Faster-than-a-Mix Emergency Brownies (and a Skinny Secret)


The next time you have an emergency and need a quick dessert, here’s the answer from my arsenal of fast and convenient recipes.  In less time than it takes to stir up a mix and bake a dessert, you can fill your kitchen with the chocolaty aroma of scratch, fudgy brownies. Mix the batter. Pop in the microwave. Start to finish in less than 15 minutes.  While this isn’t gourmet stuff (translated–not so rich that one bite will put you out of commission for the rest of the day), I promise it will satisfy any sugar cravings pronto.

emergency brownies stack.jpg

The original recipe came with directions to “cut when cold”. Good luck with that one. Be careful not to burn your fingers because you’ll want to dig in immediately.

  1. Mixing time: 5-7 minutes
  2. Baking time: 6-7 minutes
  3. Clean-up: How long does it take to wash 2 bowls, beaters and measuring spoons?


Watch closely the first time you make these brownies as each microwave oven cooks slightly differently.  Once you figure out the perfect time for your oven, you can set the timer and walk away.


Skinny Secret:

Nothing low-calorie about this recipe.  However, I find that knowing I can make a sweet goodie this fast from ingredients I always keep in my pantry means I don’t have to keep cookies around the house for unexpected occasions.  No reason to buy those oreos “just in case”.  Oreos are bad about calling out to me every time I walk past them in the kitchen.  Can you relate?

Faster-than-a-Mix Emergency Brownies (and a Skinny Secret)
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 1 8-inch pan
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Brownies baked in the microwave
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup melted unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate or chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup chopped, toasted nuts (peanuts, pecans, walnuts, etc.)
  • Pinch cinnamon
  1. Blend eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla with a mixer (hand mixer works fine) about 1 minute until light.
  2. Add melted butter and keep beating.
  3. Mix in flour and cocoa at low speed just until the flour disappears.
  4. Combine ingredients for topping in a small ball. Either stir the topping into the batter now or sprinkle on top after batter is put in baking dish. I like to sprinkle it on top. Looks fancy.
  5. Spread into 8" square or round glass oven-safe dish arranging batter with the spatula to be somewhat thicker around the edges and corners than in the middle. Helps to even out the baking.
  6. Microwave on HIGH for (5½) - 7 minutes. When done, top looks dry and springs back when lightly touched. If brownie is chewy, it's overcooked. Cut back the time. Food cooked in a microwave continues to cook for a minute or two after removed from the oven.


Other desserts you can whip up in the microwave:

Microwave Custard Tart

Orange Curd Made in the Microwave

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Erika August 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm

Ah yes, I can definitely relate to your skinny secret. My version of microwave brownies is freezing leftover desserts and just knowing that I can have a steaming cookie or brownie in literally seconds is enough to sometimes keep them in the freezer long past when they should have been eaten! 🙂


Paula August 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Hi Erika,
Yes, freezing is a good idea. At least it gets them off the countertop so you can’t see or hear them calling your name. 🙂


Katrina April 14, 2010 at 11:11 pm

Ok, so I’m out of cocoa, but will get some soon as I really want try these. Oh and I don’t have a glass dish that size. I’ll take care of that, too. 😉


Eva November 14, 2009 at 8:42 am

See, once I have some cookies in the pantry I don’t necessarily eat them but knowing they are there keeps me from buying cookies or pastries. For the same reason, I keep cake mix boxes in my pantry as well. Though I haven’t used one in 8 months or so, knowing they are there keeps me from buying a cake.


Fresh Local and Best November 12, 2009 at 12:24 pm

I never thought that something so tasty and beautiful could come from the microwave. Thanks for opening my mind to such a new concept!


Mimi November 8, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Great recipe for my college daughter, since a microwave is the only cooking appliance allowed in the dorms.


Katrina November 8, 2009 at 8:57 am

I’m going to have to try these!


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