Rich, fudgy, and oh-so-chocolatey, these Small Batch Brownies are perfect for when you are craving something sweet. They have crackly tops, a dense, fudgy texture, and deep chocolate flavor that surpasses any box mix brownies!

If you are looking for small batch recipes, be sure to also try our Small Batch Triple Chocolate Cookies!

Three brownies stacked into a tower.

We're a family of 4, so when I make regular batches of desserts we're often sharing them with friends, neighbors, or sending them to the office with my husband to pawn off on coworkers. But when it's just us on a Friday night wanting a treat, I'll do a small batch so we aren't staring down dozens of treats.

My small batch brownies recipe is just right for 2 or 4 people, and then you don't have to resist temptation for the rest of the weekend! Unless the temptation is to bake another batch, which might be a realistic problem.

My husband's only complaint? No center pieces. I'm an edge person, so these are actually an even bigger win for me. So sometimes he'll cut out the middle and I'll eat all the edges, lol.

Why You'll Love These Brownies

  • One bowl. You can make these brownies by hand in one bowl in like 5 minutes. The oven can't even preheat that fast.
  • Just the right amount! You'll get two BIG brownies (perfect for a brownie sundae), four regular brownies, or eight cute little brownies (but they are so small they hardly seem like a serving to just have one).
  • Add mix-ins (or not). I LOVE walnuts in my brownies but Paul and the kids always want chocolate chips. Chopped Oreos or a couple of peanut butter cups are our other favorite additions.

Ingredient Notes

This is a quick overview of some of the important ingredients you'll need for this recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.

  • Bittersweet or semisweet chocolate: These two types of chocolate are frankly so close in terms of sweetness that I use them interchangeably in most recipes.
  • Cocoa powder: I usually just use regular unsweetened cocoa powder when making brownies, but for an even darker dark chocolate approach, use Dutch processed cocoa powder.
  • Sugar: Both granulated sugar and brown sugar are used for moist, fudgy brownies with a crackly top and deep chocolate flavor.
  • Egg: Not only does the egg bind and add richness from the yolk, but it's also key to getting that crackly top that makes these every bit as good as box mix brownies.
  • Flour: Not too much flour. Just enough to give the brownies some structure without making them cakey.

You will also need a 9x5 loaf pan to bake the brownies in.

Ingredients for making a small batch of homemade brownies.

How to Make Small Batch Brownies

  • Preheat your oven. Get the oven going first because the brownie batter will be ready in no time at all. Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with a parchment paper sling or spray it with baking spray.
  • Melt chocolate and butter. Chop some bittersweet chocolate and melt it in a large microwave-safe bowl for 30-60 seconds. Whisk or stir until smooth, then add in the granulated sugar and brown sugar and whisk again to combine.
  • Get an arm workout. Next add the egg and vanilla extract, then really whisk hard for a minute or two (or you can always switch to a hand mixer and let it do the hard work for you). This is the trick to getting that crackly shell-like top on your brownies! You should see some bubbles in your batter.
  • Add dry ingredients. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Just use a spatula or wooden spoon at this point and mix just until you don't really see any more streaks of flour remaining. Go ahead and stir in chocolate chips or other mix-ins at this point.
  • Bake. Transfer the batter to your prepared pan and bake for 20-24 minutes at 350 degrees F. Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the brownies. If your loaf pan is smaller (some are just 8x4-inches) your brownies might take an extra 5 minutes or so to bake.
  • Cool, then slice. Wait as long as you can to let the brownies cool before removing them from the pan (I find it so much easier to cut straight lines outside of the pan), then cut them into 2, 4, or 8 rectangles or squares and enjoy!
A small batch of chocolate brownies cut into eight small squares.

Recipe FAQ's

Can I make these with just cocoa powder?

If you don't have the bittersweet or semisweet chocolate on hand and just want to use cocoa powder, just increase the cocoa powder by 2 additional tablespoons and add an extra tablespoon each of granulated sugar and butter.

Can I melt semisweet chocolate chips for the bar of baking chocolate?

Sure, you can use a rounded ¼ cup of chocolate chips in place of the chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate.

How do I know if brownies are done?

To test whether brownies are done, insert a toothpick or skewer into the center of the brownies. You want it to come out with a few crumbs sticking to it, but it shouldn't be wet from brownie batter. If it comes out completely clean, that means you probably baked your brownies for too long (or the oven temp was too high) and they won't be quite as fudgy and moist.

Recipe Tips and Tricks

  • Let them cool. I know this is torture, but the chocolate flavor deepens and intensifies as the brownies cool down so we think they are even better at least 30 minutes or so after removing them from the oven. Plus, they are much easier to cut once they have cooled. You can always warm them up for a second in the microwave.
  • Really beat in the egg. Not only will this create a crackly, shiny top on your brownies, but it also slightly lifts them for that great chewy texture.
  • Don't overbake. If you want fudgy brownies, be sure not to overbake your brownies.
  • Cut with a plastic knife. This trick really works! For cleaner cutting, grab a plastic knife and use that to slice the brownies into squares. The brownies magically won't stick!

Storage Instructions

If you can't eat an entire pan of brownies in one sitting, can we even be friends? Just kidding. If you have leftover brownies, they'll keep in an airtight container on the counter for 3-4 days, or you can freeze them for up to 2 months.

A fudgy homemade brownie with a crackly top.

More Brownie Recipes

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Let me know what you thought with a comment and rating below. You can also take a picture and tag me on Instagram @houseofnasheats or share it on the Pinterest pin so I can see.

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Small Batch Brownies

5 from 3 votes
Amy Nash
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings
Rich, fudgy, and oh-so-chocolatey, these Small Batch Brownies are perfect for when you are craving something sweet. They have crackly tops, a dense, fudgy texture, and deep chocolate flavor that surpasses any box mix brownies!

Ingredients
  

  • 2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup salted butter (57g)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
  • 2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • cup all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled (41g)
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (10g)
  • teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • Flaky sea salt, for sprinkling on top (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper sling.
  • Melt chocolate and butter together in a microwave-safe bowl for 30-60 seconds in the microwave. Stir until smooth. Add the granulated and brown sugar, then whisk until combined.
  • Add egg and vanilla and whisk vigorously by hand for 1 minute or switch to an electric mixer. This helps develop the signature thin crackly crust on top of brownies.
  • Stir in flour, cocoa powder, and salt with a spatula or wooden spoon just until combined. Do not overmix. Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Transfer the brownie batter to the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer. Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs. Do not overbake.

Notes

  • Testing doneness: To test whether brownies are done, insert a toothpick or skewer into the center of the brownies. You want it to come out with a few crumbs sticking to it, but it shouldn't be wet from brownie batter. If it comes out completely clean, that means you probably baked your brownies for too long (or the oven temp was too high) and they won't be quite as fudgy and moist.
  • Replacing bittersweet or semisweet chocolate: If you don't have the bittersweet or semisweet chocolate on hand and just want to use cocoa powder, just increase the cocoa powder by 2 additional tablespoons and add an extra tablespoon each of granulated sugar and butter. Or use a rounded ¼ cup of chocolate chips in place of the chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate.
  • Cut with a plastic knife. This trick really works! For cleaner cutting, grab a plastic knife and use that to slice the brownies into squares. The brownies magically won't stick!
  • Storage: Keep leftover brownies in an airtight container on the counter for 3-4 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. 

Nutrition

Calories: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 185mg | Potassium: 222mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 427IU | Calcium: 35mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe? Show me on Instagram!Mention @HouseOfNashEats or tag #houseofnasheats!

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About the author

Hi, I'm Amy

I enjoy exploring the world through food, culture, and travel and sharing the adventure with mostly from-scratch, family friendly recipes that I think of as modern comfort cooking.

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Reader questions and reviews

  1. 5 stars
    Loved making and eating small batch brownies. I needed a quick delicious treat and happened to have all ingredients on hand. Thx for great directions and lovely pics!