Brownies with Mocha Buttercream

brownies with mocha buttercream

You know how much I love my brownies.

I have a couple super good recipes that I tend to always fall back on…the brownies I grew up on, a recipe from Mom that’s moist and chocolatey and casual…and then a brownie that’s a bit more grown-up, all dark and dense, with a hint of coffee flavor. But when I was craving a buttery rich slab of mocha frosting over brownies, I knew I wanted to try a new-to-me brownies recipe.

Since our girls recently became enamored with Nigella, her cookbook has been on and off the bookshelf here. And her brownies particularly caught my eye…

brownies with mocha buttercreamThese Brownies with Mocha Buttercream are everything I was looking for. The brownie base from Nigella is very different from the recipes I call my favorites, with an almost silky texture. It’s dark and dense and gooey, and stands just a bit taller than the regular brownie. I topped it off with a fantastic mocha flavored buttercream that’s been on my to-do list, which makes the brownies both fun and decadent. With a fancy little chocolate covered coffee bean, these squares are completely irresistible. It was fun to see my sister fall for these, and we put a nice little dent into this pan.

Do you like chocolate covered coffee beans as much as I do? For all you silly people who don’t, just pass yours to me, please!

Brownies with Mocha Buttercream

Yield: 24 brownies


    for the brownies:
  • 1-2/3 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 13 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 T. pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2/3 c. sugar
  • 1-1/2 c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • for the mocha buttercream:
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 T. espresso powder
  • 1 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/4 c. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • chocolate covered espresso beans


for the brownies:

Preheat oven to 350°. Fold a long piece of heavy foil into a 13" wide strip and fit it inside a 9" x 13" metal baking pan, leaving foil overhang on the 2 long sides. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

Over medium-low heat, melt butter and chocolate together in a large heavy pan. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla and sugar. Measure the flour into another bowl and add the salt.

When the chocolate mixture has melted, let it cool a bit before beating in the eggs and sugar, and then the flour. Beat to combine smoothly and then scrape out of the saucepan into the lined pan. Bake for about 25 minutes. When it's ready, the top should look just a bit dried, leaving the middle still dark and dense and gooey. Take care to not overbake, which will result in a dry brownie. Remember that the brownies will continue to cook a bit as they cool. Cool completely.

for the mocha buttercream:

In a small bowl, gently melt the chocolate in the microwave. Take care to not let it scorch. Add espresso powder and whisk briskly for 1 minute. Let cool.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter until creamy. At low speed, beat in the powdered sugar. Increase the speed to high and beat until fluffy, scraping down the side of the bowl, about 2 minutes longer. At low speed, beat in the cream, vanilla, and cinnamon, then gradually beat in the melted (cooled) chocolate. Scrape down the side of the bowl and the paddle, increase the speed to medium-high, and beat until light, 3 minutes longer. Using a wooden spoon, vigorously beat the buttercream for 30 seconds to deflate any air bubbles. Then spread buttercream evenly over the cooled brownie.

to assemble the brownies with mocha buttercream:

Cut brownies right in the pan. achieve nice clean cuts, gently lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil as handles. Cut off the outer edge for really clean cuts, leaving about an 8'' x 12'' rectangle of brownie remaining. Then cut into 2'' x 2'' pieces, wiping the knife clean after each cut. Press a chocolate covered espresso bean into the butterceam, at the center of each cut brownie.

These brownies keep well refrigerated, and could easily be prepared the day before serving. Take brownies out of refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes prior to serving, to let the buttercream soften a bit.


Brownies adapted from "Brownies" recipe in How to Be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson. Mocha Buttercream from a farmgirl's dabbles.

brownies with mocha buttercream


30 Responses to “Brownies with Mocha Buttercream”

  1. #
    Marly — March 1, 2013 at 7:52 am

    These look so good, Brenda! Elegant, easy to make, delicious! What else could I ask for…except to have some right now!

  2. #
    Cookin Canuck — March 1, 2013 at 7:55 am

    Just look at that gorgeous buttercream! I may request these for my next birthday.

  3. #
    bridget {bake at 350} — March 1, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Those look *dreamy!*

    I love Nigella, too! The way she writes just draws you right in!

  4. #
    Cassie | Bake Your Day — March 1, 2013 at 8:03 am

    Wow!! I have been craving brownies this week and now I am definitely going to have to make some. These look amazing, Brenda. Love the buttercream!

  5. #
    Blair @ TheSeasonedMom — March 1, 2013 at 8:12 am


    The thick slab of mocha frosting on top looks like it’s TO DIE FOR. I need a good excuse to make these, stat!

  6. #
    Sommer@ASpicyPerspective — March 1, 2013 at 8:12 am

    I love how clean and neat they look–perfect little bites of pure bliss!

  7. #
    BellingtonFarm — March 1, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Love the hint of cinnamon that you’ve given to your mocha buttercream. These look positively delightful !!

  8. #
    Angie @ Big Bear's Wife — March 1, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Those are so cute!

  9. #
    Paula - bell'alimento — March 1, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Brownies and Buttercream. Hubba Hubba.

  10. #
    Amanda — March 1, 2013 at 10:59 am

    That looks SOOOOO good!!! I love the mocha buttercream… so smart!

  11. #
    Sheila — March 1, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Brenda, Don’t you know I’m on a diet!! But I caved and made my momma’s texas sheet cake yesterday and now it’s screaming at me from the kitchen. Poo! I am a lover of chocolate covered espresso beans too. No sharing here. xoxox

  12. #
    Miss @ Miss in the Kitchen — March 1, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Pretty sure this is the PERFECT brownie.

  13. #
    Heather || Heather's Dish — March 1, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Honestly these are the most beautiful brownies I’ve seen in my life! And the mocha buttercream? Let’s just say this mama needs coffee in just about everything after last night – yikes!

  14. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — March 1, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Mmm that buttercream looks unreal!

  15. #
    Donna — March 1, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t you all agree that Brenda needs to open her own bake shop! These brownies would be a “hot seller” as most everyone loves brownies and that Mocha Buttercream makes them the Pièce de résistance! And chocolate covered coffee beans are “the bomb”! :-)

  16. #
    Cat Davis - Food Family Finds — March 1, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I’ve never tried a chocolate covered coffee bean but I absolutely love your buttercream to brownie ratio on this recipe. ;)

  17. #
    Lana @ Never Enough Thyme — March 1, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Oh my, how delicious! Chocolate and coffee are always such a great pairing. Can’t wait to try this one.

  18. #
    Erika @ The Hopeless Housewife — March 1, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    Chocolate and coffee make for brownie heaven!

  19. #
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — March 1, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Gorgeous brownies, I love the mocha buttercream!

  20. #
    Nicole @ youngbrokeandhungry — March 2, 2013 at 12:28 am

    These brownies look elegant enough to serve at a fancy dinner party. And that mocha buttercream is killing me!

  21. #
    Becca from Cookie Jar Treats — March 3, 2013 at 7:26 am

    Your brownies are absolutely beautiful! It’s like magic how you make them so even and perfect looking :)

  22. #
    Amanda — March 3, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Oh my gosh, you are killing me!

  23. #
    TidyMom — March 3, 2013 at 9:09 am

    it just might be dangerous how easy and delicious these look Brenda!

  24. #
    Jess — March 3, 2013 at 10:14 pm

    Brenda – I absolutely love coffee and chocolate (ummm, not to mention buttercream, of course). What great treats these would be to serve at a party – so perfect and look delicate and rich. I have to watch myself around a bag of those chocolate covered coffee beans – I can devour them in no time flat. Something about that great crunch of the bean gets me every time!

  25. #
    Paula — March 4, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    If the rich dense brownie did not get my attention your beautiful mocha buttercream certainly did and your perfectly cut brownies!

  26. #
    Lois Christensen — March 7, 2013 at 6:40 am

    These look amazing! I love the addition of the mocha buttercream. I’m sure it makes the brownie taste even more decadent! Coming over from your FB page to invite you to our Foodie Friends Friday linky party on my blog! Would love for you to join us this week.


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