Chocolate Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Raise your hand if you were a teenager during the ’90s. I know there have got to be oodles of you out there. Ahh, the 90’s. When jeans were pegged. When flannel shirts were worn because grunge was the latest fad. When alt rock was the most popular type of music. When Beverly Hills 90210 was can’t-miss-TV. Before smartphones. Before Facebook. Before a completely wired world. A bit of a simpler time, yes? During my teenage years in the mid-90’s, I belonged to our church’s youth group. We’d get together a couple of Sunday nights a month and do youth group-y types of things. Sometimes it was serious and church-related. Sometimes it was flag football. Sometimes it was a service project. No matter what youth group activity was going on, there was one constant – Judi’s chocolate-frosted brownies. They showed up every week, without fail. Sometimes, though, Judi showed up late; when that happened she was immediately accosted by a mad throng of teenagers needing an immediate sugar fix. I have a ton of completely amazing memories from my time spent with youth group, and the friends I made there, but as memories tend to fade with time, the connection my brain makes with youth group and chocolate-frosted brownies is one that will forever stay with me. Therefore, I found it imperative to make this recipe as soon as I saw it.

Pretty much all of my life before and after those high school youth group years has been devoid of frosted brownies. You’d think that since I loved them so much, I would have taken it upon myself to bust open a box of brownie mix and a can of frosting and make it happen. (Those most certainly would have been the steps taken by 18-year-old me; I had yet to appreciate the joys of baking everything from scratch.) It never happened. Even after I began baking regularly, and through all of the brownie recipes that I’ve made, a light bulb never went off. It wasn’t until I was flipping through the Joy the Baker Cookbook and landed on the page with this recipe that my mind raced back nearly 20 years (ouch, that makes me feel really old). I was immediately taken back to Sunday nights in the church basement, with a throwaway tin foil pan of frosted brownies sitting on a table, being devoured square by frosted square.

Aside from the memories they evoke, I can’t tell you how utterly amazing these are. The brownie itself is rich and wonderfully moist, definitely fudge-like. And the frosting. Sweet, heavenly frosting. It’s chocolatey, sweet, smooth, creamy, and perfect in just about every possible way. Joy says that it’s her very favorite chocolate frosting. It might be mine now, too. This is the ultimate combination for anyone who’s a fan of brownies or chocolate frosting. And if you’re a fan of both? You’re in for one amazingly indulgent treat!

One year ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream
Two years ago: Raisin Bran Muffins
Four years ago: Cheesecake Truffles

Chocolate Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Yield: 12 to 16 brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes


For the Brownies:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the Frosting:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons Ovaltine chocolate malt powder


1. Make the Brownies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8-inch-square baking dish and line with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the edges. Butter the parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3. Bring about an inch of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Place a medium, heatproof bowl on top of the saucepan (do not let it touch the water) and add the butter and unsweetened chocolate. Stir occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and whisk in the granulated and brown sugars. Whisk in the egg, the yolk, and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture all at once, and fold it into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely; meanwhile, make the frosting.

5. To Make the Frosting: Using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, cocoa powder, and salt on medium speed for about 3 minutes (mixture will be thick).

6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the powdered sugar. Mix on low speed to incorporate the sugar, and while the mixer is running, slowly add the milk and vanilla extract. Gradually increase the mixer speed to medium-high, beating until smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

7. In a 1-cup measuring cup, or in a small bowl, mix together the cream and the Ovaltine. Reduce the mixer speed to medium, and pour the cream mixture in a slow, steady stream and mix until thoroughly combined. You can add more powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time, if you would like a stiffer frosting.

8. Spread the frosting onto the cooled brownies, and cut into squares. Store brownies in an airtight container, or tightly wrapped, at room temperature for up to 5 days.

(Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker Cookbook)


75 Responses to “Chocolate Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious on April 26, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Brownies are amazing as is, but adding a buttercream frosting? You are a genius!


  2. j3nn on April 26, 2012 at 12:25 am

    I was a teenager in the 90s, but I actually long for the 80s. And now I’ll long for brownies with frosting until I have some. :)


  3. Averie @ Averie Cooks on April 26, 2012 at 12:40 am

    I was at an event with Joy and other bloggers a month or so ago and she made that frosting and we had a cupcake dipping/tasting party and it’s so good. I love chocolate buttercream and I bet your brownies are great!


  4. amanda @ fake ginger on April 26, 2012 at 12:44 am

    Mmm, the only way to make brownies better is to put buttercream on top! I want one.


  5. Samantha on April 26, 2012 at 12:58 am

    Wow, another great recipe to try!! Thanks for sharing! 😀
    I am also wondering if I can substitute cocoa for the ovaltine powder.. Thanks :)


    • Michelle on April 26th, 2012 at 12:49 pm

      Hi Samantha, I think that would probably work, but you might want to add an extra bit of sugar (go by taste), as the Ovaltine has sugar in it, but cocoa powder does not.


  6. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen on April 26, 2012 at 1:46 am

    I too have been eye-balling this recipe in Joy’s cookbook! They look great!

    I was in a youth group as a teenager also…we didn’t have chocolate-frosted brownies, but one of the moms always brought brownies with mini-Reese’s cups pressed into them. Sooo delicious.


  7. Jessica on April 26, 2012 at 1:51 am

    Why must you do this too me? I swore I was going to be good today…


  8. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on April 26, 2012 at 2:14 am

    Ahhhh the days of church youth group and being a teen in the 90’s :) this recipe made me smile because everytime I had friends over when I was a teen my mom would bake a box of brownies and put canned chocolate frosting on top – my friends were always so impressed. Haha!


  9. Will on April 26, 2012 at 3:08 am

    Do not read this post in the morning, it will make you hungry for the rest of the day! But seriously, looks and sounds great!


  10. Candy on April 26, 2012 at 3:31 am

    Wow that looks so good, I wish I could take a piece!


  11. Liz @ Blog is the New Black on April 26, 2012 at 5:17 am

    The 90s were amazing, pegged pants and all. I wish I’d had these brownies back then! 😉


  12. Kathryn on April 26, 2012 at 5:25 am

    That frosting is so dang good – the perfect topping to some amazing looking brownies!


  13. Villy @ For the love of Feeding on April 26, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Chocolaty chocolate with chocolate on top. Drooling..


  14. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on April 26, 2012 at 6:38 am

    You must have a sweet tooth, two delicious dessert recipes in a row! These brownies look amazing!!! Yum!! I need me some chocolate!!


  15. Katrina on April 26, 2012 at 7:13 am

    These sound so yummy!! I love a good brownie.


  16. Tanya on April 26, 2012 at 7:15 am

    These look truly amazing! I could swim in the frosting. Great idea using Ovaltine! Wish I could say I was a teen in the 90’s, more like the 80’s. Had chuckle at pegged jeans! Brings me back.


  17. Kiri W. on April 26, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Nothing beats a classic. Fantastic!


  18. Jeri Barry on April 26, 2012 at 7:20 am

    Great recipe Michelle! I love your presentation and photography. You have a way of making a very simple recipe look exquisite! On another note. I would very much like to make a recipe you have recently pinned and am having trouble with the quantity conversions. Wondering if you would consider a blog post on it, or if you could just let me know if you have tried it and had success. Any help would be greatly appreciated!ttp://


    • Michelle on April 26th, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Jeri, I have not tried that one yet, but I will put it on my “to make ASAP” list, and share it here soon!


      • Jeri Barry on April 26th, 2012 at 5:04 pm

        Thanks Michelle…I love that you always respond to me so quickly. I look forward to seeing what you think of that recipe!


  19. Erin @ Brownie Bites on April 26, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Someone hold me. Chocolate chocolate chocolate – all topped with more chocolate! This is a perfect recipe for PMS Brownies if ever I did see one. :-)


  20. Kerry on April 26, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I hit teenagerhood in 1997 and I went to youth group too! Sadly there were never any homemade brownies that I recall. I do recall that my fashion icon at the time was Joey from Dawson’s Creek.

    These brownies look SO ridiculously amazing. I’ve never made brownies with frosting because it seems like brownies are so indulgent on their own!


  21. Julie-Ann G. on April 26, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I was also a teenager during the 90s, but most of my favourite memories are from the 80s in Prep school when my best friend was a chubby Asian boy who could cook and always shared his lunch with me. Needless to say but my Mom’s wholesome packed lunch was either discarded or forgotten in my bag. He inspired me to love cooking and baking and whoever is in charge of kharma made sure that during high school my lunch was stolen by my friend daily.


  22. Jessica @ Portuguese Girl Cooks on April 26, 2012 at 9:14 am

    These look amazing! Nothing wrong with adding a little frosting to a brownie :)


  23. Debra Kapellakis on April 26, 2012 at 9:29 am

    Those look so yummy and the serving platter is beautiful. I printed this so I can make it . Thank you for sharing your memory and this yummy recipe.


  24. Sues on April 26, 2012 at 10:16 am

    Ohhh the 90s! I remember actually getting really excited to go through my dad’s closet and borrow his clothes… mostly his flannel shirts. Um, why I wanted to wear men’s clothing that was 10 times too big for me is beyond me, but I guess that was what the 90s were all about!

    You know, I honestly don’t think I’ve had a frosted brownie since the 90s either. What happened to them?? These look incredible!


  25. Jen of My Tiny Oven on April 26, 2012 at 11:04 am

    The 90’s were awesome and so are these brownies! Man, I wish I had one or 3 of them right now!!


  26. Patricia Scarpin on April 26, 2012 at 11:07 am

    I make brownies all the time but have never made them with frosting – these look luscious!


  27. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on April 26, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Oh, the 90’s! These brownies used to be a staple in our house growing up! I might have to make them soon to bring back all those high school memories :)


  28. Surkhab on April 26, 2012 at 11:48 am

    oh wow ! Its Mouth watering I wish I could take This :-) when will you invite for this delicious cake :p


  29. Liz @ Tip Top Shape on April 26, 2012 at 11:52 am

    These look amazing!!!!


  30. Catalina @ Cake with Love on April 26, 2012 at 11:56 am

    I love when brownies are topped with chocolate buttercream, nothing makes chocolate better than some extra butter in top! :)


  31. Cat on April 26, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    UGH!! I had the final fitting on my gown for my daughter’s wedding next Friday, and the seamstress did it so that it’s very snug and figure-hugging. So I will just have to wait to try these. Believe me, I’d rather be baking them right now than all that needs to be done still. Can’t believe I’m going to be a mother-in-law. Can I run away and just bake with you for the next couple of weeks????

    Seriously, the recipe looks awesome, and I’ll be trying them out after we return from Mexico.


    • Michelle on April 26th, 2012 at 12:51 pm

      Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding! I should hold a “runaway” baking retreat :)


      • Cat on April 26th, 2012 at 11:04 pm

        Michelle, just name the time and place, and I’m SO all over it! Thanks for the congrats.


  32. Renee @ Tortillas and Honey on April 26, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Now that’s some double trouble right there! :-) These look so wonderful. I, too, was a teenager in the 90’s… oh the memories…


  33. Nancy @ CouponClippingCook on April 26, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I could so eat most all of this brownie recipe right now. It looks just delicious.


  34. Chaos Mommy on April 26, 2012 at 1:55 pm

    These brownies look amazing! My son wants brownies for his birthday. :)

    The 90’s were such a magical time. A time when I spent far too much time looking for the Jordan Catalano to my Angela 😉


    • Michelle on April 26th, 2012 at 4:37 pm

      Ahh, I love the My So-Called Life reference! :)


  35. Kara D on April 26, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    With the frosting they’re obviously different, but how do these compare to the Baked brownie?


    • Michelle on April 26th, 2012 at 4:39 pm

      Hi Kara, They are very, very similar, although I would say that the Baked brownie is probably a little less thick, and richer. That being said, they are both unbelievably excellent!


  36. Amy's Cooking Adventures on April 26, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    These look wonderful! Love the frosting!


  37. Maria on April 26, 2012 at 3:43 pm

    I want a brownie and a big one:)


  38. Paula on April 26, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    Ha! I wish I was a teenager in the 90’s. I’m dating myself when I tell you my kids were even out of their teens back then. Still, these brownies are timeless, not to mention delicious!


  39. Once Upon a Baby on April 26, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    Oh My Word! These look amazing!


  40. Maggie @MaggieCooks on April 26, 2012 at 9:41 pm

    My sister would love this! :)
    Gorgeous brownies and im sure they are decadent :)


  41. Tracy on April 26, 2012 at 10:46 pm

    These sure do look fabulous! I haven’t frosted my brownies in a long time…I’ll have to change that soon!


  42. NRS on April 27, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Made these last weekend, used a chocolate glaze on top so haven’t tried the frosting yet. Loved them! Especially cold from fridge!


  43. Tara on April 27, 2012 at 6:22 pm

    I just used your brownie recipe to make malted chocolate brownie fudge ice cream. Heaven served on a spoon. Thank you! If you’re curious, I’ll have the post up soon. Have finally decided to enter the world of food blogging and am a HUGE fan of your site.


  44. Ileana Keltz on April 27, 2012 at 6:46 pm

    I hate to admit it, but my teenage years spanned the late 70’s and early 80’s. Life was really uncomplicated then, 8 track tapes, big hair, …. you get the picture. Brownies speak to the teenagers in all of us, regardless of our age. These look delicious and I will definitely plan on making them. I only wish I had my teenage metabolism, so I could devour the whole pan without guilt.


  45. Kristen on April 28, 2012 at 12:42 am

    Oh man I was a teenager during the 90s and some of my best memories are of church youth group.

    My mom makes brownies like this and they are so great!


  46. The Chocolate Priestess on April 28, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Chocolate brownies + chocolate frosting is a weakness of mine. I’d rather have this for my birthday than any cake in the world.


  47. Annie on May 5, 2012 at 8:19 am

    These totally remind me of the 90’s and the brownies that my mom used to make! I whipped up a batch last night, and they were delicious. Thanks for a trip down memory lane, BEB!


  48. RisaG on May 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    I was a teenager of the 70’s, not the 90’s, and my mom made oatmeal cookies, never brownies. I wish she had. I loved those cookies but I would’ve rather had brownies. She baked cookies, otherwise we went to the local bakery for cakes and bread. If there were no cookies, than she wold give us a dollar and tell us to go down the street and buy ourselves somethng (me and my sister).

    I love foods that evoke memories. I had an incident like that yesterday -at a Chinese buffet. I took a Shrimp Toast and it brought me right back to 1969 and the local cantonese Chinese restaurant.

    These brownies look perfect. Thanks for the recipe.


  49. Michael on May 11, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Have you tried these without baking powder?


    • Michelle on May 11th, 2012 at 11:20 pm

      Hi Michael, No, I haven’t.


  50. Michele Karnbach on May 19, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Just an FYI for anyone who has read through these posts and made it down to the end-

    I just made the frosting for these brownies. Except I tried using it on cupcakes. Bad idea. This frosting is ideal for a dessert like brownies, it’s light and buttery, but the consistency is still fairly soft because it doesn’t need to stand on its own. So needless to say, I thought I knew better and tried it on cupcakes and it doesn’t work! I will attempt the best chocolate buttercream for cupcakes recipe next time. DUH…


Comment Pages 1 2

Leave a Comment

(Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for your patience! If it is your first time commenting you may want to review the Comment Guidelines.)