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! We always eat these brownies with Nana’s Peppermint Ice Cream

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 Famous 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!) UPDATE! Here’s the recipe for Peppermint Ice Cream.

Nana's Famous Fudge Brownies from The Food Charlatan

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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

4.73 from 18 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 24
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! We always eat these brownies with Nana's Peppermint Ice Cream. 


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 & 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


  • Grease a 9x13 inch pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • 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.
  • Add 2 cups sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Add 2 teaspoons vanilla.
  • Stir in 1 and 1/2 cups flour until barely combined.
  • Add 4 eggs. Stir until combined but don't overdo it.
  • At this point you can stir in 1 cup chopped walnuts. I mean, if you want to ruin your brownies. :)
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan. (Press the walnuts into half the pan at this point, if you are going halfsies.)
  • 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.
  • Let the brownies cool completely (otherwise it will melt the frosting.)
  • Make the frosting while the brownies cool. Clean the pot that you used for the brownies (or use a similar sized pot.)
  • 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.
  • Remove from heat and add 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pour the frosting immediately over the brownies and spread.
  • If you are using walnuts, sprinkle 1/2 to 1 cup over the top of the frosting.
  • Wait for the frosting to set, then cut into squares and serve with lots of milk!


Serving: 1g | Calories: 339kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 62mg | Sodium: 141mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 34g | Vitamin A: 409IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 1mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Calories: 339
Keyword: Brownies, fudge, fudge brownies
Did you make this? I'd love to see it!Mention @thefoodcharlatan or tag #thefoodcharlatan!

Other delicious recipes you will love!

Nana’s Famous Homemade Peppermint Ice Cream << You have to make this ice cream with Nana’s Brownies. It’s the best combination in the world!

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. Oh my gosh, this is my favorite comment ever Lynnsey!! I can’t wait to tell Eric’s family about this. Also, the fact that I’ve never thought up making a quarter batch of this just to spoon into my mouth is a crying shame and I’m rectifying that ASAP. I’m so glad you are enjoying the recipe!! Thanks for the review!

  1. Hi Karen!  So… this has been my go to recipe for a couple years.  Every once in a while I’ll try a new brownie recipe only to be extremely disappointed!  Thank you so much for sharing your be all end all search is over brownie recipe!

  2. I just made these for a dinner party tonight and everyone absolutely loved them! I have tried so many brownie recipes, but this is definitely my new favorite. They are so moist and the frosting is excellent! Thank you for sharing! Nana’s recipe has now become the one I will pass down to my girls!!!!!  (I did have to add another 10 minutes to the baking time with my oven!)

    1. I’m so glad to hear you all loved the recipe Lynn! It’s definitely a recipe worthy of passing down :) Thanks so much for commenting!

  3. I literally am taking the time to comment on your blog to ask you…..PLEASE GIVE YOUR NANA A BIG HUG FOR ME ❤️. Oh my Lord, what a perfect recipe! I am a confessed chocophile and brownie snob. I have come across so many sucky recipes last year that I found another one (from a a rather popular Facebook food blog) that was decent enough for me and stuck with it out of fear of wasting ingredients on more sub-par ones.

    I had my bi-montly hankering for Brownies this weekend and something told me to search for another recipe and I stumbled across your blog last night. I made these tonight to have them for the week and I almost began to cry when I tasted them. These are perfect, and the frosting is basically fudge sauce which for a chocolate lover like me is a God-sent. Thank you for sharing this recipe. I have never had a desire to hug someone through the computer like I do now 😆❤️

    1. You are so sweet Paola! Nana passed away 2 weeks ago. She lived a full life with lots for us to remember. We miss her, but I’m so glad her recipes will live on!

  4. Hello,
    First I liked to say Thank you for sharing your recipes. They all are wonderful!!! : )
    On the brownies recipe, tthe brownie came out great! But for the icing, should I’ve used powered sugar instead of granulated sugar?? The icing turned out to be more of a gooey texture like hot fudge sauce instead of chocolate frosting.
    Not sure exactly what happened. I followed the recipe accordingly.
    Thanks for any suggestions you may have.

    1. Hi Sue! No, the frosting is basically fudge, so you definitely want to use granulated sugar. I’m so sorry it didn’t turn out! If it never thickened up properly I imagine that it wasn’t cooked long enough. Try adding another minute to the boil time next time. It should be at a rolling boil (bubbles all the way across the surface) for at least 1 minute.

  5. I m made these three other day and they were amazing. I was just wondering if anyone had tried just making the frosting and letting it set like fudge?

  6. I wanted to come back and thank you for the recipe and give you a little update. The reason we made these was for an annual chocolate competition, and they tied for second place!! (The contest can be any kind of chocolate dish, and the voting is kind of unfair – this same family of 4 always makes one dish, and they all vote for it regardless, so it’s almost impossible to win first place, so we were pretty happy with 2nd!) We used maybe 3/4s of the frosting to get it to the ratio we liked, cut them into small pieces, and put a whole coffee bean into the frosting right before serving, which added a level of depth and sophistication to them. They are soooo good!!! Also, someone just stopped me in the breakroom and said people would buy trays of them if I’d sell them!! They’ve been trying to figure out who made them all week. She wanted walnuts baked into her tray, but I’m with you on the “add them if you want to ruin the brownies” part!! Thank you again for sharing this recipe! It is a great one, and I’d no longer say they are retro-tasting. They are just GREAT!

    P.S. DO NOT FORGET TO ADD VANILLA EXTRACT! As I was putting the batch into the oven, I realized I forgot it, so had to start all over again and make another batch. The vanilla-less batch is still good, but it lacks the depth of the batch with vanilla extract. Can definitely tell the difference … it’s like forgetting to add salt to something. ALSO, there was a comment below about adding the flour before the eggs. On our award-winning batch, we lightly beat the eggs in a bowl, then added to hot chocolate/sugar mix to it SLOWLY, tempering it that way, then added in the vanilla extract once it was cooler (since it’s an alcohol, that seemed to make sense scientifically.) Then we folded in the flour, as gently as possibly, only until it was just combined. Nothing worse than overbeaten flour! This is the way we will always make them going forward.

  7. I just made these too, and the 2 oz of chocolate was definitely enough for mine, so I’m not sure what happened with the last commentor’s batch. Making the frosting was an interesting evolution! I thought the ratio was good, but my BF thinks it’s too much, so when I make them again tonight (he really liked them, and so did everyone at work, although they all thought it was “fudge in the breakroom” and I had to correct them about the brownie part!), I’m supposed to cut the frosting down a little. The ratio in your picture looks perfect, but mine, even though baked in a 9×13 pan, was about 1/2 and 1/2.

    The person who complained about them being a complete failure definitely overbaked them. I put mine in for 3 additional minutes on top of the 22 (we have an old gas oven and everything needs more cooking time) and feel like that was a TAD too much, although my BF thought the baking time was perfect. I can see how baking them for too long would make this a failure.

    On an interesting note, these got better as time went on. They seemed to improve and hit their peak on Day 2. I would say these have a very retro-brownie flavor, if that makes any sense. Kind of like the little brownies you buy in cellophane wrappers with icing on them, only better. I think that they’re a “Nana’s” recipe makes perfect sense!

  8. Thanks for the recipe. I just made this and followed it exactly as it said but the brownie did not turn out very tasty. I couldn’t taste the chocolate in the brownie part and it was kind of soft. I feel like 2 ounces of unsweetened chocolate is not enough.
    The fudge turned out really tasty.

    Any idea as to why the brownie turned out less chocolaty and kind of wet/sticky? :/

    1. Hi Nal! I’m sorry the recipe didn’t turn out to your liking! I wouldn’t describe the brownie as wet or sticky, but it is definitely moist and fudgey. The brownies are meant to be soft (as all brownies are?) Is it possible you under baked?
      You could try adding more unsweetened chocolate to amp up the flavor, but I’m kind of surprised it wasn’t enough chocolate flavor, especially with the fudge frosting on top!

    1. Hi Abigail! I’m Karen, welcome to my personal food blog, where I share whatever I want because it’s my blog :) I hope you find something you enjoy!

  9. I made these and they were a complete failure- dry, cakey and tasteless. Pretty disappointing! I made your double chocolate chip cookie recipe recently and they were absolutely scrumptious, so I’m not sure what I did wrong. I did substitute brown sugar for white, but the Internet says that should only have made them moister, and I used cocoa powder instead of chocolate, but your recipe said that would be fine. The frosting was also too runny to use. You had half a cup of milk in your ingredients list but nowhere to add it in the method, so I just added it in in step 16, but it turned it into a sauce. Still tasty, but completely unusable as frosting. I’ve also never seen a recipe that says to put the eggs in after the flour.

    Not sure why this recipe didn’t work for me, as everyone else seems to love it.

    1. Hey Alice! I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you! It sounds like you made quite a few changes though :) I’ve never tried this using brown sugar, so I’m not sure how that would turn out. It might make the batter too thick? I’m also wondering if you over baked them? They should not be at all dry or cakey.

      And sadly I’m afraid you missed the part on the instructions on where to add the milk. It’s in step 12, you have to cook it with the other frosting ingredients. I can definitely see why it would be too runny if you added it afterward!

      As for adding eggs after the flour, the only reason I do that is to give the batter a chance to cool down a bit more before adding the eggs, lowering the chances of them curdling. If you are whisking really fast, you can definitely add the eggs before the flour. It doesn’t really matter. :)

      I’m sorry the recipe didn’t work out for you! I hope you will give it another try as written, because they are seriously the best!

  10. These are delicious! I think I over baked mine (I have a baby and toddler I have to run after lol), but they are scrumptious. I’ll definitely be making these again. Thank you Nana! 

    P. S. 
    I’ll be making a lot more of your recipes! Just found your recipes 😊

    1. Yay! This makes me so happy! Even if you over bake Nana’s brownies the frosting makes up for it ;) I’m so glad you found my blog! Thanks for leaving a comment and review, means so much to me!

  11. Just curious
    Would heavy cream sub for the milk?

    How do u think it would play out if I used it instead?

    I just made them tonight (w/o cream)
    About to whip the frosting

    Looks awesome tho so far.
    Can’t wait to dive in

    1. Hey Sara! So did it work with the cream? I imagine it would be fine, but might be a little thicker. I might do half cream half milk. I haven’t tried it though!

  12. This is a superb recipe! I added peanut nutter chips to mine as I’m a peanut butter fanatic! YUM! I might try my fav PB frostings on it next! What a great fudge brownie that can be upgraded for even more gooey goodness!

    1. oh my goodness I am so excited about the pb chips!! That is genius!! or the frosting. oh my goodness, that sounds so good! PB and chocolate forever!! I’m glad you like the recipe Christina, thanks so much for the review!

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