Thursday, March 16, 2023

EASY Brownie Recipe with Cocoa Powder

Brownies! They are one of those treats that are a staple at our house. My two youngest ALWAYS choose brownies when it's their turn to choose the treat for family home evening.

I had become a bit lazy and always had box brownie mixes on hand for them to use.

Well, not too long ago, they wanted brownies and we didn't have a mix. So what did we do? I pulled out my Grandma's easy one-bowl brownie recipe.

They are almost just as fast to make. And they are made with pantry staples. No fancy baking chocolate needed for this recipe, just cocoa powder.

Plus they're easy enough for the girls to make themselves.  And do you know what? They decided they liked them better! So no more box mix brownies at our house.

plate of chocolate brownies


Brownies were a staple in my home growing up as well.

My mom always used Grandma's recipe. I remember my mom pulling from the oven and the delicious chocolatey smell permeating the house.

She always made either a rocky road version or one with a white frosting, covered in a chocolate glaze. Both of these variations are on my list to share with you.

A few other brownie variations we love include easy mint brownies, butterfinger peanut butter brownies, brownie cupcakes, and the oh-so-decadent million dollar brownies filled with ooey gooey caramel. Gosh, I didn't realize I had shared so many brownie recipes!

Quick and Easy Brownies

Grandma was a master in the kitchen and was known for her dinner rolls, cinnamon rolls and sugar cookies.

After she died, I put together a cookbook of her recipes. I've shared quite a few of her recipes on the blog, but there are many I have not tried.

I've toyed with the idea of a series here on the blog using her recipes. Is anyone interested? 

stack of brownies with text overlay


When I need a quick and easy dessert, I often turn to these easy homemade brownies. They're made with simple ingredients that I always have on hand.
  • melted butter
  • large eggs
  • sugar
  • all purpose flour
  • salt
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • vanilla extract
  • chopped nuts, optional (walnuts or pecans)
  • chocolate chips, optional
  • powdered sugar, for dusting, optional


I generally use salted butter in my recipes since it's what I keep on hand, But you can use unsalted butter as well. Back in the day, I used margarine in place of the butter for the sake of cost. They turn out just fine that way too.

Cocoa Powder

I love this basic brownie recipe because I always keep cocoa powder on hand, so I can make them anytime. Other recipes that use baking chocolate are not as convenient. I find that I still get a rich chocolate flavor with regular cocoa powder.
closeup of a brownie

Optional Ingredients

The following are not required, but can make an even more delicious brownie.

Walnuts or Pecans

Something my mom always added to the brownies was chopped walnuts. That just adds a bit of crunch and is absolutely delectable. 

A few of my kids would freak if I added nuts, so those were omitted. However, I highly recommend adding nuts if you're a fan of them.

Chocolate Chips

Chocolate chips are a great addition for an extra fudgy brownie. Add them into the brownie batter and save some extra chocolate chips to sprinkle on top before baking. 

Semi-sweet chocolate chips have a nice melting quality and are delicious in brownies. Milk chocolate chips are good as well. It's just a matter of preference.

Powdered sugar

Sprinkling powdered sugar on top of the brownies gives a nice presentation. Try using a DIY powdered sugar mason jar shaker.

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies


Let's walk through the steps of this easy recipe.

It's important to note that over mixing will result in cakey brownies. (That's fine, if that's what you prefer.) To ensure fudgy, chewy brownies, it's best to stir ingredients just until combined. I prefer to use a wooden spoon. I do NOT recommend using an electric mixer for brownies. 

Start with a large mixing bowl. Add the butter and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the microwave for 60-90 seconds until butter is melted.

Next, stir in the eggs, sugar and vanilla.

Next add the dry ingredients, cocoa powder, flour, and salt. Stir just until combined.

Add in nuts and/or chocolate chips if desired and stir lightly.

Pour into a greased 9 X 13-inch pan. (I prefer a glass pan, but you can use a metal pan if that's what you have.)

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Do NOT overbake or the brownies will be dry. You want a nice moist crumb. 

plate of homemade brownies


If doubling or halving the recipe, see instructions below.

Doubling the recipe

Feeding a crowd? To double the recipe, simply bake in a jelly roll pan and increase the bake time to 35 minutes.

Halving the recipe

To half the recipe, bake in a 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 baking pan. Reduce the baking temperature to 325 and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Easy Brownies Recipe


It's best to store brownies at room temperature in an airtight container.

I generally add plastic wrap right over the pan they were baked in. (Just make sure the brownies have cooled completely first.)

Try adding a scoop of ice cream on top of the brownie and drizzling homemade hot fudge sauce or chocolate syrup all over. It's so good!


Satisfy your sweet tooth with these brownies. Be sure to pin them for later!

Try this easy one-bowl brownie recipe. You probably have all the ingredients on hand. This tried and true homemade brownie recipe was handed down to me by my Grandma. #brownies #chocolate #adventuresofadiymom #chocolatelovers #baking #homemadebrowniesTry this easy one-bowl brownie recipe. You probably have all the ingredients on hand. This tried and true homemade brownie recipe was handed down to me by my Grandma. #brownies #chocolate #adventuresofadiymom #chocolatelovers #baking #homemadebrownies
easy brownies


  1. Hi Rachel, I remember these brownies growing up from your house! I can't wait to try them out! How much flour?

    1. Oh gosh! 1 1/2 c. flour. It's good to hear from you! Enjoy the brownies!

  2. Yum!! I love one bowl brownies! I’ll have to try these.

  3. Congratulations, your post is featured on Full Plate Thursday! Thanks so much for sharing it with us, we have pinned it to our special features board. Have a great week and come back soon!
    Miz Helen