Old Fashioned Ultra Chewy Brownies with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Published September 18, 2012. Updated May 9, 2019

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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.

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4 from 3 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


Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting


  • 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. 


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  • Amber

    I just made these…. seriously, soooo good! The frosting is amazing and the brownies turned out so perfect! Even my fiancé liked them and he’s not a fan of sweets. Definitely a must try recipe and easy to make :)

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Thanks for leaving a review Amber! So glad you and your fiance enjoyed them!

  • Rosa

    Is the oven temp that you recommend for this recipe Celsius or Fahrenheit. It sound like a very high temp 350 degrees for what Im use to.

  • Vanessa

    I made these brownies with a different frosting for superbowl :) I doubled the recipe in a 9×13 pan and they were great! This weekend is my SIL baby shower, so I am tripling the recipe in a 9×13 for a very thick brownie and topping them with fudge frosting! I am also making your chocolate and vanilla cheesecake cupcakes! Thank you for all of your great recipes! Every recipe I have made from your site comes out great!! EVERY RECIPE! Thank you for being so awesome!

  • Stephanie

    These brownies are nothing short of amazing.. and the icing, my oh my! I will never buy a box again! My grandfather, who rarely eats anything that isn’t homemade, was skeptical of me- he said they were SO good and SO perfect, he could hardly believe that I found a recipe that was so good!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’m so happy to hear the great review Stephanie! Thanks so much for your comment!

  • Nancy G

    Just made these for a night time snack. They remind me of the brownies my mom made when I was a kid! That’s a good thing :)

  • Archana

    Thanks for this – have been looking for a chewy brownie recipe for a while now. The last time I had a chewy brownie I was very small and then some gooey dark chocolate craze overlook Britain and I couldn’t find chewy milk chocolate brownies anywhere.

    My husband sends his thanks too :)

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      You’re very welcome Archana (and your husband :)! Thanks for your comment!

  • Briana

    These are so delicious. The frosting is definitely a must, and that’s even after I only used about a cup of powdered sugar. Definitely keeping this recipe handy! Thanks for sharing!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      You’re welcome Briana! I’m glad you liked these brownies!

  • Louanne

    These look so amazing, and you’re right, I always have cocoa in my pantry, but it’s rare that I have a bar of baking chocolate. I’m going to make these with the gluten-free flour that I use; I’ll let you know the outcome for anyone else who would like to make them gf.