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Fudgy Black Tie Brownie Cake

Fudgy Black Tie Brownie Cake
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Fudgy Black Tie Brownie Cake

Hands on time: 30 minutes
Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes

It’s safe to say that almost everyone likes rich, gooey brownies and who wouldn’t love this combination of fudgy chocolate and crispy nuts drizzled with…you guessed it, even more chocolate. I’ve added a touch of espresso since it makes brownies taste even more chocolatey along with my favorite chocoholic add-in… orange zest. Orange and chocolate are a classic flavor pairing and that unexpected orangey zest takes these fudgy squares to the next level of delish.    

It’s that easy: Walnuts are at their peak of freshness in the fall, so stock up and keep some in the freezer for later use. Toasting the walnuts before adding them to the batter adds incredible flavor. Just lay them out on a pan and pop them in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes while you mix up the batter.

Fudgy Black Tie Brownie Cake


  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Zest of one 1/2 orange
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
  • 3 oz melted bittersweet or dark chocolate
  • 3 oz melted white chocolate


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving a little overhang so you can easily pull the brownies from the pan later.
  3. In a mixer bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and zest on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  4. While the butter and sugar mix, combine the cocoa powder with the flour, salt, espresso powder (if using) and baking powder. Stir with a whisk to combine it and set aside.
  5. Add the eggs to the butter mixture, one at a time along with the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula and mix another few seconds. Reduce the speed and add the flour mixture in two additions then add the walnuts and mix just until combined. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until no longer jiggly in the center. Cool brownies in the pan on a rack.
  6. Melt the bittersweet and white chocolate in separate bowls over simmering water, or in bowls in the microwave on medium power. Drizzle the dark chocolate over the top of the brownie cake and then drizzle the white chocolate over the top in a decorative pattern. Refrigerate for about 20 minutes so that the chocolate sets up. Remove the brownies from the pan using the parchment paper and cut into desired sized squares. 

Makes 9 large or 16 smaller squares

Make-ahead: The brownie cake can be made 1 day in advance and kept covered at room temperature. If making ahead, cut the brownies right before serving.

In the glass: Ever tried port with chocolate? It’s delicious. Look for a tawny port in the wine department or ask the wine consultant for help in choosing a port that will go with bittersweet chocolate. You’re going to love it.

Fudgy Black Tie Brownie Cake

Fudgy Black Tie Brownie Cake

Carla Snyder

By Carla Snyder

Carla has spent the past 30 years in the food world as a caterer, artisan baker, cooking school teacher, food writer and author of 6 cook books including the James Beard nominated Big Book of Appetizers. Her passion is sharing fresh, cooked-from-scratch weeknight meals that cut prep time and practically eliminate that nightly sink full of dishes.

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