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Bittersweet Cocoa Brownies

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields 16 brownies.

Brownies made with cocoa powder are softer on the inside than those made with bar chocolate. I like the tart and lively flavor of natural cocoa powder here; Dutch-processed gives a mellower flavor. Try both types to see which you like best.


  • 2-1/4 oz. (3/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt
  • 5 oz. (10 Tbs.) hot melted unsalted butter
  • 2 cold large eggs
  • 1-1/2 oz. (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup broken walnut or pecan pieces (optional)


  • Heat the oven to 325°F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan (preferably metal) with foil across the bottom and up two opposite sides of the pan.
  • In a medium bowl, thoroughly mix the cocoa, sugar, vanilla, salt, and hot melted butter with a hand mixer or with vigorous strokes of a whisk. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until the batter is thick and lightened in color, 1 to 2 min. Add the flour and stir with a rubber spatula just until blended. Fold in the nuts, if using. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan and bake until the top is puffed and slightly crusted and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a little fudge batter clinging to it, 28 to 30 min.
  • Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a rack. Lift the ends of the foil to remove them. Invert the brownies on a tray and peel off the foil.  Turn the brownies right side up on a cutting board and cut into squares (wipe the knife between each cut, as the brownies will be soft and sticky).


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Reviews (12 reviews)

  • fortkcook | 07/03/2020

    Meh....I found these rather dense and oily and the chocolate flavor wasn’t as intense as I like. May be worth another try with the recommended natural cocoa powder. I used Valrhona, very good in other aplications but maybe too dark and too high a fat content for this recipe.

  • Michelle_in_Chicago | 06/26/2019

    I love these brownies so much! Moist and easy to make, especially since the ingredients I usually have on hand. I add an extra cup of walnuts because I love walnuts.

  • Paw81 | 03/31/2014

    I usually substitute olive oil or sometimes coconut oil for the butter, mostly because I'm sure to have the oil on hand and it's one less step without melting. I also love the nutty flavor of olive oil. Don't get me wrong, butter is amazing, but I'd rather eat it straight on great bread or in a croissant, where I can really appreciate the flavor. The texture of these brownies is fantastic whichever fat you use, especially cold, and between the oil, walnuts and cocoa I almost feel like it's a health food.

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