Fudgy and full of chocolate, this homemade strawberry brownies recipe has all the makings of a chocolate covered strawberry in a brownie. A decadent brownie base, with freeze-dried strawberries mixed in, and chopped dark chocolate and a chocolate drizzle, these are perfectly balanced with a subtle strawberry flavor. A few fresh strawberries cut into cute heart shapes makes this a perfect dessert for Valentine's Day, or any day for someone you love.
Brownies are such a versatile dessert. A homemade chocolate brownies recipe lends itself to so many flavor combinations and I am here for all of them. My dulce de leche brownies got me thinking about other flavor options, and strawberry and chocolate are one of the best flavor combos.
When I decided to develop this into a recipe, I realized that most 'strawberry brownies recipes' out there were in fact made with strawberry cake mix (yuck). They were not from scratch and had no chocolate in them at all. Brownies to me have to have chocolate in them, and I don't know what you'd call the other recipes - maybe a blondie? A pink bar? They're definitely not a brownie to me.
Why this is the best recipe
There is a few reasons why this strawberry brownies recipe trumps all others:
- As I mentioned above, you will find no strawberry cake mix in this recipe, these are all about the chocolate. Additionally there is no box brownie mix either. I use box brownie mixes A LOT, don't get me wrong. Box brownies have a place in my heart, but this recipe I created to be a little more adult with a richer chocolate flavor, so we're going totally from scratch here with a homemade brownie base.
- Grinding up freeze dried strawberries gives these the perfect amount of strawberry flavor without altering the texture of the brownies themselves. Using a mini food processor, blender or spice grinder, gives the dried strawberries a powder-like texture that melts right into the batter.
- Chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate makes these even more decadent.
- The fresh strawberries help give this the feeling of a chocolate covered strawberry in brownie form. And while cutting them into hearts is totally unnecessary, it is easy and extra cute. Perfect for Valentine's Day which is right around the corner.
Nothing out of the ordinary for a homemade brownie recipe (plus the two kinds of strawberries of course). Here's what you need:
- Butter. Always ALWAYS use butter in brownies. Even when making a box mix, use butter instead of the oil the box calls for.
- Chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate. Some of this gets melted with the butter for the batter. Some gets sprinkled on before baking for luscious pools of chocolate. And a little bit gets melted to drizzle over the finished brownies.
- Cocoa powder
- Freeze dried strawberries. I buy mine at Traders Joe's but they can be found in pretty much all grocery stores.
- Fresh strawberries. These will get place on top of the batter before baking.
Brownies from scratch are almost as easy as making from a box. Butter gets melted with the chopped chocolate, vanilla and cocoa powder in a bowl. Stir in the eggs one at a time with a wooden spoon or a spatula (much like the instructions on a box mix). Last goes in the small amount of flour and the ground, freeze dried strawberries.
The batter goes into a prepared pan, and additional chopped chocolate is sprinkled across the top, followed by slices of fresh strawberries. The brownies get baked for about 30-35 minutes until the edges look firm and crisp and the middle is still soft and fudgy. PRO TIP: If you check for doneness with a toothpick inserted in the center, the toothpick should not come out clean, it should have a few bits of crumbs on it.
Grinding the freeze-dried strawberries
This is a simple step that you don't really want to skip. Grinding them makes them perfect for blending into the batter. And it is easy. I use a mini food processor, but you can totally use a small blender, spice grinder or even chop them up and/or crush them in a bag with a mallet.
How to make heart-shaped strawberries
I know these are totally unnecessary, but I just think they are so cute for Valentine's Day that I can't resist doing them. Plus they are so simple. Slice the whole strawberry lengthwise into thin slices. Then take each slice and cut a V shape into the top. Since you are only using maybe 3 strawberries for this, it isn't very time consuming either.
Ingredient swaps and variations
A couple ideas to switch these up:
- Add nuts. Nuts are always a welcome addition to brownie recipes and this one is no exception.
- Swirl in some strawberry jam. Want even extra strawberry flavor? Swirl a little strawberry jam into the brownie batter!
As with all brownies recipes, to make sure you get fudgy rich strawberry brownies, be sure to pull these out of the oven before the toothpick in the center comes out clean. A brownies stays fudgy and gooey when it is slightly underbaked. Remember this is not a cake, we want these fudgy and full of chocolate, not light airy.
More brownie recipes
Other great brownies recipes you should try:
- 8x8 square baking pan
- microwave safe bowl
- 16 tablespoon butter 2 sticks
- 8 oz semisweet chocolate chopped
- ¾ cup of cocoa powder
- 2 ¼ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- ⅔ cup flour
- 1 cup freeze dried strawberries
- 2 oz semisweet chocolate chopped
- 3 strawberries sliced
- Preheat the oven to 350 and grease an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment paper.
- In a small food processor, blender or spice grinder, grind the freeze dried strawberries into they are almost a powder. They do not have to all be uniform in size, but they should be very finely ground.
- In a microwave safe bowl melt the 8 oz of chocolate and butter, in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time. Stir after each 30 seconds, and do this until fully melted and combined.
- Add the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla and salt and stir with a wooden spoon or a spatula to combine. Add the eggs one at a time beating each egg into the chocolate mixture with the wooden spoon or spatula. Add the flour and the freeze dried strawberries and mix until just combined.
- Spread the brownie batter in the prepared pan, sprinkle with the 2 oz of additional chopped chocolate. Scatter the chopped strawberries on top.
- Bake the brownies for 30-35 minutes. The edges should be firm, crisp and pulled away from the sides, and the center should be slightly soft to the touch.
- Cool the baked brownies in the pan for a minimum of 20 minutes. Then pull out and cool the remainder on a cookie sheet.
- Drizzle with the optional additional melted chocolate.