Brownies | Basics with Babish

By Brian Lemay 73 comments

Hey folks, when I say the word brownies, what images does it conjure up? Is it soft and cakey and crumby, or is it dense and chewy and fudgy? Whichever it is, we’ve got the recipe for you Even if you picked the first one, we won’t judge you for it. Let’s get down to Basics. [Music] So first up we’ll address the cake in the room, the cakey brownies. Courtesy of a recipe from King Arthur Flour. Into the bowl of a stand mixer goes: -About 2 1/2 cups of sugar along with -1 cup or 2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature Which we are going to cream together using the paddle attachment. Once a light, fluffy consistency has been reached, we’re going to combine some dry ingredients in a small bowl. 1 and a quarter cups of cocoa powder and a teaspoon of kosher salt and a teaspoon of baking powder, which we’re going to tiny whisk together before adding to the bowl. And mixing together tentatively, while we prepare our dry ingredients- I mean eggs. For this recipe, we’re going with four large eggs plus one large egg white. Which we’re going to add to the bowl while our mixer mixes one at a time Making sure it’s fully incorporated before adding the next egg. We’re also going to add a half of cup of water. Beat that on high speed until it is nice and creamy and then, for the final ingredient, some flour. One and a half cups of all-purpose added and mixed minimally so as not to develop too much gluten. This same sort of methodology you might employ while making pancakes. Just give that a few cursory folds make sure that everybody is nice and incorporated and then we’re going to prepare our brownie pan I like to rub the whole thing down with vegetable oil and then line with parchment paper And then we are dumping in and spreading evenly our brownie batter, which we are then going to place in a 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 25 to 30 minutes until it resembles a cake, like this one and a toothpick, when inserted off-center emerges cleanly over the few, dainty, moist crumbs, still clinging to its wooden shaft. Then, by the parchment paper, we are removing the brownies from the brownie pan, and allowing to cool completely on a wire rack for at least one hour. Just enough time to make the only thing that makes cakey brownies worth eating, frosting. Into the bowl of a stand mixer goes one stick of soft butter, two and a half cups of sifted powder sugar, half a cup of cocoa powder, and just enough milk to make things spreadable between 1/3 to 2/3 cups. Cream that on high speed for about one minute until finger-licking delicious. Once the brownies have complete cooled we’re going to remove them from the parchment paper and frost them liberally, so that the recipients of our brownies do not die of thirst and, since we’re going this far we might as well… throw some sprinkles on there. Rainbow colored only because chocolate would just be redundant and then you better head down to the break room because it’s Karen’s birthday and you only get cake if you sing HR’s birthday bylaws are perspicuous and very strict. Now, for all my trash talking this is actually a pretty damn good brownie even by cake standards. It’s still very moist and has a nice density, I’m trying to catch my paper plate on fire, it’s not work- there we go. But if you couldn’t tell already, I’m more of the chewy, fudgy brownie type. For this, we turn to America’s Test Kitchen, who recommends lining a brownie pan with aluminum foil, and lubricating with non-stick spray. Not quite sure how I feel about this, but let’s give it a shot. Go ahead and set that aside so into a large bowl we can combine: 1/3 of 1 cup of cocoa powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons of espresso powder. As I have mentioned before, this won’t make it taste like coffee, it’s just gonna amp up the chocolate flavor. As will 2 ounces of unsweetened, chopped chocolate. To which we’re going to add 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of boiling water Whisking until completely melted and incorporated. Then while it’s still warm, We’re adding 4 tablespoons of butter, letting that melt, And then, an essential element to chewy brownies is oil in this case, 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Additionally, the ratio of eggs that we use: In this case, 2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks. By this point, the mixture should have cooled significantly so go ahead and throw the eggs in there and whisk to combine. We’re also going to add 1 teaspoon and 1/2 of vanilla extract. Come on little guy, let’s go. Teaspoon and a half of vanilla extract You can also add a teaspoon of espresso powder if desired. We’re going to whisk that together before adding Two and one half cups of granulated sugar, preferably to a slightly larger bowl, am I right? Last but not least, once that’s fully incorporated we are adding the flour One and three quarter cups of All Purpose, you can mix this a bit more thoroughly than the previous batch because we’re not trying to get the same tenderness that we would in a cakey brownie Actually last but not least, 6 ounces of chopped bittersweet chocolate, whole and melted chocolate is essential for a fudgy brownie Mix that until just combined, go ahead and pour into our prepared 9×13 brownie pan, and we’re dropping this guy into a similarly preheated 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 30 to 35 minutes until a tester emerges virtually unscathed but with a little bit of goo still hanging to it Then after allowing to cool one hour in the pan we are removing by virtue of the foil and this is the only step that I didn’t understand because there was significant stickage to the foil despite all the non stick spray that was used, which as always been my experience in brownie making so if you ask me, stick with the parchment paper Once we managed to get that out of there, as you can see I’ve caused some significant damage to the surface integrity But that doesn’t stop this from being a majorly delicious fudgy brownie with a truffle-like texture and a subtle chew and while you will most certainly eat these brownies in a single bite like what I’m doing here What if you’re like me and you like your brownies practically melting and with the texture of chewing gum, well I got the recipe for you Please bear in mind when we filmed this, I only made a half batch so I’m going to narrate the correct amounts and you can just follow along with the video for a visual reference, into a large bowl goes one and three quarter cups or sugar, two sticks of melted butter I’m also going to add a teaspoon and a half of espresso powder One teaspoon of vanilla extract and four eggs plus two egg yolks Go ahead and give those a whisk and to combine completely before adding one cup of cocoa powder and half a cup of vegetable oil I’m sorry I’m putting weird emphases in my sentences, I’m having a long night; whisk that fairly to combine and then it’s time to add my secret weapon: bread flour. In addition to all the other chew-inducing elements that we have in this recipe bread flour is high in gluten and will create a chewier texture before we add it we are whisking it together with a teaspoon each of baking powder and kosher salt and we are chopping six ounces of bittersweet chocolate that we are going to add to the mix before adding the flour, then we are going to fold the whole thing together. But again don’t worry about over-mixing The more you mix the more gluten you develop. And La-Di-Da the chewier your brownie. This time I’m returning to the greased pan with parchment paper lining, this might not encourage the same glossy exterior you get with aluminum foil but I just think it makes it easier to get out of the pan, and as you can see my brownie battered doubles as I poured it into the pan because I made another batch Anywho, this guys going to the same 350 degree Fahrenheit oven for 25-35 minutes until your degree of doneness has been acheived, and I like mine somewhere between barely cooked and not cooked, it’s like the Levain cookie of brownies, I love it, anyway I hope this gives you some ideas on how to give up the boxed stuff and improve the brownies in your life Because whether you like your brownies cakey, or fudgy or chewie or other; you deserve your shot at happiness and happiness is a brownie Hey guys, Brownies.. Hey folks, Brownies… Brownies… For you and for me, for America For the world.. really, uh.. Brownies.. Hey folks, brownies When I say that word, which of Lord of the Rings movies do you think of? [Frustrated] Hey guys, brownies, whether you like them soft [Inaudible] Brownies.. Is it [Inaudible] [Inaudible] [Inaudible] Dense and [Inaudible] Brownies, whether you like them cakey and moist or chewy and fudgy, I and many others like me will not tell you that you’re wrong.. What? Hey folks, when I say the word- [Phone Alarm Rings] BALLS! When I say the word balls! [Laughs]


Binging with Babish

Jun 6, 2019, 1:04 pm Reply

Guys, be smart, don't put weed in your brownies.

It doesn't work that way, you gotta make butter first.


Aug 8, 2019, 12:24 pm Reply

I have always thought that serving brownies cold is a sin and that they're all about the contrast of a hot lava-like cake and cold vanilla ice cream that you pour onto it.

Adam Murray

Aug 8, 2019, 11:04 pm Reply

Babbish: Wooden shaft
Me: hehehe


Aug 8, 2019, 6:03 am Reply

I thought I was the only person that ever though cake was worthless outside the frosting. Im so glad someone else thinks so as well, lol

David McClure

Aug 8, 2019, 7:13 am Reply

Happiness is the glass of milk with the brownie

al jett

Aug 8, 2019, 8:34 pm Reply

you didn't say how much bread flour to use in the last recipe :(((((

boi nate draws stuff

Aug 8, 2019, 10:46 pm Reply


Dante Thames

Aug 8, 2019, 1:44 am Reply

Banish:*says the word brownie


Aug 8, 2019, 4:34 am Reply

4:29 his juul made an appearance


Aug 8, 2019, 5:17 am Reply

4:30 is that a juul?

Ze Bunker

Aug 8, 2019, 9:07 am Reply

Read script super fast and try to match video with it. Vs the right way to do videos.

Austin Cantrell

Aug 8, 2019, 11:07 am Reply

Hey can you see if you can deep fry a brownie

Viddal Riley

Aug 8, 2019, 12:59 pm Reply



Aug 8, 2019, 8:46 pm Reply

Brownies mostly makes me think of Kevin Pollak in Willow.


Aug 8, 2019, 9:31 pm Reply

Last one for me plz

Dj Masterlock

Aug 8, 2019, 11:02 pm Reply

Why do you put frosting on your brownies? This is new to me.

Brian Duong

Aug 8, 2019, 2:43 am Reply

Banish: Makes first recipe

Everyone: You weren’t supposed to do that

Ev The Potato

Aug 8, 2019, 2:54 am Reply

The sad thing is, I can eat every other candy except for chocolate. I can eat very small amounts like a Reese’s or a heath bar. I can’t have chocolate bars, brownies, chocolate cake, and hot chocolate. I think I can eat chocolate ice cream but not a lot. Can I get a Naruto run in chat.

Cheddar Chemistry

Aug 8, 2019, 1:53 pm Reply

How can I add marshmallows to this?


Aug 8, 2019, 2:33 pm Reply

babby says brownies i think D&D


Aug 8, 2019, 3:22 pm Reply

1/3 Cup of Cocoa powder

1/2 Tsp of Expresso powder

2 Oz. of Unsweetened chopped chocolate

1/2 Cups + 2 Tbs of Boiling water

4 Tbs of Butter (Softened)

1/2 Cup + 2 Tbs of Vegatable oil

2 Large eggs + 2 Egg yolks

1 1/2 Tsp of Vanilla extract

2 1/2 Cups of Sugar

1 3/4 Cups of All Purpose flour

6 Oz. of Chopped Bittersweet chocolate


Aug 8, 2019, 3:53 pm Reply

I used the last recipe and subbed coconut oil for veg oil. Best damned brownies I have ever made.

Nyaziah Lovelace

Aug 8, 2019, 6:00 pm Reply

Cakey brownies are pointless. Fudgy is the way to go

Philecia Tyrell

Aug 8, 2019, 6:47 pm Reply

What vanilla extract did you use?

Joseph Hurst

Aug 8, 2019, 8:39 pm Reply

babish, I love you

Jayleen Davila

Aug 8, 2019, 9:54 pm Reply

alarm sounds off BALLS!

Jane Dubrow

Aug 8, 2019, 10:00 pm Reply

lmao there is just a juul at 4:30 for some reason

James Morris

Aug 8, 2019, 10:42 pm Reply

The best brownies are the ones where the mix is so good, it becomes part of the clean bowl and mixer club.

YouTube Browser

Aug 8, 2019, 1:42 am Reply

Water in brownies? No.

chris how

Aug 8, 2019, 2:54 am Reply

thanks for showing me how to cook
🙂 😛
yay i can make everything now


Aug 8, 2019, 3:23 am Reply

Fudgey or chewy, never cakey.

Hurricane Arthur

Aug 8, 2019, 1:23 pm Reply

Happiness in XXI Century means Drug. Drug means Sugar 😉


Aug 8, 2019, 5:13 pm Reply

Peep the juul at 4:30😂

s Downey

Aug 8, 2019, 6:01 pm Reply

Anyone have any tips to make the 2nd recipe a little less fudgy, I tried it and it was a little TOO fudgy, like, to the point where it took 10 minutes to eat one

Joey Han

Aug 8, 2019, 11:02 pm Reply

or you can eat all the ingredients one by one without mixing anything


Aug 8, 2019, 11:22 pm Reply

7:10 *Vsauce entered the chat*


Aug 8, 2019, 4:22 am Reply

5:20 for the actual brownie recipe. The first one is cake, the second one is brownie/cake. 5:20 is real brownie recipe.

Ernesto Berger

Aug 8, 2019, 4:32 am Reply

For me, only the last one is a true brownie. The rest is just chocolate cake variations.


Aug 8, 2019, 5:01 am Reply

I need to stop watching food vids at 1:00


Aug 8, 2019, 5:06 am Reply

Jesus you guys use a shit ton of butter

Waa_ Luigi

Aug 8, 2019, 5:42 am Reply

Oh yes we will

The Vegan Merman

Aug 8, 2019, 9:20 am Reply

I love avocado brownies I know I know sounds blasphemous but they are the fudgiest, and most delicious brownies I have ever made/eaten

Izzah Alvi

Aug 8, 2019, 12:55 pm Reply

Hi babish
If you binge, how do you stay so slim?
Plis tell


Aug 8, 2019, 1:13 pm Reply

the last recipe looks so good


Aug 8, 2019, 3:41 pm Reply

Gosh. The last one. 🥰

linda parker

Aug 8, 2019, 4:37 pm Reply

Oooey gooey brownies, so delicious!

Patrick O’Brien

Aug 8, 2019, 10:31 pm Reply

The good version starts at 2:53


Aug 8, 2019, 1:57 am Reply

So we’re not gonna talk ab how babish has a juul 4:30

Ace Cabusas

Aug 8, 2019, 2:53 am Reply

Can you try making Chocolate crinkles (and it's variants). :p


Aug 8, 2019, 4:45 am Reply

Walnuts are needed in all brownies!!


Aug 8, 2019, 10:04 am Reply

"You deserve your shot at happiness and happiness is a brownie." — Babish, 2019

Jon Dizon

Aug 8, 2019, 1:10 pm Reply



Aug 8, 2019, 3:11 pm Reply

gosh what a porn

Captain Falcon

Aug 8, 2019, 3:34 pm Reply

5:20 babish recipe


Aug 8, 2019, 5:26 pm Reply

That forst brownie made me scream untill i womited blood

Peter Caravello

Aug 8, 2019, 12:31 am Reply

Are these recipes in any of your books?


Aug 8, 2019, 1:16 am Reply

Chewy, dense & not overly sweet 😍


Aug 8, 2019, 2:38 am Reply

1:12 why water instead of milk? I never understood why in most videos or box with premade cake at the grocery they ask water instead of milk, i always put milk over water and they are delicious, why water over milk??

I am Beverage

Aug 8, 2019, 2:58 am Reply

B r o w n i e s

Megan Fowler

Aug 8, 2019, 4:07 am Reply

The last recipe is my favorite. Super fudgy and very chewy. 🍫


Aug 8, 2019, 5:07 am Reply

4:29 is that a juul

Tony Mueller

Aug 8, 2019, 6:13 am Reply

A cakey iced brownie is just bad cake, not a good brownie. The last recipe looked most like what I like.


Aug 8, 2019, 12:39 pm Reply

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Babish can English
He can Food too


Aug 8, 2019, 4:09 pm Reply

If its not thick and fudgy its just chocolate cake. Don't even try and call it a brownie. I need to try make a fudgy stodgy thick lemon or salted caramel version.


Aug 8, 2019, 6:13 pm Reply

Oh my fudgin gosh, I made your preferred recipe and they were everything I expected. Baked for a little longer to ensure I got those beautiful chewy edges.

Rshdz Sub

Aug 8, 2019, 7:44 pm Reply

Save yourself the trouble and disappointment and skip the oil in the third recipe. It was an embarassment when I tried this for a weekend party. The brownies turned out sticky, oily and grainy.


Aug 8, 2019, 11:43 pm Reply

But you should cook it in a cupcake pan so all pieces are edge pieces.

Molly Monk

Aug 8, 2019, 12:05 am Reply

Suggestion: add a pinch of coarse salt to the top of your brownies. Life changing. Lol

Papa Garfield

Aug 8, 2019, 12:48 am Reply

Ingredients please?


Aug 8, 2019, 3:44 am Reply

Where are the walnuts?

katty garcia

Aug 8, 2019, 6:35 am Reply

I just had an orgasm


Aug 8, 2019, 12:11 pm Reply

My dude… Cocoa powder and flour makes it a chocolate cake.


Aug 8, 2019, 1:45 pm Reply

Lol I love how Babish comment says

"Don't put weed in your brownies."

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