Papa John's Brownie Copycat Recipe

If you're dying to indulge in a decadent dessert overflowing with chocolate flavor, look no further than this copycat recipe for Papa John's double chocolate chip brownies. These particular brownies are cake-like on the outside, but ooey, gooey, and fudgy on the inside. Rich chocolate chips layer the top crust of the dessert and add another element of chocolate for those who love this type of sweet treat. If you don't have the time to swing by Papa John's for a piping hot pan of brownies, don't fret. Just whip up a pan at home in your very own kitchen. It only takes five minutes to whip up these brownies and 45 minutes in the oven. They taste fantastic on their own, warm and fresh out of the oven. But a scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice cream plunked down atop one of these brownie squares really hits the spot. Recipe developer Kit Hondrum of Kit's Kitchen walks us through how to make these delicious treats!

Gather up the ingredients

To whip up a batch of copycat Papa John's double chocolate chip brownies, you'll need ingredients that you probably already have in your cupboard and fridge. Loads of people keep bags of chocolate chips on hand in their pantry for making chocolate chip pancakes or in case they want to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies on a whim. For this recipe, you'll need to grab a bag of chocolate chips, salted butter, granulated sugar, four eggs, pure vanilla extra, cocoa powder, and sea salt. That's it! You'll use parchment paper to line your baking pan instead of cooking spray, so be sure you have that at the ready, too.

What type of cocoa powder?

Seasoned bakers know there are two types of unsweetened cocoa powder: Dutch-process and natural. Because they are definitely different, they function differently in recipes, too. Dutch-process cocoa powder tends to be darker in color and a bit more tame in flavor, with just the right hint of chocolate. Natural cocoa, which is what you'll want for this recipe, has a very strong chocolate flavor and is a bit bitter before being blended with other ingredients.

"I have tested this recipe using regular Hershey's cocoa powder, the Hershey's dark cocoa/Dutch-process cocoa powder, and also with organic cacao powder. The regular cocoa powder gives the most similar taste and color to the Papa John's brownies. The dark cocoa powder is a darker color and richer flavor, which I prefer, but not as similar to the Papa John's brownies," said Hondrum.

Working through the first few steps

First, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8 x 8-inch brownie pan with parchment paper, using two pieces of parchment paper that hang over the sides. Take out a double boiler and melt one cup of salted butter with half a cup of chocolate chips. If you don't have a double boiler, you can microwave the two ingredients together in short bursts until they're melted. Add in two cups of granulated sugar and whisk well so that they are thoroughly combined. Add in the four eggs and one tablespoon of pure vanilla extract and continue to whisk until combined.

Why eggs should be at room temperature

Hondrum advised that the eggs should be at room temperature before using them in the recipe.

"The eggs need to be at room temperature to make sure they don't start to solidify the melted butter. It's standard practice in brownie baking," Hondrum said.

But why? When they're at room temperature, egg yolks break up more easily and therefore blend better with the egg whites and other ingredients in the recipe. Eggs at room temperature also give a recipe more volume, more fluff. Usually, pulling the eggs out of the fridge and setting them on the counter for 30 minutes before you start baking should suffice.

Add in the dry ingredients

Sift in one cup of all-purpose flour, one cup of cocoa powder, and half a teaspoon of fine sea salt. Add in half a cup of the chocolate chips and fold all of the ingredients together using a silicone spatula until thoroughly combined. Hondrum warned not to overmix the batter, which will be thick. Pour the batter into the brownie baking pan and spread it evenly across the pan with the spatula. Sprinkle the top of the brownies with the remaining quarter cup of chocolate chips. Pop the brownie pan into the oven on the center rack and bake for 45 minutes or until the brownies are set in the middle.

For the finishing touches

Remove the dessert from the oven once they're done and allow the copycat Papa John's brownies to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Then use the parchment hanging over the edges to lift the brownies up out of the pan and place them directly onto the cooling rack. Be sure to let the brownies cool completely before you slice them into nine squares. According to Hondrum, these brownies are identical in taste and appearance to the Papa John's brownies. How wonderful is that? While you're waiting for the brownies to cool, pour yourself a cool glass of milk to wash down those first few bites.

"They are fantastically chocolaty for sure," Hondrum said.

Papa John's Brownie Copycat Recipe
5 from 46 ratings
If you have a craving for those delicious, ooey, gooey, brownies from Papa John's, look no further than your own kitchen to make this amazing copycat recipe!
Prep Time
Cook Time
slice of copycat Papa John's double chocolate chip brownies on a plate with a fork
Total time: 50 minutes
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups chocolate chips, divided
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • half a teaspoon fine sea salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8 x 8-inch brownie pan with parchment paper (two pieces of parchment with overhanging sides).
  2. Melt butter and ½ cup chocolate chips together over a double boiler or in the microwave in short increments.
  3. Add sugar and whisk well to combine. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk to combine.
  4. Sift in flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add in ½ cup chocolate chips. Fold together using a silicone spatula until combined. Don't overmix. Batter will be thick.
  5. Pour batter into baking pan and spread evenly with spatula.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.
  7. Bake on center rack for 45 minutes or until set in the middle.
  8. Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes, then use the parchment overhang to remove and place on a cooling rack. Allow brownies to cool completely and then slice into 9 squares with a chef's knife.
Calories per Serving 613
Total Fat 31.0 g
Saturated Fat 18.8 g
Trans Fat 0.9 g
Cholesterol 130.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 82.2 g
Dietary Fiber 4.8 g
Total Sugars 64.3 g
Sodium 336.7 mg
Protein 7.4 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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