These small-batch brownies are made from scratch and baked in a loaf pan, which means they make just enough for two, so you don’t have an entire baking pan of brownies sitting around all week tempting you. You’re welcome.
These small batch brownies are magnificently fudgy, chewy, and chocolatey and are among the best we’ve tried. Which makes them beyond tempting. Because they’re baked in a loaf pan, they make half the servings of a regular recipe. Just enough to share with those you love, with none left over to tempt you the rest of the week.
Why Our Testers Loved This
It was impossible for our testers not tor ave about these brownies. They loved the chewy, fudgy centers and “nice crisp top.” They were also delighted that they were easy to make and could be served with or without the luscious chocolate frosting.
Monica M. had this to say about these fudgy brownies: “Really, they rank number one among the brownie recipes I’ve tried—and I’ve tried my fair amount of homemade brownies.”
Notes on Ingredients
- Unsalted butter–If you need to substitute salted butter, omit the 1/4 teaspoon of salt called for in the recipe.
- Cocoa powder–You can use any type of cocoa powder for these brownies, but choose a quality brand, as it adds all of the chocolate flavors to these brownies.
- Frosting–The author says the frosting is optional…but is it really? If you use it (and please do), be sure to completely cool the brownies before frosting them.
How to Make This Recipe
- Heat the oven to 325°F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Microwave the butter, cocoa, and sugar until the butter is melted. Stir in the remaining ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth.
- Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Bake until the surface appears dry. Cool completely before frosting or serving.
- Make the frosting (optional). Mix the frosting ingredients together until smooth, adding just enough milk or cream to make it spreadable. Frost the brownies.
What makes brownies fudgy?
The best way to ensure that the brownies you’re making will be fudgy is to look at the fat-to-flour ratio. You want the weight of each to be at least even (1:1). The more fat, the fudgier your brownies.
Baking the brownies for the minimum amount of time is essential. Although the recipe says to leave them in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, I usually start checking mine after 25 minutes. Overbaking is the enemy of fudginess.
How can I make these without a microwave?
If you don’t have a microwave, combine the butter, cocoa, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, and stir until the butter is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat, cool slightly, and proceed with the recipe.
- Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
- If you use an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan instead of a 9-by-5-inch pan, the cooking time will increase by a few minutes.
- Cool your brownies completely before frosting or cutting.
More great brownie recipes
☞ If you make this recipe, or any dish on LC, consider leaving a review, a star rating, and your best photo in the comments below. I love hearing from you.–David
Small Batch Brownies
For the small batch brownies
For the frosting (optional)
- 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz) unsalted butter softened
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
- 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons milk or cream
Make the small batch brownies
- Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C) and line a 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13-cm) loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, cocoa powder, and sugar and microwave on full power for 30 seconds. Stir and return the bowl to the microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir again. If the butter isn’t mostly melted, microwave it for another 15 to 30 seconds. Let the mixture cool for 1 minute.
☞TESTER TIP: You can instead melt the butter, cocoa powder, and sugar mixture, in a medium saucepan over low heat and remove it from the heat to cool slightly.
- Stir in the vanilla and salt. Then stir in the egg. Add the flour and stir vigorously for about 1 minute, or 50 strokes, until the batter is very thick and smooth and more like a paste than a typical batter.
- Scrape the mixture into the loaf pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. The surface should appear dry and be starting to crack. Don’t overbake the brownies or the inside won’t be fudgy.
- Let the brownies cool completely in the pan before frosting, if desired, about 45 minutes.
Frost the brownies (optional)
- In a bowl with a wooden spoon, beat together the butter, cocoa powder, and confectioners’ sugar until thick and creamy, adding as much milk or cream as needed to make the frosting spreadable.
- Storage–Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
- Pan size–If you use an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan instead of a 9-by-5-inch pan, the cooking time will increase by a few minutes.
- Cool completely–Cool your brownies completely before frosting or cutting.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We’d love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
These small batch brownies were delicious and very easy to make. They reminded me of the iced brownies you can buy in many bakeries in the New York and New Jersey area. They’re chewy and fudgy inside with a nice crisp top. Although the brownies are fine on their own, the frosting turns them into a more luscious treat.
I cut the brownies into eight large squares. They should be kept in the refrigerator, otherwise the frosting will get too soft. And they’re good straight out of the fridge, too!
Next time I would add about 1/4 cup of toasted, chopped walnuts. I think this would add texture and cut the sweetness.
These small batch brownies are good. They’re fudgy and easy to throw together. I would suggest adding them to your arsenal of brownie recipes.
I didn’t think the brownies needed the frosting. My taster disagreed.
Like any other brownies, these would be great with all sorts of toppings and additions. I like to think of a basic brownie as a blank canvas. I love being able to make small batches of sweets, and I would love to see this made even smaller.
The parchment paper kept the brownies from sticking and made for a simple and clean removal from the pan.
I enjoyed the ease of whipping up this rich and quick small-batch brownie recipe in a loaf pan. I’d say this recipe is definitely more chewy than fudgy. I could take or leave the frosting—this is a sweet enough dessert without it, but certainly no one is going to complain about chocolate frosting!
I think 30 minutes of baking time would give that perfect balance of a slight crust on top and a moist chewiness on the bottom. I was almost there—the very edges of the brownies might have gotten a little more done than I would prefer, but even having baked it for 32 minutes, there was still a lot of chewiness there.
I might like more of a pourable frosting or ganache that’s bittersweet just because of how sweet the brownies already are. I think using a nicer cocoa powder in the batter here really makes a difference.
I made the frosting in a mixer with the paddle. I cut the butter into 6 pieces and first beat in the cocoa powder starting on medium speed for about 30 seconds so that the cocoa wouldn’t fly around, and then turning it up to medium-high for another 1 1/2 minutes, until the butter was no longer in pieces and the mixture was pretty smooth. Then I added the confectioner’s sugar and milk, beating another 30 to 45 seconds.
I finished the frosting by hand, stirring with my spatula, and added about another 1/2 tablespoon confectioner’s sugar just to smooth it out a bit.
If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
These small-batch brownies were fudgy and delicious! Really, they rank number one among the brownie recipes I’ve tried—and I’ve tried my fair amount of homemade brownies. These were very good and fudgy (not cake-like).
It made nearly the same amount of batter my normal recipe makes but put into a loaf pan instead of a 9-by-9-inch baking pan. An excellent brownie recipe. I think the brownies could have gone without the frosting, though I liked it, for sure.