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Cosmic Brownies

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Thick, fudgy brownies smothered in silky smooth chocolate ganache, and topped with M&M candies. These taste even better than the Cosmic brownies you ate as a kid.

fudgy chocolate brownies stacked on top of each other with ganache and m&ms.

Brownies are always a crowd-pleaser. Some of our favorites include oreo brownies, Nutella Brownies , mug brownies, and of course these copycat cosmic brownies.

Cosmic Brownies were created in 1957 by the Little Debbie Snack Company.  The same fudge brownie recipe is used in both Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies and the classic Little Debbie Brownies.  The only difference is the classic version has a walnut topping.

I always hear adults talking about how busy kids are today. From sports to music lessons, and even karate it seems like they are always headed somewhere. However, I don't think this is a recent phenomenon. Every Tuesday I had to rush from dance class to soccer. This inevitably resulted in having to eat dinner in the car.

My typical meal was a toaster pizza (an actual pizza made in the toaster). Oh, how I miss those! I also usually grabbed either zebra cakes or a cosmic brownie from the vending machine. It was then all washed down with a fruity drink from the Tropicana vending machine. Seriously what happened to those drinks, I need to know!

No matter how hard I try I can’t ever recreate that toaster pizza. I don't even want to try! 🙂 But I did create an even more delicious version of Little Debbie's Cosmic Brownies.

My version is thick and super fudgy. They’re also made with m and ms instead of unidentified candy bits. Always a crowd-pleaser,

They're great for school lunches, potlucks, and picnics. Wash them down with an ice-cold glass of milk, or if you're feeling especially decadent a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

Why I Love This Recipe

  1. One Bowl: Easy to make, and easy to clean up afterward.
  2. Ganache: I love frosting, but this silky smooth ganache adds an amazing level of flavor/texture.
  3. Quick: Ready in 35 minutes, perfect when you're craving chocolate.

Ingredient Notes and Shopping Tips

  1. Cocoa Powder: Because we're not using a leavening agent like baking soda you can use regular or dutch process cocoa powder. The one I used in this recipe is Hershey's natural and unsweetened cocoa.
  2. Flour: Measure your flour by scooping it into the measuring cup, and then leveling off with a table knife. Never dip your measuring cup into the flour, as this will give you more than is needed.
  3. M&MS: I'm not a big fan of the unidentifed candies on top of store-bought cosmic brownies so I used rainbow M&Ms. However, if you want an authentic look, Wilton sells Rainbow Crunch Chips that look very similar.  Other fun colorful toppings include sprinkles or even chocolate-covered sunflower seeds. one chocolate brownie leaning against another with M&ms on top and scattered around.

How To Make Cosmic Brownies

  1. Prep work: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix Batter: Combine butter, eggs, sugars, and vanilla. Then add in cocoa powder and flour.
  3. Bake: Pour batter into pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  4. Ganache: Heat oven cream. Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour over brownies.
  5. Top with M&Ms.

Storage

1. Store in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 5 days.  You can use a tupperware dish, or a pan tightly wrapped with aluminum foil. Just be sure to close the lid tightly after going back for seconds thirds!

2. Freeze in a freezer baggie for up to 3 months. When you want to enjoy your frozen brownies simply thaw at room temperature for 2-3 hours. Perfect for that gotta have it NOW chocolate craving.

Tips and Tricks

  1. Don't overmix: Overmixing can lead to tough dense brownies. Mix until the flour is just combined, for moist brownies with a tender crumb.
  2. Bake in a pan lined with foil for easy cutting and easy cleanup.
  3. Mom Hack: My Mom taught me always cut brownies with a plastic knife since they are naturally nonstick. Wipe the knife down in between cuts for best results.
  4. To stay true to classic cosmic brownies, you should cut them in rectangles, with an indent going through the halfway point. This was in the original design so you could split the brownie and share it.

  5. To tell if brownies are done, insert a toothpick in the center. If the toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, your brownies are done. If you still see batter on the toothpick bake for 2-3 more minutes at a time.

an overhead shot of brownies topped with ganache and mini M&m candies.

More Copycat Desserts I Love

Thin Mint Recipe

Copycat Maple Butter Applebees Blondie

Choco Taco

📖 Recipe

Cosmic Brownies

Thick, fudgy brownies smothered in silky smooth chocolate ganache, and topped with M&M candies.
4.93 from 27 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 Brownies
Calories: 419kcal

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Ingredients

For the Brownies

  • ¾ Cup Unsalted Butter (1 ½ Sticks) ,Melted
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • Cup Light Brown Sugar Tightly Packed
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • ¾ cup Un-Sweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
  • ¾ cup All-Purpose Flour

For the Topping

  • 1 ½ Cups Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • ½ Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 Cup M&M Minis
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Instructions

For the Brownies

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9x9 inch pan with foil. Spray with non stick spray.
  • In a large bowl, melt butter in the microwave for 1-2 minutes.
  • Whisk in sugars, eggs, milk, and vanilla. Then whisk in cocoa powder until smooth.
  • Add flour gradually, until combined.
  • Spread batter in prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.

For the Ganache

  • Heat heavy cream in a medium sauce pan. Add chocolate chips. Stir occasionally until smooth.
  • Pour ganache over brownies. Smooth with an offset spatula.
  • Sprinkle with M&Ms. Refrigerate until the ganache has set.

Notes

Ingredient Notes and Shopping Tips
  1. Flour: Measure your flour by scooping it into the measuring cup, and then leveling off with a table knife. Never dip your measuring cup into the flour, as this will give you more than is needed.
  2. M&MS: I used rainbow M&Ms. However, if you want an authentic look, Wilton sells Rainbow Crunch Chips that look very similar. 
Storage
1. Store in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 5 days. 
2. Freeze in a freezer baggie for up to 3 months. When you want to enjoy your frozen brownies simply thaw at room temperature for 2-3 hours. 
Tips and Tricks
  1. Don't overmix: Overmixing can lead to tough dense brownies. Mix until the flour is just combined, for moist brownies with a tender crumb.
  2. Bake in a pan lined with foil for easy cutting and easy cleanup. 
  3. Mom Hack: My Mom taught me always cut brownies with a plastic knife since they are naturally nonstick. Wipe the knife down in between cuts for best results. 
  4. To tell if brownies are done, insert a toothpick in the center. If the toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, your brownies are done. If you still see batter on the toothpick bake for 2-3 more minutes at a time.
 

 

Nutrition

Calories: 419kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 15g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 23mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 556IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 2mg
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Cosmic Brownies Recipe Adapted via: Averie Cooks

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68 Comments

  1. I want a least of dozen of these cosmic brownies soon! These would disappear in our house!

  2. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for the plastic knife cutting hack! I never knew that and it worked like a charm. So fudgy and delicious!

  3. 5 stars
    These are my teens favorite treat to have! So yummy and so delicious! Can't wait to remake this recipe soon!