Yield: 8×4″ loaf small batch brownies // Total Time: 30 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. // Updated 1/1/23.
One bowl, 7 ingredients & just 30 minutes for rich, fudgy, delicious brownies!
Small batch fudge brownies
Hello hello! I’m here today with a dessert staple in small batch form. If you’re craving browies, and you’re craving them NOW, this recipe is for you. All you need is one bowl, 7 common baking ingredients, and 30 minutes for these rich, oh-so chocolate-y brownies.
Why you’ll love these small batch fudgy brownies
1. They come together in one bowl. All you need is one bowl to put together these brownies, making the cleanup and process super easy.
2. They’re ready in 30 minutes. It takes 10 minutes or less to prep the brownies, and only 20 minutes to bake them!
3. They’re super rich and fudgy. These brownies are so fudgy and rich thanks to a mix of melted chocolate directly in the batter and dutch process cocoa powder.
Small batch brownies in a loaf pan
If you’ve perused my blog, you might notice that I LOVE small batch recipes. These fudge brownies are small batch, yielding just an 8×4″ loaf pan’s worth of brownies. They’re perfect for when you want some brownies, want them fast, and don’t need enough for a party! If you’re looking for a larger batch of brownies, you can check out my perfect fudge brownies, which are thicker and made in an 8″ square pan.
Weigh your ingredients
- Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. I do provide cup measurements but please note that I test all my recipes in grams and can not guarantee that your bake will turn out like mine. This kitchen scale is super cheap and a great starter scale!
Mix the batter carefully
- When adding in the flour, only fold the mixture just until no flour streaks remain. Overmixing the dough leads to more gluten formation, which can make the brownies tough and chewy rather than fudgy.
Get those perfectly crackled brownie tops
- The secret to getting those perfectly crackled tops in this small batch brownie recipe is all in the eggs! In my perfect fudge brownies recipe, I beat together the eggs and sugar separately for ~4-5 minutes which helps contribute to a wonderful, fool-proof crackled top every time. However, this recipe is a small batch and meant for when you want brownies without a ton of hassle. So, to get a slightly crackled top just be sure to vigorously beat in the egg for at least 1 minute.
How to get perfect brownie slices
- Brownies and bars can be annoying to cut, especially when they start dragging the batter and it seems like half of the brownies have ended up on your knife! To get perfect brownie cuts, get a clean knife and a tall glass of hot water. Dip the knife in the hot water, then make a slice in the brownies. Continue dipping and slicing to be left with perfectly cut brownie slices!
How to tell when brownies are done baking
- Fudge brownies are a little more difficult to tell when they’re done since they are essentially meant to be a little raw. For that reason, I definitely don’t recommend using the standard toothpick test. Instead, you’ll know that your brownies are done when the edges have fully set and the middle of the brownies just BARELY move when the pan is jiggled. The listed time for baking is 20 minutes which is true if your oven is at 350F and are using a standard metal baking dish. I recommend against using glass pans, so please note that if you do use a glass pan, your baking time will increase. I highly recommend using an oven thermometer so you know if your oven is actually the temperature it claims to be!
Ingredients and substitutions
All purpose flour: lends some structure to the brownies and makes them slightly chewy.
Salt: helps balance and bring out the sweetness and flavor of the brownies.
Unsalted butter: makes the brownies tender and gives them that melt-in-your-mouth feel. You can use salted butter in place of the unsalted, just be sure to omit the extra salt from the brownies.
Semi-sweet chocolate: where the main flavor of these brownies comes from! I use chocolate chips as I have noticed that they are better for bringing out that crackled top when compared to using a baking bar. Make sure you use good quality chocolate chips here as this part makes up the entire flavor of the brownies!
Granulated sugar: sweetens the brownies, helps lock in moisture in the batter, and helps contribute to that perfect crackled top.
Dutch process cocoa: lends a deeper chocolate flavor to the brownies. I love using dutch process cocoa because it has a deeper and richer flavor than natural cocoa, but natural cocoa or even black cocoa powder can easily be substituted in here.
Instant espresso*: helps bring out the chocolate flavor from the chocolate and cocoa (*optional but strongly recommended!)
Egg: binds the brownie batter together, adds moisture to the brownies, and is the main contributor to getting that perfectly crackled top.
How to make small batch fudgy brownies
Melt the butter and chocolate
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a microwave-safe bowl. Once the mixture is completely melted and smooth, whisk in the cocoa powder and sugar until well combined.
Whisk in the egg
This step is super important in getting that classic and desirable brownie crinkle top. You’re going to want to whisk the egg vigorously for at least 1 minute into the batter.
Add in the dry ingredients
Add in the flour, salt, and instant espresso (if using). Fold the mixture gently until a few flour streaks remain, then add in the chocolate chips and fold just until no flour streaks remain.
Pour the brownie batter into a prepared loaf pan. Bake for 20 minutes, until the brownies only slightly wobble when the pan is moved. Slice the brownies once they have cooled to room temperature, then enjoy!
Small batch brownie recipe Q & A
What size loaf pan do I need?
- I used an 8×4″ loaf pan for this small batch brownie recipe, but if 9×5″ is all you have on hand then it will be perfect for the job. Just note that in a larger loaf pan, the brownies will be a tad more thin and therefore will require a little less baking time (probably 2-3 minutes less.)
Can I double this small batch brownie recipe?
- If you are looking for a larger batch of brownies, you can check out my perfect fudge brownies recipe! It is essentially this recipe tripled and baked in an 8″ square pan. If you’re looking for more & thicker brownies, use that recipe!
WHAT MAKES BROWNIES CAKEY VS FUDGY?
- The amount of flour in the brownies is the main decider in if a brownie will be cakey or fudgy. Brownies that have more flour in them develop more gluten (structure) in the batter, which makes them cakier. These brownies use a small amount of flour relative to the other ingredients, which makes them fudgier. We also don’t use any baking powder or baking soda in these so that they stay super dense.
Do I need to use instant espresso?
- Not if you don’t want to! The instant espresso is simply there to compliment and enrich the flavor of the chocolate, you can’t really taste it in them. However, if you are avoiding espresso for any reason you can definitely leave it out and you will still have delicious fudge brownies.
How to store fudge brownies
- These brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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.
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
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
Did you make these small batch fudge brownies?
If you made these small batch fudge 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!
Small Batch Fudge Brownies
- 56 g unsalted butter (¼ c.)
- 135 g semi-sweet chocolate chips divided (½ c. + ¼ c.)
- 12 g dutch process cocoa (2 tbsp.)
- 100 g granulated sugar (½ c.)
- 1 egg
- 40 g all purpose flour (⅓ c.)
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. instant espresso powder *optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Butter and line an 8×4" loaf pan with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized microwave safe bowl, melt together the butter and 90g (½ c.) chocolate chips in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval.
- Once the mixture is melted and smooth, whisk in the cocoa powder and sugar.
- Add in the egg and whisk vigorously for at least 1 minute. The longer you whisk, the more prominent the shiny crackled top!
- Add in the flour, salt, and espresso powder (if using). Use a rubber spatula to lightly fold the flour into the ingredients. When there are only a few streaks of flour remaining, add in the remaining 45g (¼ c.) of chocolate chips. Fold just until no flour streaks remain.
- Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the brownies are set on the outsides and only ever so slightly jiggle in the middle.
- Wait for the brownies to fully cool before cutting. Serve, and enjoy!