The recipe prices will vary based on fluctuating grocery costs. Please use what is posted as a guide.
Indulge in nostalgia with Lunch Lady Brownies – a timeless treat that’s fudgy, rich, and oh-so-delicious! It’s a classic dessert for all ages.
It costs approximately $8.87 to make these brownies. The recipe makes sixteen servings and costs around $0.55 per serving.
Lunch Lady Brownies Recipe
Lunch Lady Brownies bring back all the feelings of nostalgia from yesterday’s elementary school cafeterias. The lunch ladies had it right with these brownies. But the good news is that you can enjoy them without going to the school cafeteria!
You are in for a decadent, chocolatey treat if you have never tasted these brownies. They are simple to make, and everyone loves them. The frosting is spread onto the warm brownies, creating an indulgent and irresistible fudge-like consistency.
The ingredient list involves a few basic kitchen staples, which helps keep the cost down when making these brownies. This also allows you to whip up a batch and serve as an after-school snack, to pack for school lunches, or after dinner. They are a timeless dessert, perfect for any occasion, and will quickly become a beloved recipe in your family.
What You’ll Love About Lunch Lady Brownies
- Texture: Our recipe for Lunch Lady Brownies creates a brownie that is fudgy and moist. They are the opposite of dry!
- Classic Recipe: Lunch Lady Brownies are a fond memory for many of us from our childhood school days. You’ll be taken back to your elementary school cafeteria with the first bite.
- Simple Recipe: Our recipe is so easy to follow that even your older kids can make these brownies on their own.
Ingredients & Estimated Cost:
- 1 ¼ cup unsalted butter – $2.80
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder – $0.68
- 2 cups all-purpose flour – $0.24
- 2 cups granulated sugar – $0.60
- 4 large eggs – $0.92
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vanilla extract – $1.83
- 3 cups powdered sugar – $1.20
- ½ cup milk – $0.60
The recipe cost is calculated by the amounts needed for the recipe. To find out more about how we price our recipes, check out Budget Recipes Explained. The pricing for this recipe was updated in August 2023.
How To Make Lunch Lady Brownies
***For complete recipe instructions, see the recipe card below.
- First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and then spray a 10x15x1-inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray.
- Beat together the melted butter and ½ cup cocoa powder until smooth.
- Then, add the flour and sugar and beat until combined.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract, but do not overbeat.
- Then, evenly pour and spread the batter into the jelly roll pan.
- Bake for twenty to twenty-five minutes, and then allow the brownies to cool.
- Next, sift the powdered sugar and beat the frosting ingredients in a large bowl.
- Finally, while the brownies are warm, frost the brownies.
- Let them sit for one to two hours before cutting and serving.
Recipe Variations and Substitutions
- Flavor Additions: Add 1 cup of chocolate chips and nuts (such as walnuts or pecans) to the brownie batter for extra texture and flavor.
- Gluten-Free Version: Substitute the all-purpose flour with a gluten-free flour blend. Ensure the blend contains xanthan gum for better texture.
- Healthier Options: Replace half of the butter with unsweetened applesauce or mashed banana to reduce fat content.
- Swap out some granulated sugar with a natural sweetener like honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar for a less refined option.
- Dairy-Free Option: Use dairy-free butter, almond milk, or other plant-based milk alternatives in brownie batter and frosting to make the recipe dairy-free.
- Vegan Option: For vegan brownies, substitute each egg with a flax or chia egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed or chia seeds mixed with 2.5 tablespoons water per egg) in the brownie batter.
- Flavor Extracts: Experiment with different extracts in the brownie batter and frosting, such as almond, coconut, or orange extract, for a unique twist on the classic flavor.
- Once the brownies have cooled and the frosting has set, cut them into squares or rectangles with a sharp knife.
- Serve the brownies on a plate or in individual dessert bowls. They can be enjoyed as is or paired with a scoop of ice cream, a whipped cream dollop, or a chocolate sauce drizzle.
- Store the brownies in an airtight container to prevent them from drying out and absorbing odors.
- You can layer the brownies with parchment paper to prevent sticking and to keep them fresh.
- Store at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. If the weather is warm or humid, storing them in the refrigerator is best.
- To freeze the brownies, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and let them chill in the freezer until firm.
- Once frozen, wrap each brownie individually in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can stack them with layers of parchment paper in between and place them in an airtight container or freezer-safe zip-top bags.
- Proper wrapping prevents freezer burn and helps maintain the quality of the brownies.
- Brownies can be frozen for up to 2-3 months.
- To thaw frozen brownies, remove the desired number from the freezer and unwrap them.
- Place the unwrapped brownies on a plate or in a container and let them thaw at room temperature for a few hours.
- If you’re in a hurry, you can defrost the brownies in the microwave on a low or defrost setting in short intervals, checking and rotating them often to ensure even thawing.
- Thawed brownies may not be as moist as fresh ones, but their flavor should remain intact.
Generally speaking, there are three types of brownies: fudgy, cakey, and chewy. This recipe gives you indulgent fudgy brownies.
The trick here is in the ratio of fat to flour. A fudge-like brownie has a higher fat ratio, while a cake-like cake has a lower fat ratio. The chocolate frosting spread on top of the brownies creates a fudgy consistency as the frosting melds together with the brownies.
When you want to check on the brownies, insert a toothpick into the center. The brownies are not done baking if it comes out covered in batter. For fudgy brownies, there may be some batter on the toothpick when you pull it out of the brownies.
Get Kids Involved
Ages 2-3: Talk with your little ones about the ingredients in the recipe. Teach them how each ingredient adds to the overall taste and texture of the brownies. Learning about the ingredients in a recipe will pique their curiosity and desire to keep learning about cooking in the kitchen.
Ages 4-5: Show them how to measure the ingredients such as flour, cocoa powder, and sugar. This is a fabulous opportunity to teach them the importance of measuring accuracy.
Ages 6-8: Teach your child how to crack an egg properly. As they mix the batter, discuss how different ingredients change the consistency as they are added.
Ages 9-11: Supervise them while they prepare the entire recipe. Remember to have them read it twice before beginning the recipe.
Ages 12+: Let them prepare the entire recipe unsupervised while you do the happy dance in the corner!
If you love baking as much as we do, we recommend purchasing bulk staple items such as flour, sugar, and cocoa powder to store at home. Stocking up costs a bit upfront but is less expensive in the long run.
More Dessert Recipes
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- Double Chocolate Banana Bread
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
- Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats
- Oreo Ice Cream Cake
- No-Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars
- Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
Lunch Lady Brownies
- 10x15x1-inch jelly roll pan
- Measuring cups and spoons
- mixing bowls
- handheld mixer
- rubber scraper
- 1 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup ½ stick unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted (sifting optional)
- ½ cup milk or heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Move oven rack to the middle position.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Spray a 10x15x1 jelly roll pan with cooking spray, set aside.
MAKE BROWNIE BATTER:
- In a large bowl, beat together melted butter and ½ cup cocoa powder until smooth.
- Add flour and sugar and beat until well combined, don’t overbeat though.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract until smooth, again don’t overbeat the batter.
- Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- While the brownies are baking, make the frosting.
- Once the brownies are done, cool for 15-20 minutes.
- If you are sifting the powdered sugar, do that first. The step is optional, however it does make the frosting smoother.
- Beat together all frosting ingredients until smooth.
- Frost the brownies while they’re still warm.
- Let the frosting set on the brownies and the brownies cool completely. This will take about 1-2 hours.
- Cut to serve or store in an airtight container in a single layer.