Panini Press Brownies

Panini Happy turns 5 this week! If there’s one thing I’ve learned about the panini press through blogging about it over the past 5 years it’s that it is far from a “just a sandwich maker”. We love panini here, don’t get me wrong. But I’ll admit I get especially excited when I discover another great use for the panini press beyond sandwiches.

I screamed from the rooftops about ice cream cones…I was bullish over bacon…I rejoiced for mini layer cakes. Now…I’m all about Panini Press Brownies.

Panini Press Brownies... get the #recipe at (c) Kathy Strahs

What? How? Why? Allow me to explain.

WHAT: You can bake brownies on your panini press. Really good brownies – chewy, fudgy, just like we like ’em.

HOW: Instead of putting an 8×8 square pan in the oven you just pour brownie batter into an 8-inch cake pan, set it on the panini press and close the lid. The square pan didn’t quite fit on either of my presses, but the shallower round pan did. Set the heat to around medium and check it when chocolate aromas begin to fill the room, about 20 minutes. Brownies are rather forgiving, so even if you bake them a minute or two too little or too much they’ll still taste great.

Panini Press Brownies (c) Kathy Strahs

WHY: When I come up with these crazy ideas for alternative uses for a panini press, I always want to make sure it isn’t a gimmick but there’s a valid, beneficial reason for them. Panini Press Brownies solve the predicament of being without an oven – whether the oven is occupied by other dishes or there actually isn’t one present, such as in a dorm room, workplace, cabin, etc. I purposely chose a brownie recipe (one of my favorites, from King Arthur Flour) that didn’t require the use of a stove, because if you’ve got a stove chances are you’ve got an oven. Dorms, offices and vacation rentals often have microwaves so I adapted the instructions for a microwave. Now that I think about it, you could probably even melt the butter on the panini press as well, eliminating the need for any other appliance at all. Shoot…well, be on the lookout for an update to this post at some point once I try that. 🙂

Panini Press Brownies (c) Kathy Strahs


Panini Press Brownies

Recipe by Kathy Strahs,

Adapted from the Best Fudge Brownies Ever recipe from the back of the King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour package

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 35 minutes

Yield: 8 large brownies


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


  1. Set an 8-inch round cake pan on your panini press and close the lid to verify that it will fit. The entire pan should be covered by the upper plate. If the pan fits, remove it from the panini press and lightly grease it or spray it with baking spray. Heat the panini press to medium-high heat.
  2. In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to microwave and heat it on high until it’s hot but not bubbling, about 1 minute. Stir the mixture again until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is rather smooth and shiny.
  3. Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Add the eggs, beating till smooth; then add the flour and half of the chocolate chips, beating till well combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle on the rest of the chocolate chips.
  4. Transfer the pan to the panini press and close the lid, making sure the entire pan is covered by the upper plate. Bake the brownies for about 20 minutes. The exact baking time will vary according to your panini press. My best method of determining when they’re done is by smell – if you start smelling chocolate, the brownies are probably close to done. When you insert a toothpick into the center it should come out dry. The brownies should feel set both on the edges, and in the center. Cool completely before cutting and serving.



KathyPanini Happy, online since 2008, is more than just a sandwich blog. Here, you'll find hundreds of my original panini recipes, my guide to choosing a panini press and a whole lot of other creative uses for the panini press.
~ Kathy Strahs
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  1. Amanda wrote:

    GENIUS!! I love how your mind works!!! Seriously awesome.

    Posted 1.17.13 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Thanks, Amanda. 🙂

      Posted 1.17.13 Reply
  2. Karly wrote:

    I love your creative panini maker uses and I love that you do it with a purpose!

    Posted 1.17.13 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      Thanks, Karly – grilling with a purpose is important to me!

      Posted 1.17.13 Reply
  3. Not even sure how you made this happen! So smart and creative. All of that chocolate is just bursting out. Yum!

    Posted 1.17.13 Reply
  4. Carolyn wrote:

    You are SERIOUSLY amazing with that thing! These rock. Happy 5th!

    Posted 1.18.13 Reply
  5. What a cool idea–perfect for dorm-room cooking!

    Posted 1.18.13 Reply
  6. Happy Birthday Panini Happy!!! Woo hoo! I’d celebrate with brownies too. You are SO freaking creative girl. I am so impressed with these. I would have never thought this was possible!

    Posted 1.18.13 Reply
  7. Where were you when I was in college?! I would have been doing this nightly. 🙂 Happy anniversary to Panini Happy!

    Posted 1.18.13 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      I was thinking the same thing! Although I’ll bet my freshman 15 would have turned into the freshman 150 with access to these, lol.

      Posted 1.18.13 Reply
  8. This is an amazing idea, Kathy! And a very Happy Blog Birthday to you and Panini Happy! XOXO

    Posted 1.18.13 Reply
  9. This is amazing! I am so excited to try this out and I’m sure I’ll wow the kids too. That’s a pretty cool thing as they get older. 🙂 And Happy Happy Blog Birthday! I think yours was one of the very first blogs that I started following and I’m so glad to see how much you’ve done with that little ‘ol panini press of yours. 🙂

    Posted 1.19.13 Reply
  10. girl you go!
    when i move back to cali we are so getting together and creating recipes!

    Posted 1.20.13 Reply
    • Kathy wrote:

      That would be SO much fun, Dawn!

      Posted 1.20.13 Reply
  11. I’m always up for brownies! You have such creative ideas for using panini makers, I love it.

    Posted 1.22.13 Reply
  12. Omg, this is crazy fantastic!! Love!

    Posted 1.23.13 Reply
  13. Where were you 10 years ago when I was a sophomore in college where my only kitchen gadget was a panini press?! This looks so delicious 🙂

    Happy Blogiversary!

    Posted 1.23.13 Reply
  14. What a totally brilliant way to use a panini press!

    Posted 1.25.13 Reply
  15. Shaina wrote:

    Love it. What a unique way to get that panini press working.

    Posted 1.25.13 Reply
  16. Who knew!? NEAT IDEA!

    Posted 1.26.13 Reply
  17. Kristina wrote:

    this is a fantastic idea!! in the summertime when you do not want to turn on your oven, when you’ve just finished making panini and you want the brownies to cook while you eat them, ENDLESS reasons you are a genius!

    now I want brownies…

    Posted 1.26.13 Reply
    • Kristina wrote:

      oh and Happy Number Five!!

      Posted 1.26.13 Reply
  18. You never cease to amaze me with what you think to do with a panini press. These look amazing! And Happy Blog Birthday to you.

    Posted 1.28.13 Reply
  19. Beki wrote:

    In plenty of other countries you can actually find a grill and a stovetop, but no oven – like me right now. So I am thrilled to have this idea, thanks!!

    Posted 9.7.13 Reply
    • Kathy Strahs wrote:

      You’re welcome, Beki – I hope you like them! 🙂

      Posted 9.7.13 Reply
  20. deepti wrote:

    hi ,
    i loved the brownies in the pic….it is amazing you made it in a panini press…wow…i have just purchased one panini press but it is the one with flat plates on both sides ( not removable ) and there is no temperature control.could i still make brownies in that..
    please tell me… i will be thrilled if i can..thanks

    Posted 4.26.15 Reply
    • Kathy Strahs wrote:

      Hi Deepti — So sorry for the much-delayed response to your question! I’d say it’s worth a try. Without knowing how hot your press gets there’s no way to tell how it will work out, but it could be a fun (and definitely tasty) experiment! ~Kathy

      Posted 6.15.15 Reply