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Red Velvet Brownies
These Red Velvet Brownies are actually a revamped version of a recipe that I included in my first cookbook, Even Better Brownies, and I'm SO excited to be sharing them with you guys today. If you're new here... brownie recipes made from scratch are kind of my area of expertise. So trust me when I say these brownies are insanely delicious and need to be added to your brownie repertoire. They are everything a good brownie should be: chewy, fudgy, and perfectly decadent.
This recipe for fudgy red velvet brownies with cream cheese frosting yields 16 brownies, which is the perfect amount for sharing with friends or eating some now and saving some for later. And if you're looking for a classic fudge brownie or a classic red velvet cake, I've got you covered!
Why You'll Love These Brownies
- Simplicity. This is a simple one-bowl recipe. And while I suggest using a mixer, it *can* be made with a whisk by hand!
- Flavor. Two rich, decadent layers – fudgy red velvet brownies on the bottom with a layer of smooth, tangy cream cheese frosting on top.
- Texture. These brownies are both fudgy and chewy. What's not to love about chewy homemade brownies paired with frosting?!
- Size. This recipe is made in an 8×8-inch pan, but these brownies are rich, so you can get anywhere from 9 to 16 servings!
Ingredients & Substitutions
These red velvet brownies don't require many ingredients; here's what you'll need!
- Butter: The one and only. Using butter as our main source of fat provides flavor.
- Oil: Using just two tablespoons of oil helps keep our brownies moist and chewy.
- Dark chocolate: Opt for your favorite chocolate bar here! I love using dark chocolate, but you could also opt for a bar of semisweet chocolate for this recipe.
- Sugar: This recipe uses both granulated and light brown sugar for the ideal brownie texture; you can use dark brown sugar instead of light brown if that's all you have on hand!
- Eggs: Three large (room temperature) eggs are all you need.
- Vanilla: You can use vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract. Leaving it out will make the brownies taste a little bland.
- Red food coloring: Red velvet cake wouldn't be very red without food coloring. I use gel food coloring because the color is concentrated, meaning you need less of it. For natural coloring, you could use beet powder. If you don't want to use food coloring, leave it out! The cake will have the same flavor and just be a cocoa shade.
- Vinegar: I’ll spare you all the scientific details, but vinegar actually brightens colors (in everything from fruits to clothes). Adding a dash of vinegar to your red velvet brownies will ensure that you have the most vibrant-looking brownies in town! It doesn't affect the taste or texture, so if you don't have white or apple cider vinegar, feel free to leave it out completely!
- All-purpose flour: Only ½ cup of all-purpose flour is needed!
- Cocoa powder: I recommend using Dutch-processed cocoa for that deep, chocolatey flavor although your regular unsweetened cocoa powder will work just fine!
- Cornstarch: Adding cornstarch to these brownies helps keep them chewy and helps them form that quintessential shiny, crackly top.
- Salt: Brownies made without salt taste a little plain, so don’t skip it.
The cream cheese frosting that goes on top is delicious too! Just butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt. EASY!
How to Make Red Velvet Brownies
Tip: The secret to a "glossy" brownie—like the ones you see in bakeries and restaurants— is to beat the eggs and the sugar together for up to 10 minutes before adding additional ingredients. This process will introduce air into the batter and this aeration will lead to a finished product that is shiny, nicely risen, and perfectly crackled on top!
Serving & Storage
Serving: You can serve these brownies either chilled or at room temperature; I prefer room temperature. To get them to room temperature after chilling, just let them stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving.
Storage: When frosted, these red velvet brownies should be stored in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Leftovers can also be individually wrapped in plastic wrap surrounded by tin foil and then be frozen for up to 2 months; thaw in the fridge overnight and bring to room temperature before serving.
Watch How to Make These Red Velvet Brownies:
Note: I post my recipes in grams as it’s the most accurate way to bake, and it’s how I develop them. Cups are not only inaccurate, but they vary in volume worldwide! In any event, if you look at the recipe card underneath the ingredients list, you can click “US Customary” and it’ll convert to volume measures!
Remember to tag me @mikebakesnyc on Instagram and leave a rating + review below if you make these Red Velvet Brownies! Happy baking!
Fudgy Red Velvet Brownies
- 100 g 70% cacao dark chocolate chopped
- 85 g unsalted butter
- 30 g canola oil
- 150 g granulated sugar
- 110 g light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- Red gel food coloring
- 1 teaspoon white vinegar
- 65 g all-purpose flour
- 20 g unsweetened natural or Dutch process cocoa powder
- 15 g cornstarch
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- cream cheese frosting
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and line an 8x8-inch pan with parchment paper, letting the excess extend over the sides of the pan. Set aside.
- Place the chopped chocolate in a small heatproof bowl and then set aside.
- Add the butter and oil to a small saucepan over medium heat and cook until the mixture just comes to a vigorous simmer, stirring often. Immediately pour the hot butter mixture over the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until the chocolate is completely smooth and melted, then set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric hand mixer, whisk together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and eggs on medium-high until the sugar is *mostly* dissolved, about 5 minutes. Beat in the vanilla, red food coloring, and vinegar until combined.
- Add the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and beat until incorporated. Add the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, and salt, and use a rubber spatula to gently fold until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 20 minutes and then remove the pan from the oven and slam them on a flat surface 2-3 times (this deflates them slightly, giving them a more even texture and encouraging that beautiful crackly top). Return to the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out fudgy but the edges look cooked through, about 5-10 additional minutes. The brownies will continue to cook and set as they cool.
- Allow brownies to cool completely in the pan. Once cooled, frost with cream cheese frosting.