Chocolate Frosted Brownies

Imagine me sleeping away in my king-size bed in blissful slumber when all of a sudden I’m jolted out of my deep sleep to the shocking awareness that I do not have a chocolate frosted brownie recipe in my files. The travesty! (I cannot be sure, after the fact, that it was truly this manifestation that awoke me or the reverberating snores of my dear, sweet bear of a husband; regardless, both scenarios caused me a moment of panic.)

This chocolate frosted brownie shortage has kept me up at night for the last couple of weeks. Really. Whether that speaks of deeper issues, I know not, but the truth is, it needed to be rectified and soon. So I set to work getting the best chocolate frosted brownie to share with you. I have made no less than five or six recipes in the last week or so. I’m a bit sick of chocolate frosted brownies, I’m not going to lie, but you just have to have a go-to chocolate frosted brownie recipe. You just have to.

The good news is that I have it! The one! This was the winning combination of brownie and frosting. The brownies are dense and chewy and deliciously wild with chocolate flavor while the ethereal frosting adds a wonderful delicate, creamy chocolate layer.

I’m sure I’ll be over my chocolate frosted brownie overload by tomorrow at the latest. I can’t stay away from these babies too long. Now, I’m losing sleep over what recipe conundrum will wake me up next. Food blogging therapist needed immediately.

Chocolate Frosted Brownies

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Chocolate Frosted Brownies

Yield: Makes 12-16 brownies

Chocolate Frosted Brownies

Note: This recipe can be doubled for a 9X13-inch pan. Bake for about 5 minutes less than the recipe states below and increase as needed while you check for doneness (cause there's nothing worse than an overcooked brownie).


    For the Brownies:
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • For the Frosting:
  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-5 tablespoon milk or cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch-square baking dish with foil, letting the excess hang over the edges (this helps to make "handles" for lifting out the brownies after they have cooled). Lightly grease the foil; set aside.
  2. In a medium-size microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter for the brownies. Microwave for 1-minute increments at 50% power, stirring in between, until the chocolate and butter are melted and smooth. Whisk in the granulated and brown sugars. Whisk in the eggs and the vanilla extract. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a thin knife or toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Remove the brownies from the oven and allow them to cool completely.
  4. For the frosting, using an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer), cream together the butter, cocoa powder, and salt on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the powdered sugar. Mix on low speed to incorporate the sugar. Add the vanilla and milk, starting with a couple tablespoons and adding more as needed to adjust the consistency. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high, beating until smooth and fluffy.
  5. Spread the frosting onto the cooled brownies. Store the brownies in an airtight container, or tightly wrapped, at room temperature or in the refrigerator (I highly, highly, highly prefer my brownies chilled in case you care) for 3-5 days.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Brown Eyed Baker (via Joy the Baker’s cookbook)

71 Responses to Chocolate Frosted Brownies

  1. Nicole says:

    Do you think these brownies will travel well? I would like to make this for my in-laws and am flying out to see them. Any transportation tips? Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hmmm, the frosting is pretty soft. I’m not sure it would withstand an airplane ride. Maybe an unfrosted brownie would be a better choice?

      • Nicole says:

        Ok good to know! I thought the frosting might harden in the fridge or something. I’ll just make these for myself and an I frosted batch to go πŸ™‚

  2. Rachael says:

    I am making these for a large crowd (150+), do you think I could quadruple the recipe and bake it on a cookie sheet? Or should I just double for a 9×13 pan?

    • Mel says:

      You probably could but I haven’t tried it myself to know for sure if that quantity will work in a sheet pan.

      • Rachael says:

        I tried it last night, quadrupling the recipe and baking in a sheet pan. They were on the thick side (which I love), but I think I will 3x the recipe and see how that works. They are beautiful and DELICIOUS πŸ™‚

        • Mel says:

          Glad you reported back, Rachael!

        • Rachael says:

          We decided to go with the thick brownies (4x the recipe) and they were phenomenal. The large crowd of 150+ LOVED them declaring them the best ultimate brownie ever, and I felt like an ultimate baking rock star πŸ™‚ Thank you for the wonderful recipe. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your blog!

        • Mel says:

          Yay! I’m so happy to hear this, Rachael!

  3. Sarah says:

    This is our go to chocolate icing it is so delicious

  4. Ruth says:

    Just made these tonight for a party and I wish I had kept more at home! I was skeptical that any chocolate frosting could match the Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate frosting but this did, and the frosting/brownie combo was amazing! And as always…chilled is the only way to go.

  5. Gail says:

    I thought these were perfect! I had been looking for a frosted brownie recipe and this will definitely be my go-to recipe! Thanks for sharing it!

  6. nadia says:

    Hey, did you like freeze these before you cut them? Just wondering how you got such a clean cut (through the icing esp) cause i need mine to look like that, thanks!

  7. Jan says:

    Omg….seriously the best brownies ever! Made exactly as recipe…I wouldn’t change a thing

  8. Sarah says:

    We have made this icing 3 times in the past week since finding the recipe. It is so delicious. The second batch I basically ate on it’s own,

  9. Jojo says:

    Made these and agree with Janet. The frosting is bitter. Too much cocoa or not enough sugar. But we scraped off the frosting and loved the brownies!

  10. Heather says:

    I was wondering if I can use cocoa powder instead of the bittersweet chocolate and if so, how much would I use? I was thinking maybe a 2/3-3/4 cup because that seems to be around the measurements that other recipes use, but I’m not sure. I guess I’ll just do a test batch tonight and I’ll let you know how they turned out! I really love your site.

    • Mel says:

      Heather – Using cocoa powder in place of melted chocolate would probably require a bit of experimenting; I haven’t tried it so I can’t recommend a fail-proof substitution but if there are other similar recipes, it might be worth taking a look at them and going from there. Good luck!

  11. janet says:

    not a big fan of your frosting recipe… i made a brownie mix and used the frosting. It tasted like it had too much cocoa so i add a little more sugar and butter but it still wasn’t anything above average. maybe the brownies would be good. I might give them a try some day.

  12. Katie P says:

    Hey Mel. I’m going to make these next weekend per request for BIL’s 40th b-day. I’ll definitely need to double to 9×13. You say 5 min. less time than an 8×8 for the doubled recipe. I expected it to be 5 min more then check… could it really take less time than a single batch in an 8×8… worried I’ll have raw brownies. Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Katie – It seems strange but usually when I double brownie/cookie bar recipes and bake them in a larger pan the cooking time is shorter by just a few minutes. That may not be the case for all ovens but since it’s better to check early than have overbaked brownies, it’s always my recommendation. Just make sure the brownies are baked through before taking them out. Good luck!

  13. HollyH says:

    Made these for team meeting today…YUM! Until now, I’ve not been a fan of frosted brownies except for mint brownies. New favorite!

    Oh, and I substituted cocoa and extra butter for the unsweetened chocolate (3 Tbsp cocoa and 1 Tbsp butter for each ounce of unsweetened chocolate) and they were fabulous.

    Is anyone else annoyed that unsweetened chocolate is now sold in 4-ounce packages instead of 8?

  14. Upgraded Box Brownies | All Things Sugar & Spice says:

    […] Butter cream frosting recipe is from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe […]

  15. Tammy says:

    Mel, you are my go-to girl when it comes to recipes. Seriously. Thank you so much for all your great recipes and all the good detailed instructions. These are hands down the best brownies ever. The frosting is to die for. I kicked myself as I hit “search” on Google for a frosted brownie recipe because I thought I should have just gone straight here, but there you were on the results page and I knew there would be no “search.” And P.S. I spent $15 on 2 vanilla beans just to try your vanilla bean white chocolate mousse pie. Mmm.

  16. Jennifer Fuchs says:

    I’m still waiting for the brownies to come out of the oven but I did already make the frosting recipe and will admit to tasting it. Oh My Gosh…best frosting recipe ever! I usually wing the frosting recipes and don’t measure but decided to follow your recipe exactly and am so glad I did…It is difficult to refrain from just eating all the frosting before the brownies are done! Thanks for the great recipe! πŸ™‚

  17. Andy says:

    My daughter and I made these on a recent snow day from school. OH MY GOODNESS – these are delicious. Thank you for the recipe. This one is a keeper!

  18. Anne says:

    Mel, this is the second dessert of yours I have made. The first was Apple Dapple Cake and it was just as wonderful as you said it would be. Today I made these brownies with the frosting and sent them off to my daughter attending college in Michigan (brrr). I think they are the best brownies I have ever had. I have no idea how the frosting will hold up, but whether she and her friends eat it with the brownie or lick it off the container lid, they will be delighted. Well done!

  19. Debbie says:

    Made these delicious brownies last night for a party. Everyone loved them! They melt in your mouth!!

  20. Brittany says:

    thank you for this classic recipe! it needs absolutely no alterations! the only thing I did different was melt butter and chocolate in a steal bowl over hot water on the stove as we do not own a microwave. normally I dont even comments on recipes but this one I just had to!

  21. Kathryn says:

    I’ve been wanting to make these since you posted them. Now I’m pregnant and I NEED to make them πŸ™‚ Although I don’t have any “unsweetened chopped chocolate”. Can I just use more semisweet chocolate chips? Or cocoa powder?

    • Mel says:

      Kathryn – you could probably sub in semisweet chocolate but cut down on that sugar or else the brownies will be way too sweet. Good luck!

  22. JaNae says:

    These are delicious! Thanks!

  23. Kerri says:

    I can’t stop making these. They are so good and so, so easy. I look for excuses. Invited over for dinner? I should probably bring brownies. Friends coming over for football? I’ll make brownies. It’s Tuesday? Brownies.

  24. Melissa says:

    Yum! These look fabulous! They are in the oven, I can hardly contain my excitement! !

  25. Arlene says:

    Okay Mel, you are like a walking dictionary…… ethereal frosting. I had to look that up and that’s not the first time either. Could you please use language I can understand!!!!!! I love these brownies. Never knew I would get smarter reading your cooking blog and a better cook. Great bonus for me!

  26. Ruchita says:

    Oh my goodness, these are the best brownies ever! They are perfectly chewy, chocolatey and delicious. I used regular cocoa powder for the brownies, but I had some extra Dutch process cocoa on hand, so I used that for the frosting.

    To ensure they looked pretty on the serving platter, I sliced off some of the edges. Those little edges make for a nice snack. Just sayin. πŸ™‚

  27. Megan says:

    Hello! I’m wondering if you can leave the chocolate chips out of this recipe? I prefer chunk-free brownies. Does it matter? Thanks!

  28. Kay says:

    FYI: the link to artisan bread in this post takes you to BBQ chicken Salad instead.

  29. Heidi says:

    These brownies were amazing! They are a HUGE hit at my office, but then again everything I make from your website is a hit. My son actually requested your Mini Meatloaves for his birthday dinner. πŸ™‚

  30. Catherine says:

    Got chocolate all over my face, brownies in my belly, happiness in my heart ! WOW ! What a dessert !

  31. Minnesota Red says:

    I am sorry to inform the world that I will never want to eat a frosted brownie. Frosting just gets in the way. I don’t eat syrup on my pancakes either…

  32. Alicia Q. says:

    Made it. Ate it. LOVED it. Thanks again. Super rich, in a good way. We counted wait until they chilled, but I love brownies that way too so next time (and there will be a next time) I’ll chill them. I doubled it and it worked well.

  33. grace says:

    i believe that the frosting should be at least as thick as the brownie, so i approve of what you’ve done here. πŸ™‚

  34. Made these last night. HOLY delicious!!!

  35. Bekah says:

    Thank you. Can’t wait to try these.

    Random question… What are your favorite cookbooks? Recommendations? Go to books, you get the picture. (Besides your own compiled favorite recipe binders. )

  36. Emily says:

    I’ll tell you what you need next…. a good cinnamon buttermilk strueselish muffin recipe for baby shower brunches and teacher appreciation breakfasts.

  37. Ashley B. says:

    All I have to say is THANK YOU!! I too was in shock after realizing you didn’t have a frosted brownie recipe. πŸ™‚ I ended up making my own version for Valentine’s Day, but will certainly be referencing yours in the future–probably more near than needed for my waist line.

  38. Margaret says:

    Last night I woke up suddenly at 2am remembering that at midnight I had put out the red velvet bars with cream cheese frosting (your recipe) to eat. I hurriedly ate two HUGE pieces and went straight back to bed. This morning I thought that I had better not try any more of the dessert recipes from your blog because they are ALL.SO.GOOD. and I end up telling my kids that they are not allowed to eat it, while I (secretly) eat it all up. And what do I find today? A delicious looking brownie that I’m only going to be (and already have started) obsessing over until it is made and sitting cozily in my tummy :).

  39. Jen T says:

    exactly what I needed today! bless you!

  40. angela @ anotherbiteplease says:

    hahaha love it…isn’t that crazy when “work” wakes you up…i was dreaming about top chef last night…the brownies look perfect.

  41. Mentor Mom says:

    Just posted my recipe for Cappuccino Brownies with Cappuccino Frosting.

    Hope you give it a try, and let me know what you think.

    Questions for you: Why line the baking dish with foil??? The original recipe for Cappuccino Brownies also called for lining the dish with foil; but I never understood the purpose behind it. Would love to hear your thoughts.

    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  42. These look so delish and decadent, Mel! Perfect for indulging a little mid-week. Thanks for sharing.

  43. Mentor Mom says:

    They look yummy!

    I made our Family Favorite Cappuccino Brownies with Cappuccino Frosting last week Oh.So.Good.

    I’ll put the recipe on my blog,

    mama of 12

  44. Lacee says:

    Bless you…Bless you!!

  45. I don’t have one either! I gotta make this!

  46. These look like THEE perfect brownie!!

  47. Army of 7 says:

    Wow! Those look so indulgent πŸ™‚ Great job, I’m thankful for all those long hours you put in!!

  48. Katie says:

    Are these fudge like or cake like brownies ? They look but I was just wondering.

  49. If brownies weren’t good enough already, adding frosting makes them irresistible!

  50. Catherine says:

    It’s been two months I don’t sleep well. Not because of not having ZE recipe for a perfect chocolate frosted brownie, but because of my two months old son who thinks 3 AM is a great moment to stay awake, coo and smile at me ! I’m sure those brownies will keep me awake during day after a sleepless night though ! Thanks for helping me keeping my eyes opened… and these extra pounds of my pregnancy ! πŸ˜€

  51. Kim says:

    These look wonderful — I’m always looking for a new brownie recipe! I love your blog — glad I found it!

  52. Melody says:

    I was so looking for a brownie recipe the other day but did not have time to rummage through all my cookbooks. This looks great!

  53. I’m such a chocolate lover and these look delicious!

  54. I get startled by `crucialΒ΄ issues too. ItΒ΄s a good thing we have food blogs, otherwise weΒ΄re just crazy people obsessed with food details. This looks gorgeous Mel!

  55. Emily says:

    My mother-in-Law makes this recipe and its now my go to frosting recipe. Its wonderful! Mel, I’m glad you found it, I was thinking about sending it to you.

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