Cure your chocolate cravings with these easy Small Batch Brownies. This simple recipe makes just four or six perfectly fudgy brownies. No electric mixer needed.
Small Batch Brownies for the win! 🙌🏻
Learn how to make perfectly fudgy chocolate brownies for two. This simple recipe uses only a handful of ingredients to make delicious, crinkly top brownies that boast soft centres and chewy edges.
It’ll make six small brownies, or four big ones.
Ever since I hit publish on my Small Batch Chocolate Muffin recipe, I’ve heard from so many of you that small batch recipes are just what you need right now. And I feel you!
Whether you’re in lockdown, living alone or with a small family, sometimes you don’t need Big Batch Brownies that are going to feed a crowd. You just need a bite! I get it. And I have the answer.
Meet my easy Small Batch Brownies made in a loaf pan. You know the one you use to make Banana Bread? Now you can whip it out to make this fudgy chocolate treat. You. Are. Welcome.
why you will love these brownies
- They’re quick and easy to make
- You don’t need an electric mixer
- They’re perfectly fudgy (with that signature brownie crinkle)
- It makes just 4-6 small brownies
You’d think with all the brownie recipes here on Sweetest Menu, it’d be easy to scale one down and create a small batch version. But of course, it took more than a few attempts to land on this perfect Small Batch Brownie recipe. In fact, it took nine 😂
To start, I took inspiration from my popular Homemade Brownie recipe. But my first attempt was an oily mess. It was thin and crunchy and everything my dream brownie isn’t. Attempt two was better but still a little wet – the ratio of ingredients just wasn’t quite right.
From there, things quickly moved into cakey brownie land. I attempted to alter the amount of butter, chocolate, eggs, flour and cocoa to try an achieve my dream brownie. I was surprised to see an extra egg and a little more flour made for a delightfully cakey chocolate treat (see batch 4 and 5). They were so delicious, that I even included the version below in the recipe for those who prefer a cakey brownie.
But I was really on the hunt for a more traditional fudgy brownie, with that super moist and chocolatey centre and those delicious chewy edges. And while it took a few more goes, we finally got there. Batch 7 was very, very close and Batch 9 was pure chocolate perfection.
Ingredients you will need
- Unsalted butter: We use melted butter in this brownie recipe for beautiful flavour and texture. If you use salted butter, omit the salt in the recipe.
- Dark chocolate: Real chocolate adds real flavour and it also lends itself to a fudgier brownie. I recommend using good quality dark or semi-sweet chocolate, that’s somewhere between 45-70% cocoa.
- Egg: We only need one egg in this recipe to bind and moisten. But we discovered in our recipe testing that an extra egg will make a more cakey brownie (see recipe notes).
- Caster sugar: A little bit of sugar adds sweetness and will also help you achieve that lovely crinkly top! If you don’t have access to caster sugar, use granulated sugar instead.
- Vanilla extract: Just a bit to bump up the flavour.
- Plain flour: Just the right amount of plain flour (or all purpose flour) will help create that perfectly fudgy brownie texture. A little too much, and you’ll wind up with a cakey brownie, too little, a greasy one.
- Cocoa powder: For a little more depth of chocolate flavour, we also add a touch of cocoa powder. We use unsweetened cocoa powder in this recipe, but Dutch processed cocoa will work too.
- Chocolate chips: Yes we need more chocolate. Not only will chocolate chips add pops of gooey chocolate, but they also aid in creating the signature brownie crinkle – thanks to the extra sugar.
How to make small Batch brownies
- Melt together butter and dark chocolate until smooth. I prefer to do this in the microwave to make it quick and easy. Just be sure to stop and stir every 20 seconds to prevent it from burning or seizing.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg and vanilla. Do this using a hand whisk for 30 seconds. The mixture should be slightly creamy and a little frothy.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa and salt. Add to the melted chocolate mixture, along with the eggs, and gently stir with a spatula just until combined. You should have a lovely thick brownie batter. Stir through chocolate chips.
- Transfer to loaf pan and bake brownie until it no longer wobbles in the middle or a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out almost clean.
- Leave brownie to cool completely in cake pan before slicing. To prevent brownie from overcooking on the edges as it cools, I recommend placing it in an ice bath. Simply fill another baking tray with an inch or so of cold ice water and allow the brownie pan to sit inside – helping to cool the pan itself quickly.
tips for perfect, shiny top brownies
- Use good quality chocolate (is it delicious enough to eat on its own?)
- Weigh ALL your ingredients for accuracy
- Whisk the sugar, egg and vanilla separately by hand
- Don’t over mix your batter
- Don’t skip the chocolate chips (they help create that shiny, crinkly top!)
- Dont over bake your brownies
- Try an ice bath to cool your brownies (it’ll help prevent those over baked corners)
frequently asked questions
The crinkly top on brownies is caused by a thin layer of meringue that gets created by the sugar and egg. Whisking the egg and sugar separately will help create that crust. But a handful of chocolate chips will also help because = more sugar. So don’t leave them out! And don’t over mix your batter.
If you would prefer a cakey brownie, follow this recipe as written but use TWO large eggs and 40 grams plain flour. Also super delicious!
Once cooled, you can keep these brownies in an airtight container at room temperature. If you like a truly fudgy brownie, stick them in the fridge. You can also freeze them – although it’s unlikely you’ll have any leftovers.
Yes, you can double this recipe. Or for even more brownie fun, try my Big Batch Brownies.
More brownie recipes to love
- Chocolate Raspberry Brownies
- One Bowl Cocoa Brownies
- Oreo Brownies
- Flourless Chocolate Brownies
- Olive Oil Brownies
An easy small batch recipe that makes just 4-6 fudgy brownies.
- 60 grams (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
- 75 grams (1/2 cup) dark or semi-sweet chocolate*, roughly broken
- 1 large egg
- 100 grams (1/2 cup) caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 35 grams (1/4 cup) plain flour or all purpose flour
- 15 grams (2 level tablespoons) cocoa powder
- Pinch of salt
- 40 grams (1/4 cup) milk chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 180 C (350 F) standard / 160 C (320 F) fan-forced. Grease and line a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan with baking or parchment paper.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, add butter and dark chocolate. Heat in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds, until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
- In a separate bowl, add egg, sugar and vanilla. Whisk using a hand whisk for 30 seconds, just until creamy and combined.
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder and salt. Add to melted butter mixture, along with the egg mixture. Stir gently using a spatula until a thick, smooth brownie batter forms. Gently stir through chocolate chips.
- Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and smooth out into one even layer. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or brownie no longer wobbles in the middle.
- Leave brownie in pan to cool completely. To prevent brownies from over baking on the edges while they cool, place brownie pan in a larger pan or container that’s filled with an inch or two of cold ice water – this step is optional but I recommend trying it!
- Cut brownies into four rectangles or six triangles to serve. You can store brownies at room temperature or in the fridge. They also freeze really well.
Dark chocolate: I recommend using a good quality chocolate (that’s nice enough to enjoy on its own) that’s somewhere between 45-70% cocoa. Note that these brownies aren’t overly sweet, so I usually use a 45% cocoa chocolate.
Cocoa powder: I recommend using unsweetened cocoa powder. Dutch processed cocoa will work as well.
Measurements: I highly recommend using a baking scale when making this recipe for best results. Because we are working with such a small quantity of batter, adding just a little extra flour and/or cocoa powder can really alter the results.
Cakey brownies: When I showed my recipe testing process for these on Instagram, many asked if they could have the recipe for the cakey brownies that occurred in my earlier rounds of testing. If you would prefer a cakey brownie, follow this recipe as written but use TWO large eggs and 40 grams plain flour. Also super delicious!