I think that everyone should have one go-to brownie recipe. This One Bowl Brownie recipe is mine. The recipe takes just a few minutes to put together and I typically have everything that I need to make it on hand at any given time. Brownies are a huge crowd pleaser, so they’re perfect for almost every situation when you need or want a baked good. Plus, you can put any number of spins on the basic recipe by adding nuts, chocolate chips, dried fruit, frosting or ice cream to it, which means that it never gets boring.
The brownie recipe is very straightforward, using cocoa powder and dark chocolate to give them a rich chocolate flavor. I’ve seen brownie recipes that have a lot more chocolate in them than these do, but believe me when I say that you get a lot of chocolate into every bite with these. Sometimes, I find that adding more chocolate can just make the brownies heavy and more like a block of fudge than an actual brownie.Â And, for those times when I am really craving chocolate, I can always stir in some chocolate chips for even more chocolate in these. There is no leavening in the recipe, which keeps the brownies dense and moist.
To me, a one bowl recipe means that everything can be measured out straight into one bowl and easily mixed together. These brownies definitely fit that definition and I frequently measure things out directly into the mixing bowl. Plus, you don’t even need a mixer for this recipe because it comes together fast with a simple whisk or spoon. In fairness, if you don’t have a microwave-safe mixing bowl, then you should melt your butter and chocolate together in a smaller microwave-safe bowl first. This adds a second bowl if you need to do it, but fortunately small bowls always seem easier to clean than the big ones, so it won’t make much of a mess.
To demonstrate just how easy to make these are, I even put together a short video that will walk you through the process:
One Bowl Brownies
1/2 cup butter
2-oz dark chocolate (60-70% cacao)
1 cup sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc.) or chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.
In a large microwave safe mixing bowl (or a small microwave-safe bowl), melt together butter and dark chocolate in the microwave. This should be done in 30-second intervals to avoid overcooking the mixture. Allow butter to cool slightly.
Whisk sugar and cocoa power into butter mixture. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, followed by the salt and vanilla extract. Whisk in the all purpose flour and stir until flour is just incorporated and no streaks remain. Fold in chocolate chips or nuts.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached.
Allow brownies to cool in the pan, then lift the foil to easily remove them before slicing.
Makes 16-20 (depending on the size you slice them).
CherylSeptember 26, 2012
Recipe looks like one of my favorite that was in a GE Microwave cookbook from the mid 80s.
But, “Make 20” ??? What you show looks more like 9 or 12 servings. Makes 20 mini-bites would be more accurate!
NicoleSeptember 26, 2012
Cheryl – I do cut these brownies into medium sized pieces: 4 rows by 5 rows, typically, for 20 pieces. I cut the batch in the video into 16 slices and that is a pretty satisfying size for these brownies!
LindaSeptember 26, 2012
I will cut small for a group so those who just want a bite can get a bite and those who want more can take more. Mine are normally about 1 in. square. Nicole, I took your suggestion and went with something not quite chocolate and not quite nut–went with 2 oz. of cacao nibs. I figured they would add a bit more chocolate but not make it heavy with chocolate flavor and give a little crunch like a nut. Thanks for a great recipe.
ChewthefatSeptember 27, 2012
My one-bowl ‘go-to’ is all cocoa, and I want to try this one because the one problem with an all-cocoa format is that it isn’t quite as fudge-like as I would desire.
I love brownies because they are so easy and yielded some of my first real successes in the kitchen. I’m surprised by how many people are scared to make them without a mix.
LindaSeptember 27, 2012
FYI. I got 36 from my portioning and I don’t think the pieces are that tiny that someone wouldn’t enjoy their treat. As someone told me…you can eat more with smaller pieces!!
Tara @ Chip Chip HooraySeptember 27, 2012
I’m always looking for a great brownie recipe! Thanks. 🙂
LindaSeptember 28, 2012
The brownies with cacao nibs were a big hit, People liked the crunch without nuts and the extra bit of chocolate. Definitely a keeper recipe and so quick and easy–as fast as any mix and a lot better.
DawnSeptember 29, 2012
When a recipe says “dark chocolate” does that mean bittersweet???
NicoleOctober 1, 2012
Dark chocolate is any chocolate that doesn’t have milk added to it. They usually have a high cacao percentage (over 50%). Bittersweet isn’t a technical term for chocolate, although it is popular for brands to put it on their label to emphasize the fact that their chocolate has a distinct cocoa flavor (as opposed to a milky or sugary/sweet flavor). That said, a product labled bittersweet would be fine for this recipe. It is very flexible and literally any dark chocolate can be used, from 50% cacao to 100% (unsweetened).
AmeliaOctober 7, 2012
Is the 1/2 cup of butter melted or unmelted when measured?
LyndseyJuly 17, 2013
Do you use unsalted or salted nuts? I wonder if salted nuts would be too overpowering or just right.
NicoleJuly 18, 2013
Amelia – Unmelted when measured.
Lyndsey – I use both, and salted nuts are actually a good match for all that chocolate!
DivyaAugust 19, 2013
Just a note to tell you that these are awesome.. and I have made them half a dozen time in two weeks, my son and his friends just devour them! Thank you for your lovely recipes, till date, every single one that I have tried has come out very well.
CristinaJanuary 31, 2015
I had to leave a message to give you props on this recipe! So easy and every time they come out perfectly fudgy and delicious!! Thank you!