Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy Mother’s Day!  The mothers in your life will kiss the ground you walk on if you make these brownies.

Recently I asked for favorite brownie recipes. I had a plan with that.  In addition to needing a great brownie recipe for the bake sale, I also wanted to make some sinfully delicious brownies, for myself.

I succeeded.  These are sinfully delicious.

They’re likely the richest, and one of the best, desserts I’ve ever made.

And they’re fat free.  Kidding.

They do have a short ingredient list, you can mix them by hand, and they’re just as easy as using a boxed-brownie mix.

But they taste way better!  As in, the best brownies I’ve ever eaten.  Not kidding.


Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes 18 to 24 thinner and smaller brownies in a 9-by-13-inch pan, or 12 generous brownies in a 9-by-9-inch pan

6 ounces unsweetened or semi-sweet baking chocolate  (I use this 73% chocolate)

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

3 eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons espresso or brewed coffee, optional

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 c to 2/3 c Nutella

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line 9×13 inch pan with foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside. Alternately, use a 9-by-9-inch pan for thicker brownies, which is my preference.

Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl for 90 seconds or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Stir in sugars. Stir in eggs and vanilla.  If adding espresso or coffee, add it now; batter will be a bit granular and that’s okay. Stir in flour until just combined, do not overmix. Pour into prepared pan.

Add the Nutella to the top of the brownie mixture and either just leave it sit on top or marble it with a knife in a zig-zag pattern.

Bake for 25 to 28 minutes, or until edges pull away from the side of the pan and top and center have just set. Keep these gooey and don’t overbake; brownies will continue to firm up as they cool.

Allow to cool before frosting them or before slicing and serving.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese, softened (I used whipped)

1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 to 4 1/2 cups confectioners’ (powdered)  sugar (I used 4+ cups because I like very thick frosting.  You could use as little as 2 cups depending on desired sweetness and thickness)

Mix cream cheese and butter together.  Use an electric mixer for optimal results and scape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Once the mixture is very smooth, add in the vanilla extract and mix.  Add in the sugar slowly and keep adding until desired sweetness and thickness is reached.

Note: Frosting recipe makes more than what you may need for these brownies if you prefer a thin layer of frosting; either halve the recipe or store the frosting in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months and use it for another dessert.

I find these bars taste best chilled and store them in the refrigerator in an air-tight container. They freeze well for longer-term storage for up to 3 months.


A Visual Guide:

Get your butter and chocolate together and whip up the batter.

Pour it into a pan and drizzle with Nutella.

Before baking this is what they looked like with the Nutella swirled in.

After baking

The foil helps pop them right out of the pan.  Easy cleanup is a beautiful thing.

Time to make frosting.

Brownie purists may skip frosting, but I never skip frosting.

The brownies are phenomenally fudgy.  They are dense.  They are rich. 

A pound of butter, sugar, Nutella, and cream cheese has that effect.

They are not cakey.  Nor dry.  They are moist and fudgy.

They’re the kind of brownies that make you happy to be alive and with functioning tastebuds.

The kind of brownies you want to sink your teeth into them and make teeth marks first through the frosting layer, then through the brownie layer.

I store them in the fridge because something this rich is actually better chilled, in my opinion.  Plus, with the cream cheese frosting, I think the fridge is a safer bet.

The frosting just makes you want to oooh and ahh.

Some may describe these brownies as better than sex.  I may agree.

If frosting’s your name, this one’s your game.

The Nutella swirls just add to the overall better than sex effect.

Hope you’re hungry.  These are not a “light” dessert.


From my last post about Mother’s Day and Reflections, it was wonderful hearing your heartfelt stories and fond memories about your mom.  Thank you so much for sharing those.  Truly, I was crying (Hallmark tears) at some of the lovely things you all wrote about your moms.   So touching!

And thanks for the kind things many of you told me, too!  I was blushing and honored and thank you.


1. Do you like brownies?

This is such a silly question.  Duh, yes. I love brownies but I am picky.

As I explained here:

For me, a good brownie is rich, moist, not dry, more fudgy than cakey, has a gooey center with barely crisped edges.

Frosting is optional.  Buttercream or cream cheese frosting is preferred over chocolate frosting.

And no nuts in the brownies.  Nuts in the brownies is a 100% deal breaker.  I hate nuts in baked goods!

2. Any favorite brownie recipes?  Or even storebought mixes you like?

Many of you chimed in here in the comments with your fave brownie recipes but I am all ears for more recipes.

However, not to toot my own horn too much, but these are gonna be tough to beat!

3. Any Mother’s Day plans, celebrations, or nice stories you want to share about your mom?

Feel free to gush and put a smile on my face and everyone else’s who reads your comment!  And read these comments from my Mother’s Day & Reflections post.

P.S. If you’re just catching up on posts from the weekend, here are mine since Friday:

Happy Mother’s Day!

161 Responses to “Fudgy Nutella Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting”

  1. Crystal — May 9, 2011 at 3:40 am (#

    Oh.My.God. This looks completely amazing.. I LOVE brownies :)


  2. Heather — May 9, 2011 at 4:44 am (#

    One thing I am noticing more and more about food photography is the plates and dish ware its served in. These plates are phenomenal! So bright, colorful, and fun. Totally compliments the recipe :) I love nutella as well. I will put these on my list of ‘to try’ desserts


  3. Magnetic Therapy — May 9, 2011 at 7:48 am (#

    The information presented is top notch. I’ve been doing some research on the topic and this post answered several questions.


  4. Beth — May 9, 2011 at 7:59 am (#

    I’ll have to try these with some GF flour and see how they turn out.
    The pics sure do make me salivate ;)


  5. Katherine: Unemployed — May 9, 2011 at 9:39 am (#

    this looks so great! I love cream cheese frosting- have you tried the philly cooking creme instead of whipped cream cheese?


  6. Tiina McKay — May 10, 2011 at 1:38 am (#

    Ok, so, you were not joking when you said these brownies are RICH! I made them last night to help demolish my chocolate craving and they have definitely taken care of that little issue I had ;)

    Hi Averie!
    I have been visiting your blog often over the past few months and enjoyed several of your recipes, but I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to leave a comment! Thanks for all the fun recipes and occasional workout motivation!


    • Averie (Love Veggies and Yoga) replied: — May 10th, 2011 at 3:33 am

      yea they are RICK arent they!

      and thank you for delurking and commenting, and reading, and lmk that you made the brownies! :)


      • Tiina McKay replied: — May 10th, 2011 at 6:34 pm

        Haha! I hadn’t heard the term “delurking” before, I love it! Definitely been doing my fair share of that since I discovered the wonderful world of food blogs last Christmas, starting with OSG! I have definitely been sucked in, lol!!

  7. Wooden Model Ships — May 13, 2011 at 4:52 pm (#

    I noticed on line that the USS Nimitz will likely be based in Everett soon. If any of us lives close to there, be sure to check it out- this unique ship is truly incredible!


  8. 777847 — May 15, 2011 at 12:24 am (#

    777847 beers on the wall.


  9. 229199 — May 15, 2011 at 12:24 am (#

    229199 beers on the wall.


  10. Trina — December 3, 2011 at 7:26 am (#

    Silly question but how “scant” (a cup of flour) is “scant” enough? All help appreciated!

    Can’t wait to pop these babies out of the oven for Christmas!! xx


    • Averie @ Love Veggies & Yoga replied: — December 3rd, 2011 at 12:40 pm

      Just not heaping. Just start with 3/4 and if the batter is super runny, keep adding 1-2 tbsp of flour til you reach 1 c or so…whatever you do, it will all work out :)


      • Trina replied: — December 7th, 2011 at 2:41 am

        thank youuuu!! :D

  11. Katie @ ohshineon — January 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm (#

    The photography is amazing and these bars look absolutely delicious. I’m sure the mamas of those who made these were more than satisfied!


  12. Serena — March 16, 2012 at 7:43 am (#

    wondered with the nutella brownies with cream cheese frosting if you canleave the coffee out and they are still awesome as I dont drink it:)


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — March 16th, 2012 at 8:00 am

      Yes, I wrote optional next to it in the recipe. And it is just that…the flavor is not one of coffee in the finished brownie. It intensifies the chocolate but leave out to your liking and LMK if you make them!


  13. Vaish P. — April 27, 2012 at 10:33 am (#

    Thank you for introducing me to baking with nutella. I made these brownies and absolutely loved them! My take on them is on my blog, which can be found here: http://www.diyculinaryschool.com/2012/04/sundried-tomato-and-feta-turkey-burgers.html
    Let me know what you think of my version!


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — April 27th, 2012 at 12:03 pm

      Thanks for blogging about them and glad you are a Nutella fan now!


  14. KSW413 — July 28, 2012 at 6:06 am (#

    Hi! I had found your recipe via Pinterest, and LOVED these brownies. They were immediately a family favorite. I recently went to make them again, and noticed you changed the recipe, adding brown sugar. I was just wondering why. I’m very curious!


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks replied: — July 28th, 2012 at 9:32 am

      Tweaking the sugar from 2 cups granulated to 1 1/2 cups granulated + 1/2 cup light brown gives them a hint of carameley-ness and makes them even fudgier, denser, and richer – and I love them even more this way! But do what you like and works for you. I always want my recipes to stay updated and with some things, like brownies or cookies, that are a work-in-progress and that I tweak over time, I update with my absolute best and favorite version.


  15. Ronja — July 30, 2012 at 6:31 am (#

    beautiful innocent topping, wonderful combu of black and white, nice small bites as a snack on a party – perfect recipe!


  16. discotecas gratis bcn — October 18, 2012 at 5:17 pm (#

    I don’t even know the way I ended up here, but I assumed this publish used to be great. I do not recognise who you might be however certainly you are going to a well-known blogger in the event you are not already. Cheers!


  17. Ela — August 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm (#

    Do we really have to put the nutella on this one and also the cream cheese topping? Or is the brownie still good w/o nutella and cream cheese. I’m looking for a good base brownie, will it be sweet enough w/o those. Thank you.


  18. Monica M — August 24, 2013 at 7:45 am (#

    Hello Averie! I made these this morning, but I left out the cream cheese frosting and swirled them with some peanut butter instead..yummy!! They are so incredibly fudgy and dense! I love them!


    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 24th, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      Thanks for trying them swirled with PB! Bet there were fabulous! :)


  19. Sara — August 25, 2013 at 12:19 pm (#

    I made these last night for a church function and to say they were a hit is a HUGE understatement. Everyone devoured them. One friend even kept saying “I’m not going to eat anymore” and then cut off yet another sliver, and another, and another. So good! Thank you so much for your lovely blog and delicious recipes! It’s making me a hit at parties. :)


    • Averie Sunshine replied: — August 25th, 2013 at 1:01 pm

      That is just so awesome. Glad people were ‘straightening the rows’ even after they swore they were done. I am glad you’re looking like a superstar! Thanks for trying this and the great feedback!


  20. Tanner — May 14, 2014 at 2:37 pm (#

    Never, and I truly do mean NEVER, make these with anything but plain chocolate chips. I tried with pink chocolate chips and they were gross. The original has become my go-to recipe, though.


    • Averie Sunshine replied: — May 14th, 2014 at 6:42 pm

      I can see how pink chocolate may not work the best!


  21. Kathy — November 5, 2014 at 5:50 am (#

    Hi! Super love your blog. I’ve learned how to bake cookies thanks to you.

    Regarding this recipe, how many minutes will you bake this using a 9 by 9 pan? Is this your favorite brownie recipe?


  22. Jessica Fike — July 21, 2015 at 6:45 pm (#

    I see the last comment was made in 2014, so I’m going to give this a shot! These brownies are delicious, but I had some problems baking them in a 9×9 pan. Let them bake for 40 minutes and they’re still too gooey…as in you need a spoon to eat them. You said you prefer the 9×9 so I’m assuming the 25-28 minute bake time works for you??


    • Averie Sunshine replied: — July 22nd, 2015 at 12:47 am

      Thanks for trying the recipe and these are very fudgy brownies (but not so much that they’re still gooey when baked to the point they fall apart). I would say based on summer humidity, climate and oven variances, and depending on what pan size is used, just play it by ear with the baking time. Bake until done, whatever that means in your situation. The 25-28 min baking time does work for me, but I live in a dry climate and I wouldn’t get too hung up on time. Just bake til done and enjoy the brownies :)


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