Deeply Chocolate Lemon Brownies 

Deeply Chocolate Lemon Brownies

Trust me on this because I know it sounds weird.  But this may be one of my favorite new combinations.  Have you ever eaten chocolate chip cookies with lemonade instead of milk?  I love it, and that’s what inspired this.  The sweet chocolatey cookies with the puckery lemonade?  Also, I have grown to love those chocolate oranges at Christmas.  I don’t even like actual oranges, but I love the tart/intense sweet combination.

I used my regular brownie base for these, but I increased the amount of cocoa powder and cut the instant espresso back by half.  If you don’t add instant espresso to your brownies, you must try it!  Ina Garten is famous for it, and you honestly can’t taste the actual coffee, but the chocolate is seriously intensified. 

To stand up to the deep chocolate flavor, I used the zest of 4 lemons, plus a little juice, too—it’s a lot, but it’s amazing. 

I told myself I wasn’t going to bake in the summertime, but these feel summery to me, and I just had to see if my chocolate-lemon hypothesis turned out (spoiler alert:   it did).

I always, always sift together dry ingredients when I’m baking even if the recipe doesn’t call for it.  It just makes sure there are no clumps in the finished product.  It only takes a minute, and it’s definitely worth it. 

Another thing I always do is crack all the eggs into a separate bowl first and add them to the mixture from the bowl.  It keeps you from possibly coming across a bad egg, and it also makes it easier to pull out any shell that falls in.

You have to make these!


Total Time:  1 hour

Yield:  16 brownies

Difficulty Level:  Easy6a.jpg



¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (about ½ lemon)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Zest of 4 lemons

1 cup dark chocolate chunks, divided



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large bowl, sift together cocoa powder, flour, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. Add the melted and cooled butter to another large bowl. Add the sugar.  With an electric hand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium high for 2-3 minutes.  Continue to mix while adding the eggs one at a time.  Continue to mix while adding the lemon juice, vanilla extract, and lemon zest.
  4. When well mixed, use a rubber spatula to fold in ¾ cup of the chocolate chunks, reserving the rest for the top of the brownies.
  5. Spray a 9×9 inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spread the brownies out in the pan evenly.  Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chunks on top, and gently press the in a little bit to help them stay.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely before serving.