Do Normal Brownies Have Caffeine?

Last updated on August 30th, 2022 at 08:35 pm

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Brownies are one of those desserts that will never let you down. It’s blissful and chocolaty yumminess and rich creamy centers are delightful. 

Everyone has their own way of making their brownies according to their baking style. 

Enjoying a brownie may remind you of Grandma’s house so you may want to use her special recipe. She always added in a secret ingredient that made them taste better-love (or maybe it was that chocolate syrup). 

When you are young, you don’t need to worry about all the calories those sweet treats have inside of them and you probably never thought about the caffeine they contained either. 

As you have grown older those things seem to be a little bit more important. Have you ever wondered if brownies have caffeine in them?

Brownies do have caffeine in them. Though a small amount,  chocolate naturally contains caffeine and brownies are made with chocolate..

So, the basic ingredients of a brownie are butter, sugar, cocoa powder, eggs, flour, baking powder, vanilla extract, and salt. We are going to take a look at the cocoa powder. 

Natural chocolate (cocoa) has caffeine in it. A tablespoon of cocoa has 12 mg of caffeine. Let’s compare that to a cup of coffee. 

A regular cup of joe has about 60 mg of caffeine. According to Ghirardelli, a regular brownie square contains about 15 mg of caffeine. 

That means a brownie has about one fourth the amount of caffeine as a cup of coffee.

There you have it, brownies have a small amount of caffeine in them. If you are a dark chocolate lover, it may be surprising to know that the darker the chocolate, the more the caffeine it has because it contains more cocoa in it. 

The little bit of caffeine that brownies contain is not harmful to you. Caffeine can result in health conditions when consuming large quantities. 

The average caffeine intake for an adult is around 400 mg a day so 15mg from a brownie shouldn’t matter too much in most cases. 

Some baking companies even sell (or you could make) some “Caffeinated Brownies” for an extra kick when you need it. These are much higher in caffeine than regular brownies and will have anywhere between 100-200mg of caffeine.

With these you can gain some energy while enjoying a yummy dessert but just make sure you don’t overdo it! 

What Has More Caffeine, Tea Or Chocolate? 

Sometimes we all need a little pick me up. Whether it’s studying late into the night or waking up early in the morning, most of us have resorted to caffeine to help perk us up. 

Coffee is the most popular caffeinated drink but if you want to be a little more healthy, tea is the way to go. 

Even though a cup of coffee contains more caffeine than a cup of tea, it is said that drinking tea is healthier for you. Now let’s add in some chocolate. 

Does this smooth creamy goodness have less, as much, or more caffeine than tea does? 

A regular chocolate bar has less caffeine than both tea or coffee. However, the darker the chocolate is, the more caffeine it contains. 

A normal Hershey’s chocolate bar has 9 mg of caffeine. On the other hand, the Special Dark Hershey’s bar has 20 mg of caffeine. 

Then, as the lightest colored chocolate, white chocolate doesn’t contain caffeine at all. 

A tablespoon of cocoa has about 12 mg of caffeine while depending on the type of tea it has somewhere around 26 mg. Compared to a caffeine drink, chocolate has a significantly lower amount of the stimulant. 

Brownies also have less caffeine than tea or coffee. If you are cutting back on your caffeine intake, know that chocolate has less stimulants than these caffeinated drinks. 

Some people are more sensitive to eating or drinking caffeine but the normal adult can safely ingest 400 mg of caffeine daily. This is about 4 or 5 cups of coffee. 

It can be dangerous to start  going over that 400mg amount daily though. 

Having about 1000 mg of caffeine in a day is not good for you because too much caffeine can affect your blood pressure and cause nervousness and jitteriness.

Does Chocolate Naturally Have Caffeine? 

Who doesn’t love chocolate? There are a variety of ways it can be used and they all taste so good. Chocolate can be enjoyed and consumed as hot chocolate, chocolate bars, brownies, etc.

Chocolate does naturally contain a small amount of caffeine. So if you have a chocolate candy bar, brownies, or chocolate cookies they will all have a small amount of caffeine in them (typically 10-15mg). 

Discussing chocolate wouldn’t be complete without knowing what it’s made of. The ingredients in chocolate are natural. 

First we have chocolate liquor which are cocoa beans without their shells that have been fermented, roasted and ground until they are a liquid. This consists of cocoa butter and cocoa solids that are in the bean. 

These cocoa solids are what contain caffeine in them.

The next ingredient in chocolate is cocoa butter which is a natural fat from the bean. This makes the chocolate more flavorful. 

Then there is sugar, lecithin to blend everything together, and vanilla for flavor. Chocolate may also include milk like in milk chocolate, or fruit, nuts or other ingredients added in.

Does Chocolate Keep You Awake? 

Oh, those midnight snack cravings. If you are a chocolate lover most of the time you head straight to the cabinets in search of something sweet and rich to eat with a glass of cold milk. 

Can giving in to this chocolate craving right before you sleep keep you awake at night?

Unlike caffeinated drinks, it is said that there is no evidence that chocolate keeps you awake.

I mentioned earlier that chocolate contains caffeine but it contains a lot more of another stimulant called Theobromine, which is known to cause increased heart rate and also sleeplessness. 

Even though this is found in small amounts in the chocolate, it can potentially help you sleep at night. 

Some studies have shown however that even though Theobromine is in the same class as caffeine, it doesn’t stimulate the central nervous symptom the way caffeine does. 

It can even work as a muscle relaxant while stimulating the heart. 

One article from Cocoa Runners says that, Unlike caffeine there is no evidence that Theobromine will keep you awake – indeed there are studies suggesting that theobromine can help people sleep.” To further read their article on chocolate and how it affects your sleep just click here. 

Everyone is different in how they can handle sugar and caffeine intake. With chocolate also containing a little bit of caffeine it could make us more alert making it harder to fall asleep. 

It comes as no surprise though that the main ingredient in chocolate that keeps us from falling asleep is sugar. When people need some energy what do they always grab? 

A sugary snack! 

And eating sugar before bed time can actually keep you awake. The chocolate consisting of the least amount of sugar is dark chocolate.. It contains less sugar than milk chocolate and white chocolate contains a lot of sugar.

Final Thoughts 

Brownies are a delicious dessert. They do have some caffeine in them but only a small amount. Compared to other caffeinated foods and drinks, the caffeine is not much at all. 

The reason brownies have caffeine in them is because chocolate contains some caffeine. It’s not necessarily enough to keep you awake at night, but its sugar content takes care of that. 

One of the most popular desserts, brownies, doesn’t have a high level of caffeine and tastes absolutely amazing.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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