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:
4.92 from 4228 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.

 

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  1. Laurie
    06.15.2022

    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
      06.18.2022

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  2. AMANDA SUZEL
    06.12.2022

    5 stars
    This recipe is amazing. It’s literally the best brownie I’ve ever had. It is incredibly gooey and delicious. I don’t understand the 1 star reviews. If I could give it 10 stars, I would! I use vegetable oil instead of olive and mini semi sweet chocolate chips.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.18.2022

      I’m so glad you’ve loved them!

  3. Maya
    06.12.2022

    2 stars
    after following the recipe exactly the batter was really grainy and crunchy, but also oily. I wouldn’t make this recipe again but taste itself was good.

  4. Andrea
    06.09.2022

    These turned well! but would it be possible to add a metric calculator?

  5. Sumi
    06.06.2022

    Hi! Can I use a cupcake pan instead?

  6. Sara
    06.06.2022

    These are DELICIOUS! I have been looking for a good brownie recipe and these are them! Crispy top and delicious moist middle! I reduced the granular sugar to 1 cup.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.06.2022

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  7. Kitty
    06.05.2022

    Hi, if I were to cook this in an 8 inch round cake tin, would I need to adjust anything? Looking forward to gifting these to a friend 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.06.2022

      Hi Kitty, the batter will be thicker so you may need to increase the baking time.

  8. Samantha
    06.04.2022

    5 stars
    These rocked! Used 1 stick butter instead of oil and I used milk chocolate instead of dark and they were a hit! I cooked it for 45 mins My hubby ate 3 right after they were out ! We couldn’t wait for them to cool!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.06.2022

      I’m so glad you both loved them!

  9. Amber McInvale
    06.04.2022

    All I have is a 9×9 pan. Can you suggest how I would need to adjust the recipe for a pan that size? This looks like a wonderful recipe.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.06.2022

      Hi Amber, the brownies will be too thin – others have had success by reducing the baking time, but I really recommend an 8×8 pan, it’s such a useful size to have.

  10. Erana
    06.03.2022

    5 stars
    It’s so bizarre because I have made these brownies about 7 or 8 times and they’re always the same but the last two times they have had a different more cakey texture, it’s so strange! I have used soft brown sugar instead of white granulated sugar the last two times, I wonder if that did it? I’m sure I only remember using one egg in the past too – but the recipe says 2 and I would have followed it all the other times! So bizarre but still the best brownie recipe I have ever made it’s a hit with everyone!

  11. Krissy
    06.02.2022

    1 star
    I was very skeptical of this recipe from the start. I bake often and something seemed off with the recipe. I followed the directions and made no substitutions and my batter and finished product looked like the pictures. The texture was off and underbaked despite monitoring oven temp and baking for recommended time and checking for doneness. The sugar didn’t fully disolve and the brownies had a gritty texture. Definitely not my thing.

  12. Kaylin
    06.01.2022

    5 stars
    These are now my go-to brownie recipe and I’ve made it half a dozen times now. I’ve tried other recipes over the years but none of them had the “boxed” brownie taste that make them “brownies” to my taste buds. Absolutely delicious! I usually double the recipe and cook in a 9×13 pan and they go quick.

    Variations: I use canola oil instead of more expensive olive oil. I’ve also made it with semi-sweet chocolate chips but definitely go with dark for the best flavor, or else use less sugar if you do use semi-sweet. I also prefer using 1 cup sugar to bring out the chocolate flavor more and since I don’t have a great sweet tooth. I haven’t received one complaint.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.03.2022

      Hi Kaylin, I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed them, thank you for leaving your modification tips!

  13. Shari
    05.31.2022

    4 stars
    Is the batter supposed by be dry. I found there was a slight shortage of liquid to create a typical brownie batter. I added milk, but I’m sure you could add coffee or a milk alternative. Just thought I’d share. Delish 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.31.2022

      Yep, it’s a thick batter compared to brownie mix.

  14. Ananda Prana
    05.31.2022

    Hi, this is great recipe! Any suggest for what I can use other than canola or olive oil? Thanks! 😀

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.31.2022

      Hi Ananda, any neutral oil – grapeseed or avocado. Or you could use melted butter or melted coconut oil. Hope that helps!

    • Heather
      06.04.2022

      The first time we tried this with veggie oil because that’s what I had more of in my pantry and they turned out delicious. My 2 older kids (not on a dairy-free diet. We used vegan chocolate chips) rated them 9/10 “better than boxed brownies”.

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        06.06.2022

        I’m so glad your family enjoyed them!

  15. Brittney
    05.29.2022

    5 stars
    I spooned and swirled peanut butter and cream cheese and left out the chips and still amazing

  16. Cara
    05.29.2022

    5 stars
    Love these brownies! They are the type you’d find at an expensive bakery. I come to this recipe everytime and follow it step by step! It’s a hit in the community

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.31.2022

      I’m glad they’ve been such a hit!

  17. Dan
    05.27.2022

    5 stars
    I was surprised at this fantastic cake my wife made. She is a great cook but I didn’t expect something this great. Thank you.

  18. Tina
    05.27.2022

    5 stars
    I rarely leave a comment but you earned it with this recipe. My husband said he was stunned and amazed. Thank you and now I am going to print it out so I’ll always have it. 🙂

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.28.2022

      I’m so glad he loved them!

  19. emma
    05.26.2022

    5 stars
    these brownies r absolutely delicious

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.