Rich Fudgy Cocoa Brownies: The ultimate brownie lover’s brownie plus they pack loads of chocolate flavor without a lot of effort!

My family has sacrificed their waistlines to taste test numerous batches of brownies and these dense fudgy Chocolate Brownies with Cocoa received rave reviews!

3 Rich Fudgy Cocoa Brownies stacked on a white plate

Why You Must Make

  • They are easy to make!
  • If you are out of baking chocolate but have cocoa on hand, you can make this cocoa brownies recipe.
  • They will satisfy your chocolate cravings!!!

These rich fudgy cocoa brownies debuted when my blog was a fledgling site, in 2010. I’m surprised that it had more than two sentences of text, but the photos didn’t do these gems any favor!

Do you think that brownies made with cocoa powder could not rival those made with melted chocolate? A batch of these fudgy brownies will prove you wrong. These are made with regular cocoa powder, but if you’re curious, there’s a big difference when baking with regular cocoa and Dutch process cocoa! They aren’t interchangeable due to baking chemistry.

My youngest, who is quoted below, had finished his sophomore year in high school and is now a 3rd-year medical student. He’s home tonight and we laughed at his comment, which could easily have come out of any of my children’s (or husband’s, for that matter) mouths.

Rich Fudgy Cocoa Brownies on a white plate with a spoon and scoop of vanilla ice cream

Ingredient Notes

My youngest son, Nick, after digging into these rich fudgy brownies remarked, “I never met a brownie I didn’t like…unless it had nuts or something.” He couldn’t even wait until they cooled before sampling. The rest of the crew agreed.

  • Kitchen Staples – Flour, Sugar, Salt
  • Butter – I used salted butter. If you use unsalted, add an extra pinch as salt is an important flavor enhancer even in desserts.
  • Eggs – Have them at room temperature for easier incorporation. If you forget to set them out early, place them in a bowl of warm (not boiling) water to help them lose their chill. All my recipes use large eggs unless otherwise noted.
  • Vanilla – Use real vanilla extract, not artificially flavored. Check your label. I use the Nielssen-Massey Brand.
  • Cocoa Powder – I use the Ghirardelli Brand or Hershey’s. Do not use Droste or another Dutch process cocoa powder as they will mess with the baking chemistry.
  • Baking Powder – Unlike baking soda, baking powder has a much shorter expiration time. If it’s been in your pantry for over a year, it most likely has expired. To check its potency, place a spoonful in a cup of hot water. If it’s active, it will bubble vigorously. If it doesn’t, purchase a new tin before starting this recipe.

Recipe Tips

  • PRO-Tip: Do not overbake as your brownies won’t be as fudgy.
  • Spray your baking pan with Baker’s Joy (a flour and oil non-stick baking spray) or line it with non-stick foil to make removal from the pan easier.
  • Use regular cocoa powder for this recipe.
  • PRO-Tip: I like to use a small offset spatula to smooth the top of the batter before popping them into the oven.
  • To check for doneness, use a toothpick. When you pull it out of the middle of the brownies, it shouldn’t have any batter on it, just a few moist crumbs or nothing at all.
  • It’s always better to check your brownies early as all ovens bake differently and you want to avoid overbaking.
  • Serve with ice cream, fudge sauce and whipped cream for a delicious brownie sundae!!
Stack of rich fudgy cocoa brownies on a square white plate.

A Fine Cooking Recipe

These brownies were given rave reviews on one of the cooking bulletin boards I frequent. Then a local friend recommended these same brownies as her favorite fudgy brownies.

She’s the one I saw running on the Monon trail who referred to my blog as the “skinny bitch” instead of the “skinny chick.” Bill got a lot of mileage out of that one at work. I think he even started a petition to change my blog’s name. Anything for a laugh with that guy!

The original recipe also has a ganache topping flavored with port-soaked dried cherries if you’re looking for a more elegant dessert. My family would think I was nuts if I offered that option, but I bet it’s an incredible icing. I’ll have to test that version out on my more tolerant, adventuresome friends! If you love brownies, you’ll also want to make this Fudgy Brownie Pie!

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Difference Between Cocoa Brownies and Chocolate Brownies?

Cocoa brownies tend to be softer and chocolate brownies tend to be fudgier and chewier.

What Type of Cocoa Powder is Better for Brownies?

Both regular cocoa powder, like Hershey’s, and Dutch Process Cocoa, like Droste, work well. But since baking relies on chemical reactions, you must use the type called for in your brownie recipe. 

What Makes Brownies Fudgy?

The ratio of fat to flour determines whether the brownies will be fudgy. More fat, like butter or oil, makes brownies fudgier.

You May Also Like

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Rich Fudgy Cocoa Brownies - the ultimate brownie lover's brownie!

Rich Fudgy Cocoa Brownies

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Yield 16 brownies

A brownie lover's brownie: simple, rich and fudgy.


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • ⅔ cup flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. Line a 9-inch-square metal baking pan with non-stick foil or spray with a non-stick spray like Baker's Joy.
  3. Put the butter in a microwave-safe bowl, and microwave gently until melted.
  4. Whisk or stir in the sugar, followed by all four of the eggs and the vanilla.
  5. Stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir until the batter is smooth, about a minute
  6. Spread the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing out the top to level it.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with just a few moist crumbs, about 40 minutes.
  8. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a rack.
  9. Cut into 16 squares. Keep the brownies at room temperature, covered well. These also freeze well.


Adapted from Fine Cooking.

I like to chill before cutting to make cleaner looking slices.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 brownie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 150Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 99mgCarbohydrates: 31gFiber: 1gSugar: 25gProtein: 3g


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