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Brownies Without Cocoa Powder

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There are many different variations of the classic brownie recipe. And of course, they are all delicious, but there are major differences in the type of brownie depending on the ingredients used.

Brownies can be chewy and dense or thick and fudgy. Some have a crinkly top while other recipes are smooth.

There is obviously one essential ingredient for brownies, and that is chocolate. But chocolate comes in different forms including powder, bars, and chips.

And what about all of the different kinds? Milk, dark, semi-sweet, 60% and so many other variations. There are just as many ways to make delicious brownies as there are types of chocolate. 

Brownie recipes can use either powder or solid chocolate. Some recipes even use both types of chocolate together. Keep in mind that cocoa powder and baking chocolate are not interchangeable. You cannot easily use one as a substitute for the other in a recipe.

If you wanted to use cocoa powder to have a similar outcome as using baking chocolate, you would have to add in fat. You would need to add a specific amount of oil, butter or shortening for each tablespoon of cocoa. It’s much easier to use baking chocolate, which will melt easily and give you the fudgy texture.

This recipe calls for a baking bar as the main source of chocolate with optional chocolate chips that are mixed in and not melted.

However, it is possible to use chocolate chips in place of a baking bar. It may not be exactly the same but these two types of chocolate are close enough to use as substitutions.

If you have the option, use a baking bar. Baking chocolate is a higher quality and has a less waxy texture than chocolate chips. 

The Difference Between Cocoa Powder and Chocolate

Chocolate includes two important parts, cocoa solids, and cocoa butter. Cocoa powder contains mainly just cocoa solids, which has a lot of flavor but contains only around 10% cocoa butter. Pure chocolate contains around 50% cocoa butter, which gives it its texture. Cocoa powder alone has more chocolate flavor than pure unsweetened chocolate.

The choice between cocoa powder and pure chocolate, or both, depends on the flavor and texture that you want. Chocolate alone will produce a more chewy textured brownie and chocolate will create a fudgy textured brownie. However, the cocoa powder may produce a brownie with a stronger chocolate flavor.

You can also change the flavor of the brownie based on the type of chocolate that you use. Semi-sweet chocolate always creates a classic brownie but if you prefer dark or sweeter chocolate, it’s possible to use those as well.

You can also use a mixture of different types of chocolate if you don’t have the exact amount handy or if you just want to experiment with the chocolate flavor.

If you don’t have a baking bar available, as listed in this recipe, then you can also melt chocolate chips. It’s possible to tailor this recipe to your preference or to what you have available in your pantry.

The key to this recipe is simple: Use melted chocolate instead of cocoa powder for a thicker and more fudge-like brownie. So you can use any type of melted chocolate but higher quality chocolate is always better.

Additional Ingredients and Storage Tips

Fudgy or chewy, any type of brownie benefits from adding chocolate chips. This also gives the brownies extra chocolatey flavor. You can also add in nuts if you prefer them over chocolate chips. Some other options might be chopped up candy bars or peanut butter cups.

To check if your brownies are done you can insert a toothpick and when it comes out clean they are done. Insert the toothpick closer to the edge instead of in the center of the pan. 

Store the brownies in an airtight container for up to three days. Allow them to cool before cutting.

How to Make Brownies Without Cocoa Powder

Here is the step-by-step guide to making these delicious cocoa-powder-free brownies.

Step 1. Gather your ingredients

Step 2. Melt the chocolate baking bar and butter together

Step 3. Mix in the sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs

Step 4. Mix in the flour and stir until smooth

Step 4. Add the chocolate chips

Step 5. Pour batter and smooth evenly onto a greased baking pan

Step 6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes

Step 7. Let cool and enjoy while they’re still warm!

Brownies Without Cocoa Powder

Brownies Without Cocoa Powder

Yield: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

This recipe uses a chocolate baking bar and optional chocolate chips to make fudgy, chewy brownies without any cocoa powder whatsoever.


  • 1 4 oz package of baking chocolate
  • 3/4 cups butter (melted)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2. Microwave chocolate and butter together at 1 minute intervals, stirring in between, until melted

3. Stir in sugars, vanilla and eggs

4. Mix in flour until batter is smooth

5. Add in chocolate chips

6. Add mixture to a greased 13x9 inch baking pan, smoothing out evenly

7. Bake for 30 minutes 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 332Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 98mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 3gSugar: 24gProtein: 3g

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