Craving brownies but don’t need an entire baking pan’s worth sitting in your kitchen? Make this recipe for small batch brownies instead! The brownies are baked in a loaf pan and are the perfect size for mid-week snacking or smaller gatherings. 

A stack of four cocoa powder brownies on a white dessert plate.

Small batch desserts are my favorite mid-week indulgence. From chocolate chip cookies to mug cakes, I love having small batch recipes on hand to make whenever a dessert craving hits but I want just a couple servings of something sweet. 

These small batch brownies are my latest creation, and I’m in love. I have a mug brownie recipe that takes under 5 minutes to prepare, but nothing beats a classic fudgy brownie that’s been baked in the oven! 

I made these brownies with cocoa powder rather than melted chocolate to minimize prep work. They’re incredibly easy to make and stay super fudgy for days!

An overhead view of the ingredients needed to make small batch brownies.

Ingredients in This Recipe

This small batch brownie recipe is made with classic brownie ingredients, just in smaller ratios. Here’s a look at what you’ll need to make this small batch dessert: 

  • Unsalted butter: Needs to be melted, then set aside to cool slightly before adding the eggs (you don’t want to scramble them!). 
  • Granulated sugar: Just 3/4 cup of sugar is used to sweeten the small batch of brownies. 
  • Egg + egg yolk: Help bind together the batter while keeping the brownies moist and fudgy. 
  • Vanilla extract: I recommend using pure vanilla extract for the best flavor. 
  • Cocoa Powder: You can use either Dutch process or natural unsweetened cocoa powder. I’ve tested this recipe with both and couldn’t tell a difference.
  • Flour: Since this is a smaller batch, you’ll need just 1/3 cup of flour. Spoon and level the flour rather than scooping it straight from the bag. This prevents you from measuring out too much by mistake. 
  • Instant espresso powder: This is an optional ingredient, but I highly recommend using it. The espresso powder enhances the chocolate flavor and doesn’t make the brownies taste like coffee whatsoever. 
  • Salt: A little salt balances out the sweetness from the sugar. 

How to Make Small Batch Brownies

This is your classic cocoa powder brownie recipe, but scaled down a bit. No special pans or prep work are required for this recipe! 

  • Prepare the pan: Preheat the oven and spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  • I recommend lining the pan with parchment paper and leaving some overhang. This will make it much easier to lift the bars out of the pan and slice them.
  •  Whisk together the wet ingredients: Combine the cooled, melted butter, sugar, egg, egg yolk, and vanilla in a large bowl. 
  • Add the dry ingredients: To the wet mixture, add the cocoa powder, flour, instant espresso powder, and salt. Whisk until just combined. 
  • Bake the brownies: Turn the batter into the prepared loaf pan, then bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 
  • Cool completely: The brownies need to be left in the pan to cool completely before slicing. This helps them set up and they become ultra fudgy! 

Eight brownie slices on a parchment-lined wood serving board.

How to Tell When Brownies Are Done

You’ll need to bake the brownies for roughly 18 to 23 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, but with a few moist crumbs. 

Be careful not to overbake the brownies, as that would result in dry, crumbly brownies rather than moist, fudgy ones. 

Is a Loaf Pan Necessary? 

I recommend using a 9×5 loaf pan for this recipe, however, you could probably use a muffin pan or ramekins instead. You will need to adjust the baking time slightly depending on the pan you use too.

A close up view of a fudgy cocoa powder brownie with a bite missing, stacked atop additional brownies.

Can Mix-Ins Be Added? 

Yes! If you want to add mix-ins to these brownies, you can add 1/3 to 1/2 cup. Some great options are chopped walnuts, semi-sweet chocolate chips, or mini M&M’s.

Can This Recipe Be Doubled? 

If you’d like to make a larger pan of brownies, I recommend making my classic brownie recipe. It’s made in a 9×13-inch baking dish and I’ve tested that recipe multiple times. You can also cut that recipe in half and bake it in an 8-inch square pan for about the same amount of time.

A close up view of two fudgy brownies on a white dessert plate, leaning against each other.

Baking Tips 

  • Make sure the eggs are at room temperature before beginning this recipe. If you forgot to set the eggs out ahead of time, simply place them in a bowl of warm tap water for 5 to 10 minutes to bring them to room temperature. 
  • The instant espresso powder is optional but highly recommended. It enhances the chocolate flavor of the brownies and makes them taste incredibly rich. 
  • Be careful not to overbake the brownies. If you do, they won’t be fudgy and moist. 

More Small Batch Desserts to Try! 

Small Batch Brownies

5 from 4 ratings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
These small batch brownies are baked in a loaf pan and are the perfect size for mid-week snacking or smaller gatherings. 


Servings: 8 brownies
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and slightly cooled (85 grams)
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cup natural unsweetened or Dutch process cocoa powder (30 grams)
  • cup all-purpose flour spooned & leveled (42 grams)
  • ¼ teaspoon instant espresso powder optional
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 9x5 loaf pan well with nonstick cooking spray, line the pan with parchment paper leaving some overhang for easy removal, and set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk the melted butter and sugar together until well combined. Then, whisk in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract until fully combined.
  • Sift in the cocoa powder, flour, instant espresso powder, and salt. Whisk until just combined.
  • Scoop the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread it around into one even layer.
  • Bake for 18 to 23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean with just a few moist crumbs.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Once cooled, lift the brownies out of the pan, slice into 8 bars, and enjoy!


Storage Instructions: Brownies may be stored in an airtight container or ziplock bag at room temperature for up to five days.
Freezing Instructions: Once the brownies have cooled completely, wrap the sliced brownies individually in plastic wrap, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw to room temperature before serving.
Cuisine: American
Course: Dessert
Author: Danielle
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