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Cosmic Brownies

Rich, fudgy, and covered with bright little sprinkles, these homemade cosmic brownies are delicious. They taste just like those coveted lunchbox treats, only better!

With just a bit of time you’ll be skipping down memory lane. These indulgent retro brownies are sure to be a new family favorite! For more chocolate brownie goodness try Homemade Little Debbie Fudge Brownies, Rich Fudgy Flourless Brownies, and Triple Chocolate Brownies.

cosmic brownies on a white plate 

A Childhood Favorite

When I was in elementary school I was always jealous of the kids who had store bought treats in their lunches. Especially Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies. I mean how can a kid resist thick and chewy brownies covered in fudge and topped with bright crunchy candies? They can’t. Sometimes I traded parts of my lunch just to get a half of one. Sad, but true. Shhh…don’t tell my mom πŸ˜‰

Anyway, since Stephen is always begging me to make brownies (and only brownies) I decided I’d do something different. He’s always going on about how I should make things and cover them in a fudgy ganache, so these brownies seemed perfect.

You won’t believe how good they are! We ate one after another and still wanted more! It’s a good thing this recipe makes 24 brownies, because we were hooked! They got the stamp of approval from Stephen and from several other Little Debbie obsessed taste testers. I couldn’t be happier! Enjoy and happy baking!

Fudgy Brownie Cookies |

How to Make Cosmic Brownies

PREP. Line a 9×13 inch pan with aluminum foil and lightly spray it with baking spray. (Note: The size of the pan will help create the perfect thickness and the sprayed foil will prevent the brownies from sticking- plus it makes getting them out of the pan so easy, just lift and remove, cut and serve!)

BEAT. Using a combination of both regular sugar and brown sugar will help keep these brownies extra moist. Beat the sugars along with the butter and vanilla until light and fluffy. This not only helps the sugar to dissolve but also helps create a soft and chewy texture.

COMBINE. The addition of two eggs also keeps these brownies nice and dense. And if you’re like me, dense brownies are the best brownies!

MIX. Now add the dry ingredients. I used all-purpose flour and natural unsweetened cocoa powder.

(Note: I’ve actually made these brownies with a special dark cocoa and a Dutch cocoa, but they do not taste like Little Debbie Brownies. If rich and dark is your thing, go for it. If you’re looking for an exact copycat, stick with the natural! I played around with the recipe a bit and decided that a little bit of cornstarch helped give these brownies the perfect texture. It helped make them more fudge-like. In my opinion, it’s absolutely necessary so don’t be tempted to ditch it! Most of my brownie recipes don’t include baking powder but for this particular one it helps lift these ever so slightly.)

WHISK. Add a pinch of salt to enhance the flavor of the chocolate, whisk everything together and incorporate it along with the milk.

BAKE & COOL. Spread these into the prepared pan, put them in the oven to bake and then let them cool.

GANACHE & SPRINKLES. Whip up the ganache, pour over the top and sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle!

Let these babies cool until the ganache has set and dig in! 

a stack of little debbie cosmic brownies

Troubleshooting and Storing

If your brownies turn out dry, then next time try baking them for 5 less minutes. The best brownie baking practice is to always underbake them. Another reason they could be dry is because of your elevation: baked goods finish quicker than you expect at a higher elevation.

If the ganache doesn’t set, you should put the brownies in the fridge for 20 minutes or so. If the ganache is too liquidy, try whisking in a little bit of powdered sugar to thicken it up.

Store: These should be stored in an airtight container either at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for a week. 

Freeze: Slice the brownies and place in an airtight bag and freeze for up to 4-6 months. Defrost in the fridge and then bring them to room temperature on the counter with the bag opened to avoid condensation. 

Homemade cosmic brownies topped with rainbow sprinkles

 For more brownie recipes, try:

Homemade Cosmic Brownies

Cosmic Brownies Recipe

Rich, fudgy, and covered with bright little sprinkles, these homemade cosmic brownies taste just like those coveted lunchbox treats, only better!
5 from 10 votes
Pin Rate
Course: Brownies & Bars
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 18 mins
Total Time: 28 mins
Servings: 24 brownies
Calories: 224kcal
Print Recipe


  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter - (1 ½ sticks), melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • pinch salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
For the Ganache
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • rainbow chip sprinkles - if desired


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 baking dish with foil and lightly spray with baking spray such as Pam, set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat melted butter, sugars and vanilla until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated.
  • In a medium size mixing bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cornstarch, and salt. With mixing speed on low, alternate adding dry ingredients and milk. Mix just until combined.
  • Remove bowl from stand and pour batter into prepared pan. The batter will be thick, so using a rubber spatula, spread into an even layer. Place in oven and bake for 18-25 minutes (I live in high altitude so my bars tend to bake quicker). The brownies will be done, so do not over-bake or you will have dry brownies! Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan.
  • Meanwhile to prepare the ganache, in a 2 c. glass measuring cup, combine chocolate chips and heavy cream. Microwave on half powder (mine is usually power 10, so I did 5) for one minute, stir, then repeat. Stir chocolate until all of the chips are melted and it becomes smooth. Beat for 1 minute and then pour over the top of the brownies. Spread evenly and sprinkle with desired toppings. Serve warm or cold.



-Sprinkles, miniature M&M's, or chocolate covered sunflower seeds are great substitutions for the rainbow crunch chips. I found mine (Wilton brand) at Jo-Ann Fabric & Crafts.
Nutrition Facts
Cosmic Brownies Recipe
Serving Size
24 serving
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Vitamin A
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Take a picture and tag @lmadesimple on Instagram or tag #LMSBakes! We can't wait to see your version!

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  1. If halving the recipe and making it in an 8 x 8 square pan, would you say the baking time should be the same since it should be the same thickness. These and the Nutty Bars were the best Little Debbie snacks. Thanks!

  2. I found your website today via Pinterest and I’m obsessed! My husband would love these brownies. Even at 26 he still asks for the Little Debbie brownies…I think these will be better. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  3. I made these this evening for family dinner. They are to die for. The family loved them. I posted a photo on FB and people want the recipe, so linking them back here.

    1. I’m so happy to hear that! Thanks for giving the recipe a try and thank you for linking back to my page, I really appreciate it!!!

  4. Hi!
    These look SOOO yummy!
    And like you, I was ALWAYS drooling over those Cosmic Brownies! Dude, they just tasted so good, and looked so awesome!
    I plan to try and make these vegan, so I’ll let you know how they turn out! I love a good challenge, and this seems like it will be just that!
    : )
    Have a lovely day. : )
    Oh, and I happen to be a little partial the name “Natalie”. hehe

    1. Thanks Natalie! Please let me know how the vegan version of these turn out! I’d love for other readers to see your notes πŸ™‚ Happy baking!

  5. I LOVED those Little Debbie brownies when I was a kid! These look just like them but more moist! I seriously am dying to try them! Found you featured at Pint Sized Baker – pinned! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Came across your recipe and had to try making them as I LOVE brownies!!

      Mine turned out really soft and wet, so not sure what went wrong. I baked them for 18mins – maybe they needed longer?! Anyway, they still taste good but I might try making another batch tonight and baking them a bit longer.

      Thanks for the recipe πŸ™‚

  6. These are SO pretty! And decadent looking! I stumbled onto your site via FoodGawker!! Great pictures! πŸ™‚

  7. These are amazing! Today will be my third time making them. So addicting, and they taste way better than the cosmic brownies I adored so much when I was a kid. πŸ™‚ will continue to make these, they’re an all around favorite. Thank you for the recipe.

      1. Do you have to make any changes for high altitude? Β  I made them once and they didn’t turn out fudgy.

  8. These brownies are very good! Today is the first time I’ve made them “normal”. In the past I’ve made them with GF flour and xylitol…and they were fantastic! Really excited to try the unhealthy (and better, IMO) version tonight. πŸ™‚ I did find I had to bake mine for an additional 10 minutes; after 18 min they were liquid goo. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for the heads up Catie! I will make sure to note the time in the recipe. Glad you enjoyed them πŸ™‚

  9. i just have a question about the ganache. If I don’t know how to change to power setting on my microwave how long should I cook or melt the chocolate for? Just until it’s melted and combined or is there a specific consistency that needs to be reached. Trying these tomorrow for a Halloween treat.

  10. Hey… These look so yum and so luscious and so festive … I’m so making them and adding them to my Diwali(Indian Festival of Lights) gifts for my friends. On a baking marathon tomorrow…will link your post when I blog about them.
    Happy Diwali to you…. May lights always shine in our life for bringing our such an awesome chocolicious brownie.

  11. I tried this recipe last night and while they taste amazing, they did come out a little dry. is there anything i can do next time to prevent having dry brownies?

  12. For some reason, mine came out very chalky and not moist at all. They tasted too much like the cocoa powder and not like brownies… any augguestions on what i must’ve done wrong?

    1. I had the same problem on the first day i made them, as odd as it may sound i let them sit on my kitchen counter for 2 day covered with a grease splatter screen so they could get exposed to air, they firmed up and the strong cocoa taste settled. After 2 days sitting they tasted much better. They arent a day fresh when you buy them at the store πŸ˜‰

  13. How high of elevation do you live in? I live at 10,000 ft above sea level. Did you adjust this recipe at all for your elevation? Thank you!!!

    1. Hi Melissa, I lived in Salt Lake City when I developed this recipe. No need to adjust, just watch the bake time… sometimes they’re done before you know it!

  14. Hi! I love the idea of this recipe and hope to try it out soon! But I have to ask, for steps 2 &3, do you need to use two separate bowls, and will they be combined into one bowl? Or can I just use one bowl?

  15. Am I supposed to mix the dry ingredients/milk and the other ingredients together at the end? Doesn’t specify, just says to mix the sugars/butter/etc in seperate bowl, then mix dry ingredients/milk in another bowl, then pour into baking dish…Want to make these, but not exactly sure how to mix the ingredients together…

  16. My gnash never hardened was very moist. Brownies tasted delishous!! Need to get gnash right

    1. I used my grocery store’s brand (it was nice and thick). I’ve used several brands over the years though, they all work πŸ™‚

  17. I made these tonight. I baked them for 20 minutes. They seemed very soft, but the toothpick was clean. Once they cooled down completely, they were a great consistency. The ganache didn’t solidify. I topped it with mini m&m’s. Was disappointed that they turned out really bitter. Wish it was sweeter.

    1. I just made these tonight. I made a few tweaks, and I think they turned out bang on! I just kept tasting as I went and adjusted until I thought it was right.Β I live at 6000 feet, so this is what worked at this altitude.

      I added 1 extra egg yolk to the batter. When adding the dry ingredients I added about 1/2 cup powdered sugar, and increased the salt from β€œa pinch” to 1/2 tsp.

      When testing for doneness, the top was kind of flaky, but underneath it was still really wet. I turned my oven off and let the brownies sit in there for another 7-8 minutes. The toothpick did not come out completely clean, but that’s what I was looking for.

      For the icing, I added 1/4 tsp salt. After the ganache was melted I whisked in about 1 cup powdered sugar. The icing is still really Fudgy, but it sets up a little better, and tastes more like the icing on Little Debbie’s.Β 

      Hope that helps!

  18. 5 stars
    I made these yesterday and they are amazing! I halved the recipe and cooked for 21 minutes, but besides that I didn’t make any other changes and they turned out exactly as pictured. I did take your advice of putting the brownies topped with the ganache in the fridge for just a short time (about 10 minutes- I didn’t want cold brownies) and the ganache was not runny at all and stuck well to the top of each brownie. In fact, I was so happy with the consistency of the ganache that I think it will be my go-to recipe for chocolate frosting in the future. I will definitely be making these brownies again- probably very soon as they are almost gone! Thank you for the great recipe!

    1. Perfect!! I am so happy that you liked them & the ganache! It’s my favorite! Thank you so much!

  19. 5 stars
    My kids love these, so when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make them! My kids loved them! Taste so much better than the store bought ones!

  20. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness! All the nostalgic feels! <3 LOVED finding these in my lunchbox as a kid! Love having this recipe now. Knowing what is actually in these is so empowering! Thank you!

  21. 5 stars
    These are so nostalgic for me that making them myself is so much fun! Of course, homemade taste better than store bought always!

  22. 5 stars
    My kids absolutely loved these brownies! This has been by far most the best fudge brownie recipe that my kids enjoyed. Thank you for sharing another fantastic recipe with us.

  23. 5 stars
    These are absolutely delicious, truly one of the only homemade brownie recipes that are worth making from scratch! They’ve made it on my holiday treat trays for the past few years and everybody raves about them. The only thing I do every single time is substituting the milk in the final steps of batter making for a strongly brewed coffee (or even instant coffee dissolved in warm water in a pinch); it doesn’t make the brownies taste like coffee, it just makes the chocolate flavour stronger. If you’d like to just use milk as the recipe states, I’d recommend making sure to season your brownies well (don’t skimp on the salt, this recipe can take up to 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of salt, if using unsalted butter, in my opinion). I’ve also done a peanut butter ganache on the top of these using 1 cup peanut butter chips + 1/4 cup peanut butter for a Reese’s brownie in the past that was also well enjoyed. Just such a delicious base brownie recipe, whether you’re sticking to the Cosmic Brownie aesthetic or not πŸ™‚