Secret Ingredient Brownies

I think you all are very well aware that I absolutely adore all things butter, sugar and chocolate. You may also have noticed that there aren’t healthy substitutes on this site, such as butter substitutes, using applesauce in place of oil, or Splenda instead of sugar. There is a very good reason for that – I simply don’t believe in it! I believe in the pure enjoyment of delicious desserts made from natural, high-quality ingredients that bring out the best flavors in a dessert. I’ve been asked how it’s possible that I’m not severely overweight since I do so much baking and run this website. Well, another thing I believe in is moderation. It all boils down to this – if you want to eat dessert, I believe you should eat the best dessert you can afford, health-wise. Whether it be a luxurious piece of dark chocolate, a chocolate chip cookie or a piece of cheesecake. If I’m craving chocolate, a fat-free, sugar-free pudding cup probably isn’t going to cut it, but a 1-ounce piece of smooth chocolate very likely will. Where am I going with this? While my philosophy is not to bow to substitutes to make yourself feel better about eating dessert, I don’t necessarily eschew making things that are naturally good for you either.

So, what is the secret ingredient in these brownies? White whole wheat flour.

How am I not a hypocrite? Using white whole wheat flour is an attempt add something to the diet (whole grain) as opposed to taking things away and replacing them with lower-quality ingredients that can compromise the final product.

You may have heard me mention from time to time the various ingredients and equipment that I purchase from King Arthur Flour. I am a big fan of the company and have always had positive experiences with their service and products. As a result, I wanted to share a bit of King Arthur Flour with all of you. I contacted a very nice lady there who was thrilled to share some King Arthur goodies with Brown Eyed Baker readers. She mentioned that the most popular products right now are the white whole wheat flour and their new cookbook, Whole Grain Baking. She offered me an opportunity to try both and to give away one of each to a lucky reader!

Now you know I would never promote a product or even a recipe that I wasn’t fully in love with, so after spending a lot of time reading through the cookbook, I decided to give these brownies a try. Full disclosure here – I was admittedly nervous. I really don’t do wheat anything (big shock, right?). If wheat bread is the only type in the house I might eat a sandwich on it. But it can’t be heavy, it has to be a light bread. And I really won’t like it, I’ll just force it down so I don’t pass out from hunger. Imagine my shock when I took these brownies out of the oven, let them cool for a bit and then tasted them – they were absolutely wonderful! The recipe suggests letting these sit overnight before cutting and eating them, as this gives the bran in the wheat time to relax and “meld” into the other flavors so that it’s not noticeable. Well, no one I know ever makes brownies with the intention of waiting until the next day to eat them. Brownies are usually an “I’m craving it NOW!” type of food and waiting until tomorrow just won’t cut it. So, I took one for the team and ate one as soon as they were cool enough to cut. They have a great texture (think thick and fudgy), a fantastically deep chocolate flavor, and the characteristic shiny crisp top layer. And as a bonus – they didn’t have a hint of wheat flavor.

Now that you have a better-for-you brownie recipe, let’s get on with the giveaway!


One (1) copy of Whole Grain Baking
One (1) 5-lb. bag of King Arthur Flour White Whole Wheat Flour

Entry Requirements

How to Enter
: Leave a comment on this post telling me about your favorite brownie. A great homemade recipe, Ghiradelli box mix, the bakery around the corner? No matter where they come from, I just want to hear about brownies! :)

Required: You must include your email address in the comment form. I will need it to contact you should you win.

Deadline: Saturday, February 20, 2010 at 11:59pm EST

Extra Entries

The following five opportunities are completely optional and you will earn one extra entry into the giveaway for each. You must leave separate comments for each one to ensure that they are counted as separate entries.

1. Follow @browneyedbaker on Twitter. Leave a comment here indicating that you are now a follower. {If you are already a follower, just say so!}

2. Tweet about this giveaway. Leave a comment here with a link to your tweet.

3. Become a fan of Brown Eyed Baker on Facebook. Leave a comment here indicating you are now a fan. {If you are already a fan, just say so!}

4. Post about this giveaway on Facebook. Leave a comment here with a link to your update.

5. Subscribe to Brown Eyed Baker updates through an RSS feed or email. Leave a comment saying you are now a subscriber. {If you are already a subscriber, just say so!}

The Fine Print

No purchase necessary to enter. Winner will be selected at random by Brown Eyed Baker using All entries received after the Giveaway closing day and time will not be considered. Entries that do not follow the entry requirements will not be considered. Winner will be notified via email and will have 24 hours to confirm receipt of the email. If the winner does not reply within 24 hours, another winner will be selected. Giveaway has been sponsored by King Arthur Flour.


One year ago: For the Love of Peanut Butter and Cinnamon
Two years ago: Brown Sugar-Apple Cheesecake
Three years ago: Homemade Soft Pretzels

Whole Grain Brownies

Yield: 24 brownies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour


1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
2 cups (15 ounces) light brown sugar, firmly packed
¾ cup (2¼ ounces) Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1½ cups (6¼ ounces) white whole wheat flour
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13-inch pan.

2. In a large bowl combine the melted butter and brown sugar and stir to combine. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water and heat to between 110 and 120 degrees F - hot but not bubbling. Remove from the heat.

3. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and vanilla. Add the eggs, stirring after each until smooth. Add the flour and chocolate chips, again stirring until smooth. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

4. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester or sharp knife inserted into the center comes out with wet crumbs, but not raw batter. Remove from oven and cool completely on a rack.

(Adapted from King Arthur Flour)


615 Responses to “Secret Ingredient Brownies”

Comment Pages 1 2 3 13
  1. Eliana on February 17, 2010 at 2:27 pm

    This is such an awesome giveaway as I have the book and absolutely love it. As for my favorite brownie recipe – I’m not a brownie girl but loved a Mexican Brownie recipe from Aaron Sanchez found on (I already follow you on twitter and will deifnitely be passing this along)

  2. Melissa P. on February 17, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    My favorite recipe is the One Bowl Brownie recipe that’s on the boxes of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate. But I will probably try this recipe if I get some of the flour.

  3. Adriana on February 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    i’m not a big fan of brownies, but son absolutely love it…. i don’t have a favorite recipe for it..he will basically eat anything chocolate

  4. lizzybef on February 17, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I used to make these fantastic Snickers brownies as a kid for all types of functions- church potlucks, family get-togethers, you name it. They were AWESOME.

  5. Joan on February 17, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I make brownies from scratch or from a mix. Then before I bake them I swirl raspberry jam in!!! Really good.

  6. Katy R on February 17, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    My favorite brownie would definitely be the double fudge brownie that has chocolate chips in it AND hot fudge swirled on top. Serve with ice cream and I’m in heaven!

  7. Noelle @ Opera Singer in Kitchen on February 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    This is a great post! I have to admit that before going vegan I would enjoy Ghiradelli Double Chocolate Brownies. Since being vegan (just 4 months) I have not tried my own recipe! I would love to win this giveaway.

  8. Noelle @ Opera Singer in Kitchen on February 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I tweeted this giveaway @singerinkitchen:

  9. Noelle @ Opera Singer in Kitchen on February 17, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    I am already a follower!

  10. Noelle @ Opera Singer in Kitchen on February 17, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I am already a fan on Facebook fan too!

  11. Ann on February 17, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I’m already following you on Twitter (which is how I noticed this post), and you’re also in my RSS feed.

    Unfortunately I am on vacation right now, so I cannot share my favorite recipe, but it came from a cookbook put out by Australian Women’s Weekly called ‘Biscuits and Slices’ and was given to my family by some guests (from Australia, of course) around 20 years ago. The recipe involved melting chocolate bars instead of using cocoa powder and that is what I feel gave it a really rich taste.

    But I also like trying to sneak healthy things into food (without affecting the taste–taste is paramount!) and in December I tried a beetroot brownie recipe posted on The Guardian which turned out pretty well although more like a moist cake than a brownie. (My notes state that the flavor improved over time and a milk chocolate might be better than dark.) The link for that recipe is:

  12. nicole on February 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    My husband really is the brownie king of the house and he just uses a box. Occasionally I will make them from scratch but I am more of a cookie person!

  13. nicole on February 17, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    I tweeted this giveaway

  14. nicole on February 17, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I’m also already a fan on facebook! 😉

  15. Katrina on February 17, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    If there is a secret ingredient recipe for brownies LET ME IN! Yum, yum, yum. Thanks a lot!

  16. Shauna from Piece of Cake on February 17, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Now THAT”s how you do a brownie photo. Fabulous! I love Alice Medrich’s cocoa brownies and the triple chocolate brownies from Baking Illustrated.

  17. Amanda on February 17, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    I recently made Ina Garten’s Outrageous brownies and they were delicious! But I’ll take any brownie as long as there is chocolate!

  18. Amanda on February 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    I became a fan on Facebook.

  19. Amanda on February 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    I already subscribe via Google Reader.

  20. Julia on February 17, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    I have a recipe for brownies that involves a jar of Mrs. Richardson’s Hot Fudge topping. They are fantastic. I don’t make them often because the calorie count must be scary.

  21. Julia on February 17, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    I already follow you on Twitter (@brainella).

  22. Julia on February 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    And I’m now a fan on Facebook.

  23. Laurel on February 17, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    My favorite is the Maida Heatter (sp) recipe. Amazing!

    I follow on RSS :)

  24. Julia on February 17, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I already subscribe through Google Reader.

  25. Lyss on February 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    Ghiradelli mix is DEFINITELY the way to go. I do occasionally add crunchy peanut butter instead of oil, to give the brownies an extra yummy crunch and flavor. They’re so rich and gooey!

    And I am a fan on facebook 😉

  26. Astrid on February 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    My favorite brownies are homemade, fudgy, and served with a heaping scoop of ice cream. Mmmm. I have some cream cheese brownies in my fridge that I made this weekend. I think they are calling my name!

  27. Meghan on February 17, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Those brownies look soooo amazing! The chocolate is oozing :) One of my favorite brownies is Ina Garten’s Outrageous brownies, but I plan to try out several more recipes (including this one). I’ve wanted to incorporate white whole wheat flour into my cooking and baking.

  28. Meghan on February 17, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    I also subscribe to your feed through google reader :)

  29. Stephanie on February 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I always feel like I am cheating when I make them, but I simply cannot find a brownie recipe that I love more than Ghiradelli brownie mix! I’ve tried and tried to find one better, but alas, I’m in love. I would love the opportunity to test out more brownie recipes with some King Arthur Flour though…!

  30. Kathy on February 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    My new favorite is Nutella Brownies, but I can’t recall meeting a brownie that I didn’t like! : – )

  31. heather on February 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I don’t know where the recipe came from, but it’s a recipe for Mexican chocolate brownies with a caramel-y brown butter icing. It’s to die for. Either that or cakey brownies with orange zest-spiked ricotta cheese swirled in.



  32. Kathleen on February 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    I subscribe to you on Google Reader.

  33. Molly on February 17, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    My fav brownie is Betty Crocker out of the box and I add an extra egg to make them more cake like!

  34. Jessica on February 17, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I am a HUGE brownie fan! I find that most recipes are too sweet and contain too little chocolate. I just tried the “Baked” brownie and thought it was pretty delish.
    I usually up the chocolate and reduce the sugar!

  35. Married to an Aussie in OK on February 17, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Oooo me wanty! My husband loves brownies so much he requested them for his birthday this year, and if I could sneak some whole grains into that without him being the wiser, I’d love it!

  36. Rita on February 17, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    My favorite brownies are made from a dark choclate brownie mix. I add lots of pecan or walnuts depending on what I have on hand.

  37. Rita on February 17, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I subscribe via google reader

  38. Molly on February 17, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    I subscribe through google reader!

  39. Traci on February 17, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    My favorite brownies are super easy and my moms go to dessert. Take any brownie recipe (she usually just uses a store brand box mix) make as directed. Then at the last few mins put unwrapped York peppermint patties all over,put back in oven then pull out and spread, let cool to harden. Then eat and eat!

  40. CaseyW on February 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I have an incredible, fudgey, dense, lovely brownie recipe that knocks the socks off of anyone that tries them. I’m famous for them, but it’s the one recipe I refuse to share. They’re my favorite because they’re easy and luscious without being too fussy in their preparation. My husband calls them atomic bombs of chocolate.

    I’m a fan on Facebook!

  41. Molly on February 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I’m a facebook fan!

  42. Sarah on February 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I follow you on Twitter: @sarahberridge

  43. Randy Goldberg on February 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    My favorite brownies were made by my grandmother. Sadly, she did not pass on the recipe.

    While I love your recipes, and agree that the occasional indulgence is better than degrading a recipe with substitutions… have you ever considered scaling down your recipes to make one, two or four servings, so those of us who are a) single or b) lacking in self-control can indulge?

  44. Molly on February 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I follow on Twitter!

  45. Sarah on February 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I am subscribed through Google Reader.

  46. Randy Goldberg on February 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I am a Facebook fan.

  47. Julie on February 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I make my brownies with dark brown sugar and super dark cocoa from my local baking store. I should try them with white whole wheat…

  48. Lindsay on February 17, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    I have a very good brownie recipe (low-fat actually!) with yogourt in it!

  49. Kathleen on February 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Whoops — meant to add to previous note that another great tried and true brownie recipe is the one for Alice Medrich’s brownies.

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