Made with milk, white, dark and unsweetened chocolates, this rich, decadent brownie recipe is perfect for special occasions and holiday cookie plates. Find more great cookies on the Simple Cookie Recipes page!
I have made these incredible decadent quadruple chocolate brownies for many years - they are truly amazing and everyone loves them. But they are only a once-a-year treat for our family.
Why? Two reasons, really:
- They are rich (and full of calories).
- They are also kind of expensive.
Which pretty much makes it the perfect holiday treat, in my book! They'd also make a fun birthday or other type of special event treat. But they aren't your run-of-the-mill brownies, that's for sure.
In my book, that's what makes them so wonderful.
I adapted this decadent brownie from a Food and Wine recipe that originally made 2 large pans of brownies and called for pounds of butter, chocolate, and a mind-boggling 16 eggs! Obviously this was not a recipe for the faint of heart.
After a few modifications, which included lessening the sugar for sure, the recipe still uses a fair amount of butter, eggs and chocolate, so it's still a rich recipe. But with one bite and you will understand - it's worth it.
So let's make some brownies!
Quadruple Chocolate Decadent Brownie
Biggest Cooking Tip for Decadent Brownies
One of my biggest tips for this recipe (or any recipe that calls for melted unsweetened chocolate) is to use cocoa powder and oil as a substitute for the pound of unsweetened chocolate.
It's about half of the cost of bar chocolate, are items most people have in their pantries (versus a bar of unsweetened chocolate - now sweetened chocolate is another thing…), and no one I've ever served these too has ever noticed a difference.
How do you substitute cocoa powder & oil for bar chocolate?
Every container of unsweetened cocoa powder should have the substitution equivalents on the back label: 3 TB. cocoa powder + 1 TB oil = 1 oz. of unsweetened chocolate.
So for this recipe, it would be:
- 1-1/2 cups cocoa powder + 1/2 c. oil = 1 pound unsweetened chocolate
You can use any oil you prefer, even melted coconut oil (I usually choose a neutral one like expeller-pressed sunflower) and then add it and the cocoa powder to the melted butter called for in this recipe. It's really simple and actually quicker than melting that much chocolate.
Another tip that works with bar cookies to make them easier to remove from the pan and cut is to line your baking pan with parchment that extends up the long sides. These "handles" make it easy to grab and lift the brownies out when they are ready to be cut.
Making these brownies is about the same as any brownie recipe: you melt the chocolate, butter, and sugar together and then add the remaining ingredients. You can then just drizzle the three melted chocolates on top for follow the directions below to make the pretty chevron design.
To make the pretty decorative top, simply:
- Melt and drizzle three different melted chocolates on top of the dough (as you can see, perfection is not required - some of the chocolate will be dollops and some drizzles - it's all good).
- Run a knife through the chocolate and the dough lengthwise.
- Then turn the knife and run it up the opposite way, going completely across the top which creates a sort of chevron pattern.
Baked, the pattern is a bit more subtle, but still lovely.
You'll want to let the brownies cool completely - even refrigerate them overnight - before cutting since they are so fudgy.
I like to use a pizza cutter to cut them, it makes it really easy to get fairly straight lines and neat edges without having to stop and clean your knife.
To give these brownies at the holidays (or birthdays, special days, etc.), you can cut them into regular sizes and wrap 2 or 4 to a package (like shown) or cut into 12 large pieces to wrap individually leaving the recipients to cut them up in smaller pieces.
They freeze beautifully and last for months when frozen, so these are a great option for making ahead.
I'm confident you'll want to remember these, so pin this image and then click the arrow below for the full, printable recipe!
Quadruple Chocolate Decadent Brownie Recipe
- 1¼ cup butter (2½ sticks), softened
- 1/2 pound unsweetened chocolate chopped (OR: 1/2 cup oil + 1½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder, mixed)
- 2 cups sugar
- 8 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour OR 1 cup unbleached + 1 cup whole wheat OR all unbleached
- 3/4 cup about 1/4 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped or chips (divided)
- 3/4 cup about 1/4 pound white chocolate, chopped or chips (divided)
- 3/4 cup about 1/4 pound milk chocolate, chopped or chips (divided)
- Preheat the oven to 300°.
- Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving the long sides with longer pieces to be able to lift the brownies from the pan after cooking.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate (OR oil/cocoa powder mixture) over low heat, stirring until melted (or carefully microwave until melted). Set aside to cool some.
- In a large bowl, mix the sugar with the eggs, vanilla and salt. Add the melted chocolate-butter mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the flour and stir well. Fold in 1/2 cup each of the three chocolates.
- Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
- Place the remaining 1/4 cup of each chocolate separately in 3 small microwave-safe bowls and melt. Using a spoon, drizzle the melted chocolates over the batter. Using a table knife, make swirls in the batter for a marbled effect.
- Bake 35 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the tops are shiny and set. Do not over bake or the edges will be dry. These are a fudgy brownie.
- Transfer the brownies to a wire rack to cool completely. Use parchment handles to lift from the pans and use a pizza cutter or large knife to cut into squares.
Other Easy & Delicious Treats To Try:
Peanut Butter Chocolate Celebration Cake
Amazing and Easy Peanut Butter Chocolate Truffles
Grain Free Almond Chocolate Truffle Bars
This article is part of the 8 Weeks of Christmas Ideas series where you’ll find resources for cooking, gift ideas, time savers, recipes, traditions & more all November and December through the 24th.
I made the original recipe 12 years ago and I would not modify anything.
Agreed! They are meant to be decadent. 😉
Megan - The Emotional Baker says
Wow!! These brownies look amazing! Definitely worth splurging cals and $$$ around the holidays when it means snacking on such a great treat 🙂
Hi Jami! These brownies sound and look amazing! I have to try this recipe like today! thanks for sharing it!
I hope you like them as much as we do, Gaila - they truly are decadent.:)
Shellie Gregg says
Ohhhhhhh you mischievous little elf! These brownies look so decadent. They just might get me on the "naughty list" while trying to eat healthy thru the holidays....heehee! I am thrilled to hear they freeze well. That will keep us from being tempted to eat the whole pan! Thanks for sharing such a great holiday treat. I'm thinking a few in a decorative food gift baggie would be so pretty to give away. I love to bake.......it just makes me happy, happy, happy. But its even better when its a goodie to share. You are such a sweet treat yourself, Jami. Thanks for all you do 🙂
Oh, thank you, you sweet thing! It's good to have a one-time-a-year like these - I like making them to give so that there's only a couple pieces left for us to divide up. There's definitely room for that in a balanced, healthy lifestyle. 🙂
Jenna @ A Savory Feast says
Oh my goodness, these look amazing! Brownies are my all-time favorite and I love finding ways to dress them up.
Thank you, they really are Jenna!
Erin @ The Speckled Palate says
These brownies look absolutely INSANE, Jami! The combination of chocolates is killer and definitely something my family is going to want to indulge on this season.
As always, well done! And thank you so much for contributing a decadently wonderful recipe to this year's The Sweetest Season!
Thank you so much, Erin - I was so happy to contribute again this year to your fantastic round-up of sweetness. 🙂