This Is Ree Drummond’s Secret Trick for the Fudgiest Brownies You’ve Ever Had

Ree says you're going to need a gallon of milk on standby when you make this Pioneer Woman brownies recipe—and she isn't kidding.

We love Ree Drummond’s caramel brownies, so when we came across her recipe for dark chocolate brownies, we wondered what the secret was to their super-fudgy flavor. A deep dive into the ingredients revealed the secret behind these fan-favorite Pioneer Woman brownies.

What Is Ree’s Trick?

She doesn’t have a secret ingredient, exactly. It’s more like a secret missing ingredient. Ree’s recipe lacks any chemical leaveners—there’s no baking soda or baking powder. The result is a much denser brownie that will require about a gallon of milk to drink with your dessert!

What About the Other Ingredients?

The main trick is the lack of baking soda or baking powder. But a handful of other changes separate Pioneer Woman brownies from the competition. Here’s a closer look at how Ree makes her brownies special.

Less Flour

Fudgy brownies are characterized by their dense texture. The less flour there is (Ree’s recipe calls for only 1-1/4 cups), the more dense, and therefore, fudgier, the resulting brownies.

Butter Instead of Oil

Most brownie recipes call for butter or oil. Oil is common in fudge brownie recipes, while butter is typically used to make cake brownies, as the milk solids help with the rise during baking. Ree’s recipe calls for two sticks of butter, which provides plenty of rich buttery flavor. A greater proportion of fat to flour also contributes to a denser texture and fudgier flavor.

More Eggs

Eggs are used in brownies to bind the ingredients together and to provide moisture. And, without any chemical leaveners, eggs act as a leavening agent to help the brownies rise while baking. Interestingly, Ree’s recipe calls for three eggs, which is more typical of a cakey brownie recipe.

… and LOTS of Chocolate

Most brownie recipes call for a single type of chocolate. The secret to Ree’s extra-fudgy brownies, however, is that she uses THREE types of chocolate: melted unsweetened chocolate, unsweetened cocoa powder and semi-sweet chocolate chips. When she says her brownies are chocolaty, she isn’t kidding! Melted chocolate is a common ingredient in fudgy brownies, while cocoa powder is used to make cake brownies. Combining the two results in chewy brownies. And the addition of chocolate chips? Well, that’s just icing on the proverbial cake.

As Ree says, “If you love chocolate, and I mean rich, rich, rich dark chocolate, you will love these!”

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Susan Bronson
Susan Bronson is a writer and editor based in Northern Wisconsin.