Sour Cream Brownies

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Preparation info

  • Makes one

    9 × 13 × 2 inch

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Modern Baker

The Modern Baker

By Nick Malgieri

Published 2008

  • About

The presence of sour cream in this brownie batter makes them extra moist and helps to cut back a little on the sweetness. I like to make these with walnuts, but pecans are just as good.


  • 6 ounces ( sticks/175 grams) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
  • 7 ounces (200 grams) bittersweet (not unsweetened) chocolate, cut into ¼-inch (6-mm) pieces
  • cups dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • cups all-purpose flour (spoon flour into a dry-measure cup and level off)
  • Sour Cream Brownies
  • 2 cups (about 8 ounces/225 grams) walnut pieces, coarsely chopped
  • One 9 × 13 × 2-inch (23 × 33 × 5-cm) pan lined fully (bottom and sides) with buttered foil


  1. Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F (180°C). Put the cut-up butter in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Let the butter melt, stirring 2 to 3 times, then allow it to bubble for about 10 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Gently shake the pan to submerge the chocolate in the hot butter and set aside for a few minutes so that the chocolate melts. Use a small whisk to mix until smooth.
  2. Place the brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat in 1 egg on the lowest speed using the paddle attachment. Add the remaining eggs, one at a time, beating smooth after each. Add the sour cream, salt, and vanilla and beat smooth.
  3. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to mix in the chocolate and butter mixture. Mix in the flour, followed by cups of the walnuts.
  4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Scatter the remaining walnuts on the batter.
  5. Bake the brownies until they are firm, but still very moist in the center, about 30 minutes.
  6. Cool the brownies in the pan on a rack.
  7. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and refrigerate the brownies for several hours or overnight before attempting to cut them—they are very moist. You might need to heat the bottom of the pan briefly over low heat to unmold the brownies, then invert them onto a cutting board and peel away the foil.


Use a sharp serrated knife to trim the edges and cut the brownies into 2-inch (5-cm) squares. Serve them alone or topped with ice cream.


The best way to keep brownies is the same as a baked cake, unsliced, rather than as individual servings. Refrigerate the wrapped slab for a few days or freeze it for up to a month. If it’s not practical to keep them in the pan they were baked in, wrap them with some stiff cardboard underneath. Cut the brownies, then defrost them, loosely covered, before serving.