Small batch brownies are the perfect solution for your after-dinner sweet tooth cravings. This recipe makes eight rich, chocolatey brownies in a 9x5 loaf pan. Plus, there's no fancy equipment required - all you need is a bowl and a spoon to get started.
Do you ever have a craving for fresh baked brownies but don't want to make a huge 9x13 pan? Small batch brownies are the solution.
These brownies are made in a 9x5 loaf pan and make 8 small squares - just enough to share with a few friends. The batter comes together in a single bowl with simple pantry ingredients, making them easy to whip up in a moment's notice.
Make small batch brownies for last minute company after dinner, for your next movie night with the family, or anytime you're craving a sweet treat. Prefer cookies? Try my recipe for small batch chocolate chip cookies instead!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Butter - For this recipe, your butter should be melted for easy incorporation. Unsalted butter can be substituted with salted butter if desired.
- Sugars - We're using a combination of granulated and brown sugars for the perfect chewy texture and sweetness. Granulated sugar helps give these brownies a crunchy crust and chewy texture, while the molasses in brown sugar adds depth of flavor and makes them more fudgy.
- Vanilla - Adds depth of flavor to your brownies.
- Egg - Adds moisture and structure to your brownies. To quickly bring your egg to room temperature, add the egg (in the shell) to a bowl and fill with warm tap water. Allow it to sit for about 10 minutes to reach room temperature.
- All-purpose flour - Adds stability and balances with the wet ingredients in the recipe. I have only tested this recipe with AP flour, so I can't say for sure how other flours would turn out. Instead of making substitutions and potentially wasting ingredients, I recommend searching for a recipe written with the type of flour you'd like to use.
- Cocoa powder - I used natural cocoa powder, but Dutch cocoa powder would also work in this recipe (since there are no leavening agents).
- Salt - Enhances the flavor of the brownies and helps cut the sweetness.
- Chocolate chips - Can be omitted or substituted with other baking chips like peanut butter or white chocolate.
The best part about making brownies is that they can easily be customized with your favorite mix-ins. Instead of (or in addition to) chocolate chips, you can also add mix-ins like these:
- M&M candies
- Crushed Oreo cookies
- Peanut butter baking chips
- White chocolate baking chips
- Chopped pretzel pieces
Tips and tricks
Use melted butter and room temperature egg - Room temperature ingredients combine evenly to create a homogenous batter. If one ingredient is cold it can seize up and create streaks throughout the batter.
To bring your egg to room temperature quickly - Add the egg (in the shell) to a small bowl and cover with warm tap water. Allow it to sit for about ten minutes.
Don't skip the salt - Salt plays an important part in dessert recipes. Not only does it balance the sweetness, it also makes your brownies taste better by enhancing the other flavors present, like butter, vanilla, and cocoa.
Don't overmix the batter - There's no need to mix the batter for a long period of time. Stir only until the ingredients are incorporated. Overmixing batter once the flour has been added overworks the gluten, resulting in tough brownies.
Use parchment paper - There's nothing worse than making a batch of brownies only for them to stick to the pan! Line your loaf pan with parchment paper or a spray of cooking spray before adding your batter. I prefer parchment because it's easy to lift the entire batch of brownies from the pan before slicing.
Allow your brownies to cool before slicing - Slicing into warm brownies creates messy, crumbly edges. For smooth cuts, allow your brownies to cool most of the way first. Use a sharp chef's knife, wiping off between cuts, to make clean, even slices.
Use cooking spray - For perfectly clean cuts and less fuss, spray your knife with cooking spray first.
Frequently asked questions
A fudgy brownie is the result of the ratio of fat to flour. Too much flour and not enough fat results in a cakier brownie. As written, this recipe makes a fudgy, rich, and dense brownie. Reducing the sugar or butter can cause them to turn out less fudgy.
Yes, you can double this recipe and prepare it in an 8x8 square pan. Or follow my recipe for frosted brownies - they're made with the exact same brownie base and can be prepared with or without frosting.
If your brownies sunk in the middle after removing from the oven, it sounds like they weren't done baking. To prevent sinking, test the center of your brownies with a toothpick. If it comes out with wet batter, they're not done yet. Keep baking until the toothpick comes out clean or with crumbs.
Your brownies will rise a little, but not much. There's no leavening in this recipe, which means they'll turn out fairly dense and rich.
Yes, brownies are freezer-friendly and will keep in a tightly sealed container for up to three months. Make sure your brownies are cooled to room temperature before storing.
Small Batch Brownies
- ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup (50 g) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (53 g) brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons (45 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (21 g) natural cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (85 g) chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Line a 9x5 loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving some paper hanging over the edges to easily pull brownies from the pan once cooled.
- In a large mixing bowl, add melted butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and egg. Stir until fully combined. Add flour, cocoa, and salt. Slowly stir until just combined (do not overmix). Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.
- Pour batter into loaf pan and use a spatula to spread evenly to the edges. Batter will be thick.
- Bake for about 20-24 minutes, or until set across the top and cooked through in the center. Insert a toothpick into the center of the pan. If it comes out with wet batter, the brownies need more time. If it comes out clean or with crumbs, the brownies are done.
- Allow brownies to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Natural cocoa powder can be substituted with Dutch cocoa powder since no leavening agents are used in this recipe.
- Chocolate chips can be substituted with other baking chips, chopped nuts, or omitted entirely.
- Brownies will keep for 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container at room temperature, or frozen for up to 3 months in a freezer-safe container.