This Fudge Brownies Recipe makes super soft and gooey brownies thanks to melted chocolate in the batter. Make them as pure fudgy brownies or add chocolate chips, nuts, or any other desired add-ins.
These brownies have this perfect crackly, crisp top but are incredibly soft, gooey and moist on the inside. They even stay super moist for days after (however, no batch has ever lasted longer than 3 days around here).
I added some chocolate-dipped pretzels into the batter for a little sweet & salty flavor experience. Toasted nuts or chocolate chips (or just plain) work really well, too.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- unsweetened chocolate - also sometimes called baking chocolate. You can substitute with chocolate chips or a sweetened chocolate bar, but reduce the sugar amount in that case
- sugar - white or cane sugar; brown sugar will give the brownies a yummy caramel note
- vanilla extract
- eggs - beat them lightly in a small bowl before adding to the batter so they incorporate easily without over mixing the remaining batter
- all-purpose flour
- instant espresso powder - or instant coffee. This is optional, but highly recommended. The coffee brings out the chocolate flavor even more
- optional add-ins - like chocolate chips, walnuts, pecans, pretzel bits etc.
See recipe box below for quantities.
Unsweetened Chocolate Gives a Really Great Taste
I believe the difference between this and other brownie recipes is the use of unsweetened chocolate. Don't get me wrong, these brownies are definitely sweet but it is just the right level of sweetness.
Even my chocolate-disliking mother-in-law who usually passes up any brownies or chocolate cake loves these. Now that really speaks volumes!
Aside from tasting amazing, these brownies are also super easy to make. If you use a big bowl or pan to melt the chocolate and butter in, this could totally be a one-bowl-no-mixer recipe. Just a wooden spoon suffices to stir up this deliciousness.
I had no patience to make a frosting or glaze for the brownies and really didn't think they needed any. If you prefer icing on your brownies, why not try the frosting recipe I used for my Zucchini Brownies.
Let me know how it turns out 🙂
First Brownie Baking Fail
My first ever attempt at brownie baking turned into a total disaster. We had just moved to Canada from Germany, and I wasn't familiar with the concept of taking out baked goods from the oven when they are still gooey and look under-baked.
So since I thought my brownies were still raw, I baked them for an extra 10 minutes, then another 10 and yet, still 5 more. I thought they were done, since there was no gooeyness anymore. However, by the time they had cooled there was no way of cutting that brown, hard brick into squares. All it was good for was breaking teeth. Luckily I've since learned how to make yummy, fudgy brownies and there are more variations on this blog.
If you are looking for more yummy brownies recipes, try these:
Fudge Pretzel Brownies
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped *
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- 1.5 cups sugar 1 cup if using chocolate chips/sweetened chocolate
- 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs lightly beaten
- 1 cup flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or coffee granules; optional
- ½-1 cup optional add-ins like chocolate chips, walnuts, pecans, pretzel bits etc.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°F). Grease and line a 9x13-inch (23x33cm) baking pan (or 9-inch/23cm square pan for thicker brownies).
- Melt together unsweetened chocolate and butter. I do it on the stove in a heavy bottomed saucepan, but you can also use the microwave in short bursts.4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, ¾ cup unsalted butter
- Stir in sugar, vanilla, eggs, salt, optional espresso/coffee powder, and flour. Stir until well combined.1.5 cups sugar, 2 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract, 3 large eggs, 1 cup flour, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
- Lastly, stir in optional pretzel bits, nuts or chocolate chips.½-1 cup optional add-ins
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes (about 40-45 minutes if making thicker brownies in square pan) until the center is just set.
- Cool before cutting into squares. Store in an air-tight container.
Pin Fudge Pretzel Brownies recipe for later?
Fudge and brownies are not the same. Fudge is a smooth, creamy confection made primarily with sugar, butter, and milk or cream, while brownies are a type of cake that includes flour, eggs, and typically chocolate. However, fudgy brownies, with their dense and moist texture, can sometimes resemble the richness of fudge.
To make brownies, start by melting unsweetened chocolate and butter, then stir in sugar and vanilla extract. Beat in eggs and add a mixture of flour, salt, and instant espresso powder. Optional add-ins like chocolate chips or nuts can be included before pouring the batter into a baking dish. Bake until the brownies have a crackly top and a soft, fudgy interior.
Fudgy brownies typically contain more fat, less flour, and less leavening agents than cakey brownies. The use of unsweetened chocolate or a higher percentage of cocoa solids contributes to their dense and moist texture, resulting in a rich and chewy consistency.
The main difference between fudge and brownies is their composition and texture. Fudge is a smooth, rich confection with a creamy consistency, made primarily with sugar, butter, and milk or cream. Brownies, on the other hand, are a type of cake that includes flour, eggs, and often chocolate, resulting in a denser and more cake-like texture.
Brownies can turn out flat and chewy if the batter is overmixed, resulting in excess gluten development. Using too much leavening agent or not incorporating enough air during the mixing process can also lead to flat brownies. Ensuring the right balance of ingredients and following the recipe's instructions precisely can help achieve the desired texture.
Brownies can become dense if too much flour is used, or if the batter is overmixed, leading to excess gluten formation. Using a higher percentage of unsweetened chocolate or cocoa powder without compensating with additional leavening agents can also contribute to a denser texture. Adjusting the ingredients and following the recipe's instructions carefully can help achieve the desired brownie texture.