Chocolate Frosted Brownies
These frosted brownies start with fudge brownies and are topped with a luscious chocolate buttercream frosting (that includes a secret ingredient!).
Raise your hand if you were a teenager during the ’90s. I know there have 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 social media. Before a completely wired world. Simple times!
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 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. My brain will always and forever link together youth group Sunday nights and frosted brownies.
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 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.
I first made this recipe nearly five years ago and had all but forgotten about it, however I have been craving them like mad since seeing frosted brownies pop up on Jessica’s Instagram feed multiple times over the last few months. After seeing them again on New Year’s, I saw that I had everything I needed for them in my pantry, and that was that.
Brownies, done. Frosting, done. One VERY happy belly.
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? It’s chocolatey, sweet, smooth, creamy, and perfect in 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: Ground Beef Tacos
Two years ago: Banana Muffins
Five years ago: New England Clam Chowder
Six years ago: Peanut Butter Cup Bars
Seven years ago: Maple-Oatmeal Scones
Chocolate Frosted Brownies
For the Brownies
- ¾ cup (93.75 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) salt
- ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 3 ounces (85.05 g) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- ½ cup (100 g) granulated sugar
- ½ cup (110 g) light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup (90 g) semisweet chocolate chips
For the Frosting
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (21.5 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
- 1¼ cups (150 g) powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon milk
- ½ teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (59.5 ml) heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons Ovaltine chocolate malt powder
- 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.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
- 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.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Allow to cool completely; meanwhile, make the frosting.
- 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).
- 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.
- In a 1-cup measuring cup, or in a small bowl, stir together the heavy 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. (This recipe produces a soft frosting; you can add more powdered sugar a tablespoon at a time, if you would like a stiffer frosting.)
- Spread the frosting onto the cooled brownies, and cut into squares. Store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
This recipe was originally published on April 26, 2012.
Instead of milk what about a tablespoon of buttermilk or sour cream to add interest and cut down on the sweetness?
I personally prefer the sweeter frosting and don’t love tang with my chocolate, but it’s a personal preference, so feel free to alter how you’d like!
This looks delicious! Any idea how the frosting would be for piping? Thanks!
Hi Amy, It’s a softer frosting, for sure, but you could try refrigerating it first to get it firmed up before piping.
Wow! Looks amazing! I wonder if this will work well a chocolate protein powder?
Okay…I need these in my life NOW! Plus, all the bright colors just made me happy :)
I just made these, and they are all kinds of fabulous! The recipe worked perfectly and I wouldn’t change a thing. Thank you!!
These look and sound amazing! I love the added sprinkles!
OHMIGOD!! I’ve just read about a chocolate subscription and this was next in my tabs! I think that’s a sign to eat chocolate, dontcha’ think? I have to give these a go, they look similar to the sponge cakes I used to have in primary school which is nice, but these probably taste a hell of a lot better!! look out, I’m getting fat tonight!!
Erm… heck yes!
These sound delicious! Sophie x
Hi there- how do you get your frosting to cut so well?
Hi Maria, I slice my brownies with a large pizza cutter!
I saw these on your Facebook this morning and have been dreaming of them ever since. Yum! They look so fudgy and chocolatey. I also wanted to say, I’m loving the new site design!!
I cook for youth group on Sunday nights. So what you’re saying is I pretty much need to make these. I mean HAVE to…
I have made buckeye brownies for them 2x or more. That is a win!!
This Sunday is ice cream night :D I am a goober, I always have “themes”
I feel like I tried this recipe – either from Joy the Baker’s website or from your previous posting of the recipe and I did not like the frosting. Are there any other chocolate frostings that you would recommend to top the brownies?
Hi Christina, I’m not sure what kind of frosting you’re looking for, but I love both of these:
I was a teenager in the late 90’s!!!! Totally remember ALL that stuff. Such simpler times! Loving your brownie recipe too. Oooooh I need all that chocolate!!
they look amazing!
I love when a food memory is the overarching theme in what sounds like a fun memory. I hope you ate these in your grunge era flannel. Your trip down 90s memory lane cracked me up! These brownies remind me so much of the treats that used to grace the tables at church potlucks (etc.) during that decade (sprinkles!!). So much nostalgia. And delicious looking brownies!!
Hello,I really hope you (someone please) make some time to answer to my question because I’m dying to try this recipe.
I’m not from the US (Italy actually) so I don’t really understand what Ovaltine is..is it some kind of cocoa powder with milk and sugar added? ‘Cause here we have Nesquik..but I don’t know if it’s the same thing..
Can you please explain to me what it contains exactly so I can look for a similar product?
Thank you very much beforehand.
Hi Diana, Here is the lowdown on Ovaltine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ovaltine. It differs from Nesquick in that it is a malted drink, not just chocolate. There are chocolate and non-chocolate versions of Ovaltine.
Thanks so much:) I actually went shopping in a big supermarket the other day and found something named Ovamaltine :))) I figured it was the same product but I don’t know why they messed with its name..
Tried the recipe yesterday and it came out delicious just as I expected..
I’ll try some more of your recipes since they all sound great so you’ll probably hear from me again haha
Loved this recipe! I swirled peanut butter with the chocolate and let me tell you, it tasted heavenly!!! The brownie was very light and was almost cake like, but none the less the taste was fantastic (: If i were to remake this recipe i will be making this as a cake instead of a brownie.
Michelle, I loved your recipe. YUMMY!!
I am going to try it..
I made these and loved, loved them. The frosting — I could just eat a bowl of it with a spoon. I plan on trying this frosting with your dark chocolate cupcakes this weekend!
Hi, i really want to make these tonight for New Year’s, but i was wondering if it was possible to use semi-sweet baking chocolate instead of unsweetened?
Hi Astrid, If you don’t use unsweetened, the brownies will probably be a little too much on the sweet side. I would use the darkest chocolate you have if you can’t use unsweetened, but I really do recommend unsweetened.
I made these brownies last night and they are spectacular! So fudgy… so magically delicious. These are my new favorite brownie! I paired it with Bon Appetit’s Mocha Mascarpone Frosting and it made for a fantastic combination. These were loved by all and will be made often. Thank you, Michelle! :o)
Hugs and blessings!
can you make these ahead of time and freeze them?
Yes, I don’t see why not.
I made these yesterday and loved them! I substituted cocoa powder & oil for the baking chocolate and half and half for the cream (didn’t want to make an extra trip to the store). The frosting was thinner than I was expecting, but it set up overnight. I don’t think I’ll change anything the next time I make them – good stuff!
these look amazing! would you double it if using a 9 x 13″ pan? How long would you bake it for?
Hi Marcy, Yes, you could double this and bake it in a 9×13-inch pan. I would check it at the same time as the recipe indicates, maybe 5 minutes sooner just to be safe.
I made this today, and OMG it was amazing. Thank you for a truely great recipe! =)
Hey! I love that cake stand! Where did you buy it??? Also, I am a big fan of all your recipes! I just made your peanut butter rice krispie treats last night! YUM!
Thank you, Krista! I actually got it at TJ Maxx!
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…
Have you tried these without baking powder?
Hi Michael, No, I haven’t.
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.
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!
Chocolate brownies + chocolate frosting is a weakness of mine. I’d rather have this for my birthday than any cake in the world.
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!
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.
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.
Made these last weekend, used a chocolate glaze on top so haven’t tried the frosting yet. Loved them! Especially cold from fridge!
These sure do look fabulous! I haven’t frosted my brownies in a long time…I’ll have to change that soon!
My sister would love this! :)
Gorgeous brownies and im sure they are decadent :)
Oh My Word! These look amazing!
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!
I want a brownie and a big one:)
These look wonderful! Love the frosting!
With the frosting they’re obviously different, but how do these compare to the Baked brownie?
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!
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 ;)
Ahh, I love the My So-Called Life reference! :)
I could so eat most all of this brownie recipe right now. It looks just delicious.
Now that’s some double trouble right there! :-) These look so wonderful. I, too, was a teenager in the 90’s… oh the memories…
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.
Congratulations on your daughter’s wedding! I should hold a “runaway” baking retreat :)
Michelle, just name the time and place, and I’m SO all over it! Thanks for the congrats.
I love when brownies are topped with chocolate buttercream, nothing makes chocolate better than some extra butter in top! :)
These look amazing!!!!
oh wow ! Its Mouth watering I wish I could take This :-) when will you invite for this delicious cake :p
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 :)
I make brownies all the time but have never made them with frosting – these look luscious!
The 90’s were awesome and so are these brownies! Man, I wish I had one or 3 of them right now!!
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!
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.
These look amazing! Nothing wrong with adding a little frosting to a brownie :)
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.
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!
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. :-)
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://greedygourmand.blogspot.com/2011/08/salted-caramel-vanilla-baked-cheesecake.html
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!
Thanks Michelle…I love that you always respond to me so quickly. I look forward to seeing what you think of that recipe!
Nothing beats a classic. Fantastic!
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.
These sound so yummy!! I love a good brownie.
You must have a sweet tooth, two delicious dessert recipes in a row! These brownies look amazing!!! Yum!! I need me some chocolate!!
Chocolaty chocolate with chocolate on top. Drooling..
That frosting is so dang good – the perfect topping to some amazing looking brownies!
The 90s were amazing, pegged pants and all. I wish I’d had these brownies back then! ;)
Wow that looks so good, I wish I could take a piece!
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!
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!
Why must you do this too me? I swore I was going to be good today…
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.
Wow, another great recipe to try!! Thanks for sharing! :D
I am also wondering if I can substitute cocoa for the ovaltine powder.. Thanks :)
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.
Mmm, the only way to make brownies better is to put buttercream on top! I want one.
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!
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. :)
Brownies are amazing as is, but adding a buttercream frosting? You are a genius!