Old Fashioned Ultra Chewy Brownies with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

September 18, 2012

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These Chewy Brownies are topped with the most amazing chocolate frosting. These homemade brownies are almost cake-like, and they’re made with cocoa powder instead of chocolate. Be careful, these are addicting! 

Chewy Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting

We all have our favorite type of brownie. Some of us like them ooeey gooey, some of us like them chewy.

Some like a more modern brownie that’s ultra rich and nearly bittersweet, and some of us like them sweet and mild — more of a milk chocolate brownie. Well, chewy milk chocolate brownie lovers, this post if for you!

I like different brownies for different moods and cravings, but the majority of the time I like them chewy, not too gooey and not overpoweringly chocolaty. I think covering them with frosting is a nice splurge and a definite upgrade too.

I mentioned before that I frequently visit a local bakery and I always get the same thing — their incredibly chewy brownie covered with chocolate cream cheese frosting. After far too many weekly (and sometimes biweekly) visits there, I finally decided I needed to recreate it at home.

After several attempts, I have finally done it! I’d say this recipe is an exact replica of that brownie that I adore. The first time I bought and tasted one, I remember thinking it was so different from other brownies, and they are.

These homemade brownies use a far smaller butter to flour ratio than your average brownie, and they have no baking chocolate in them — just plain old cocoa powder. Plus, they use two types of sugar and contain a little bit of milk.

These will probably be the chewiest brownies you will ever eat! It’s like a big, thick, cookie-like brownie (you could even call them brownie cookie bars).

I decided to call these Old Fashioned Brownies for a few reasons. First, this is what I picture my Grandma making. Second, the bakery that inspired these has an old fashioned feel to  it. Lastly, I think the more modern trend of the brownie is dark chocolate, super rich and gooey and these are quite opposite of that, more classic and old fashioned.

I hope you love these brownies as much as I do!

Chewy Brownie Ingredients

For the chewy brownies, you’ll need:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Cocoa powder
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Butter
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milk

And for the chocolate brownie frosting, you’ll need:

  • Cream cheese
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cocoa powder

How to Make Chewy Brownies with Frosting

  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together sugars and melted butter, then add eggs and vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture and stir to combine.
  • Pour brownie batter into greased 8×8-inch baking dish and bake.
  • To make the chocolate frosting for the brownies, whip together all the brownie frosting ingredients until smooth.

How Did You Make the Swirl Pattern on These Brownies?

I followed this tutorial from How Does She. It’s incredibly easy to decorate the brownie frosting this way, but your friends will think it took you forever!

Can I Double This Recipe?

I haven’t tried this myself, but I’ve had readers report success with doubling the ingredients needed for this recipe and baking the cocoa powder brownies in a 9×13-inch pan.

Tips for the Best Homemade Brownies

  • If you only have salted butter on hand, omit the salt in the brownie batter.
  • Wait to add the chocolate brownie frosting until the brownies have completely cooled.
  • To get the right frosting consistency, both the cream cheese and butter need to be softened to room temperature.

More Brownie Recipes You’ll Love:

3.50 from 2 votes

Ultra Chewy Brownies with Chocolate Frosting

These Chewy Brownies are topped with the most amazing chocolate frosting. These homemade brownies are almost cake-like, and they're made with cocoa powder instead of chocolate.
Servings: 12
Prep30 minutes
Cook45 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder*
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1 recipe Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting , recipe follows

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 5 oz cream cheese , softened
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter , softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cocoa powder


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, using a wooden spoon, mix together granulated sugar, light-brown sugar and melted butter until combine. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract and mix until blended. 
  • Add in half of the flour mixture and mix just until combine, add in milk and mix just until combine, then add remaining flour mixture and mix just until combine (batter will be very thick). Pour batter into a buttered 8x8 baking dish and spread into an even layer. 
  • Bake in preheated oven 40 - 45 minutes until center is nearly set. Allow to cool completely then frost with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting and cut into squares (the frosting is a must for this recipe). Store in an airtight container.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a mixing bowl, using an electric hand mixer on medium speed, whip together cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar, then sift in cocoa powder and mix until smooth and fluffy, about 1 minute.


  • *Recipe updated 6/3/13 - increased cocoa from 1/3 cup cocoa to 1/2 cup cocoa and flour decreased slightly (due to cocoa increase).
  • If you only have salted butter on hand, omit the salt in the brownie batter.