Cosmic brownies, just like the ones you ate during lunch at school. Only better, because they’re homemade!

Ever noticed, for a kid, summer lasts forever. Fooooor.Evvvv.Eeer. The time ticked by slowly, even though your days were filled with sunshine and laughter. Occasional family trips felt like days, even though it was really only an afternoon. And you couldn’t wait for school to start, to see all of your friends and show off that new 101 Dalmatians side slung backpack you scooped up.

OK, that last one was probably just me, and only in the second grade. Once. I swear.

Now, it seems like summer has come and gone in the blink of an eye, and I didn’t even get the awesome summer camp trips. Before I know it, all of my friends are talking about how their kidlets are returning for another year, and I start to fear the return of school bus traffic and annoying college kids that need crossing guards to help them walk properly.

When I laid eyes on these Cosmic Brownies a while back on Amanda’s blog, Fake Ginger, I was taken back to brown bag lunches and school days all over again. In hard contention for the number one spot on my childhood favorite list, right up there next to the TastyKake, Cosmic Brownies were always a joy to find in my lunch.

So, if you’re packing the kids up and wondering what you can sneak in for a surprise, or are like me and just need an excuse for some brownie noms, try these on for size.

Cosmic brownies, just like the ones you ate during lunch at school. Only better, because they're homemade! // Recipe on


Cosmic Brownies

from Fake Ginger, adapted from Elle’s New England Kitchen  


For the brownies: 

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted
  • 2 tbs water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teas vanilla
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teas baking powder
  • 1/4 teas salt

For the ganache: 

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 7 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • pinch of salt
  • And lets not forget some sprinkles.Cosmic brownies, just like the ones you ate during lunch at school. Only better, because they're homemade! // Recipe on


For the brownies: Heat oven to 350F.  Line a 13 x 9 pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, then lightly grease. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the sugars, butter and water with a whisk. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir the dry mix into the wet mixture and stir to combine. With a rubber spatula, spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 18 minutes. Don’t over bake (the key to a classic Cosmic Brownie was its dense fudgy texture).

Set aside on a rack to cool.

For the ganache: Place the chocolate in a bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the cream just to a simmer. Don’t boil it, just wait till you see little bubbles starting to form around the edges. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Sprinkle with the salt and let it all sit for a minute or so. Gently stir with a rubber spatula until all of the chocolate is melted. Cool slightly.

When the brownies are almost completely cooled, pour the ganache over and spread it evenly over the top. Let loose with some sprinkles. Cool completely.

When ganache is set, lift them out with the foil and cut into small squares.


Cosmic brownies, just like the ones you ate during lunch at school. Only better, because they're homemade! // Recipe on

Traditional Cosmic Brownies come 2 to a package. Just enough to fill your inner fat kids left cavity, but it is really all you need for a great afternoon snack.



  1. I love how innocent they look with the apple right beside them 🙂 I too made these from Amanda but it was literally the next day so I didn’t post them lol. They are yummy!

  2. mmm you can never go wrong with brownies 🙂

  3. Kita, these brownies look so great! These look much better than the Little Debbie version! They look so rich and wonderful!

  4. These are sooo not what I was expecting 😉 I love nostalgic desserts, makes me want to be a kid again bringing a lunchbox to school!!

  5. Omg I used to eat these ALL THE TIME at lunch! They were so good. I bet these are fifty million times better, though! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  6. I remember TastyKakes were a staple in our house! I wish I could find them in the Midwest =)

    And these Cosmic Brownies will definitely be gracing our dessert plates very soon – well done Kita!

  7. Oh, gosh, who could resist these beauties???? My family loves when I ice our brownies…and they would be delighted with yours!!

  8. I had a dream i was going back to college and I nearly had a breakdown when I realized it wasn’t happening. haha. I miss school.

    These brownies are fabulous though. I’d be the happiest kid in school if I had one of these in my lunch box!

  9. I know right?! Summer seemed to be endless when you are younger and this summer definitely flew by without my even noticing it going. I mean really, when people tell you time goes quicker as you get older they ain’t kiddin!

    These brownies are so great! I love their super dark color and I love the presentation you have…the apple makes it seem like its OK to enjoy both of those gorgeous brownies hehe

  10. Nothing like a dark fudgy brownie in your lunchbox! I’ll bet these did not last long-yum!

  11. These are awesome. My best friend in high school used to go crazy for cosmic brownies. He would buy the whole box.

  12. And they’d never eat their brownies. Not that I would have minded “back in the day.” Back to school = end of summer = sad.

  13. These look amazing. I have university aged kids but they’d gladly pack these up next week when they return to school.

  14. They look delicious and the PERFECT school lunch treat!

  15. Love this! I love Little Debbies and the idea of making them at home!
    Also-my best friend and I totally had matching 101 Dalmatian backpacks in preschool!

  16. Those look LOADED with cocoa! I can’t wait to try them.

  17. This is just right for school break snack..awesome recipe and beautiful the apple on the side..nice touch!

  18. Perfection…especially with the sprinkles on top. I would love to have one of these right now.

  19. Looks like a domino but an edible one. I like the way its featured, it looks yummylicious.

  20. these brownies look so sinful. I would love to dig into at least one piece. The chocolate ganache on top makes them even harder to resist! And the sprinkles … so cute!

  21. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this recipe. My daughter and husband will have WARS over who gets the last cosmic brownie in our house. I hate them myself, too rich for me. But to be able to make these at home and put off the arguing and blaming over where the last one went? You are my hero!

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