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

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Best Homemade Brownies

rate this recipe:
4.92 from 6834 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.

Equipment

Ingredients

Instructions

  • 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!

Notes

*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.

 

3795 comments

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  1. Fleurette
    05.22.2024

    Is it okay to omit the chocolate chips?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      05.23.2024

      Hi, the chocolate chips contribute to the brownies’ inner fudginess, so I recommend using them if you can. If you don’t have any on hand, it’s ok to skip them, or you can substitute 1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate.

  2. Kyra
    05.21.2024

    32 mins into baking and my brownies are completely charred on top 🙁 I know every oven is different but I have never had any major issues with other recipes. such a waste of ingredients; please check yours at 25/30 mins!

    • James
      05.21.2024

      I saw your comment and took extra caution peaking at 25, 30, 35, I took mine out after 40 minutes and it was perfection. Did you happen to use a dish that was larger than 8×8 or make any substitutions to the recipe? I still have to wait for my brownies to cool before the taste test, but aesthetically it looks great and the aroma is intoxicating. I still think everyone should heed your warning though! It was good advice as not all ovens are the same!

  3. Jayne H
    05.21.2024

    2 stars
    First time making brownies with this recipe,and it will be my last, they came out flat, I adjusted the time too as 40 mins was way too long, only took 30 mins, I don’t understand why baking powder isnt in the recipe?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.22.2024

      Hi Jayne, did you use an 8×8 baking dish?

  4. Sunanda K
    05.20.2024

    I’m really excited to try and make these brownies, but I was wondering if anyone has subbed out the water in the wet ingredients for milk? So often when I doctor up boxed mix I swap water for milk and was wondering what the effect would be in this recipe. Will update when completed recipe. Thanks!

  5. Somaly
    05.19.2024

    3 stars
    These were way too sweet for our taste. My kids, who love brownies, couldn’t finish a square. The texture was perfect! Will reduce the amount of sugar for next time.

  6. julz
    05.19.2024

    5 stars
    I seen a lot of comments saying people didn’t like this. I loved it actually. It’s been over a day since it was made and I cooked it for 45 minutes.
    it reminds me a lot of my mamor’s brownies.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.22.2024

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  7. Leah
    05.19.2024

    3 stars
    The flavor was good (very sweet), but they were so hard, like fudgy candy. I baked them at the correct temperature for 40 minutes and used organic sugar which has slighlty larger grains so not sure if that’s what made them so crystallized. I’m a frequent baker so if I try again I will definitely reduce the sugar and see if that helps since so many people seem to have had good results.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.22.2024

      Hi Leah, did you use an 8×8 baking dish or a larger one? I think the difference in sugar would make them more grainy.

  8. Shaizin
    05.19.2024

    2 stars
    My brownies did not turn out good cause of the granulated sugar used in it. Like can we just use powdered sugar instead of granulated sugar? And my brownies became rock hard 🥲

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.22.2024

      Hi, did you use an 8×8 baking sheet, and did you change anything else about the recipe?

  9. Alanna
    05.19.2024

    2 stars
    These did not turn out for me 🙁 I was suspicious of the incredibly long cook time so decided to check them at 30 mins and they were over cooked. I would typically expect something around the 22 minute mark for this kind of recipe and should have gone with my instinct!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.22.2024

      Hi Alanna, did you use an 8×8 baking dish or a larger one?

  10. Sofia
    05.17.2024

    4 stars
    I’ve had much success with this recipe but I only have a 11×7 pan. so I’ve had to guess how long to leave them in for. If you have a suggestion for how long I should be leaving it in the oven for that would be really helpful.

  11. Kerri
    05.16.2024

    Can you put nuts in these?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      05.17.2024

      Hi Kerri, yep, you can! The batter is very thick, so I would mix them with the dry ingredients before combining the dry and wet. Another option is to press nuts into the tops of the brownies before baking. Hope you enjoy!

  12. Mimi
    05.15.2024

    Hoping they turn out ok. The texture of the batter was really weird and I had to basically press the batter into the pan.

  13. Nova
    05.15.2024

    4 stars
    Loved it, it was super gooey and good. I made this for my fam and it was SOO GOOD!!

  14. Kate
    05.13.2024

    5 stars
    The best brownies I have ever made. Thank you!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.16.2024

      I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  15. minhie
    05.13.2024

    4 stars
    idk what i did wrong but it tastes so sour 😭 also, it baked really flat and it has a weird texture…

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.16.2024

      Hi Minhie, did you change anything about the recipe? I can’t imagine what would have made them sour.

  16. Lucy
    05.13.2024

    If I want to 1.5 times this recipe, what size pan should I use?

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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.