Rich and dense inside, perfectly crackled on top; these Fudgy Mocha Brownies are what dreams are made of! Well, my dreams, at least. The deep, buttery, chocolate, complemented with strong espresso; it’s everything I crave for sweets! The simple ingredient list and 4-step-instructions make these brownies almost too good to be true. Almost.
Click “Jump to the Recipe” at the top of the page or keep scrolling down to the recipe card for the ingredient amounts and full recipe instructions. Below I have substitutes, tips, tricks, and all the info you’ll need to make these brownies perfect no matter your skill level in the kitchen.
- Instant espresso – For those of you that think espresso powder is a bit sacrilegious, just trust me here. I’ve tried making these with freshly brewed espresso, and it just isn’t quite strong enough to come through after baking.
- Water – Hot or boiling to dissolve the espresso powder.
- Butter – I prefer to use unsalted for full control over sodium. If you use salted butter, reduce the additional salt.
- Eggs – I used large eggs.
- Sugar – Both regular granulated sugar and icing sugar (aka powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar) give these brownies an extra dense, silky consistency. You can substitute the icing sugar for granulated sugar if needed.
- Vanilla – Extract, paste, or fresh vanilla bean. You can use more or less in your brownies if you prefer.
- Flour – All-purpose flour. I find it’s best to measure my flour by spooning it into the cup, then leveling flat, rather than just scooping straight into the bag with the cup.
- Cocoa – Some brownie recipes use a little less than what I’ve used, but I like mine extra chocolatey. You can reduce the cocoa slightly if you want.
- Salt – To taste.
- Chocolate – I love big melty chocolate chunks in my brownies! You can, of course, use regular chocolate chips. Feel free to increase or reduce the amount of chocolate called for depending on your preference.
How to make fudgy mocha brownies
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly spray a 9×9″ cake pan with cooking spray and line it with a sheet or parchment paper, with excess hanging over the edge.
- Wet ingredients: Whisk the espresso powder with the hot water until completely dissolved. Add the butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and prepared espresso to a large mixing bowl and beat until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
- Finish the batter: Sift the flour, powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt into the bowl. Whisk until just combined, then use a spatula to fold the remaining dry ingredients in. Fold in 3/4 cup of the chocolate chunks.
- Bake: Spread the batter into your prepared cake pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chunks over top. Bake for 18-23 minutes, or until fully cooked through*. Allow the brownies to cool for about 30 minutes before lifting from the pan using the overhanging parchment paper and slicing.
If you’d really like to, you can replace the instant espresso and water with 2 tbsp freshly brewed espresso. However, I don’t recommend this! I’ve tried this recipe with freshly brewed espresso, and it just wasn’t strong enough to stand out with the chocolate.
Using 1 tbsp instant espresso to 2 tbsp water gives a much stronger coffee flavor than regular brewed espresso. A happy medium would be to use 2 tbsp of freshly brewed espresso with 1-2 tsp espresso or coffee powder.
I always find brownies at their best when they have mix-ins. Chocolate chunks are my favorite, but you can add anything you like best! Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pretzels, white chocolate, toffee, butterscotch, coconut, oreos, m&ms; you get the point.
It completely depends how many of these brownies you plan on eating in a sitting! From experience, it’s hard to stop at just one.
This information is completely estimated based on the average caffeine content of instant espresso and may vary depending on your brand: There will be about 150-200mg of caffeine in the entire batch of brownies. If you cut your brownies into 16 pieces like I did, that means each brownie will have 9-12mg of caffeine. This is similar to 1/4 cup regular brewed coffee.
Insert a toothpick into the middle of the pan. It should come out with a few crumbs sticking to it and no batter. Test a few spots in case you get melted chocolate from a chocolate chunk.
Tips for making fudgy brownies
- No leavener! It feels odd baking without baking powder or soda, but this is one of the secrets to perfectly dense, rich brownies.
- I always use a whisk to mix everything by hand when I’m making fudgy brownies to avoid adding too much air to the mixture.
- Thick batter = perfection
- Keep a close eye on your brownies as they bake and don’t leave them in there too long. I like to start testing my brownies with a toothpick at the 18 minute mark. The toothpick should be moist with a few crumbs stuck to it, but no batter.
- Give them enough time to rest properly to make slicing easier. Wipe your knife between each slice!
How to store mocha brownies
Let the brownies completely cool down to room temperature before wrapping them up. Make sure not to forget them, though, so they don’t dry up o the counter! You can wrap them well with plastic wrap or bees wrap. You can also store them in an airtight container, large sealable freezer bag, or even a cake plate with a dome.
They will last 3-4 days stored at room temperature, up to 1 week in the fridge, or up to 3 months in the freezer. I like to zap my brownies in the microwave for 5-15 seconds to warm them up just enough to soften the chocolate chunks as I finish the batch.
Looking for more sweet treats like these?
Fudgy Mocha Brownies
- 1 tbsp espresso powder
- 2 tbsp water hot or boiling
- 1/2 cup butter unsalted, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar granulated
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup flour all-purpose
- 1/2 cup icing sugar aka powdered sugar or confectioner's sugar
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 cup chocolate chunks divided
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly spray a 9×9" cake pan with cooking spray and line it with a sheet or parchment paper, with excess hanging over the edge.
- Whisk the espresso powder with the hot water until completely dissolved. Add the butter, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and prepared espresso to a large mixing bowl and beat until the sugar is mostly dissolved.
- Sift the flour, powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt into the bowl. Whisk until just combined, then use a spatula to fold the remaining dry ingredients in. Fold in 3/4 cup of the chocolate chunks.
- Spread the batter into your prepared cake pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chunks over top. Bake for 18-23 minutes, or until fully cooked through*. Allow the brownies to cool for about 30 minutes before lifting from the pan using the overhanging parchment paper and slicing.
These were super easy to make and taste great! I ended up substituting the espresso powder with 1.5T of instant coffee and you still get a good coffee taste. I would recommend sticking with a 9×9 pan if possible – I didn’t have one, so I tried in a slightly smaller pan making slightly thicker brownies, but the center didn’t quite cook all the way.