bourbon brownies

Bourbon Brownies

A few years ago my sister posted something on Facebook about the bourbon brownies she was making and I’ve been kind of obsessed with the concept ever since. Chocolate and bourbon united together in brownie form? What more could you ask for? How about this: they’re only 150 calories a pop!

Bourbon Brownie Batter

Joseph and I have a couple of sporting wagers with my sister and her husband a couple of times a year, but the big one is March Madness. I’m not sure why that’s the big one since the three of them are all really into college football (personally I’d pick a good movie or an episode of Breaking Bad over most games regardless of the sport), but for March Madness we have the Mad Cow Cup. It’s literally a just coffee mug that Joseph customized online with a cartoon cow face and with “Mad Cow Cup” written over it, but it’s a big deal because the winning couple gets the cup and bragging rights over the losing couple.

Bourbon Brownies

Bourbon Brownies

Last year we won (no doubt due to my incredible lack of knowledge of basketball), so they had to relinquish the title and send the Mad Cow Cup to us. We got the huge bonus of not just the cup, but some bags of tea and hot chocolate, and best of all, these bourbon brownies. It was a pretty sweet way to celebrate our hard earned victory.

Bourbon Brownies

When we were figuring out our menu for the Super Bowl, I had to add brownies to the list. My mind immediately went to my absolute favorite brownie recipe of all time, but frankly, I’m still paying for the caloric overload of the holidays. And then I remembered these brownies. They’re from Cooking Light so they’re healthier than most brownies, and best of all, they have bourbon in them. Perfect.

Bourbon Brownie

The bourbon is subtle, but it’s definitely there and best of all, it really brings out the chocolate in the brownies. They smell amazing from start to finish. Joseph walked into the kitchen just as I was melting the chocolate in the bourbon and I was nearly had to beat him away with a spoon. Truth be told, I nearly needed to beat myself away with a spoon. Because come on, it’s bourbon and chocolate!!

Bourbon Brownies

Yield: 20 small brownies

Bourbon Brownies

Adapted from Cooking Light


  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Bring the bourbon to a boil in a small saucepan; remove from heat. Add the chocolate chips and stir until smooth.
  3. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt, stirring with a whisk.
  4. Combine the sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat well. Add the flour mixture and bourbon mixture to the sugar mixture, beating at low speed just until combined.
  5. Spread batter into a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.


7 Responses to “bourbon brownies”

  • Rachel @ Baked by Rachel Says:

    I haven’t had a brownie in way too long and I always seem to cheat with a box mix when I get the craving. These sound delicious! Love your pictures. 🙂

  • Simply Tia Says:

    I love that it’s not a tablespoon or two of bourbon that so many recipes call for. If you’re going to use alcohol, use a good amount like you did! I loveeee it! these brownies look very decadent! Yum Yum.

  • Emily @ A Cambridge Story Says:

    Oh Cooking Light. How you make my dreams come true with boozey brownies and practically no calories!

  • Jessica Says:

    Picture of this famous Mad Cow mug please!!

  • Trevor Says:

    I made these with my girlfriend and neither of us were impressed with the way they turned out. The bourbon is what made us want to try them but you can’t even taste the bourbon in the finished product. Not even in the slightest. During baking, the batter didn’t level out in the pan at all which made the final result less like a brownie and more like a paste that you cooked in the oven. So, if you do make these, be sure to smooth it out completely before baking.

    I will say, if you had them fresh out of the oven, they didn’t taste bad. Still no bourbon flavor at all, but it wasn’t bad. However, after they cooled, the texture was off and the flavor was only mediocre.

    I understand these are considered a low calorie option for brownie fans but there are other recipes out there that meet the low cal requirements and don’t ask you to waste perfectly good bourbon. In my opinion, you’re better off just drinking the bourbon and making some other brownies.

    • Kristen Says:

      I’m sorry you were disappointed! I agree that these aren’t the most decadent and amazing brownies, but personally I think they’re really good for a low calorie option. Thanks for trying them out and for the feedback!

  • Shannon Says:

    I made these brownies last night, and they turned out amazing! I admit, I added a bit more bourbon than what was called for, and I had to add a tiny bit of water to the batter to get it the right consistency. They were perfect. Thank you for the delicious recipe.

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