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 4273 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.


  • 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


  • 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!


*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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Rate this recipe (after making it)

  1. Mahi

    5 stars
    I tried these and everyone was in love with them,.. The best brownies I ever made .

    Can u please suggest an alternative for eggs for my vegan friends ?

    • Viv

      apple sauce, it sounds crazy but it does the exact same thing as eggs and doesn’t change the flavour. 🙂

      (¼ cup apple sauce for every egg you replace)

  2. Geneviève

    Hi, I’ve made these twice in the last week & they are the best! But this time I’m out of powdered sugar & my blender is dead. Any alternative to replace the powdered sugar please?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Geneviève, you can just use more regular sugar but they will be a bit more grainy.

  3. Caroline Rieke

    5 stars
    The best brownie I’ve ever had.

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so happy to hear!

  4. Ellen Allen

    So, I use avocado oil in my baking goods that call for oil. Has never failed me 🙂
    And, I’m gonna have to make these because I am out of my favorite mix.
    Usually add a teaspoon of instant coffee to the liquid.
    I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!

  5. Kris Russ

    Can these be gluten dairy free by changing the flour to 1-1 gluten free flour and dairy free semi sweet chocolate chips?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Kris, I haven’t tried GF flour in these so I’m not exactly sure. I think it might work fine.


      I just made them last night gluten free for my friend… they came out just as amazing as usual. These are the best brownies EVER!

    • Stefan

      Please add metric (ml/gram)

  6. Maddie

    I have been making these brownies for over a year. they are fudgy, sweet, and soft. I love them,

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you’ve loved them!

  7. Drew

    4 stars
    While stuck at home with COVID, I wanted to make something nice to surprise my wife. These came out great! Quick, easy, and delicious! Though I found the balance to a bit too far to the cocoa side, so I think next time I’ll switch the measures of cocoa and powdered sugar to get a sweeter mix.

  8. bob

    5 stars
    Literally the best, I always use this recipe and it always turns out amazing

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you’ve been loving them!

  9. Kira

    Can I use butter instead of oil?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      yep, you can use melted butter.

  10. Nicole

    5 stars
    Made these brownies for my colleagues, they were a huge hit! The only adjustments I made were adding hazelnuts and white choc chips and reducing the sugar to compensate. Definitely will be making these brownies many more times, highly recommend, absolutely delicious!

    • Mindy

      5 stars
      Made this with a client and I had a nibble was delicious! Only changes we made was added semi-sweet chips since we don’t keep dark chocolate on hand, and about half a cup of crushed pecans.

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        I’m so glad you both loved them!

  11. Sinbad L

    If I don’t have commercial powdered sugar will some homemade powdered sugar mixed with a little cornstarch be a viable substitute?

  12. Kendra W.

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! I’ve made these a couple of times now in a bundt pan (because previous brownies I’ve made have turned out raw) and a few times in a normal pan! Super good, love the fudgyness, and my family is obsessed! Definitely recommend! 🙂

  13. Sally Mann

    Hi there!
    Are the chocolate chips optional? I’m not a fan of biting into chocolate chips if they’re not melted completely. I know, I’m weird! Haha!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      Hi Sally, I think they’re necessary to add that extra fudge-y factor. You could probably skip them if you want.

    • Yeo M E

      5 stars
      Thank you for this great brownie receipe. Today my second time baking it. Taste better. My first attempt came out like biscuits. But still my family love it.

  14. Stephanie

    5 stars
    Made these last night. Was happy with the outcome. We are going to pair with ice cream for dessert this evening! I used sunflower oil, 1 c. sugar, semi-sweet dairy free chocolate chips. Cooking time about 45 min. I probably could have risked taking them out a couple of minutes sooner for the flaky top but they taste great. Thanks!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m glad you enjoyed them!

  15. Maggie

    I have done many recipes from this website and they have been always successful except this one for these brownies.Followed every instruction ,baked for the exact time showed in the recipe and it turned out thin , chewy and hard.In my opinion it may be the choice of oil in this case (olive oil),I’ve always used butter for my brownies but this time I decided that maybe if i try with olive oil it will be more rich in flavor and healthier.Would not recommend if you don’t like hard and chewy brownies!Other than that every other recipe I’ve tried from here turns out delicious!

    • Emily Coprada

      5 stars
      I followed them, even using olive oil it turned out deliciously insane. ❤️❤️❤️ My advice to you is try to bake it in 35 mins only . It depends on how big or small our oven. Mine is too big and I have to adjust the heat. So I baked it only 300F for 35 mins in 8×8 pan. I just made them last week. My friends and family loved it.

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        I’m so glad you loved them!

  16. Rebekah Campan

    Could I use coconut oil instead of olive oil?

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      yep! Melted.

  17. Emily Coprada

    5 stars
    The best brownies I’ve made ❤️❤️❤️

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  18. Nathalie Legendre

    5 stars
    So, I was skeptical to try a recipe with powdered sugar so to be safe I tried two different recipes. One that called for butter and regular sugar and this one from Love and Lemons. I have to say that everybody loved it while the other one was a failure. The brownies were gooey inside and crispy on the outside. The best really ♥️♥️
    I will keep this recipe for sure.

  19. Jill

    5 stars
    Very delicious brownies! Had a craving for brownies and happened to have all the ingredients. These were fast easy and delicious!

    Per the comments I reduced the sugar to about 1ish cup and they were the perfect level of sweet. I added pecans bc I had them around. Don’t own an 8×8 pan, so used my 9×9 and removed at 30 minutes from the oven. They came out perfect!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  20. Eva

    5 stars
    Delicious- soft inside and perfectly crispy outside! I baked these for the 4th of July and everybody loves them. It’s my go-to brownie recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad everyone loved them!

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.