Joy the Baker’s Chocolate Brownies

Hello friends, happy Sunday! Can I tempt you with a last minute baking plan? For this week’s golden oldie I dove deep into the Passionate Baker archives: Joy the Baker’s Chocolate Brownies. These chocolate fudge frosted cuties graced the blog back in November 2013 and were long overdue an update. At the time, I had just received Joy’s first ever cookbook – Joy the Baker Cookbook – and I was fangirl-ing all over the place. The original post was very much an ode to Joy and everything she ever created or wrote or generally thought about. She was, and very much still is, a huge inspiration for me to get into the kitchen and get baking.

Shall we allow the magic of Joy the Baker to do the same for you?

the story

These chocolate brownies were the first of many, many recipes I made from Joy’s book. In fact, these were the first brownies I made – ever. I had been running a food blog for over a year and a half, complete with all manner of random baked goods, but I’d never gotten around to giving brownies a try. At the time I wasn’t much of a brownie fan – which, now, of course, I consider hugely sacrilegious. But when I saw Joy’s recipe for Chocolate Brownies, I knew it was time; they spoke to my baking soul. They’re more cakey than I’d opt for nowadays, but they were the gateway recipe that opened my eyes to the brownie world, and for that I am eternally grateful.

PS: Catch the somewhat embarrassing photo of me & Joy the Baker down the end of the post! We met at the Notting Hill Workshop I attended in London in 2016.

joy the baker’s chocolate brownies

There are no other brownies like these on my blog. Let me talk you through them:

• these are 100% what I would call a “cakey brownie”. Cakey brownies have a higher flour-to-fat percentage, making them overall more like a chocolate cake. If you’re looking for a more fudgy brownie: Ultimate Fudge Brownies. I am firmly on team fudgy, but these cakey brownies are a good alternative if you want to put a frosting on top.

• the chocolate fudge frosting is divine! It’s creamy and light and we loved it so much that Boyfriend has asked me to frost his next birthday cake with it.

• the brownie to frosting ratio is nearly 1:1! Extra frosting makes everything better, in my humble opinion.

how to make Joy the Baker’s Chocolate Brownies 

Step by step photos of the entire process below!

Comforting beginnings: a greased & lined brownie tin, and our mise en place. Flour, light brown sugar, caster sugar, butter, eggs, chocolate, baking powder, and vanilla extract. I used a mixture of dark & milk chocolate, but you do you.

We start by whisking our baking powder into our flour and setting it aside for the time being.

Next, we need to melt our butter and our chocolate together. This could be done in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water, or for 20-second increments in the microwave. I went with the first option because our microwave is temperamental. When melted together it’ll be glossy and you’ll want to drink it – resist the urge!

Into our lovely melted chocolate mixture, we whisk both of the sugars. I went for a handheld option, but you could use an electric whisk to make your life easier.

After you beat in the sugars, the mixture separates somewhat &, honestly, it won’t look so hot. Fear not! Whisk at the ready, we need to beat in our eggs. Three whole eggs and one yolk later, everything thankfully comes back together to form a more appealing sight.

Remember the flour & baking powder we readied earlier? Now is the time to lightly fold that through the brownie mix with a rubber spatula. “Folding” is one of those newfangled baking terms that can be a little confusing – if you need help: What Does Fold Mean?

Pour the batter into the prepared tin, bang it on the counter a few times to get any bubbles out, and bake for 25-ish minutes. And we’re done! The baked brownies will have a crackly top and the whole tin will have a sliiiight jiggle to it.

how to make chocolate fudge frosting

Our mise en place: cocoa powder, milk powder, icing sugar, butter, cream, milk, and vanilla extract. The milk powder is optional but adds a depth of flavour that I just love.

This is how we frost:

• with an electric whisk, cream together the butter and the cocoa powder. At first it’ll feel kind of wrong, but go with it. It should be glossy and slick.

• add the icing sugar, milk powder, and vanilla extract to the bowl and beat them all together. It’ll be super thick, but just wait!

• pour in the cream + milk, beat it up to glossy perfection and bam: we’re done!

Dollop the chocolate fudge frosting on top of the cooled brownies, spread around with an offset spatula, slice them up, and dig in! Boyfriend and I enjoyed ours literally seconds after I sliced them – you may have noticed there’s two missing from the photos. They’re chocolatey and moist and they go swimmingly with a cup of coffee – I speak from experience.

Enjoy! xo

5 from 1 vote

Chocolate Brownies with Chocolate Fudge Frosting

Joy the Baker's Cakey Chocolate Brownies, topped with a luscious Chocolate Fudge Frosting!
Yield: 12 brownies
Author: Brownies adapted from Joy the Baker, frosting Passionate Baker


for the brownies

  • 120 g plain flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 140 g salted butter, cut into cubes
  • 105 g dark chocolate, cut into chunks
  • 125 g light brown sugar
  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

for the chocolate fudge frosting

  • 85 g salted butter, at room temperature
  • 25 g cocoa powder
  • 160 g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tbsp milk powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 60 g cream


for the brownies

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease and line a 9-inch square brownie tin with parchment paper; set aside.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking powder; set aside.
  • Place the butter and the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over a bot of boiling water – ensuring the water in the pot doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Stir together until melted and combined, then remove from the pot.
  • Using a hand whisk, incorporate the sugars into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs, the yolk, and the vanilla; whisking until combined. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the batter until just combined – do not overwhip the batter.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for 25-minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the brownie tin comes out clean. Leave to rest on a wire rack until completely cool.

for the frosting

  • With an electric whisk – or a stand mixture – beat together the butter and cocoa powder until slightly lighter in colour and fluffy. It will be thick.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the icing sugar, milk powder, and vanilla; beat on low until combined and smooth.
  • Add the cream & the milk into the frosting and whisk until combined and luscious.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to know! Please leave a comment & a rating below, or tag me on Instagram @imvcki. Thank you so much for supporting Passionate Baker!


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