Failsafe Chocolate Brownies Recipe

Failsafe Chocolate Brownies

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Easy Brownies with 6 Ingredients

Brownies. Guaranteed to satisfy the most urgent chocolate fix. However, people tend to have a lot of preferences and opinions on what makes a good chocolate brownie. Are you in the squidgy-centred, fudgy gang, or do you prefer them with a shiny crackled top and a bit of chewiness? I’d say a bit of both is the ideal. (But as long as they’re not dry, I’ll probably eat them.)

For years I was a weird brownie snob and although I tried loads of different recipes, I would only try the more complex ones that involved melted chocolate. Mostly they were delicious, but the results were so variable.

Then I came across a recipe that looked really simple and used just cocoa. In a hurry one day, I gave it a try and I’ve never looked back. It worked so well, it was super fast, and the brownies were delicious.

I’ve used variations on this recipe so many times since – it’s forgiving and has never failed. Here’s the lowdown on Failsafe Chocolate Brownies.

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What’s So Good About Failsafe Chocolate Brownies?

There are hundreds of other brownie recipes out there that use more ingredients than this, and that use more exciting ingredients than this. Bigger, better recipes if you will. But this one holds a special place in both my heart and my recipe collection for being solidly reliable, incredibly easy, and only taking 10 minutes of prep to turn out lovely brownies every time.

This is a recipe to keep firmly in your arsenal of easy baking that can be turned out really quickly and with guaranteed results. Need a quick dessert? These brownies. Need something for a bake sale? These brownies. Need a chocolate fix but there’s no chocolate in the house? Definitely these brownies.

The other benefit of this recipe for failsafe chocolate brownies is that it’s very child-friendly. The brownies aren’t too dark, aren’t too squidgy, they’re nice and sweet, and children love them. My kids request these the most out of pretty much any favourite baking recipe.

Failsafe Chocolate Brownies Recipe

Can Anything Go Wrong With Failsafe Chocolate Brownies?

In my experience, just one thing: it’s possible to overcook them. If you leave them in the oven too long (even by just a few minutes), they’ll get dry and be too cakey.

No one wants dry brownies, so it’s always better to bring them out of the oven slightly BEFORE you think they’re actually done. The worst that can happen if they’re underdone is that they’ll be squidgier – and nobody’s likely to complain about that.

Can You Use a Different Flour in the Brownies?

The recipe calls for plain flour, but you can actually use self-raising flour for these brownies. They will turn out more risen and a little bit airier and cakier, but they’ll still taste just as good.

Can You Make These Brownies With Margarine Instead of Butter?

Yes, absolutely. I’ve made them loads of times with baking margarine because I always have a tub of Stork in the fridge even when there’s no butter. They always turn out just as good because the cocoa and vanilla are the dominant flavours so you’re not losing anything by not using butter.

Failsafe Chocolate Brownies Batter in Tin

Failsafe Chocolate Brownies Recipe

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 25-30 minutes


225g / 8oz butter or baking margarine
100g / 4oz cocoa powder
4 large eggs
450g / 1lb caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
150g / 6oz plain flour


  1. Preheat the oven to 180oC / 350oF
  2. Line a baking tray with greaseproof baking paper. You’ll need a tin with sides of at least 2cm, and sized approx. 18x30cm / 7×12 inches. I have one like this and it’s great.
  3. Melt the butter either in a pan over a low heat or in the microwave in 30 second bursts.
  4. Stir the cocoa powder into the melted butter until it’s all smooth. Set aside.
  5. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla together until they’re creamy and a bit foamy.
  6. Stir the cocoa mixture into the eggs.
  7. Tip in the flour and stir gently until it’s all combined.
  8. Pour into the baking tin and bake for about 30 minutes until the top is firm but the insides are still a bit squidgy. Test it by sticking a knife in – when the knife comes out it should have some moist sticky crumbs stuck to it. If the batter is completely liquid, cook for a couple more minutes. (If knife comes out clean, the brownies are likely a bit overdone.)
  9. Lift the brownies carefully out of the tin by the paper and cool on a rack.
  10. Slice into squares or bars and enjoy!

You might also like:

Foolproof Chocolate Cake

Easy No-Egg Cookies

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    1. Thanks! Definitely worth a try as they’re so quick and easy. Just don’t leave them in the oven too long 🙂

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