand if you live in a country that doesn’t have decent brownie mixes, as I do.

Leave a Comment

Rate This Recipe:  

Previous post:

Next post: