Helms Bakery Brownies

Helms Bakery BrowniesI am so glad I went on the hunt for a recipe for my favorite childhood brownies.  When I was about 6 or 7 years old, our family lived in Los Angeles on a beautiful tree-lined street.  Our house had a huge front yard where my brothers would play tackle football with the neighbors and I would watch from the porch—until the Helms Bakery truck showed up on our street.  It would come every sigle day, much like the ice cream truck.  Except when you flagged down the Helms truck, the driver would open the double doors at the rear of the van and pull out these long wooden drawers filled with the best baked goods you ever tasted!   Check out some history here.  I blame Helms for my chubbiness as a kid because those brownies and cream puffs were irresistible!

The brownies looked like small bricks and they were completely glazed with a thin, chocolate glaze.  The cream puffs were also a hit, and I don’t remember them having the hard  outer shell, but rather, they were more spongy.  I don’t know how they got them that way, but they were delicious.  I guess it’s a good thing for me that we moved when I was 8 or I would have had to be rolled home from school every day.

So, this week, we had a retirement party for a coworker and the color scheme for the decorations was red, black and white.  I was in charge of baking.  I made Helms Bakery brownie bites topped with a single raspberry (black –sort of, and red) , mini strawberry shortcakes (red and white)

Mini Strawberry Shortcakes

and Black and White Sugar Cookies dipped in chocolate (black and white).

Helms Bakery Brownies

I would love to be modest about this, but that’s just not me.   Ha!  Everyone raved about how good everything was.  I was very pleased with the results, but the brownie bites were my favorite.  The recipe did not come with a chocolate glaze recipe, so I melted some chocolate buttercream frosting in the microwave for about 30 seconds and then dipped the brownies in  it.   I used a fork to dunk the brownies and tapped the fork on the side of the bowl so the excess frosting would drip off.   The brownies came out so moist and the raspberry topped them off nicely.  I think the next time I make them, I will add nuts and make a thinner glaze  to dip them in.  These were actually brownie “bites” to go along with the finger food theme, so I didn’t feel too badly about dipping them in frosting.

These are the most moist, fudgy brownies I have ever made.   I know everyone has a favorite brownie recipe, but this is my new favorite.  I hope it will be yours, too.

Helms Bakery Brownies
Recipe type: Bars
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
  • ¾ cup butter
  • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate squares
  • 1-1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup flour
  • ½ cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • ½ basket raspberries (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease an 8" square pan.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate together in a medium saucepan.
  3. Blend in sugar, beaten eggs, vanilla and flour. Add nuts if desired. Pour into prepared pan.
  4. Bake until it is crispy at the edges and firm in the center, about 30-35 minutes.
  5. Cool for 30 minutes before cutting and serving.
  6. Note: If you want them frosted, make your favorite chocolate buttercream frosting or buy a tub of commercial frosting and nuke it for 30-45 seconds. Top with berries.


  1. Angela says:

    Hi Amy – Thanks for posting this recipe. I thought you might enjoy going to our website to see a bunch of old photos and how much the Bakery has changed. Plus if you sign up for the newsletter, you can find out what’s happening on our campus and when the new Helms Bakery is scheduled to open.

    Thanks again for sharing.
    All the best, Angela

  2. patrick says:

    Helms brownies are by far the BEST Brownies I have ever had in my 87 years of life.

    I have been trying many ways to make them and the closest I have come up with is using Duncan Hines brownies mix BUT substitute the regular oil for coconut oil because there is a definite different taste. Using a LOT of broken up walnuts in the batter is also key.

    The frosting is just like the frosting on hostess ding dongs of ho ho’s and you can find many recipes for that on YouTube under Hostess cupcakes or ding dongs of ho ho’s.

    I use a round cake pan which makes the brownies VERY THICK! about the same thickness as Helms Brownies were. I am looking for a square pan about 7×7 which would make them about the same thickness as a round cake pan but a square one would allow more brownies that could be like bricks just like Helms which were about 2.5 inches by 1/75 inches by 1.75 inches

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