Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies}

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Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies} by WickedGoodKitchen.com #bourbon #chocolate #dessert #recipeBest Ever Bourbon Brownies:
Wicked Black Magic Brownies

Brownies just don’t get more wicked than this! Extra rich. Fudgy. Boozy. Addicting. Truly, everything a brownie should be. Enter, Wicked Black Magic Brownies.

Why “wicked” for our Wicked Black Magic Brownies? Well…the wicked comes from the bourbon. Trust us. Just wait until you take a whiff of the pan after drizzling on the bourbon. Candles should come in this scent! Why “black magic”? Of course, this comes from the combination of deep, dark, bittersweet chocolate (we have used both Green & Black’s and Callebaut), fine quality unsweetened cocoa (to jack up the chocolate flavor), espresso powder (to enhance the chocolate flavor) and Muscovado or dark brown sugar to really make this brownie rich in flavor and totally take it to “the dark side”.

Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies} by WickedGoodKitchen.com #bourbon #chocolate #dessert #recipe

The first time I had ever come across a recipe for a “boozy brownie” was when friends of ours, when we were living in Lexington, Kentucky, gave us a recipe. I was amazed that the recipe called for a full ¼ cup of good bourbon, poured over an 8-inch pan of hot freshly baked brownies. How novel is that? I was fascinated by this. The brownie recipe itself was decent enough, but not to the level we had become used to for chocolate content. Once you have experienced exceptional brownies made the right way with plenty of good chocolate and real butter, with a fudgy yet ever so slight “cake-like” texture, your taste buds and brain immediately notice what is lacking.

Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies} by WickedGoodKitchen.com #bourbon #chocolate #dessert #recipe

Immediately, I set out to improve upon the recipe as I usually do to achieve what we were after. For our fine Kentucky bourbon (we use Blanton’s but have used Maker’s Mark as well), The Big Lug and I decided that we needed a brownie to hold its own with the bourbon. Furthermore, we wanted a rich brownie chock full of toasted nuts yet a very slight cake-like texture so the brownies would absorb the bourbon well. I added a tiny amount of baking powder and it helped achieve the texture we wanted. Still, I continued to play around with the recipe.

Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies} by WickedGoodKitchen.com #bourbon #chocolate #dessert #recipe

It wasn’t until the mid-1990s that I perfected the recipe. And, as usual, it was Maida Heatter, “The First Lady of Desserts”, to the rescue! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that Maida called for 3 tablespoons of bourbon in her recipe for Bittersweet Chocolate Brownies. And, yes…she poured it immediately over the baked brownies, fresh and piping hot from the oven, just like the Kentucky recipe. In Maida’s recipe, she calls for 8 ounces of chocolate as well. However, she splits it between 2 ounces of unsweetened and 6 ounces of semisweet. Since I go for the bittersweet, I made our recipe 100% bittersweet.

Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies} by WickedGoodKitchen.com #bourbon #chocolate #dessert #recipe

Soon, due to Maida’s influence, to enhance chocolate flavor in recipes, I found myself adding espresso powder to chocolate batters and even to my chocolate biscotti dough. This was pure genius! Well, I kept messing around and messing around with the recipe until we finally decided that 4 tablespoons, versus Maida’s 3 tablespoons, of bourbon was the clear winner. This, of course, depends on your own taste buds. You control the level of wickedness. How cool is that?

Also, we thought our chocolate and cocoa combination was top-notch. We agreed with Maida that the brownies needed to have an “enormous amount of nuts” as she put it in her book, Maida Heatter’s Brand-New Book of Great Cookies. She called for 2 cups, but we preferred 1½ cups. Also, we decided to toast our nuts first before adding them to the brownie batter. This is important because the toasty nuttiness really complements the espresso powder in these fudgy boozy brownies.

Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies} by WickedGoodKitchen.com #bourbon #chocolate #dessert #recipe

So, what are you waiting for? Venture on over to “the dark side” and whip up a batch of these bad boys, my friends. Our Wicked Black Magic Brownies are definitely dark side of the moon, wicked!

Happy First Day of Fall (tomorrow), Y’all!



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Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies}

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: Makes 9 or 16 servings.

Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies}

Why are our Wicked Black Magic Brownies so wicked good? Duh!


  • 8 ounces (227 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter, plus extra for baking pan
  • ½ cup (70 grams) all-purpose flour, such as Gold Medal®
  • ¼ cup (28 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted, such as Pernigotti
  • 2 teaspoons (3 grams) instant espresso granules
  • ½ teaspoon (4 grams) kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1.2 grams) baking powder
  • ¾ cup (150 grams) organic granulated cane sugar
  • ½ cup (106 grams) firmly packed organic Muscovado (or dark brown sugar)
  • 2 large eggs + 1 egg yolk (125 grams), slightly beaten & at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract, such as Nielsen-Massey®
  • 1½ cups (110 grams) coarsely chopped or broken toasted walnuts or pecans
  • ¼ cup bourbon (or cognac, rum or scotch)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil by first turning pan upside down. Center a 12-inch piece of foil shiny-side down over the pan. Carefully press down on the sides, folding corners, to shape the foil snugly around pan without tearing. Remove the foil keeping its shape. Place shaped foil into pan and press into place along bottom and sides. With a piece of plastic wrap, grease the foil along bottom and sides of pan with butter softened to room temperature or with melted butter. Set aside.

In a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan containing shallow water (or in a double boiler), place chocolate and butter. Stir frequently over simmering water until nearly melted. Remove pan from heat; stir until completely melted and smooth. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, espresso granules, salt and baking powder. Set aside. Once bowl of melted chocolate is cool enough to handle, transfer it to countertop lined with a terry cloth kitchen towel to wipe away the moisture from the steam. Stir in sugars, eggs and vanilla. Gently fold in flour mixture just until blended (do not overmix). Fold in nuts.

With a rubber spatula, scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs (versus uncooked batter), about 40 minutes. Immediately from the oven, drizzle bourbon evenly over the top of warm brownies. (Don’t worry. The top will dry as it cools.) Cool completely in pan.

Use the foil on sides of pan to lift brownies out. Peel away foil completely and discard. Chill the brownies in the freezer to make cutting them easier, about 1 hour. Cut brownies into 9 or 16 squares, depending on size of brownies or number of servings desired. Store in airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes


How to Toast Nuts: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Place nuts in a single layer on an ungreased baking sheet. (You may line the baking sheet with parchment paper.) Bake until nuts become fragrant and lightly browned, about 7 to 8 minutes. Stir halfway through baking time and watch closely to prevent nuts from burning. Cool nuts completely before chopping and adding to recipe.

To speed the cooling process for the toasted nuts, immediately transfer to plate and place in freezer for 5 to 8 minutes.

For Gluten Free Option: Substitute approximately ½ cup + 1 tablespoon (70 grams) Cup4Cup (C4C) Gluten-Free Flour, available at Williams-Sonoma.

Pernigotti Cocoa is truly an exceptional cocoa and is available at Williams-Sonoma. It is one of our favorites!

Recipe Source: WickedGoodKitchen.com

Copyright © Wicked Good Kitchen. All content and images are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words. Alternatively, link back to this post for the recipe.


Visual Step-by-Step for

Wicked Black Magic Brownies

Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies} by WickedGoodKitchen.com #bourbon #chocolate #dessert #recipe

Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies} by WickedGoodKitchen.com #bourbon #chocolate #dessert #recipe

Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies} by WickedGoodKitchen.com #bourbon #chocolate #dessert #recipe

Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies} by WickedGoodKitchen.com #bourbon #chocolate #dessert #recipe

Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies} by WickedGoodKitchen.com #bourbon #chocolate #dessert #recipe

Wicked Black Magic Brownies {bourbon brownies} by WickedGoodKitchen.com #bourbon #chocolate #dessert #recipe

About Stacy

Stacy Bryce is a recipe developer and member of the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals). Her passion is developing original conventional baking recipes as well as special diet recipes to include dairy-free, gluten-free and grain-free. You can follow Stacy at Pinterest.


  1. I’m donning my witch hat now…you know, in preparation.
    Jen @JuanitasCocina recently posted…Rainbow Sprinkle Thumbprint Cookies ~ #OXOGoodCookie!My Profile

  2. These brownies look amazing, I can’t wait to become wicked eating some of these! YUM!
    Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl recently posted…Monkey Bread MuffinsMy Profile

  3. Woaaa. ..they do look wickedly good. So you drizzle the bourbon..sounds good. These must be so moist and absolutely decadent. I learn so much when I visit here, Maida’s books sound good. You know ‘maida’ is known as all purpose flour in India..:)

    • Thank you, Asha! Yes, these brownies are indeed decadent…they are moist and fudge, just how we like them. Wow…so interesting that ‘maida’ is all-purpose four in India! So fitting for Maida Heatter as she was a prominent baker and considered our country’s “First Lady of Desserts”. I learn from you as well! Thank you for stopping by, my friend. Have a lovely Sunday evening!

  4. Stacy,
    I’m not sure how you did it, but you outdid yourself, yet again!! Holy darkness, I am loving these and again, I feel that some sort of “potentially addictive” disclaimer should be in order for these most wicked of brownies. Thank you for sharing the recipe and beautiful photos – clearly the next best thing to tasting one (or three!!)
    Dan from Platter Talk recently posted…Italian Savory Pie. Antipasto di Torte salateMy Profile

    • Hahaha! My inner goth loves your “holy darkness” comment. You always make me smile! I’ll have to give it some good thought over your suggestion of adding a disclaimer. 😉 Thanks again for the compliments and for stopping by, my friend!

  5. This recipe looks fantastic! My brother-in-law is crazy for bourbon, and I believe Blanton’s is one of his favorites. I’ve pinned this and will definitely be making it next time we have him over for dinner. I’m sure these would be right up his alley!

    • Thank you, Jamie! How sweet of you to think of your brother-in-law. He is a lucky guy…especially if you make him these brownies since he loves bourbon so much. Thanks for stopping by, girl. And, happy baking!

  6. You had me at the word ‘bourbon”! I love cooking and baking with alcohol. You’re my hero now! 🙂 These brownies look so appetizing and so thick, I just love it. Pinned!
    Julia | JuliasAlbum.com recently posted…Crepes with caramelized apples and creamy ricotta cheese fillingMy Profile

    • Hahaha! Thank you, Julia! I appreciate the compliments…especially coming from you as you know good food and you’re a talented photographer. Thank you for the pin, girlfriend! xo

  7. You had me at bourbon! 😉 And these brownies are awesome. I love to booze up my baked goods. These look delicious and amazing Stacy. Outstanding!
    Anne ~ Uni Homemaker recently posted…Chicken and Black Bean ChiliMy Profile

  8. Kumar's Kitchen says:

    Guess we can’t say enough how we love these brownies…everything in it is just perfect…hats off to you Stacy…serious wicked good gorgeous recipe, thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  9. I love the flavor of bourbon in goodies! And I bet these are so rich and wonderful tasting!
    Averie @ Averie Cooks recently posted…Loaded Fudgy Candy Bar BrowniesMy Profile

  10. I love boozy desserts of any kind. These look moist, decadent, and delicious! Zack is so busy with harvest, I love to surprise him with treats like this. I’m totally making these for all the guys!
    Jaclyn recently posted…Fried Goat Cheese SaladMy Profile

  11. A girl can never have too many brownies or brownie recipes. Love the wicked/boozy spin on it. Why have I never had a brownie like this before?! : )
    Monica recently posted…Shrimp with lobster sauce (because I love Chinese takeout)My Profile

  12. I would totally go over to the “dark side” for a few of these brownies!!
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes recently posted…Crock Pot Root Beer Pulled PorkMy Profile

  13. Wow, your black magic brownies look devilishly good! What a perfect name, and a great idea (:
    Monica recently posted…Rose Macarons, Step-by-StepMy Profile

  14. Black magic brownies, what a great name for an amazing looking dessert! Every slice you have photographed looks perfect.
    Nik@ABrownTable recently posted…pumpkin raitaMy Profile

  15. Brownies and bourbon, sounds perfect to me!!
    Julie @ Table for Two recently posted…Grilled Coho SalmonMy Profile

  16. Very glad that I discovered your blog.
    The brownies look so luscious and inviting, great recipe and beautiful pictures!
    Daniela recently posted…Sweet ViennaMy Profile

  17. Oh wow – these look like the PERFECT brownies! Seriously amazing!

  18. Stuffed with bourbon? Hubba hubba! I want to nosh on these when I work late nights at my boring office job. It’ll make things much more fun! 🙂
    Hayley @ The Domestic Rebel recently posted…Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cookie CupsMy Profile

  19. These are perfectly black magical!! I want them forever and ever – because bourbon and chocolate is bewitching!
    Megan {Country Cleaver} recently posted…Apple Pie Moonshine for Baked by Rachel’s Apple A Day PartyMy Profile

    • Haha! Thank you, Megan! I agree with you…bourbon and chocolate are truly bewitching! 😉 Thank you for stopping by, my friend!

  20. These would be perfect for a Fall party dessert! Love it.

  21. OH MY! These brownies…I have no words…..
    Oh well…just these next few – first I need you to go get a pendulum and gaze at it as you slowly swing it back and forth and feel yourself be hypnotized then read (and do) this next line “Shashi NEEDS these and Shashi NEEDS you to send them to her NOW!” now go forth and do your (er my) bidding 🙂
    Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com recently posted…Quinoa & Chocolate Chunk Pancakes!My Profile

  22. I’m a big fan of boozy brownies (Bayleys brownies anyone?) but I must confess I’ve never tried bourbon brownies… shame on me, these look fantastic!! I wish I had a couple of these beauties in front of me right now… I’d definitely eat them all 😉
    Consuelo @ Honey & Figs recently posted…Brown Rice Noodles with Tofu and VeggiesMy Profile

    • Thank you, Consuelo! If you love Bailey’s Brownies, I’m certain you would enjoy these Bourbon Brownies. Happy baking, my friend!

  23. I need some WICKEDNESS in my life!! These brownies are literally screaming my name!!
    steph@stephsbitebybite recently posted…Get Fit MamaMy Profile

    • Aww…thank you, Steph! You are doing a phenomenal job with your fitness regimen post baby, I think you’d enjoy them as a special treat for dessert if you feel it will fit into your diet. Thanks for stopping by, my friend!

  24. Boozy brownies sound fabulous, I love how thick and fudgy these look!
    Laura (Tutti Dolci) recently posted…toasted oatmeal-pecan cookiesMy Profile

  25. You had me at bourbon! Love that we are on the same wavelength baking brownies! These look incredible!! Love the name too, they sound so enchanting!
    Meghan recently posted…Double Trouble Cookies & Cream BrowniesMy Profile

    • Thank you, Meghan! So true…we both carried out the ‘wicked brownies’ thang on our blogs. Yours are chock full o’ all sorts of badness! The name is quite enchanting…fun for this time of year with Halloween and all. Thanks for dropping by, my friend!

  26. These brownies look incredible! What a fantastic recipe, and I’m so fascinated by the years that went into working on it. I bet it’s killer.
    Sarah | The Sugar Hit recently posted…Choc-Chip Raspberry Skillet CookieMy Profile

  27. You had me at wicked! Love these brownies!
    Laurie {SimplyScratch} recently posted…Tailgating with Simply OrganicMy Profile

    • Hahaha! Thank you, Laurie! Love how I had you at ‘wicked’. Most were taken in on the word ‘bourbon’. I like how you roll. Thanks for dropping by and happy baking, my friend!

  28. Are you KIDDING ME? I lived in Lexington too! I went to UK! Could we have any more in common? 🙂 Just catching up on your blog, girl! These look amazing. I was just telling my bf the other day that we really needed some brownies. Maybe once we move in to the new house! xox
    Anne recently posted…Lone Star Paleo: My Favorite Things! Also, sorry for being all gone and stuff. 🙁My Profile

    • Well, there you are! I’ve miss ya, girl. So happy to see you back in my comments section. Yes! I adored living in Lexington, KY. It felt like home and that is where my inner Southern Belle comes from as well as my accent that I pull out from time to time. And, I almost went to UK! I applied, was accepted but then decided to attend the U. of M. in Ann Arbor to study film and screenwriting. Make these brownies…with or without the bourbon. You’ll devour them! xo

  29. These seriously look like the best brownies EVER!!! Wow, Stacy…just wow.

  30. So you know I have to make these… right?! Seriously amazing!!!
    ashley – baker by nature recently posted…Pepperoni Polenta Pizza BitesMy Profile

  31. Boozy brownies?! Yes please!
    Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen recently posted…Baked Eggplant Fries with Goat Cheese Dip (Gluten-Free, Grain-Free)My Profile

  32. Those sound AMAZING! Mr. E is a big Maker’s Mark fan…I bet he would love them!!!
    bridget {bake at 350} recently posted…Three Cheers for Sweet Strawberry Pasta Salad…and giveaways!My Profile

  33. Oh my gosh, I love boozy, fudgy brownies! They look PERFECT. I’ve never made one with bourbon before though, so this is going on my to-do list 🙂
    Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic recently posted…Coconut Chocolate Chip Pancakes for OneMy Profile

  34. Maria | Pink Patisserie says:

    Stacy these are off the hook!!!!! That gorgeous dark, dark chocolate and the nuts and omg. Did you know that Bourbon is my middle name? Yep. Thought you’d like to know. 🙂

    • Hahaha! Thank you, Maria! You will love this brownie recipe…it’s truly what brownies should be. Thank you for stopping by, my friend!

  35. WOW, these look amazingly dense and fudgy – yummy for my tummy!
    Yvonne @ bitter baker recently posted…Spelt sourdough baguettesMy Profile

  36. This looks AMAZING! Pinning to try them! YUMMMMm! I LOVE Bourbon!!
    Sophia @ NY Foodgasm recently posted…Autumn Shepherds PieMy Profile

  37. Bangkok novice baker says:

    Hello Stacy, This recipe is awesome. I baked it today. It is moist and fudgy. Anyway I used Thai whisky instead of bourbon. It is amazing. Thank you for sharing the recipe. Definately keep this recipe for the next party.

  38. Fresh back from Bourbon County and crazy about bourbon… Sipping some Blanton’s actually… I am more of a cook than a baker… Hate to ask (and your recipe sounds amazing) but do you think drizzling bourbon over a double batch of Ghirdelli brownies from a mix (which makes a great thick brownie) would work?

    • Thanks for stopping by, Lisa! To answer your question, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. I say, go for it. Use 2 to 3 tablespoons to start, see how it absorbs and go from there. You can always add more. Enjoy your Blanton’s!

  39. I am not a big brownie fan. So often they are dry, so it seems like a terrible waste for good
    chocolate—-or even bad chocolate. However, these appear to be nice and fudgy. I love love
    love all the nuts. And hey hey what could be better than a bourbon in a brownie.

    • Thank you, Carol! If you love moist fudgy-nutty-boozy brownies, you will love these. Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous T.G.I.F. and weekend. 🙂

  40. What kind of nuts were used in the pictures shown? They look fabulous inside the brownies.

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