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Dark Cocoa Powder Brownies

Want a big-time chocolate experience? You’ve got to try these Dark Cocoa Powder Brownies. They’re amazingly fudgy, dense, and rich!

Dark Cocoa Powder Brownies on a white plate

I’ve made countless batches of brownies over the years, which is evidenced by the sheer size of the brownies section of my Recipe Index. I rarely meet a brownie I don’t like, and my tastes for them are all over the place. Whether they’re cakey or fudgy, plain or with nuts, or anything in between, I’m likely to devour it with pleasure.

These Dark Cocoa Powder Brownies are at the far end of a few brownie-related spectrums. Fudgy? Most definitely. Dense? Yep. Rich? Oh, yeah. If that sounds like brownie perfection to you, then get ready to get baking.

stack of Dark Cocoa Powder Brownies

Using cocoa powder in brownies adds plenty of chocolate flavor while keeping the brownies dense and fudgy. Plus, you don’t have to melt chocolate, so you can get these mixed and in the oven quicker and easier.

I like to use dark cocoa powder for richness and color in these brownies. As you can see in these photos, that dark cocoa makes these brownies super dark. It also adds a deeper chocolate flavor that’s sure to hit the spot for you dark chocolate fans. If you like, you can use regular cocoa powder for a lighter color and less intense flavor. Either natural or Dutch process cocoa will work for this recipe.

plate of Dark Cocoa Powder Brownies

You can add nuts or chocolate chips if you like. They’re great in any form, although I really like them just like this for a full-on chocolate experience. Either way, you don’t need to get out your electric mixer for these, although you can certainly use one if you like. Just make sure not to overmix the batter or you’ll lose some of that dense, fudgy texture.

If you can bear to wait, these Dark Cocoa Powder Brownies are even better the next day after baking. They somehow get even richer and fudgier. I love that they are such an all-out chocolate experience. Smaller than usual brownies may be a good idea here, as these pack a lot of rich flavor. Simply eat them out of hand or top with a little ice cream for an even more decadent treat!

Find more brownies recipes in the Recipe Index.

More Cocoa Powder Brownie Recipes

UPDATE April 2020: After some feedback from readers, I revisited this recipe and slightly tweaked it to make them better. However, I think there are some things to keep in mind when making these brownies to ensure that you love them as much as I do.

Tips for Success

  • Measure accurately. If you have a kitchen scale, use it. Otherwise, lightly spoon dry ingredients into a measuring cup and level. Dipping a measuring cup down into a container will inevitably compact the ingredient, giving you more than you need for the recipe. If you need a refresher on measuring accurately, see my tips for How to Measure Flour.
  • Use a high quality dark cocoa. I prefer King Arthur, linked below the recipe.
  • Use a light, non-shiny pan. A dark pan will bake the brownies faster and you’ll end up with hard, tough brownies, especially around the edges.
  • Don’t over-bake. A pick inserted into the center should have a few moist crumbs attached. If baked too long, the brownies will become tough and dry.
  • Remember that these are dense, fudgy brownies. Don’t expect a light, crumbly brownie like many traditional versions.

Dark Cocoa Powder Brownies

Yield 16 2-inch brownies
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Satisfy your biggest chocolate cravings with these fudgy, dense, rich Dark Cocoa Powder Brownies.

stack of Dark Cocoa Powder Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120g) all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup (64g) unsweetened dark cocoa powder*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 & 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Place the melted butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Using a spoon, mix until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla extract, and stir until well mixed.
  4. Add the flour mixture in three portions, mixing just until the batter is combined.
  5. Transfer the brownie batter to the prepared pan. Use a spatula to spread the batter evenly in the pan.
  6. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until a pick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with moist crumbs.
  7. Cool the brownies for at least 15 minutes before cutting into bars.

Notes

*Either natural or Dutch process cocoa powder will work. Just be sure to use a good quality cocoa powder. There are several brands of dark cocoa powder available. For these brownies, I used King Arthur Flour's Double Dutch Dark Cocoa.

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    31 Comments on “Dark Cocoa Powder Brownies”

  1. WOW these look luscious!

    • Whattt. How come everyone else’s is dry? Mine was too moist and fudgy. Like I get that’s the point, but last time I made brownies using this recipe, the fudginess and the driness were balanced enough that I was happy. What did I do differently?? 😭

      • Hi, Cade. I made some adjustments to the recipe earlier this year (see the notes above the recipe). If you made them successfully before then, you might try decreasing the sugar by about 1/4 cup.

  2. I make similar brownies each week, the darker, the better. Reason being these are very good to prevent heart diseases.

  3. Can I make these vegan?

    • Hi, June. I don’t have much experience with vegan baking, so I couldn’t say how to do that with any certainty.

    • I’m at high altitude (6000 ft) and I made a huge batch (×3) for a family get together. I noticed when stirring the batter was too dry. I slowly incorporated a half cup of water and an extra tsp of vanilla. It worked out great! Recipes can be finicky if the conditions and ingredients aren’t exactly the same as the Baker who created them. Thank you for posting your recipe! I saved it for the future as my family LOVED it!

  4. Yikes! I did something wrong! 
    They were extremely dry , I tried not to overmix them. Did I over bake them?? The recipe did not call for any liquid . I want to try them again because they sounded so good!! Any suggestions?

    • I’m sorry you had troubles, Amy! Be sure you’re not using too much flour. It’s easy to do if you’re scooping down into the flour container. If you want a quick reminder of how best to measure flour, see my post How to Measure Flour.

    • Mine also came out a bit drier than I expected, but I just took it as an excuse to pour some coffee in the batter. Coffee makes everything better. 😁 (I suppose you could also use water or milk.)

  5. When I saw these I knew I had to make them. I read the comment about them being too dry so I used just half a cup of flour. They were not moist; I should have underbaked  a little. There was not enough chocolate flavor. I used Hershey ‘s special dark cocoa. Maybe another brand would have a stronger flavor. They are extremely easy to make.

    • Hi, Teresa. Different cocoas will give you different flavors, just like any chocolate. Try adding some chocolate chips to the batter if you’d like more chocolate flavor.

    • You’re right.  These brownies are dry. After reading about the dryness, I added two teaspoons of water and was very careful not to overbake.   Still dry.  I am going to find another recipe.  

      • It probably just needs a couple table spoons more fat. Butter to 2/3 c or so is what I use in my recipe. Cocoa naturally dries things out and needs more oil/fat

  6. Just made these and this time I was smart and doubled the recipe! These brownies are amazing!! Moist and delicious!! Your recipes never disappoint!!

  7. Oh no!  These did not turn out for me at all. I knew there would be a problem just from the looks of the batter…. way too thick (like cement).  Super dry.  I am always careful when measuring flour to ensure it isn’t packed down. That wasn’t the issue for me. There is no liquid In the recipe outside of the butter that is mixed with the sugar. I’m bummed they didn’t turn out. They sounded really good 🙁  

    • I’m sorry you had troubles! The batter for these is a bit thicker than a traditional brownie, but the end result should look like these photos. If you didn’t change anything about the recipe, then I’d check the usual culprits – oven temperature accuracy, freshness of ingredients, measurements, and over-mixing.

  8. The recipe needs addition of two tablespoons of water or coffee. I am a gluten free baker who uses King Arthur products. My experience with KA Black Cocoa powder has been that you sometimes need to add a bit more liquid, especially when using large amount as in this recipe. I also prefer using oil for brownie recipes using powder instead of melted chocolate. 

  9. do you know the calorie count per brownie?

  10. The BEST BROWNIES!!! I didn’t have an 8×8 so I doubled the recipe and put them in a 9×13 and OMG they came out so fudgy and dense and DELICIOUS!!! This is my first time buying dark cocoa powder and I definitely will again!!!

  11. Delicious! The batter was very thick so I added one egg. The next time I’ll add dark chocolate chips to the batter before baking, yum.

  12. All I can say is outstanding!

  13. Wow! This brownies were really easy to make and they came out really well except the fact that they stuck to the pan but they still came out delicious and just like the picture.

  14. can I use vegetable oil instead of butter?

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