Yield: 8 small hearts
Total time: 1 hr.
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If you are looking for a last second Valentine’s Day dessert, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. These heart brownies are fast, easy, fudgy & delicious! Serve them plain or with a delicious and easy strawberry buttercream. There’s no food coloring there, all the coloring comes from freeze dried strawberries! The best part though? All of the scraps of brownies to eat!
A couple of things to note:
1. Room temperature ingredients. The eggs will need to be at room temperature in order to incorporate well into the brownie batter. Also, the butter for the buttercream will need to be at room temperature to beat up properly. Make sure to take out the eggs and butter at least 30 min. before starting the recipe. If you forget (like I often do!) no worries, you can use my simple trick for getting room temperature ingredients quickly!
2. Overmixing. It is important when folding in the flour that you do not overmix, or you will end up with a brownie that is more cakey than fudgy. When folding in the flour, make sure to only fold just until you see no more flour streaks remaining. This will ensure that you get that perfectly fudgy texture!
To make these heart brownies, you will need:
All purpose flour: for structure and chewiness.
Salt: for balancing and bringing out sweetness. We will use a tiny bit of salt in the brownies, and a tiny bit in the strawberry buttercream.
Unsalted butter: for tenderizing the brownies and giving them that melt in your mouth feel. We will use butter in both the brownies and the strawberry buttercream. If you would like to use salted butter, that’s perfectly fine! Just be sure to leave the extra salt out of the brownies and the buttercream.
Semi-sweet chocolate: for all the good chocolate flavor. I use a semi sweet chocolate baking bar, but chocolate chips will work perfectly as well!
Granulated sugar: for sweetening the brownies, adding moisture to them, and helping get that desirable crackly top.
Dutch process cocoa powder: for adding some more chocolate flavor to the brownies. We will only use a small amount, so it is perfectly fine to substitute in natural cocoa powder if that is what you have on hand. Just be sure to note that the brownies may be lighter in color and flavor.
Eggs: for binding the brownie batter together, adding moisture, and helping to get that desirable crackly top.
Powdered sugar: for sweetening and thickening the strawberry buttercream.
Freeze-dried strawberries: for getting a bunch of delicious strawberry flavor into the buttercream.
Heavy cream: for smoothing and slightly thinning out the buttercream.
What pan do I need for these heart brownies?
I make these brownies in an eighth sheet pan. Here is a link to my favorite sheet pan, which I highly recommend. This pan is super durable (and super cute – it’s so tiny!) and has come in handy for me many times. In a pinch you can also easily use an 8×8″ pan.
Why is this recipe in grams?
I use grams in all of my recipes because it is the most accurate way to bake. Plus, baking with a scale makes for easier cleanup! Here is an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
What are freeze-dried strawberries?
Freeze dried strawberries are strawberries that have had their moisture removed. Doing so leaves you with a super flavorful, crispy strawberry “chip.” I have personally seen them both at Target and at Walmart near the snack aisles, but you can also find them on Amazon.
Can I use fresh strawberries?
Sadly, no. Regular strawberries contain too much moisture and would not be able to impart their flavor into the buttercream because it would end up too thin before enough strawberries could be added. I promise the pack of freeze dried strawberries will be worth it in this recipe, they pack in so much strawberry flavor!
What size cookie cuter did you use?
I used a 2″ heart cookie cutter. You can use a bigger cookie cutter, just note that you will get less hearts out of the brownies! If you don’t have a cookie cutter, you can also just frost the pan of brownies and serve them. They are delicious either way!
Tools & ingredients helpful for making this recipe:
I hope you enjoy these heart brownies with strawberry buttercream. If you make them, I would love to see and know your thoughts! Leave a rating down below & tag me on Instagram with a picture @freshbeanbakery. Happy baking! x
- 113 g unsalted butter
- 170 g semi-sweet chocolate
- 200 g granulated sugar
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 80 g all purpose flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- 25 g dutch process cocoa powder
- 56 g unsalted butter room temperature
- ⅛ tsp. salt
- 90 g powdered sugar
- 5 g freeze-dried strawberries
- ½ tbsp. heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Grease and line an eighth sheet pan with butter and parchment paper.
- In a medium sized saucepan over medium heat, melt together the butter and chocolate until the mixture is smooth.
- Take the mixture off the heat and immediately whisk in the sugar.
- Whisk in the eggs one at a time, until well combined.
- Add in the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Fold together with a rubber spatula just until no flour streaks remain.
- Pour the mixture into your prepared sheet pan and bake for 15-20 min., or until the middle of the brownies is set.
- Wait for the brownies to cool down to room temperature before frosting. (A fast way for this is to set them in the freezer for 20 min.!)
- Add the freeze dried strawberries to a small food processor, and pulse until the strawberries are a fine dust.
- Using either a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and salt for 1 min.
- Slowly start to beat in the powdered sugar until all of it has been added, then beat for an additional minute.
- Beat in the strawberries, then beat in the heavy cream for an additional minute.
- Once the brownies have cooled, use a 2" heart cookie cutter to stamp out the brownies and frost them. Serve and enjoy!