Perfect Crinkly Shiny Brownies

Rich fudgy brownies with the perfect shiny, crinkly top. This glossy brownie recipe can be made and baked in under an hour. They can be made in a either a 9x13 or 9x9 baking dish and I promise shiny, crinkly-top brownies every time. You won't be able to stop eating these!
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These are my absolute FAVORITE perfect, crinkly shiny brownies! This brownie recipe is mixed and baked in under an hour and will without fail give you that beautiful, glossy, paper-thin top. The texture of the edge brownie pieces is more chewy and they get more fudge-like the closer you get to the center — so good.

These will absolutely become your new favorite, no fuss, beautiful brownie recipe.

All of the ingredients that go into the brownie recipe

Key Delicious, Shiny Brownie Ingredients

Ten ingredients is all you need to make these gorgeous brownies! Let’s run down some of the ingredients that make these truly magical:

Dark Chocolate

Use a nice dark chocolate that’s made for melting. Chocolate chips will work in a pinch but they resist melting because of their ingredients (they’re meant to hold their shape!). If you have options, pick bars of chocolate, callets or discs as they’ll melt the easiest.

 I’m loving these baking chips and these are my most favorite Callebaut callets; I used the Callebaut when testing this recipe (delicious chocolate, melts beautifully — LOVE).

Whatever chocolate you use, make sure it’s good quality and can handle melting.

Dutch-Process Cocoa Powder

Double chocolate (both chips and unsweetened cocoa powder) mean these brownies have mega flavor. I love this Hershey’s Dark as it’s easy to find and yields beautiful flavor + color; you can however use any unsweetened cocoa powder you have on hand. When recipe testing this crinkly brownie recipe I used this King Arthur Flour unsweetened cocoa powder which is a gorgeous color and flavor (and definitely a splurge!).

Brownies still in the pan cooling

Eggs

Use large, room temperature eggs as they will let you whip heaps of air into them. I often place cold eggs in some warm water to quickly bring them to room temperature.

Espresso

The first time I paired espresso with chocolate was when baking Ina Garten’s Beatty’s Chocolate Cake year’s ago and I fell in love! Adding espresso to chocolate baked goods really amps up the chocolate flavor and doesn’t necessarily produce an ‘espresso’ flavor.

You can use a tablespoon of fresh-brewed espresso or strong coffee *or* you can use espresso powder, this one is my favorite. If you use the latter, feel free to add additional espresso powder if you want to taste more of a coffee flavor (I wouldn’t do more than 2 teaspoons).

Vanilla Extract

You can either make your own vanilla extract (see here!) or get some really good quality vanilla extract — I don’t recommend imitation vanilla extract as I don’t love the flavor.

The brownie batter being stirred
The mixed brownie batter

Why This Shiny Brownie Recipe Works

For the fudgy brownie recipe in The Cookie Book, I melted the sugar and butter together which also yields a shiny top. However, not with the consistency (or drama!) I desired.

Back in 2018 I created a crème fraîche chocolate chip cookie recipe which also melts the sugar to get a shiny top…but the recipe *also* has you really whip up the eggs. This chocolate chip cookie recipe consistently yields a shiny top.

While working on this brownie recipe, that particular cookie recipe led me to test omitting the sugar melting step and just focus on really whipping up the eggs. I found that whipping your eggs into a frothy frenzy is what creates a consistent, shiny top EVERY SINGLE TIME!

These shiny, crinkly brownies are so satisfying to bake!

A stack of three brownies

Making Crinkly Brownies Q&A

What is the perfect brownie pan?

I absolutely love the 9×13 NordicWare baking pan for baking brownies. This larger pan will yield a chewier brownie around the edges of the pan with the middle brownies having a more fudge-like consistency, so everyone is happy.

If you want to make them in a 9×9 pan, this is my go-to…it is also NordicWare.

This recipe was tested in both size pans. The 9×9 brownies need to be baked a bit longer (as noted in the recipe) and will yield an overall fudgier, thicker brownie experience.

Do I have to use a mixer to get my eggs perfectly frothed?

Nope! You can use a whisk (this one is my favorite!). You will really need to whip the mixture until it is lighter in color, increased in volume and thickened (see the video and the photo above for a visual).

I tested these using both my KitchenAid stand mixer and my Breville handheld — both worked beautifully…although I wouldn’t mind the arm workout!

Can I omit the espresso in the brownies?

Yes, absolutely! No need to substitute.

a batch of brownies all cut up looking shaggy

How to Cut Perfect Shiny Brownies Every Time

The first rule for cutting perfect brownies is the hardest: let the brownies cool completely!

If you want super clean cuts, chill your brownies for several hours before cutting them.

Lastly, use a very sharp knife and clean + dry the knife in between cuts.

I tend to be impatient so my brownies are never perfectly cut, such is life.

A close up shot of crinkly brownies

Favorite Crinkly Brownie Equipment

9×9-inch (23×23-cm) pan for thicker, fudgier brownies

9×13-inch (23×33-cm) pan for chewier brownies around the edges of the pan and more fudge-like ones in the center

Electric Stand Mixer (I prefer the Artisan to the Professional)

Breville Handheld Mixer, this one has a bunch of speeds, dough hooks, whisks. I was never a fan of handhelds until I got this one!

Whisk, I love this whisk so much! The angles at the base really help you get into the corners when whisking

Bowls, these bowls are awesome for mixing, setting atop simmering water when melting chocolate and for weighing out ingredients before starting (if you’re so inclined!)

Spatula, in the video I use the confetti spatula from this set — it’s too cute!

Knife, love this chef’s knife with the white handle…you can also see it in the brownie video

A  close up of one brownie square with sea salt flakes on top yum

More Delicious Bar Cookie Recipes

If Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookies had a baby, you’d get these Ultimate Skillet Brookies

Sometimes I like vegan treats, so I created these Peppermint Vegan Brownies….you can omit the peppermint and make them more of a classic brownie experience

Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies with Coffee Ganache for when you’re feeling all in

S’more Cookie Bars because they’re fabulous

Click here to see all of the brownie + bar cookies recipes on DisplacedHousewife!

Overhead shot of brownie squares

A quick note on brownie safety! Most people desire a fudge-like consistency with their brownies. To ensure their safety, make sure they’re baked to at least 160°F (71°C) when tested with an instant-read thermometer. Enjoy your shiny, crinkly brownies!

Crinkly Fudgy Shiny Top Brownies

Rich fudgy brownies with the perfect shiny, crinkly top. This glossy brownie recipe can be made and baked in under an hour. They can be made in a either a 9×13 or 9×9 baking dish and I promise shiny, crinkly-top brownies every time. You won't be able to stop eating these!
4.82 from 11 reviews
Print Save Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Brownies, Bar Cookiees
Keyword: Brownies, Shiny, Crinkly, Fudgy, Bar Cookies, Dessert
Servings: 20 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1⁄2 cups (255 g) dark chocolate, finely chopped
  • 12 tablespoons (170 g) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
  • 1 cup (85 g) unsweetened dark (Dutch process) cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 3⁄4 cup (165 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon (13 g) freshly brewed espresso, or strong coffee (or 1 teaspoon espresso powder)
  • 1 tablespoon (13 g) real vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup (135 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons (10 g) sea salt flakes, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Grease an 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) baking dish and line with parchment paper, letting the excess fall over the sides. (see note below regarding pan size)
  • In a medium, heat-safe bowl add the chocolate, butter and cocoa powder and set over a medium saucepan of simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water or let the water come to a boil. Stir frequently until melted and smooth and set aside.
  • In an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the eggs, sugar, brown sugar, espresso, vanilla and salt and whisk on medium-high for about 5 to 7 minutes or until thick and light in color. Add in the melted chocolate (no need to let it cool) and run the mixer for 30 seconds on low to combine. Take the bowl out of the mixer and fold in the flour until just combined (make sure there aren't any flour pockets). Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the sea salt flakes, if using.
  • Bake on the middle of the oven for 25 to 27 minutes. When done, the tops will be shiny and if you test with a toothpick some crumbs will cling to it. Note: the crinkly top won't show up until you pull them out of the pan and cut them. Let them cool in the pan for several hours and if you want super, uber fudgy brownies shove them in the fridge for several hours before serving.
  • When it’s time to cut the brownies, use a very sharp knife and use a wet paper towel to clean off the knife in between cuts. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

You can also use a 9×9 (23×23-cm) square baking pan. Bake the brownies in the center of the oven for about 35 minutes (depending on how fudgy you want your brownies to be). I did find in testing this recipe that the larger 9×13 (23×33-cm) yielded brownies that had a bit more crinkle.
Thanks for baking with me! Please tag me on social @displacedhousewife #displacedhousewife so I can see your beautiful treats! xo

A bunch of brownie squares

24 Comments

  • Caroline August 10, 2022 at 5:37 AM

    Hi! These looks great! I’m not a fan of dark chocolate, would switching it up to milk chocolate make it too sweet?

    Reply
  • Maha August 2, 2022 at 7:52 AM

    5 stars
    Oh this is awesome but what measurement should I follow for 12*12 inch pan.. and at what temperature and timings should i bake this brownies to get a crinkly top Iike this

    Reply
  • Sonia Yohannes August 2, 2022 at 2:40 AM

    For the first time, I was able to bake fudgy brownies with crinkly top. Thank you for a great recipe with clear instructions. This will be my go-to ROM now on.

    Reply
  • Lillian July 30, 2022 at 7:15 PM

    5 stars
    A M A Z I N G!!!! These are positively the best brownies I have ever eaten and made. The instructions were very clear, and I loved the special method to get a shiny top. So quick, everyone I delivered them to loved them. Adding to the list of my go-to recipes! :D

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth August 1, 2022 at 7:07 AM

      Thank you Lilian!! I’m so happy you loved them!!! xox

      Reply
  • Madeleine July 27, 2022 at 8:10 PM

    3 stars
    I’m about to try making these, but I’m honestly a bit surprised with how much chocolate is in this recipe. Don’t get me wrong; I love chocolate as much as the next person but the amount of cocoa powder is insane. My mom had recently commented that these brownies sound expensive with the amount of chocolate is in this recipe. Does the recipe really call for one cup of cocoa powder or is that a fluke? I’m just curious but mostly concerned.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth July 29, 2022 at 7:07 PM

      Hi Madeleine!
      The amount is correct and they turn out delicious, I promise!
      xo

      Reply
  • Elizabeth Adarlo July 26, 2022 at 6:34 PM

    Thank you for sharing your super perfect yummy recipe of brownies.hope you teach me more so I can add for my starting small business..hope can help me.thanknyoubso much

    Reply
  • DessertForTwo July 25, 2022 at 9:27 AM

    5 stars
    Absolutely LOVED these. Not too sweet. Perfect, shiny, crackled crust. Thank you for becoming my new go-to large batch brownie recipe!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth July 26, 2022 at 11:49 AM

      Literally made my day! Thanks for the sweet review!
      R xo

      Reply
  • Gloria July 24, 2022 at 5:05 PM

    5 stars
    THE BEST!! They are everything I love in a brownie: chocolatey, fudgy (even the corner pieces), and straightforward. I like my brownies without any add-ins. These brownies more than deliver. They’re definitely MUST-MAKE. Also, I didn’t have espresso so- I mixed 1 tablespoon *instant* coffee with 2 tablespoons vanilla extra. YUM!!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth July 26, 2022 at 11:47 AM

      Hi Gloria!!! You have no idea how happy this makes me — I love that you love them as much as I do! Thanks for baking them! xoxo

      Reply
  • Brown knee July 22, 2022 at 4:33 AM

    5 stars
    The secret to “brownie skin” is simply powdered sugar. Or dissolving your sugar into your batter.

    Watch Adam Ragusea on YouTube where he painstakingly did an experiment on how to replicate this

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth July 22, 2022 at 8:04 AM

      Your name lol.

      I promise, zero need for powdered sugar (or sweetened condensed milk or molasses) and you’ll get that glossy, crinkly top (and really delicious brownies) every time!
      R xx

      Reply
  • Allison July 21, 2022 at 1:36 PM

    5 stars
    Amazing crinkly top! I can’t wait to make these, I love brownies that look and taste good I just checked some of the links because of the other comments and they seem to be working now! Love the bowls.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth July 21, 2022 at 9:10 PM

      Hi Allison!
      Thanks for checking!! I hope you love them (I’m craving them right now!).

      Have a great evening!
      xo

      Reply
  • Elizabeth W. July 21, 2022 at 9:11 AM

    These look amazing! Thanks for sharing, Rebecca. I’m definitely making them for a work treat. Having the same problem as Kim P. though: all the Amazon links are going to the hand mixer (trying to find the bowls!)…

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth July 21, 2022 at 10:24 AM

      Hi Elizabeth!
      I hope you love these brownies!

      I just fixed the links…the bowls and the spatula (I believe) were the ones that needed fixing…please let me know if I missed any other links.

      The GIR confetti spatula is actually called Barcelona; I couldn’t link directly to that style.

      Please reach out with any other questions/notes. Thank you!
      xo

      Reply
  • Kim P. July 20, 2022 at 3:50 PM

    5 stars
    Oh my, YES INDEED!!! So glad that I have everything on hand to make these beauties because it’s too hot to shop…but the heat won’t stop me from baking. Isn’t that what A/C is for??? Thanks mucho, Rebecca ;-) [quick note: several of the equipment / tools links go to the hand mixer page, at least for me from iPhone]

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth July 20, 2022 at 5:51 PM

      Hi Kim! I can’t wait for you to make these! I just checked and they worked for me…I will test them on some other devices to make sure they’re working; thank you for the note!

      If you need a link to anything just let me know and I can post in comments or via email. Have fun!!
      xo

      Reply
    • Rebecca Firth July 21, 2022 at 10:24 AM

      Hi Kim!
      I found the ones that weren’t working and they should be fixed now. Thank you!!
      xo

      Reply
  • Sally July 20, 2022 at 12:17 PM

    5 stars
    Brownies are my absolute favorite. These look very doable! Lots of great tips.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth July 20, 2022 at 1:29 PM

      They’re my favorite too — I hope you love them! xo

      Reply

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