We’ve mastered the chocolate brownie world. Time and time again. The recipe (either basic way) is perfected, untouchable, and cherished. But we haven’t entered the white chocolate brownie world. A fudge brownie’s not-so-innocent twin. And by the end of this post, we will have conquered it.
But wait, isn’t a white chocolate brownie… a blondie? No, not at all. Blondies aren’t made with white chocolate as the base. So today… you’re in for something completely different.
Making white chocolate brownies is no different from whipping up a batch of regular chocolate brownies. It’s still very much a scientific project– and delicious one, at that. Only a few basic ingredients, carefully chosen, to create the best possible structure, texture, and flavor. With only 7 ingredients, quality and ratios are imperative. If you want a white chocolate brownie that tastes good, use ingredients that taste good. And, like any science project, don’t stray from the recommended measurements.
Here’s The White Chocolate Story
When testing white chocolate brownies in the kitchen, I used my 1 bowl seriously homemade fudgy brownies as the starting point. It’s not a simple switch from regular chocolate to white chocolate. No, that would make our lives too easy! But I found that only a couple tweaks were necessary.
We’re using the same exact ingredients today, but ditching the cocoa powder for a little extra flour (to maintain structure) and subbing white chocolate for semi-sweet. Since we’re using more flour, a completely flavorless addition, I added more butter and white chocolate. The butter and white chocolate are melted together first, then the rest of the ingredients go into the bowl.
Since white chocolate is sweeter than semi-sweet chocolate, I reduced the sugar in the brownie recipe. Though reducing down to 1 cup was a giant mistake. The brownies were flavorless; the flavor just got up and walked away. See ya, tootaloo! There simply wasn’t enough white chocolate to make up for that extra cup of sugar. My second attempt proved much more successful at 1 and 1/2 cups sugar. I was temped to use some brown sugar, but felt it would take away from the pure white chocolate flavor.
Vanilla extract? We’re sticking to the same amount. Eggs? Let’s add an extra one. White chocolate simply isn’t as flavorful as regular chocolate. It’s rich, yes, but doesn’t have nearly as much lasting power as its darker counterpart. I found using 4 whole eggs proved to yield rich tasting, major dense white chocolate brownies.
Remember what I said up there about using ingredients that taste good? Well the most important would have to be the white chocolate. Use quality white chocolate that is made for melting and baking– steer super clear of white chocolate morsels. Which aren’t even technically real white chocolate! Reach for the real deal. You’ll need 6 ounces for the brownies and if you make the frosting (highly recommended!), you’ll need an additional 2 ounces. So that’s two 4-ounce white chocolate bars. I like either Ghirardelli, Baker’s, or Lindt. They’re in the baking aisle.
For added texture, however, we can definitely add white chocolate morsels to the brownie batter. Chunks of chips inside the baked brownies are phenom. As an alternative, here are some additions we should try next: white chocolate chips + macadamia nuts, white chocolate chips + dried cranberries, toffee chips, cinnamon chips, toasted pecans, shredded coconut, butterscotch morsels, a mix of it all!
And now I’m craving all the sweets.
The batter is made entirely in 1 bowl. It’s thick and silky smooth. A thick brownie batter yields a pretty dense brownie, which is exactly what we’re looking for. Dense and compact. Make sure the batter is evenly spread into your lined pan. Like always, I recommend lining the pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. This way you can lift the cooled brownies out as a whole, making cutting SO MUCH EASIER.
The white chocolate brownies looked a little naked without a topping, so I whipped up a quick white chocolate cream cheese frosting. It’s not overly sweet. Rather, it’s the perfect amount of tang to balance the sweet white chocolate brownies. The frosting is completely optional and I think they’d be just as irresistible with strawberry compote or lemon glaze drizzled on top. Heck yea.
We landed upon our master recipe and now let me present you with 1 bowl white chocolate brownies. ?
- 1 cup (230g; 2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 6 ounces (170g) pure white chocolate, coarsely chopped1
- 1 and 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 and 1/2 cups (188g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- optional: 1 cup (180g) white chocolate chips
- 4 ounces (112g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 2 ounces (56g) white chocolate, melted and slightly cooled1
- 1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9×13 inch pan or line with aluminum foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang on the sides to lift the finished brownies out (makes cutting easier!). Set aside.
- In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the butter and chopped white chocolate. Melt in 30 second increments, whisking after each, until completely smooth. Whisk in the sugar until completely combined, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla. Whisk in the flour and salt, then fold in the white chocolate chips until combined. Batter will be thick. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes, covering loosely with aluminum foil halfway through. Test the brownies with a toothpick at the 30 minute mark. Insert it into the center of the pan. If it comes out with wet batter, the brownies are not done. If there are only a few moist crumbs, the brownies are done. Keep checking every 2 minutes until you have moist crumbs. My brownies take 32 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add the white chocolate, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. Taste, then add a pinch of salt if desired. Spread the frosting on the cooled brownies, then slice and serve.
- Cover and store leftover frosted brownies in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or if the brownies are not frosted, at room temperature for up to 1 week.
Make ahead tip: Unfrosted brownies freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator then bring to room temperature before serving.
- White chocolate bars are typically sold in 4 ounce bars. You’ll need two. 6 ounces will be melted down for the brownies and 2 ounces will be used in the frosting. I suggest Ghirardelli, Baker’s brand, or Lindt. Do not use chocolate chips. For the white chocolate in frosting, make sure it is melted 10 minutes prior to beating into the frosting. Otherwise, it will melt the butter in the frosting!
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