The BEST brownie recipe! With crispy edges, fudgy middles, and rich chocolate flavor, these homemade brownies will disappear in no time.
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
More Favorite Desserts
If you love this brownie recipe, try one of these yummy treats next!
- Perfect Oatmeal Cookies
- Easy Sugar Cookies
- No-Bake Cookies
- Best Peanut Butter Cookies
- Orange Zest Shortbread Cookies
- Vegan Coconut Macaroons
Best Homemade Brownies
- 8x8 Baking Dish (this is the one I use so they don't overcook)
- Cooking Spray (I love this avocado oil one from Chosen Foods)
- Parchment Paper (this makes it so much easier to remove the brownies from the pan)
- 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!
Mine were flat in the middle!! Lol I have no idea why?
Really good! Moist with a good chew. My new brownie recipe.
So glad you enjoyed them!
Could I add coffee to this recipe to make it more chocolatey?
Yep, a little instant espresso powder would be great!
Can I use a confectioner sugar substitute? Or even go without it to be more diabetic friendly?
I am wondering the same! I started making them and realized I am out of powdered sugar. 🙁
You can throw regular into a blender…bam Powdered sugar!!
Hi Madison, we haven’t tested this recipe without powdered sugar, so I wouldn’t recommend skipping it. However, this zucchini brownie recipe (you can’t taste the zucchini, promise!) has much less sugar and is delicious! Hope this helps.
Amazing. Normally I have to tweak recipes I find online but not this one. This one is perfect as written. It’s easy and delicious. Super chewy crust with gooey center. Perfection. I didn’t have chocolate chips in the pantry so I left them out. They were not missed.
So glad you loved the brownies!
Without an 8×8 baking pan (I have a 9×9), can I just reduce the cooking time? I do have an 8″ pie plate….
(I will get an 8×8 but was hoping to make it today.)
Thanks for any help.
Hi Sue, others have used a 9×9 and reduced the baking time, but the brownies will be much thinner in the pan, so an 8×8 square is recommended (it’s also a handy pan to have for other baking recipes). The batter will be thicker in an 8-inch round pan and it might not bake all the way through. Hope that helps!
Made these tonight, and they were delicious! Question, the sea salt really came through and I loved it, but just wanted to see if that’s intentional. Anyone else have a noticeable “sea salt brownie” flavor when making these?
Will definitely make these again!
Hi Mandi, So glad you loved them! We really like the sea salt flavor with the chocolate, but if you’d prefer a less salty brownie, feel free to scale the salt back to 1/2 teaspoon.
I make these so often and my entire family is obsessed. I will never use a different recipe!! So easy to make and so fudgy, literally the perfect brownies.
Hi Erin, I’m so glad you and your family love the brownies!
Delicious and easy to make with the kids !!
So glad you loved the brownies!
Why do you line the baking dish with parchment paper?
Hi Brooke, The parchment prevents the brownies from sticking to the pan.
After reading some of the reviews I was nervous that these would not turn out. They turned out way better than expected! I took these brownies to a New Year’s Eve party with people of all ages and everyone loved them. They are just the perfect amount of chocolatey, moist, chewy goodness. I will be using this recipe everytime I make brownies going forward!
That’s so weird, for me they came out great, did you follow the recipe exactly, and add the right ratio of flour and sugar? If they were to dry add more water, if they were to wet add more flour, if they are too crunchy, bake them for less time, and if they are too soft then bake them for longer.
These brownies are delish!!! They are so crispy on the top and soft and fudgy in the middle. Sooooo good!!!! Definitely try this. Also it’s very easy to do, I did it with a 8 year old and she loved doing it. Easy, quick, fun activity for all ages and comes out with a brilliant, and scrumptious result!
omg these are DANGEROUS
they are WAAY too delicious, and waaaay too easy…. im doomed!!
These are the best homemade brownies I’ve made! I have used this recipe multiple times since Thanksgiving for all my holiday parties & family gatherings! Major hit every time! I also have used several different mix ins! Andes mint chips, PB chips & caramel just to name a few. Thank you for a great recipe.
I’m wondering about the sugar. You recommend powdered sugar in the opening description, but in the ingredients list, you changed to granulated.
It shows both granulated and powdered sugar in the ingredients list
The recipe has both granulated sugar and powdered sugar. Keep reading the list and you’ll see the powdered sugar!
can i use veg oil i don’t have olive oil
Vegetable oil works great here!
Hi Stevie, there is both granulated and powdered sugar in the ingredient list.
I’ve made this quite a few times now and it’s turned out pretty well most of those times. There were a couple times where it was a little hard or a little too soft but the past couple tries went well. I stuck to the recommended baking time and it worked but everyone’s oven is different so yk. They taste very good with peanut butter swirled in the batter. I’m trying to make caramel peanut butter brownies using this recipe today, will update with results.
what would you recommend the best way to pre make these for a party and still have them be warm?
Collapsing in the middle can be caused by over mixing, introducing too much air into the batter causes them to fall flat while baking. Also make sure your oil and flour ratio is correct
I think the 40 minute bake time is quite long. I was left with a super dry dense brownie:(
are you at high altitude? i am only at 2700 feet but i still added like 3 extra tsp water, upped the temp a bit, and reduced bake time to 32 min!