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Chewy Cocoa Brownies - So Decadent! - That Skinny Chick Can Bake

Chewy Cocoa Brownies are those you dream about. Made from scratch, these chewy brownies are generously topped with chocolate buttercream!

Homemade Brownie Recipes are terrific for any occasion, whether for game day, a picnic, or a casual dinner. And these simple frosted brownies were a hit!

Why You’ll Love these Cocoa Brownies

  • For years and years, my kids used to like Betty Crocker’s frosted brownies better than mine. They finally changed their minds after trying these!
  • The combination of chewy brownies and rich, creamy chocolate frosting is amazing!
  • I’ve baked a LOT of from-scratch brownie recipes, and these are outstanding. Even my usual strong willpower couldn’t resist! If unfrosted brownies are more your style check out these Fudgy Cocoa Brownies. Plus, you also might enjoy a wedge of the Brownie Pie.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes these Brownies Chewy?

How Do You Make the Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting?

How Do You Cut Perfect Brownies?

  Tips for Making Cocoa Powder Brownies

  • Line your baking pan with non-stick foil. Besides preventing your brownies from sticking to the pan, you can use the foil to lift the brownies out of the pan and onto a cutting board.
  • Make sure to sift your dry ingredients. This will help the baking soda disperse evenly. There’s nothing worse than taking a bite of a dessert that has a speck of salty baking soda that wasn’t incorporated into the batter before baking.
  • Don’t use a mixer to make these brownies (unless you use the very lowest speed and finish with a spoon or spatula). A mixer will incorporate air into the batter and over-activate gluten formation making cakier and less tender results.
  • Use a toothpick to check if your brownies are done baking. Start at the 18-minute mark so you don’t overbake. If the toothpick comes out clean (can be slightly sticky), remove the brownies to a cooling rack. If there is any batter on the toothpick, bake 2 more minutes and recheck. Repeat if necessary.

Ingredient Notes:

  • Sugar – Regular, granulated white sugar
  • Butter – I always use salted butter unless otherwise noted
  • Water – A key to making these brownies chewy
  • Eggs – Large eggs
  • Vanilla – Real vanilla extract, never use imitation
  • Flour – All-purpose flour
  • Cocoa Powder – Regular cocoa (not Dutch Process)
  • Baking Soda 
  • Salt – Table Salt
  • Powdered Sugar – Make sure to sift so your frosting is smooth
  • Milk – 2% or whatever you have on hand

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Baden Springs Hotel, French Lick, Indiana, 2012.
Miss Lambeau came to visit me while I was photographing these brownies.

Chewy Cocoa Brownies

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Yield 24 brownies

Chewy frosted brownies adapted from Food Network Magazine



  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), melted
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350º. Grease 9 x 13 pan or line with nonstick foil.
  2. Combine sugar, butter, and water in a large bowl. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt into the egg mixture. Stir until combined. Spread into prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 18-23 minutes (mine took 20 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted into the center of brownies comes out clean or slightly sticky.
  5. Cool on a wire rack while making the frosting.
  6. To make the frosting, place butter into a medium bowl. Sift cocoa and powdered sugar into the bowl.
  7. Add milk and vanilla. Using a hand mixer, beat till well combined.
  8. Spread on cooled brownies.


Nonstick foil replaces greasing the pan. It's also used as a sling to lift the cooled brownies out of the pan and onto a cutting board.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 brownie

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 206Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 46mgSodium: 147mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 15gProtein: 2g


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Publisher: That Skinny Chick Can Bake