Lunch Lady Brownies Are The Sweet Taste of Nostalgia

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read my disclosure policy.

Lunch Lady Brownies are the staple of childhood cafeterias! They were the ultimate lunchtime treat and always a reward after a plate of mystery meat and stringy vegetables. With this recipe you can make these nostalgic, thick, and fudgy brownies at home.

This brownie recipe captures that classic taste with the rich chocolatey flavor and gooey texture you know and love. And they are surprisingly easy to make. My family loves these brownies, and every time I bring them to a potluck they disappear in no time!

Save This Recipe Form

Want To Save This Recipe?

Enter your email below & I will send it straight to your inbox. Plus you’ll get great new recipes each week!

What makes these brownies unique? It’s all in that gloriously glossy frosting and the perfectly dense yet soft chocolate base. These are great for a quick afterschool snack or a fun family dessert.

In this post, I’ll cover everything from the must-have ingredients to the step-by-step process that’ll have you whipping up these nostalgic goodies like a pro. So skip the box of brownie mix and cook up some homemade goodness.

I think cookie bars are so much easier than making individual cookies! If you agree try my sugar cookie bars, coconut magic bars, or caramel cookie bars for more dessert goodness.

🥘Ingredient Notes

For exact amounts needed see the recipe card below

  • Unsalted butter
  • Cocoa powder
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar
  • Milk or heavy whipping cream
A flat lay of baking ingredients includes bowls of powdered sugar, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, vanilla extract, unsalted butter sticks, and a small jug of milk.

🥣How to Make Lunch Lady Brownies

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F and spray the baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, beat your melted butter and cocoa powder until well combined. 
  3. Then, add in the flour and sugar and mix until just combined. 
  4. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until it’s smooth and creamy.
  5. Pour the batter into your prepared dish, spread it out, and bake for 20-25 minutes. You’ll know they’re done when a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let the brownies cool for 15-20 minutes. 
  7. Then, make the frosting. Beat the butter, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla until smooth.
  8. Spread the frosting on the still warm brownies.
A mixing bowl with crumbled chocolate mixture and four cracked egg yolks. A whisk attachment, a small jug of milk, and empty bowls are placed around it on a white surface with a striped cloth.
Make brownie batter.
A mixing bowl with ingredients for frosting, including butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and liquid, with a whisk attachment and brown baked cake in the background.
Make frosting.
A glass bowl filled with chocolate frosting being mixed with an electric mixer. Surrounding the bowl are a large slab of baked cake, a small container of white frosting, and a striped cloth.
Creamy frosting.
A baking sheet with chocolate frosting spread evenly over the surface. A spatula with some chocolate frosting and a striped cloth are beside the sheet.
Frosting on brownies.

🍴Serving Ideas

My favorite way to serve these brownies is simply to slice them into squares and serve them for dessert or as an afterschool snack. But if you want to do something fancier, try these ideas.

  • Top a warm square with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a classic combo. 
  • Set up a sundae bar with various toppings, such as sprinkles, chopped nuts, and caramel sauce. It’s a surefire hit for birthday parties or family gatherings.
  • Cut these brownies into smaller, bite-sized pieces to serve as a sweet accompaniment to your afternoon coffee.

💭How to Store: Keeping the Leftover Love Fresh

Keep the brownies in an airtight container at room temperature to maintain that fudgy texture. They’ll stay good for up to 3 days.

For longer storage, wrap individual brownies in plastic wrap and pop them into a freezer bag. They’ll keep for a couple of months and be ready for your brownie cravings at a moment’s notice.

When you’re ready to enjoy them, let them thaw at room temperature. If you’re impatient like me, a quick zap in the microwave will bring them back to life.


Be sure to check out the step by step instructions

  • You want your butter melted and cooled slightly – not hot. This helps mix your ingredients without affecting the eggs.
  • If you want your frosting to be smooth as silk, sift your powdered sugar. It might seem small, but it makes a difference. If I am making these for my family I usually don’t bother, but if I am taking them to a potluck I sift the powdered sugar!
  • To get those perfect squares, wait to cut until the brownies are completely cooled. Then, use a sharp knife, and for extra precision, wipe it clean between cuts.

📝Reader Questions

Why is my frosting grainy?

Grainy frosting usually occurs if the powdered sugar isn’t sifted or if the frosting isn’t beaten enough. Patience is key to that smooth, glossy finish.

Can I add nuts or other mix-ins? 

Absolutely! Add chopped walnuts or chocolate chips to the batter before baking for an added crunch or extra chocolatey goodness.

My brownies are dry. What happened? 

Dry brownies are often the result of overbaking. Keep a close eye on the oven and start checking for doneness a few minutes before the timer goes off. They’ll continue to set as they cool.

⭐Did You Make This? Leave a Star Rating!

A pile of neatly cut chocolate-frosted brownies is displayed on a white surface.
No ratings yet

Lunch Lady Brownies Recipes

Published By Anne
This easy recipe lets you recreate that classic taste in your own kitchen! Perfect for a quick dessert, after-school snack, or a trip down memory lane.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time20 minutes
Total Time35 minutes
Servings: 16
Print Save Rate Pin


  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cup flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter softened
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups powdered sugar sifting optional
  • ½ cup milk or heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Spray a 10x15x1 jelly roll pan or 13×9 baking dish lightly with cooking spray, set aside.
  • Beat melted butter and ½ cup cocoa powder in a large bowl until smooth.
    1 cup unsalted butter, ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Add flour and sugar and beat until well combined, but don’t overbeat.
    2 cup flour, 2 cups granulated sugar
  • Beat the eggs and vanilla extract until smooth; don’t overbeat the batter.
    4 large eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Pour batter into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean.
  • While the brownies are baking, make the frosting. See the instructions below.
  • Allow the brownies to cool for 15-20 minutes, then frost while the brownies are still warm.
  • Let set until the frosting hardens.
  • Cut to serve or store in an airtight container in a single layer.


  • If you are sifting the powdered sugar, do that first. The step is optional; however, it makes the frosting smoother.
    3 cups powdered sugar
  • Beat together all ingredients until smooth.
    ¼ cup unsalted butter, ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ cup milk or heavy whipping cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • You want your butter melted and cooled slightly – not hot. This helps mix your ingredients without affecting the eggs.
  • Sifting the powdered sugar is optional, but it does make the frosting as smooth as silk. If I am making these for my family I usually don’t bother, but if I am taking them to a potluck I sift the powdered sugar!
  • To get those perfect squares, wait until the brownies are completely cooled. Then, use a sharp knife, and for extra precision, wipe it clean between cuts.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 400kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 111mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 515IU | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition facts are estimates.

Enjoy this recipe?Follow Family Friendly Foods on Facebook
A stack of chocolate frosted brownies with a bite taken out of the top brownie, placed next to two glasses of milk.

Hi, I’m Anne!

I love to cook and I want to share my recipes with you. I believe cooking should be approachable and fun, not a chore. I want to make simple recipes using everyday ingredients that you can make again and again, whether it is for a busy weeknight, a summer cookout or a special dessert. Read more...

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating