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)

Share This Post...

615 Responses to “Secret Ingredient Brownies”

Comment Pages 1 3 4 5 6 7
  1. Angie H on February 18, 2010 at 8:59 am

    i love all brownies fudgey & soft… even better if sitting below vanilla ice cream, hot fudge & whipped cream. ;-)

  2. Noelle @Opera Singer in Kitchen on February 18, 2010 at 9:04 am
  3. Laura on February 18, 2010 at 9:05 am

    I am a subscriber.

  4. Laura on February 18, 2010 at 9:08 am

    I love brownies of all kind. Made from scratch and from the box. As long as they are fudgy and thick.

  5. Laurel G on February 18, 2010 at 9:08 am

    Im one of those box mix brownie girls. Ive attempted from scratch but they haven’t turned out right. Maybe winning this giveaway will help change that!

  6. Laurel G on February 18, 2010 at 9:09 am

    I follow on twitter!

  7. Laurel G on February 18, 2010 at 9:09 am
  8. Whitney on February 18, 2010 at 9:11 am

    I love the Baked Brownie from the “BAKED” cookbook.

  9. Laura on February 18, 2010 at 9:12 am

    fan on facebook

  10. Kathy Apple on February 18, 2010 at 9:12 am

    I love brownies, but I just can’t seem to get it right. If I make a plain brownie, it’s too cakey. So, I make the Mississippi Mud brownies with marshmallows and fudge frosting.

  11. Kathy Apple on February 18, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I just became a fan on facebook!

  12. heather gorski on February 18, 2010 at 9:13 am

    I tried making grandma’s homemade brownies once…they were nice and chocolaty but fell apart real bad :[ So I settle for Ghiradelli boxed brownes...but that is ok with me :]

  13. Lara on February 18, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I have a pampered chef recipe for warm nutty caramel brownies with lots of brown sugar, rolos, and walnuts. Yum!

  14. Lara on February 18, 2010 at 9:19 am

    I follow on Twitter!

  15. Lara on February 18, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I’m a fan on Facebook too =)

  16. Jennifer on February 18, 2010 at 9:20 am

    I’m a follower!

  17. Jennifer on February 18, 2010 at 9:22 am

    My favorite brownies are definitely from a box. Why? Well, you’re right, usually when I have a craving for brownies it’s a NOW! kind of thing!

  18. Chay on February 18, 2010 at 9:29 am

    My little sister makes the best brownies in the world! They come from a box (probably Duncan Hines or Betty Crocker), but she always adds white chocolate or peanut butter chips. Whenever we have a family event, she has to make about 3 pans worth just so people have enough brownies to take home. They’re so delicious, and I love my little sis for making them!

    I’m so glad you’re on facebook (I am now a fan of yours)!
    chalynne.reed [at]

  19. Jen on February 18, 2010 at 9:40 am

    My absolute favorite brownie I just recently found. Peanut Butter Caramel Brownies that Bobby Flay did on a recent throwdown. I found the recipe on his website and they are a little piece of heaven here on earth. They are everything a brownie should be, fudgey, chewy, and moist with a crisp top. But whats great about these is there are ripples of salty caramel/peanut butter running through them. I don’t know how he didn’t win that throwdown. (PS – i am also a fan of you on facebook and subscribe to emails). Keep up the awesome baking!!!

  20. Allison on February 18, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I completely agree with your theory on baking. I don’t really do a lot of healthy baking because most times, people eat dessert because they want a little indulgence. That said, I do love baking with whole grains, I just wish I did it more often.

    As for a favorite brownie recipe, I must admit that I am still searching for one. But your experience with this King Arthur recipe has tempted me to try it out. Who knows…it might be the one!

  21. Genevieve on February 18, 2010 at 9:54 am

    Oh, my, a favorite brownie? That’s like choosing a favorite child. Which is way easier than it sounds.

    My favorite brownie comes from a bakery in my old neighborhood–it’s not to sweet, and straddles the worlds of cake-y and fudge-y perfectly. There are coarsely chopped walnuts pressed into the top, and–the best part–the pan is lined generously with granulated sugar. So every single brownie has a sugary crunch on the bottom, a nutty crunch on the top, and smooth, chocolate-y heaven in between!


  22. Genevieve on February 18, 2010 at 9:55 am

    And I’m already a follower on Twitter!


  23. Genevieve on February 18, 2010 at 9:56 am

    And I’m already a fan on Facebook!


  24. Genevieve on February 18, 2010 at 9:56 am

    AND I’m already an email subscriber!


  25. Sarah on February 18, 2010 at 9:59 am

    My friend’s recipe that she passed on to me includes a tablespoon of mayo. They are some of the best brownies ever!

  26. Wendy on February 18, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Unbleached white whole wheat flour. Sounds too good to be true, but thank goodness for King Arthur – those guys are AMAZING! I don’t have one favorite brownie … sometimes plain, sometimes nuts, sometimes cream cheese … all I care is that they’re dense, chewy, and thick :)

  27. JIM-49 on February 18, 2010 at 10:03 am

    Well,been loving “Brownies”,”King Arthur Flour”(many years),and “Brown Eyed Baker”,for along time!! Will have to give the recipe a try!! Love the site,and appreciate all the work!!

  28. Nancy on February 18, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Unfortunately I don’t bake brownies too often. I’m always afraid I’ll eat them all ;). But I would love to make more! Thanks for the giveaway.

  29. Nancy on February 18, 2010 at 10:10 am

    I am a facebook fan!

  30. Nancy on February 18, 2010 at 10:11 am

    I follow via RSS Feed.

  31. Nancy on February 18, 2010 at 10:12 am
  32. Christine on February 18, 2010 at 10:12 am

    I love anything chocolaty and Brownie is at the top of my list of favourites = ) My favourite Brownie is the one my sister make… all fudgey and toasted walnuts. Hmmm… just simply comfort food and good for the soul.
    I have never heard of white whole wheat flour ! This is really new to me. Would love to win the book or the flour.

    Thanks and love your site

  33. Kimberly on February 18, 2010 at 10:14 am

    I don’t have a favorite brownie recipe … I just LOVE brownies. Whether its from a box or from sracth and the pictures of the ones you just made look SINFUL!!!

  34. Laura on February 18, 2010 at 10:16 am

    I’m now a fan on facebook. :)

  35. Karen G on February 18, 2010 at 10:20 am

    My favorite brownies right now are the marshmallow brownies on your site. My kids LOVE them. I know I didn’t get the name right. It’s a layer or brownies, marshmallows, then rice krispies with pb & chocolate. I am already a subscriber through RSS feed. Thanks!!

  36. Laura on February 18, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I also follow on RSS.

  37. Jenny Hartin on February 18, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I have tried tons of brownie recipes, etc. My favorite is the Ghiradelli Brownie mix.

  38. Jenny Hartin on February 18, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I follow you on twitter.

  39. Jenny Hartin on February 18, 2010 at 10:23 am

    I retweeted.

  40. Jenny Hartin on February 18, 2010 at 10:24 am

    I am a fan on FB

  41. Mireya on February 18, 2010 at 10:28 am

    My favorite brownie is a homemade one, with white chocolate chips in it!

    Thanks for the giveaway :)

  42. Mireya on February 18, 2010 at 10:28 am

    I am already a subscriber!

  43. Mireya on February 18, 2010 at 10:30 am

    I am now a fan on Facebook!

  44. miki on February 18, 2010 at 10:41 am

    My go to brownie is actually this King Arthur Flour recipe, except I always find a way to add extra chocolate and swirl in some dulce de leche !

  45. MIA on February 18, 2010 at 10:45 am

    Stacey’s Awesome Brownies…

    Fudgy brownie w/chocolate cream cheese frosting!

  46. Diane on February 18, 2010 at 10:47 am

    There is this teeny little bakery about 25 mins. from where I live. She makes the best cream cheese brownies. Her brownies are huge & fudgy. She decorates the top with her oh so yummy cream cheese frosting. Perfect with a glass of milk!

  47. Nicole on February 18, 2010 at 10:49 am

    Oh how I love KAF, too. They never let me down. My current favorite brownie is KAF’s Deep Dark Fudgy Brownie with their black cocoa, yum.

  48. Sarah McFarland on February 18, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I love brownies. I really like ones with nuts, but my favorite ones are my mom’s homemade cheesecake brownies!

  49. Nicole on February 18, 2010 at 10:51 am

    I am a follower on Twitter and RT your giveaway :)

  50. Judith on February 18, 2010 at 10:56 am

    Oh man, now this is exciting! A flour giveaway! My favorite is Rick Katz’s Brownies for Julia from Dorie Greenspan’s book, though yours looks very tempting…

  51. michelle on February 18, 2010 at 11:00 am

    Believe it or not I love the boxed brownies from Aldi’s!

  52. megan on February 18, 2010 at 11:04 am

    My current favorite brownies are the ones I just posted on my blog! Easy Fudgy Brownies. Lots of butter, sugar, eggs, and chocolate chips!

  53. megan on February 18, 2010 at 11:05 am

    and I follow you on twitter!

  54. Keri (CA) on February 18, 2010 at 11:11 am

    I am a fan on Facebook

  55. Keri (CA) on February 18, 2010 at 11:12 am

    I subscribe to your blog (which I really enjoy btw) through email

  56. Keri (CA) on February 18, 2010 at 11:14 am

    I like ‘clean out the pantry’ brownies. Usually made with Ghiradelli box mix ….. adding in whatever is in the pantry…. coconut, choc chips, nuts, butterscotch chips, caramel…..


  57. Ann on February 18, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I haven’t had much luck substituting white whole wheat flour in cakes, they’ve come up drier, so I must be not substituting enough liquid in. I’d like to try this recipe because the pic looks amazing!
    Unfortunately, my brownies come out of a box – Ghirardelli all the way!

  58. Joanna on February 18, 2010 at 11:51 am

    I love a boxed brownie! My homemade ones don’t quite get as chewy!

  59. Lisa@The Cutting Edge of Ordinary on February 18, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I love any brownies!! Even boxed, but home made are the best. Use good chocolate and let them be gooey please!

  60. Nakiya on February 18, 2010 at 11:56 am

    I love brownies with things in them – like nuts or extra chocolate chips!!!! I also think they look super pretty with a dusting of confectioner’s sugar

  61. kari soto on February 18, 2010 at 11:59 am

    I love the Ghiradeli brownies, too. I really like the corners best. I like to have a little crunch with the brownie, so it’s got to be on an edge!

  62. kari soto on February 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    I follow you on twitter!!

  63. kari soto on February 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I am a fan on Facebook!

  64. kari soto on February 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I just subscribed by email :)

  65. Eva on February 18, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    I’m already an RSS subscriber!

  66. Eva on February 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    My favorite brownie recipe comes from Beantown Baker’s blog – peppermint brownies!

  67. Kristin on February 18, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Oh, I love anything King Arthur! I love a good chocolate brownie with cream cheese swirled in. Delicious!

  68. Kristin on February 18, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    Facebook fan.

  69. Kristin on February 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    I’m already subscribed!

  70. Nakiya on February 18, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    p.s I am a follower!

  71. AmyLou on February 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    My favorite brownies are fudge brownies–ones so ooey and gooey that they are practically batter, even after baking them!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  72. Allison on February 18, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I am a fan of fudgey brownies. No cake brownies for me, please! I can’t remember where the best recipe I’ve tried–so far!–came from, but trust me when I say that they are excellent. Fudgey, chocolatey, and all sorts of other delicious words that my spell checker tells me don’t actually exist. The batter that makes them is pretty nice, too…

  73. Amanda on February 18, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    My favorite brownie is still the good ol’ duncan hines out of the box, awful I know! So far I have not been able to master the homemade brownie, but I would love to try again!

  74. Bev on February 18, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    I have been interested in this cookbook for some time and have not bought it to date. I already use KA’s white whole wheat flour and have been pleased with the results when substituting for AP flour. I am looking forward to trying the brownie recipe. Winning the book would be even better than purchasing it!

  75. Melissa on February 18, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    my mother’s anciet brownie recipe is my favorite – only when she makes it, though! last night i made some from a box with a swirl of peanut butter, though, for the husband to take to work.

  76. Marika on February 18, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    When we need to bring a dessert to a kid-friendly potluck or event, we bring this which is always a hit — Make a 13×9 pan of brownies using a store bought mix. Then when the brownies come out of the oven, sprinkle chocolate chips and mini marshmallows on top. Put back in the turned-off oven for just a few minutes to melt the chips and make the marshmallows gooey. Pull out the pan and place graham cracker squares on top, pressing down lightly. Let cool completely, then cut along the graham cracker perforations for Easy S’more Brownies. The kids love them.

  77. Kallie on February 18, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    I love the chocolate-peanut butter brownie recipe I found on epicurious. And I make them w/ the King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour!

  78. Kallie on February 18, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    P.S. I now follow you on twitter!

  79. Erin on February 18, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    I’m in love with any super fudgy brownie recipe. I’m talking about the gooier the better!

  80. Aubri on February 18, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    I follow this blog and facebook!
    I love King Arthur products and I’ve been wanting this book! I bake a lot with whole wheat pastry flour, which is lighter and less grainy than the hard varieties. I use it in cookies, quick breads, pancakes…you can’t tell the difference…really! I use this white wheat flour weekly in bread. These brownies look great!

  81. Heather on February 18, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    My favorites have always been cheesecake swirl brownies, but there is one other kind that I love. Every fall we buy a couple boxes of Ghirardelli box mixes “for the pantry” and I make them in the depths of winter, when we are snowbound and huddling by the fire. They are their own kind of special because they make my family so happy and it’s our little tradition. That’s what I love about baking.

  82. Indhu on February 18, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    I made the brownies on King arthur website sometime back… loved them…I especially loved the shiny crust on top :)

  83. Kendell on February 18, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I like box mixes. It’s pathetic, I know. My favorite box mix is the “NO PUDGE” brand of low-fat brownies. They’re surprisingly good.

  84. Kendell on February 18, 2010 at 2:35 pm

    I’m a facebook fan (extra entry)

  85. Kendell on February 18, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    I follow BEB through an RSS feed!

  86. Judy on February 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    I am now a Facebook fan and love your posts. My own Chocolate mint brownies with ganache topping are my favorites but the absolutely most wonderful Cheesecake Brownie can be had at Paradise Bakery in Aspen, CO. I will be making this one this week.

  87. Amy on February 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    My favorite brownie ever was from a BBQ/gas station near my hometown. They had a case of freshly homemade brownies and cookies. I had to stop in everytime I passed. But they are out of business now. What a shame!

  88. Mary on February 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm

    I love chewy brownies with frosting on top. YUMMY!!!
    I think i need to make some now

  89. Abbie on February 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    I always make the Fudge Brownie recipe from King Arthur’s site. It is always a huge hit!

  90. Mary on February 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    Oh and I am allready a subscriber!!!!! :)

  91. Heidi @ on February 18, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Healthy-ish brownies?! I’m SO in! :)

    As far as a fav brownie recipe, I absolutely adore Ina’s decadent brownies. One small piece will put you in chocolatey-brownie heaven!

    But I also have a very special place in my heart for some silly ol’ store brand mix, which my college roomie and I used to underbake and share the warm, ooey gooey yumminess straight out of the baking container. Ahhhh… those carefree college days!

    (I already subscribe to your posts via email – wouldn’t want to miss a morsel! :)

  92. Jacqueline on February 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    My King Arthur Flour catalog is my wish book! I really like your triple chocolate brownie recipe, but the brownie cookies have to be my favorite! So good!

  93. Jacqueline on February 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Just became a fan on Facebook :)

  94. Jacqueline on February 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Following on twitter now too!

  95. Jacqueline on February 18, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Your posts are the highlight of my Google Reader subscriptions, haha! I’m a loyal subscriber :)

  96. Maria on February 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    I haven’t tried this recipe. I can’t wait! I love fudgy brownies. Nutella brownies are good too:)

  97. Kate Ham on February 18, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    One of my all-time favorite brownie is one that my mom would make every winter….just your basic homemade chocolate brownie, but after it finished baking she would put ghiradelli mints on top and let them melt. After they cooled there were the best mint brownie dessert!!! Simple but so tasty:-)

  98. Megan on February 18, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I have made some cream cheese brownies that were pretty good, but the most unusual ones I have made were Black Bean Brownies – they tasted pretty good and were fiber-licious!

  99. Susan on February 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    My favorite brownies are the ones my grandmom made when we were little. They were cake like with fudge icing.

  100. Judy on February 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I am making these brownies tonight. A very good brownie is Max Brenners Brownies.
    A Facebook Fan

Comment Pages 1 3 4 5 6 7