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 6565 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.

 

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  1. A DeG
    02.25.2024

    1 star
    These taste just like the box brownie without any of the benefits of scratch taste. So chemically tasting. I used canola instead of olive oil, but probably should have gone with butter. Won’t make these again.

  2. Catie_110
    02.25.2024

    3 stars
    I havent done it yet im using it on a math assignment and i think this is really cool and i think the pic is pretty so i am going to do it yay

  3. Amy
    02.25.2024

    Has anybody tried to double the recipe to make a full pan? If so, how did it turn out?

    • Kenyra
      02.25.2024

      I do every time they are delicious

  4. Lisa
    02.24.2024

    5 stars
    Excellent recipe !! I only used 1 cup sugar and it was delicious! Making more this weekend

  5. Bekah
    02.22.2024

    5 stars
    My go to brownie recipe. So easy. I only use 1 bowl. I’ve never used the olive oil. I’ve considered cutting back on sugar, but it’s so dang good as is.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      02.23.2024

      Hi Bekah, so glad you love the recipe!

  6. Jackie
    02.22.2024

    2 stars
    Too sugary. Better off sticking with a box mix and omitting the chocolate chips.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      02.23.2024

      Hi Jackie, Thanks for your comment! For a less sweet version of this recipe, we like to reduce the granulated sugar to 1 cup. I don’t recommend skipping the chocolate chips because they add great chocolate flavor and fudgy texture.

  7. Stormy
    02.22.2024

    5 stars
    These were a hit! I used almond flour instead of regular flour. I made a few in the 3′ wilton cake pans and they took an hour. Super gooey and delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      02.23.2024

      Hi Stormy, so glad you loved them!

  8. Kellie Mistretta
    02.21.2024

    1 star
    We did not like these brownies. We followed the recipe besides the chocolate chips (didn’t have any.) Seems like all you can taste is the powdered sugar.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      02.23.2024

      Hi Kellie, I’m sorry you didn’t like the brownies. I think the lack of chocolate chips could have made a difference—they really contribute to the brownies’ chocolate flavor and fudginess.

  9. Kahlan
    02.18.2024

    5 stars
    How many calories are in this

  10. Stephanie
    02.17.2024

    5 stars
    I’ve made these twice now and they are AH.MA.ZING. Can’t wait to try with walnuts next time.

  11. Mary
    02.16.2024

    5 stars
    Very easy for new bakers to do. I made it last week and again today and it lives up to its namesake, While the color of the brownie is much lighter than in the picture it’s still very tasty, and that shouldn’t affect how it tastes.

    Definitely follow the directions to oil the pan. It is a sticky bugger and wont come out without a fight otherwise.

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