Katharine Hepburn Brownies
I was first introduced to the Katharine Hepburn brownie recipe in Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours. The book includes many brownie recipes, and this was one of them. I’ve since seen the recipe in dozens of places online, in books and magazines. This brownie recipe was originally shared in the New York Times, by one-time neighbors of Katharine Hepburn. When they brought her a batch of brownies, she said they had too much flour and were overbaked, then proceeded to share her family’s brownie recipe. The brownies don’t have a lot of height, but are supremely moist and chewy, quite fudge-like, and loaded with walnuts. My mom adores any and all baked goods with nuts, so with Mother’s Day approaching last week (and Katharine Hepburn’s birthday being yesterday), I thought it would be the perfect time to try out this much-anticipated recipe!
As I suspected, my mom absolutely adored these brownies. She loved how many walnuts there were, although if you’re not a huge of nuts you could always cut the amount in half or leave them out altogether. You’ll still have a supremely moist and chewy brownie, complete with that thin, crackly crust that’s irresistible. If you happen to have some vanilla ice cream and hot fudge laying around, I urge you to make a brownie sundae. Brownie sundaes are always a good idea!
In honor of Katharine Hepburn’s birthday, treat yourself to some brownies this week… they’re a cinch to throw together and everyone knows you can never have too many brownie recipes. Plus, you’ll feel like a star! :)
One year ago: Colossal Reese’s Pieces Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two years ago: Gazpacho
Three years ago: Classic Baby Shower Cookies
Four years ago: Easy Fudge
Six years ago: Dark Chocolate Chip Scones
Katharine Hepburn Brownies
- ½ cup (113.5 g) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 2 ounces (56.7 g) unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (31.25 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon (0.25 teaspoon) salt
- 1 cup (117 g) chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- Place the butter and chopped chocolate in a medium bowl set over a small saucepan of barely simmering water over low heat. Warm the chocolate and butter, stirring constantly, until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in the sugar, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla extract. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour, salt and chopped walnuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, smoothing it into an even layer. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached. Place the pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting into squares. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
Did you make this recipe?
Leave a review below, then snap a picture and tag @thebrowneyedbaker on Instagram so I can see it!
Katharine Hepburn Brownies are hands down, my favorite brownies. As per suggestions from other comments on this post, I made The Baked Brownie. Although they were very good, for me the verdict rests with Katharine Hepburn Brownies, as the best. At first it was a toss up. The Baked Brownies are really good. They are fudge-y and rich (almost too rich), and they rise high, unlike the Katharine Hepburns. After eating them for a few days, I started growing tired of them, which I never do with the Katharine Hepburn Brownies. For me The Katharine Hepburn Brownie is the ultimate in Brownie Perfection.
These are my go to brownies. The best I have ever had so far, but now my curiosity is piqued with The Baked Brownie. I will try those next.
As someone else said here, 40 minutes will kill these brownies. I bake mine at 325º for 25 minutes in a glass pan and they come out perfect. They might seem goo-ey at first but after they cool, they are perfect, fudgey and moist. There are lots of recipes for these online. Some say to cook for 40 minutes, including the original recipe, but others say to bake for 30 or 35 minutes. 30 minutes works for me if using chocolate, but 25 minutes is perfect if using cocoa. Most of the recipes online say to use cocoa or chocolate. Use 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder instead of the chocolate. I tried using many different cocoas but Pernigotti was the most delicious. I like this recipe better with cocoa. It makes the brownies a little bit chewier, but still fudgey.
I made these tonight but I only cooked them 27 min on 315 with 8×8 glass pan. 40 minutes will kill this recipe and no where on the web are KH brownies given 40 min cook time.
I used WS Pernigotti cocoa. The brownies are really amazing. They are gooey and chewy the way a brownie should be. Rich, fudgy squares of chocolate delight. Next time I will add espresso powder.
I must be the only one who is not of fan of this recipe. I baked these last evening and I was disappointed in the texture and taste. Baking is always experimenting and trying new things though.
I got this recipe from a magazine some years ago and have baked it several times but they always come out too thin, no matter what I do. Not to worry, I’ll be trying the Baked Brownie very soon!
I am so addicted to brownies. I think I am going to make a batch with pomegranate seeds this weekend!
made these this weekend and featured them on my blog! they are so so good!!!
These look so delicious
Made this last night for my neighbor as a gift as he is taking care of our pets while we go out of town for Memorial day weekend. They were yummy! I wrapped them individually in cling wrap then put in a container as suggested. Left a few for us to try too! I love that there isn’t too much flour they were definitely fudgey but not too sweet.
Very similar to a brownie recipe in Mssr Lebovit’s classic, “Ready for Dessert”. His recipe is an adaptation of a one given to him by Robert Steinberg who co-founded Scharffen Berger chocolate. The only differences are that DL’s recipe calls for 8 oz. of chocolate, 6 oz of butter and 3/4’s of a cup of sugar and another huge difference. DL uses a regular pan to melt the butter and chocolate and then requires mixing in the flour ( after all ingredients are included) and whisking energetically for ONE minute. It’s very important (and possibly good exercise). I’ve copied in the shortcut.
They look so moist and delicious! mmm
Hi, i dont have chocolates with me right now and need to substitute that with cocoa. can you please tell me houw much cocoa should i use to substitute these 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate?
You could substitute ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
These sound delicious :) I just made brownies on Sunday, but might have to make some more.
I was just looking at these online the other day and thinking about making them with carob. They sound super yummy and fudgy!
Your pictures looked so yummy that last night I dreamt I went to a potluck dinner and everybody brought brownies. There were tables after tables of them, so I did what I went there to do, grabbed a big ole brownie and went looking for ice cream and hot fudge. Not as good as actually making them and eating them but my scale thanked me this morning :)
Hey i noticed that your post on these brownies and the picture has been copied by the site http://www.pincookie.com/katharine-hepburn-brownies/ and they have not given credit. Please take note.
Thank you for the heads-up, much appreciated!
I’ve been making these very brownies for 20 years or more. Will never switch! Need to make gluten free? Substitute quinoa.. Works perfectly.
Quinoa? WoW. Regular old quinoa in equal amount to wheat flour? Or a ground quinoa flour? Thanks!
I love these brownies. I was given the recipe 20 years ago at a Nutcracker Sweets Christmas party. I embarrassed myself by eating 4 of these brownies. When I make them I always add extra toasted walnuts…Life is great!!!
These brownies are fully loaded with walnuts and they look glorious!!
I’ll have to try Katherine’s recipe!
wow – these look delicious! just wondering – how do these compare with the baked brownie? there are so many brownie recipes out there I dont have the time to try them all! even though i wish i could :3
The Baked brownie is the ultimate brownie. If you could make only one batch of brownies, make that one. However, the Baked brownie requires quite a bit of chocolate and eggs, so other brownie recipes (like this one) come in handy when you want to whip up a quick batch with ingredients you may already have sitting in your cupboard.
I love a lot of different brownie recipes for a lot of different reasons, but the Baked Brownie is definitely my all-time favorite.
I grew up with nuts in all my brownies and cookies because that’s the way my parents like baked goods. I’m still constantly surprised how many people dislike nuts in brownies and cookies! This recipe looks a like hit for my family!
Which recipe do you like more -the baked brownie, or the Katharine Hepburn brownies?
I love a lot of different brownie recipes, but the Baked Brownie is tops in my book (for right now, anyway!).
Brouwnies are my personal weakness and I seriously can’t wait to try these out! Thanks!
I can’t believe I haven’t tried these yet! Time to pull out BFMHTY! Thanks for the reminder!
Never heard of these! But, hilarious that Katherine was so critical of the brownies gifted to her! :) My mom isn’t a fan of nuts in brownies, but I’ll take them!!
These look absolutely outrageous and dangerously easy! Love ’em!
I got this recipe from a magazine several years ago – can’t remember which one. It was included in an article about a new book from Liz Smith, the famous Hollywood gossip columnist. Along with the recipe were “Kate’s” three rules to live “1. Never quit 2. Be yourself and 3. Don’t put too much flour in your brownies.” Amen.
You are right – one can never have too many brownie recipes! And a brownie sundae is pretty much one of the best desserts of all time. This is also on my list.
What a classy treat! Any reason to celebrate, I’m all over it!
Oh yay!! I loved seeing David Leibowitz talk about and make these! They’ve been on my list. With a scoop of ice cream is a must :)
A nutty, chocolatey, gooey delicious brownie. I just can’t say no!
I’ve read so many great things about this recipe, they look perfectly fudgy!
You can never have too many brownie recipes! And these look incredible!
These look so fudgy and delicious!
These brownies look so fudgey and delicious! One of my all time favorite desserts is brownie a la mode. You just can’t beat it!
Brownies with nuts are ideal for me. Loving these.
I’ve heard of these and was always curious if they were any good! They look pretty amazing loaded with walnuts. My mom would totally love them too.
I’ve had this reciepie since I was a girl. My mom got it from a woman’s magazine. We both loved Katherine Hepburn and we both loved these brownies. Thanks for bringing back a memory of my Mom…
Brownies look amazing!
These look so fudgy & delicious!
I’m such a brownie fan! These sound delish!
That’s funny that you should post this now; I was just reading about Hepburn’s brownies last night in “The Secret Lives of Baked Goods,” which has a different story. Hepburn was asked by her neighbor to talk to his daughter, who was thinking of dropping out of Bryn Mawr, where Hepburn had attended. She invited them over for tea and brownies….and convinced the daughter to stay in school.
My parents named me after the fabulous Katharine Hepburn, so I can’t wait to make these. Thanks :)
Fudge-like brownies are the best kind! It’s like eating pure chocolate, and who can say no to that? Please if Katherine Hepburn liked them, they must be good, right?
These brownies look incredible!!! Love how there isn’t much flour so they are super chocolaty!
These look so crazy delicious!
I was so sure you spelled her name right…oh but no!!!!! I love a good fudgey brownie, can’t wait to try it :)
Love the pictures, looks fantastic! Will definitely put this one in my to do list!!!
This is too funny – the other day my mom was talking about her favourite chocolate cherry and walnut cake that her mom used to make for her birthday every year. The recipe is almost exactly the same as these brownies, just with more flour (and the obvious cherry addition)! I think this is the Universe telling me I need to make these :)
That wasn’t very gracious of Katherine to criticize gift brownies! JK, I’m sure she did so in a nice fashion, and these do indeed look delicious. I’m also a fan of this kind of brownie!
These looks so yummy, especially in that photo with the whip cream and cherry! I especially love fudge like brownies, going to give these a try!
I’ve read and heard about these and although I am not a fan of nuts in desserts I do love the flat, extra fudginess of the brownie base! With only 1/4 c flour for the whole batch, no doubt they’re super fudgy! The best!
That crust loost amazing!! I can’t believe I have never heard of these!!! I have to make them!
That thin, crackly crust is captured perfectly in your photos! I think this recipe will fit the bill for my chocolate cravings :)