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

More Favorite Desserts

If you love this brownie recipe, try one of these yummy treats next!

Best recipe for brownies

Best Homemade Brownies

rate this recipe:
4.92 from 4178 votes
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
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.


  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar*
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted if lumpy
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil or extra-virgin olive oil**
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


  • 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.



Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. JBurk

    5 stars
    Baffle by the negative comments we rave about these and everyone who has them asks for the recipe. Best homemade brownies hands down!

  2. Blah

    1 star
    Giving it a one star cause everything’s in those God forsaken cups instead of normal measuring units

  3. Teresa Tereziu

    These were the best brownies we’ve ever had! CANNOT comprehend any negative comments! We had five members of the family each try them and we were all blown away…used regular oil vs olive otherwise used the recipe exactly! As far as we’re concerned this is the ultimate brownie recipe! It’s a keeper! Thanks to all for putting it up!

  4. Angie

    1 star
    Worst brownie recipe I’ve ever tried. I even put less sugar in and still too sweet. And I have a really sweet tooth. They are so chewy they’re like toffee. I wanted to use these for a barbecue tomorrow but I don’t think they’re good enough.

  5. Jill

    3 stars
    The only place I went off-recipe was reducing sugar to 1 cup. The texture of the brownies was off (very chewy) and they were way too sweet. My family tried them and did not like them. Don’t think I’ll make again!

  6. Lillian Ramirez

    5 stars
    Tried this recipe today, used 1 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of walnuts, omitted chocolate chips, 1/8 spoon of baking powder and baked in 9X9 for 30 minutes. Perfect. These brownies are far better then previous recipe or any box mix I’ve tried before, definitely a keeper.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  7. Em

    ive always fuond great recipes for brownies but this by far turned out the worst. They cooled for about an hour and were still a weird stretchy chewy texture. Not a fan.

  8. Nick

    hi. i’m not a great cook, and i’ve just started baking now. i don’t want to use an 8×8 pan because it might taste bad and the brownies might go to waste. i only have an 8×3 (a banana bread baking pan). can i use it as a starting pan? what would be the measurements?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Nick, for best results I would use an 8×8 pan. These won’t bake all the way through in a loaf pan.

  9. FancyPenguin028

    Quick I need help! Can I use vegetable oil instead of canola oil??

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Yep, you can!

  10. Eddie

    3 stars
    Too sweet for my palate!

    • FancyPenguin028

      In the comments, I can see many have had success reducing the sugar. Maybe that would help👍

  11. Carrie Bostic

    5 stars
    These are absolutely delicious and will be our go-to recipe. I didn’t even go step-by-step. I just threw it all together. I was in a rush, don’t judge me. LOL I used canola oil, 1 cup of sugar instead of 1.5 cups. They’re super rich and sweet, even with less sugar. I might even lower it to 3/4 cup next time. The whole thing… gone in a day. I highly recommend them! Even with sloppily throwing it together, my 8yo helping, it still turned out amazing.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Ha ha, I’m so glad everyone loved them!

  12. Alahna

    5 stars
    I made this recipe today and it was delicious! Will be the only brownies I make from now on. Everyone loved them!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad they were a hit!

  13. R

    What changes would I need to make if I doubled the recipe and put it in a 9×13 pyrex?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi, many people have had success just baking them a bit longer (the batter will be thicker in the pan).

  14. Pearl

    3 stars
    Hi! I would make this again, and I hate to post negatively, but I think that the olive oil made my brownie taste like oil. The brownie also got hard after 10 minutes (as in, harder than usual). However, I liked the fudge!

    Sorry to post negatively, but overall, this was easy to make.

    • Koda

      Literally the best recipe I’ve found yet! Everything is perfect, even though I like cake-like brownies, the fudge isn’t overbearing at all once it cools down!

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        I’m so glad you loved them!

    • FancyPenguin028

      I think canola oil is the best choice. Maybe that’s why your brownies were like that?

      • Pearl

        Maybe. I used extra virgin olive oil and I think I used less, but it tastes like I used the same amount. I might try using a less rich oil next time. But, the taste besides that was still delicious! 😋

  15. Amanda

    can i make this without the powdered sugar??

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Amanda, they will have a grittier texture with just regular sugar.

  16. Izaiah

    5 stars
    Best brownies I’ve made in a longgg time, this is now my favourite recipe and everyone I know loves it.

  17. Mari

    4 stars
    This is the only brownie recipe I use now and I’ve been coming back for over a year! I’ve made it for parties and just when I’m craving a yummy and fudgy brownie. I’ve even had success swirling in a little almond butter before baking and it was epic!
    The only reason why its not 5 stars for me is because the original sugar amount is wayyyyy to much for us, even the suggestion of 1 cup of granulated sugar is too sweet.. I usually put something between 3/4 and 1 cup of sugar and everyone loves it.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  18. Franki

    Can anyone tell me if the oven setting is conventional or fan forced?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Just a regular oven, without the convection/fan setting turned on.

  19. Laurie

    5 stars
    This was the best recipe for brownies that I have ever made. The brownies were chewy, and had an excellent flavor. Loved loved loved

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
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.