These rich and fudgy dark chocolate brownies are mixed up in one bowl and require just 10 minutes of active time to make! These are the ultimate decadent dessert and are even better than boxed mix brownies.
Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownies have always been my favorite brownies, including from-scratch brownies. Growing up, I made them at least once a month!
When I set out to make this recipe, I wanted to make something as similar to Ghiradelli as possible, and I think you will love the result. Why make brownies that remind me of box mix from scratch when I could just go to the store and buy a box mix?
Well, I think these dark chocolate brownies are better than store-bought. And I don't know about you, but sometimes I get a craving for brownies and I don't want to run to the store to buy box mix.
- Texture and flavor: Soft, moist, and fudgy brownies with a deep dark chocolate flavor. These are the ultimate dark chocolate dessert with a gooey, fudgy center.
- Easy: Made in one bowl with just 10 minutes of active time
- No melting required! These are made with cocoa powder instead of baking chocolate.
- These brownies are NOT cakey or dry!
These brownies are easy to mix up, rich, fudgy, and just darn delicious. This recipe was inspired by my peanut butter brookies recipe, which is another must-try dessert.
What you'll need
- Dark chocolate Dutch-processed cocoa powder: Droste makes the most delicious cocoa powder I've ever tasted (it is not technically dark chocolate but might as well be), but anything labeled "Dutch process" and "dark" or "dark chocolate" will work. Most stores have a store-brand option. Regular Dutch-process cocoa works if you can't find dark chocolate.
- Chocolate chips: Dark chocolate chips are my go-to in this recipe, but semi-sweet are a good option if you want to tone down the dark chocolate flavor.
- Powdered sugar contains corn starch which helps thicken the brownies and makes them more like box mix. If you don't have powdered sugar on hand you can actually make your own using granulated sugar, corn starch and a blender.
- Canola oil: A lot of brownies use melted butter, but I find that canola oil makes them more similar to boxed mix. Vegetable oil also works.
Dutch-process cocoa powder
Natural cocoa powder vs Dutch-processed
Dutch-processed cocoa has a smoother, mellower flavor and a deeper color than natural cocoa powder. There is actually a big difference between the way these two cocoa powders are processed and they usually aren't interchangeable.
That being said, you can use either type in these dark chocolate brownies because this recipe does not use baking soda or baking powder.
Dark chocolate cocoa powder vs Dutch-processed
Although this recipe is called "dark chocolate brownies", you can use regular Dutch-processed cocoa powder or dark chocolate cocoa powder. If you use Dutch-processed, the brownies won't be as dark chocolate but will still be ultra-fudgy.
Step by step instructions
Before you begin: Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8x8 baking dish with non-stick spray or line it with parchment paper.
- Dry ingredients: Start by measuring out the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl. Spoon and level the cocoa powder and all-purpose flour in the measuring cup for the most consistent measuring. Stir until combined with a spoon or whisk.
- Wet ingredients: In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the wet ingredients: eggs, canola oil, water, and vanilla extract. Whisk until the eggs are fully broken down.
- Combine wet and dry: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined and no dry patches remain. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Transfer to a baking dish: Lightly oil an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray. You can also use parchment paper. Pour in the batter, smoothing out with a spatula as needed.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing. It usually takes 1-2 hours for the brownies to cool completely at room temp. It's okay if you can't wait, the brownies just won't hold together as well.
Expert tips and FAQ
- Baking time: For fudgy brownies, take them out of the oven when they still appear slightly underdone (around 35 minutes). A toothpick inserted in the center will come out with a few flecks of chocolate on it.
- Cooling time: Let your brownies cool to room temp if you want pretty slices. Because they are fudgy they need to firm up before slicing or they will be pretty messy. I'll admit that I usually can't wait to let them cool myself.
- Different oils: You can use olive oil to make brownies but make sure to use a light olive oil or the flavor may be overwhelming. Do note that sometimes the olive oil flavor will sneak through anyway.
- Can I substitute with baking chocolate? This recipe will not work with baking chocolate.
- How to tell when brownies are done: Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in the centermost brownies comes out clean and mostly dry. The edges of the brownies should also be pulling away from the pan.
Storage and freezing
- Storage: These brownies are best enjoyed within 3-4 days. Keep them covered at room temperature. I don't recommend refrigerating them because it can dry them out.
- Freezing: I haven't tested freezing with this specific recipe but from my experience brownies do freeze well. You can freeze individual slices wrapped in foil or in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Let thaw at room temp or pop in the microwave or oven to warm.
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Fudgy Dark Chocolate Brownies
- ¾ cup dutch process cocoa powder dark chocolate if available, see note #1
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour spooned and leveled
- 1 and ¼ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon table salt
- ½ cup canola oil see note #2
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- Start by preheating the oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly oil an 8x8 baking dish or line with parchment paper.
- Measure out the dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl: cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, white sugar, powdered sugar, salt. Stir with a whisk or large spoon until combined.
- In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the wet ingredients: canola oil, eggs, water, vanilla extract. Whisk until the eggs are fully broken down.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir until just combined and no dry patches remain. Fold in the chocolate chips until just combined.
- Pour batter into the lightly oiled baking dish, smoothing out with a spatula as needed.
- Bake on the middle oven rack at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes. They are ready when the edges begin to pull away from the sides and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing.
- Cocoa powder: Droste makes the most delicious cocoa powder (it is not technically dark chocolate), but anything labeled "Dutch process" and "dark" or "dark chocolate" will work. Hershey's is another option.
- Canola oil: Vegetable oil also works. You can use olive oil but make sure to use a light olive oil or the flavor may be overwhelming.
- Leftovers: These brownies are best enjoyed within 3-4 days. You can keep them covered at room temperature. I don't recommend refrigerating them because this can dry them out.