Sweet and Salty Small-Batch Brownies

These small-batch brownies are fudgy, perfectly thick, and have a shiny and crackly crust we all yearn for. Recipe makes 6 generous brownies.

small-batch brownies cut into triangles sprinkled with salt

There are times when I get advice on scaling down recipes where I scrunch my face and question someone’s math.

This became a full blow realization when I was making a popular small-batch brownie recipe. I only had one chocolate bar left in the house and the idea of venturing out in -30°F weather to get another one seemed quite ridiculous. So, small-batch it was.

two small batch brownies on a plate with a fork and napkin on the side

Until, it wasn’t. I followed the recipe! I did everything right! Yet, I was left with 1/4″ thick greasy brownie and realized 1. This brownie downright sucks, and 2. Now, I have no chocolate. 

ingredients for the small batch brownies in glass and white bowls with a napkin on the side

So, to my demise, I ventured out to the store to buy more chocolate and developed a small batch brownie recipe that actually works. The kind that is chocolate-laden without being too sweet, has a shiny-crackly crust, and only serves 6 people (or 3 if everyone wants seconds, which arguably they do). They are essentially the brownie you make when you just need a darn brownie and have precisely 1 chocolate bar left in the house. You’re welcome.


WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR. Substitute All-Purpose Flour or 50% All-Purpose Flour and 50% Whole Wheat Flour for Whole Wheat flour

COCOA POWDER. For an extra-chocolatey, Oreo-like treat, use black cocoa powder.

NUTS. If you prefer nuts in your brownies, try adding hazelnuts or walnuts.


  1. Combine the butter, chocolate, and cocoa powder in a medium bowl.

    dry and wet ingredients in different size glass bowls with a napkin on the side

  2. Melt the chocolate, butter, and cocoa powder mixture in a double boiler till smooth.

    melted chocolate, butter, and cocoa powder in a glass bowl

  3. Add the egg to the sugars and beat using a hand or stand mixer.

    beating the egg with the sugars in a glass bowl

  4. Whisk the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.

    mix the wet ingredients in a glass bowl with a bowl of flour on the side

  5. Add the flour and use a spatula to gently combine.

    add flour to the wet mixture in a glass bowl

  6. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

    brownie batter in a prepared loaf pan

  7. Bake until the surface wrinkles and looks glossy and a tester comes out clean. Let cool. Cut into 6 triangles or squares.

    small batch brownies cut into triangles sprinkled with salt


What size loaf pan do I need?

This brownie recipe calls for a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan, which is slightly larger than a standard loaf 8.5″ x 4.5″ pan. If you use a standard pan, the brownies will be thicker and take longer to bake.

How do I store brownies?

Store brownies in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze these brownies?

These brownies freeze beautifully. Place brownies in an air-tight plastic freezer bag or an air-tight glass container and freeze for up to 2 months. Eat frozen or let thaw at room temperature.

Can I double this brownie recipe?

I don’t recommend doubling the recipe since this recipe is specifically designed for a loaf pan. Check out this Bittersweet Salted Rye Brownie recipe for a large batch version!

small batch brownies cut into triangles on a marble background


A NOTE ON EXTRA STEPS. After some research and experimentation, the fudgiest brownies all had one thing in common: beating the eggs and sugar first. This technique not only creates a fudgy brownie but also creates that undeniable crackly shiny crust. If you don’t want to whip out your hand mixer, you can beat the eggs and sugar by hand using a whisk, though the brownie crust will be less crackly and shiny.

QUALITY OF INGREDIENTS. Buy the best quality chocolate and cocoa powder you can afford for this recipe. I particularly like Green & Blacks and Valrhona. Ghiradelli 72% Cacao Twilight is also an excellent option and is widely available in grocery stores. Use dark chocolate you like to eat plain!

More Bar and Brownie Recipes to Try


Bittersweet Small Batch Brownies

These small-batch brownies are fudgy, perfectly thick, and have a shiny and crackly crust we all yearn for. Makes 6 generous brownies.

  • Author: Kim Fox
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 6 brownies 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American


  • 1/4 cup (50g) white granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (66g) light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 3.3 ounces (100g) 65-75% dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 4.5 tablespoons (65g) unsalted butter
  • 2.5 teaspoons (17g) cocoa powder*
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 1/4 teaspoons (40g) whole wheat flour*


  1. Preheat the oven. Adjust the oven to the middle rack of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and line a 9×5″ inch loaf pan with a sheet of parchment paper, extending up to two sides, forming a “sling” for your bars. The parchment paper makes it easy for you to remove the brownies and slice them later.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter. Place the chopped chocolate, butter, and cocoa powder in a double boiler (a glass or heatproof bowl set over a small pot of simmering water). Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring frequently, until the mixture is smooth and fluid. Remove the bowl from the pan.
  3. Beat the eggs and sugars. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the egg and granulated, brown sugars, and salt on medium-high speed until the mixture is light in color and doubled in volume, about 5 minutes. If you don’t want to whip out the hand mixer, you can vigorously whisk the mixture using a whisk, though your brownie topping won’t be as shiny.
  4. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and mix at low speed until evenly combined. Add the flour and use a rubber spatula to gently combine.
  5. Bake. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it into an even layer, smoothing the top. Sprinkle kosher salt on the top of the brownies. Bake until the surface wrinkles and looks glossy, and a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely on a baking rack.
  6. Serve. Use the parchment sling to lift the brownies from the pan. Cut the brownies into 6 triangles or square bars. Serve alone, sprinkled with powder sugar, or à la mode with ice cream.


WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR. If you opt to measure by volume instead of weight, whisk the flour first to aerate it, then spoon into a measuring cup, and then level it off with the back of a knife. 


  • Serving Size: 1 large brownie
  • Calories: 231 calories
  • Sugar: 28.2g
  • Sodium: 126mg
  • Fat: 16.4g
  • Saturated Fat: 10g
  • Carbohydrates: 35.8g
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Protein: 3.4g
  • Cholesterol: 54mg

Keywords: small batch brownie recipe, small batch brownies for two, small batch fudge brownie

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