Espresso Brownies

Mocha lovers, rejoice! My formula for espresso brownies borrows from many top-rated recipes for unbeatable flavor and texture. These decadent delights are chocolate-heavy and coffee-infused with melt-in-your-mouth richness. 

This recipe is fantastic for people like me who love cooking and baking but strongly dislike doing the dishes. Not only does the prep for these brownies require only one bowl, but there is no special equipment needed! I can’t think of a brownie recipe more perfect for busy bees and also beginner bakers! 

You’re going to have a hard time not digging a fork right into these fudgy treats when they’re fresh out of the oven. I have faith that you’ll gather up the strength to wait until the brownies cool down. 

Cut them once they’ve cooled and warm them up slightly before serving if you prefer them that way… maybe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top if you’re feeling adventurous!  

Espresso brownies
Brownies with Espresso

Before you get started

  • Gather your equipment and ingredients so that you have them ready to go when it’s time to start cooking! 
  • Take the eggs out of the fridge 30 minutes prior to bake time so that they’re at room temperature when you need to use them. This ensures that your brownie batter has the right consistency so that the brownies bake with the perfect texture.
  • All you will need for this recipe is one large mixing bowl, a 9” x 13” baking pan, a rubber spatula, and a wire cooling rack! 

Suggested Equipment & Appliances

  • 9” x 13” baking pan 
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Rubber spatula
  • Wire cooling rack

Recipe Yield and Cook Time

  • Recipe Yield: 9-12 Servings 
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Cool Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes 

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup granulated (white) sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark) 
  • ⅓ cup instant espresso powder
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, melted and cooled 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks

Instructions

  1. Make sure to adjust your oven racks so that you have one rack in the center before preheating. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Prepare your 9” x 13” baking pan. If you have parchment paper, lay it into the pan so that 2 sides have excess sticking out. You can use the excess parchment paper to pull the brownie sheet cleanly out of the pan after baking. Grease the lined or unlined pan with butter or non-stick spray. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the melted and cooled salted butter, the granulated (white) sugar, and the brown sugar. Add the instant espresso powder and vanilla extract. Stir gently to combine the ingredients. 
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, and gently stir to mix them into the batter. Then, add the flour and unsweetened cocoa powder to the bowl and stir again only until everything is fully combined. Stop mixing the batter once it’s thoroughly folded together, or else you’ll end up with dense, tough brownies! 
  5. Gently fold the chocolate chips or chunks into the brownie batter using a spatula. Again, don’t overmix this! 
  6. Pour the prepared brownie batter into the lined and/or greased baking pan and use your spatula to smooth the batter into an even layer. 
  7. Bake the brownies for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick shoved into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. For fudgier brownies, bake for a shorter time (closer to 30 minutes.) For chewy brownies, bake for a longer time (closer to 40 minutes.) 
  8. Let the baking dish rest on a wire cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before you dig in. If you lined the pan before greasing it, remove the brownie sheet from the pan easily by pulling and lifting the excess parchment paper tabs. Don’t cut the brownies until after they have cooled completely! 

Tips and Tricks

  • For optimal baking and perfect brownie texture, keep the oven door closed during the entire baking time and center the baking pan on the middle rack.
  • These espresso brownies will keep for up to 4 days if stored at room temperature in an airtight bag or container. 
  • These brownies will also keep well in the freezer for up to 3 months! Let the frozen brownies thaw overnight in the refrigerator and let them sit out at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to serving. 
  • If using unsalted butter instead of salted, add ½ teaspoon of kosher salt or sea salt to the brownie batter along with the flour. You can also opt to sprinkle the top of the brownie batter with coarse salt before baking for a lovely visual detail. A touch of salt balances nicely with the flavor of the sweet, rich chocolate and espresso. 
  • Feel free to add ½ cup of your favorite chopped nuts to this recipe if you like some added crunch in your brownies! Add them in along with the chocolate chips or sprinkle them on top of the batter before baking. 

Substitutions

Any of the following ingredients can be swapped for some alternatives at the same quantity:

  • Brown sugar can be replaced with granulated (white) sugar, coconut palm sugar, or raw cane sugar.
  • Granulated (white) sugar can be replaced with light or dark brown sugar, raw cane sugar, or coconut palm sugar. 

Semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks can be replaced with milk chocolate, dark chocolate, or white chocolate chips or chunks. If you don’t have chocolate chips or chunks around, you can make the recipe without them and they will still be delicious!