This Basic One-Bowl Chocolate Brownies recipe keeps things simple. By using half milk chocolate its not too dark, heavy or bitter plus making round brownies means no more decisions about whether to have an edge or gooey middle piece – genius!
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I’ve been making this brownie for a very long time. It’s based on the Nigella brownies recipe with a few tweaks of the ratios. Its also half the size, a little less rich and most importantly of all, baking in a round tin.
I really don’t understand why all brownies aren’t cooked this way. Every pie type slice has a more cakey baked edge and gooey middle. No one need to miss out on their favourite bit and there is no arguments to be had. Perfect!
As for less rich, this is due to me using half milk and half dark chocolate in my brownies. That’s why they may look a little lighter in colour to what you’re used to when looking at brownie recipes. But if you do prefer that fuller richness or more bitter qualities of 100% dark chocolate, you can easily swap the milk in the recipe for dark.
I’ve added some white chocolate chips to the recipe too, this is purely optional but its something I’ve done from day 1 of making the Nigella version and I have no intention of stopping now.
How to Serve Simple Chocolate Brownies
In theory you should allow the brownies to cool fully so you can cut them neatly. But I love to eat my brownies warm and waiting ages to just heat them up again feels wild to me. I also like my brownies to be a bit uncooked in the middle so they’re never going to cut perfectly anyway.
If I’m not eating them freshly baked then I’ll more often than not give a slice a quick blast in the microwave to warm it though – this only takes around 15 to 30 seconds.
As for what to serve them with, we all know that some kind of creamy side is ideal to cut through the rich chocolate. Cream, whipped cream, ice cream or even decadent clotted cream or custard are all great options.
You’ll see that some of my brownies got an extra upgrade with a drizzle of caramel sauce and chocolate sauce for a really great looking (and tasting) dessert.
Ingredients for One-Bowl Brownies
As I’ve mentioned I’ve written this recipe using half milk and half dark (bittersweet) chocolate. I use the most basic (and cheapest) chocolate available when baking. You can usually find the supermarket and discount store options in the bottom shelf under all the branded and regular own-brand options.
You can really use any chocolate that you prefer. If you are a super dark 70% cocoa solids kind of person then by all means use that. Obviously you will end up with a darker and richer brownie.
I wouldn’t recommend using all milk chocolate however, this recipe would just be far too sweet.
I only use salted butter when baking. If you insist on using unsalted, please add extra salt to the recipe.
You can use a margarine rather than a butter but you will be able to taste the difference in the finished brownie. The richness of proper butter adds to the finished product so please use real butter if you can.
I haven’t specified what size eggs to use because this recipe will work with most regular eggs. You only need to adjust if what you are using are very small or extremely large. I don’t stress about it, you don’t need to either.
I do sometimes make brownies with darker brown sugars but for these slightly less rich brownies, I stick with regular white sugar and I would recommend you do too.
It doesn’t matter if you use standard granulated sugar or caster/superfine sugar but I err to the former simply because it is the cheaper option.
Please do note that this recipe uses plain (all-purpose) flour and doesn’t contain any raising agents. This is what sets brownies apart from cake – they don’t require any raising agent.
Don’t skip this. Even sweet recipes are sad without salt. I only use sea salt flakes but if you have to use table salt, halve the amount in the recipe.
There are many ways to mix up brownies once you’ve nailed this basic recipe.
You can add a layer of almost any kind of chocolate or biscuit bar or chop them up and mix through the batter. You can swirl in Nutella or Biscoff cookie butter. Add more or less chocolate chips or switch them for any chopped nuts of your choice. Even chestnuts can be a great addition.
Make it Vegetarian or Vegan
This basic chocolate brownie recipe is suitable for vegetarians as written.
To make it vegan is harder as the eggs are an integral part of the texture. You can certainly make a brownie like bake by making the following subs but please note the final texture and taste is likely to be different.
- Salted Butter — Plant-based margarine (block type).
- Dark Chocolate (Bittersweet) — This may be vegan already but check the label or find an alternative.
- Milk Chocolate — Vegan milk chocolate is available otherwise sub with more vegan dark chocolate.
- Eggs — A vegan liquid egg replacer. One that mimics the qualities of eggs, not something like chia egg or apple sauce unless you’re willing to experiment.
- White Chocolate Chips — Vegan options are available otherwise leave out the recipe or replace with something like chopped nuts.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This recipe is free from nuts.
Gluten Free One-Bowl Brownie: As there is very little flour in this recipe, I find that it is pretty successful when replaced with a regular gluten-free flour blend.
Dairy Free One-Bowl Brownies: Replace the butter with a dairy free alternative and make sure all the chocolate used is also dairy-free.
Egg Free One-Bowl Brownies: Replace the eggs with a liquid egg replacer. One that mimics the usual qualities of real eggs and not something like chia egg or common suggested replacements like apple sauce.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above and any variations suggested have not been tested unless otherwise stated. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Round Chocolate Brownies
The main thing you will need to make this brownies perfectly is a 23cm (9″) Cake Tin. This gives the perfect depth brownie for this recipe.
You don’t need anything fancy, any old round cake tin will do as long as its the right size. You can make it smaller and thicker in a smaller tin or thinner in a larger tin but you will need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
Brownies keep and also freeze really well.
You can make them a good 5 to 6 days in advance as long as they are stored well in an airtight container. To keep them really fresh, wrap well in cling film first. However you store them it is important to make sure that the brownies are fully cool before storing otherwise they will sweat. No one wants a sweaty brownie.
You can store them in the freezer for months. Either as a whole brownie or in individual slices. Wrapping in cling film or using a very well sealed freezer bag is essential.
Leftover One-Bowl Chocolate Brownies
As I’ve said, these brownies keep incredibly well. Its also not a massive batch so I’m sure you won’t have any problem polishing them of.
A quick blast in the microwave will revive any slightly stale brownie.
If you just fancy switching things up, you could cut them up and use as the cake layer in a simple chocolate trifle, stir chunks through vanilla or chocolate ice cream or even whizz them in a blender with milk for a cheeky milkshake.
One-Bowl Chocolate Brownies Tips
You will not regret spending an extra minute lining your cake tin. This makes the brownies super easy to lift out the tin and cut. I’m allergic to using knives in non-stick tins so your bake wear will thank you too.
Be careful to not overheat the butter and chocolate, especially if using the microwave to melt them.
I’ve given instructions to make these brownies very gooey in the middle. If you want them more cooked, simply cook them for longer. But do be aware that they will set up more as they cool so a little wobble in the middle will still result in fully set brownies.
If you want to increase the recipe quantity you would be best to double the recipe and bake in two tins rather than using larger and larger tins.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Basic One-Bowl Chocolate Brownies
- 200 g Salted Butter
- 100 g Dark Chocolate (Bittersweet)
- 100 g Milk Chocolate
- 4 Eggs
- 250 g Caster Sugar (Superfine Sugar)
- 120 g Plain Flour (All Purpose)
- ¼ tsp Sea Salt Flakes
- 150 g White Chocolate Chips
- Preheat the oven to 190c fan | 200c | 390F or equivalent.
- Line a 23cm/9" round cake tin with a paper cake liner or line with baking paper.
- Weigh 200g Salted Butter directly into a microwave safe mixing bowl. Break up 100g Dark Chocolate and 100g Milk Chocolate and add to the butter. Alternatively add to a saucepan.
- Microwave in short busts stirring each time until the chocolate is fully melted and and combined with the butter.
- I started with 60 seconds and then two further 30 second bursts. Alternatively place the saucepan over a medium low heat and stir until the chocolate is melted. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
- Add 4 Eggs and 250g Caster Sugar to the bowl. Stir to combine fully.
- Weigh in 120g Plain Flour and add ¼ tsp Sea Salt Flakes. Stir until all visible lumps of flour have gone.
- Add in 150g White Chocolate Chips and stir again.
- Pour the brownie batter into the lined cake tin. Give it a firm tap on the work surface to remove any air bubbles.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes depending on how well baked you want the centre of the brownies to be.
- Once baked allow to sit and cool in the tin for at least 15 minutes then carefully transfer to a cooling rack. If it feel difficult to pick the brownies up out the tin, leave it to cool further in the tin.
- Peel away the paper from the brownies while they are still a little warm.
- Refrigerate overnight for more solid brownies or cut and serve when you like for a oozing and gooey centre.