Yield: 16 small black forest brownies // Total Time: 1 hr. 10 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links.
Is there anything better than a fudgy brownie with a crackled top when you’re craving dessert? Definitely not when you fill it with cherries, chocolate chunks, and top it with whipped cream! These black forest brownies are extremely fudgy, delicious, easy to make and sure to impress a crowd.
Black forest brownies recipe tips
Weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient. In a small batch recipe it is especially important to get those correct measurements because there is less room for error. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend purchasing a kitchen scale. This one is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out!
Mix the batter carefully
After whipping up the eggs and sugar, you are going to want to fold the melted chocolate gently into the mixture. Forcefully mixing could knock out all of the air we just incorporated, which could result in not getting that perfectly crackled top. Also, when the flour has been added, only fold just until no flour streaks remain. Over-mixing could lead to more gluten development, which will take the brownies from fudgy to tough and chewy.
Err on the side of under baking
To get perfectly fudgy brownies, you want to slightly under bake rather than bake until the toothpick comes out clean. Start checking the brownies around 30-35 minutes. When the toothpick comes out only slightly clean, take the brownies out of the oven.
Get those perfectly crackled brownie tops.
The secret to getting those perfectly crackled tops is actually quite simple! All you need to do is whisk together the eggs and sugar to get them nice, light and fluffy prior to adding them to the rest of the brownie batter. Whipping up the eggs and sugar brings more air into the batter, which after baking collapses, forming that perfectly crackled top. And if the thought of bringing air into your brownies sounds scary, don’t worry, these brownies are super fudgy!
Ingredients and substitutions
Unsalted butter: makes the brownies tender and gives them that melt-in-your-mouth feel. You can use salted butter in place of unsalted, just be sure to omit the extra salt from the recipe.
Semi sweet chocolate chips: where all the chocolatey goodness comes from!
Dutch process cocoa powder: lends a deeper chocolate flavor to the brownies.
Eggs: helps bind the brownie batter together and lends the brownies their staple crackled top.
Granulated sugar: sweetens the brownies, helps retain moisture in the batter, and helps give them that crackled top. We will use a bit of sugar in the whipped cream as well.
All purpose flour: lends some structure to the brownies and makes them slightly chewy.
Salt: helps balance and bring out the sweetness.
Fresh cherries: it wouldn’t be black forest flavored if it wasn’t for cherries! You can substitute in frozen cherries as well. Just be sure to keep the cherries frozen right up until you need to add them to the brownie batter.
Chocolate chunks: for some added texture throughout the brownie. I like to use chocolate chunks, but you can add in chocolate chips here as well.
Heavy whipping cream: to make some homemade whipped cream for topping these brownies.
Vanilla bean paste: for flavor and to see those cute little bean specks! You can easily substitute in vanilla extract. This is the vanilla bean paste I use and love.
How to make black forest brownies
1. Melt the butter and chocolate. In a small saucepan on the stove, stir together the butter and chocolate over medium heat until melted and smooth. Immediately mix in the cocoa powder.
2. Beat the eggs and sugar together. With a hand mixer in a large bowl, or with a stand mixer, beat together the eggs and sugar on high speed for 4 minutes. This is going to make sure they have that beautiful crackled top.
3. Combine the eggs and melted chocolate. Fold the melted chocolate gently into the egg mixture until fully combined. We want to fold the ingredients together rather than mix them to ensure that we keep all of that air from the whipped eggs in the batter.
4. Add in the dry ingredients and add-ins. Fold in the flour and salt until only some flour streaks remain. Add in the chocolate chunks and cherries, then fold just until no flour streaks remain.
5. Bake. Bake for 40 minutes.
6. Garnish the brownies. Make the simple whipped cream. Garnish the brownies with the whipped cream and extra chocolate and cherries as desired. Serve and enjoy!
How to store black forest brownies
I would recommend only garnishing the brownies as you want to eat them. Doing so, you can store the brownies at room temperature and keep the whipped cream in the fridge. If you choose to garnish all of the brownies at once, you will need to keep them in the fridge to keep them food safe.
Black forest brownies Q & A
Can I double this recipe?
Definitely! You can double all of the ingredients and bake the brownies in a 9×13″ pan, or distribute the batter evenly between two 8″ square pans. Keep a careful eye on the brownies if you bake them in a larger pan, as they may take more time to bake.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Tools and ingredients
8 inch square pan: I absolutely love USA pan products because none of my bakes ever stick to their pans. Here is their 8 inch square pan that I used.
Kitchen scale: the best thing that I ever purchased for recipe development and baking. Here is the one I currently use. It is a bit on the pricier side, but here is the one I used to use and is perfect for starting out!
Parchment sheets: perfect for lining your pans and for photography. I cut these in half when I use the 8 inch square pan, which makes it the perfect size for double lining the pan if desired!
For a full list of tools, equipment and ingredients that I use and love, you can check out this page here.
Did you make these black forest brownies?
If you made these black forest brownies I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Black forest brownies
Black Forest Brownies
- 170 g unsalted butter (¾ c.)
- 270 g semi sweet chocolate chips (1 ½ c.)
- 40 g dutch process cocoa powder (½ c.)
- 3 eggs
- 300 g granulated sugar (1 ½ c.)
- 135 g all purpose flour (1 c. + 2 tbsp.)
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 100 g cherries pitted, halved (⅔ c.)
- 85 g chocolate chunks (⅓ c.)
- 150 mL heavy whipping cream (5 oz.)
- 50 g granulated sugar (¼ c.)
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
Black Forest Brownies
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Grease and line a 8" square pan with butter and parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, melt together the butter and chocolate. Once the mixture is smooth and melted, remove it from the heat and immediately whisk in the cocoa powder.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar for 4 minutes, until the mixture is pale and fluffy.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture, and lightly fold together until combined.
- Pour in the flour and salt. Fold the mixture together until a few flour streaks remain. Add in the cherries and chocolate chunks, and fold just until no flour streaks remain.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until the brownies are set on the outsides and only slightly jiggle in the middle.
- Wait until the brownies are cooled to room temperature to cut.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla until you have soft peaks.
- Pipe the whipped cream on to the cooled brownies. Top with cocoa powder and cherries as desired. Serve and enjoy!