belgian brownie cakelets

Almost 10 years ago, when I was a child-free, single-chinned (bah) newlywed and this site was 6 weeks old, I passingly mentioned making the Belgian brownies they serve at Le Pain Quotidien. They were as delicious as should be expected from something that’s nothing but chocolate, butter, sugar, eggs and a smidge of flour. However, I never made them after that because, ever the pedant, to me they weren’t real brownies. Brownies are dense, fudgy and even a little chewy and these were featherlight and rich. I don’t know what’s wrong with me either.

what you'll need
melty, buttery chocolate

These might have stayed in the substratum of the archives forever had my husband’s attempts to save me from hospital food after the arrival of this butterfly last summer included regular deliveries of Cobb salads and the aforementioned Belgian brownie at the LPQ by the hospital. I actually said “Oh, that brownie is never as good as it seems like it’s going to be” before taking a bite of what was the best thing I have ever eaten in my whole life, or at least in 40 weeks of everything tasting decidedly mediocre. Those brownies, which I’d keep in the fridge and cut little wedges from all hours of the day and night over the next couple days, were everything. I vowed to refresh them here and give them the adoration they were overdue.

half-fill your cups
a fine inauguration of new cupcake pans
belgian brownie cakelets

Things got a little busy after that, as you can imagine, but these were worth every second of the wait. Shaken free from the narrow confines of a classic brownie, these are so much more — halfway to molten inside with a shattery lid. When they’re unmolded onto a plate or cooling rack, they sigh and dent a little, as if they had to shift their weight onto one hip after standing too long on too weak a foundation. Their shoulders appear cushiony. They look like humble little shrugs of chocolate and require no adornment, but taste like stars.

belgian brownie cakelets
belgian brownie cakelets

One year ago: Pecan Sticky Buns + News
Two years ago: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake
Three years ago: Salted Caramel Brownies
Four years ago: Lasagna Bolognese
Five years ago: White and Dark-Hearted Brownies
Six years ago: Ginger Fried Rice
Seven years ago: Whole Lemon Tart
Eight years ago: Seven-Yolk Pasta Dough
Nine years ago: Sour Cream Bran Muffins

And for the other side of the world:
Six Months Ago: Raspberry Crushed Ice
1.5 Years Ago: Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake
2.5 Years Ago: Kale Salad with Pecorino and Walnuts
3.5 Years Ago: My Favorite Brownies
4.5 Years Ago: Tomato Salad with Crushed Croutons

Belgian Brownie Cakelets
Adapted and adjusted from Le Pain Quotidien, via the LA Times and Wednesday Chef

Yield: 12 in a standard-size (1/2 cup) cupcake mold. I poured some of the batter into these fluted mini-tartlet pans that I never use otherwise; they’re slightly smaller (despite looking bigger) so you’ll end up with 14. They look cute, but I prefer the cushiony texture that came from the cupcake-shaped ones, so don’t run out and buy them for this.

I made several small adjustments to the recipe. The original recipe yields a persnickety 14, calls for superfine sugar and pastry flour; my adjusted recipe makes an even dozen with the ingredients you already have around, plus some much-needed salt. It’s also all mixed by hand in one bowl in under 5 minutes. I made one round with cocoa powder instead of flour, because, you know, gluten. While I would never not eat them, I was sad to find that they lost their shiny lid, which was less crisp too. Do know that the swap works, but if flour isn’t an issue for you, please keep it in there. I also made a batch with 2 tablespoons less sugar and we found them more enjoyably bittersweet; feel free to do the same if that’s your preference. These contain an unconscionable amount of butter and we shouldn’t question it; this isn’t the time for it. Someone is going to ask me if they can frost these. You may not. These are such a perfect self-contained luxury, save the frosting for some arid sheet cake that needs it. If you serve it with anything, my suggestion would be a dollop of barely sweetened whipped cream, a dusting of powdered sugar and/or some berries.

7 ounces (200 grams) bittersweet chocolate (70 or 72%), roughly chopped
7 ounces (200 grams or 14 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon (20 grams) all-purpose flour

Place chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl. Either over a saucepan of simmering water or in the microwave in 15- to 30-second bursts, stirring frequently, melt the two together. Off the heat, whisk in sugar, which should cool the mixture down significantly. Whisk in salt, then eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. The batter will thicken a bit as it stands.

Heat oven to 325°F (165°C).

Either coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray or line it with cupcake papers. Spoon batter halfway into each cup and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (20 minutes in the mini-tart pans I show), or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cakelets comes out batter-free. (Fudgy crumbs are to be expected.)

Let cool on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding. Puffed tops will fall a little as they cool.

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362 comments on belgian brownie cakelets

  1. Shannon H

    Oooh, one of my favorite desserts, brownies. I usually add chocolate chips to mine. Do you think that would work in this recipe? I like the texture they provide and the flavor.

  2. Katie G

    This may be silly….but do you think mini-muffin pan would work to make brownie bites? I don’t want to lose the top texture you describe.

  3. Jane

    Yumm! Do you think they would come out right if I half the recipe for 6? I know, I know – why would you want to?! But I risk eating them all in a day…

  4. Kate

    Hope this isn’t blasphemy, but these look like they might be similar to the addictively-textured little Trader Joe’s brownie bites. Can’t wait to try!

  5. deb

    Jane — Definitely you can halve them, though easier with a scale.

    Katie — Absolutely. I’ve made them in mini-muffin tins.

    Shannon — I wouldn’t; there’s enough going on here that it’s not needed.

    1. Only having 9 muffin liners I ended up doing an experiment and the results were that the cakelets cooked without them refused to come out of the pan in one piece. This despite an amount of butter bordering on wanton. They are truly delicious so I hesitate to change anything but they are almost like a brownie confited in butter. Pools of butter remained in the pans where I had used the muffin liners and as I checked during cooking they were almost deep frying in butter. And yes, I used a high quality butter and followed the recipe exactly.

      1. Jill Baim

        Hi, same thing happened to me when I sprayed with baking spray. Must have used to much. Now i grease then=m with a stick of butter and then take a clean finger and make sure the muffin cup is completely greased but no to excess. I never have luck with cupcake liners as the batter seems to go everywhere.

  6. Kris

    Can’t believe I’m one of the first commenters! I right away compared these with one of my favourite European-style (ie, barely any flour) brownie recipes, David Lebovitz’s gluten-free brownies on his site, because at first they seemed very similar. But his recipe has a ratio of 1:2 for butter:flour…and this recipe obviously does not! I will be giving it a try *for sure*. BTW, David’s recipe is gluten-free as he uses 3 tbsp of cornstarch (with vigorous stirring) instead of flour (there are also only 2 eggs in the recipe for a similar amount of chocolate and sugar)…so that might work here too.

  7. Oh Deb, I love you. I’ve been out of range of a Le Pain Quotidien since leaving my last job in SoHo and they’ve thus been out of mind. But I love these brownies. They’re so simple but so special. Thank you for the recipe!

  8. Lily

    Serious question though, how do you deal with your daughter being like that? Her adorableness is quite a problem for me. For real. That red hair! Those eyebrows! She’s so stinkin’ cute I now suddenly want to have a baby!

    Also: these brownies are almost exactly the same as a chocolate cake I found on Orangette years ago and that has since beome my standby. So easy to make, such a showstopper. Hers uses a little more sugar (although I scale it down to about the same amount you’re using to adjust for European palates), one more egg and only one tablespoon of flour. It’s absolutely amazing!

  9. Aloise

    These look incredible, and your recipe intro made me laugh out loud (and was as helpful as ever). Frosting is for wimps, but do pass me barely sweetened whipped cream all day long.

  10. Katie S.

    Do you think semi-sweet chocolate would make these too sweet? (I ask because I want to make these RIGHT NOW because they look so delicious, but I don’t have bittersweet chocolate.)

  11. Jessica

    If one were to desperately need these… like, NOW, but only had semi-sweet chocolate chips, would reducing the sugar to compensate totally ruin the texture?

  12. Considering I made your beer chocolate cupcakes last weekend with a local brew (brewed with raspberry and cacao nibs, holy crap) and they were a HUGE hit at our Super Bowl party, and our Valentine’s plans include making your Fake Shack burger and oven fries while mourning the fact that we no longer live in New York and can’t go grab one whenever we want, I think these will help soak up our tears nicely.

  13. Jennifer H.

    I love your site, have made and enjoyed several things – including your penne alla vodka for my now husband! – and am counting calories to help lose some weight gained last year (I know! the worst and also the best!). I don’t know that I can resist these, so I entered them in my calorie tracker. If this helps anyone reading, one brownie is 315. Not low calorie, but definitely not too crazy extravagant and a perfect little treat. Now, to try to make 12 but only eat 1 . . . .

    Thank you!

  14. Veronika

    I worked there when I was in college! I still dream about these brownies and their apricot almond madeleines (baked in the shape of muffins!)

    I can’t wait to make these! :)

  15. deb

    Jessica, Katie, re: semisweet chocolate only — Use the 2T less sugar then. It might have a little less chocolate oomph, but I doubt anyone will turn it away.

    Lily — I don’t. I can’t. I’m buying pink stuff. We call her bunny. She’s killing us.

  16. Kris

    Are these meant to be served warm, or do they work at room temperature? Like, say if a person was crazy enough to take these to school and feed the law students? Just a hypothetical.

  17. ro

    oh, these look amazing! And for once, I actually have everything on hand. Question for you: do you think they would freeze well? I’m currently trying to be less of a fatass/more of an adult and though having a dozen of these on hand SEEMS like a good idea, it’s really not. What do you think?

  18. Another Deb

    Deb, have you ever considered taking up writing for a profession? I am saying this because I just read this paragraph “Things got a little busy after that, as you can imagine, but these were worth every second of the wait. Shaken free from the narrow confines of a classic brownie, these are so much more — halfway to molten inside with a shattery lid. When they’re unmolded onto a plate or cooling rack, they sigh and dent a little, as if they had to shift their weight onto one hip after standing too long on too weak a foundation. Their shoulders appear cushiony. They look like humble little shrugs of chocolate and require no adornment, but taste like stars.” And I cannot imagine such a description of a brownie, humble or not, LPQ standard or not.

    First time commenter here because this dragged me out of my invisibility cloak that I have kept on since very many years. Kudos to you and my very best to everyone in your adorable family! I wish I had an oven where I could bake these. Maybe I will give it a try with my mw-convection oven. :) Much love!

  19. Sasha

    Do you think this will work with unsweetened baking chocolate? I don’t want to be too sweet, and there is a block of unsweetened baking chocolate I need to use anyway.

  20. deb

    Kris — I think they’re great at room temperature, warm (although warm chocolate is less my thing because I’m a total weirdo) or cold. Lucky law students!

    ro — I think they’d freeze just fine. Some of the nuance of the crisp lid will be lost when defrosted, but nobody is going to be the wiser.

    Another Deb — Thank you.

    Sasha — I almost always go there in testing (prefer it) but didn’t this time. If you use it, I’d start with 1 1/4 to 1 1/3 cups sugar.

  21. Gail

    When you baked them in the mini-muffin pan, was the baking time similar to your mini-tartlets (about 20 minutes) or was it less? I can’t tell from the pictures if the mini-tartlets are larger than mini-muffins. Thanks.

    Also, as a red-head myself, your sweet cupcake is adorable in pink, but wait until you get her in the jewel tones of kelly green, royal blue and royal purple. You will go into sweetness overload. Be prepared!

  22. Anya

    Deb, what do you think of adding a nut meal instead of flour: like ground hazelnuts or almonds? Would that result in a “lid”? Would it pass on the flavor? Or would we need to add a bit of an extract/liqueur? Just throwing around an idea so some glute-free folks can still enjoy.

  23. Kelly

    Your munchkin is so adorable! Here’s hoping the red curls stick around because they’re stunning (when I was a baby, I had very fine blond straight hair. I now have amazingly curly brown hair. Go figure).

    Quick question about a mini-muffin tin. How much batter would you put into each cup? Fill it up?

  24. Dawn

    I hate it when folks change up your wonderful recipes, but I have to ask: my grandson can’t have dairy (though I LOOOVE butter) & I don’t like to buy “fake” products, sooooo – any idea if/whether coconut oil could be subbed for the butter? :(

    1. WrittenPyramids

      I know you don’t like to buy “fake” products but the Earth Balance vegan buttery sticks worked perfectly here, in case you or someone else is looking to make this non-dairy. (Earth Balance has a soy-free version too, but I can’t vouch for it)

  25. I had these a few years ago for the first time at LPQ and had to track down the recipe to make at home. I made it a few times at home back then – thoroughly enjoying the fudgy goodness – and then stopped. Haven’t had it in a long time. Thanks for the reminder and the simplified recipe!

  26. Lindsay

    Do you think these would work in 9 oz ramekins? My yield would be lower, but I’m wondering if they would stick terribly. I guess I could serve them in the ramekins with whipped cream on top?

  27. Becca

    I just made these are they are just ridiculously good. I used a mini muffin tin and the recipe yielded 40…about 39 more than I should eat

    1. Arielle

      I halved the recipe using a scale. They slightly overflowed the six cupcake liners & I lost the lid a little bit — next time I’ll do 7 slightly smaller ones to avoid the overflow. Still incredibly delicious!

  28. I used to live in Brussels and ate these way too often (I also loved their croissants and their boeuf-basilic sandwich). They called them fondant au chocolat–basically molten chocolate. A typically franco-belgian dessert, served warm, never frosted.
    BTW, I’ve been making your oatmeal bread for my daughter’s breakfast–it’s a winner with chèvre.

  29. Anna

    Well, I just posted on the hot & sour soup recipe that it looked like something I could actually have with my gestational diabetes, then you go and post this! I have a feeling I’m going to be stashing some baked goods in the freezer to make sure I’m ready for when this baby finally comes ;)

  30. erin

    Hi Deb!

    FYI, in using the search function on your site, an ad takes over the whole results page and you cannot click through to the recipes. :***( ethereally smooth hummus! I need you!

  31. Lizzie

    Deb, I love your commentary in the recipe notes: “These contain an unconscionable amount of butter and we shouldn’t question it; this isn’t the time for it. Someone is going to ask me if they can frost these. You may not.”Makes me glad I read it all the way through!

  32. Yona

    I adore your perfect unapologetic use of butter in a sad-health-food-dominated world, but are the gooey insides a salmonella issue with the eggs?

  33. I love this idea! Bitesize brownies are a total weakness of mine so I have no doubt these would disappear relatively quickly… I sometimes think I prefer flourless brownies as they are just so much fudgeier – my favourite.

  34. minik

    “Someone is going to ask me if they can frost these. You may not.”
    Seriously, I read all your blog post, recipes and notes because of sentences like this, even if it’s something I’m never going to make. And for the kids’ pictures, of course!
    Love the first photo of the brownies; very nostalgic.

  35. Rebecca

    Strangely, your description of this brownie made me think of my transition to motherhood. Once trim and poised, I too have shifted. I wake up 2-5 times a night, my hair is somehow simultaneously flat and frizzy, I am cushiony, unadorned, and so good. Thanks for the hard work and great writing.

  36. Chad

    I plan on completing these for Valentines Day. Add a few roses and a good dessert wine and I’m a hero. Sometime I think my wife loves the fact that I clean up after myself more than any other attention. It doesn’t to try though.

    Double chins are overrated.

  37. Meg

    I’ve followed Smitten Kitchen for years and I’ve never commented before, but I just wanted to say that I adore your writing. A lot of the blogs that have exploded recently are seriously lacking in the writing department, but you have such a distinct voice – polished but approachable, a little whimsical/silly/self-deprecating but still authoritative – and I’ve never appreciated it more than now. “Humble little shrugs of chocolate” is one of the best lines I’ve ever read. Keep it up!! Your excellent work is so loved. (Also, these look amazing).

  38. ELCookie

    Since these have only 20 grams of flour do you think you can substitute 20 grams of Matzo Cake Meal and make them kosher for Passover?

  39. deb

    Re, matzo meal, gluten-free flours, etc. — I mention in the headnotes that I tried this with cocoa powder instead of flour to see how it worked gluten-free and found the texture not as great, but certainly not a bad cake in any way… more details up top.

    Yona — The insides aren’t gooey; this isn’t a molten cake — the centers are set. They’re just soft because there’s a lot of egg and butter here, and little flour.

  40. Shannon

    Not only do these sound delicious, I love how simple they are. I have no doubt I’ll make them very soon. Have you ever tried Alice Medrich’s method of melting chocolate in a stainless bowl set directly in a wide skillet of simmering water? Changed my life.

  41. Margaret

    This post strangely pulled me out of lurker status. Strange because we made your chili over the weekend, and I consult your cake file every time one of my kiddos has a birthday. This recipe will be my first bit of for-fun baking (tonight!) since my own summer baby. Thank you for that and for all your wonderful writing.

  42. Tiia

    Hi :) I have read your blog for a little while now and i have to say that your writing is the most hardest to read and understand! I don’t speak english in my everyday life(as you can propably notice from(of?) my grammar). I read the news and sometimes books in english without a dictionary but something in your beautiful writing makes it hard to understand. I found it very fascinating and enjoy reading it even though i have to reread some sentences a couple of times hahah!

  43. Helene

    LPQ is my favorite breakfast spot & I do love those belgium brownies. They are absolutely delish! I was fortunate to pick up the recipe card they had for it years ago & have been making it ever since.

  44. mikal krauss

    always enjoy your blog….and I use your book…..your recipes!! I do happen to always have nice pastry flour around for lots of recipes that seem to actually require….so were I to use in this little ‘brownie’ I could sub same amount? (unlike cake flour which would have a diff measure?)….I use King Arthur pastry flour….and it does seem widely available now in most supermarkets

  45. Hero

    These look amazing – I haven’t had an LPQ brownie for years but they used to be my favourite day-improving treat!

    Interestingly though here in the UK the brownies made by LPQ are gluten-free – I wonder what sort of flour they use to make them? They do have the crisp top and gooey insides that you describe…

  46. Erin

    Your love of chocolate really comes through in the writing of this piece! Only someone with a deep and abiding love could write so beautifully, so poetically. What vivid imagery, and what a pleasure to read these words!

    I love the elemental simplicity of this recipe. I’m weary of trashed-up, over-loaded brownie recipes (i.e., salted-caramel-peanut-butter-cup-pretzel-brownies and the like). Recipes like those are like seeing a beautiful girl with too much makeup who ends up looking cheap.

  47. Judy

    I think the kids are even more delicious looking than any of your food pics! having said that, the recipes absolutely rock-my go-to site

  48. Kari

    What about browning the butter before we start? Would that add too much to this (other than another pan and maybe 5 more minutes)? Mmmm…browed butter….

  49. Marilyn

    These look wonderful. Is a standard-size (1/2 cup) cupcake mold the same as a muffin pan? Do they come out easily from the pan if you don’t use cupcake liners? I have always had problems getting cupcakes out whole. Is there a method? Thanks.

  50. Andi

    I made these last night, and they were a HIT! I used a mini muffin tin lined with paper liners, (15 minutes baking time) and to make them look as good as they are, topped them with a bit of piped chocolate whipped cream, they looked beautiful and tasted rich, yet light…. YUM! Thanks for the recipe, my new go-to brownie!

  51. Mrs. Fifi La Singe

    brownie yay!

    I love adding extra chocolate. over the years, I thought I was being daring – challenging myself when I make brownies, seeing how much could I add before it’s a problem except so far, I never reached this proportion, so they were never a problem (and mine had more flour obviously). so this recipe inspires me to try your recipe proportion because I love the chocolatey-ness of brownies with too much chocolate.

    do you definitely need paper cupcake cups? I’m thinking these might require them because they’re just chocolate and butter and sugar and hardly anything to make them whole except the chocolate.

    I’ll use those tiny bite cups…which means I will eat many of them, because they’re so small and that’s how my mind works. tiny = not fattening at all.

    (how do you manage to not eat most of everything you make until you have to be rolled from room to room?)

  52. Sarah M.

    Hi Deb,
    Just another quick note to extol your beautiful writing. I agree with every quote written in previous comments that each recipe is such a delight to cozy up to, but I have to say your note about “someone is going to ask me if they can frost these. You may not.” made me yelp with surprise and delight. Your definitive stance and firm opinion make me respect you all the more. Have a wonderful Valentine’s weekend!

  53. Debbi

    Lovely post! Deb, your writing is so amazing. I love your recipes and my son and husband thank you from the bottom of their hearts…but the writing is so superb! Sounds silly, but I’ve read your book many times just to enjoy brilliant prose on the subject of food. I wait for your posts to hit my inbox! This one is a perfect example of what I treasure in your site! And those beautiful children….oh my!

  54. Kate

    I just made these and have no idea where I went wrong… I didn’t get a crispy lid, and the butter (oh, the butter) bubbled and separated and left huge puddles in the bottoms of my muffin tins. The brownies are tasty, but not at all what I expected (or what the pictures look like). Any help? I followed the recipe to the letter, including weighing ingredients…

  55. Merrie

    I’m out of hiding, having never commented before. After reading your beautiful description, I had to make these right away and they are outstanding. I scrounged together 7 oz. of chocolate from my collection (60% + 72% + unsweetened) and reduced the sugar by 2 T as suggested. Oh my, they are wonderful! And so is your writing. Captivating! Next time I’ll use more spray as my non-stick muffin pan had too much sticking going on. I hope the little bits left in the pan don’t count toward the 315 calories each….

  56. Emily

    I have White Lily all-purpose flour, which is slightly lighter than regular all-purpose. (On the bag, they suggest adding an extra two tablespoons flour to every cup in a recipe that calls for all-purpose flour.)
    Do you think that I should add an extra 1/2 or whole teaspoon of flour to the mix, or would you suggest leaving the flour quantity as-is?

  57. deb

    Kate — Could the chocolate have burned/separated a little? I didn’t go over chocolate melting tips here, but you always want to just melt it until it’s, say, 90% melted and then stir the rest of the way, so there’s no chance of the chocolate bubbling or splitting.

    Mindy — I ended up leaving out one of my batches for a couple hours and there was no ill-effect (actually, those domed and kept their domes better; but weirdo that I am, I prefer them a little dented on top) so I suspect a day might be fine too. But I haven’t tried it.

    sharon — That would be just fine. It’s pretty close in weight — the bigger concern, as heavier in salt = saltier — to fine sea salt and I always have that in mind as a swap.

    Anita — I was wondering the same! Here, I would definitely be curious about brown butter. And you’d have to reduce the sugar a lot. My fear is that if you take too much out, you lose the structure/moisture because sugar provides that too.

    Marilyn — I had absolutely no trouble getting them out of a nonstick muffin/cupcake tin. Yes, they’re the same, or a standard one is. Regardless of the size, you’re only looking to fill halfway here. If yours are larger or smaller, it won’t matter, only that you adjust the baking time as best as you can and only fill halfway.

  58. CJ

    Recipe looks fine, baby looks scrumptious. She is making me tear up. My littlest will no longer let me nom on the back of her soft fat little neck (nor is it all that fat anymore) and squeals when I pet her tummy… Oh, Deb… enjoy your little curly-head.

  59. Kate

    Hmm… I actually worried that maybe my chocolate/butter mix was too cool, since I definitely erred on the side of stirring in lumps of chocolate. I did double the recipe, but don’t *think* that was the issue. I noticed as I was whisking in egg #6 that the batter seemed to “break,” and the oil separated out, but my eggs were still pretty cold from the fridge so I chalked it up to that. My batter looked great after it rested at room temp, exactly like yours unbaked in the bowl. I feel brownie deficient; I just can’t seem to get a perfect one from scratch (and DESPISE boxed ones). I do so appreciate the troubleshooting assistance! Maybe next time I make any brownies I’ll try a double-boiler rather than incremental microwaving to eliminate “hot spots” as a possibility, though I don’t think it’s that…

  60. JessB

    Wowza, these are rich, rich, rich! I actually like them better the second day, cold with sweetened whip cream and strawberries on it better than warm and plain. Definitely would be a good dessert to serve guests.

  61. K

    Yum! Entirely irresistible! I made these last night because my daughter needed to bring a treat to share for a Valentine’s Day party. To make them more kid friendly, I made them with (GASP!) milk chocolate. And they were delicious! Really! They were more buttery caramely than I imagine they would be with bittersweet chocolate. Sweet, to be sure, but still delicious, and nothing that a bunch of walnuts and sprinkling of salt didn’t temper for the grownups. FWIW, I scooped out a bit of the batter and used coconut flour in it because one of the kiddos in the class is gluten free. Those were delicious too. Thank you for sharing, just in time.

  62. Joycie

    I’ve had a week. In fact, this am I posted that I plan to medicate with red wine and chocolate tonight, and these look just easy enough to whip up while I start on the wine. I’m fairly sure my chocolate isn’t 70%, but it’ll do.

  63. Camille

    I just made these and wanted to note that I ended up with more than 12 cakelets. I also probably overfilled my cupcake tin a little bit (I used a #16 ice cream scoop so they were a bit more than half full) and I still had enough to do a single tartlet pan (just like the ones you have).

  64. Kellyg

    I made these tonight and they were great, but can’t help wondering how they would be if I baked them in a square pan and cut them up–like “traditional” brownies. That way the crispy crust lovers can take the corners and the soft, chewy goodness lovers can eat the middles. I think I’m going to try it. Any thoughts on how long to cook them if they were made in an 8″ x 8″ pan? Or any reason you can think of that I shouldn’t try it?

    1. smeron

      I am wondering the same thing… Has anyone tried baking this as a cake, either in an 8×8 square or 9″ round pan?

  65. SerenaL

    Made these tonight. Delicious! I agree with others that it was the post that drew me in. I normally pass on brownies but there were easy and perfect.

  66. Regina

    Would quinoa flour work in place of the flour? My husband has an issue with almost all grains (corn, rice, wheat, etc). I’m making these for Valentine’s Day..wish me luck!

  67. Well. Being that I jumped over here for your I Want Chocolate Cake recipe and was promptly smacked in the face with these little delights, I’m now in a quandary. I think, maybe, I’ll just make both. Done and done.

  68. Jessica

    Oh, these are just perfect! I only made a quarter of the recipe (boyfriend is allergic to chocolate – such cruel fate…) and I ended up with 4 cute mini-muffins. Two of them are already gone. I used chocolate with 81% cocoa and used less sugar, because I prefer it super-chocolaty and not too sweet. And I couldn’t stop myself from throwing a bit of homemade chai spice in. Not sorry ;)

  69. JoAZ

    Deb, another fabulous and oh so easy recipe. Can’t wait to make these and serve with a little whipped cream and raspberries as another person suggested.
    Seriously I’m sure some person who works for a House Beautiful, Martha Stewart should give you a monthly column. Remember when Ina was in H&B every month? Your writing is beautiful, funny down to earth. There are days like today that are not so good and you just make me smile and feel better about life.
    Your beautiful girl is an angel. Enjoy every minute you can with her time goes by so fast.
    ps Walgreens carries the chocolate 70-72% required for this recipe I don’t remember brand but it’s a major one. I live in the SW not always a good thing I’m able to pu choclate with a 3 minute ride in car. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your family.

  70. Jamie Winkelman

    I was concerned the Lindt 70% bar I had might not be rich enough despite all the butter to help it along (husband had run out to the store, and it looked more like a candy bar than chocolate for baking) so I added in about a teaspoon of Nescafe Clasico from the little single serve packet I had left from a Christmas cookie experiment. Took the batter to the next level…smooth, creamy, and yes, rich. Mission accomplished. Now to bake before I can gobble up the contents of the bowl!

  71. There’s a Burdicks down the street from the hospital where I delivered both girls. Even though it was June their hot chocolate hit the spot. Someone also brought me chocolates from there as well but Lilli ate them all – it was the only way to keep her in the room. Boy, was she ever annoyed! Incidentally, we made your 40 minute brownies on Monday’s snow day. They hit the spot.

    I hope you guys are getting some sleep. She’s absolutely scrumptious.

  72. Mary B.

    I have followed your blog for years. I equally enjoy your writing, your recipes, and the photos of your darling children. (the link to their photos is like a treasure hunt!)
    But the creativity of the writing on this post was exceptional – this is poetry: When they’re unmolded onto a plate or cooling rack, they sigh and dent a little, as if they had to shift their weight onto one hip after standing too long on too weak a foundation. Their shoulders appear cushiony. They look like humble little shrugs of chocolate and require no adornment, but taste like stars.
    While I’m clearing stating the obvious, you are incredibly gifted at writing – as well as producing stellar recipes and beautiful children. :)

  73. susanna faygenbaum

    can i make this ahead of time, like the night before to bring to a party? how would i store them if then? would they taste good?

  74. Kate S

    I have a heart-shaped tart pan (approx 10″) that I’d like to use tomorrow. Do you think this batter would work? I’d love to try this recipe AND use that pan for once!

  75. Candace

    These are going to be just heavenly – I can tell. They’re in the oven right now, and the batter is so sublime that you could drink it. Thanks for the recipe!

  76. Ellen

    These were amazing. I was going to make the simple chocolate cake you have on this site for Valentine’s Day, but while looking up the (very long) list of ingredients, I found this. Had to stop by the store for bittersweet chocolate, only found 60%, but had all the other ingredients at home already. Made while family was visiting to rave reviews and the smell of them baking was amazing. The only problem I had was that in using silicone cupcake molds only about 2 of 12 came out easily. The rest had to be scooped out with a spoon. They were all clearly done inside per the toothpick test and we could tell they were done while we inhaled them. Other than using paper cups in the next time, any thoughts about how to avoid this in the future? I will definitely make these again.

  77. Amy

    I just pulled these out of the oven for Valentine’s Day tmrw- and promptly inhaled one (I waited 10 minutes- could not last a second longer!). The texture is awesome, and the bittersweet chocolate is luscious. I used cupcake wrappers in a 12 count muffin pan and they came out perfect. Thanks for such a divine and EASY recipe.

  78. linsey

    Oh my. Elated and doomed as I made a double batch. The last three weeks of gestation may need these every week. I feel like I can justify these as breakfast due to their egg content. So sinful, Deb. Thanks for sharing!

  79. Nicole

    Oh my goodness are these good. They might be the best brownies I’ve ever had because, you’re right, the texture is divine. Slightly crunchy top and a light, fluffy, moist interior that is so smoooooooth.
    Thank you, thank you for these.

  80. Nikki

    I’m going to make these tomorrow for dessert after making your short ribs and mashed potatoes. So much better than going out for Valentines Day dinner!

    I also have a red head that just turned 5. They are impossibly cute and everyone will comment on her beautiful hair. Before you know it, she’ll be going to school, so smother her with kisses while you can!

  81. Andrea

    Are these the same Belgian Chocolate Brownies you shared with your penne vodka recipe (or, “you won’t be single for long” pasta)??? Those have been a huge hit every time I’ve made them!

  82. Rachael

    Made these last night. They were really delicious and easy to make. As with all your recipes, one can be sure it works and that it will produce a great end product. Thanks for all your wonderful posts; you’re blog is my go to food site when I want to make something new.

  83. Kris

    I tried these out today and found they are pretty much exactly as described (they’re for a dinner party tonight, but you’ve gotta try one ahead of time before you serve them to others, right?). Light, moist, chocolatey…and definitely far more like a rich cake than a brownie. I cooked mine for 25 min and the interior is not very fudgy, but in all fairness the oven in my new place is ancient and I’ve never put a thermometer in there, so the temperature could have been really off, hence a bit of overcooking. The yield is about right as well – after filling 12 muffin tins about halfway up, I still had tons of batter, so I ended up filling them about 2/3 then also filling two ramekins about halfway. I also noticed that the batter was already quite thick after I added the eggs and flour, and didn’t seem to change much after a 30 min rest, so next time I might try skipping the rest and see if it makes any difference. And lastly…I made vanilla creme anglaise to serve with these and this was REALLY good. I might also add a sprinkle of maldon salt to them tonight. Thank you for another good, easy recipe

  84. Megan

    I cannot stop eating the batter; not sure how much will be left after the 30 minute sit is up. Did anyone skip the 30 minute sit?
    I couldn’t decide between Lindt or Ghiradelli chocolate bars so I bought both and first am trying this recipe with Lindt.

  85. Melanie

    I made these today for my brother’s birthday, they were absolutely perfect (even though I forgot them in the oven for about 10 minutes over the 25 initially planned, and only stirred the sugar in once the chocolate had cooled down as I misread the recipe). The dome fell a little but they were moist and delicious under a crispy crust.

    I paired them with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, slices of fresh mango and some whipped cream for a decadent dessert. I had made an extra muffin tin to have leftovers but my guests didn’t leave a single one behind!

  86. Mijke

    These are in the oven now, mere minutes (+ half an hour batter sitting time) after putting the baby to bed. Thank you. I love this recipe.

    Like Kris above, I had way more batter than expected — I filled 12 silicon cupcake cups to 1/2 cm from the top, then filled another 11 mini-cupcake cups! (I measured: 197g chocolate, 195g butter, 185g sugar — were my eggs too large?).

    A very stupid practical question for you, Deb: How do you pour batter into cupcake cups neatly without getting it all over the top of the cupcake pan? I feel sure that you have a trick. I made an enormous mess of everything pouring these. Please share…

  87. Kim

    Made them for a party yesterday & they turned out delicious, but oddly bubbled from underneath…like all of them somehow had an air bubble in between the paper cupcake lining & the bottom of the muffin. Any idea why? I live in the Netherlands, no clue if the low altitude could have affected the baking (followed your directions pretty exactly, using a muffin tin & the minimum baking time). Also ended up w/15 instead of 12.

  88. Lia

    Unfortunately, I had the same problem that Kate of comment #93 had-butter soup! I measured the ingredients by weight and neither overheated nor seized the chocolate, but I ended up with bubbling, brownie butter soup. I’m sure it will taste fine, but I’m wondering where it went wrong!

  89. Abbie

    These were so good! I think they may become my new favorite brownie recipe. I’m withholding final judgement until I see how well they freeze — lots of my baked goods go in the freezer and come out as needed. But ever so good fresh out of the oven. Highly recommend.

  90. Catherine

    I made these tonight as a Valentine’s Day treat for our first Valentines day as a married couple–they were perfect! (And served with raspberries and whipped cream on the side). The recipe made 15 “cupcakes” (probably because I went a little heavier on the chocolate). My husband mistook 7 oz of 70% bittersweet chocolate as “70 oz of bittersweet chocolate” but I’m happy to say 60% bittersweet chocolate chips worked lovely in this with a little less sugar as previously mentioned. Thank you thank you Smitten Kitchen for another amazing recipe!

  91. JP

    I baked these today for our Valentine’s treat. I used semi sweet chocolate and also substituted some cocoa and butter in for chocolate too. I left the sugar at one cup because I have a tendency to like desserts a bit sweeter. I poured the batter into cupcake papers because my cupcake tin is notorious for sticking. There was a bit of butter left in the tin when I removed the cakelets but not any substantial amount. They came out looking much like yours, the same number, the baking time 30 minutes. I had a cup or so of Fenton’s ice cream left in the freezer (caramel crunch) and served that on the side of just warm cakelets. The only thing that disappointed us was that they were not bigger :) But we are soothing ourselves remembering that we have 10 more to go! They are delicious! Something between a brownie, a cake, and a molten cake. So, so good! Thank you for an easy dessert but nice enough for Valentine’s day.

  92. Kristen

    @Megan, I accidentally skipped over the 30 minute set up time and they turned out just fine. That being said, it seems like it’s better NOT to skip it because the set up allows the batter to thicken up, which would have made it a lot easier to fill the muffin cups.

  93. Sam

    I will admit to being a bit worried after some of the results others have had, but I made these tonight for Valentine’s Day and they turned out beautifully!! We all loved them. I melted chocolate/butter slowly in the microwave until almost fully melted then stirred till smooth. Added sugar, eggs, vanilla (my own touch), and gluten free flour. Letting it sit for 30 minutes totally changed the batter! These were rich and fudgy and gooey, while still having the crisp top. Yum.

  94. Maureen

    Did you publish this recipe 10 years or more ago? The original came from the LA times I believe but I got it form someone’s blog. This is the recipe most requested in my stash. I did make a couple of changes. One was to put cupcake liners in the little tins. The second was to pour the batter into the liners and then let them sit for 30 minutes rather than let the batter sit in the bowl for that time.

    The biggest change you won’t believe – I made too many one time which is hard to believe anyone can have too many of these. Anyway, we could not figure what to do with them so I froze them. Best serendipity idea yet. The brownies are ambrosia warm from the oven. Frozen – it takes it to a new level. We eat them frozen. It does change the texture but the taste is lifted to an even higher level. It also means that brownies are always on hand when the want for something chocolate attacks.

  95. eoc

    So. This led me down an internet almost-flourless chocolate rabbir hole, which ended in reminding myself that I used to make this fairly regularly before I had to ban it for my own good:
    Basically the same recipe but you seperate the eggs and add a bit of raising agent then cook in a water bath. It is amazing. Like cooked chocolate mousse. I strongly encourage ypu to try it. Recipe calls for rice flour but the amount is so little that any substitute will work. Must. Make. Immediately.
    Also, typos, many, apologies, cracked phone screen, small baby, sleep deprivation, no energy to fix.

  96. Engrid

    I made these for desert last night and had a similar problem to Kate’s. The recipe followed to the letter and the batter looked great going into the muffin tins. But no crispy tops and butter pooling under the paper cups and making a drippy mess all over the place. It really made me wonder about using 2 TB shy of 2 full sticks of butter. I also followed the recipe exactly and double checked what I had done. They were delicious and rich but I wanted the crackle experience.

  97. Karen

    I made these for Valentine’s Day. King Arthur sells a bun pan. I used that, spraying the 6 sections with Baker’s Joy so no paper lining was required. I baked them for 20′ in a preheated 325° oven. They were perfect!

  98. Tanya

    I have been making these brownies since you published the recipe all those years ago. I never change a thing except for one detail:
    I bake them only in mini muffin tins (USA brand). the recipe makes exactly 48 tiny cakes – ideal to bring as treats for teachers, co-workers, etc. The baking time is 20 minutes if you want them to be completely underdone inside; 25 minutes for more chewiness and truffle-like interior. At 25 minutes the top does not fall; it stays puffy, crackly and intact. I’ve baked them with and without liners. I prefer without liners for texture and ease of consumption. Also, I wouldn’t bake them in cheap, thin supermarket muffin tins, because it’s too easy to overbake in those.
    People are always surprised by the texture and richness of these little treats. It’s like a straight shot of pure chocolate.

  99. deb

    Re, buttery bottoms — It sounds to me that people who made these without cupcake liners were happier than those that made it with because the cupcake liners might have wicked away some of the butter, making it look unappetizing? I can definitely see that happening. When they come out of the pan without papers, they’re extremely soft on the bottom, almost damp, hence the shifting/slumping. To be honest, I’d just ignore any lost butter or greasy looking papers (think of it as the croissant-in-a-paper-bag issue; it’s going to happen with anything buttery, i.e. anything worth eating); what matters is that they taste good. I hope they did?
    The suggestion of papers originates, FWIW, in the originals at LPQ, which always come in them.

    Is this an older recipe from the site — Yes, I mention this at the very top. It was due for a refresh. This newer version is scaled to make 12 muffin-sized cakes, is now one-bowl and nixes the pastry flour and superfine sugar.

    susanna — These keep well from the fridge or at room temperature.

    Mijke — I used a cookie scoop.


    Chocolate — I used a mix of Scharffen-Berger and Guittard.

    Using gluten-free flours — As mentioned in the headnotes, I tested this as gluten-free with cocoa, so not special flour needed. The texture is less perfect; they still taste amazing.

    Juhi — They’re supposed to be moderately dark chocolaty — definitely rich, not especially bittersweet. What kind of chocolate did you use? Did you use the full amount of sugar?

  100. Wife To An Amazing Cook

    My usual rule for a recipe is to make it once as-is before fiddling, but I didn’t have time for that with this recipe (plus, Deb never leads me astray!). So, I subbed almond flour for the all-purpose in order to make it gluten free. I only got to taste the bits that stuck to the cupcake pan, but by all accounts (esp. from the recipients), these were a huge hit. And the lids did get shiny/crackly with the almond flour, in case that is important to some (would be a show stopper for me, but I can be fussy like that when it comes to baked goods with chocolate).

  101. Jessica

    Banana pudding.. Now these. Chocolate heaven! I loved that I was able to get rid of some chocolate from my cupboard and could mix this all in one bowl. Don’t taste the batter.. It’s addicting! I made mine in the cupcake tin with no papers and they came out just fine after I let them cool in the tin. My chocolate loving mom will be the recipient of these babies!

  102. I made these last night, they were a hit.

    I planned a fancy (good china, menus, and a small gift on the plate) dinner for my husband and four kids for valentine’s day and served them as dessert.

    Thanks for the post!

  103. Sharon

    Absolutely fantastic! I used small cupcake pans (yielded over 40) and gluten-free flour. They were shinny and delicious. Pleased some very picky chocolate fans on Valentine’s Day.

  104. Tiffany

    So good! Delicious + easy. My silicon heart pan yielded 16, which seemed a little excessive for my family of 3. My friends and colleagues who received brownies these past 2 days have been very appreciative. A keeper of a recipe.

  105. Donna

    Made these for my foodie kids’ Valentine baskets and thus earned myself the coveted Mom of the Year award. I squirreled a few away for myself, too. Thanks for a keeper recipe!

  106. QueensofQueans

    Hi Deb

    Your gorgeous term ‘unconscionable amount of butter’ made me think about the biblically inappropriate amount of butter and chocolate in my brownies! So please find my newly named brownie recipe below for your delectation.


    Unconscionable Chocolate Brownies
    250g sweet unsalted butter
    165g honey
    1 cups sugar
    ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    2/3 cup plain flour
    ¼ tsp salt
    4 eggs, lightly beaten
    2 tsp vanilla extract
    450g semisweet (dark) chocolate chips

    Preheat oven to 180°. Line an 8inch (20cm) square cake pan with baking paper.
    Melt butter and honey in a saucepan over low heat and stir until the butter has melted. Put aside and allow the mixture to cool slightly.
    In a separate large bowl combine sugar, cocoa, flour and salt and whisk to combine and work out any lumps. Stir in the melted butter & honey, followed by the vanilla and eggs. Add the chocolate chips and stir to combine
    Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35mins. Cool completely in pan.
    When the brownie is cool remove it from the pan and cut with a serrated knife. It will keep for about a week in an airtight container. I cut it into about 36 pieces.

  107. Angela

    Deb – I’m trying to Pin this recipe, and it’s coming up with an error message saying it couldn’t find any pinnable things on this page. Can you help?
    Also, I’ve been on a Smitten Kitchen run lately – recommending and cooking your recipes like crazy. You never fail me! Thank you for all you do.

  108. Nita

    My kids received a bunch of dark chocolate (not popular at my house) so I melted it down to use in this recipe as a Valentine’s Day dessert. Delightful when partnered with some whipped cream, as Deb suggests.

  109. Alice

    I made these. Fabulous! They have received rave reviews so far. I used unsweetened chocolate and added another tbsp sugar per ounce of chocolate. I didn’t read the earlier version of the recipe, but decided to grind my sugar before adding. It mixed in very quickly that way.

  110. Made these and they were killer… They are a close resemblance to my own chocolate chess pie recipe, minus the crust… Didn’t think about doing it before, but it totally works and was divine! ;) Thanks for your always-witty stories that get us to the very end of each recipe.

  111. Jessica

    I made these over the weekend while my boys (6 and 3) made some M&M cookies they thought sounded (or more likely looked!) better. I made 1 batch exactly according to the recipe (using mini muffin tins with liners), for the second batch I added about 1/4-1/3 cup micro chocolate chips and nestled a mini peanut butter cup (the kind that are packed already unwrapped) into the bottom of the liners. While I loved the original recipe I think I preferred the variation in textures adding the micro chips and peanut butter cup resulted in. I will probably continue to make this both ways :)

    Based on some other comments I want to note that I did not have any issues with wet or greasy liners after baking.

  112. Sara

    I made these for a post-Valentine’s Day dessert last night (real people don’t celebrate on the actual holiday, right?!) They were divine! Paired with fresh raspberries and whipped cream, that left my husband speechless.

  113. Deb

    I made these to put into David Leibowitz’s chocolate Babka. Thank goodness that recipe only required 1/2 cup of brownie crumbles because these are OOTW fantastic just as they are! My new go to brownie recipe!

  114. Ashby

    The flavor of these was on point but alas, every single one stuck like crazy to the tin and came out in chunks. Paper liners next time, I guess.

  115. i am going to make these and serve with cool whip and berries on top!!! (that way at least my brain will be tricked into thinking its good for me :) ) hahahah

  116. JP

    Thought some of your readers might be interested to know that here it is, 6 days after Valentine’s day when I baked these cakelets in cupcake papers. My husband and I have been eating them at the rate of two a day (with a lot of self control!), and keeping them in the refrigerator. I warm them for about 30 seconds in our microwave and they come out almost as nicely as freshly baked. It has been the highlight of some of the days in this difficult week, to have a warm, absolutely delicious cakelet after dinner. Thank you!

  117. Hayley

    I just made them, in silicon muffin and mini muffin molds. 10 muffins & 12 minis. The texture of the tops look very different from your pictures (mines are dark, wrinkly and pokey) but they are still absolutely delicious. The mini ones remind me of the Thomas Keller chocolate bouchons.

    By the way, did you notice that the recipe is almost exactly 1/4 chocolate, 1/4 butter, 1/4 sugar and 1/4 eggs, with a bit of flour thrown in for texture and binding? :)

  118. Erin

    Mine fell apart coming out of the pan (I’ll try baking a minute or two more next time), but they are so good! My husband has been eating the crumbs by the handful.

  119. Mark

    I look forward to making these! Deb, I won’t use liners, do you recommend running a small spatula along the edges when they’re ready to be released or do you just invert the pan to release them without any other action? Thanks!

  120. Meredith

    Deb, these are splendid – like a fluffy chocolate pillow in my mouth. How do you think it would work for the chocolate portion if I used one part unsweetened chocolate to two parts 60% bittersweet chocolate chips? I don’t always keep the fancy 70% bittersweet bars around, but it’s a sad day in my pantry if I’m out of ghirardelli dark chocolate chips :)

  121. I made these yesterday without lining the cupcake tin with paper, and I had no problems! :) I added a full 3T flour, but, other than that, followed the recipe exactly. We got about 18 cakelets out of the batter, with the cups filled 3/4. Slightly crispy tops, soft decadent centers.. Great recipe!

  122. Rose

    Referring back to Abbie’s post about freezing–YES!! My husband and I enjoyed two on Valentine’s day, and I froze the rest, thinking to defrost them for a family dinner at some point. I pulled one out for a late-night treat and decided to take a bite right away, just because. WOW! I think I like them even better frozen! Imagine using these to make cakelet ice-cream bars…

  123. Terry

    I simply must tell you that I have made these 3–yes 3!–times since you posted this recipe and I have become an evangelist for the recipe itself. One bowl. ONE. Almost shamefully easy. And such a huge pay-off. These are now known among my friends as “chocolate flavor bombs.” Thank you!

  124. marbrill

    So so delicious but, like another baker, i had way more batter and filled almost to the top – resulting in cooking longer — too long i think – and a slightly crumbly texture. Wondering why I had so much batter? Did I fluff it up too much in stirring?
    There’s 1 left. I anticipate a rumble.

  125. Leanne

    I made these this weekend and they were delicious! I followed the recipe exactly, baked them in a standard 12- muffin pan filled half way and ended up with 20 cakelets. No complaints about the “extras”!

  126. These delicious brownie cakelets are the perfect little portion! They taste especially great when turned into a mini brownie sundae with a scoop of ice cream, chocolate sauce, and whipped cream. You can also substitute the melted dark chocolate for other types of baking chocolate to change the recipe a little bit.

  127. Brittany

    I just made these. I’m not sure what I did wrong but mine are super eggy tasting and spongey in texture. Definitely not what I expected. Kind of a bummer!

  128. Jeni

    Just made these with the less sugar and cocoa powder options. They’re scrumptious!!

    Mine were also spongy and a bit eggy when I ate them still warm but I didn’t notice it once they’d fully cooled. At that point they were fudgy and cakey with a deep chocolate flavour.

  129. Alison

    I discovered when I was about to add the eggs that, despite the fact that we had two cartons of eggs in the fridge, they contained a total of 3 eggs. Luckily, I was baking by weight anyway and just removed 1/4 of the batter and kept going. Super delicious, though mine stuck really badly. I’d probably use papers next time instead of just the nonstick spray, but there will definitely be a next time.

  130. Carol

    Made these for the 2nd time yesterday – first batch was made with 60%ish dark chocolate and the lower amount of sugar – I got 16 out of the batch, but it was a tad too sweet for me. So the second time, I made sure to use the 70%+ chocolate you call for and they are perfect! Both times, I wrapped most of them individually and froze them in a big freezer bag, so I could pull them out one by one to bring with lunch as my mid-afternoon snack.

    I think these are definitely best at room temperature or cooler. I don’t think you get the full effect fresh out of the oven (this didn’t stop me from eating quite a bit of the batter because sometimes, you just NEED IT NOW) And to the commenters who are raving about them frozen, I agree wholeheartedly!

  131. MK

    Huge favorite with kids and grandkids (even the one who can only nod vigorously at this point). Last batch, made on a cold rainy Sunday when husband had already made one grocery run already, came up short on butter. Only one stick. So I used 3 ounces of canola oil in addition to the butter. Thought they might not be good, but nooooo. They were excellent.

  132. Jess

    I want to make these for a dinner party, but will be a bit rushed for time. Since there is no raising agents could I make the batter the night before and store in the fridge to be baked up the following night?

  133. Heather

    I wanted to make these yesterday but I didn’t have bittersweet or semisweet chocolate. I did have unsweetened so I took to the comments and found your answer – start with 1-1/4 to 1-1/3 cup sugar; I went with the 1-1/4. I buttered my muffin cups very well and had no issue with sticking. I used my offset spatula to help pop them out of the tin. Also, I did not have any “extra batter” issues. These were amazing and I can’t wait to try one from the freezer!

  134. Stanley Gregory

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  135. Adrienne

    So, has anyone made these who can tell me how long they keep (well) once baked? I’d like to make them for a work function which requires about 4 dozen. My days are long so I’d like to make them over 2-3 nights. When do they start to lose their joie de vive? :)

  136. Shelley

    Seriously delicious. First time I made them, I used a normal muffin tray. But have since used a mini-muffin tray – smaller bites, but so much more of them … a real hit.

  137. jjjeanie

    I made these last night, and cut the sugar to 3/4C because I prefer my (many!) sweets to be a bit less sweet. They were fantastic, but still way too sweet for me. What do you think is the maximum decrease in sugar I can get away with? btw, I used Trader Joe’s Pound Plus, which is 72%. I was thinking keep to 3/4C sugar, and replace maybe 1/4 of the chocolate with unsweetened . . . thoughts?

  138. danistar

    I made these for my boyfriend and he’s obsessed – he even loves them microwaved fresh out of the freezer! They’re completely irresistible. Can you make the batter in advance and bake them later in the day, or is it better to make it right before baking (after the wait time of course)?

  139. EmilyMBerry

    I just made these exactly as written and they are very tasty. However, the main issue I had is that mine stuck to the muffin tin quite a bit. Not a single brownie came out intact :(

    I used a regular muffin tin (old, weathered, not non stick). I highly recommend others use a non-stick muffin pan or muffin liners (especially if you want to serve these to guests!!!)

    1. jjjeanie

      So, did you try yet, Kelly? Or you, Deb? Anyone?? I haven’t yet, but I want to (not for me, I eat everything!). I’m thinking store-bought “gluten-free flour” might do the trick, but I’m always scared to try stuff. There’s so little flour, it should work, right?

      1. deb

        I’d expect it to work here. Also I had this note in the head notes:

        I made one round with cocoa powder instead of flour, because, you know, gluten. While I would never not eat them, I was sad to find that they lost their shiny lid, which was less crisp too. Do know that the swap works, but if flour isn’t an issue for you, please keep it in there.

  140. Andrea

    I just pulled these out of the oven and they look and smell amazing. The tops did fall and that makes me sad, but the batter tasted great so I’m sure these won’t disappoint!


    Now I finally know why I took that pound of butter out of the freezer. I’ve been whittling it away slowly [I’m someone who looks for something to have with butter] because I hadn’t found anything that jumped out at me. This does. Can’t wait. Too late to start tonight but that butter is coming out of the frig. now.

  142. bswnyca

    I use organic sugar and for some reason it tends to be heavier so I don’t use grams for sugar anymore even tho I prefer weighing vs. measuring. Removed a heaping T. from recipe. Used 72% chocolate. Used mini muffin pans – 1.25 inch diameter paper cups with ~ 1 rounded regular silverware teaspoon. Baked ~ 13 minutes give or take – did put one tray back in as it was not fully baked. Made 48 – could have made at least another half dozen or so but…I’m a batter eater. Also added a couple of teaspoons of the ‘left over batter’ to a cup of coffee – yummy. The chocolate is intense. Mini-sized snack – pop in your mouth, maybe 2 bites. Would make regular size and serve with ice cream or whipped cream and raspberries as a dessert or just raspberries/sauce . Doesn’t get better than chocolate and raspberries for me. This was a big hit with my neighbors – my official tasters. Got 2 thumbs up with oohs and ahs. I do need to learn to put some time between baking and tasting, not just this but in general. Tasted soo much better to me this evening. Clean up was a breeze with teflon pans and paper inserts. Bringing some in for an early morning meeting. It’s not like there’s a designated time for chocolate. It’s a keeper!

  143. Marcia in NM

    Oh, my, Deb — it’s gonna be VERY hard to keep these from being consumed before a party on Sunday!
    I made them exactly as you instructed and thanks, by the way, for always including the weight. I live at 7,000′ now and find it essential to bake by weight, not volume.
    So I did these in a mini muffin pan (24) with liners. Couldn’t wait to eat one WARM and it is awesome!
    I baked them for 12 minutes and had to add 4 minutes more, but no problem. I might be able to get another pan of 24, but no worries if I don’t. This recipe is SO EASY!!!
    And the issue with a liner? Not an issue here. They did “schlump” beautifully.
    Thanks for another outstanding recipe!

  144. Abbie

    I am doing something wrong. I made this once and it was the best brownie ever. Immediately my number one brownie. But now I have made it several times where the brownies won’t form but is all crumbles. Any ideas what I’m doing? I don’t think I’m forgetting to include anything and I’ve been baking them for30 min.

  145. I will definetely try these! Quality of the chocolate used is the most important aspect I assume. I love to use original belgium chocolate bars for my own recipes. Im sure it is going to be delicious! Great recipe! Thank you!

  146. Heather

    I made these and unfortunately underbaked them, which meant, among other things, that I had a hard time getting them out of the muffin tin in one piece. Even the pieces, though, are rich and delicious–just not servable to other people. So I wrapped them individually and froze them. I intend to use them as bike ride snacks when the weather gets warmer. (I put them in my jersey back pocket frozen, and halfway through the ride they’ll be thawed and perfect, just when I need an energy boost!)

  147. Colleen

    These are absolutely divine. As other commenters pointed out, they are very similar to the winning hearts and minds cake, but I think it’s better in this form, maybe because the cakelets are taller than a slice of the cake would be? Anyway, two notes: I made them with salted butter instead of adding salt. By looking at the nutrition label, it seemed like the equivalent of 1/2 ts salt. I thought the salt level was perfect. Also, I used a nonstick muffin pan but lined most of the cups with cupcake papers because I was paranoid. While both kinds tasted equally delectable, they looked very different. The ones in papers stood straight up and their tops, while not domed, didn’t collapse. The unlined ones were adorably slouchy, and came out of the pan easily and in one piece. Can’t wait to make them again!

  148. Stacey H

    These are wonderful! I further tweaked it with a spash of vanilla, and a half TB of dutched cocoa (in lieu of the extra tsp of flour). You are an inspiration-as always!

  149. This reminds me of my favorite Baker’s one bowl brownie recipe — minus a couple of ingredients. No other brownie recipe does it for me, but will have to try this because I’m curious how it fares without vanilla.

  150. Renee B

    I’ve made a similar recipe for years. The only additional ingredient is cayenne pepper. I use 1 to 1.5 teaspoons. The result is not noticeable at first but after chewing a moment, there’s a nice little latent burst of warmth. Recipe came from Not plugging but do need to give credit. Feel free to omit my comment but do give them a try. They are fantastic.

  151. Charlottemousse

    My husband made these, and they are now our go-to brownie/chocolate tartlette recipe! So rich, flavorful and fudge-y. He halved the sugar and baked it for 14 minutes in a cupcake pan mold. We’ve been recommending this recipe to all of our chocolate-loving friends; love how simple it is, too.

  152. fan

    keeper! for a dinner party, bake in liners then remove to serve individually with raspberry sauce and whipped cream…! fyi — the liners do get greasy due to the butter, but oh well ;-)

  153. These are delicious and are even better the next day! My one problem is that they didn’t get the shiny top like yours did Deb. Both my daughter and I made these and we both had the same issue. Any suggestions or hypothesis as why this might be the case?

    I did a little internet research and there are some people that say it could be the butter temperature, the whipping, or to use chocolate chips instead?

  154. JP

    I over-filled the muffin tins a bit so the tops spilled over in cute little flower petal patterns, but I was able to pop them out of the tins in one piece. I don’t have a scale to measure ingredients so I had to eyeball the chocolate and tried to adjust the rest. Clearly I’m not so good at that, as I had enough batter to have made 13 cakelettes. Instead, I tried to top off the 12 I had room for and ended up with the overflow issue. Regardless of that little imperfection, I’ll call this a success. These are so good. Thanks, SK! I served them with blueberries and a dollop of whipped cream (beaten with a dash of sugar and a whiff of vanilla). Delicious. These would be good for a dinner party or for book club — impressive, delightful, yet pretty easy to make.

  155. Made this with coconut oil instead of butter (friend with lactose intol) – they turned out beautifully! charmingly puffy, in fact. they looked adorable. this is my go-to! It’s so hard to mess up, one bowl, less than an hour – so many wins.

  156. Ala

    Hi, Deb,
    I am wondering if these perfect little things can be transformed into a real cake layers? If so, what would be a suggested filling? Sweetened whipped cream and berries?

      1. deb

        I haven’t tested it as a layer cake but now I really want to. Please let me know if you do! I’d just put a simple whipped cream and maybe a swirl of raspberry jam between the layers.

        1. Rayna

          I made this as a cake layer (also gluten-free, using Bob’s Red Mill One-to-One Baking Mix). I made two attempts: one in a conventional cake pan, which I greased heavily, and it would not come out of the pan for love nor money. Eventually it had to be cut in pieces and levered out. The other attempt was in a springform pan, and it came out great! I took it out of the pan and refrigerated it overnight before trying to construct the cake, and it became quite firm and very easy to handle. The finished cake was quite challenging to cut through, so I would suggest keeping the cake refrigerated but giving it 30+ minutes to come to room temperature before serving.

  157. Ala

    These cakelets are absolutely wonderful!
    The recipe says that puffed tops will fall as cakeletes cool down, and it was indeed the case for my first two batches. However, the third “batch” (which made only 4 cakelets) came out the puffiest of all, and the volume never got smaller. Probably, because the batter stayed on the counter much longer than 30 minutes, or maybe because I cooked it longer (I took previous batches out of the oven after 25 minutes because the toothpick was clean, and this time my baby woke up, and I took the cakelets out of the oven at least three minutes after, which is probably 28-30). Anyway, this last four little brownies were the best, and I will certainly try both keeping them on the counter longer, and cooking for couple more minutes after they seem to be done.

    Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!

  158. JP

    To make these gluten-free, could coconut flour be substituted for all-purpose? Or are they too different and would your recommendation remain cocoa powder? I want to make this for work this week but one of our assistants is gluten-free and I’d love to make it so she could eat it. Thanks!

    1. JP

      Ok I checked the other comments AFTER posting; sorry! I see another home baker did the coconut flour switch successfully! I’ll try it!

  159. Jessica

    I am also wondering about making the batter ahead a bit for a dinner party, could it sit longer than 30 minutes in order to be popped into the oven just in time for a warm dessert? Or will that mess up the consistency? Thanks!

  160. Amanda

    I have made these several times. Thank-you for these delightful cakelet, I am definitely smitten with them. But my question is, when making them in the gluten free variant, do you reduce or omit the chocolate, or simply swap cocoa powder in for flour?

    1. deb

      I assume you saw this bit in the notes up top:

      I made one round with cocoa powder instead of flour, because, you know, gluten. While I would never not eat them, I was sad to find that they lost their shiny lid, which was less crisp too. Do know that the swap works, but if flour isn’t an issue for you, please keep it in there.

      I swap cocoa in 1:1 with the flour. However, if you have a favorite gluten-free flour for baking, I see no reason not to use it instead.

  161. Camila

    Hi! I made the original recipe twice, loved the bold chocolate flavor. However, its was way too fluffy, with big “air pockets”, even when I tried to be carefull not to beaten too much. Anyways, how could I get it to a denser texture? I don’t enjoy the fudge/”underbaked” texture. Thank you!

    1. deb

      Hm, I’m not positive because I don’t find them very fluffy. They’re perhaps fluffier in a deeper pocket pan, i.e. muffin tins? But they collapse a little, and this is where the fudgy texture comes from. Not underbaked, though, they’re not a molten cake (don’t terribly love them either).

  162. Hi Deb, how are you?
    I’ve done this recipe a couple of times before and worked perfectly (they are my fave!). But the last two times something went wrong and they were bubbling during oven time and after they sit they end up crispy like if there where no flour.. or too much sugar.. to you happened to know where it my mistake? Thank you so much for your help! And congrats again on your blog and books!

      1. Nina

        Hi Deb, sorry my delay (kids…)! I used every time the same cupcake (muffins) pan from Wilson. The thing that make me trigger was that I used all the same ingredients and equipment and the last couple times I baked them they failed on me (or I on them! ).
        Thank you so much for trying to help me. They truly are my fave! ♥️

      1. Patricia

        No problem! Im sure you get tons of emails. I decided to provide two options-the suggested whipped cream with berries and your salted caramel sauce with ice cream. You are right…people liked it! I saw some dipping their fingers in the sauce after👌🏼Thanks, Deb. Yours is one of my favourite food blogs. The recipes you share are always delicious, the pictures are beautiful, your tips and adjustments bang on, and I think you are hilarious ☺️

  163. Baked these in a mini muffin tin, and the recipe yielded 48. Chopped up some strawberries and raspberries and dropped them into each little cup, and they were amazing. I ended up leaving them in the oven for 21 minutes. I also cut the sugar down a bit, to a little less than 3/4 cup.

  164. Daniel

    I made this after drooling over the Belgian brownies on display at LPQ. They were perfect both with and without flour, but I was determined to make them dairy-free. I found that substituting the butter with 2/3 c. olive oil works well, and I like adding 1 T regular or Dutched cocoa along with the floor.
    Grease the pan well and they mostly come out intact.

  165. Leya

    Hi Deb, this is the second recipe of yours that I have tried in a row. I’m so glad I discovered this gem of a recipe. I totally understand what you mean when you say that this recipe does not need added frills like a frosting. Two thumbs up to you for these cakelets! We all are in love with these!

  166. Joelle

    I made these tonight. Mistakenly bought unsweetened chocolate instead of bittersweet, so I had to research how to make an equivalent swap (2/3 oz of unsweetened choc. and 2tsp of sugar for every oz of bittersweet). I also included two tsp. of vanilla. Used mini muffin tins- 325 for 20 mins. Perfect. Best brownies I’ve ever made, and the bite-sized portions make the tons of butter and sugar feel less guilty-inducing! Thanks for the recipe. Will DEFINITELY make them again!

  167. They taste like the Swedish almost flourless chocolate cake I love. Almost same recipe. Anyway, my cakelets stuck to the muffin pan despite lots of baking spray. I probably should have waited longer than five minutes to take them out? Delicious little thangs though. Also, your writing kills me! Your descriptions of food are actual poetry, metaphors and everything. I’m convinced your writing is a huge reason why everyone loves you. Not all good cooks are also good writers. In summary, you make my life better.

  168. soleilquidanse

    I made this with a 1/4 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of piment d’espelette. It was delicious! Such a creamy texture and such a cute dessert. It was a big hit, thanks Deb!

    (my piment d’espelette is a bit older and so weaker, I tasted the batter as I went. They aren’t spicy but more warming).

  169. Sylvia

    I made these, but there ended up being way too much butter, but I only used the 7 oz(the 14 tbsp). Maybe 7 tbsp would have been better bc the texture was completely off!

  170. Dawn Lynch

    I just made these and I can’t figure out why I didn’t get the shiny tops. They also do seem a bit oily, I didn’t weigh my butter (I cut it using the preprinted guidelines) so I bet I used too much. Would the extra butter ruin the shiny tops? Either way – still absolutely delicious!

    1. alenahk

      I added pecans to some of mine (just sprinkled a few chopped pecan pieces on the tops of half of them before putting them in the oven) and enjoyed the result. They didn’t sink into the batter, but stayed as a topping, so the pecans toasted a bit, which was nice. And I enjoyed the flavor contrast.

  171. These look really great but I had a bit of trouble with them! All the butter came out spilling out of the muffin cups and onto my oven causing a bit of burning and smoke. Unfortunately the cakelets were not cooked through either. What do you think I’ve done wrong?

  172. Dennis Johnson

    I made a batch of these for my co-workers a couple of weeks ago. There was unanimous agreement that they were the best brownies any of them had ever eaten. The chocolate flavor is amazing and the texture is outstanding!

  173. delicious! I made 6 or 7 batches of these in mini muffin pans for my son’s wedding dessert buffet – froze (and unfortunately for me and my waistline they are delicious right from the freezer!) them 6 weeks out and they thawed and were perfect – lots of raves about the deep chocolate flavor. Good quality chocolate is a must in this recipe.

  174. Marsha

    Do you think you could make these inside cookie cutters on a baking sheet so that they would be heart shaped? Or would they run too much when they got hot?

  175. Paula

    Have a batch in the oven now. This recipe is almost exactly Molly Wizenberg’s “Winning Hearts and Minds (wedding) Cake”. She bakes in 8″ round, and I have doubled and baked in 9X13 rectangular to cut into squares. She actually recommends freezing, which is great for building up a large supply over many days. I use Trader Joe’s pound plus chocolate bars–fyi you need 16 squares to equal 7 ounces.

  176. abby

    Oh, yummy! I cut the recipe in half and baked them in 4 heart tart pans. (If I had another tart pan, I could have possibly got 5 hearts out of the mix …so, I licked the bowl instead…lol!!!) I made the mistake of putting the dish in a water bath and it took them too long to bake. So it took them out for the last 10 minutes and they puffed up and baked nicely. This recipe is totally forgiving!!! I only had chocolate chips on hand and they turned out really well, so I can just imagine using a good quality chocolate would be really decadent! I served these heart tarts with a small scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream I had in my freezer and a strawberry coulis! They were delicious! Merci beaucoup!!

  177. Jeanna Leclerc

    After having this recipe saved on my phone for many months, I’m happy to report I finally got around to making these today.
    My only complaint? Something this rich and decadent shouldn’t be this easy to make!
    As always, thank you Deb.

  178. Rebecca

    The batter was so delicious – almost like a pudding – and I’m certain that the final product would’ve been as well, but I ended up cooking these at 350*F (thermostat on the blink and I wasn’t watching in-oven thermometer the whole time). The tops cracked and brownies were a bit dry. They were edible with ice cream, etc. Can’t wait to try again!

  179. reshmaadwar

    Sometimes I think you read my mind!! I have been searching for this recipe for about 4 years and of course you have it!!
    The taste and texture is just so phenomenal! My only issue is that the bottoms of these puff inwards. So when I bake them and try to take them out of the wrapper/ramekin, there is a hole in the bottom/center. In order to correct this, should I let the batter stand longer (so batter becomes thicker/heavier), not stand as long (less of a temperature change), add more flour (heavier batter)? I’m trying to solve this with food science, so any help is much appreciated!!

    1. deb

      Hm, absolutely not a baking science expert here, but I’m not sure that would fix it. This cake shrinks a little as it cools, and I assume that pocket is part of it.

  180. smeron

    These are wonderful and very easy to make. I used 74% chocolate and all the sugar called for and the flavor was great. I baked them in an unlined nonstick muffin tin (with nonstick cooking spray, just in case…). I found these were difficult to remove from the pan when they were warm but they came out fairly easily after cooling for a good half hour. Deb is absolutely right that these do not need frosting of any kind.

  181. Tara in TX

    Deb ~ your writing is just so beautiful and transporting. I am adamantly on a low carb diet. I am making these. Darn you.

  182. eveof3

    I left a couple of these on a plate in front of my husband, who promised to try them. In the middle of my shower, he poked his head into the bathroom and told me how deadly they are. Thank you, Deb, for these gems. The house smelled delicious while they were baking. I used a German dark chocolate and they came out very rich. Yummmm.

  183. Rob

    These were incredibly easy to make and delicious — I ended up cooking a 1/4 batch (using a scale) which made 4 in a muffin tin. They were tasty, I put them in for the minimum time and I might suggest checking at the 20 minute mark (especially if you aren’t 100% confident in your apartment-issue oven’s temperature gauge). I think 5 less minutes may have made for an even fudgier consistency (but this may just be personal preference)! Thanks for another great recipe!

  184. Anne

    This recipe is a trip down memory lane. This was THE chocolate cake my Belgian family baked for special occasions in the 70s and ever since. This cake has seen hundreds of birthday candles! We whipped the egg whites to get some loft (hopelessly, I should add) because fudgy cakes were not yet in fashion there. And we used Côte d’Or regular dark chocolate. I second the recommendation to cut down on sugar (180g) if using Lindt.

  185. KA

    I made a batch for a colleague’s birthday, and everyone loved them!

    Only had salted butter, so didn’t add any additional salt, and substituted rice flour for the regular flour to make them gluten-free.

    I felt the rice flour worked really well – mine stayed a bit domed and didn’t have the shiny top, but they tasted so good I don’t think it mattered :)

    So easy to make – will keep in mind any time I need a quick tasty dessert.

  186. Juhi

    had one more question! can I make the batter, say on Friday night, put it in the fridge, and then bake the brownie cakelets on Sunday morning? or would it be better to bake on Friday and let it sit out side till the Sunday afternoon lunch party? anyone have a clue? thanks!

  187. Juhi

    Had one more question: is it better to make the batter on Friday afternoon and keep it in the fridge to be baked on Sunday morning for the afternoon party or will it be better to bake on Friday too and keep it outside at room temp till Sunday afternoon party? does anyone have any ideas? thanks!

  188. Sydney

    These are heaven! I put the batter in tiny glass jars (Yoplait Oui jars) and filled about an inch high. They puffed up over the top in the oven but fell back to filling about half the jar as they cooled. Let guests scoop ice cream inside and topped with your salted caramel sauce. Made for an ultra easy sundae party with minimal cleanup! Thanks always Deb.

  189. eclecticdeb

    These are incredible. I only had about 3 oz of dark chocolate chips, so I had to substitute some unsweetened baking chocolate (with appropriate sugar). Made 48 mini bite-sized muffins, baking for about 14 minutes. Probably could have stretched to 6 more if: 1) I didn’t eat so much batter, 2) didn’t fill them quite as much. They are a big bite.

  190. These were incredible… so easy to make, yet so delicious. Brought them as a treat when heading to my parents’ house for lunch and they disappeared very quickly.
    They will definitely become a staple in my book!
    Oh, on a sidenote: I am Belgian. ;-)

  191. I thought these were incredible! Made them low carb by subbing the sugar for allulose and the 20g of flour for 10g of almond flour and 10g of unflavored zero carb protein powder. I had to freeze the rest of mine so I wouldn’t eat them all! :)

  192. I made these exactly using the exact ingredients and following the directions to the letter. I used Lindt 70% bittersweet chocolate. I used the cupcake wrappers. They cooked for 25 minutes. They are absolutely delicious and super simple to make.

  193. Fran Morris

    These are absolutely wonderful and wonderfully easy. Thank you, Deb! If you time it right, you’ll have a warm chocolate dessert for your guests and no one will know how simple they were to put together. One of these served with ice cream is dessert nirvana.

  194. Susan H

    These are my favorite go-to dessert when entertaining! Because the batter needs to rest, it is perfect to prepare before dinner and bake after, so my guests can have hot fresh brownies! and they are delicious.

  195. msue

    If it isn’t too late to comment on this post – let me add my WOW! to the previous reviews. I made this as a Valentine treat for my husband. Mind you, this was the Valentine deep into the pandemic in which I haven’t been in a store for a year and have survived on deliveries and making do with what is in the pantry. These cakelets were the hit of the day, and may even the hit of the entire year. So good. perfect. THANK YOU.

  196. Britt

    I made these for Valentine’s day – since our son has a life threatening dairy allergy, I subbed Earth Balance Dairy Free buttery spread for the butter. They are AMAZING. I did some in paper cupcake liners – the ones I did without a liner stuck to the pan and had to be scraped out (even though sprayed with Pam). All of it was delicious though.

  197. Maryka B Ford

    These are amazing! My new go-to for impressing company (if we ever have company again). They are so rich, you really don’t need to add anything, like ice cream or whipped cream. Maybe a raspberry or strawberry for looks. They are so rich and yummy.

  198. Lizzy in YEG

    Oh My. These little puffs of chocolately goodness are truly divine! I weighed the ingredients; made 6 in a muffin tin and 22 in a mini-muffin tine. The only changes I made were to add 20g of almond meal (and thus GF), and 1.5 tsp of bourbon. Because you know, who doesn’t love bourbon with chocolate? Thanks Deb – another wonderful recipe! Will be a repeat for sure.

  199. Marylynne Mehl

    I made these and they are so delectable! A question though…. I used paper cupcake holders in the tin. After the cakelets were baked, I found that butter had seeped through the papers and lined the tin wells…. I scraped the external butter off and enjoyed with friends…. but what did I do wrong? I used a not terribly accurate scale to measure the chocolate and just used the markings on the paper over the butter for the butter. Thank you!

    1. deb

      I would say if they tasted as they should, it might have just been that they’re buttery and the paper will absorb this. If it was, like, pools of butter, I wonder if the chocolate had split when melting.

  200. Emma B

    These are ridiculously good and ridiculously easy! Gloriously fudgy with a deep chocolate flavour. I made them in a 12 hole muffin tin with liners. One to add to the favourites list for sure. Thanks, Deb!

  201. msue

    Please help. I’ve made these 4 times. The first time, perfection. Second time, dumb myopic error on my part – I set the oven to 425. Yes, there was lots of smoke. The third time, bubbling butter escaped the cupcake liners, easily leaving 1 to 2 tbs of liquid fat in each muffin cup. Heartbreaking and inedible. Just made them the 4th time. Same problem with the bubbling butter. I am using Ghiradelli chocolate (4 oz. at 72%, 3 oz. at 70%), and 14 tbs of unsalted butter (today I used regular commercial butter, previously I used Kerrygold.) I measure and weigh everything. I bought a new fancy schmancy muffin tin. I don’t fault the recipe, but for the life of me I cannot figure it out. I’m an experienced cook who is very much in need of help. Thank you!

    1. deb

      My best guess is that the chocolate is too hot and splitting. You want to melt chocolate — forgive me if you already probably know this — until it’s almost finished melting and then, ideally, stir it the rest of the way smooth. Then we add the sugar, which should bring down the temperature further. If it’s still really hot when the egg is added, it can curdle, which also would throw the texture off.

      1. msue

        That is a likely source of the problem. I stir the chocolate & butter as they are melting. Excellent tip to wait until it is almost melted, thanks! The 1 cup of sugar does cool down the mix – I tested with a scrupulously clean finger – the eggs did not seem curdled, at least not to my eye. Great news though – as the cakelets cooled, that pooled butter reabsorbed and they are as lovely as the first time I made the recipe. So decadent, but worth it. Love your recipe, love your site. Thank you for your helpful response :)

  202. Andrea

    Outstanding and perfect for when you need a strong hit of chocolate but don’t feel like making a flourless chocolate cake! Thanks so much for this recipe! (P.S. How would you recommend storing these?)

    1. deb

      They’re fine at room temperature for a few days. My unpopular opinion is that I don’t like them tightly wrapped because I don’t want them to get soft on top.

  203. Stef

    Made these today and they baked up beautifully in my silicone mini muffin pan, no greasing or liners needed, in about 20 minutes. I do want to note that the first batch baked did not puff up (still chocolate, still good), but while the first batch was baking I put the remaining batter in the fridge and the second batch puffed & dented perfectly. I also had the idea to pop a frozen raspberry into the centre of each brownie in the second batch and ahem, I am a genius, yum!

  204. Margaret Weinberg

    This new site is GREAT!!! Thank you for removing all the distracting interruptions and organizing a site that is as visually delicious & informative as its contents.

  205. Kathleen

    Unfortunately, while I sprayed the tins with PAM, the cakelets stuck in the tin. Otherwise I loved the taste and the ease of the recipe.

  206. RVM

    Do you think that simmered dates, smashed and cooled, would work instead of sugar? (Can’t have.) I’m going to try it anyway today.
    Otherwise, this recipe is perfect for a berry- cream dessert I make.
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  207. Cathy

    I don’t if I posted this as a question. Would it be ok to sub the flour with one to one GF?? Thinking about baking theses for a large Passover group. 🤞🏻🤞🏻
    They look wonderful.

  208. Marcy klahr

    Hey! Thank you for the amazing recipes !!!!! Can I replace the butter here with oil? I keep kosher and the butter is always a problem. And I live in israel. Very sadly we don’t have earths balance here. Any ideas ? Thank you so much.

    1. Anna

      I’m not Deb, but you could definitely replace the butter with something like coconut oil or even just plain vegetable oil. It just needs to be a fat! I saw someone else in the comments used oil instead of butter as well.

  209. I made these and they taste wonderful but turned out kind of greasy from all the butter. I used cupcake papers cause I was too lazy to grease the muffin tin and the butter soaked the papers, and the cakes stuck to the paper. Is it possible to cut back on the butter a bit? Next time I won’t use the cupcake papers. I like that it was one bowl, few ingredients, and pretty quick to make.

  210. Diane

    Oh so yummy and easy! Thank you Deb for giving us delicious easy recipes. This definitely gives me my chocolate fix quick.

  211. Sharon Long

    Omg, this is the best thing ever! Made them today did not deviate from the recipe and they were perfectly delicious! Thank you Deb!

  212. Molly SL

    These were an ABSOLUTE hit with children and adults alike at a gathering last month. I am making them again today for game night tonight. They are so, so yummy.

  213. Karen

    These are pretty good but not as chocolatey as I had hoped. Sift the flour before adding to the mixture to avoid flour clumps. I would make them again.

  214. Mary Revell

    I made these Belgian brownie cakelets earlier this year and they came out perfectly. I just made them again, for a Christmas eve dessert, and they were not perfect: the butter separated from the cake batter for some reason and ended up at the bottom of the muffin tins. They tasted ok, but they were not right and were very greasy. Did I do something wrong when I was melting the chocolate and butter or at some other point? I am mystified. I welcome your thoughts! Thanks.

    1. Angela Deutsch

      I just picked these twice and had the same problem. It was particularly severe yesterday, I’m thinking that I over melted the chocolate, which is a comment someone made above. But then today I melted the chocolate more gently and I am having the same problem, just not quite as severe. Use room, temperature, eggs, and can’t think of what else I could have done to obtain an appropriate result. I am so disappointed :(
      No shade to Deb – I am sure this is something. I’m doing wrong on my end, would love advice if anybody has some.

  215. Patty

    This would most likely turn out very well using “Bob’s Redmill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour.” You use exactly the same amount as regular flour. Deb’s Pumpkin Bread turns out beautifully made with this GF flour alternative.

  216. nancy martin

    These are amazing! I have a similar recipe that is one of my vintage ones, called “Surprise Cupcakes”, (I guess because no leavening and very little flour ??, I don’t know.) This has even a smaller amount of flour and more butter. It will be my “go-to” recipe for quick individual brownies. Would be fun to make in my mini cupcake pan. Another winner from Smitten Kitchen!

  217. Kate

    How did I miss these the first time?! Ridiculously delicious. I made them on Saturday and then turned around and made another dozen the next day! First time in paper cups, second time did better withou them. SO good!

  218. Katy

    These were exceptional. I used 70% chocolate buttons and good salted butter which I melted together very slowly in the microwave, stirring well every 15 seconds. Lined a standard 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners and got 12 perfect brownies. No problems with pooling butter here. A hit with everyone who tried them.

  219. Elise

    Hi Deb! Can I refrigerate any that I don’t have time to bake? I had to refrigerate about half a batch for about an hour when I had to leave the house unexpectedly and they turned out okay. But what if I refrigerated the batter for a day? Would they bake up the same? Would I have to leave them out at room temp after scooping until the temp of the batter warmed up towards room temp?

      1. Jill Baim

        So I refrigerated the batter overnight and not only was everything ok, it was far easier to spoon the batter into mini cupcake pan! I did let the batter come to almost room temperature first.

  220. Jill Baim

    Deb, These are my favorite chocoholic things ever. I always make them as minis but I have such trouble getting the batter in the tins and not all over the rim. Any suggestions? I make these all the time to my waist’s misfortune. A little powcer sugar and they are perfection.