One-Pot Cocoa Brownies

One-Pot Cocoa Brownies Recipe

I’ve tested many different versions of brownie recipes, searching for what I thought was the perfect one-pot brownie. I think I got there, and many agreed…but others begged to differ. Well, not others. Just my friend Abby Schneiderman. While most people loved the fudgy one-pot brownies, Abby could not stop talking about a recipe I had made that used only cocoa powder, no other chocolate, and which certainly made things quite easy. Abby made and enjoyed almost every recipe in the first book but was not to be swayed in her nutty loyalty to the cocoa brownies recipe that I thought was second best. She brought them to parties, made them for celebrations, and all the while told everyone how wrong I was to have chosen the other brownies recipe over this one. Well, I went back and found the recipe and made them. I’m not saying she was right. I’m saying she has a point. My friend David Schiller, who finds the right words for everything, pronounced this an excellent morning brownie after eating one at 10 a.m.–Katie Workman

LC What Folks Are Saying About This Recipe Note

“A very moist, somewhat cakey brownie.” “A one-pot wonder!” “Not overly sweet, fudgy, or dense.” “The recipe could not have been easier.” “Perfect in those instances when you don’t have a lot of space, equipment, and time.” “A great recipe that you’ll come back to again and again.” That’s what folks are saying about this cakey one-pot cocoa brownies recipe.

One-Pot Cocoa Brownies Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 15 M
  • 55 M
  • Makes 24 brownies


  • 3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, plus more for buttering the baking pan
  • 2 1/2 cups (500 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (about 120 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (120 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or coarse salt


  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Generously butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
  • 2. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the sugar and cocoa powder. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing until the batter is completely smooth.
  • 3. Pour the batter into the baking pan, smoothing the top. Bake until a toothpick or a skewer inserted into the middle of the pan comes out almost clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
  • 4. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a rack before cutting them into 24 squares. These keep in a tightly sealed container for about 5 days, and can also be frozen.
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Recipe Testers Reviews

Recipe Testers Reviews
Testers Choice
Elsa M. Jacobson

Aug 29, 2015

Do you like cakey brownies? If yes, this is your easy-to-make cakey one-pot cocoa brownies recipe. They are so cakey that my friend who tested these with me commented that she'd prefer them frosted like cake. Similarly, I would like them much better with a big scoop or two of a nice rich vanilla ice cream—like cake and ice cream and not like brownies à la mode. As for me, I’d take fudgy over cakey, hands down. That being said, for those who want an easy recipe for this type of brownie, here are some notes:
Start with a saucepan larger than it looks like you will need, since it’s ultimately going to need to house the entire batter. (We didn’t start with a big one, and it ended up being more than a one-pot brownie!)
We baked these for 28 minutes and felt afterwards that it was too long. Start testing at 20 minutes, and they will likely be at their best between 20 and 25 minutes of baking time.
Although I didn't try it, I would recommend against freezing these, as I think the texture would deteriorate and become drier in the freezer, which even for cake-loving brownie-eaters would not be a plus.

Testers Choice
Adrienne Lee

Aug 29, 2015

This one-pot cocoa brownies recipe was easy and tasted good. It's incredibly easy to make with quick cleanup. The texture was more cake-like. I would make this again if I didn't have any bars of chocolate around. The yield was 24 very large brownies or 32 smaller ones.

Testers Choice
Sue Epstein

Aug 29, 2015

This one-pot cocoa brownies recipe was certainly simple enough to put together. The pan I used was 9 by 12 inches rather than the 9 by 13 inches called for in the recipe, but I don't think that made a difference. Other than that, I made the recipe exactly as written. The brownies were about 2 inches high, which is rather tall for a brownie. I cut them into 24 pieces but, if I were to make them again, I would cut them into smaller pieces. My tasters and I thought they were more chocolate cake-like than cakey brownie-like—but still tasty. I thought these were good enough to make again but would not rate it as one of my favorite brownie recipes.

Testers Choice
Ellen Fuss

Aug 29, 2015

This is a simple and easy brownie recipe to add to one's brownie recipe repertoire. They are delicious. They are not a special-occasion dessert, but when dessert calls for brownies, this could be a great selection. I have an entire collection of brownie recipes that vary in ingredients, temperature of ingredients, and technique, but in the end when you need a simple chocolate crowd-pleaser, any of them would work. This will go into my collection. The recipe didn't specify the type of cocoa—I used a natural cocoa. The brownies were simple to put together and required a bare minimum of pots and utensils. I thought the timing was a bit off and was sorry I didn't check my brownies at 30 minutes. At 35 minutes the toothpick came out completely clean, and the brownies were a bit drier than I would have liked. But the flavor was great and would be hard for anyone to resist. It wouldn't wow the crowd like a s'mores brownie, but it would be a welcome addition to a picnic and a respectable base for some vanilla ice cream and fudge sauce. They are more cake-like than fudge-like. I think the yield of 24 brownies is a bit low—I prefer to serve smaller portions and could easily get 32 small pieces out of this.

Testers Choice
Linda M.

Aug 29, 2015

These cocoa brownies are a one-pot wonder and come together quickly and easily. The finished texture has a cakey height but a definite fudgy flavor. I was concerned about the texture when I read that the recipe called for 6 eggs, but the end result was pleasantly fudgy. I would definitely make these again. They're perfect in those instances when you don't have a lot of space, equipment, and time. Packing the dry ingredients in two resealable plastic bags, you could easily whip these up anywhere that has a burner and an oven. So easy and so delicious! Very straightforward recipe. Definitely a keeper.

Testers Choice
Mary Kate K.

Aug 29, 2015

Brownies are an absolute favorite of mine. Dense, chewy, full of chocolate—how could anyone not love a good brownie? I had never made a brownie recipe using just cocoa powder, so I was intrigued by this one-pot cocoa brownies recipe. I had just bought some Scharffen Berger cocoa powder and was excited to try it in this recipe, as I thought this might up the ante. The recipe could not have been easier. Instead of waiting for the butter to soften to room temperature, you simply melt it. I ran my eggs under warm water for a few minutes to get them to room temperature. It took a bit of elbow grease to beat in the eggs one by one, and the mixture thickened substantially with the addition of each egg. All the ingredients came together into a beautiful, chocolatey, rich-looking batter. I poured it into the buttered baking dish, but since the batter was on the thinner side, I didn't need to smooth it out. I baked the brownies for 35 minutes. The toothpick was just moist on the very bottom, so I felt this was enough time. I cooled the brownies in the pan for about 90 minutes and cut them into squares. My favorite secret to a perfectly cut brownie is to use a plastic knife. Nothing sticks to it, and it's sharp enough to make a perfect cut without damaging the pan. The brownies had a nice crust on the top and were dense and rich. I would definitely say these brownies are in between cakey and fudgey. They would be perfect for a warm brownie sundae, as they would be delicious slightly warm and could stand up to a big scoop of vanilla ice cream. Really delicious and so simple to make!

Testers Choice
Nicole C.

Aug 29, 2015

This one-pot cocoa brownies recipe is for you if you 1. like cakey brownies; 2. need go-to recipes that come together quickly and easily with ingredients you already have on hand; and 3. like recipes that don't make a mess when you're already in a hurry! Seriously, this is a great recipe that you'll come back to again and again. The directions were very straightforward and easy to follow. I baked the brownies for 35 minutes and tested them with a skewer and found quite a bit of batter on them, so I let them go for another 5 minutes. The second test produced less batter on the skewer, and it was more like dry crumbs at that point and not wet batter. I brought them to a party, and the plate was clean almost immediately. The recipe yielded 24 brownies. Normally, I have a hard time following a recipe's recommendation on brownie serving size, but these were considerably thicker than the brownies I usually make, so cutting them into 24 squares still produced a satisfying serving. I will make these again, but I do prefer fudgy brownies, so next time I'll bake them for only 35 minutes and see if they turn out any fudgier. I might throw some chocolate chips in, too, which I think my kids will love—not that they needed any convincing to try these! They gobbled down more than their fair share of the original recipe!

Testers Choice
Rosie Coelho

Aug 29, 2015

The first thing that attracted me to this recipe was that it was a one-pot brownie recipe. The second thing was that it only used cocoa powder because that's an ingredient I always have on hand. The third thing that attracted me was it being pronounced "an excellent morning brownie." How could I resist? After all, I have been known to have a brownie for breakfast once or twice. I followed the recipe as is. This is a brownie recipe that is very easy and comes together quite well. A great beginner recipe with delicious results. The brownies turned out very moist and somewhat cakey and weren't overly sweet, fudgy, or dense. And the batter itself was quite delicious. Licking the spoon was a sweet prelude to what was to come!

  1. Jamie says:

    Wow, this looks like a great recipe. I do wish that you Americans would think about everyone outside the USA and include weight measurements in your recipes. The entire rest of the planet weighs ingredients and it’s really frustrating to come across weird measures like sticks of butter and cups of sugar!

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      James, many thanks for taking the time to share your comments. Greatly appreciate it. We agree completely. We Americans—and by “we” I mean all of us here at Leite’s Culinaria—actually prefer to weigh our ingredients just like you. The trick is that most recipes that we post here on the site come from American cookbooks and only contain measurements for “weird” sticks and cups and so forth. When we test our recipes—and we do test each and every recipe prior to sharing it on the site, and in fact we test just as many recipes that we don’t share as recipes we do share because they’re just not good enough—we ask our testers to please weigh the ingredients and share that information with us. If you look around our site, you’ll see that many of our recipes do have parenthetical weights in addition to cups and sticks. We’ve added those. But sometimes, such as with this recipe, none of our volunteer home testers who made it had a scale, and so rather than input weights using formulaic conversions you can find online, which often require some rounding up or down, we wait until one of us can test the recipe using an actual scale just to make sure that the recipe works just as spectacularly as we hate to ever put out a disappointing or even just mediocre recipe. I went ahead and included those formulaic conversions for this recipe using the ingredient weight chart from the reliable folks at King Arthur Flour so you could give it a twirl without frustration. For the rest of the teaspoons and such, may I suggest you give a glance at the chart? Here’s hoping you like the brownies as much as we do.

      • Thomas Marzahl says:

        Wow, Renee, that chart is pretty fabulous… a great reference tool. Who would have thought that there is so much difference in the weight of a cup of whole wheat pastry flour and a cup of all purpose flour? Now, I should do the same over here in Germany, where we have such things like 405 flour, or 550, or 1050 grade… equivalent to a very white flour, all purpose flour, and whole wheat pastry flour…. and see about a chart for European ingredients. Could be a crowd-sourced project… if I only had the time.

        • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

          Thomas, I completely agree it would be a terrific and worthwhile project to create a chart of weights for various European flours Alas, the time thing…I understand that well. But perhaps once you started it wouldn’t take quite as long as you fear? At any rate, do let me know when you compile it and we’ll be happy to share it—I know the information will be greatly appreciated.

  2. Grace Costa says:

    I made these brownies and they came out awesome. I added walnuts and I frosted them. Yummy! I do have to say I was concerned with the cocoa measure. It states 1 1/4 cups (148 grams). I had a problem. I weighed the cocoa and at 148 grams it was more like 1 3/4 cups. I didn’t want to add so much cocoa so I just went by my measure cup and used 1 1/4 cups. I know scales and measure cups differ but I don’t think to that extreme and I didn’t want to add to much. Bottom line, I love this recipe.

    • Renee Schettler Rossi says:

      Thanks so much, Grace. I just asked a dozen or so of our recipe testers to head into the kitchen right away to remeasure and reweigh the cocoa powder. It’s always a little tricky with powders and flours since so much depends on the density of that particular brand as well as whether it’s been scooped and sifted or compacted and dumped. We sifted our cocoa a little prior to measuring it and we got about 120 grams per 1 1/4 cups and I just updated the recipe above. I so appreciate you letting us know and are thrilled that you love this recipe as much as we do!

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