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Basic Fudge Brownies with Fudge Frosting Option

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Rich, chewy, fudgy, and loaded with chocolate; these basic fudge brownies are the simplest ever! One pot, no melting chocolate and a few simple ingredients is all you need before you have the inviting aroma of freshly baked brownies beckoning all. Read on to see how you can make these into those coveted fudgy frosted Lunch Lady Brownies!



No messing around today, I just need to get right down to it and give you this simple, amazing recipe! Because who doesn’t love a simple, rich, gooey chocolate recipe — and if you like this one, try my Lava Cakes or these Easy Chewy Blondies.


  • 1 cup salted butter (real butter, no blends)
  • 2 cups sugar (I use all natural cane sugar)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup cocoa powder (regular or dark, I used 1/3 cup of each)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (mix it up, this time I used 60% cacao bittersweet & milk chocolate chips)
  • Powdered Sugar or Frosting (recipe below), optional
brownie ingredients,left to right. Baking powder, all purpose flour, baking cocoa, natural sugar, eggs, cocoa, vanilla and salt

Preheat oven to 350° and prepare a 9×13 inch pan. I like to spray it lightly with oil, then line with parchment paper, squaring it up as much as possible and spray lightly again. Makes for super easy removal, cutting and easy clean-up! WIN-WIN!

Plop your butter into a medium sauce pan and melt over medium-low heat. While your butter is melting, measure out the rest of your ingredients; crack your eggs into a small bowl, measure out your sugar and flour. The recipe will go much quicker, if you have everything ready to go.

Once butter is melted, remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes on counter. Using a wooden spoon stir your sugar into melted butter.

Stir in eggs, one at a time just until incorporated. Pour in vanilla, mix after each addition, stir in your cocoa powder (I go back and forth, for this batch I used 1/3 cup regular cocoa powder and 1/3 cup dark cocoa powder, any variation is perfectly fine). Once all of your cocoa powder is incorporated, add the all-purpose flour

flour in measuring cup, over a pot with chocolate brownie mixture and a wooden spoon in the pot.

and while you are at it, toss in your baking powder and sea salt. Mix until just combined.

Now for the good stuff; add mix-ins, for basic brownies add 1 cup chocolate chips of your choice. I used 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips

 measuring cup with chocolate chips over pot of brownie mixture, ghirardelli chocolate chip bag in background.

plus 1/2 cup Milk Chocolate Chips. Again it’s your pleasure! Clean out your baking chips! Gently stir until combined.

“Pour” batter into prepared pan, it will be thick!

pouring brownie batter into parchment lined 9x13 inch pan with red spatula.

Spread evenly.

brownie batter spread into 9x13 inch pan lined with parchment paper

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. Don’t overbake them! Brownies will set as they cool. The edges should just start pulling away from the sides and the top should have a dull finish to it. Remove from oven and cool completely on cooling rack.

BAKERS TIP | Need to make lots o’ brownies?? Once cooled completely, using parchment lift out of pan, wrap brownie sheet in plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use. To slice or frost, remove from freezer 20-30 minutes, making cutting simple.

See below for an optional frosting. But there’s nothing wrong with the simplistic & classic dusting of powdered sugar!

 two soft and gooey brownies, dusted with powdered sugar on parchment paper

Cut into squares as large or small as you like.

Lunch Lady Brownies

This frosting is actually for a Texas Sheet Cake, but I’ve reduced and adapted it slightly for brownies, just like those delectable brownies from the school cafeteria growing up, you know, what are now known as, Lunch Lady Brownies!

In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add cocoa powder and stir to combine. Turn off heat and add powdered sugar, whisking well. Pour milk and mix until smooth. Add vanilla

pouring Rodelle vanilla extract into frosting mixture in pot with whisk

Don’t forget a pinch of sea salt. Whisk until glossy and all ingredients incorporated.

Pour over the top of the brownies (still warm or completely cooled; either is fine) cool completely prior to slicing.

pouring hot frosting over the top of a pan of brownies with red spatula in the background.

Spread frosting evenly over tops of brownies. Cool completely prior to cutting.

PRO TIP | I find it helpful to refrigerate brownies or freeze for 20 minutes or so once completely cooled in order to cut brownies easier. Lift out of pan using parchment paper and place on large cutting board, cut to desired size.

Spreading frosting with red spatula on top of warm brownies.

Seriously! Don’t they transport you right back to the 4th grade? Go ahead and PIN it, nobody’s looking!

Like this recipe?
Don’t forget to give it a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ star rating and comment below the recipe!

Basic Fudge Brownies | www.thefreshcooky.com #fudgebrownies #basicbrownies #easybrownies

Basic Fudge Brownies

Author: Kathleen Pope
4.75 from 4 votes
Rich, chewy, fudgy, and loaded with chocolate; these basic brownies are the simplest ever! One pot and a few simple ingredients is all you need PLUS a Lunch Lady Brownie frosting option.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Bars & Brownies, Sweets
Cuisine American
Servings 24 Brownies
Calories 278 kcal



  • 1 cup butter, salted, real, no blends
  • 2 cups sugar, I use natural cane sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • cup cocoa powder, regular or dark, I used 1/3 cup of each
  • 1 cup flour, all-purpose, unbleached
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup chocolate chips, mix it up, this time I used 60% cacao bittersweet & milk chocolate chips
  • Powdered Sugar for dusting, optional

FROSTING (Optional)

  • 7 tablespoons butter, salted or unsalted
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder, rounded tablespoons
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk , or cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • pinch salt
  • Maldon or other flaky sea salt , optional, for sprinkling on top


  • Preheat oven to 350° and line a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper, then spray with oil or just spray pan with oil.
  • Melt butter in medium saucepan, remove from heat, whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking powder, stirring after each addition. Gently stir in chocolate chips.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE. Brownies will settle as they cool. Edges should just start pulling away from sides of pan and the center should no longer be glossy. Cool completely in pan on cooling rack.
  • If frosting, frosting may be poured over hot brownies or cooled, the frosting spreads a bit easier over warm brownies, cool completely before cutting.
  • Once cooled, I find it easiest to freeze (up to several weeks if properly wrapped). When ready to cut, remove from freezer, let sit 20 minutes then cut brownies, they are a bit easier to handle when slightly frozen.
  • Melt butter in small saucepan. Stir in cocoa powder, then remove from heat. Whisk in powdered sugar, milk, vanilla and pinch of salt.
  • Once smooth, pour over warm or cooled brownies and let cool completely. Cut into 2" squares.
  • I find it easier to refrigerate or freeze for 20-30 minutes before cutting so the frosting cuts smoothly. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for 1 week or freeze individual squares for lunch box or quick snacks.


✱ Kathleen’s Tips

Store on counter 2-3 days in airtight container or fridge up to one week. Wrap well and freeze up to 3 months. (pssst, they’ll never last that long).


Serving: 1 serving Calories: 278 kcal Carbohydrates: 38 g Protein: 3 g Fat: 14 g Saturated Fat: 9 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g Trans Fat: 0.5 g Cholesterol: 61 mg Sodium: 163 mg Potassium: 70 mg Fiber: 1 g Sugar: 31 g Vitamin A: 403 IU Vitamin C: 0.05 mg Calcium: 29 mg Iron: 1 mg

Nutrition Disclaimer

The Fresh Cooky is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

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Kathleen Pope, The Fresh Cooky.

About Kathleen Pope

Recipe Innovator | Food Photographer | Food Writer

Hi, I’m Kathleen Pope. Here at The Fresh Cooky you will find easy, mostly from-scratch, trusted recipes for all occasions. From speedy dinners to tasty desserts, with easy step-by-step instructions. I am here to help teach you how to make mouthwatering recipes without spending hours in the kitchen. Read more about Kathleen here.

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  1. I love this classic brownie, it is one of my favorites! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday. Hope you have a great week and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen