in the kitchen with: julia vandenoever’s fudge brownies with chocolate frosting

Brownies were one of the first desserts I learned to make using the recipe from the Hershey’s Cocoa label. SOOOOO good. I am tempted to say they are foolproof, but they really aren’t. If a brownie is over-baked, it’s no good! So when you make brownies, you quickly learn the rule that you should take them out just before they’re done to your liking because they will firm up as they cool. This week’s recipe for Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Frosting comes from Colorado-based photographer Julia Vandenoever. While I gravitate toward cakey brownies, Julia and her family are clearly in the fudgy brownie camp. And normally I hate frosting on desserts, but Julia’s frosting (including the frosting-to-brownie ratio) is the only kind that should ever top a brownie, in my book. How do you like your brownies? — Kristina

About Julia: Julia Vandenoever has been working in the photography industry for over 11 years as both a photographer and photo editor (Outside, Skiing, and Backpacker). She specializes in lifestyle portraits and kid and travel photography and is based in Boulder, Colorado.

Read the full post after the jump!

Fudge Brownies with Chocolate Frosting

  • 4 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (pecans are in the picture)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract



1. Preheat oven to 350F. Melt butter over very low heat with chocolate. Cool slightly.

2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs and add sugar gradually. Add the chocolate/butter mixture to the eggs and sugar, and beat well. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Fold in chocolate chips, nuts and vanilla.

3. Pour into a greased and/or lined 13″ x 9″ pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Cool before frosting and cutting.

Chocolate Frosting
Makes approximately 2 cups

  • 2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pound confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3–4 tablespoons milk or cream



Melt chocolate with butter. Beat in the confectioners sugar and vanilla. Add a little milk or cream to thin to spreading consistency. Spread it on thick!

Why Julia Loves These Brownies

These fudgy brownies were our family’s go-to dessert growing up. The triple-chocolate combination — chocolate brownies, chocolate chips and chocolate frosting — brings back memories of family dinners in Vermont.

  1. sage parker says:

    oh my goodness this looks amazing!!!
    will have to try :)
    thank you!!!

  2. They look absolutely, positively heavenly : ) SCRUMPTIOUS!

  3. jenni o says:

    oh goodness, I’m just coming out of my first trimester of pregnancy and dessert is finally looking attractive again, especially *chocolate*. Though I prefer my brownies w/o frosting, I do have a few tablespoons of cream languishing in my fridge, so I think this is a must for the weekend!

  4. Ann says:

    Real brownies do not contain nuts.

    Partly because I’m allergic, and therefore, can’t eat said brownies, which is tragic.


  5. maggie says:

    I have been baking cookies like crazy and just wasn’t full filling my chocolate needs this week, so yesterday I thought brownies- fudgy ones- were in order next. I woke up and saw this post this morning–its Fate! Cannot wait to make them :)

  6. Licking the chocolate from the mixer afterwards! That’s a classic even if you are 20 years old like me!!!

    (Pls check my new blog guys: )

  7. My 2 1/2 year old daughter just saw this, and said “Mama, lets make dat today”! Ok, twist my arm! ;)

  8. danielle says:

    oh. my. gosh. these look so delicious. seriously, my mouth is watering a little. sounds like i’ll be baking this weekend!

  9. Kassie says:

    MMmmm…. Had to bookmark this.

  10. susan says:


  11. Bean says:

    These look so yummy!! I really wish there was a way to easily print out your “in the kitchen” recipe posts! I just can’t justify 8 pages that only fill half of each, so I always end up copying & pasting into a text editor – but then I don’t get any pictures either :(

  12. Andrea says:

    Oh wow. Just wow.

  13. Oh. My. These look incredible. Can’t wait to try them once sugar comes back into my life (in moderation of course…these brownies look 100% worth it).

  14. LUCY says:

    I just made these (without nuts). They are so delicious! Thanks

  15. Sue W. Elliott says:

    These brownies look wonderful! Maybe it is the photographer! I will try to print the recipe and give them a go! My New Year’s Resolution was to eat nothing but the highest quality chocolate….

  16. Dear lord these look good…

  17. Rose says:

    Dear Ann, then these must be “fake” brownies. You should be able to figure out by now that you can just leave the nuts out so you can eat them. I don’t even know why you would bother posting that… no reason to be catty!

    I can’t wait to try these! Look so good…

  18. Clementine says:

    These look amazing! I am going to give these a go this week – thank you!

  19. Oh, Drool.

    These things look amazing, and I secretly want my girlfriend to make me about one hundred dozen of these things so that I may feast upon them. They must be killer…

  20. jen says:

    Just made these (without nuts) and they are amazing!

  21. LusterNYC says:

    That image with the frosting is divine – I have to make these!

  22. wow.. this recipe is amazing… i would eat my computer!

  23. kmarie says:

    we made these last night–delicious!

  24. Blandine says:

    Wow these really look amazing! I love adding fruits (raspberries, cherries) and nuts (pecans, walnuts, macadamia) to brownies. We’re actually thinking of making some for our wedding cake…will have to try yours!

  25. Kassie says:

    Tried this recipe tonight and it was Heaven! Thank you for sharing. This is a nice winter treat!

  26. marla says:

    It is so fun to meet Julia! I am also a lover of the Colorado lifestyle & spend all my free time in Telluride, CO. Love the food, people, skiing, landscape & active lifestyle.

  27. celeste says:

    I am SOOOOOOOOO hooked and having the hardest time not eating them all at once!!!

  28. Ingrid says:

    For us metric people:
    113g unsweetened chocolate, 240g butter, 400g sugar, 180g flour, 170g semi-sweet choc chips, 150g chopped nuts // 57g unsweetened chocolate, 45g butter, 454g icing sugar

  29. Kimberly says:

    These were amazing! Very fudgy — the icing was almost too much and I don’t usually like nuts in my brownies, but these were sooo good : )

  30. Sandra says:

    Thank you, Ingrid! That is very helpful.
    If I may, I would suggest that all the recipes are given in both systems. Please ! :)

  31. Brynna Ross says:

    I recently made these brownies and they were the best I’ve ever had. Thank you so much for sharing!

  32. Erin says:

    Did anyone else have issues with time in the oven??? I put them in for the 30 mins and the center was almost still pure batter… they were in for more like 40-45 mins

    1. cynde says:

      That also happened to me… Was thinking I did something wrong and then I read your post!!!!

  33. Hannah says:

    These ended up more like cake to me, definitely not fudgy. Frosting was very popular, but I don’t see what happened to make them not fudgy.


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