Fudgy Cocoa Brownies + The Great Brownie Debate

Where do you stand in The Great Brownie Debate? Are you Pro-Fudgy or Pro-Cakey?

Much like chocolate chip cookies, everyone has their own idea on what makes a perfect brownie. There are all kinds of characteristics that come into play, but Fudgy and Cakey are the two major headings that everything else falls under. A brownie can be dense, rich, and fudge-like or it can be light and cake-like. In some instances, a brownie may even fall somewhere in between.

Fudgy has many followers, but there are those who remain true to Cakey as well. People are passionate about their brownie texture. Trying to convert a Fudgy fan to Cakey would be like trying to change a Democrat to a Republican or vise versa.

Personally, I support Fudgy all the way. Give me that moist, gooey, decadent hunk of chocolate gold, and I’m as happy as dog with a pizza crust. I just don’t see the point in eating a cakey  brownie. If a brownie is cakey, it’s not a brownie; It’s cake.

Unfortunately, with the exception of Ina’s Outrageous Brownies, most of the homemade recipes I’ve tried in the past have yielded results too cakey for my liking. Although I’m a scratch-made baker all the way, it seemed as if the only place I could find fudgy brownies was in a box. Well, as luck would have it, I stumbled upon my absolute most ideal brownies when I wasn’t even looking for them.

I was in need of a brownie recipe for some parfaits I was making (coming tomorrow), so I decided to try my 100th one. The recipe was so simple it was laughable. In fact, the only reason I chose it was because I needed a recipe that I had all the ingredients on hand for. This one fit the bill.

Well butter my butt and call me a biscuit; these brownies were absolute perfection. They are exactly what a brownie should be: super moist, decadently fudgy, and they even had the perfect flakey layer on top. I couldn’t be happier! After trying so many recipes in the past, I thought a brownie like this could only exist in my dreams. Who would’ve thought they’d be the product of a recipe as simple as this?

Look at that perfect satiny top layer!

With just the right amount of chocolate flavor and sweetness, these brownies are to die for. If you stand on my side of the Great Brownie Debate, and you prefer brownies that are fudgy and moist, then this is the recipe for you. That divinely decadent texture and the perfect crackly top are just too good to pass up. Plus, if you’re someone who clings to boxed mix due to its convenience, then you’ll love these as well because they are practically just as simple to put together. Minimal ingredients and prep time equate to hassle-free baking. There are no tricky steps to goof up; they’re error-proof!

These chewy, chocolatey brownies are proof that recipes need not be overcomplicated. Stick to the delicious basics.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. I know 3 cups of sugar sounds like a lot, but DO NOT skimp. They are not “two sweet.” The sugar ratio is just right.
  2. Make sure you stop back tomorrow to see the incredible things I do with these brownies.
  3. These are even better served warm with ice cream. Holy heaven!
  4. DO NOT SKIP THE BUTTER & PARCHMENT PAPER or you will never get the brownies out of the pan.
  5. Don’t skip sifting the dry ingredients unless you want clumps of cocoa powder.

Fudgy Cocoa Brownies
Adapted from Allrecipes.com


  • 1 cup butter, melted (plus more for greasing)
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder (use dark cocoa powder for serious chocolatey-ness)
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan then line with parchment paper, allowing paper to extend over the sides.
  2. Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Lightly beat in the eggs, one at a time, just until incorporated.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until blended. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove, and cool pan on wire rack for 30 minutes. Use parchment papers to lift out brownies like a sling or simply flip them out onto a cutting board. Slice ’em thick and enjoy.

Posted in The Smart Cookie Cook and tagged , , , , .

Colleen Bierstine


  1. Those look delicious! I think the perfect brownie is somewhere between fudgy and cakey–I do like my brownies just ever so slightly underbaked.

  2. Those brownies look pretty awesome! I am definitely for a fudgy brownie and agree completely (cake is cake, brownie is brownie). I make a gluten-free brownie with melted chocolate and buckwheat flour – it’s pretty rich, but I love how condensed and moist they are. Yours look delicious!

  3. Ha-you are so creative I am sure you can come up with my fave, both. The cakey goes on the bottom layer and the fudgey on top! Never met a brownie I didn’t like and this one does look to be a friend-yum!. Love the comment “do not skimp”-I had someone alter a recipe of mine and then wonder why it did not turn out. Have a great evening,

  4. Fudgy, with chocolate chips, hold the nuts, and a side of stout beer. And I love that crackly layer on the top, thats a must. Beautiful brownies :)

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