Recipe Overview

Why you’ll love it: It’s an easy homemade brownie recipe made extra special with the addition of Kahlúa.

How long it takes: 15 minutes to prep, 25 minutes in the oven
Equipment you’ll need: small saucepan, a couple of mixing bowls, and an 8 inch square pan
Servings: 16

Stack of three kahlua brownies on a white background.
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I’m in love with these Kahlúa brownies. They are super fudgy and super delicious. They’re the best!

Made from scratch, Kahlúa brownies with cinnamon are so flavorful. The combination of Kahlúa and cinnamon might sound strange but they go together really well. It reminds me a bit of Mexican hot chocolate with the flavors of chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla. You’ll find the same combination in flourless Mexican hot chocolate cake and these Mexican chocolate shortbread cookies. Yummy! 

Why settle for plain ol’ brownies? Think outside of the box (literally) and experience the mocha deliciousness of these exceptional made-from-scratch brownies!

About These Brownies

I am not averse to brownies that come from a boxed mix because they’re super easy: just add water, egg, and oil, pop them in the oven, and they’re done! But honestly, homemade brownies aren’t that much more difficult and they really do taste better.

Lately my eleven-year-old daughter has been on a brownie making kick. She makes them from scratch and they are gooood! Dangerously good! Grandma swoons over those brownies.

There’s no Kahlúa in my daughter’s brownies, though; we’ll be saving this recipe for the grown-ups. I’m thinking my book club friends will enjoy brownies with Kahlúa.

Make the brownies fancy by adding a dollop of whipped cream. Or even better, Kahlúa-spiked whipped cream. Or Kahlúa-spiked buttercream frosting. Or my good-on-everything chocolate cream cheese frosting

For a scrumptious dessert, top the brownies with ice cream and homemade hot fudge.

Wondering what to do with the rest of the Kahlúa? Try a white Russian cocktail or a hot white Russian. So rich and creamy, a perfect match with these brownies!

Overhead view of brownies and chocolate chips.

What You’ll Need

  • Kahlúa: If you’re not familiar with Kahlúa, it’s a coffee liqueur from Mexico. You can usually find it in your grocery store and you may be surprised to know that there are quite a few varieties, including Mint Mocha, Blondie Roast, Chili Chocolate, and Salted Caramel. This recipe is made with the original Kahlúa but the other varieties may be fun to experiment with!
  • Pure Vanilla Extract, Espresso Powder, Cinnamon: These three ingredients pack a powerful punch. They blend together perfectly yet you’ll be able to detect each individual essence in every bite.
  • All-Purpose Flour, Baking Powder, Cocoa Powder, Salt: Normal brownie ingredients. The recipe is made with cocoa powder, which is unsweetened and has lots of antioxidants. Just FYI.
  • Egg, Butter: Again, normal brownie ingredients. I usually use unsalted butter for baking. If you only have salted butter, omit the 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  • Brown Sugar: Brown sugar is best for chewy brownies.
  • Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips: Don’t you just love it when you discover that there are chocolate chips in your brownie? It’s like a hidden treat. You don’t have to add them to these brownies but why not?
  • Sanding/Coarse Sugar: If you’re not topping the brownies with frosting or whipped cream, a sprinkle of coarse sugar adds a nice touch. It’s totally optional. Powdered sugar sifted on top looks nice too.

Actually, if we’re being honest here, I thought about drizzling more Kahlúa over these brownies while they were still hot. Someone want to try that for me and get back to me on the results?

Overhead view of ingredients in separate bowls.

How To Make This Recipe

Turn the oven on to preheat. Next, find a pan for the brownies. You’ll need an eight inch square pan. Coat it lightly with cooking spray. For easy cutting, line the pan with parchment paper, leaving wings on two sides, and spray again.

Square baking dish lined with parchment paper.

Why the Extra Pan Prep?

I like to take this extra step when I make brownies or other bars. Once the brownies have baked and cooled, you can just grab the parchment wings and lift the brownies out of the pan. They are easier to cut and you’ll be able to get nice neat little squares.

In a large mixing bowl, blend together the brown sugar, oil, Kahlúa, and egg until well mixed.

Wet ingredients being whisked.

In another small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cocoa, espresso powder, cinnamon, salt.

Dry ingredients before and after being mixed.

Stir the chocolate chips into the dry ingredients.

Chocolate chips being mixed into dry ingredients.

Stir the dry ingredients into the bigger bowl containing the egg mixture. Don’t overmix the batter; stir it just until the ingredients are mixed.

Brownie batter in a clear glass mixing bowl.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

Unbaked brownies in a square dish.

That wasn’t too difficult, right? Bake the brownies twenty-five minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out fairly clean. Don’t overbake the brownies – you want them to be somewhat gooey and chewy.

Remember, if you use a larger pan, bake the brownies for less time. The thinner the batter is in the pan, the less time they need to bake. We don’t recommend using a larger pan for this recipe as they’re not super thick to begin with.

When you take the brownies out of the oven, immediately sprinkle on the coarse sugar if you are using it. If you decided on powdered sugar, wait until the brownies cool completely. Same for frosting – don’t frost warm brownies because the frosting will melt and get all soupy.

Close up of brownie top with sugar.

When the brownies are completely cool, left them out of the pan using the parchment paper wings. With a large sharp knife, cut the brownies into four pieces. Oh, I meant to say sixteen pieces. Or did I? Wink, wink.

Hand holding a brownie.


What is the secret to chewy brownies?

While some cooks say the secret is using canola oil instead of butter for chewy brownies, I’ve found that the best way to achieve chewy brownies is to not overbake them. Use a smaller pan so they are thicker and slightly underbake them.

How do you know brownies are done?

Use a toothpick to test them, poke the toothpick in halfway between the edge and the center. It’s okay if they’re a little gooey in the center.
The brownies should be firm around the edges, slightly crackled, and set in the center (not wiggly when you shake the pan), but still soft.

What is the difference between a brownie and a blondie?

Simply put, the difference is cocoa. Blondies have the same ingredients as brownies with the exception of cocoa powder or chocolate. They are light colored, buttery, and delicious. Try my original blondie recipe or a variation: cake mix blondies, chocolate chip blondies, or raspberry white chocolate blondies.

What is Kahlúa?

This coffee-flavored liqueur hails from Mexico. It’s made with rum, sugar, vanilla bean, and arabica coffee. It’s 20% alcohol, has a small amount of caffeine (just 5 mg per 1.5 oz. serving), and it does not contain allergens, dairy, or nuts. For more information, check out the Kahlúa website FAQ page.

Close up of a stack of three brownies.

Storage Tips

Once the brownies have completely cooled, store them in an airtight container. They’ll keep on the counter for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

More Brownies

Bars and Cookies


Kahlúa Brownies with Cinnamon

4.73 from 11 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 16 brownies
If you love brownies, try Kahlúa brownies made from scratch. The irresistible flavor combination and fudgy texture may make them your new favorite!
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  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup Kahlúa
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon granulated or sanding sugar for sprinkling on top, if desired


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 8″ square pan with nonstick cooking spray, line with parchment with overhang, and spray parchment with nonstick cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, oil, Kahlúa, and egg.
  • In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, cocoa, espresso powder, cinnamon, salt). Stir chocolate chips into dry ingredients.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Spread into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out nearly clean.
  • Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (see note).
  • Let cool completely. Lift brownies out of pan using parchment paper. Cut into 16 servings.


  • Store brownies in an airtight container on the counter for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. 
  • Topping alternatives: Cool brownies completely and top with sifted powdered sugar, cream cheese frosting, whipped cream, or ice cream and hot fudge.



Serving: 1brownie, Calories: 128kcal, Carbohydrates: 24g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 11mg, Sodium: 65mg, Potassium: 92mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 17g, Vitamin A: 18IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 32mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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4.73 from 11 votes (10 ratings without comment)

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  1. Taylor says:

    Is it okay to add butter instead of canola oil? How much would you recommend, half a cup?

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      I haven’t tested them that way so I can’t say for sure. That swap will likely have an effect on the texture (although when it comes to taste, I’m typically in the camp that you can’t go wrong with butter!). Let me know if you give it a try! I’d use an amount equal to the amount of oil, so ¼ cup.

  2. Tia says:

    5 stars
    These are so delicious! Can’t wait to make them again!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      So glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review!

  3. Cara Capretta says:

    These were really good and easy to make. No leftovers because they were so yummy!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Glad to hear it! Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  4. Alisha says:

    The look awesone!! But one question, does the liquor cook away?? I cant make brownies in my housr and not give some to the kids. Are tgey ok to eat them to??

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Honestly, I’m quite sure it does. However, with that being said, just to be on the safe side, I don’t think I’d serve them to my 3 year old or anyone who abstains from alcohol. But I’m a little crazy and overly cautious.

  5. Sasha says:

    Sorry to hear about the juice :/
    These look great. And I have a brand new bottle of Kahlua at home! I should give these a go.

  6. Tracey says:

    I just so happen to have a big bottle of Kahlua sitting on my kitchen counter :) I was going to make cupcakes (and probably still will) but might need to add brownies to the to-do list!

  7. Kitchen Belleicious says:

    Love that you added the flavor of kahula in these brownies! Delish

  8. DessertForTwo says:

    Yum! Love this flavor combination!