These ultra rich and fudgy brownies are the thing that childhood dreams were made of! Super chocolatey and delicious like the original only so much better!
There is something so incredibly nostalgic about a Little Debbie snack cake. We didn’t have them super often when I was a kid, but when one of those bad boys made an appearance in my lunch box, somehow the day just got more special.
However, as I have gotten older I have learned one very important truth; that is, there isn’t any type of dessert I can buy from the grocery store that doesn’t taste 100 times better when I make it at home. And these Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies are no different.
Whether you make my Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies or my Cosmic Brownie Cookies you will be childhood dessert heaven in no time!
Ingredients for Cosmic Brownies
For The Brownies
- Salted Butter– You will want your butter to be partially melted.
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown Sugar- The combination of sugar in these brownies gives a super rich flavor and helps keep the brownies moist.
- Corn Syrup- This will give the brownies the super fudgy texture you want.
- Flour– We will just use all purpose flour in these brownies!
- Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder- The Dutch processed will give you a deeper chocolate flavor so that is what I prefer, but if you don’t have any on hand you could just regular cocoa.
- Corn Starch
- Baking Soda
For The Frosting and Toppings
- Salted Butter
- Cream Cheese– don’t worry, not enough to make this taste like a cream cheese frosting. It just gives the frosting depth of flavor and makes it super rich. Trust me. 😉
- Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Milk to Thin
- Candy Coated Chocolate Chips- These can be a little bit hard to find in stores, I was able to find some at my local Walmart though! You can always buy them online or just substitute mini M&M’s if you would like.
How To Make Cosmic Brownies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 pan with parchment paper.
In a stand mixer, cream together the slightly melted butter and both types of sugars. Beat the butter and sugar on high for a full 5 minutes. Don’t skimp on this step. You will want the mixture to be super light and very fluffy.
Add the eggs, corn syrup and vanilla and mix on high, again for 5 full minutes.
Add in the flour, cocoa, salt, cornstarch and baking soda and mix until Just combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter once you have added the flour. Overmixing will activate the gluten and you will end up with a dry cakier texture than you want in a brownie.
Fold the mixture a few times by hand just to be sure that everything is mixed together.
Spread the mixture into a greased 9×13 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Be careful not to overcook them or they won’t be as fudgy as you want. You will know they are done because they will rise quite a bit in the pan, and the edges will begin to crack. Test the center of the brownies. You will know they are done when a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs on it. If it comes out clean it is overbaked.
How to achieve ultra fudgey brownies
Immediately after taking the brownies out of the oven, drop the pan on your countertop a few times to get all the excess air out. This will deflate the brownies significantly, and will give you that extra fudgy texture.
How to make the Fudge Frosting for your Cosmic Brownies
While the brownies are cooling, make the frosting by creaming together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the cocoa powder and a tsp or 2 of milk to help the mixture come together. Mix on the lowest setting. We want to avoid getting any excess air in the frosting.
Add the vanilla and mix again until combined. The frosting should be thick and smooth and dark in color.
Scoop the frosting onto the brownies. The residual heat from the brownies will melt the frosting slightly and make it easier to spread.
Return the brownies to the warm (but off) oven for 3-5 minutes. This will melt the frosting onto the brownies slightly and give you that super smooth top.
Remove the frosted brownies from the oven and immediately sprinkle with the candy coated chocolate chips.
Allow the brownies to cool in the pan completely before cutting. I actually like to freeze mine for about 30 minutes before I cut them. It makes them easier to get out of the pan and gives cleaner cuts.
Can I half the recipe?
Yes! You’ll want to bake the brownies in a 9X9 pan. When halving the recipe, you’ll need 3 1/2 eggs. The best way to get that half an egg is to crack an egg into a small bowl, whisk it with a fork until well combined and then measure out 1/8 of a cup.
Do I have to use Dutch Processed Cocoa?
No, you don’t have to. I like the deeper color and flavor the dutch processed brings but they Will absolutely be delicious with regular unsweetened cocoa powder.
How to cut brownies with clean edges
First, FREEZE your brownies for about 30 minutes before you try to cut them. Next, I like to get a big chef’s knife and just cut down, lift the knife and make another cut. Do not drag your knife through the brownies! I am also slightly crazy and totally get a ruler out to help make sure my brownies are perfectly square.
More Bar Recipes to try:
Copycat Cosmic Brownies
Fudge Frosting and Toppings
- 1/2 cup salted butter softened
- 3 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 3/4 cup dutch processed cocoa powder
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- milk as needed to thin
- candy coated chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Prepare a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream together the partially melted butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar for a full 5 minutes at the highest speed. The mixture will be extremely light in color and very fluffy.
- Add the eggs, corn syrup and vanilla. Mix again at the highest speed for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, salt and soda to the bowl. Mix until everything is just combined. Fold the mixture by hand a few times to make sure that everything is mixed together.
- Transfer the brownie batter to the prepared 9×13 pan. Spread the mixture until it is smooth and even.
- Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes. The brownies will rise significantly, the edges will begin to crackle and you should be able to test the center of the brownies with a toothpick and a few moist crumbs should come up on the toothpick when they are ready to come out of the oven.
- Immediately upon taking the brownies out of the oven, drop the pan onto a cutting board or your stovetop multiple times to let the excess air out of the center of the brownies. This will cause the brownies to deflate and give us that extra fudgey texture.
- While the brownies start to cool, make the frosting.
- Make the frosting by first creaming together the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and add in the cocoa powder. Add a tsp or two of milk to help bring the mixture together.
- Mix on the lowest setting, so we avoid adding extra air to the frosting.
- Next, add in the powdered sugar, again, adding a little bit of milk, as needed, to bring the mixture together while mixing on the lowest setting.
- Add in the vanilla and mix until combined. The frosting should be thick, creamy and dark in color.
- Scoop dollops of the frosting onto the top of the brownies. The heat from the brownies will slightly melt the frosting making it easier to spread.
- Spread the frosting onto the brownies to cover the center of the brownies.
- Return the brownies to the warm (but off) oven for 3-5 minutes to melt the frosting onto the brownies (this will help get that silky smooth appearance on top of the frosting)
- Immediately sprinkle the candy coated chocolate chips on top of the frosting.
- Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan before cutting.
- Note: I actually like to freeze my brownies for about 30 minutes before cutting to make it easier to get the brownies out of the pan and easier to get clean cuts. Store at room temp or in the fridge in an air tight container.