Thomas Keller’s Brownies

5 from 1 vote

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Thomas Keller’s Brownies: The Ultimate Brownie Recipe for Chocolate Lovers.

Those of you who know me are aware of my addiction to chocolate. These Thomas Keller brownies are easy to make and to love. They are the perfect addition to our delicious brownie recipes and make a great dessert for any occasion!

A row of chocolate brownies.

About These Classic Brownies

Thomas Keller is synonymous with fine dining and haute cuisine and is known for his establishments like The French Laundry, Per Se, and Bouchon Bakery. Yet, among his great recipes, there’s a humble yet exceptional one: Thomas Keller’s Brownies.

These aren’t just any brownies; they’re a rich, chocolate-packed treat that speaks volumes of Keller’s dedication to quality and flavor. This post will guide you through making these delightful brownies, perfect for special occasions or whenever you need a chocolate fix from an oven with brownies in the making.  

My boys love these; their dad loves them.  I can’t imagine that you won’t as well.  Give them a try; they are from Thomas Keller and brought to you today by Platter Talk.

Measuring some ingredients to make brownies.

Ingredients and Their Roles:

  • All-Purpose Flour: This is the foundation of the brownies, giving them structure and a chewy texture.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: Adds a deep, rich chocolate flavor that’s unmistakable and essential for any serious brownie fan.
  • Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and moisture, ensuring the brownies are decadently soft and melt-in-your-mouth delicious.
  • Salt: A little salt is key to balancing and enhancing the chocolate flavor.
  • Large Eggs: Eggs bind the ingredients together and contribute to the brownies’ richness and slightly cakey texture.
  • Granulated Sugar: It sweetens the brownies and contributes to their tender, chewy crust.
  • Vanilla Extract: Vanilla adds a subtle complexity to the chocolate flavor.
  • Bittersweet Chocolate: These chunks of high-quality chocolate create pockets of molten chocolate in every bite, making the brownies an absolute delight for any chocolate lover.
Some beaters with chocolate batter on them.

Making Thomas Keller’s Brownies

Making these brownies is a labor of love, and each step adds to the perfection of the final product. Here’s how you craft this masterpiece:

  1. Prep Work: Preheat your oven and prepare your baking pan. You’ll want to line it with parchment paper for easy removal later.
  2. Melting Chocolate and Butter: In a small saucepan or in a bowl set over a pot of simmering water (double boiler), melt together your chopped chocolate and sticks of butter. You want the mixture to be smooth with just small bits of unmelted butter remaining to ensure the right texture.
  3. Mixing Dry Ingredients: In a medium bowl, whisk together your flour, cocoa powder, and salt. This mixture will be added gradually to your wet ingredients to create a uniform batter.
  4. The Egg Mixture: Using a bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl and an electric mixer), beat the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. This is where the air and structure will start to build.
  5. Combining Wet and Dry: With the mixer on low speed, add one-third of the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, then one-third of the butter and chocolate mixture. Continue alternating, ending with the remaining flour.
  6. Baking to Perfection: Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly. Bake until a cake tester or wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs – not raw batter, but not completely clean. This might take about 40-45 minutes.

Substitutions and Variations:

  • Chocolate: Feel free to experiment with different types of chocolate, like milk chocolate for a sweeter taste or dark chocolate for a more intense flavor.
  • Nuts: Add chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans for an added texture.
  • Serving Suggestion: Serve these brownies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra indulgent treat.

Common Recipe Questions

Can I make these brownies gluten-free?

Absolutely, just substitute the all-purpose flour with your preferred gluten-free flour.

How should I store leftover brownies?

Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature for best results. They’ll last a few days, but they’re best enjoyed fresh!

Recipe Tips:

  • Don’t Overmix: Once you’ve added the flour, mix just until combined. Overmixing can lead to cakey brownies.
  • Quality Matters: Use the best quality chocolate you can find. The better the chocolate, the better the brownies.
  • Cool Completely: Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack. This patience will pay off when you get clean, even cuts.

Thomas Keller’s Brownies are more than just a dessert; they’re a testament to how simple ingredients, when used thoughtfully and with care, can create something extraordinary.

They’re a chocolate lover’s dream, dense, rich, and full of deep chocolate flavor. Next time you’re planning a dinner party, or just craving something sweet, turn to this go-to recipe and prepare for some of the best brownies you’ll ever taste.

Some brownies with ice cream.

Our family has made hundreds of different brownies and dessert bars. Every one of our six boys can cook and bake and learning how to bake brownies has been a crucial stepping stone in building this important life skill.

Through the years, our kids have made the best fudge brownies you can imagine, pumpkin brownies for fall, pumpkin cheesecake brownies, and many more.

My Top Tips for Making the Best Brownies

Quality Cocoa Powder – Stick with top-notch unsweetened cocoa powder to give your brownies a deep, rich chocolate flavor.

Melt the Butter – Go ahead and melt the butter instead of just softening it to score a richer, chewier texture in both brownies and dessert bars.

Brown Sugar Swap – Switch up white sugar for brown to add a moist, caramel undertone to your dessert bars.

Real Vanilla Extract – Don’t skimp here; use real vanilla extract to bump up the flavors in your brownie and bar recipes a notch.

Creative Mix-ins – Have some fun and throw in your favorite mix-ins like chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit to add a surprising texture to your dessert bars.

Cool it Down – Give your baked treats time to cool down completely in the pan; this makes for a firmer texture and cleaner cuts.

Gentle Folding – Take your time and fold the ingredients gently to keep the batter fluffy and prevent your treats from getting too dense.

Parchment Paper is Your Friend – Line your baking tray with parchment paper to dodge the stickiness and nail those perfect squares every time.

The Toothpick Test – Use the classic toothpick test to check if your brownies and bars are ready, aiming for a moist but set center.

Personalized Touch – Finish off with a personal touch, maybe a sprinkle of sea salt or a caramel drizzle, to make your dessert bars stand out in the crowd

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Thomas Keller's Brownies

5 from 1 vote
Thomas Keller's Brownies are a rich, chocolate-packed treat perfect for any chocolate lover, known for their tender texture and chunks of high-quality chocolate. The recipe involves melting chocolate and butter, combining it with a mix of dry ingredients, and baking until just set for that perfect moist crumb. These decadent brownies, easily made with simple ingredients, promise an indulgent experience in every bite, making them ideal for special occasions or a luxurious treat any time.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour
Yield: 10 servings


  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces of 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate, broken into chips.
  • powdered sugar for dusting


  • Butter and flour a 9" square baking pan. Set aside
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Melt half the butter and pour into a small mixing bowl. Let cool to room temperature. Add the remaining butter and whisk until creamy and there is just few bits of butter left.
  • In a large mixing bowl of your stand mixer, beat together eggs and sugar until pale and thick. Mix in vanilla extract.
  • Alternating with butter, add the dry ingredients in 3 parts ( dry, butter, dry, butter, dry, butter ).
  • Stir in chocolate chips. At this point the batter can be covered and refrigerated for up to a week.
  • When ready to bake, spread the batter in prepared pan. The batter will be thick. Smooth the top with a spatula.
  • Bake 40to 45 minutes, until the toothpick test shows only few crumbs.
  • Cool in pan to room temperature.
  • Dust with powdered sugar and cut into squares.


My Top Tips for this Brownie Recipe:
  1. Use high-quality chocolate and unsalted butter for the richest flavor and a perfect moist texture in your brownies.
  2. Use a hand beater to mix the eggs and sugar if you don't have a stand mixer. Beat on medium speed until pale and thick.
  3. Avoid overmixing the batter once the flour is added to ensure the brownies remain dense and tender rather than cakey.
  4. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack before cutting into them for clean, even squares.


Calories: 509kcal, Carbohydrates: 54g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 34g, Saturated Fat: 21g, Cholesterol: 122mg, Sodium: 259mg, Potassium: 200mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 41g, Vitamin A: 918IU, Calcium: 31mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!

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Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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5 from 1 vote

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  1. I am so glad you decided not to go with the boxed brownies and made these instead – even though I am not a big fan of recipe books either – I love hearing bout recipes that others try out that are a success! Thank you Dan for sharing this “Thomas Keller” brownie recipe! Happy Thanksgiving to you and all the boys in your abode 🙂

    1. Shashi,
      Thanks for dropping by, I would love to have shared one of these with you!! 🙂 Happy Thanksgiving, to you and yours!!

  2. Scrumptious! Loved reading your tale of the first cold snap in God’s Country. When it hits, the best remedies are fresh baked brownies or steaming cups of hot cocoa to keep you warm. Your prose was outstanding. I’m a huge fan of Chef Keller for many reasons. Not a cookbook collector? I think you may soon become one. I think we night have to add onto the house to accommodate my ever-growing collection. 😉 Your brownies look divine. Thanks for sharing, Dan!

    1. Stacy,
      Thank you for the nice comments – they made me smile and that felt good! These brownies made everyone smile but honestly, how could they not?! Thanks again for dropping by!!

  3. Oh my! I can’t think of anything better than homemade brownies on a cold, Sunday, November morning, either! I’m so glad you shared these. Fudgy brownies are my favorite!

  4. Delicious! I’m always on the lookout for a good brownie recipie. I hope your cabin had a heater.

    1. Laura, thanks for the comments, and yes – a wonderful pellet stove keeps us toasty at our cottage this time of year!