Posts Tagged: desserts

Best Brownies Ever (Seriously)


As I age (turning 35 this year, whoop whoop), I glean certain bits of knowledge that I know will help me for the rest of my life.

One of those bits (or should I say bites?) is this brownie recipe.

Or perhaps it should be “knowing which types of desserts are totally worth it.” These brownies are worth it (and don’t usually make me feel like crap when I eat them)! My chocolate cake recipe falls into this wonderful category as well (lucky me!).

These brownies are ah-mazing. AMAZING! But you must promise me one thing: Don’t over bake them! Promise! If they seem a little too gooey in the center but just right on the outside, TAKE THEM OUT! That’s an order.

I usually bake these brownies in a metal 12×17 sheet pan (glass doesn’t work as well for some reason, but it will work). Then we eat some warm with whipped cream and sprinkles right when they come out of the oven (do this), we eat some the next day (the flavors always seem a little more complex), and then we freeze the rest (and eat them over the course of the next month). This is the perfect way to live life, FYI. Always with brownie bites in the freezer.

Speaking of brownie bites, these also work really well in those cute little baby muffin cups. Bake them for only 15 minutes (watch those bites!) and then, of course, shake some sprinkles on there. Then gift them to all the people you love most in the world. Brownies for World Peace.


Anyway. Enjoy this recipe! XOX – Aryn



Amazing Fudge-y Cake-y Brownies with Chocolate Chunks

10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 cups granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
6 large eggs
1 cup strong-brewed coffee (remember you’re making these when you make your coffee!)
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional) ((but do it))

To make:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter (I always use the paper from the butter sticks) a 12×17 metal sheet pan.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a large stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water (I always use my KitchenAid mixer bowl nestled right in a pan of water). Stir, stir, stir until beautifully melted. Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder and sugar. Next, whisk in the vanilla extract and eggs, two at a time, beating well after each addition. Whisk in the coffee as well. Finally, stir (don’t use the whisk, it doesn’t like this part) in the flour, salt and chocolate chips (if using).

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a little batter clinging to it, and, inserted in the edges, comes out almost clean. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with whipped cream, room temp the next day, and then freeze the extra because they’re amaaaazing!


Aryn’s Amazing Chocolate Cake Recipe


Or the “Happy 8th Birthday, Inspire(d)” Cake

Oh hey, we’ve been doing this whole Inspire(d) Magazine thing for 8 YEARS this October (2017 update: 10 YEARS! Woot!)! Thanks for reading, you lovely unicorns, you! We like to celebrate happy things with chocolate cake. (You too? Good idea.) This is Aryn’s go-to, amazing chocolate cake recipe … it’s good. Like really good.

Thanks again for all your support. You guys are the best.


Chocolate Cake!

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt + a pinch more

2 eggs
1 cup coffee (I usually use what I have left from the morning…if there’s usually none left, make extra the day you’re making this cake so there is!)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, one 9×13 pan, or get ready to make at least 24 cupcakes (I actually made this batch into 12 cupcakes and on cake in a pie pan. Worked great!).

In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients (the first section of the list above). Make a well in the center.


Add eggs, coffee, milk, oil, and vanilla (the wet ingredients). Save the chocolate chips for later. Beat the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients for 2 minutes on medium speed. Don’t worry – the batter is supposed to be thin (see it here)!


Pour into prepared pans, and sprinkle chocolate chips into each pan or cupcake paper.

4 2

Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes for the round pans, a little longer for the 9×13, and about 15 minutes for the cupcakes. Do not over-bake! Dry cake is no bueno. Check doneness with a toothpick – it should come out with just a little cake on it still.


Allow cake to cool for 15 minutes before running a knife along the edge of the pans and cooling completely on a cooling rack.


Chocolate Buttercream/Ganche Frosting!

Okay – this is a buttercream/ganache-ish hybrid. I love it, and hope you will too!

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powered sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
Pinch of salt
Milk, as needed

In a double boiler pot (I actually just use a stainless steel bowl over a pot with water on the stove), melt chocolate and 1/4 cup butter. Remove from heat.

Add in softened butter, powdered sugar, cocoa, and pinch of salt. Beat with mixer on high. If it seems too wet, add more powdered sugar (1-2 tablespoons at a time). Beat and check texture. If it seems too thick, add a little milk (we use whole milk because that’s what we have, but I think any would be okay. Of course, the higher fat content, the richer the frosting). Repeat until you reach your desired texture – so if you want it to be pourable like ganache, add more milk. If you want it to be spreadable like frosting in a jar, add more powdered sugar. And if you feel like it’s gotten too sweet, add a little more cocoa to bring it back.

Assemble your cakes and frost! Add sprinkles if desired (you totally should). I put sprinkles on a plate and “dipped” my cupcakes in to get the sprinkles to stick.


Enjoy! Please let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for reading Inspire(d) for 8 years!