This recipe for small batch brownies uses a loaf pan to make just ten average-sized brownies. They’re super fudgy and feature the classic shiny, crackly tops – all while being made in one bowl!
As the owner of a sweet tooth that leans much more heavily on the chocolate side (versus fruity desserts), brownies are an easy favorite.
But getting through a standard batch of brownies as a household of two is a little daunting if there aren’t any get-togethers or parties on the horizon. That’s where these small batch brownies come in.
If we want to add to that title, we can call these one bowl small batch brownies. Because I’m all for highlighting opportunities to wash less dishes, you know?
This recipe makes about ten (not huge) brownies, making them just the thing for those times you want something sweet but can’t handle having a ton of leftovers.
They’re ultra fudgy, have ubiquitous crackly tops, and use a standard-size loaf pan to yield ten brownies, ALL with the benefit of having at least one edge side. If that’s your kind of thing, too. 😉
Butter and melted chocolate make up the base of this small batch brownie recipe for a promising start.
While there’s some wiggle room on the type of chocolate you can use, I’m partial to a half-and-half mix of semisweet and dark chocolate. The dark chocolate tempers the sweetness a bit and brings a rich flavor. Plus I just really love dark chocolate.
To this we’ll add sugar, an egg, vanilla extract, a little bit of flour (just one-quarter cup!), instant espresso powder, and salt.
The espresso powder is optional, but I like to add it to chocolate desserts (like these brownie cookies, yum) as it plays off of the chocolate flavor so well and enhances the chocolatey-ness. I buy my espresso powder in the coffee aisle of my regular grocery store. It’s usually in a small glass jar.
You’ll want to start by melting together the butter and chocolate. Did you know that even with the same ingredients, the first step of your brownie recipe determines whether you’ll have fudgier or cakier brownies?
Fudgy brownies begin like this, with melting together the butter and chocolate. But if you start by creaming together the butter and sugar, you’ll get brownies that are more cake-y. Fudgy is my preference, so I always start with the butter/chocolate.
Once melted, you’ll add in the rest of the ingredients and whisk or stir until the batter has a ‘shine’ to it. This helps create that crackly top we’ve come to consider as one of a brownie’s key elements.
Then we’ll stir in some more chocolate chips (because why not?!) and pour out the batter into a parchment paper-lined 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
Parchment paper helps you remove the brownies from the pan once they’ve been baked. I suggest leaving a bit of excess parchment on the long sides of the pan to help you lift them out to slice.
This recipe is exactly half of my standard brownie recipe, so using a smaller baking vessel like a loaf pan is key in producing regular-height brownies, just in a small batch form.
And there we go! Bake the brownies for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean (or with just a few crumbs clinging to it).
Let the brownies cool fully before lifting them out of the loaf pan and cutting them into bars.
For a seasonal twist, check out these pumpkin swirl brownies. SO, so good.
And looking for another small batch dessert idea? This recipe for Irish cream truffles makes just seven extra rich and subtly Irish cream-flavored candies. It’s very easy, too!
- To make this recipe your own, switch up the mix-ins! Use nuts or chopped up candy instead of the quarter-cup of chocolate chips.
One Bowl Small Batch Brownies
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks, divided
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg, at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)
- Pinch of salt
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line a 9"x5" loaf pan with a sheet of parchment paper and lightly spray with cooking spray. Allow excess parchment to overhang on the two long sides of the pan to allow easier lifting later.
- In a medium-large microwave-safe bowl, add butter, 1/4 cup of the dark chocolate, and 1/4 cup of the semisweet chocolate and melt in 20-second intervals on medium power until mixture is melted and smooth, whisking after each interval.
- Once melted, whisk in sugar, egg, and vanilla extract until combined. Add flour, espresso powder, and salt and whisk until well-combined. You want the batter to have a slight "shine" to it. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup of the semisweet chocolate chips.
- Pour brownie batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the edges have set and a tester (like a toothpick) inserted into the center of the brownies comes out just about clean, with only a few crumbs clinging to it.
- Let brownies cool completely before slicing. Lift the brownies by the overhanging sides of the parchment paper and cut into slices, once cool.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.
Recipe slightly adapted from The Art & Soul of Baking by Cindy Mushet/Sur La Table, which has long been one of my favorite baking cookbooks. Unfortunately it appears that this cookbook is no longer in print.