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:
4.94 from 3501 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.

Ingredients

  • 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

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.

 

1759 comments

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  1. Daniel
    10.17.2021

    Hi!
    I live at 7000ft. Any suggestions or tweaks to the recipe to adjust for altitude?
    Thanks!

    Daniel
    Santa Fe, NM

  2. Kristen
    10.17.2021

    Any opinion on using butter or coconut oil? I have olive oil but don’t wish to taste it and usually only bake with coconut oil or butter.

  3. Rebecca D.
    10.17.2021

    5 stars
    I just made these this morning and they are hands down the best brownies! I only had milk chocolate chips, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. Yum!!! This is a keeper!!!

  4. Lynnette
    10.16.2021

    Hi there! I love this recipe and have made it several times. I’m making them today for my sisters wedding (on Friday Oct. 22nd). I saw you mention that they are great to freeze…can you tell me what method you used to freeze them? I want to make sure they are still wonderful on Friday! 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.17.2021

      Hi Lynnette, I’m not sure I’d freeze them for a wedding… or I’d try just letting them thaw at room temp. When I freeze individual squares, I reheat them in the microwave.

  5. Kerry
    10.16.2021

    These are truly the best brownies! I made them gluten free with a one to one gluten free flour! My husband devoured them!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.16.2021

      oh I’m so happy they’ve worked with gluten free flour! What brand did you use?

  6. jessica
    10.16.2021

    I just put the brownies in the oven and to be honest I think I ate most of the batter its so delicious!!!!!

  7. Kathy
    10.14.2021

    5 stars
    I’ve made these twice now and both times was told “these are the best brownies I’ve ever had!” Seriously, they are! My son’s birthday party is tomorrow and I”m planning on making them for the kids. I would like to make them in a cupcake pan (but not make them as full as a muffin). Have you ever tried this? Any suggestions?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.15.2021

      Hi Kathy, I’m so glad these have been a hit! I haven’t tried it, but I’d probably bake them for less time.

  8. Novi
    10.12.2021

    5 stars
    Perfect. The best brownie recipe.

  9. I used a 9×9 because that’s all I have and baked them 30 minutes and they turned out great!

  10. Samantha
    10.11.2021

    I don’t have an 8×8 baking dish, only a 9×9. What do you suggest for oven temp and baking time?

    • Isabella
      10.13.2021

      Thanks for the comment I don’t have an 8×8 and was wondering what to do!

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        10.14.2021

        Hi Isabella, the batter will be too thin in the larger pan – you’ll have thinner brownies and they can overcook quicker. Some others in the comments have just cooked them for less time, but I really recommend an 8×8 pan for best results.

  11. Cat
    10.10.2021

    5 stars
    These brownies came out amazingly good! I tried the recipe only because I was low on butter and it didn’t call for any butter, but this will be my go to brownie recipe from now on! I did reduce the granulated sugar to 1 cup. They’re perfect. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  12. bash
    10.10.2021

    do we need to add melted chocolate or not?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.10.2021

      There’s no melted chocolate, just cocoa powder and chocolate chips.

  13. Tara
    10.10.2021

    4 stars
    hi, i have been searching for new brownie recipes since my old one has failed me multiple times. i followed this recipe to the T and while i havent tasted them yet (waiting for them to cool down), i saw the same problem my old recipe had. the brownies bubble a little while baking, and the granulated sugar somehow ends up at the top of the brownies in crystals and i have to scrape them off after baking. would you have any idea why this keeps happening regardless of the recipe i use, and what i could do to fix it? (i reduced the sugar to 1 cup instead of 1 1/2 cup)

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.10.2021

      Hi Tara, did you use the same amount of eggs, powdered sugar, all-purpose flour, and everything else? This happens when I mess with the amount of eggs in a brownie recipe. It also happens with brands of sugar that are more coarse. I’ve had the best smooth baking results with Domino sugar, you might give that a try.

    • Jeannie
      10.10.2021

      5 stars
      I added the sugar with the wet ingredients, mixed it in and gave it time to dissolve and I did not have this problem. I also omitted the powder sugar and reduced the sugar to one cup. It worked out for me. I felt it was sweet enough. Hope this helped.

  14. Michelle
    10.09.2021

    5 stars
    Amazing brownies! Had a tough time making brownies in the past but this one certainly stole my heart!!

  15. Lori Ann
    10.08.2021

    5 stars
    This was the best brownie recipe. Absolutely delicious!

  16. Laura Wagg
    10.06.2021

    5 stars
    These are the best brownies I’ve made yet!
    Highly recommend.

  17. Jericha Barton
    10.05.2021

    5 stars
    I absolutlg love these, I made tgem gluten free and they are so crispy gewy and good.

    • Hannah
      10.08.2021

      5 stars
      I make these brownies for every potluck at my work and everybody always loves them! They’re so fudgy and delicious!

  18. Grace
    10.05.2021

    5 stars
    I LOVE this recipe, I use it allll the time it’s so amazing.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      10.06.2021

      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed it!

  19. gavin
    10.05.2021

    3 stars
    The crunchy outside and gooey inside of these is fantastic. That said, 1 and 1/2 cups of sugar is way too much. I wish I had seen the notes that you can reduce it to 1 cup. I wanted to be able to taste the chocolate but the flavor of these is like a cookie from Subway- just pure sweetness.

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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.