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 5 6 7 8 9 13
  1. Tammy on February 17, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    I don’t have a fave recipe for brownies but I do like Duncan Hines box brownie mix. They rarely last through the night.

  2. Erin R on February 17, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    My favorite brownie was the brownie that came at the bottom of a sundae at Macado’s, a restaurant back at college. Even though the sundae was huge, I always made room for the super fudgey delicious brownie. (now that I look back on it, i’m not certain that it was actually baked all the way through… not that that’s a bad thing in the least!)

  3. Julia on February 17, 2010 at 10:19 pm

    The worst brownies I ever had were wonderful! Of course homemade brownies are sublime, but I will happily stuff my maw with brownies-from-a-box any night of the week!

  4. Julia on February 17, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    And I subscribe through Google Reader — I’ve got a good many of your recipes starred and tagged and waiting for me to try them!

  5. Barbara Bakes on February 17, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I hate to admit it, but so far I haven’t found a recipe I like better than Ghiradelli mix. I really like the idea of whole wheat flour though!

  6. Katrina on February 17, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    I now follow you on Twitter!

  7. Bridget on February 17, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    My favorite brownie is still Cooks Illustrated’s Classic Brownies.

  8. Lorie on February 17, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Are there any bad brownies? We’ll eat most any kind. Thanks for the chance to win.

  9. Lorie on February 17, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I follow you on Twitter.

  10. Lorie on February 17, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    I’m a Facebook fan.

  11. Lorie on February 17, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    I subscribe via Google reader.

  12. sheena on February 17, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    well first i wanna say i’m an avid follower of you on twitter and i subsribe to your feed.

    now onto the brownies. my favorite brownies were these ones i made with..nutella! nutella really does make everything better in my opinion =) it made the brownies ooey gooey and moist and cake like at the same time! it was every type of brownie put into one.

    got the recipe from here –

    and you can see my blog post about em right here:

    mm brownie love.

  13. Jess on February 17, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    I love brownies with cream cheese swirled in!

  14. Jess on February 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    I’m a google reader subscriber!

  15. Lauriel on February 17, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    my signature winter dessert is the peppermint bark brownie – SO delicious, and SO easy! bake the standard ghiradelli brownie mix, and then melt an entire bag of white chocolate chips in the microwave and spread on top of finished brownie. cover with crushed candy canes. amazing.

    can’t wait to try yours!

  16. Jess on February 17, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    I’m also following you on twitter! (jess_kim)

  17. Dani on February 17, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    I love Alton Brown’s cocoa brownies. They are super chocolately for a recipe that only uses cocoa powder and they’re really easy too.

  18. Dani on February 17, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    I am a google reader subscriber!

  19. Dani on February 17, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    I just became a Facebook fan too!

  20. Jess on February 17, 2010 at 10:49 pm
  21. TaraTakesTheCake on February 17, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    woooohhooo! I LOVE KAF. i switched to using only their flour in my baking a few months ago and i can really tell a difference. plus, it is so nice to see a company that cares so much about quality control and customer satisfaction and I am happy to pay a few extra dollars to support a company i can trust.

  22. Christie on February 17, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    My favorite brownie recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa. The first time I made them we ate the entire pan in one sitting!

  23. Christie on February 17, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    I’m a subscriber!

  24. sharon on February 17, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    I love Ina Garten’s brownie recipe. It is a roll on the floor die for chocolate brownie recipe that curls my toes!

  25. evelyn on February 17, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    my favorite form of brownie is in your ‘brownie mosaic cheesecake’! it’s the best of both worlds.

  26. evelyn on February 17, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    just became a fan of facebook!

  27. Sara on February 17, 2010 at 11:26 pm

    The best brownies I ever had were just the other day. My friends’ Grandmother made them and they were delicious!!! They were sooo moist and full of walnuts! Yummy! Please pick me for the contest! I love your blog!!! Can’t wait to make this brownie recipe!

  28. Yael on February 17, 2010 at 11:28 pm

    My favorite (and the family’s as well) is a Coffee-Chocolate Brownie with a cheesecake and white chocolate topping- just the best! You can see the recipe here:

  29. Yael on February 17, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    I subscribe via email!

  30. Stephanie on February 17, 2010 at 11:29 pm

    My favorite brownies are from the Hershey’s box mix from Sam’s.

  31. Yael on February 17, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    I’m now a follower on Twitter.

  32. Stephanie on February 17, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    I’m a RSS feed subscriber.

  33. Lisa S on February 17, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    My favorite brownie recipe uses chopped up Lindt truffles…any flavor I choose!!

  34. Lisa S on February 17, 2010 at 11:34 pm

    I am a fan of BEB on Facebook!

  35. Lisa S on February 17, 2010 at 11:35 pm

    I get emails from BEB!!!

  36. Yael on February 17, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I tweeted about the giveaway but honestly have no idea how to include a link to it!

  37. Avi on February 17, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    Ghirardelli’s Triple Chocolate brownies… from the mix at Costco *ducks underneath a table* A friend made them for the refreshment table at our Opera Scenes Workshop’s final performance last spring, and after I had a bite before going onstage (I was Menotti’s Amahl in the scene when the Three Kings arrive), I sang the scene the best I had ever done it.

  38. Yael on February 17, 2010 at 11:38 pm

    I’m now a fan on Facebook.

  39. jacquie on February 17, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    i’m already a subscriber – love your recipes.

  40. jacquie on February 17, 2010 at 11:59 pm

    i’m acutally not a brownie fan – for some reason they don’t appeal to me and perhaps i have just not had the “right” one. but i’m a big fan of king arthur flours – love them – and it does make a difference in the quality of the baked good.

    jacquieastemborski AT comcast DOT net

  41. Amanda on February 18, 2010 at 12:01 am

    Ina Gartens peanut butter swirl brownies are my favourite brownies to make. I honestly eat the whole pan!!

  42. Amanda on February 18, 2010 at 12:03 am

    I subscribed by e-mail :)

  43. Terri on February 18, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I love brownies with cheesecake swirled through them

  44. Terri on February 18, 2010 at 12:14 am

    I’m a RSS feed subscriber

  45. Nechama on February 18, 2010 at 12:20 am

    I love Brookes Bombshell brownies from I have tried lots of recipes, and they are the best!

  46. Jessie C. on February 18, 2010 at 12:51 am

    I like dark chocolate pecan brownie that my grandma made during holidays, it’s such a comforting and delicious taste.

  47. Jessie C. on February 18, 2010 at 12:51 am

    @tcarolinep twitter follower

    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  48. Jessie C. on February 18, 2010 at 12:51 am


    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  49. Jessie C. on February 18, 2010 at 12:52 am

    FB fan@tcarolinep JessieKatie S.

    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

  50. Jessie C. on February 18, 2010 at 12:52 am
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