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If you are looking for a fudgy frosted brownies recipe, this is it! These are the best brownies to bake if you like brownies that are thick and full of chocolate flavor with a layer of chocolate icing.
Brownies with a layer of frosting on top are sometimes called lunch lady brownies. Whatever you call these homemade brownies, they are delicious, freezable and so easy to make with simple ingredients. This homemade brownie recipe is perfect for bake sales and is easily customizable. Keep reading for more variations that show you how you can transform this great recipe into cosmic brownies or espresso brownies.
These delicious brownies are great on their own, but a single layer of the most perfect chocolate frosting takes these brownies to the next level.
You don't need to depend on a boxed mix to make really good brownies. If you love these brownies, then check out these chocolate chip blondies.
- unsalted butter
- unsweetened cocoa powder
- all-purpose flour
- granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
- heavy cream
- semi-sweet chocolate chips
See the recipe card for quantities.
Sift together the dry ingredients for the brownies in a medium bowl.
In a separate bowl mix together the wet ingredients until well combined.
Blend the wet ingredients in with the dry ingredients until just combined, then pour everything into the parchment-lined baking pan.
While the brownies are baking, make the ganache by melting the chocolate chips in hot heavy cream.
Spread the ganache all over the brownies then refrigerate to let the brownie icing set up.
There are a couple of things you can swap out to make the best, frosted brownies even better.
- Chocolate chips - instead of good quality chocolate chips, you can use high-quality chocolate chunks in this recipe. You can even use white chocolate chips for the ganache to make a two-toned, tuxedo brownie.
- Vanilla extract - use almond extract instead of vanilla to make these chocolate brownies with a slightly different flavor.
Giving the visitor ideas on how they can change this recipe to better suit their dinner guests, or their cultural cuisine, is a great way to increase the chances they make the recipe
- No Frosting - While the silky ganache frosting does add a bit of luxury to the brownies, you can go more traditional by leaving the frosting off.
- Cosmic Brownies - add colorful sprinkles or candy-coated chocolate pieces to the top of the frosting and you have homemade cosmic brownies!
- Sweet and salty - add crushed potato chips and pretzel pieces to the top of the brownie batter before baking. Leave the frosting off.
- Skillet brownies- Use this brownie base recipe and bake it in a large skillet or divide the batter among 4 small single-serving skillets. Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream to serve.
- Peanut Butter- chop up reese's peanut butter cup and fold it into the batter before baking. Add more mini peanut butter cups to the top of brownies.
- Cakey brownies- for more cake-like brownies
🍳Equipment for these fudgy brownies
- measuring cups and spoons of various sizes
- mixing bowls of various sizes
- electric mixer
- non-stick cooking spray
- parchment paper
- 9” x 13” cake pan
For this recipe, I recommend a metal pan vs a glass one. The metal conducts the heat more evenly and you get a more uniform brownie in a metal pan than in a glass one. You can also use a silicone baking pan if you have one that is 9x13.
The brownies can sit out at room temperature (wrapped well in food-safe plastic wrap) for up to 2 days but they are best kept in the fridge so that the chocolate ganache doesn’t start to melt. It is recommended to refrigerate or freeze the brownies (wrapped tightly in food-safe plastic wrap and then placed into a freezer-safe container). They can remain in the fridge for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.
These rich brownies are just as delicious straight out of the fridge or freezer. If serving them at room temperature, the chocolate ganache will start to melt and the brownies will get a bit messy. Still as delicious but you’ll need extra napkins.
👩🏾🍳Top tip for making frosted brownies
The most important thing in any baking recipe is to measure the flour accurately. Too much or too little flour will affect how the brownies turn out. You can use a food scale to measure out the grams exactly or use the spoon and scoop method.
The spoon and scoop method means you put the measuring cup on the counter then use a spoon to scoop flour directly out of the bag and lightly place it into the cup. If you use the measuring cup to scoop directly from the bag, you can end up with as much 25% more flour than you actually need because the flour gets compressed into the cup as you are scooping it.
📖Printable Recipe Card
Frosted Brownie Recipe
- 1 9x13 baking pan
- 1 cup unsalted butter melted but cooled slightly
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted to remove any lumps
- 2 cups all-purpose flour sifted to remove any lumps
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Brownie Frosting (Ganache)
- 1 cup heavy cream 35%
- 2 cups semi sweet chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter slightly melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9” x 13” cake pan with parchment paper. Have the parchment paper lined up the sides of the pan as well as this will make the brownies easier to lift out after they’ve cooled. Spray the pan and parchment paper well with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside. In a large bowl, stir cocoa powder with the melted butter. Stir until smooth. Add flour, sugar, eggs and vanilla into the butter and cocoa mixture and beat on low just until mixed. Do not overmix or the brownies will bake up dry. Pour this mixture into the prepared cake pan and spread it out evenly. Bake in oven for 22 to 24 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out with a few moist crumbs attached. Remove brownies from oven and let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before topping with ganache. For Ganache: In a large bowl, heat heavy cream in microwave for two minutes until cream comes to a light boil. Remove bowl from microwave and immediately pour chocolate chips into the bowl. Let this sit for 5 minutes before stirring. After 5 minutes, stir until chocolate is fully melted and well mixed with cream. Add in slightly melted butter and vanilla extract and stir until smooth. Cover bowl with food-safe plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pour ganache over slightly cooled brownies and spread evenly. Wrap the cake pan of brownies with food-safe plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours (or overnight) for ganache to harden up and set. Cut into squares and enjoy!