The Best Fudgy Cast Iron Skillet Brownies
The best Skillet Brownies are made by combining deep layers of chocolate fudge with a slight crunch of crust that’s been kissed with the heat of a hot skillet. These easy homemade brownies from scratch are sure to satisfy any chocoholic’s cravings.
There are three C’s in life that make the living experience well above average: cheese, chicken – and chocolate. This brownie recipe fulfills any chocolate craving you may have without being heavily weighed down. It has the perfect tension of a fudgy, gooey middle without divulging into a chocolate lava cake, and yet stands firm without taking the form of a chocolate cake. This is – the perfect chocolate brownie.
What to know about this basic chocolate fudgy brownie
While this easy recipe is basic, the flavors are anything but. We dug through old recipes, searched the internet, and made countless variations of this brownie recipe before falling in love with this one. Unlike our Triple Chocolate Chunk Brownies, this one uses semi-sweet chocolate chips melted into the batter. This brownie recipe is meant to be the perfect base to variations such as our Walnut Lover’s Chocolate Brownie, the Rocky Road Brownie, and even our Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownie. As such, we knew we had to get the original recipe perfect for all cast iron users.
Brownies from a box vs. brownies from scratch
Understandably, you could be hesitant to make brownies from scratch when most of us have grown up in love with the ones Betty Crocker provided in a box. I promise, I was skeptical myself. I grew up on them and have failed many times when making them from scratch until now. The truth is, not all brownies are created equal. Many claim to be the best and aren’t. Many claim to be fudgy but turn out more “undercooked” versus fudgy. Many appear thick in stature and yet taste more like a cake than a brownie. The box mixes, they always came out perfect and easily repeatable. That was the goal with this brownie recipe – make it easy and make it perfect. Every. Single. Time.
Ingredients for brownies from scratch and why you need them
While a box is slightly easier, the only items you likely don’t have on hand to make them from scratch (if any) are the chocolate chips or the cocoa powder. I never had cocoa powder in my kitchen until recent years. Now I would consider it a pantry staple. The basic ingredients for chocolate brownies are:
- Cocoa Powder – either Hershey’s Cocoa Powder or 100% Dutch Cocoa Powder for a darker, richer brownie.
- Flour – All-Purpose is traditional and common in most homes, so we created this recipe with that in mind.
- White Cane Sugar – This is your standard sugar.
- Eggs – 3. No more, and no less.
- Vanilla Extract
- Salt – While these aren’t Salted Caramel Brownies, you’ll still want a pinch of salt to help balance the amount of sweetness and bitterness that is taking place in each precious bite.
How to bake a Skillet Brownie
How long to cook a skillet brownie?
If you have stumbled upon this recipe sans skillet, go ahead and make this in a 9×13 casserole dish and bake for about 30 minutes. You can make this in a 10.25-inch skillet. However, you’ll need to bake it for approximately 35-40 minutes instead of 30 minutes in the 12-inch skillet. For personal-sized skillets you’ll need three and each will need to bake for approximately 17-23 minutes. Not a big difference, but enough to be aware of. And yes, it does make a difference.
How to make a Skillet Brownie
Preheat your oven to 350F with the 12-inch cast iron skillet in the center of the oven. Allow the skillet to preheat with your oven. Then melt your butter either on the stovetop or in the microwave. Once melted, add that to your bowl of sugar, cocoa powder, and salt; whisk (affiliate link) to combine.
Once whisked, add your eggs and vanilla extract. Stir those into your batter with a whisk (affiliate link) also, just until combined.
Lastly, use a rubber spatula or gently whisk (affiliate link) the flour into your batter. You want to minimize the air bubbles and be careful not to over whisk (affiliate link). If you want to add any extras, such as walnuts, fold them into the batter now.
Your batter should resemble that of a thick cake batter or pudding. The batter will be a touch coarse in texture unlike a pudding. Pour the batter into your preheated skillet and bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
Remove the skillet after 30 minutes and allow it to cool. The top will have formed a crust but the inside will seem underdone. Let the brownies rest in the skillet and they will continue to cook and firm up. Give the brownies at least an hour before cutting and digging in.
Tips for making the BEST Homemade Skillet Brownies
You want to let these brownies cool completely. I know, I know… It’s really hard not to just dig in when they are hot and gooey. But when you do take the skillet out of the oven, the middle of the brownie will be on the verge of gooey and not done. The brownie needs to rest in the skillet as it continues to bake ever so slightly. It will finish baking out of the oven and as it comes to room temperature the chocolate will begin to solidify. I’m not saying it will be easy, but it is oh so worth it for that perfect brownie slice.
How to store, freeze, reheat, and serve homemade brownies
How to store fresh homemade brownies
In the rarest of occasions when you are either making these to share the next day or you’ve added a little too much ice cream to your first brownie, we’ve got you covered. You can store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
How to freeze homemade brownies
If you’re a real saint and willing to share with a friend or are just making multiple batches and freezing for later, you’ll want to remove the brownies from the skillet once completely cool. Divide them into single serving pieces and place on a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet and in the freezer. Allow your brownies to freeze on the cookie sheet completely, and then remove and place them into a freezer safe Ziploc bag and back into the freezer. These will last 2-3 months.
How to thaw frozen brownies
Remove your brownies from the freezer and either let them come to room temperature on the counter, or microwave individually at half power in 15 second increments until you’re desired temperature.
What to serve with brownies
Brownie sundaes are always a hit! A scoop of vanilla ice cream (or my personal favorite – black raspberry), a drizzle of chocolate, a mountain of whipped cream… perfection! However, if you’re not in the sundae kind of mood, you may find these pairings to be tasty companions:
The Best Basic Fudgy Brownies
- Measuring Cups
- 1 cup Butter melted
- 2 cups sugar white cane
- 1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour sifted
- Preheat your oven to 350 with a 12-inch skillet. Allow your skillet to preheat.
- Melt your butter. In a large bowl whisk together sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Pour in the butter and stir until just combined.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk again.
- Add the flour and whisk or fold with a rubber spatula until just combined. Do not over mix your batter and try to avoid creating bubbles.
- Pour the batter into your preheated skillet and place back into the oven at 350F for 30 minutes. The top should be set but with a thin crust. It should have a bit of give as the brownies will not be completely cooked through yet. The brownies will continue to cook a bit after being pulled out. Allow them to cool completely (about an hour) before cutting.
this is literally the best brownie recipe ever- I have tried MANY. Chocolately, fudgy, and simple. Surprisingly good given that it’s just cocoa powder and no chocolate chips or melted chocolate. I used Ghirardelli cocoa powder, and thought this was better than the boxes of Ghirardelli brownie mix. Thanks for the recipe- definitely a keeper!
Oh my goodness!! These were so good and so simple to make. I have always loved a fudgy brownie and this recipe did not disappoint. This will definitely be one of my go to brownie recipes in the future!!
Help….Can you use non-dairy butter instead? I know not the same but we have a non-dairy family member.