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Lunch Lady Brownies in a Sheet Pan

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Lunch lady brownies are the perfect thing when you need dessert for a crowd. This recipe makes an half pan of fudgy brownies with a decadent chocolate frosting for an amazing treat.

Two frosted lunch lady brownies stacked on top of each other with sheet pan of brownies in the background.

When you want a giant batch of frosted chocolate goodness, sheet pan brownies are just the thing. This big batch recipe is perfect for parties and potlucks because it makes plenty of fudgy goodness to share.

One of the best parts of the brownies we used to get in the school cafeteria was a nice layer of chocolate frosting, so of course this recipe has that as well. The brownies are good without it, but a little frosting always makes things better!

And both the brownies and the frosting are super simple to make. You can easily cut it onto 36 nice size servings or even more small squares and feed a crowd.

Making Fudgier Brownies

These cakey brownies will remind you of the school cafeteria in the best kind of way. For fudgier brownies, just leave out the baking soda.

Either way they are absolutely loaded with chocolate and taste amazing. The only difference is the final texture, so it depends if you like them a little bit airy or dense and gooey.

Punching up the Chocolate Flavor

These brownies are rich and chocolaty as written, but adding coffee makes that chocolate taste even better. Just substitute in coffee wherever you see water in the recipe.

Sheet pan filled with frosted lunch lady brownies.

I was tempted to do that myself, but figured real lunch ladies might shy away from adding coffee to elementary school desserts. The teachers would likely revolt if they found out the kids were being caffeinated at lunch!

Adding coffee won’t make the brownies taste like coffee, it will just boost the chocolate flavor. Though you could add coffee extract or concentrated coffee if you did want to go for a stronger coffee mocha flavor.

Storing Leftover Brownies

Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week. If you find they start drying out, you can add a slice of sandwich bread to the container to help keep them soft longer.

For longer storage, wrap the extra brownies well and freeze for up to 3 months.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make this sheet pan brownie recipe if I don’t have a sheet pan?

This recipe makes a very full 13x18x1″ pan of brownies, so make sure your pan is at least that big. If you don’t have a jelly roll pan that meets those dimensions, you can divide the recipe between two 9×13″ pans.

They won’t take quite as long to bake in the smaller pan, so start checking them after they have baked for about 20 minutes.

Should brownies be on the top or bottom rack?

Brownies should be baked on the middle rack of your oven. That is where they will get the most even heat and will be least likely to burn due to being too close to a heating element.

More great brownie recipes

We have been on a bit of a brownie roll lately. There are just so many fun ways to make them.

So if you aren’t looking to whip up a giant half sheet pan filled with frosted brownies, don’t despair. We have plenty of other recipes for you.

Lifting out first piece of lunch lady brownies from sheet pan.

If that coffee and brownie combination caught your interest, check out coffee and cream brownies. It is a much smaller batch, but the layers make them absolutely stunning.

For a slightly larger batch of sticky layered treats, make Mississippi mud brownies. They have marshmallow and chocolate goodness on top of the gooey brownies.

Or make your own homemade brownie mix and store it for later use. Or load it in a jar and give it as an easy edible gift.

Dessert plate with two frosted lunch lady brownies ready to eat.

Rhubarb brownies combine rich fudgy chocolate and brown butter batter with bits of fresh rhubarb. It may sounds like a strange combination, but trust me it works!

Layered monster brownies are the perfect combination of Graham cracker crust, rich chocolaty brownies and peanut butter for an extra special treat.

Love this recipe? Give it a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ review in the recipe card below!

Two frosted lunch lady brownies stacked on top of each other with sheet pan of brownies in the background.

Sheet Pan Brownies

Servings: 36 Servings
Author: Carlee
Make a giant sheet pan filled with frosted lunch lady brownies for a chocolaty treat big enough to feed a crowd. They are easy to make the chocolate icing takes them to the next level of delicious.
4.43 from 77 ratings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes



  • 1 cup butter melted
  • 1 cup vegetable oil or similar neutral flavored oil
  • cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 8 large eggs
  • cups all purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips


  • cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup hot coffee or water
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 13x18x1-inch sheet pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir together melted butter, oil, sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla.
    1 cup butter, 1 cup vegetable oil, 3½ cups granulated sugar, 1 cup cocoa powder, 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
    8 large eggs
  • In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda and salt.
    2½ cups all purpose flour, ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt
  • Stir flour mixture into butter mixture until uniform. Fold in chocolate chips.
    2 cups chocolate chips
  • Spread brownie mixture in prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool.
  • To make frosting, stir together cocoa powder and hot coffee or water. Set aside for a minute or two.
    ⅔ cup cocoa powder, ¼ cup hot coffee or water
  • Beat butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the cocoa mixture and mix until combined.
    ½ cup butter
  • Stir in powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Whip until smooth.
    ¼ cup milk, 5 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Spread over cooled brownies.



Serving: 1pieceCalories: 368kcalCarbohydrates: 50gProtein: 4gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 62mgSodium: 147mgFiber: 2gSugar: 40g

Nutritional Disclaimer

“Cooking With Carlee” is not a dietitian or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories and other nutritional values can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.

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Recipe Rating


Monday 22nd of April 2024

Darn! These overflowed in my pan too! They smell really yummy though!


Monday 22nd of April 2024

Shoot. Maybe I will see about shrinking the recipe down a bit more. It doesn't go over for me, but I know it has few a few people. Hopefully they taste good too!


Tuesday 9th of April 2024

Overflowed in my oven and made a gigantic mess and smells like smoke


Wednesday 10th of April 2024

I am so sorry that happened. I know what a pain that is. I have made this recipe several times and it makes a full half sheet pan, but it has never gone over on me.


Saturday 30th of March 2024

These were super yummy! Turned out great. Personally, I thought the added 2 cups of chocolate chips was too much for me. So when I make them in the future, I’ll omit them.


Saturday 30th of March 2024

Very good for church events. It makes a lot and everyone loves them.


Saturday 30th of March 2024

Not good. The dough spilled over in my oven so huge mess and burned smell. Then, why do you add cocoa powder to hot water? It just made it leave cocoa chunks in the frosting. I didn’t have time to make the frosting again so I’m pretending they are gourmet dark chocolate flakes. I knew I should have stuck with my old recipe, tried and true, and just made a separate frosting. Not a fan of this.


Saturday 30th of March 2024

I'm sorry you had trouble with the recipe. The reason you put the cocoa powder in the hot water is to bloom it. It helps to give a richer chocolate taste. I've never had it make cocoa chunks, so I am curious about how that happened. You can certainly skip that step if you would like and just add the cocoa powder to the frosting as a dry ingredient.