Lunch Lady Brownies

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Lunch lady brownies are one of those classic moist, fudgy, and incredibly delicious desserts that works every time. The flavor that you know and love in a brownie.

You know how much we like old fashioned recipes, right? A few years ago we focused on old recipes that were popular in your school lunchrooms. We made Frito Pie and Spring Garden Special based on your requests. And we shared my favorite lunch lady recipe: Peanut Butter Squares.

Although we grew up with powdered sugar brownies, many of you requested the much loved school lunch lady brownies with chocolate frosting. Look familiar?

brownie with a bite out of it

What are lunch lady brownies?

As the story goes, over 50 years ago, a lunch lady in Idaho developed the most perfect brownie recipe that she entered in to contests and sold to raise money for fundraisers. Apparently these have been served in elementary schools all across the country back in the day.

They are dense, moist, and have the most incredible chocolate frosting. I made some slight adjustments to the recipe to give them a little bit more depth of flavor like adding espresso powder and salt, but this is very similar to the classic lunch lady brownie recipe.

ingredients for brownies

Ingredients for Brownies

  • Butter: I used salted butter for this recipe because these brownies tend to be very sweet and the salted butter cuts through some of that sweetness. If you use unsalted butter just add a pinch of salt to your batter.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Cocoa powder: I used regular unsweetened cocoa powder for these brownies, but if you would like to use Dutch processed cocoa powder you can use that.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Espresso powder: The espresso powder is an entirely optional ingredient. It will not make your brownies taste like coffee. It simply adds an extra depth of flavor to your brownies.
  • Milk
  • Powdered sugar

Tips for Making Lunch Lady Brownies

  • There’s no need to mix dry ingredients separately from wet ingredients. However you want to be sure not to overmix the batter.
  • If you line the baking pan with parchment paper, it is easy to pull up on that paper after baking and remove the brownies from the pan. Then you can get nice clean cuts.
  • The frosting will go on the brownies best when they are warmed. The frosting will melt in slightly and cover the brownies beautifully.

Can I add anything to my brownies?

Although these brownies are absolutely delicious on their own, you can certainly add in additions to the batter. Feel free to throw in some chopped chocolate chunks or chocolate chips.

These also taste amazing with either walnuts or pecans. I recommend adding either ¾- 1 cup of whatever addition you choose to use, just make sure that you are not over mixing your batter.

frosting spread over brownies

How do I store lunch lady brownies?

You can store these brownies at room temperature for up to one week. These also freeze very well. They can be frozen for up to three months for best quality.

brownies cut in 12 squares
plate of chocolate brownies
plate of chocolate brownies

Lunch Lady Brownies

5 from 2 votes
Lunch lady brownies are one of those classic moist, fudgy, and incredibly delicious desserts that works every time. The flavor that you know and love in a brownie.
Servings 12
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes

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Chocolate Frosting:

  • ¼ cup butter softened
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoons salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Begin by preparing brownie mixture by creaming together melted butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy for 1-2 minutes.
  • Whisk in eggs and vanilla extract.
  • Stir in cocoa powder, all-purpose flour, and salt. Don’t overmix.
  • Pour batter into a greased or parchment lined 9×13 inch pan.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Take out brownies and let them stand for 10 minutes while you prepare frosting (note: the frosting goes on best when the brownies are still warm).
  • Prepare chocolate frosting by beating all the ingredients together until smooth. Add in 1-2 teaspoons extra milk for a thinner frosting.
  • Pour frosting over warm brownies and cool completely before cutting and serving.


The calories shown are based on the brownies being cut into 12 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 frosted brownie. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**


Calories: 513kcal | Carbohydrates: 78g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 22g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 342mg | Potassium: 141mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 58g | Vitamin A: 689IU | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 2mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 513
Keyword bake sale, chocolate dessert, comfort food

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About JulieJulie Clark

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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