This fudgy brownie recipe is one-bowl simple, gooey and can hold toppings wonderfully without compromising its texture. We added colorful Halloween sprinkles and candy eyes. They keep and travel well and can be frozen.
These quick and easy brownies are everything you expect of a best homemade brownie recipe with the added colorful topping.
You can add many types of sprinkles and spooky extras on top. Make sure they don't melt when heated, like the candy eyes that we add after they're baked, for that reason.
Why make this recipe
- Easy to make: Mix the batter with a wire whisk in one bowl. It doesn't get much easier than that.
- Gooey and fudgy: bake them just right, and you've got yourself a perfect, gooey, fudgy brownie.
- Toppings: you can add any Halloween candy or decoration you want.
- Freezer friendly: they are great to have frozen at all times for last-minute chocolate cravings.
- Chocolate: use your favorite dark semisweet chocolate for this recipe. I like Callebaut 54% chocolate wafers or Ghirardelli Premium baking bar.
- Unsalted butter.
- Cocoa powder: always use unsweetened. I like Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder, Ghirardelli Premium baking cocoa, and Scharffen Berger natural cocoa powder. You could also use black cocoa powder used for homemade Oreo cookies.
- Eggs: fresh, large.
- Sugar: white granulated.
- All-purpose flour.
- Salt: I like to use kosher salt when baking. But regular table salt works just fine.
- Vanilla: I use pure vanilla extract or pure vanilla paste when available, but a good vanilla essence (artificially flavored) also works and is infinitely cheaper.
- Halloween sprinkles: I use an edible sprinkle mix with candy eyes.
How to melt chocolate and butter
There are 2 ways:
- Microwave: melt the ingredients on high for 10 seconds, take them out, and mix well. Repeat until all the chocolate is melted. Be careful you don't scorch it. That's why it's important to mix it well between each heating.
- Stovetop: put the bowl with chocolate and butter over a smaller pan with a few inches of water. Over medium heat, let the chocolate and butter melt, stirring occasionally. Ensure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water and that no water gets into the bowl. If the water boils too much before the chocolate is melted, turn the heat off and let the hot vapor melt the remaining chocolate.
Preparing the pan
Use parchment paper so removing the brownies from the pan is easier. I tend to use just one long strip covering the bottom and two sides. But you can use two strips (crisscross style) and cover all four sides.
- Measure the width of the pan you're using and cut a strip the same size. The length of the strip is given by the parchment paper you bought.
- Butter or spray the pan and place the strip of parchment paper covering the bottom and two sides, allowing the grease to act as glue.
- Pour in the batter, bake it, and run a smooth-bladed knife along the paperless sides after it's cooled down but before it completely sets so you can unstuck parts that need it.
- When ready to remove the brownies, help yourself by grabbing the two ends of the paper and lifting the whole block of brownies from the pan.
IMPORTANT: don't add the candy eyes before baking, as they will melt and disappear! Add the sprinkles, bake the brownies and insert the eye decorations when you remove the pan from the oven while still hot.
When are they done?
Brownies are similar to cheesecake in that they should be removed from the oven while still jiggling a little. If they firm up completely, they'll be dry to eat. The edges might've shrunk a tad.
If you insert a cake tester or toothpick, it should come out with moist crumbs attached but not wet batter.
They freeze well.
I cut them into squares, wrap them in plastic, and then aluminum foil. Label and date them for easier handling afterward. Defrost at room temperature.
There is a whole post devoted to Freezer Baking & Desserts. A simple guide to using your freezer for baked goods!
Related recipes you might like:
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- ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or paste
- ½ teaspoon coffee extract, or 1 teaspoon instant coffee (dissolve it in the vanilla), optional
- ½ teaspoon pure almond extract, optional
- ¾ cup unsalted butter
- 6 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- Edible Halloween sprinkles and candy eyes
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF / 180ºC.
- Butter or spray a 9-inch (20x20cm) square baking pan and line it with a strip of parchment paper. See Notes below.
- In a large bowl, melt butter and chocolate, see Notes below for methods.
- Add the sugar and mix for 30 seconds.
- Add the vanilla and other extracts if using, and mix well.
- Add the eggs and beat by hand until very well mixed.
- Add the dry ingredients, sifted (flour, cocoa, and salt). Fold well until the batter is shiny and smooth.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the Halloween sprinkles.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes, until slightly jiggly in the middle.
- Remove from the oven and immediately press candy eyes on top.
- Let cool for 10 minutes and run a smooth-bladed knife along the edges to loosen up any stuck bits.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack before removing them. Use the parchment paper to lift the block of brownies. Cut into squares.
- You can pop them into the fridge for a few hours to make cutting them easier.
- They are better the next day, in my opinion.
- They keep for a few days and can be frozen for up to a month, well-wrapped.
- Baking time: consider that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer (like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Important: don't add the candy eyes before baking; they will melt and disappear! Add the sprinkles, bake the brownies and insert the eye decorations when you remove the pan from the oven.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: Bars & Brownies
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: Halloween brownies