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:
5 from 3482 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.

 

2596 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Michele McCall
    11.30.2022

    5 stars
    I made these with extra vanilla and double the water. They are thin when done, and I cooked them a shorter time in my convection oven for a done brownie with a nice chew. I like that its a small pan as Im the only one who eats them.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      12.02.2022

      So glad you enjoyed them!

  2. Kathy
    11.29.2022

    Hi there,
    The brownies are still cooling, but they aren’t very deep at all! Maybe an inch. I didn’t overmix the mixture, and used an 8×8 inch tin. Is this normal?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      12.02.2022

      These aren’t super thick bars, an inch or so sounds right!

  3. Maka
    11.27.2022

    5 stars
    I think I put too much faith in the skewer test to discern the readiness of the brownie. I am handicapped by my piece of shiz oven.

  4. Allison
    11.26.2022

    5 stars
    Love this recipe. Make it for my fiancé all the time, he loves them. When letting them cool for 2 hours, should I leave them in the pan? Or take them out and left them cool out of the pan?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.27.2022

      Hi Allison, let them cool inside the pan so that you’ll have an easier time getting them out of the pan. I’m so glad he’s enjoyed them!

  5. Sable
    11.25.2022

    2 stars
    I personally really did not like this recipe and neither did my husband. All you can taste is the oil used, beware! Maybe try less, substituting, or a different recipe if you want to avoid.

  6. Nic
    11.24.2022

    Have you ever made these in mini muffin tins as one bite brownies ? And if so do you know the cooking time? I may try and keep checking to dry mine when to take them out.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.28.2022

      Hi Nic, I haven’t but I would start checking them around the the 16 to 20 minute mark.

  7. Michele
    11.23.2022

    3 stars
    Should the cocoa powder be unsweetened or regular? In the text it says unsweetened but the actual recipe just says cocoa powder. Now in the oven with regular, too late for me 🙁

    • Amya Ross
      11.23.2022

      I used unsweetened and it was really sweet so I can’t imagine how sweet normal cocoa powder would be but if you like sweet then it will be good

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.24.2022

      Hi Michele, unsweetened cocoa powder.

  8. Jim
    11.17.2022

    5 stars
    FWIW, if you substitute cannabis infused oil and add some extra extract (double vanilla, plus citrus or mint) this recipe makes the best bedtime snack/edible I’ve ever made.

  9. Ingrid Torjesen
    11.15.2022

    5 stars
    Best brownies ever!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.18.2022

      So glad you love them!

  10. Maria
    11.15.2022

    Can this be done without eggs? My son is allergic.

    • Jim
      11.17.2022

      Hi Maria, one time I tried the recipe with mashed banana instead of eggs (one banana for one egg) and it worked pretty well. I didn’t like the flavor quite as much, but still good and chewy. From what I understand you can make that substitution in most recipes if the banana flavor doesn’t conflict with the other flavors. Best wishes to your son.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.18.2022

      Hi Maria, we have two egg-free brownie recipes on the site, here and here. I’d recommend trying one of them instead!

    • Michele
      11.30.2022

      Use crushed flax seed in two tablespoons of water to replace each egg, it should be gelatinous. Then add a quarter tsp baking powder. You may need a spit of milk or more water if the batter is too thick.

  11. Tanda
    11.14.2022

    Thank you very much for the recipe!!
    may I ask for the recipe of 12×12″ pan please.

    Thank you.

    • Jim
      11.17.2022

      The area of a 8×8 pan is 64 sq in. The area of a 12×12 pan is 144 sq in. And 144/64 is 2.25. So if you multiply everything by 2.5 you should get about the same height of brownies but in a 12×12 pan. But looking at the recipe, I’d multiply by everything by 2.5 and increase the baking time by 5 minutes at most. Sorry, if this seems long but I’m a former chemistry teacher, so I wanted you to see how to convert the recipe as well as this particular answer.

      • Blake from BlakeWScott.com
        11.18.2022

        Love this response. Wish my chemistry teachers had talked about this kind of stuff!

      • Donna
        11.22.2022

        Good to know, thank you!

      • Alicia
        12.02.2022

        This does not necessarily hold true for cookies or recipes with leavening agents!

        Baking is a science of ratios. Keep this in mind moving forward!

  12. Hanouna
    11.14.2022

    5 stars
    Great recipe! Brownies have a hard yet gooey texture (not cakey) and are better than box mix. I added hershy kisses on top of the hot brownies for extra!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.18.2022

      Yum! So glad you loved the brownies.

  13. kika
    11.14.2022

    How many does it serve?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.18.2022

      We slice the pan into 16.

  14. Christy Long
    11.12.2022

    5 stars
    The BEST brownie recipe I’ve ever used! I have stopped looking. Also perfect as a base for all kinds of additions!!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.18.2022

      Hi Christy, So glad you love it!

  15. Kourtney
    11.11.2022

    I’ve found that using callebaut dark and milk chocolate makes this recipe really yummy! All my friend’s think they are the best brownies. I buy that and vanilla from OliveNation. Huge game changer!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.17.2022

      That combination sounds amazing! So glad the brownies are a hit.

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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.