Zingerman’s Black Magic Brownies

Zingerman's Black Magic Brownies | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

A couple of weeks ago, a reader, Wendy, asked me on Facebook if I had ever made Zingerman’s Black Magic Brownies. I had to admit that I’d never heard of them! They are apparently one of the most raved about recipes to come out of Zingerman’s, a conglomerate of food stores in the Ann Arbor, Michigan area. Midwest Living magazine has declared this recipe one of the top 20 recipes of all time. High praise, indeed. So far as I can tell, there are two versions of this brownie – Magic Brownies, which include toasted walnuts and Black Magic Brownies, which omit the nuts. While I love walnuts in baked goodsย like banana bread and date nut spice bread, I don’t really appreciate them in things like brownies or fudge. The Black Magic version was it! Wendy was sweet enough to email me the recipe,ย and gave me the a-okay to share it with all of you. Thank you, Wendy!

Zingerman's Black Magic Brownies | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

I measure pretty much all brownies against my beloved Baked brownies, and these might be the first to really stack up. They’re very dense, but just a smidge less fudge-like, and just a bit more cake-like (due to the long beating of the eggs and baking powder), although not cakey, if that makes sense. I actually think that these are the perfect compromise between completely fudge-like brownies and cakey brownies. I hate cakey brownies, and while I’ll always eat a fudgy brownie, sometimes it can be too much. The black magic brownies are fantastic middle ground.

Zingerman's Black Magic Brownies | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

The recipe calls for cutting these into 15 squares (which are described as “wallet-size”), and that’s pretty huge. I did this for the photos so you could see the true size, but next time I would probably cut them into my usual 24, which I think makes for a little more reasonably sized brownie.

So, to recap, love, love, love these brownies! They rank a close second, near tie, with the Baked brownies as far as I’m concerned. I think you’re going to love them!

Zingerman's Black Magic Brownies | browneyedbaker.com #recipe

One year ago: Ultimate Chocolate Cupcakes
Two years ago: Shrimp Nacho Bites
Three years ago: Zucchini-Pineapple Cupcakes with Orange Sour Cream Frosting
Four years ago: Chewy, Chunky Blondies
Five years ago: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares
Seven years ago: American Apple Pie

Zingerman's Black Magic Brownies

Yield: 15 enormous brownies or 24 regular-size brownies

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 to 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

The famous brownies from the Ann Arbor, Michigan food shop. The original recipe calls for 1½ cups of all-purpose or cake
flour. I used equal parts of both, but feel free to experiment with what you have on hand.


13 tablespoons (184 grams) unsalted butter
6½ ounces (184 grams) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
¾ cup (90 grams) sifted all-purpose flour
¾ cup (85 grams) sifted cake flour
¾ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 cups (397 grams) granulated sugar
4 eggs
1¼ teaspoons vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan and line with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides; set aside.

2. In a small saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring constantly, until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder and salt.

4. In a large bowl, beat the sugar and eggs with an electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes, until lemon-colored and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add cooled chocolate mixture and vanilla. Beat on low speed until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined, then give it a final stir by hand with a rubber spatula. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

5. Bake until brownies appear set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 25 to 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Cut the brownies into squares and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. The brownies can also be frozen (wrapped individually and placed in a resealable freezer bag) for up to 2 months.


57 Responses to “Zingerman’s Black Magic Brownies”

  1. Cynthia M on August 19, 2014 at 12:32 am

    A brownie that comes close to the epic Baked brownie? That got my attention. It would be nice to have a backup recipe for those times when I’m not in the mood to part with so much of my hard earned chocolate. The last time I made the Baked brownies I used a Pyrex bowl on top of a saucepan as a make-shift double boiler. Bad mistake. The entire bottom of the bowl blew out and shattered very dramatically, dropping the glass and all of the melted Valrhona chocolate and butter into the water below. It was like watching my paycheck drown.


    • Tom @ Raise Your Garden on August 19th, 2014 at 7:59 am

      Ouch! Well with all our mistakes we learn a little something for the next time. You might save someone else from making the same mistake!


    • Michelle on August 19th, 2014 at 8:16 am

      Cynthia, I feel your pain ๐Ÿ™ Years ago, I shattered a glass bowl over a double boiler as well. Now I only use stainless steel bowls for double boilers. (I also shattered a Pyrex glass baking dish in the oven once – THAT was a mess to clean up!)


    • Renee C on August 19th, 2014 at 2:25 pm

      And I’m that someone else…I always used a small pyrex glass bowl and never thought it could shatter….thanks to your experience I am now switching to stainless steel bowls….


      • Cynthia M on August 21st, 2014 at 10:32 pm

        Renee – So happy that my comment was useful to you!
        Michelle – My boss just returned from a trip to Michigan this week and told me he tried some Magic Brownies while there. I bake the Baked brownies for him all the time, so I asked him what he thought of the Magics and he said “good, but not as good as yours.” I guess this means that Baked hasn’t slipped from its #1 position yet.


    • g. pa "B" on September 27th, 2015 at 8:05 am

      i wonder if you made me the gift of magic bites on approx. 9-15-15 ? yummy THANK YOU


  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks on August 19, 2014 at 1:47 am

    In between uber-fudgy and cakey, but not at all cakey, now this is a great recipe to have for certain times. And interesting that they use both AP flour and flour. Yes, 15 from a 9×13 is pretty big, but I wouldn’t say no ๐Ÿ™‚ pinned


  3. Michelle C. on August 19, 2014 at 2:12 am

    Interesting and quite a bold statement there, Miss Michelle
    When I first saw the photos, I thought…..hmmm, I wonder how these compare with the Baked Brownie? They are my FAVORITE and ONLY brownie I make. I may have to try these on for size sometime in the near future.


  4. Arpita @ The Gastronomic Bong on August 19, 2014 at 6:15 am

    These brownies are fabulous!! Extremely fudgy!! would love a slice or two of that fabulous brownie!! ๐Ÿ˜€


  5. Mir on August 19, 2014 at 6:29 am

    I’ve never heard of these! But another fudgy brownie in the baking arsenal is always a good idea. They look fantastic!


  6. charm on August 19, 2014 at 7:23 am

    I try EVERY brownie recipe you suggest. And you’ve not failed me yet! I don’t have a favorite because there is always just ‘one more’ I stumble onto which displaces the current favorite off its pedestal.
    Have you tried the “Miette” brownie recipe? My current favorite, which I make in the suggested individual brownie pan rather than in one big pan.
    Thanks again for another brownie. Off to make it today….


    • Michelle on August 19th, 2014 at 10:10 pm

      I have not tried the Miette brownie recipe, I will have to add that one to my list!


  7. Marie @ Little Kitchie on August 19, 2014 at 7:43 am

    These look incredible! So decadent!


  8. Bakers & Best on August 19, 2014 at 8:08 am

    I live a block away from Zingerman’s (you can see it from my window) and LOVE these brownies. Not sure if it is a good thing that I have a recipe now, but I’m certainly going to have to try!


  9. Alice // Hip Foodie Mom on August 19, 2014 at 8:21 am

    I can see why these brownies are all the rage in the Michigan area .. they look insanely good!! Pinned . . can’t wait to try!


  10. Jen @ Baked by an Introvert on August 19, 2014 at 8:44 am

    I’ve never heard of these before. They look incredible!


  11. Karen on August 19, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Zingerman’s offers mail order too for all of their breads, cheeses, etc. Go to their website to sign up. I live in Wisconsin and have not made it over there to visit yet, but I hear it’s worth it! Thank you for this recipe, Michelle. It is very close to my mom’s version of brownies. Who knew?!


  12. Shyanne on August 19, 2014 at 9:01 am

    I live close to Zingermans so I’ve had my fair share of their sandwiches at Zingermans Roadhouse and their bakery is to die for! They also have a Buenos Aires brownie that has two layers of black magic brownies with dulce de leche in the center and it may beat out the black magic brownie- at least for me! ‘m so glad you shared this recipe though because they are soooo expensive, especially on a college budget!


  13. Julie @ HostessAtHeart on August 19, 2014 at 10:03 am

    I am with you on the nut thing and I love my brownies gooey too!


  14. Michael R. on August 19, 2014 at 10:31 am

    As the saying goes; Forget love, I’d rather fall in Chocolate! ๐Ÿ˜€
    PS – How do you stay so thin surrounded by all these recipes?


    • Michelle on August 19th, 2014 at 10:11 pm

      Well, I’m getting rounder by the day nowadays ๐Ÿ˜‰ But otherwise, I eat everything, but just a little at a time. Share a lot, freeze a lot ๐Ÿ™‚


  15. Stacey @ Bake.Eat.Repeat. on August 19, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I’ve never heard of these, but I definitely want to try them! In between fudgy and cakey sounds about perfect.


  16. Madeleine Mulanix on August 19, 2014 at 11:40 am

    2 c. sugar seems like a lot. Would the quality of the brownies suffer if I used less?


    • Michelle on August 19th, 2014 at 10:13 pm

      Hi Madeleine, Changing the ratio of ingredients will typically impact the final texture of the baked good.


  17. Angelyn @ Everyday Desserts on August 19, 2014 at 11:56 am

    This looks like the perfect brownie recipe for me because I love a mostly fudgy, but slightly cakey brownie. This looks like it! Yum!!


  18. marcie on August 19, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I’ve never heard of these brownies, and they look so delicious! I have yet to make the Baked brownies out of my cookbook, so I’ll have to try them both now. I could definitely polish off a “wallet size” brownie like this easily! ๐Ÿ™‚


  19. Laura on August 19, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Oh my goodness, these look incredible! I’m pretty sure if I tried this they wouldn’t look as good!

    Living for the Now xx


  20. Denise Zwit on August 19, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    I have made Zingerman’s Brownies before and they are fabulous! I’m a nut freak and especially love brownies with nuts.


  21. Tara J. on August 19, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    These may be a few silly questions, but, why do you butter or grease a pan AND line it with parchment paper? Also, any tips on lining things with parchment? I might be doing it wrong, but I am always having to cut/trim the parchment, or folding it into strange shapes to make it fit and feel like I end up wasting a whole bunch! And in this recipe, when it says “leaving an overhang on two sides”, what about the other two sides? Does the parchment still go up the sides of the pan, and just not over the edge? I’m just not real up to speed on parchment paper uses! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks!


    • Michelle on August 19th, 2014 at 10:16 pm

      Hi Tara, I grease it first, so that the parchment sticks to the pan and doesn’t slide around. I use the parchment with some overhang so that I can easily lift the brownies (whole) out of the pan and cut them on a cutting board instead of in the pan. This is a great illustration of what it should look like:


      I don’t worry about the two short sides, you only need the long ends to be able to lift them out. I just tear off a piece of parchment, then crease and fold so it fits neatly inside the pan.


  22. Lori Hart on August 19, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    What oozy gooey chocolatly goodness!


  23. Jamie@familysavvy.com on August 19, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    These brownies do look like a perfect compromise for those who want “a little fudge~a little cakey” in their brownie! Thanks for pumping out an endless stream of delights!


  24. Francesca on August 19, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    Is this the real recipe that they use at Zingerman’s or is it a “copycat” one? Also, to make the magic brownies version, is it the same recipe, just with nuts?


    • Michelle on August 19th, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      Hi Francesca, This is the real recipe. The reader, Wendy, who sent it to me took a class at their facility and they gave the recipe out at the end of class.


  25. Kimberly on August 19, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    Zingerman’s Roadhouse and bakery have some of the best food and baked goods you will ever eat! Their macaroni and cheese is to die for! Yum!!!!
    So, if you are ever in Ann Arbor, you must stop by and eat there! I love visiting there!
    GO BLUE!!!!!


  26. Emilia on August 19, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    I hadn’t heard of these until your post but I will definitely be trying this recipe! As for the size number of brownies….if I stick to the original quantity, at least I can honestly say “Well, I only had one….” Thanks as always!


  27. Sofie on August 19, 2014 at 9:52 pm

    Thanks for sharing us the recipe! They look amazing.


  28. Grace on August 20, 2014 at 9:11 am

    Wow these look really deliciousโ€ฆand now I think I want to visit Michigan (or just make these?)


  29. Stepanie on August 20, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I have taken many classes at zingermans:


    Everyone should check them out. Most of the recipes are the actual recipes they use at the bake house and the restaurant! I have taken the Pastry Bake!cation and it is amazing if you love to bake!


  30. Lori @ RecipeGirl on August 20, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    Craving these now! So delicious!


  31. Liana on August 22, 2014 at 2:56 am

    Hey Michelle! thanks for sharing your recipes ๐Ÿ™‚ I made the brownies last night! They’re yummy, but a tad sweet for us. Do you have any tips for having such a flawless brownie top? My ones always crack …

    I love your recipes by the way! I always get rave reviews – thanks for making me look like a pro! keep up the awesome work ๐Ÿ™‚


    • Michelle on August 22nd, 2014 at 10:19 am

      Hi Liana, I don’t really do anything with regard to the top, that’s just how they baked up!


  32. sara on August 22, 2014 at 11:34 am

    I love Zingermans and have been sad ever since my sister moved away from Ann Arbor. These look amazing!


  33. Tracy | Pale Yellow on August 22, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    It’s so hard to pick a perfect brownie recipe because everyone has their ideas of the perfect brownie. My philosophy is just to eat all the brownies with a smile on face! As long as they are moist and chocolaty, I’m good!


  34. Heather on August 23, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Looks amazing! I am also on the side of fudgey brownies. Cake brownies need frosting ๐Ÿ™‚


  35. Masha on August 23, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Oh shoot – I realized I only have semi sweet chocolate, not the unsweetened kind. What now? Less sugar?


    • Michelle on August 23rd, 2014 at 10:54 pm

      Hi Masha, Less sugar could impact the final texture of the brownies.


  36. Emily @ Life on Food on August 23, 2014 at 3:47 pm

    I go to Zingerman’s when I go to Ann Arbor. I haven’t had the brownies yet. These look fabulously full of chocolate.


  37. Marilyne on August 28, 2014 at 7:39 am

    I made these last night and they turned out cakey. What might I have done wrong?


    • Michelle on August 28th, 2014 at 12:43 pm

      Hi Marilyne, It’s possible that the mixture was over mixed when the flour was added.


  38. Laura Dembowski on August 28, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    I live not too far from Zingerman’s and have been there many times. I’ve never had these brownies since I’m allergic to chocolate, but I know everything I’ve had there is amazing so I bet these are too.


  39. Jeanne on September 14, 2014 at 3:58 pm

    I have a pan of these in the oven right now…I followed the recipe to the T and used Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate. I have mysteriously light-colored brownies. I came back to check the recipe to see if I missed cocoa powder or something that would render them a darker color. They are not yet finished baking, so I will report back once their done and cooled and I’ve tasted them. But what the heck?


  40. Miam Miam Mena on September 16, 2014 at 10:20 am

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I live in the Detroit area, but have never made it over to Zingermans. Yet. We had company for Sunday dinner this week, so I made these brownies and served them with ice cream and homemade chocolate sauce. They were a hit and my guest sent her husband out last night in search of something sweet because she wanted more brownies.

    I think I over mixed the eggs and sugar though. I used my stand mixer instead of a handheld mixer and I think the kitchen aid is just too powerful. The batter was much thicker than I expected and the brownies were a nice mix of fudgy and cakey, but not gooey. I will be trying the Baked brownies this week to compare.


  41. Renee C on September 22, 2014 at 11:29 am

    Could you substitute white chocolate in this recipe? I know it’s not really chocolate, but perhaps if I also reduce some of the sugar?


    • Michelle on September 22nd, 2014 at 4:05 pm

      Hi Renee, I think a straight white chocolate substitution might make these a little bit too greasy.


  42. Maggie on November 13, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Loved these. Thanks! I learned a new trick recently about cake flour. (2 cups cake flour = 1 3/4 cups AP flour + 1/4 cup cornstarch) You should have seen me doing math on my calculator to figure it out exactly for this recipe. It resulted in 160 g of AP flour + 1 1/2 Tbs cornstarch. (Since there’s no such thing as a 1/2 Tbs measuring spoon, that works out to 1 Tbs + 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp.) And if you don’t have a scale, that’s 1 1/2 cups AP flour, but then remove 1 1/2 Tbs flour and replace it with cornstarch. Fantastic!


  43. Tiffany on December 19, 2014 at 4:51 pm

    I must try these. I live only about 25 minutes from Ann Arbor, and I have never heard of them before. :/ Guess I will have to try both. ๐Ÿ˜€


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