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!


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  2. Hey!
    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!

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  6. 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!

    • 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.

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

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  18. 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.

  19. 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!

  20. 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. :)

    • 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!

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  23. 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.

  24. 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?

  25. 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??

    • 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 :)

  26. I am so excited to make this tomorrow! Question – do you think that I can sub my instant espresso powder for the brewed coffee? I love espresso powder in brownies but not sure how it affect the moisture level, if at all. Thanks in advance!

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