The “Lunchroom Ladies Brownies” is a classic recipe that harkens back to the delightful, homemade-style desserts once common in school cafeterias. This recipe creates a large batch of rich, chocolate brownies that are famously thick, moist, and fudgy. The key to their texture lies in the careful balance of ingredients, including a generous amount of cocoa powder for a deep chocolate flavor, softened butter for richness, and a combination of sugar and brown sugar to add depth and moisture.

Typically, the batter is mixed until just combined, ensuring the brownies stay dense and don’t rise too much like a cake. The inclusion of a small amount of baking powder gives them a bit of lift, but these brownies are all about that dense, fudgy texture. Once baked, they develop a slightly crackly top, a hallmark of homemade brownies.

What sets the Lunchroom Ladies Brownies apart is their iconic frosting. This frosting is often a simple, yet indulgent, chocolate buttercream that’s spread over the brownies while they’re still warm. This causes the frosting to slightly melt and seep into the top layer of the brownies, creating a seamless bond between the two layers. The frosting itself is rich and sweet, typically made with cocoa powder, powdered sugar, butter, and a touch of vanilla extract for flavor. It hardens as it cools, creating a smooth, glossy surface that cracks wonderfully when cut.

These brownies are usually cut into generous squares, reflecting their origin as a satisfying treat for hungry students. Their size, combined with their rich flavor and dense texture, makes them quite filling. They are best served at room temperature or slightly warmed, which brings out the richness of the chocolate and the buttery softness of the


The nostalgia factor of Lunchroom Ladies Brownies is significant, often reminding adults of the simple joy found in school cafeteria desserts. This recipe is straightforward and doesn’t call for any unusual ingredients, making it accessible for home bakers. The simplicity of the recipe is part of its charm, reminiscent of a time when desserts were made from scratch with basic, wholesome ingredients.

Visually, these brownies are a deep, dark chocolate color, with the frosting adding a lighter chocolate layer on top. The contrast between the glossy frosting and the matte brownie base is visually appealing. When sliced, the dense, moist interior is revealed, often dotted with tiny pockets of melted chocolate if chocolate chips are added to the batter, which is a common variation.

In terms of serving, Lunchroom Ladies Brownies are versatile. They are a hit at bake sales, potlucks, and parties, and they pair beautifully with a glass of cold milk or a cup of coffee. Some like to serve them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, which adds a creamy, cool contrast to the dense, warm brownies.

Overall, Lunchroom Ladies Brownies are a beloved recipe, treasured for their delicious taste, comforting texture, and the memories they evoke of simpler times. They represent a piece of Americana, a nod to the days of homemade, hearty desserts served with care and enjoyed by generations.

1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups of granulated sugar
4 large eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup softened butter
1/4 cup milk (I used whole milk)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3 cups powdered sugar

How To Make Lunchroom Ladies Brownies:
Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish and line with a parchment paper or foil sling.

In a large bowl cream together your butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well until smooth. Add your dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter will be very thick.

Pour the batter into prepared pan, smooth it out as best as you can (It is thick) and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Err on the side of underbaking if you are questioning.

Remove from the oven and let the brownies sit for about 15 minutes. You want them to still be warm when you pour on the icing. Once you remove the brownies from the oven, make your icing by mixing all 4 ingredients together until smooth. Pour the icing over top of the still very warm brownies. Cool completely and serve.

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