Nana’s Famous Fudge Brownies

The most decadent fudge brownies with chocolate fudge frosting you will ever eat! These brownies are thick and chewy and not cakey in any way shape or form. They really do taste like fudge. Eric’s grandma (Nana) is famous for this recipe!

So Eric lost the remote. I’m pretty sure it was him who lost it because a few years ago the same thing happened, and after searching for hours do you know where he found it? On top of the bookshelf. (Not on the top shelf. On top of. Completely out of sight.) Eric does this thing where he picks things up and puts them in random places when he’s talking to someone, and has ZERO memory of it.

Nana's Famous Fudge Brownies from The Food Charlatan

This time around it was a real doozie because we lost the Apple TV remote and it is roughly the size of a postage stamp.

A few days go by and we’re watching Friday Night Lights. (we’ve been obsessed lately, have you seen it?) Suddenly the show starts fast forwarding out of nowhere. Eric looks at me with wide eyes. “The remote!! You moved!” He shoos me off the couch and flips the entire thing over. I’m starting to think he’s actually gone mad, when suddenly I hear the remote drop within the couch.

It finally dawns on me that I had shifted on the couch and somehow pushed the fast forward button.

Nana's Famous Fudge Brownies from The Food Charlatan

He could not get it out. It was stuck somewhere in the frame. He almost cut into the fabric on the bottom of the couch (I freaked out) but then decided that wouldn’t even help him, he had to cut into the SIDE of the couch to get it. And I’m over here like, Hello Eric, this is your voice of reason. YOU ARE NOT BUTCHERING OUR COUCH JUST TO GET THE REMOTE.

Did I mention that our back-up remote does all of the things that the tiny postage stamp remote does? All of them. I asked him why he wanted the tiny one so bad and he said, quote, “I like the way it feels.”

(Okay, so he mentioned some other reasons too, but my eyes glazed over for that part.) He did end up finding the remote after many couch rolling episodes and much hand squishing.

Nana's Famous Fudge Brownies from The Food Charlatan

Who wants a fudge brownie right now? These brownies really do taste like fudge. In fact my mom (who is a true fudge fanatic. Her fudge recipe is one of my top 10 recipes of all time) came over the day after we made these, opened up the tupperware on the counter, and gasped. “You made fudge??” I think she thought we’d been holding out on her. I explained, no, it’s even better, it’s fudge BROWNIES, and her eyes got all big and cartoony. (Honestly, where do you think I get my sweet tooth? Woman raised me right.)

The frosting on these brownies is NOT buttercream. It’s a little fussier than that, but totally worth every second. First you cook it on the stove, then you cool it in an ice bath, and then you beat it until it loses it’s gloss. I promise it doesn’t take too long.

Nana's Famous Fudge Brownies from The Food Charlatan

You can use baker’s chocolate or cocoa for the brownies.

Nana's Famous Fudge Brownies from The Food Charlatan

Here’s Kris mixing. She says to stir in the flour first to help cool it off before adding the eggs.

Nana's Famous Fudge Brownies from The Food Charlatan

Not a walnut fan? Go halvsies. Everybody wins.

Nana's Famous Fudge Brownies from The Food Charlatan

Frosting on the right is how thick it is after 10 minutes in an ice bath.

Nana's Famous Fudge Brownies from The Food Charlatan

This is the frosting. You can kind of see from the picture on the right (after a few minutes of beating) that it has lost it’s gloss.

Nana's Famous Fudge Brownies from The Food Charlatan

I used to think that I didn’t like frosted brownies, but that was before I tried Nana’s brownies. And it’s true that I think a regular THICK, crackly-topped brownie (like my favorite Browned Butter Brownie) doesn’t need frosting, but these ones absolutely need the frosting. The frosting layer is almost as thick as the brownie layer and is essential to the fudge factor. Observe:

Nana's Famous Fudge Brownies from The Food Charlatan

Kris, my dear mother-in-law (Nana is her mom), told me that sometimes she doesn’t make the frosting and just sprinkles powdered sugar on top. I’m here to tell you that she’s WRONG. You HAVE to make this frosting guys.

Nana's Famous Fudge Brownies from The Food Charlatan

Are you a walnuts-in-brownies person? I’m not, so we did half and half. Everybody’s happy.

We eat these fudge brownies every 4th of July and every Christmas with Nana’s homemade Peppermint Ice Cream. The combination is quite other-worldly. There is only one thing better than these fudge brownies, and that is: these fudge brownies with a side of peppermint ice cream. (I’ve been meaning to blog the ice cream for years but can you believe I don’t have an ice cream maker?? How lame am I? I’ll post it one of these days!)

Nana's Famous Fudge Brownies from The Food Charlatan

If you make any of my recipes, be sure to share them on Instagram using the hashtag #TheFoodCharlatan so I can see it! I love that.

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One year ago: Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Maple Pecan Frosting
Two years ago: Traditional Tejano Pinto Beans (Slow Cooker)
Three years ago: 1770 House Meatloaf with Garlic Sauce

Nana’s Famous Fudge Brownies

Yield: Makes 1 9x13 inch pan. Serves 24.

Recipe from Eric's maternal grandmother, Nana


    For the brownies:
  • 1 cup salted butter (2 sticks)
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (OR you can sub 3/4 cup cocoa)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 and 1/2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • For the Fudge Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ice water (for an ice bath, not to go in the recipe)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup chopped walnuts, to sprinkle on top


  1. Grease a 9x13 inch pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a heavy bottom 2 or 3 quart pot, melt 1 cup butter with 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate over medium heat. (You can sub 3/4 cup cocoa.) Use a wooden spoon to stir together and then remove from the heat.
  3. Add 2 cups sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  4. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla.
  5. Stir in 1 and 1/2 cups flour until barely combined.
  6. Add 4 eggs. Stir until combined but don't overdo it.
  7. At this point you can stir in 1 cup chopped walnuts. I mean, if you want to ruin your brownies. :)
  8. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. (Press the walnuts into half the pan at this point, if you are going halfsies.)
  9. Bake at 350 for about 20-22 minutes. Start checking early, you don't want them to over bake. When a toothpick comes out of the center with no wet batter on it, they are done.
  10. Let the brownies cool completely (otherwise it will melt the frosting.)
  11. Make the frosting while the brownies cool. Clean the pot that you used for the brownies (or use a similar sized pot.)
  12. Melt the 1/2 cup butter with 2 cups sugar, milk, and 1/2 cup cocoa over medium high heat. When it reaches a rolling boil, set a timer for 1 minute.
  13. Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  14. Prepare an ice bath. Add ice and water to a bowl that the pot you are using can rest inside. Place the pot of frosting in the ice bath. Do NOT get any water in the fudge.
  15. Let the frosting cool for about 10 minutes until it is cool. Scrape the edges of the pot and stir occasionally. When the frosting has cooled down and thickened just a little (see photos) remove from the ice bath.
  16. Use an electric mixer to beat the frosting for 3-5 minutes. The frosting will start off really shiny and glossy, but by the time you are done it should be less glossy, but still easy to pour.
  17. Pour the frosting immediately over the brownies and spread.
  18. If you are using walnuts, sprinkle 1/2 to 1 cup over the top of the frosting.
  19. Wait for the frosting to set, then cut into squares and serve with lots of milk!

Other delicious recipes you will love!

My Mom’s Fudge: << No fuss classic.

My Mom's Fudge from


Browned Butter Brownies: < my go-to non-frosted brownies

brown butter brownies


Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake with Fudge Frosting << the frosting on this recipe is very similar!

Chocolate Cherry Sheet Cake with Fudge Frosting from The Food Charlatan


Other brownie recipes from friends that you will love!

Chocolate Zucchini Brownies from Texanerin <<these look amazing!
Best Ever Brownie Frosting from A Dash of Sanity
Chewy Brownies with Chocolate Fudge Frosting from Sprinkle Some Sugar
Chocolate Frosted Brownies from Brown Eyed Baker
Frosted Rainbow Chip Brownies from Inside BruCrew Life

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  1. Cindy says

    Can’t wait to make these for the Serenity Group that comes to our Church. I just know there gonna love them. Who can resist a really good fudgy brownie!!!

  2. Eric says

    2 points of clarification:

    1. There is great functionality to the Apple TV remote that a universal remote cannot do like touch gestures and the siri-enabled microphone

    2. The tale of retrieving the remote from the prison of the boxed-in sofa arm is much more harrowing than here told and had a very victorious ending.

    • says


      “It was a dark and stormy night. Karen and Eric were watching TV and eating snacks. Suddenly, THE SHOW FAST FORWARDED! They both SCREAMED! Eric flipped over the couch while Karen bit her nails in suspense. He turned the couch again. THE REMOTE MOVED. He wriggled his hand into the side of the frame. THE REMOTE SLIPPED JUST OUT OF REACH. Eric pulled out his knife to do what had to be done. Karen screamed, “No, not my only couch!” He reached in one more time…exerted all of his strength…AND PULLED THE REMOTE FREE. Karen fainted in relief while Eric used the Siri-enabled microphone and some complicated touch gestures to get them back to the right part of the show. Eric uprighted the couch, and they sat down victoriously to finish watching. It’s not easy being a remote saver, but somebody has to do it. Victory tastes sweet.”

      Is that better?

  3. Misty says

    I am so trying these when my mom gets back! Fudge is basically a food group here so these need to be made as soon as possible!
    Question, have you ever subbed the sugar in the fudge frosting with brown sugar?

  4. says

    That is hilarious that he wanted to cut the couch open just for the tiny remote. The kids are the ones in our house who move the remote to wild and crazy places. But who cares about that little baby remote when there are fudgy brownies to be had! I am in love with how rich and gooey and delicious these look!!!!
    Jocelyn @BruCrew LIfe recently posted…Lemon Cream Fruit DipMy Profile

  5. Ruth says

    I’ve always wanted to make fudge, but you can’t get evaporated (or condensed) milk around here. It’s so restrictive :( D’you think there’s a way to make fudge without?

    • Ruth says

      Oops, I’d opened the fudge recipe and loved the look, but commented on this one instead :) These brownies are already on my To-Bake list

  6. says

    There is just one thing that men might love more than their remote controls. It is their GPS. But let’s not even get into that. Let’s get into how you DON’T HAVE AN ICE CREAM MAKER! Since my blog is called “Ice Cream and Inspiration,” you know what a travesty I think this is. The Cuisinarts are cheap on Amazon right now. Go get yourself one!
    Melissa Howell recently posted…Sheet Pan Pesto Ranch Chicken and PotatoesMy Profile

  7. Tami G says

    Oh my word…I made these today. They are so rich and moist. I’m love to bake…but, not a big sweet eater so a little bite works for me. My family is gonna love these…the ocing is like creamy fudge for sure…I used 1/2 cocoa and 1/2 dark cocoa in the frosting–‘outstanding. I have a pic I was gonna share; but, I’m not on instagram. They do look close to your pic…this recipe is a keeper….thank you for sharing.

  8. says

    I’ve made these twice. The first time they turned out good, but did not look at all like the pictures here. Much light in color. Second time turned out same as first, but a word of WARNING! I made these a few days ahead of an event and decided to put them in the fridge to help them keep longer. When I pulled them out a few days later they were horrible! I wrapped them tightly before putting them in the fridge, but it didn’t seem to help. The frosting did not hold up well and the brownie got soggy. Not sure if it is common knowledge to not put things like this in the fridge, but I didn’t know!

    • says

      Oh bummer Brianna! Yeah generally brownies and other bar-type desserts are stored on the counter. These brownies are actually perfect for making ahead because the frosting seals the moisture in and keeps the brownies from drying out. Next time if you are making ahead, I recommend wrapping well and freezing. I just did that for a camping trip last week!

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