On a lazy day, while reading your favorite book, sometimes you crave a Cocoa brownie that is easy to make and the ingredients are also frugal and pantry friendly. These cocoa brownies with oil (like vegetable or canola oil) something that you can have with tea with the least effort and enjoy the moment.
I don't know of anything that is so welcomed always, anytime, every time other than brownies. But, but, but, it has to be goey, fudge nothing cake-like and reasonably sweetened.
This vegetable oil brownie is quick and easy to put together. No equipment required, no chocolate or chocolate chip required, as brownie is made with cocoa powder and the ingredients are almost always present at home.
These brownies turned out moist with a fudgy center and crackly top. But more than ingredients it is the method that does the charm so make sure you go through these basic brownie tips. These are pantry-friendly and frugal brownies. If you are looking for an indulgent gooey-centered chocolate fudge brownie check this recipe.
Basic Baking Tips to make Cocoa brownies with oil:
- Spoon and level to measure: Spoon ingredients like flour and cocoa powder in the measuring cup then level it by sliding a knife over it. This helps to measure ingredients correctly without overpacking.
- Eggs: Use room temperature eggs and do not overbeat them. Using a hand whisk works best. Over beating can fill too much air in them making your brownies rise too much like a cake.
- Break eggs one by one in a separate bowl. Like break an egg in a small bowl and transfer to the mixing bowl. Break another egg into the same small bowl and again transfer it to the mixing bowl. So if one of the eggs is rotten it doesn't get mixed with good eggs.
- Mix the dry and wet ingredients with a spatula not whisk. Mix until just combined and avoid over mixing which can form gluten strands making your brownies tough rather than soft.
- Fudgy brownie tips: Most important tip is just to bake till the center is not jiggly upon shaking and firm. Remember brownie continues to bake in the hot baking tray for few minutes after removing it from the oven. So, I’ve found that removing the brownie when the center is no more liquid and a bit firm, works best. If doing a toothpick test. It will have wet and dirty crumbs on it.
- Butter paper: It helps so much in the easy removal of brownie.
- Brown sugar: It gives that decadent deep caramel taste to the brownie. If you are short on brown sugar, white sugar is fine too.
- No baking powder, please! Some old school recipes still continue to add baking powder in a brownie. For a fudge brownie, you want the brownie to be dense and don't want to lift it with baking powder. Save the baking powder for cakes, not for brownies.
- Sugar: If you grind your sugar measure powdered sugar, do not measure granulated sugar, and then grind it. Otherwise, your brownie will be too sweet.
- Use correct size pan: For best brownies, the height of batter filled in-tray should be between 1 inch.
- If making your own powdered sugar, always grind in small batches and for few extra minutes. Also, sift the powdered sugar like flour; it separates bigger sugar granules from fine particles. This step is very important in baking any cake as large sugar granules settle down in the cake pan and burn easily.
This my basic and ground zero recipe to make all brownies. I switch to oil for butter, cocoa powder for dark cocoa powder. Add 1 cup of good quality chocolate chip or chunks to the same recipe for a fudgy indulgent chocolate brownie.
If you love to experiment, you can add marshmallows, oreo, lotus, caramel candies, pretzel, mint melt, mint chocolate, coconut flakes, smarties on the top of the brownie before baking for other flavors you like.
Similarly, you can add any nuts of your choice to the batter like walnuts, pecan, hazelnuts pumpkin seed, peanuts, and so on.
If you love swirls, you can add cream cheese swirls, Nutella swirls, or peanut butter swirls. So, my friends, the sky is the limit when it comes to brownie variation and it is never boring.
How to make Cocoa Brownies with Oil
- Pre-heat the oven at 350 F or 176 C and line 8 X 8-inch baking dish with butter paper. Remember to leave the extra edges on the side that helps to lift the brownie out of the tray.
- In a mixing bowl take sugars and oil. Mix together with a hand whisk. (You can use ¼ cup extra sugar for sweeter brownies.)
- Add eggs.
- Mix with the whisk until just homogenous. No over mixing.
- Sieve cocoa powder and flour in the bowl.
- Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients with the help of a spatula. Avoid over mixing.
- Here's the delicious batter ready to be placed in the preheated oven. Set the timer to 20 minutes, usually, it takes a maximum of 25 minutes. Shake the dish at 20 minutes, if it is giggly, bake for another 5-7 minutes. If it is set, remove it from the oven for a gooey fudgy brownie. the brownie will continue to bake in the dish. If you like a well-set brownie, bake further and do the toothpick test.
- In the test, you see the gooey center is sticking to the stick but there is no liquid batter. ( We do not want a clean toothpick! Clean toothpick means you over baked it.)
- Let the brownie cool naturally for at least 30 minutes in the baking dish. Slide a knife around the edge to loosen the brownie. Then lift it out with the help of butter paper handles. Cut brownie into 16 pieces. Slice the brownie horizontally into half. Then divide each half into half. Similarly, slice vertically for equally sliced 16 pieces. ( I've found popping the brownie in the freezer for 15 minutes cools them enough to slice them neatly without getting many crumbs.
- Enjoy warm cocoa brownies with oil immediately or let it cool completely then store in an airtight box.
Hungry for more brownies? Check these!
Cocoa Brownie recipe with oil
- ½ cup oil, vegetable or any nuetral tasting oil
- 1 cup icing sugar, (138 grams) or powdered sugar,
- ½ cup brown sugar, (100 gram) or more icing sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup plain flour, (114 grams)
- ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, good quality,( 70 grams)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Pre-heat the oven at gas mark 4 or 350 F or 177 C.
- Line your 8 inch square baking dish with baking paper. Leave the extra edges of baking paper hanging on the two sides.
- In a bowl, take white sugar, brown sugar, and oil. Mix together with the help of a whisk.
- Add eggs and whisk again until smooth. No over-mixing!
- Place a sieve over the mixing bowl. Sieve cocoa and flour right in the bowl.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients with a spatula just until combined. Scrap the sides of the bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Again do not over-mix. This mixture might be thick but that's ok.
- Check after 20 minutes by shaking the dish lightly.For the moist fudgy brownie: If the batter giggles, continue to bake. If the batter is set remove it from the oven and the brownie will continue to bake in the dish. The brownie will as it cools.For a well-set fudge brownie: Once the brownie is set, check by inserting a toothpick. If you see wet crumbs, the brownie is ready. If the liquid batter is visible on the stick, bake the brownie for another 5-7 minutes.
- Let the brownie cool naturally for at least 30 minutes or preferably until completely cool. Slide a knife around the edge to loosen the brownie. Then lift it out with the help of butter paper handles. Cut brownie into 16 pieces and serve.
- After cooling store on the counter for 5 days or in the fridge for 10 days. You can freeze brownies for 3 months.
- You may use ¼ cup less or more sugar as per your taste.
- Check the variation section for more variation ideas.