These red velvet brownies are the rich, fudgy brownies of your dreams. They're topped with the best not too sweet fluffy cream cheese frosting and are even better than a classic red velvet cake.
Why you'll love it
As someone who is a fan of all kinds of brownie recipes, this particular one stands out not only for its gorgeous look, but because it embodies everything you love about red velvet in a fudgy brownie.
The gorgeous red color and cream cheese frosting make it great for Valentine's Day, but you can also enjoy it any time of the year.
It's simple in that it uses only a few ingredients and no fancy equipment to elevate it into a memorable brownie that will have anyone who tries it reaching for more.
This is an easy one bowl brownie recipe that makes it a breeze to make in minutes. It is a fun take on my classic homemade brownies only somehow even easier to make.
The best part about these fudgy red velvet brownies is that we use very simple ingredients that are easy to find at your local grocery store. Chances are you already have them in your kitchen already. You can find the full list of ingredients and the measurements in the recipe card below.
- Cocoa powder - Use can use either natural unsweetened cocoa or Dutch-processed cocoa powder. They both work well in this recipe, however, it is natural cocoa that is traditional in red velvet desserts and will actually enhance the red color.
- Sugar - Typically, I like to use a mix of brown sugar and granulated. However, this recipe is best with granulated so that it doesn't interfere with the color.
- Food coloring - Originally, red velvet was created using acidity to react to natural cocoa powder, however, today it is enhanced and exaggerated with the help of food coloring. I recommend gel food coloring or even a red velvet emulsion which will give you a deep red color and add to the flavor.
- Vinegar - Acidity plays a big role in the flavor of classic red velvet, so it is important to add it here. I like the fruitiness of apple cider vinegar against the cocoa powder. White vinegar is traditional, so you can use whichever you prefer.
How to make
This red velvet brownie recipe is very simple to make. Before you begin, line your 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350F.
- Add in the melted butter, cocoa powder, salt, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat well.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla and whip until the mixture looks light in color.
- Mix in the vinegar and the food coloring, then mix.
- Gently fold in the flour and mix until there are no streaks of flour.
- Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and bake in your preheated oven until a toothpick comes out of the center of the brownies with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, about 25-30 minutes.
- Allow the brownies to cool completely while you make the frosting.
- Beat the butter, cream cheese, salt, and vanilla for the frosting until well combined, then slowly add in the powdered sugar until the mixture reaches a velvety consistency. Spread over the brownies.
Expert baking tips
The most important way to ensure you get the best brownies is to make sure you are correctly measuring your ingredients, particularly the flour. You should fluff up the flour and then spoon it into your measuring cup then sweep of the excess. If you want to make sure you get consistent results, you can convert the recipe to metric and use a kitchen scale.
Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature for the best results. If you need to quickly bring eggs to room temperature, you can leave them in a bowl of warm water for five minutes before using.
Use a light-colored metal pan. Dark pans encourage fast browning which can leave you with burnt brownies and glass pans do not conduct heat as well leaving you with brownies that longer to bake and are a lot more dense.
Line your baking pan with parchment paper and leave overhang so you can easily take out the brownies from the pan when they're ready.
Don't go overboard with the red coloring. If you want a beautiful red color, you need only a teaspoon or so. The color deepens and develops more in the red velvet brownie batter
Wait for the brownies to fully cool before you frost them otherwise the frosting will melt and create a mess.
Serving and Storing
You should always store your homemade red velvet brownies in an airtight container. If your brownies are unfrosted, you can keep them at room temperature, but if you've frosted them, I highly recommend storing them in the refrigerator. They should last up to five days. You can freeze unfrosted brownies and thaw at room temperature. I do not recommend freezing with the frosting on.
Technically, yes, you can leave out the food coloring. It will have a very light brown color. You can also substitute the red color with a color of your choice.
Red velvet get its flavor from the light hint of cocoa powder and a hint of tanginess from the acidity of the vinegar.
Traditionally, red velvet is paired with 7-minute frosting or cream cheese frosting. It also pairs well with white chocolate chips, dark or semi-sweet chocolate, and Nutella.
Red Velvet Brownies
Red Velvet Brownies
- ½ cup unsalted butter melted
- 3 tablespoons natural cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons gel red food coloring or red velvet emulsion
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 4 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ - 2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper leaving some overhang.
- Add the melted butter, cocoa powder, salt, and sugar together in a large bowl and beat well.
- Add in the eggs, vanilla extract, vinegar, and food coloring to the wet ingredients and beat well until almost lighter in color.
- Mix in the flour and stir just until there are no streaks of flour.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it..
- Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan.
- Make the cream cheese frosting while the brownies cool. Beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and salt together until smooth and creamy.
- Add in the sugar slowly, beating well until you get a velvety consistency.