Best Homemade Brownies

The BEST brownie recipe! With crispy edges, fudgy middles, and rich chocolate flavor, these homemade brownies will disappear in no time.

Best Brownie Recipe

For years, I couldn’t seem to find a recipe for brownies that met my standards. Anytime I made homemade brownies, I wanted them to be just like the ones I ate as a kid – super fudgy, moist, and chocolaty, with crispy edges and crackly tops. But the thing is, these brownies didn’t come from a recipe. We always made them from a box. Nowadays, I prefer to bake from scratch, but no brownie recipe I tried could live up to the chocolate brownies of my childhood.

So this fall, as I flipped through Michelle Lopez’s new book Weeknight Baking, her recipe for Boxed Mix Brownies, From Scratch caught my eye. Would I finally be able to make homemade brownies that would be just as delicious as the ones from a box?

The verdict: yes! I’ve had this brownie recipe on repeat since the first time I tried it. It calls for basic pantry ingredients, and it’s hardly more difficult than using a mix. As for the brownies, they’re true perfection – glossy, fudgy, and filled with rich chocolate flavor. Trust me, you’re going to want to make them ASAP!

Another thing you should do ASAP is check out Weeknight Baking! This book is packed with crave-worthy recipes that are meant for busy weeknights. Each one comes with fun variations (I have my eye on the matcha snickerdoodles) as well as tips for becoming a more efficient baker. After years of juggling a 9-to-5 job and running her blog, Hummingbird High, Michelle is full of wisdom on how to bake on a busy schedule. She writes, “We’re all doing the best we can with what we have. And I’m going to help you bake any night of the week that works for you.” If you love baking, you’ll love this book.

Recipe for Brownies ingredients

Homemade Brownie Recipe Ingredients

Back to Michelle’s recipe for brownies! In order for it to turn out like (aka better than) the boxed mix, Michelle uses granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, salt, and chocolate chips. Then, she adds these key ingredients:

  • 2 eggs + water – Michelle uses a bit of water with the eggs to achieve the moist, gooey texture of boxed mix brownies without any commercial emulsifiers. And because this recipe doesn’t contain any baking powder, eggs are essential for helping the brownies puff up in the oven.
  • Powdered sugar – The trick to making homemade brownies that are just like ones from a box! Powdered sugar contains cornstarch, which helps thicken the batter without the chemical additives you’d find in a mix.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – Michelle recommends using Hershey’s Special Dark Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Whole Foods’ 365 Cocoa Powder). Make sure to sift it if it’s lumpy!
  • Oil – While many recipes for brownies use unsalted butter, Michelle’s calls for canola oil, just like the boxed mix. I use olive oil because it’s what I keep on hand, and I love the rich flavor.
  • Vanilla Extract – 1/2 teaspoon vanilla really amps up the chocolate flavor.

That’s it! These fantastic homemade brownies are so easy.

How to make brownies from scratch

How to Make Brownies from Scratch

First, mix together the dry and wet ingredients in two separate bowls. Combine the sugar, flour, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips, and salt in a medium bowl. Then, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, and water in a large one.

Dry ingredients in a mixing bowl

Next, combine the wet and dry ingredients. Sprinkle the dry mixture over the wet one, and fold until just combined. The batter will be thick!

Homemade brownies batter

Then, pour the batter into an 8×8 inch baking pan lined with parchment paper. Use a rubber spatula to spread it to all four sides of the pan and to smooth the top. The mixture will be very thick – that’s ok.

Pouring batter into a pan

Finally, bake! Transfer the pan to a 325-degree oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out with a few crumbs attached. Allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Store any leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. They also freeze well for up to a month. Last time I made these, I doubled the recipe and stored the second batch in the freezer. It was so fun to have them on hand for a quick and easy dessert or afternoon treat!

Chocolate brownies Brownies on parchment paper

Best Brownie Recipe Tips

  • Better chocolate chips = better brownies. In her book, Michelle writes that one of the biggest secrets to making great brownies is using large, good-quality chocolate chips. She recommends Ghiradelli’s 60% Cacao Bittersweet Baking Chips, while I love Enjoy Life’s Dark Chocolate Morsels. Either brand would fantastic in this recipe!
  • It’s better to pull them out too early than to leave them in too long. No one likes dry brownies, so err on the side of caution when you’re making this recipe. Bake them until a toothpick inserted comes out with just a few crumbs attached. If you’re on the fence, go ahead and take them out of the oven. They’ll continue to firm up as they cool!
  • Wait for them to cool. Try your best to resist eating these guys straight out of the oven. Letting them cool makes them gooier and fudgier, and they’ll be less likely to crumble when you slice them. Plus, they’ll have an even richer chocolate flavor. Trust me, it’s worth the wait!

Weeknight baking book

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Best recipe for brownies

Best Homemade Brownies

rate this recipe:
4.92 from 6056 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Serves 16 brownies
The ultimate recipe for brownies! They're fudgy, moist, and super chocolaty, with perfect crispy edges. From Weeknight Baking by Michelle Lopez.




  • Preheat the oven to 325°F. Lightly spray an 8x8 baking dish (not a 9x9 dish or your brownies will overcook) with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, powdered sugar, chocolate chips, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, olive oil, water, and vanilla.
  • Sprinkle the dry mix over the wet mix and stir until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan (it'll be thick - that's ok) and use a spatula to smooth the top. Bake for 40 to 48 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs attached (note: it's better to pull the brownies out early than to leave them in too long). Cool completely before slicing.*** Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. These also freeze well!


*If you'd like to reduce the sugar, I've had success with 1 cup granulated sugar instead of 1 1/2 cups.
**I like to use olive oil because it's what I keep on hand and I enjoy the pairing of olive oil with chocolate. Keep in mind that you will taste it here. For a more neutral flavor, use canola oil.
***When these brownies come out of the oven, they'll be super gooey in the middle. Allow them to cool completely, about 2 hours, before you slice into them to give them a chance to set up. They'll continue to firm up the longer they're out of the oven. If you still prefer a firmer brownie, store them in the fridge.



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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Marcy

    Hi, I hope this is not too crazy or silly of a question, but I have a hard time working with powdered sugar. Any suggestions to make this work without that ingredient?? Thanks for taking the time to consider this question….

  2. Rose Ann

    How to adjust ingredients for high altitude baking!

  3. Damon

    Hello. My oven starts out at 350. Is there still a way to make these?

  4. Brandon

    5 stars
    I’ve made these a few times now and I substituted melted butter for oil and they have been AMAZING every time. I used Ghirardelli Dutch dark chocolate powder and a mix of semi sweet and dark chocolate chips. This is a great BASE recipe. Make it your own.

  5. Milca

    5 stars
    OMG! This was my first time baking ever and I wanted to bake brownies from scratch bc I love brownies! This was the best recipe to follow, it was so fudgy and delicious! I made 3 batches and every single one I got compliments on them 🙂

  6. Arianne

    What’s a good gluten-free alternative for the all purpose flour? That is not almond flour

    • Laticia

      For gluten free baking it’s best to use a gluten free designed recipe as GF flour isn’t able to be used as a direct substitute due to the impact on texture, supermarkets sell a “gluten-free baking mix” (essentially a gf flour alternative)
      Texture can still be a hit and miss unfortunately but it’s your best bet other than gf boxed cake mixes
      Hope this helps 🙂

  7. Ana

    Hello! I’d really appreciate it if you could add the weight for the ingredients. I find it makes for a much easier to follow recipe

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Ana, I appreciate the feedback, thank you!

  8. Mady

    3 stars
    I’ve made this recipe twice now and can’t seem to get it right. It seems like there’s wayyyy too much oil? The only thing I changed was that I don’t have an 8×8 pan so I had to use my 8.5×10.5 inch pan and decreased the baking time to account for it… I don’t think that would make it any oilier so I’m quite confused

    • Lauren

      3 stars
      I’ve also made them twice and I had to go back and check the recipe to make sure I didn’t mess up, as it is so oily looking!

      It takes forever to set up and I’m not sure what’s wrong.

      • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

        Hi, the brownies might look oily on top while they’re baking. That’s ok! The oiliness will decrease as the brownies cool.

  9. Donut

    5 stars
    I have made these brownies lots of times and I still can’t seem to figure out when they’re done. I feel like my edges are always well done and I wait forever for the center. Tonight the toothpick was still very wet in the center and the edges were well done. Do I just need to let the middle be gooey? I also can never get them to cut nicely, the top usually separates from the bottom. They’re my absolute favorite regardless of all of that and they disappear very fast in my house!
    Any tips would be very much appreciated.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi, so glad you love the brownies! Do you change anything about the recipe? If not, I’d recommend taking them out when the middle is still a little gooey vs cooking them until it’s set. It will set up more as the brownies cool!

  10. Cathy

    5 stars
    Best, fudgiest, chewy brownies I’ve ever made. And also the easiest! I did use 1/2 melted coconut oil and half vegetable oil. Otherwise I followed exactly. Thank you for this great recipe. A real keeper!

  11. Ellen

    I have made this hundreds of times because it is so good. Huge bit with everyone and so easy. I use olive oil and often make with a gf flour mix.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad it’s been a hit! What GF mix have you been using?

  12. maia

    5 stars
    This recipe is the most incredible thing ever. I am making brownies with my best friend right now to give to my best friends family with covid.

    I recomend:
    Swapping oil with butter
    Fluffing the eggs with sugar

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  13. A

    Is there a way to make this a cake?

  14. Lynda

    Hi, I tried this recipe and wanted to ask if the water amount for this recipe was correct. It only calls for 2 tablespoons of water. The batter was so thick I couldn’t stir it much less pour it out of the bowl. I had to add about 1/2 cup of water in total to be able to be able to stir and por it. Also even with adding water batter was super thick and needed about 15 additional minutes for baking. I have to say though that these were the Best, Fudgy-est, Gooy-est, Most Decadent brownies I ever ate or made!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Lynda, the batter should be thick, just like the pictures (thicker than boxed brownie batter). Did you change anything else about the recipe?

  15. Melissa

    5 stars
    For the vegan folks, don’t use Neat egg as an egg substitute. Or maybe just mix the powder in with the dry ingredients and then add the water that you would use to incorporate the Neat egg to the liquid ingredients and see if that mixes better. Because I tried preparing two Neat eggs, then I tried adding oil to the Neat mixture which didn’t mix.
    And when I tried adding all of that to the dry ingredients, the “batter” was firmer than a brick. 😛
    I basically formed them into balls with my hand and shoved them into a muffin pan.
    They’re in the oven and smell delicious, so I can’t wait to try them.
    Rating 5 stars because it’s not the recipe (or author)’s fault. 😀

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.