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Make a Decadent Brownie With Cocoa Powder and Oil

Sarah writes about weird things and whatever else is interesting, which includes delicious recipes.

Cocoa Powder. Oil. Brownies. Yum.

Cocoa Powder. Oil. Brownies. Yum.

Do These Brownies Taste Good?

If you ask me, brownies taste even better when they're made with cocoa powder instead of chocolate chips and oil instead of butter. I make these brownies at least once a week. As horrible as that sounds, I simply can't help it. I am addicted, I tell you! Try these out—it's an easy recipe, and the ingredients are probably the cheapest you'll need for a knock-out dessert.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

25 min

35 min

Yields 6 to 9 slices.


  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Assemble all of the ingredients prior to measuring and mixing. You don't want to discover you're out of eggs halfway through this.

Assemble all of the ingredients prior to measuring and mixing. You don't want to discover you're out of eggs halfway through this.

Step 1. Assemble the Ingredients

Assemble all of the ingredients prior to measuring and mixing. You don't want to discover you're out of eggs halfway through this recipe!

Wet bowl beaten and dry bowl mixed.

Wet bowl beaten and dry bowl mixed.

Step 2. Combine the Ingredients

Add oil, sugar, vanilla extract, and eggs in one bowl. Beat until it's pale yellow.

In a second bowl, measure out the following items: flour, cocoa powder (plus a little extra), baking powder, and salt. Combine them until everything is evenly distributed.

Adding the dry ingredients to the wet bowl of ingredients.

Adding the dry ingredients to the wet bowl of ingredients.

Step 3. Add the Dry to the Wet

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir to incorporate.

Mmmm, brownie pouring action.

Mmmm, brownie pouring action.

Step 4. Bake the Brownie

Pour the batter into a lightly oiled baking dish, a 9"x9" pie plate, or a square dish. Bake at 350°F for 20–30 minutes.

Chocolate Versus Cocoa Costs

Now, I always knew in my little heart that cocoa powder was cheaper than chocolate chips, but I never took the time to do the math. Then I found this blog where the author broke down the prices of baker's chocolate, chocolate chips, and cocoa powder. As it turns out, my delicious cocoa powder wins.

She explained how cocoa powder and chocolate chips are basically tied because when you use chips (semi-sweet or bittersweet), the sugar is cut down a bit because the chips have added sugar that cocoa powder doesn't have. While that could be significant in some recipes, it isn't as much in these brownies because I usually cut a couple of tablespoons out anyway. It's my own personal preference, but the full amount of sugar is included in this recipe.

Oil beats out butter in cost!

Oil beats out butter in cost!

Butter Versus Oil Costs

Real butter is probably one of the most expensive ingredients you'll ever have to buy when baking.

I live in Maryland, and butter costs about 1.00 USD per stick. In other words, for 1/2 a cup of butter, you spend $1.00. This brownie recipe calls for 1/2 cup of oil, but you could use melted butter in place of the oil, which I've seen done because it supposedly makes the end result richer in flavor—I don't believe that. Now, here's a price comparison:

  • 1 stick/ 1/2 cup of butter costs about 1.00 USD
  • A 48 oz bottle of canola oil averages around 3.00 USD. this means that 1/2 cup (4 oz) of canola oil costs about .25 cents.

Here's the math: 48 oz divided by 4 oz = 12 4 oz servings. Each serving then costs .25 because 3.00/12 = .25.

This comparison was done using store brand ingredients.

So the cocoa and oil combo for brownies is cheaper than the chocolate and butter combo. Plus it just tastes good!

Our finished pan of chocolatey goodness.

Our finished pan of chocolatey goodness.

Rate my Brownies?


Rebecca Livermore on May 23, 2020:

I just recently started substituting oil for butter in a brownie recipe I use for the same reason - it's so much cheaper! Plus, I always have it on hand. I've also purchased cocoa powder in bulk, so got that inexpensively as well. I haven't tried your recipe yet but it's very similar to the one I use, so I'm sure it's a winner. Keeping sharing recipes with easy to find, inexpensive ingredients. It's amazing what a cost difference those changes can make.

Furzani on May 20, 2020:

Hello from Malaysia!

I have tried this recipe and have fallen in love since!

Thank you.

Linda G. on May 02, 2020:

Perfect for my husband and me during this stay-at-home time. I had all the ingredients and the brownies provided just the right change for our meal without adding a whole batch of cookies to our waists but satisfied our yearning for a sweet dessert.

Thewhiterabbitstimepiece on August 21, 2019:

Total money saver and wow so tasty.... Addictive and i added coconut dessicated and some chopped nuts n chocchips kids are in love! A grade recipie... Its 2 thumbs up from us!

Kimee on July 17, 2019:

I recently made a FB post about teaching your children to cook from scratch rather than a box. Finding a recipe that doesn't say "melt chips" is hard. You have to incorporate "cocoa powder" in your search!

Thank you for having a real recipe to use!

We made this gluten-free with King Arthur Measure for Measure flour.

Debra E Slaughter on May 31, 2019:

So easy to assemble and tastes delicious! Great recipe if you keep staples on hand, like cocoa and oil.

DebSlau on May 31, 2019:

So easy and tastes wonderful.

EVA on January 02, 2019:

mine hasnt worked at ALL!!!!!!!!!!!

Ilana on December 25, 2018:

perfect! tasted like restaurant desert!

Paulina on November 30, 2018:

Amazing! These Brownies are SO delicious. There was a power shortage he today and we were going tp have company. This recipe saved my day. Thank you!

Melanie on July 17, 2018:

Love this recipe. I always have the ingredients in my pantry. Super simple and tasty.

Caeley on July 15, 2018:

the batter was super oily and would not mix in. the batter also formed like a dough.

Not very good

Jennifer Mugrage from Columbus, Ohio on August 23, 2015:

OK. It's a calm Sunday afternoon, my kids are out with their Dad, so I tried your recipe, and WOW! I am eating them right now! They are every bit as good as brownies from a mix, just as quick to make, and I don't know why I would ever go back! Planning to rate this recipe 5 stars.

Jennifer Mugrage from Columbus, Ohio on August 21, 2015:

Thanks for this. I usually use a mix, but will have to try it your way.

Ak on January 11, 2014:

Tried this out and I have a pan of warm, soft, moist and extremely satisfying chocolate treat! Thanks!

FullOfLoveSites from United States on March 26, 2013:

Wow... then I can save a lot from using oil instead of butter. Plus, oil will have more uses in the kitchen.

Might try your cocoa powder and oil recipe. It looks like it's less fussy to make too. Thanks for sharing. Up and useful. :)

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