When the craving for chocolate hits, I want you to remember this rich, chocolatey recipe that tastes like it came from a bakery. This pan of small batch brownies for two people saves the day, every time! It's two generous servings of rich, fudge-like brownies, baked in a loaf pan for a small batch.
Are you familiar with my concept of brownies for two? I bake a small batch of brownies in a loaf pan instead of a traditional 8" square brownie pan. A loaf pan is roughly half the size of your favorite 8" brownie pan.
If you've been reading this site for a while, you'll know that my loaf pan is my favorite way to scale recipes down to make fewer servings. I use it for small batches of blondies, marshmallows, and even lasagna!
My brownie recipe made in a loaf pan has been oh-so-perfected over the 12 years I've been scaling down desserts. Yes, I mean 12 years, and I've eaten a lot of brownies in 12 years.
What you'll need for Small Batch Brownies
- Butter. We're using half a stick of unsalted butter for this recipe. We will be melting it, so there's no need to have it at room temperature.
- Granulated Sugar. Measure out ½ cup of granulated sugar, and then add one more tablespoon for the perfect amount for these small batch brownies for two.
- Cocoa Powder. Unsweetened, 100% all-natural cocoa powder is the goal. Any brand will work, but just make sure you don't buy Dutch-process cocoa powder.
- Salt. The smallest amount of salt (¼ teaspoon) provides the perfect amount of balance in a fudge-like rich brownie.
- Vanilla Extract. Yes, brownies are for chocolate lovers, but a little vanilla extract really makes the cocoa flavors sing.
- Egg. One whole large egg, at room temperature. If your eggs are cold, just soak them in warm water for about 15 minutes and proceed with the recipe.
- All-Purpose Flour.
How to make a Small Batch of Brownies:
This recipe starts by making the brownie batter in the microwave before baking in the oven. Before you begin, pre-heat your oven to 325-degrees Fahrenheit, and line your loaf pan with parchment paper in one direction. It's okay if the brownie batter touches the edges of the pan.
In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, sugar and cocoa powder. It's helpful to chop the butter into small pieces so that it melts faster. Microwave this mixture for 30 seconds on HIGH.
Stop the microwave, stir, and then microwave again on HIGH for another 30 seconds. Use a whisk to stir everything together.
Next, add the salt and vanilla and whisk to combine. Let this mixture rest for 1 minute on the counter so that it's not overly hot.
Finally, it's cool enough to stir in one large egg. Beat the egg very well into the small batch brownies batter.
Add the flour, and using a spatula, stir it in very well. Use a minimum of 50 brisk strokes to fully incorporate the flour and activate the gluten in the flour. This leads to super chewy, dense and rich brownies.
Now your fully mixed batter is ready for baking.
Pour the small batch brownies batter into the awaiting loaf pan. Use metal binder clips to hold the parchment paper in place, if it threatens to turn inwards.
Bake for 23 minutes on the center rack of the oven, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with only moist crumbs clinging to it. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan before removing them from the pan by lifting the parchment paper.
When you're baking small batch brownies, all you have to do is cut them in half and serve! Here, I cut them in small sticks instead of two big chunks, but you can serve them dusted with powdered sugar any way that you like!
Small Batch Brownies Recipe variations
- Vegan - If you're loving the idea of a small batch of brownies, but you're cooking for a vegan, do not miss my vegan brownies for two. I honestly love these brownies as much as regular brownies! For a healthier (but non-vegan version), these black bean brownies are spectacular.
- Additions - To make these even fancier, you can add peppermint patties to make my peppermint brownies. Or, to make them fruity and creamy, try my blackberry cheesecake brownies or my strawberry swirl brownies version. For fall, don't miss my pumpkin swirl brownies.
- Gifting - Everyone loves my caramel brownies as gifts! If it's for Valentine's Day, or Father's Day, you have to make my beer brownies.
How to store this recipe for Brownies with Cocoa
These brownies don't last long in my house, thanks to their small batch quantity. However, you can keep any leftover at room temperature for up to 2 days in an air-tight container. I don't recommend refrigerating them.
One final option: if you've never had a frozen brownie, I urge you to stick one slice of these small batch brownies in the freezer for later. Brownies never really freeze firm, thanks to their high sugar content, but they do become ultra rich and extra chewy when frozen. A favorite dessert in our house is a frozen brownie topped with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream and very hot fudge sauce. The texture are amazing!
Brownie Recipe Small Batch FAQs
First, make sure you did not over-bake your brownies. Cooking them too long will make them dry out and become more cake-like. Beyond that, the secret lies with the recipe. A great fudgy brownie recipe will contain a high percentage of fat in the form of butter, and an egg for the custard-like center it creates. It also will not contain much flour--just enough to barely hold it together. If you’re using my recipe for brownies, you will always have fudge-like results.
A recipe for fudgy brownies always contains a lot of butter and eggs. A cakey brownie recipe will have less fat and way more flour to help set and ‘dry’ out the mixture.
Is this even a real question? Everything is better with butter, baby. Skip the box mix for real.
Hot brownies are way too fragile to cut. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan, remove them using the parchment paper handles, and slice with a very sharp knife.
When brownies are done, the top will appear dry. If you insert a toothpick in the center of the brownies, it will have moist crumbs, but not wet batter.
Yes, this recipe calls for the brownies to cool completely in the pan. This is ‘carryover cooking’ and will ensure the brownies stay fudgy but also cook all the way through.
I also just want to encourage you guys to read through the comments below to see how people made these small batch brownies for two in a loaf pan their own. Some added extra flour to make cake-y brownies, some baked them in ramekins to get a fudgier brownie, like my brownie pots. This recipe is yours to play around with! Enjoy!
More Favorites from Dessert for Two
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- ½ cup + 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 325, and line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper in one direction
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter, sugar and cocoa powder. Microwave for 30 seconds on HIGH.
- Stir, and microwave for another 30 seconds on HIGH.
- Stir the mixture very well, and then add the salt and vanilla. Stir for 1 minute to cool the mixture.
- Next, add in the egg, and stir until its incorporated.
- Finally, add the flour, and stir for 50 strokes!
- Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out with fudge crumbs clinging to it. The surface of the brownies is shiny when done and starting to crack.
- Let cool completely in the pan, and then lift out using the parchment paper.
- Slice in half and serve.
Storage: These brownies don't last long in my house, thanks to their small batch quantity. However, you can keep any leftover at room temperature for up to 2 days in an air-tight container. I don't recommend refrigerating them, but they are truly delicious and chewy when eaten frozen.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 344Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 154mgSodium: 303mgCarbohydrates: 22gFiber: 1gSugar: 7gProtein: 6g