These sheet pan frosted brownies are are true crowd pleasers. People who like brownies on the cakey side will like them just as much as those who prefer their brownies to be gooey and fudgy, because somehow these brownies manage to be both.
They are deeply chocolate and covered in buttery, bittersweet chocolate frosting. Even better, these brownies are super easy to make and only take about an hour, start to finish.
Super Easy Frosted Fudge Brownies for a Crowd
This is the recipe to turn to when you need to bake for a crowd.
- Bake sale? Perfect.
- Backyard BBQ? Of course.
- Celebration, potluck, neighborhood block party? Yes, yes, and yes.
Everyone loves brownies and these are the crowd pleasing variety. Plus, they're easy on the baker. In about an hour you'll have 32 large or 64 small brownies. Done and done.
If you want to bake a lot of brownies, you're going to need a large sheet pan
This recipe requires a large sheet pan - 21 inches long, 15 inches wide. If you try to bake these brownies in a smaller sized pan, even slightly smaller, the batter will overflow. Even in a large sheet pan, there will be a moment when you'll wonder if you're going to end up with brownie batter all over the inside of your oven.
It'll be alright. But, if you're concerned, put some foil under the pan. The brownies will puff up to the point of almost overflowing the pan, but then solidify from brownie batter into brownies. As they cool, the brownies will sink down into the pan, giving them a dense, fudgy texture.
If you'd rather bake these brownies in a smaller pan, no problem. Just just divide the batter in half and bake them in batches.
How to store these brownies:
After they are frosted, these brownies will keep well for up to 24 hours. Cover them as tightly as you can and store them at room temperature, or in the refrigerator if your home is quite warm. If you're making them in advance, wait until you're getting ready to serve them to cut them into individual brownies. This will help keep them super moist and fudgy.
Before they are frosted, the brownies will keep well for a bit longer. Cover them tightly and store them at room temperature for up to 48 hours or in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Frost and slice right before serving.
If you'd like to freeze these brownies, I suggest doing so before they are frosted. If your freezer is large enough, leave them in the pan, cover them tightly and freeze for up to 3 months. Let the brownies thaw in the refrigerator over night, then frost and cut right before serving.
If your freezer isn't large enough to fit the entire pan of brownies, cut them into smaller portions. Since these are super moist and fudgy brownies, it will be difficult to remove them from the pan if you cut them too large. But there's no need to cut them into 64 pieces. I'd suggest cutting them into 32 pieces, wrapping all 32 brownies individually before placing in the freezer.
Allow the brownies to thaw in the refrigerator overnight then frost and cut each of the 32 brownies in half so that you have 64 smaller brownies.
More Recipes for Chocolate Lovers:
- Chocolate Brownie Loaf Cake
- Brookies ~ Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownie Bars
- Chocolate Cream Pie
- Perfectly Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Blackout Cake
- Black Forest Cake
- German Chocolate Cake
- Sinfully Rich Chocolate Devil's Food Cake
- Chocolate Marble Cake
- Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge Icing
Sheet Pan Frosted Brownies
These are true crowd pleasing frosted brownies. People who like brownies on the cakey side will like them just as much as those who believe brownies should be rich and fudgy, because somehow these sheet pan frosted brownies manage to be both. They are both cake-like and fudgy, deeply chocolate, and covered in buttery, bittersweet chocolate frosting.
Even better, these brownies are super easy to make and only take about an hour, start to finish.
FOR THE BROWNIES:
- 4 cups packed dark brown sugar
- 1 ⅓ cup (21 ⅓ tbsp) salted butter, at room temperature
- 12 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 ⅓ cup + ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup cocoa powder (not dutch process)
- 2 ½ cups semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate chips
FOR THE FROSTING:
- 1 cup semi-sweet or bitter-sweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup powdered (confectioners) sugar
- ⅓ cup milk
- 1 stick (8 tbsp) salted butter
- ¾ teaspoon salt (*See note)
- 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
MAKE THE BROWNIES:
- Butter a large sheet pan and heat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the brown sugar with the butter on medium-high speed until combined, about 1 minute.
- With the mixer running on medium-low speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating for 10-20 seconds after each addition, making sure to fully incorporate one before adding the next. Stop the mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times during this process. Add the vanilla when you add the last egg, beating just long enough to combine.
- In a separate bowl, add the salt, flour, and cocoa powder and stir with a wire whisk to combine. Add to the standing mixer bowl and beat on the lowest speed just to incorporate. Using a spatula, give the batter a stir to make sure all the flour has been mixed into the batter.
- Pour the batter into the buttered sheet pan and smooth it into an even layer. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the batter. Bake for 21 - 24 minutes, until the brownies are just barely set in the center of the pan.
- Set the pan on a wire rack and let cool completely before frosting.
MAKE THE FROSTING:
- Put the chocolate chips in a medium size bowl and set aside.
- Add the powdered sugar, milk, butter, and salt to a medium size sauce pan set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the butter melts and the mixture comes to a boil. Let boil, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
- Pour the butter and sugar mixture over the chocolate chips and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until all the chocolate chips are melted and the frosting is smooth, then stir in the vanilla.
- Pour the frosting over the cooled brownies, spreading it into a thin even layer. Let the frosting set for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving.
- Using ¾ teaspoon salt and salted butter in the frosting will create a salted-chocolate flavor that I think is delicious next to the sweetness of the brownies. However, if you are not a fan of salted chocolate, go easy on the salt, starting with ¼ tsp, tasting the frosting when you're done making it and adding more if you like, until it taste right to you.
Be sure to bake these brownies in a large pan:
This recipe requires a large sheet pan – 21 inches long, 15 inches wide. If you try to bake these brownies in a smaller sized pan, even slightly smaller, the batter will overflow. Even in a large sheet pan, there will be a moment when you’ll wonder if you’re going to end up with brownie batter all over the inside of your oven.
It’ll be alright. But, if you’re concerned, put some foil under the pan. The brownies will puff up to the point of almost overflowing the pan, but then solidify from brownie batter into brownies. As they cool, the brownies will sink down into the pan, giving them a dense, fudgy texture.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 64 Serving Size: 1 brownie
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 99Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 85mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 14gProtein: 2g
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I made these for a memorial day event last weekend, and though they turned out really well and got lots of rave comments, mine were definitely different than yours. For starters, mine turned out much lighter than yours, and were a bit crumbly. I suspect that's because I overbaked them-- I initially reduced the time by 5 minutes, then kept them in the oven for an additional 4 minutes, because the only pan I could find was a 16x22 pan-- 1 inch bigger in each dimension. Like I said, everyone raved about them, but given that I'm a perfectionist, how would you adjust bake time next time for the larger pan size? Fantastic recipe as always!
Rebecca Blackwell says
Hi Katy! If they were crumbly or dry in any way, I'd also guess that they were slightly over baked. It can be so difficult to hit that "sweet spot" with brownies - that moment when they are set but still gooey. I wouldn't think that a 1-inch difference in pan size could make much difference... the brownies would be slightly thinner, so your initial impulse to reduce the time by a few minutes is a good idea. But, that small of a difference shouldn't have much affect. Is it possible that your oven runs a bit hot? Most ovens aren't 100% accurate so having an oven thermometer is a good idea. If your oven runs a little bit hot, that could also contribute to their being over baked.
Your mention of the brownies being a lighter color is perplexing to me... What kind of cocoa powder did you use? If you used dutch process cocoa, that might affect the color and could contribute to their being a bit dry and crumbly.
It's entirely possible that I used the wrong kind of cocoa. I used the kind that is readily available at the grocery store-- the generic kind. I sometimes have trouble figuring out if cocoa powder is dutch processed, just because I never see any kind of explanation of how it was processed. Would it be dutch processed without stating it?
We have a thermometer in my oven, though I'm embarrassed to say I'm bad at checking it. I'll take a look when I bake again. Even with them coming out differently, these brownies were a huge hit-- my husband even asked me if I could make these again, and I'm going to use the modified recipe you posted above to try to fit them to our half-sheet.
Thank you for another fantastic recipe!
Rebecca Blackwell says
Dutch process cocoa is usually clearly marked on the packaging. If it doesn't give any indication, you can assume that it's not dutch process. Dutch process cocoa is treated with an alkalizing agent to reduce the natural acidity of cocoa which reduces the bitterness. Acid ingredients do a lot of things in baked goods, one of which is to keep them tender. It sounds like that wasn't the issue for you - generic grocery store cocoa should work just fine. Probably your initial instinct that they were slightly overbooked is the culprit. So glad to hear that they still tasted good! Even better luck next time! xo
Some confusion here!! In the brownie steps you mention adding the vanilla in step 2 after combining the sugar and butter AND in step 3 after the last egg. I added it in after the sugar and butter - hope that was right.
Also, I don't know if I screwed up but my frosting was pretty salty. I added the 3/4 tsp of salt and I even used unsalted butter. Is it supposed to be salty to add a contrast to the sweetness?
Rebecca Blackwell says
Hi Melanie! Thank you so much for alerting me to the double instructions to add the vanilla. In truth, you could add it before or after the eggs and get the same result. So, you were right. 🙂 I've adjusted it in the recipe.
The frosting is supposed to have a salted chocolate flavor to balance out the sweetness in the brownies. But, I appreciate your comment so much, because it reminds me that salted chocolate isn't to everyone's taste. I've added a note in the recipe about this. One of the things I love the most about publishing recipes online is that they can be adjusted and amended based on other people's feedback. Of course, this is only possible when people take the time to offer their thoughts. Thank you for taking the time to do so! xo
Alanna Conlee says
could I cut the recipe in half and use a regular size sheet pan?
Rebecca Blackwell says
Hi Alanna! What size is your sheet pan?
Alanna Conlee says
It is a baker's half sheet pan (16.5x11.38)
Rebecca Blackwell says
The pan I used for the recipe is 21 x 15... so, I'd suggesting cutting down the recipe by 1/4 instead of cutting it in half. Here are those measurements... Will you let me know how they come out for you? Happy baking!
3 cups dark brown sugar
16 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup + 8 tbsp flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 3/4 cups chocolate chips
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup powdered sugar
4 tbsp milk
6 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla