The #1 Ingredient for Better (Read: Fudgier) Brownies

August  4, 2017

Every classic brownie, even a foolproof go-to, could use a little improvement. Whether you like them fudgy or cakey, brownie recipes tend to be simple and short. Most of them are one-bowl, and they don't require many ingredients or steps. (Therefore, it's even more important that you use good-quality ingredients.) With such a streamlined template, there isn't that much fussing around to be done. You can use cocoa powder or actual chocolate. Beyond that, the details vary only slightly: types of add-ins, levels of sweetness, and so on.

Photo by Posie Harwood

But if you, like me, prefer your brownies on the fudgier side, then there's a bit more experimentation to be done. I've searched far and wide for the ultimate fudgy brownie recipe. I've tried reducing the flour, increasing the butter, and adding in unconventional ingredients like applesauce and mashed avocado.

Photo by Posie Harwood

Happily, I can say I've finally stumbled upon a killer recipe for fudgy brownies. This recipe yields a very dense and chewy brownie, one that freezes beautifully. The secret to getting the texture right is sour cream. That's right! Sour cream! You likely have a tub of it sitting the refrigerator from your last burrito dinner. Rich and creamy, it's thick enough to prevent your batter from loosening up too much (a problem I've had with applesauce and other ingredients). It also adds a tangy, clean flavor dimension that counterpoints all that rich chocolate and butter.

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I recommend making a double batch. Give half away to friends or coworkers (because chocolate brightens everyone's day!) and freeze half for yourself. You'll thank yourself later on one of those nights when you're scrounging about for dessert, and remember that these are stashed away.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • AlexandraBeckett
  • Shab Shab
    Shab Shab
  • AntoniaJames
I like warm homemade bread slathered with fresh raw milk butter, ice cream in all seasons, the smell of garlic in olive oil, and sugar snap peas fresh off the vine.


AlexandraBeckett August 22, 2023
I wonder if Greek yogurt would work just as well…
Shab S. August 7, 2017
sounds yummie! I've founds some discounted offers on cooking tools due to M. Stewarts birthday . looks interesting
AntoniaJames August 4, 2017
Bet these would be great frozen, broken into small bits and stirred into coffee frozen yogurt or ice cream, with some toasted almonds - a fresh take on Baskin-Robbins' timeless Jamoca Almond Fudge. Nothing like chewy chocolatey bits in a frozen dessert to take it over the top. (Back in the day, they had one with bits of brownie chunks that was also to die for.) ;o)