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Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel, Celebrates 130 Years as the Birthplace of the Brownie by Sharing Its Exclusive Recipe

Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel - Original Brownie

In 1893, Bertha Palmer requested the pastry team at the renowned Palmer House hotel create a dessert suitable for ladies attending the World’s Columbian Exhibition in Chicago. The team created a chocolate, cake-like treat that could be easily transported to and from this major event.

As the official birthplace of the brownie, Palmer House, a Hilton Hotel celebrates its 130th brownie creation anniversary at its on-site restaurants and shares its brownie recipe so bakers can create the world’s original brownie at home.

The Palmer House Brownie

Palmer House Original Brownie

Makes 16 brownies



  • 5.25 oz 60% dark couverture chocolate
  • 9.75 oz butter
  • 12.75 oz granulated sugar
  • 5 ea eggs
  • 3.5 oz all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 8 oz chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup apricot preserves
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin


  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Grease a 9x12-inch rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Make brownies: Place butter and chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir frequently, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching, until chocolate is melted, about 5 minutes.
  3. Combine sugar and flour in a large bowl. Add chocolate mixture to sugar mixture; mix until well combined, 4 to 5 minutes. Mix in eggs and vanilla extract. Pour batter into the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle walnuts on top, pressing them down slightly into batter.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven until edges start to crisp and brownies rise about 1/4 inch, 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Make glaze: Mix together water, apricot preserves, and unflavored gelatin in a saucepan over high heat; bring to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
  6. Allow brownies to cool for 30 minutes, then spread a thin layer of glaze on top with a pastry brush.

Cook’s Note

Note: When the brownie is properly baked, it will remain “gooey” with a toothpick in the middle due to the richness of the mixture.

🍪 Looking for another famous recipe? Check out the official DoubleTree Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!