Red Velvet Brownies
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Dense and fudgy brownies swirled with red velvet cake– everything is made from scratch!
First week of February and we’re comin’ in hot with not only our second red velvet recipe this week (and third overall in Fresh April Flours’ red velvet week!), but also February’s Brownie of The Month!
Did you see yesterday’s red velvet blossom cookies? So adorable and so necessary for a holiday that doesn’t get much more than “chocolate” slapped on it as a staple treat for gifting.
Last month, I kicked off my monthly brownie series with homemade fudgy brownies. I told you there that we’d be building upon that base recipe each month to add 11 more brownie recipes to our collection, so I’m excited to get the ball rolling with our first “remix” brownie recipe!
I have to tell you that I really truly debated internally making these red velvet brownies with cake mix for the red velvet component of them, but I decided on a firm “no” when I seriously thought about it.
And here’s why…
MADE WITHOUT ANY BOX MIXES
There is absolutely a time and a place for cake mix. Like in my cake batter dip, my red velvet Rice Krispies treats, or my red velvet pancakes.
I even have a recipe coming later this week that includes red velvet cake mix (here is that red velvet puppy chow!).
But today, when we’re making scratch brownies, and I preach and preach and preach about scratch brownies being better than a box mix, it felt sacrilegious to throw red velvet cake mix into these beautiful scratch brownies.
But fear not! The red velvet cake component from scratch is simple, and it doesn’t require a whole lot of extra ingredients than the brownie component does, so don’t panic when you see the long ingredient list.
One ingredient you will need, however, is buttermilk.
And recall (!!!!) that earlier this week, I kicked things off with a homemade buttermilk recipe, which is really as simple as milk + lemon juice or white vinegar, so take a peek at that post if you’re looking to eliminate something from your ingredient shopping list!
HOMEMADE RED VELVET CAKE BATTER BRINGS THE RED VELVET COMPONENT
When it came to deciding exactly how to go about the red velvet swirl of these brownies, I turned to my beloved red velvet cupcakes. I worked hard to develop a light and fluffy cupcake recipe with those cuties, and I’m really proud of the end result.
Have you tried them?
I am not, however, into any kind of “cakey” business when it comes to these brownies, so I had to do a little tweaking of the recipe in order to bring red velvet cake, but leave behind the cakey-ness.
I typically use whipped egg whites in my red velvet cupcakes to incorporate air. I also cream my butter and sugar to bring air to the batter as well.
Since I didn’t want to encourage much more lift than what the little bit of flour I use in my brownies, I decided to use a full egg in the red velvet cake batter and melt the butter.
I also went with 1/3 of the recipe for my cupcakes, and it turned out to be the perfect amount of red velvet batter to complement all the gooey, fudgy brownie batter.
The end result of these red velvet brownies was to die for. There’s certainly a cake-like texture going on in there, but I was able to completely eliminate the cakey-ness of the cupcake batter with the sheer density of the brownie batter.
I shared a brownie with my younger toddler (who kept signing and asking for more), gave two away to the older toddler’s preschool bestie and her mom, and left the rest of the batch with my former coworkers on Friday afternoon.
I got a text on Friday evening asking for a pre-release of the recipe so one of them could make the brownies for the Super Bowl. She actually said “I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten.”
And that’s coming from a scientist. She knows proper research.
So there you have it, the best red velvet brownie. It must be, right?
I hope you love this month’s brownie recipe, and I urge you to give some love to red velvet at other times of the year. In fact, I’m thinking these would make an adorable Christmas brownie, especially with some festive sprinkles.
Red velvet brownies all year, y’all!
Red Velvet Brownies
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter cut into 6-8 slices
- 8 ounces (227g) semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup (150g) firmly packed light brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs room temperature preferred1
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup (90g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
- ¼ teaspoon salt
RED VELVET BROWNIE BATTER
- 6 Tablespoons (47g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
- ½ Tablespoon (4g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- 3 Tablespoons (43g) unsalted butter melted and allowed to cool
- ⅓ cup (67g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon red gel coloring
- ¼ cup (60g) buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line an 8" or 9" square baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently until completely smooth. Allow to cool for about 15 minutes.
- Whisk sugar into cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the flour and salt and stir gently until completely combined. Set aside and prepare the red velvet brownie batter.
RED VELVET BROWNIE BATTER
- In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the cooled butter and sugar until no lumps remain. Add the egg and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and red food coloring and whisk until evenly dispersed. Finally, whisk in the buttermilk until everything is combined.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Stir with a large spatula until no flour pockets remain and batter is smooth.
COMBINE THE BATTERS
- Pour almost all of the the brownie batter into the prepared pan, reserving about ⅓ cup (this does not have to be exact). Pour the red velvet batter on top of the brownie batter, the dollop the reserved brownie batter on top of the red velvet layer. Use a knife to carefully swirl the batters together, taking care not to blend them completely. Bake brownies for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting into squares.
- When you are ready to cut the brownies, remove the brownies by lifting the foil overhang straight up. Peel back remaining foil and place brownie block onto a large cutting board. Store leftover brownies at room temperature up to 1 week. Brownies freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight.
- Room temperature eggs: these incorporate into batter much more easily than cold eggs, although this is not absolutely necessary.
All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.
Having made these brownies twice in 3 days, one would think I would be all red-velveted out, but that s certainly not the case. I am now in love with red velvet and can t wait to make more homemade recipes with this distinctive color and flavor.
Oh. My. Gosh. These brownies look like pure bliss! I believe they turn out so dense and fudgy with an amazing red color. If I could give the recipe more than 5 stars I would! Dying to give it a try (hope tomorrow). Lynn, thank u so much for sharing the idea and all of your useful recommendations! U r so creative! Looking forward to ur new recipes.
Thanks so much, Ann. These were one of my favorite red velvet treats I’ve ever had!
How would you make these only red velvet? With no regular brownie bottom?
Without the brownie portion, this is just red velvet cake batter!
Hi Lynn, I made it as mini cupcake but the brownies was shrink once I removed them from the oven. Could you advise? Did I do something wrong?
The taste was there and it was super good!
Thank you in advance
Hi, Pattira– I’ve not made these as cupcakes, so I’m not sure how to advise. Brownies shrink a bit once they cool, though, so I’m inclined to say it’s normal.
I made these brownies yesterday for my adult son’s birthday — his request. They were absolutely delicious — but I could not get the middle of the brownies to cook to a solid brownie (too gooey and uncooked). I baked them in an 8 x 8 pyrex dish lined with aluminum foil for 40 minutes. I was afraid to cook them longer because of your suggested time frame — didn’t want a dry brownie. Wondering if you have a suggestion because I would like to bake them again. Larger pan? Metal pan instead of glass? Cook longer? Thanks in advance for responding. I an anxious to cook them again!
Hey, Carol! I always use a metal pan for my brownies, same size. If you must use glass, reduce the oven temp by 25º and bake for the same amount of time!
Darn I wish I saw this comment before I put it in the oven in my glass pyrex! Guess next time I’ll have to buy a metal pan.. mine grew legs and has disappeared
How did it turn out, Ro?
Hi I’m 14 and I made these for my family for Mother’s Day desert 🙂 WE ALL LOVE THEM! The only thing is, when I mixed the food colouring in, it turned purple. But later on when I mixed it all together it a “dark nude pink” and it doesn’t taste like red velvet. But the outcome of the brownie is soooo good! DELICIOUS WE ALL ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT THANK YOU 🙂
Absolutely fantastic! Easy to make and loved by so many. Have made this for several people now and they love it. Thank you!
Thanks so much, Rachel!
I am rating these Red Velvet Brownies a one star because of the components it had. Once I baked them they looked completely fine. I had followed the instructions very precisely but once I cut into them the center was very gooey and oily. At this point, I had tried to let them sit for 30 minutes so that they can cool down although they were already cooled but I just noticed the same oily mess. I then tried to put the brownies back into the pan to bake for 5 more minutes at 350 to see what would happen but nothing did. At this point I still didn’t know what was wrong. I had followed the recipe super carefully! Nothing could have prevented me from this oily sticky goop!
Interesting… I use this same base for ALL of my brownie recipes, which I’ve made dozens of times (you can see the same brownie base recipe in all of my brownie posts). I can assure you the inside is dense and fudgy. I can only guess you used too much butter or didn’t use the correct amount of flour (as in too little). I wish I could be more helpful, but it’s impossible to know what went wrong without having been there. As you can see, they have gotten great reviews in the past!
For the 8oz of semisweet chocolate, can chocolate chips be used? Thank you
For brownies, yes! Enjoy!