Fans Say Nigella Lawson's Emergency Brownies Are an "All-Time Go-to Recipe for a Quick Dessert"

Pantry ingredients make these brownies an easy treat.

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Nigella Lawson on a designed background
Photo: Getty Images / Brendon Thorne

There are certain things to keep on hand in case of an emergency—a first aid kit, some water and food—and then there are recipes to keep in mind for minor emergencies. We usually turn to classics like our 5-ingredient desserts or pantry comfort food dinners, but Nigella Lawson just added a new recipe to our list.

Lawson's recipe for Emergency Brownies is so simple, you probably have all of the ingredients you need on hand. All you'll need are some standard baking ingredients: butter, light brown sugar, maple syrup, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, kosher salt, one egg, vanilla extract, walnuts and chocolate chips.

Fans, including chef Sabrina Ghayour-Lynn, rolled into the comments to hype up this simple dessert. "You KNOW I'm the biggest fan of this recipe," Ghayour-Lynn wrote, while another commenter admitted they made a batch for their kids—then ate the nutty brownies themselves.

To bring this quick treat to your own kitchen, combine butter, sugar and syrup in a small saucepan. (You can substitute golden syrup or light corn syrup, if that's what you have on hand.) Warm the mixture gently, until you end up with melted butter and dissolved sugar, then remove your pan from the heat.

In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the warm butter mixture and combine everything with a spoon or spatula until it's all smooth. Then use your now-empty dry ingredients bowl to whisk together the egg and vanilla extract—you can even use a fork for this step. Add the egg mixture to the saucepan and stir to combine. Then fold the nuts and chocolate chips into the batter. Bake the brownies at 325°F for 15 to 20 minutes in a 7- by 5-inch tin. A standard loaf pan, like this one (buy it: $9, Target), will get you pretty close. Lawson says you can also use a tin foil pan for easy cleanup.

Your brownies may look like they aren't ready yet, but commenters say you should trust the recipe when it comes to cooking time. In the recipe, Lawson writes that the brownies should come away from the sides of the pan and be dry at the edges when done. "When I first made it, it really didn't look like it had finished cooking, but even slightly longer waits yielded dry brownies," one person commented. "Ovens vary, but start by following her instructions."

And there's more good news when it comes to ways you can customize this recipe. "You can make [the brownies] gluten-free by using oat or buckwheat flour," one fan of the recipe wrote. Another commenter wrote that they've had success using a one-to-one gluten-free flour substitution. Another person said they added a shot of Maker's Mark whisky for a little extra flavor, while someone without walnuts on hand suggested subbing in raspberries for fruity deliciousness.

It's easy to believe that this is an "all-time go-to recipe for a quick dessert," as some fans say. We'll be adding all of these ingredients to our next grocery list—that way we can have these brownies whenever an emergency strikes.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles