Mealworm Brownies

by | May 1, 2018 | Aggie Life, Food, Spring/Summer 2018

Insects — and their larvae — aren’t just pests. They’re also great sources of protein. With more than 1,400 species of edible bugs to choose from, UC Davis entomologists recommend cooking with all types of crunchy protein, from crickets to grasshoppers. The UC Davis Department of Entomology offers this mealworm dessert every year on Picnic Day for daring brownie-lovers to test their tasting limits.



  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup toasted mealworms


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C). Grease and flour an 8-inch square pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla.
  3. In another bowl, mix cocoa, flour, salt and baking powder. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture. Fold in mealworms. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.