Hundred-Year-Old Walnut Brownies Recipe


Old-fashioned Brownies with Walnuts are an ultimate comfort dessert, and I found a delightful recipe in a hundred-year-old cookbook. They were moist and  chewy. The top of the Brownies was less crusty than many modern brownies – but the Brownies were wonderful. And, my husband and I devoured the entire pan  within 24 hours.

This recipe was in one of my favorite hundred-year-old cookbooks, Lowney’s Cookbook. It is a general cookbook (though it was published by a chocolate manufacturer), and I tend to think of it as being an old-time equivalent of the Betty Crocker Cookbook.  Here’s the hundred-year-old recipe:

Source: Lowney's Cook Book (1912)
Source: Lowney’s Cook Book (1912)

This recipe was one of the signature recipes in the old cookbook. Of course Lowney’s  Premium Chocolate is long gone, so I substituted unsweetened baking chocolate. I was also surprised that the recipe didn’t call for baking powder or baking soda – but the recipe turned out just fine without it.  I baked the brownies at 350° F. and it took longer than 15 minutes for them bake.

Here’s the recipe updated for modern cooks:

Walnut Brownies

  • Servings: 36 brownies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened baking chocolate, melted

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter in a mixing bowl; stir in sugar and chocolate. Add eggs, flour, and salt, and stir until combined.; then stir in walnuts. Spread in greased 8-inch square pan.  Bake for  approximately 25 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Cut into 36 squares.


28 thoughts on “Hundred-Year-Old Walnut Brownies Recipe

  1. Looks like a tasty chocolate brownie. it’s always interesting to me to see the varied ingredients of the old recipes. I think maybe it probably made the brownies more moist by not having baking powder or baking soda.
    I’m glad you’re sharing these recipes. They sure knew how to make delectable desserts back then. 🙂

  2. Sounds and looks so good – I do love brownies! Since we went gluten-free I finally found a gluten-free brownie recipe which is very good. Until I found it we had to make do with a flourless chocolate torte to satisfy the endless craving for chocolate. 🙂 Brownies are definitely a comfort food and they never seem to go out of style.

  3. Honestly there is nothing Old Fashioned about brownies with walnuts. Right??? So nice to know they are a tradition as well!!! My mother’s Chocolate Brownies with walnuts turned out exactly the same every time she made them. Mine never have…

    1. These are so good with a GF baking mix, too! I substituted the one-half cup flour with Wegman’s GF all purpose baking mix, and they turned out fine. I have a daughter who is very gluten sensitive, but not celiac, so you decide : )

  4. Just in time for my transition from pecans to healthier walnuts. This looks very much like my old recipe. It doesn’t have baking powder, either. I might throw a big handful of chocolate chips in, too.

  5. These look so moist and delicious. They must have used a very high temperature to cook them in 10 to 15 minutes! Although now rereading it, it sounds like the batter was spread out on a cookie sheet and therefore not as tall/thick as today’s traditional brownies.

  6. The brownies look delicious! I can see why you and your husband devoured them. This post reminds me that I’ve never made homemade brownies, have always used a box. So sad, I know.

  7. Sheryl, these are wonderful! I baked both the flour version and a gluten-free version (w/Wegman’s all-purpose gluten-free baking mix) and they both taste like “more” : ) My daughter is gluten sensitive, though not a celiac, just to be clear. The gluten-free version sinks in the middle slightly as usual w/GF baking.

    Thanks so much for your lovely blog : )

    1. Wow, I’m impressed that you made this recipe two different ways. It’s great to hear that it turned out wonderfully both ways. Thank you for taking a moment to share your experiences with this recipe. People considering making one of the recipes on this blog find it really helpful when they can read how the recipe worked for others.

Leave a Reply to Judy's Quilting Studio Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s