Brownie Roll-Ups

When I was growing up my mom always packed  my lunch for school.

I was allowed to buy school lunch once a week, the day of my choosing.  Of course I always chose pizza Friday.  Pizza Friday ruled.

The other 4 days of the week I brown-sacked it.


I do remember getting made fun of a time or 15 for bringing lunch…apparently the cool thing to do in the 7th grade was to buy everyday.  I’m not sure why I remember that, because honestly I’ve tried to bury my middle school years deep down in the depths of my soul.  Deep deep down.  Nothing good comes from middle school, that’s a hard fact.

Anyway, when I begged my mom to buy hot-lunch she tried to convince me that the reason that she packed mine for me was because it was “much healthier”.  When that reasoning didn’t work she tried to convince me that she loved me and she must care about me more than other moms who let their kids buy everyday do.  Who knew the sack lunch was a declaration of devotion?  With that logic Valentine’s Day has it all wrong with chocolates and flowers.  All men in the world have to do is pack a sack lunch for their sweetie and call it day.

When I called my mom’s love-bluff she pulled out her favorite “go-to” problem solving device:  “The other kids are just jealous”.

Do you know how many times over the course of my childhood that I heard those words? If I didn’t get invited to a birthday party…well, she must be jealous of me.  If I was last to be chosen at kickball…yes, those kids were just jealous of my kickballing skills.  If little Kimmi made fun of the fact that I couldn’t hoist myself up the rope climb during gym class..well, yes…she was extremely jealous of my weak upper body strength.  It made total sense.


But you know what?  I’m thinking back…when my mom packed my lunch she would always throw in a Little Debbie snack cake.  Dare I say that it might be possible that the other kids WERE indeed jealous of my home-packed lunch on account of the delicious, prepacked snack cake that almost always resided at the bottom for dessert?

While this theory doesn’t necessarily apply to the rope climb or the birthday party I think my mom might have been onto something.


Now, instead of running out the store to prove my love to my kids in the form of Swiss Cake Roll or Yodel, I decided to go the DIY route…

Brownie Roll-Ups.

But to get there I first had to make brownies.  A yummy, fudgy brownie…

Now I am sure I will get questions on this, if boxed brownies can be used in place of these and the straight up answer is I don’t know.  Haven’t tried it.

But honestly, this brownie recipe is so easy and so good, I say, just give it a try.

After your brownies are baked and cooled cut them into squares.

You can stop there if you want.  I won’t be mad.

But if you are feeling crafty, then get out your wax paper, a rolling pin and some frosting

Place a single brownie in between two sheets of wax paper and roll it until it’s thin…

You can trim off the uneven edges if you’d like…it’s up to you.

Then spread a thin layer of frosting on top of the thin brownie…

Now if you don’t want to use frosting, you could use Marshmallow Fluff, or Nutella or peanut butter or or or…the possibilities are huge!

Now carefully roll it up.  I pushed with the wax paper as I rolled so the brownie wouldn’t break.

And there you go!

Repeat until you’re beat.


Fudgy Brownies


yields 24 large brownies.


  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325°
  2. Line a 9×13 baking pan with aluminum foil and spray generously with cooking spray.
  3. Melt chocolate and butter in a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Whisk both sugars into the chocolate mix. Add in eggs, one at a time and then add vanilla. Whisk until combined.
  6. Stir in flour and salt until evenly incorporated and pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake 35-40 minutes until center is set and a toothpick placed 2 inches away from edge comes out clean.
  8. Let brownies cool completely before cutting into squares.


You can use all milk chips or all semi sweet chips. I used both because I like the combination of the two.

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Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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85 Responses
  1. oh my goodness. our childhoods were pretty much identical. my mom also never let me buy lunch (not even pizza Fridays!), and I was made fun of countless times for never buying. But I did get one thing every day…Little Debbies! This is a great homemade version of Yodels — and so simple!

  2. Cathy

    I just had to say that I am laughing because I got to buy my lunch 1x per week, I got a little debbie snack in my lunch every day that I brought my lunch, and agree, nothing, absolutely nothing good came from my middle school experience! And…these treats look delicious!

  3. Barbara White

    I’m eager to try these! I’m also going to try adding mint & green food coloring to the frosting to make chocolate-mint roll-ups! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Ariane

    Made these tonight. 5 with nutella (THE BEST), 5 with marshmallow fluff, (gooey yummy) 5 with organic crunchy peanut butter (amazing) and 4 with pink vanilla frosting (sweet). Labeled and plated them so they won’t last long! Fits the 9×13 pan perfectly even though i was skeptical.

  5. These look amazing but I was laughing like crazy reading your post! I’m always telling my 13-year-old daughter that kids are jealous of her when something goes wrong… I genuinely believe that, of course! I had to send her the link to this… I’m sure she’ll get a kick out of it. She also got stuck with one too many packed lunches 😀

  6. Tara

    I made these today and it was so easy and yummy!!! My question is how do you store them??? Airtight container or in fridge because of frosting??

  7. Jillian

    You are brilliant! I’ve tried making mock-ho-ho’s before and the cake always cracked and I ended up cutting them into bars… So the brownie idea sounds perfect! Oh I can’t wait to try these! 😀

  8. Wow…Seriously wow!

    You know I will be making these tomorrow for my kids. Though i’m not sure they will appreciate the craftiness behind this copycat since they have never had a little Debbie snack…. what can I say my kids are sheltered!

  9. I love that you made these from scratch and they turned out incredible. I’ve never even heard of brownie rollups, but next time I bake brownies I’m attempting this! Very creative and I am featuring this post in today’s Friday Food Fetish roundup (with a link-back and attribution), so please let me know if you have any objections. It’s a pleasure following your food…

  10. I remember the same things about lunch when I was younger, and started buying lunches as soon as I got to middle school. Then in high school when I was trying to lose weight, I started packing my lunch again. When my mom found out, she insisted that she pack it. I let her and when I went off to college, she said it was the thing she missed most about me being home. Sorry, just a sweet little story – loving the brownie ideas!

  11. this is such a lovely idea and works with every kind of filling; can’t wait to try it :):) when I was little my mom also prepared me lunch – not in a brown sack, but still a beetroot salad was being looked upon strangely by the other kids…

  12. These look infinitely better than Lil Debbie! Though I completely understand your middle school agony of bringing your lunch. I can’t believe I stressed over that when I was a kid. Now I would kill for someone to pack my lunch every day! haha

  13. I was the kid who never even got a Little Debbie! It was always an apple, a tangerine, carrot sticks, a pretzel, soggy tuna fish on wheat, and maybe a Nilla wafer if my Mom was feeling crazy. One day I opened my brown bag and was SHOCKED to discover juice and white bread and a *Swiss Cake Roll*. I almost passed out with confusion and glee, until I realized the name of the bag was Rachel Kossoff. (I wonder where she is now?)
    I think I wrote a haiku about it, because I was that kid.

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Shelly Hi! I’m Shelly and I’m an addict. Of the buttercream sort. I started this site a few years ago as a way to justify my sugary, buttery obsession with desserts. It has worked out well for me so far, because as it turns out you guys all love sugary, buttery desserts too! It feels good to know you're not alone, doesn’t it?

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