Why are they called slutty brownies? This particular brownie recipe is called “slutty brownies” because one blogger (The Londoner) decided to copy a brownie recipe—with a perfectly normal name—from another blogger (Kevin and Amanda) and rename it with a titillating title to make it more likely to go viral.
Read on for the full scoop.
Why Are They Called Slutty Brownies? The True Origin of So-Called Slutty Brownies
The first time I ran into “slutty” brownies, I was on Twitter early in the morning searching for brownie recipes to share. I thought to myself, “What an odd name for brownies!” and let it go for the moment.
Later that night, when I had a little time to myself, I started looking for a slutty brownies recipe so I could see what all the fuss was about. Several blog posts about slutty brownies kept popping up no matter which search engine I used. One was on a blog called The Londoner, the other was on a blog called What’s Gaby Cooking.
First, I read the slutty brownie post from What’s Gaby Cooking. Gaby’s blog post actually credited the Londoner post as the originator of the slutty brownie recipe. Next, I pulled up the slutty brownie post from The Londoner. It seemed to be an original recipe for brownies made with a layer of cookie dough on the bottom, a layer of Oreos in the middle, and a layer of brownie batter on top.
My curiosity piqued, I started reading through the large volume of comments to see what people thought of the recipe and the title. There seemed to be generally positive feelings for both. One comment, however, caught my eye. The commenter stated that the original recipe came from a blog called Kevin and Amanda.
I clicked back to What’s Gaby Cooking and scanned those comments as well. Sure enough, another commenter made the same claim: that the recipe did not originate with The Londoner, but in fact originated with Kevin and Amanda.
I ran a quick search for “slutty brownies” and “Kevin and Amanda.” Oddly, there was no result that came from the Kevin and Amanda blog, indication that there was nothing titled “Slutty Brownies” on that particular blog. There were, however, a number of posts titled “Slutty Brownies” on other blogs that also pointed back to Kevin and Amanda. I followed one of those recipe credits back to Kevin and Amanda, where I found a recipe called… wait for it…
Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar, published May 27, 2011. With nary a loose woman in sight, I might add.
Thus, the original recipe was titled exactly what you see above. Definitely brownies- but certainly not slutty. There was no hint of what it would become on June 23, 2011, when a nearly identical recipe entitled “Slutty Brownies” appeared on The Londoner.
I e-mailed Amanda to ask if she was the originator of the brownie recipe with the layer of cookie dough on the bottom, the Oreos in the middle, and brownies on top. She very kindly replied to confirm that the recipe was indeed originally created by her, and that I could show her photo on this post.
I also e-mailed Rosie, author of The Londoner, to find out if she had seen the recipe on Kevin and Amanda before renaming it Slutty Brownies, or if she had come by the recipe in some other way. As of this writing, I haven’t heard back from her.
In 2012, Jessica Simpson brought up slutty brownies on the Jay Leno show, causing the recipe to become even more popular.
Right now there’s this new thing that’s so heavenly. They’re called slutty brownies. They are a layer of cookie dough, a layer of oreo cookies, and a layer of brownie dough, and then you bake it together. It’s amazing.
When asked why they were called slutty brownies, Jessica replied, “I don’t know, I guess a lot goes into them?”
Back when I first saw the photos and recipes for “Slutty Brownies,” I didn’t find the recipe that appealing. In fact, it kind of turned me off. I rationalized it by saying that it was the texture that threw me. I like cookies that not only have the taste of cookies but the shape and texture of cookies. And I like Oreos when they’re a bit crunchy, but not when they’ve gone soft. So that’s why I thought that the texture was why the brownies didn’t appeal to me.
Then I saw Kevin and Amanda’s recipe, with its completely different title: Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar.
Something in my mind shifted. I looked at the photo you see above, and suddenly they looked tasty. Given, it’s a beautiful photo, but that’s not what changed my mind.
This requires a little explanation, so bear with me for a moment. There’s a quote from Confucius that I love, and although it can be translated in several ways, here’s the most common one.
If names be not correct, language is not in accordance with the truth of things.
This can also be said as “calling things by their right names.” When I saw those brownies called by their right name, the weight of distaste lifted from my shoulders, and, like magic, those very same brownies that didn’t appeal before now looked good enough to eat.
Why is that? If it was simply the fact that the texture didn’t appeal to me, that wouldn’t change upon seeing them called by a different name.
No, the truth was that deep down, I didn’t like the idea of labeling something beautiful, sweet, and richly satisfying as “slutty.” But I may be in the minority here, because although both posts got a huge amount of social shares, the “slutty brownies” version got 52,000 shares on Facebook, more than four times as many shares as those generated by Kevin and Amanda’s original recipe.
Why is calling something “slutty” more appealing and more shareable than calling something what it actually is? I’m willing to bet that those shares were mostly by women. Is it our way of trying to reclaim a derogatory word? Are we trying exorcise our ambivalence about the pursuit of pleasure on its most basic levels?
Now that I’ve given you some food for thought (I’ve been saving that one up!), I’m going to go bake some Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bars. The adventurous can also try a version with zucchini, or pumpkin, or an espresso flavored Halloween concoction.
Because the enjoyment of brownies- no matter how full of Oreos and cookie dough they are- is something that you should never be ashamed of.
If you enjoyed reading about why they’re called slutty brownies, read The Secret of Chick-fil-A Lemonade next, or how I fixed the big mistake in Alton Brown’s famous chocolate chip cookie recipe!
A great read – very thought provoking. I was delighted to see that Kevin & Amanda played into the positive side of things here – I met Amanda at the Pillsbury Bake-Off and she is a delight.
I would be so curious to hear the response from the Londoner.
Thank you for an awesome article!
Amanda seemed very nice, and it was so helpful of her to allow me to post her photo. Haven’t heard anything from Rosie yet, but I’m certainly curious. I like to believe the best of people, that perhaps there’s another explanation or more details to how things transpired. Who would have thought that baked goods could turn into investigative journalism?
I am so glad you wrote this.
Just for extra info, Rosie of the Londoner Blog was sharing other recipes from Kevin and Amanda months before she ‘invented’ slutty brownies. It is shameless out and out plagiarism.
Other recipes from the same blog without giving credit? Wow. I wonder which recipes?
No, no, poorly phrased by me! Sharing links to Kevin and Amanda recipes on twitter, suggesting she was a Kevin and Amanda reader before the Slutty Brownies.
She does claim to invent other people’s recipes regularly though. A less famous example:
Oh, I get what you’re saying now. Sorry for misunderstanding! 🙂 Very interesting links, thanks for adding your thoughts!
I’d be interested to hear what the Londoner says, too! I was annoyed to see her quoted in a national newspaper that she had invented the recipe for slutty brownies: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/you/article-2805278/How-hit-blog-time-paid-sit-rows-wear-designer-clothes-meet-new-super-bloggers.html
I hadn’t seen that! Thanks for sharing the link! 🙂
I agree that the original name is so much more appealing.
Also think The Londoner must be alone in believing that she ‘invented’ this recipe!
Yes, the more I read about this, the more I’m disappointed that a blogger would claim a very original recipe that clearly wasn’t theirs to begin with. And giving it a rude name just makes it worse.
Well written with a brilliant point of view. This Brownie does not need a “Sexy” name to make you want to make it, I am thinking I have gained pounds just looking at it…
As for taking someone else’s work, renaming it, and then claiming it to be yours… Not cool. I love that fact that you reached out to both parties and did your research, well done.
I too am new to the blogging world, but know when to give credit, link back, and of course ask permission, are we not all taught that in school. No copying peeps 🙂
PS… Can’t wait to try the brownies this weekend, I am by myself Wahoo!!!! I will take pictures and send to you 🙂
Thank you! You’re a sweetheart. Amen to “No copying peeps!”
It’s so neat that someone’s actually baking my brownies. I love it when I get to hear about it!
My tummy loves you, my butt not so much, but hey we only live ONCE!!!
becky :: accooohtrements
Certainly a very interesting post. I don’t want to be a b*tch (each to their own & all that) but I have to say I don’t get the *huge* fuss with the Londoner; sure it’s a fun read & she’s a pretty girl but the whole thing comes across like a big showing-off. There are better bloggers out there who get less recognition. (From what I hear from those in that field there are plenty of more mannerly bloggers too.)
I’m glad you’ve brought the true inventor of ‘slutty’ brownies to my attention & you’re right, they look infinitely more delicious in Kevin & Amanda’s photo.
To be honest, I hadn’t heard of The Londoner until I started looking up those brownie recipes. That isn’t meant as a slight; it’s just that I don’t have time to read a whole lot of blogs, so I tend to stick to a handful of food blogs.
My original intention, back when I was researching but not yet writing this post, was to find out *why* they were called slutty. It was in the process of trying to find out why that I discovered that they weren’t actually slutty to begin with. Then the focus of the post shifted to where the recipe actually came from.
They do indeed look wonderful in that photo. I think, for me at least, it was the change of name even more than the beautiful photo that made them much more appealing to me.
I just hope that people will take a minute to think about what it means that one version got so many more shares than the other.
I guarantee you won’t hear back from The Londoner. She’ll brush it off and ignore it because she’s a shady character. I call shenanigans!
Excellent article. Love all of your posts actually. My waistline, no so much.
Also, don’t expect a reply from the Londoner. If you’re interested in finding out more about her, check this out:
Keep up the awesome blog 🙂
Hi Michelle! Thank you so much for your kind words about my blog! 🙂
I actually ran into the same link yesterday when following up with some of the links posted by the other commenters. It contained a lot of information about some other “shenanigans,” as Ally said, that Rosie may have been involved in.
After a lot of thought, I’ve decided not to include that link here. A lot of those allegations are most likely easily proved (with photos & social media records, etc.), but some of the allegations were a bit too personal about her and I didn’t feel comfortable sharing those. Call it the “mother/daughter/sister” rule- if Rosie were related to me, what information would I feel comfortable seeing shared? I wouldn’t mind if she got called on her misbehavior, but I think that information that’s on the personal side and doesn’t affect others (i.e. the person’s body or private activities) should be off limits.
Anyway, I wanted to be transparent with you so that you’d understand why I posted the comment without the link. I hope you’ll understand, and I sincerely thank you for reading the post and leaving a comment.
And here’s The Londoner actually tweeting about Kevin and Amanda’s brownies, way before she posted about slutty brownies https://twitter.com/RosieLondoner/status/72660052862959616
Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
Wow, I had no idea about the backstory of slutty brownies. I agree with you that there is no need name a recipe something vulgar. It certainly got them more attention, but that solution grates on my nerves.
Especially since the recipe was called something else entirely, before it got lifted from Kevin And Amanda!
This was such a great post – you thoroughly researched and approached the topic without any biases or preconceptions, which is so incredibly rare to find on the internet. I also want to tell you how much I respect you for deciding not to post the link(s) to the site that other commenters posted/alluded to (and I’m speaking as one of the people who regularly reads that thread and originally found your blog through it btw) – you seem to be as sweet as the recipes you post and also write incredibly well – I’ll definitely be following your blog from now on.
(Btw your Champagne Brownie Cake sounds divine, but since I’ve only recently got into baking I think I’ll start with the microwave brownies and work my way up! I also really like the sound of the Mimosa brownies one of your readers linked to – I wonder what that says about me…?)
Aww, you’re making me blush. Thanks for the kind words. It’s so nice to hear when people appreciate something. I didn’t want to make Michelle feel bad because I left out the link, so I tried to explain my reasoning.
And you should totally start with the Champagne Brownies. They’re really no harder than the microwave brownies! And so, so much better! Boxed brownie mix is OK, but champagne brownies are divine. You’ll do fine, just give it a try. 🙂 And if you like a little booziness in your brownies, you must try my Incredible White Chocolate brownies next. They have Grand Marnier! I thought I didn’t like white chocolate- until I made those. Yum…
Well said! My thoughts exactly…. I am not as eloquent expressing my thoughts in writing as yourself ( hence my short previous comment on this article) so I hope you don’t mind me butting in here.
Kudos to you both for the post and comment
Interesting. I always thought the name Slutty Brownies was … odd. And unappealing. And good for you to hunting the recipe back to its source.
Thank you, Donna. I agree completely that it was odd, and certainly unappealing. I much prefer “Chocolate Chip Cookie n’ Oreo Fudge Brownie Bars”!
Gosh, waaaay too many words on that name. I forgot half of them by the time I finished reading. I can see why “slutty brownies” would be more catchy/easy to remember. Also, as she put it: “they’re oh so easy, and more than a little bit filthy”. Makes sense. Lol. 🙂
In countries like America I understand it would be considered offensive. But the girl in question is (or wishes she were) upper class, and upper class british people look down on “prudishness” (considered to be a middle class trait). It can be confusing if you’re a foreigner, but makes sense in our context (and hers). I certainly do not approve stealing someone else’s recipe, but the name doesn’t really sound offensive to me. I’ll try to think of a shorter title for the original recipe, but with so much stuff going on (brownie, cookie, oreos) I don’t think it will be easy!
Very interesting! I love that you’ve given us a different cultural perspective on this. Calling someone slutty is typically considered very offensive here, but I completely understand that it could have a different connotation somewhere else. It is a lot of words in a title, too. Quite true. I can almost wish that the original author of the recipe had a catchy, short title to begin with. I had to constantly refer back to the original webpage when I wrote this post to make sure I had all the words, and all in the right order. 🙂 Would love to hear your new & improved title if you think of one!
I was thinking triple threat seemed more appropriate since it’s 3 different desserts in one!
Actually, the concept of the Brookie (brownie cookie) with Oreo was introduced by Pillsbury in April, 1983 when I copied the recipe for my own use. Since then I have seen the recipe with an ingredient change or name change, all which is ok. If you wanna call a recipe stealing, than pretty much everything is stolen. But call it yours if there are changes in ingredient or method. Please note the recipe that inspired you! To me writing adapted, inspired, or source is a compliment and requirement bloggers need to instill in themselves. I have seen this general recipe using ingredients that are gluten free, adding peanut butter cups, hot fudge, ice cream, sprinkles, friut on top or nuts. All these should be adapted from or inspired by the author that made them think of theirs and make a change. If a blogger was to research every possibility and find the oldest in the lot they wouldn’t have time to post. As far as a change, I think at least 3 things need to change to call it your own. There is only COURTESY and common sense used to make these small additions that do a lot to honor the one that came before you that has done all the work to think up their idea, buy and prepare the ingredients, the expense and time to take the photo, time to work their blog, social media, design, and all blog expenses, and then post the final work of their labors. Stepping down from my soapbox.
Hi Marilyn! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Your soapbox is always welcome. 🙂
The Londoner is more of a showoff than a blogger sharing exciting places and ideas.
Also London doesn’t just consist of Chelsea. What a silly version of London to portray – there are lots of other awesome parts of London.
AND – all her claims to have created the recipe…utter BS. Poor kevin and amanda!!
THANK YOU for posting this. I just finished making a batch of “slutty brownies” for my son’s catechism potluck, and was hoping to find an alternate name like the original, Ultimate Brownies to share with the teacher and kids at church. Lol. Thx!!
Ha! What a great story! Thank you for stopping by, and I’m so glad I was able to help.
As much as I love all things chocolate, I must have been under a rock for quite some time because I have never heard of slutty brownies. I love the name because it just seems so rich but oh my goodness… That name!
Genious! I like this story, and I also like The Londoner. So what. 🙂 Thanks for sharing, I’m definitely making them! 🙂
Wow! Who would have thought that something like this would happen? I have actually heard the term before and totally thought that it was an original recipe!
Nancy at Whispered Inspirations
This is so interesting. I can’t believe there is a backstory like this for these brownies. I swear I have heard them called this before but had no idea this is where it came from.
This is really interesting I definitely prefer the original name, thank you for doing such diligent research.
Damn! This Slutty Brownies really depicted your food porn! It looks really sinful and yummy! Can’t wait to try it.
WOW I just learned a whole lot after reading your post! YUMMY those look so insanely amazing! Definitely looks like a sinful dessert LOL!
Ha Ha! Now I know! Thanks for the post!
This is actually a very interesting origin story…so weird how recipes get their names!