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The Big Bake Theory | Bakestarters

RECIPE: Ditch The Box Mix With These Quick 5-Ingredient Chewy Cocoa Brownies

Making a brownie from scratch is easier than you think. This chewy cocoa brownie is unbelievably quick and easy and you'll only need 5 ingredients and regular kitchen tools. Once you try this recipe, you'll never go back to store-bought brownie mixes.
RECIPE: Ditch The Box Mix With These Quick 5-Ingredient Chewy Cocoa Brownies

Get someone to try these brownies, and no one would believe it if you say that it’s only made with five ingredients. These simple brownies are made with cocoa powder and require minimal ingredients and equipment; if you have the sudden cravings for chocolate brownies, these will hit the spot! [Go straight to recipe]

Quick and Easy Cocoa Brownies

cocoa brownies
We know you love brownies as much as we do, so here’s another recipe for you to try.

These brownies are so delicious; you’d never believe it only takes 5 ingredients to make them. The cocoa powder imparts a good amount of chocolate flavourthink of your favourite chocolate cake, but with a slightly chewy texture.

You’ll be glad to know that making these brownies takes less than an hour, including the baking time. At first, we couldn't believe it ourselves! But indeed, it’s not impossible to whip up some decadent brownies with so little effort and time.

This 5-Ingredient Cocoa Brownies Recipe can be made in a regular loaf pan, or a muffin/square brownie pan for easier serving and a shorter baking time.

They’ll taste amazing either way.

Chewy Cocoa Powder Brownies with Two Bowls and Five Ingredients

cocoa brownies
If you’ve tried making our
Six-ingredient Milo Lava Cake, then you know it’s totally possible to whip up an indulgent chocolatey treat using few ingredients.

This recipe was created especially for infrequent bakers who do not stock up their homes much with baking ingredients. 

All you’ll need for this brownie recipe are common pantry ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, butter, and cocoa powder. Salt and vanilla extract are optional, but they’ll help to bring out the taste of the chocolate, so add them in if you have them! 

Although these brownies are only made with five ingredients, they’re delicious in their own right. 

This recipe will be a true lifesaver when you’re in need of some good brownies, but don’t want to go all-out to satisfy your sudden craving. And the fact that it’s made from scratch is definitely a plus point!

These brownies also require minimal equipment. You don’t even need a mixer. A hand whisk, a baking pan, and two mixing bowls are all you need. 

Less cleanup is always a good thing, isn’t it?

whisk eggs

A Simple Way to Make Chocolate Brownies

Using cocoa powder gives these brownies their simplicity. 

There’s no need to melt chocolate carefully and wait for it to cool down, which will add several minutes to the process.

Unlike our 45% Dark Chocolate Chunk Fudge Brownies, this recipe uses cocoa powder instead of chocolate for the chocolate flavour. As cocoa powder has little to no fat unlike chocolate, we’ll be using slightly more butter in these brownies.

cocoa brownies recipe
Like our brownie baking kits which use cocoa powder, these brownies have a lighter, cakey texture as compared to 100% chocolate brownies.

If you prefer a slightly denser and fudgier brownie, use smaller eggs and don’t over-bake it.

cocoa brownies recipe
This brownie recipe combines melted butter with sugar. 

The first time we tested it, we creamed the butter and sugar together instead. This didn’t give the brownies the kind of texture we were looking for, as the creaming technique incorporated too much air into the mixture. 

Using melted butter gives these brownies a softer and denser texture.

Melting butter releases most of its water content, so you’re only left with fat—the component that gives baked goods their tenderness, and particularly in brownies, fudginess.

When you’re making the butter-sugar mixture, let it cool down to room temperature before adding in the eggs. Otherwise, the eggs will get cooked!

toothpick test
Baking with the right
temperature and time is also very important. 

When you bake a brownie for too long, it will be dry and not gooey, chewy, or fudgy! Stick to our suggested bake time, and check for doneness approximately 10 minutes before it ends.

We also recommend using visual cues to help you tell when they’re done. 

You should see that the edges are a darker colour than the centres, and the tops are dry and crackly. A toothpick should leave with moist crumbs attached. 

Pull your brownies out immediately once you see that they’re done, as the residual heat from the pan will continue to bake your brownie after it’s out of the oven.

Waiting until they’re completely done will make them too dry!

Upgrade Your Brownie Recipe

This brownie recipe might be ultra-simplified, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it maximum flavour.

If you’re not really short on time, try heating your butter until it’s browned. It will make the flavour of your brownies more complex and rich, just like our Brown Butter Dark Chocolate Brownies

Read More: Brown Butter - The Hero You Never Knew Existed

The cocoa powder imparts quite a strong chocolate flavour, but it won’t be as intense as the brownies made with melted chocolate such as our 45% Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies.

If you’re an absolute chocoholic, elevate the chocolate flavour of these brownies by folding in chocolate chunks or chips into the batter just before baking.

Bring it one step further by pushing more into the brownies before you pop them into the oven. This will create gooey pockets of chocolate inside the brownies after they’re baked. 

brownie in brownie pan
Of course, you can enjoy these speedy brownies fresh out of the oven–we won’t judge.

However, we suggest waiting for at least 5 minutes for the brownies to set slightly. If you slice too early, the brownies are still too soft and you won’t get clean cuts.

In the meantime, prepare a scoop of your favourite vanilla ice cream for that after-dinner dessert you’ve earned yourself.

    5-Ingredient Cocoa Powder Brownie

    Before adding in the eggs, make sure the butter-sugar mixture is at room temperature.

    yields 6-8 servings (loaf pan) or 6 x 5.5cm square brownies

    64g all purpose flour

    200g sugar

    115g unsalted butter, melted

    ¼ tsp salt (optional)

    2 eggs

    35g cocoa powder

    ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)


      1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a regular loaf tin with parchment paper. You may also use a 6-cup muffin pan/square brownie pan. 
      2. Stir the melted butter and sugar together, until well mixed and the sugar has started to dissolve. You can heat the sugar and butter over low heat to melt/dissolve the sugar slightly. 
      3. In a separate bowl, add in the all purpose flour and cocoa powder, mix well to combine. If you are adding salt, add it in this step.
      4. Whisk in the two eggs, one at a time, into the cooled butter sugar mixture, until well incorporated. If you are adding vanilla extract, you may also add it in with the last egg. 
      5. Then, mix in the flour mixture and whisk until the batter is smooth. 
      6. Transfer the batter into your prepared baking tin and bake for 25-35 minutes (for loaf pan) / 18-20 minutes (for brownie pan). To check for doneness, insert a toothpick/skewer into the brownie—there should be moist crumbs stuck to the toothpick, but not any wet batter. The tops should look dry and set.
      7. Remove from the oven and cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

        Storage: Store completely covered/in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Reheat gently before consuming, if desired.

        Easy Chocolate Brownie Recipe

        cocoa brownies recipe
        These cocoa powder brownies are super quick and simple to whip up. If you’re running low on time, but don’t want to use a box mix, this brownie recipe is your guy. Who knows, it might become your go-to recipe whenever you need some good brownies in a pinch!

        Our Dark Cocoa Walnut Chocolate Chip Brownie Kit is also a fuss-free solution to every brownie craving. Or if you’re into brownies with a sweeter and creamier flavour profile, you’ll love these Marshmallow Milk Chocolate Brownies!

        Love this recipe? Get priority access to more free recipes, baking tips and guides sent straight to your inbox here.

        Read Next: RECIPE: A Double-Layered Peppermint Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownie For All The People Obsessed With Mint [Video Tutorial Included]

        Trying this recipe out? Make sure you hashtag #bakestarters on Instagram so we can see your wonderful creations!


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