The brownie originated in the USA, sometime in the late 19th century. Now it’s ubiquitous, and a best-seller in most cafes and bakeries.
Where once we had flies’ graveyards, this chocolate treat has taken its place.
That’s alongside its younger and more glamorous sister, the blondie, which has nothing to do with Debbie Harry, though we’re always touched by its presence (dear). Instead, it’s a vanilla-y version of the brownie, without cocoa powder and sometimes with white chocolate (or Jammie Dodgers, see below).
We have noticed that some people prefer either type to be cakey, with a crust, and others like a fudgie middle (we’re firmly in that camp).
One thing is certain, Edinburgh’s cafes and bakeries do their own takes, spectacularly.
As well as the below, we’ve also heard about the Oreo brownies at new cafe, Brew’d, Social Bite’s Box of Joy brownies, the wares at Amarelo, Di Giorgio (who usually have six to seven types on the go), Cafe Domenico, the Back Door Bunnery and Abbi’s Pantry at Leith Market.
The people at Leftfield Kombucha tipped us off about this cafe’s popular brownies. Their chefs are currently working on a dark chocolate, strawberry and balsamic version (see below). Sold.
52 Coburg Street, www.ostaracafe.co.uk
Linton & Co
They’ve been open barely a week, and we’re already hankering after this place’s peanut butter and jelly brownies. You’ll find them on the top of Waverley Mall, at their new flagship cafe, where they also do breakfast, lunch and coffee, as well as other flavours of brownie, including salted caramel and triple chocolate.
Desserts @ Home by Chris Turnbull
The Kitchin’s head pastry chef sends you ingredients for all sorts of fancy desserts, like creme brulee with tuile biscuits, to create at home. However, the Jammie Dodger Blondie (£15, to make about six large slices) is a less sophisticated but equally (no, more) desirable delight. Delivery nationwide.
We’re already big fans of this business’ stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth cheesecake brownies. However, a reliable source has told us that their brown butter and milk chocolate blondies are also magnificent, though only to be found at the below branch.
22-24 Easter Road, www.twelvetriangles.co.uk
Apparently this five-month-old place is already becoming famous for its miso brownie, with the miso adding a savoury note. Other ingredients in their lighter take include coconut oil, cacao powder, light brown sugar and chia seeds.
5 Rodney Street (Instagram @hata.cafe)
There are some very non-conventional brownie/blondie creations going on here, including a cinnamon blondie, a chocolate orange shortbread brownie and a number that’s mint chocolate brownie on top and shortbread on the bottom. When does it stop being a brownie, you might ask? Who knows. Who cares.
23a Howe Street, www.leosbeanery.co.uk
Edinburgh’s gluten-free bakery does a line in inventive cakery, with a current selection including chocolate orange twirl blondies and cookie doh brownies. They’ve also been known to do a crunchie blondie and a millionaire’s brownie. You heard us right.
8 Roseneath Street, www.youneedcake.co.uk
Edinburgh chef, Barry Bryson, is a fan of this place’s Belgian chocolate sea salted brownies. They’re always a regular on the counter, sandwiched beside the Biscoff donuts and pistachio and carrot cake.
1 Merchiston Place, www.honeycombandco.com