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:
4.91 from 5086 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.




  • 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. Jessica H

    I enjoyed the brownies overall but they are way too sweet with the full amount of sugar the recipe calls for. I wish I had read the reviews prior to baking and reduced the amount of sugar I used. Otherwise, they had strong chocolate flavor and a good texture.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Jessica, I’m glad you enjoyed the brownies! We’ve had success making them with just 1 cup granulated sugar instead of 1 1/2. Just fyi for next time if you prefer them less sweet!

  2. Karen A

    5 stars
    I used Hershey’ Special Dark cocoa, Ghirardelli 72% Dark chocolate chips, 1/2 olive and 1/2 canola oils, and added toasted chopped pecans.
    A M A Z I N G!!!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you loved them!

  3. BrownieLuvr

    3 stars
    Just okay. A little too sweet, and not quite the intense chocolate-y brownie that I’m used to. Chewy brownies aren’t my favorite either, but if you are they did a very nice job texture-wise.

  4. Sammie

    The consistency of the brownie is great but the taste is not. They are not sweet enough, I think I even taste the olive oil?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Sammie, the olive oil flavor can come through in these brownies. Feel free to use a neutral oil (canola, vegetable, etc.) next time if you prefer!

  5. Emma

    3 stars
    The brownies were fine, they didn’t bake very well and there was way too much sugar in it.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi, if you prefer a less sweet brownie, this recipe works great with 1 cup granulated sugar instead of 1 1/2 cups.

  6. Jamie

    4 stars
    The brownies were good. I do think that there is way too much sugar added. They do taste a bit too surgery. But overall it was a great recipe. It took a little longer than expected.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Hi Jamie, we love these brownies made with 1 cup granulated sugar instead of 1 1/2 cups. I recommend trying that next time for a less sweet brownie!

  7. Laurie

    5 stars
    This recipe received glowing reviews! I used half olive and half sunflower oil. Did not use chocolate chips but added a little more cacao powder and nuts. They were both cakey AND chewy! I also topped with some homemade caramel sauce. Thank you!!!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Sounds delicious! So glad they were a hit.

  8. Briday

    5 stars
    Meant to rate this 5 star!! This will be our go-to always!

    • Jeanine Donofrio

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  9. Briday

    SUPER YUMMY! These are fudge, dense, rich deliciousness! Thank you!

  10. Cooper

    2 stars
    If they’re not ready for hours after baking, 5 minutes prep time is misleading.. The oil seemed too be too heavy and the brownies lacked flavor. Top had a crunch.

  11. Cathy

    Anyone ever use substitute sugar for this one

    • Samirah Michel

      I did not use all that sugar. 1/4 cup of white sugar and 1/4 cup of black sugar (somewhat less calories but the taster is warmer) with 1 tablespoon of stevia.

  12. Nathan Kaplita

    3 stars
    Why are the measurements not in metric? When baking it is imperative that you use metric measurements for precision and accuracy, especially for flour. There should at least be an option to switch the recipe into metric

  13. laziedazie74

    5 stars
    best brownie recipe!
    i made for the first tym using this recipe and it came out just awesome.
    will be making again tmrrw on demand 😄. thanx very much 💞

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you love it!

  14. Shannon

    5 stars
    Best brownies we’ve ever made. We typically buy ghiradelli brownie mix from the store but did not have any on hand when my husband announced he wanted brownies. Mixed wet ingredients into dry on reflex and added a splash of whole milk at the end. The batter was thick (but I was able to mix it by hand using a fork without breaking a sweat). Sticky straight out of the oven and kept firming and getting better as it aged. My husband asked me to make extra to keep on hand so we don’t have to buy brownies anymore. Wonderful recipe!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      Thank you for your comment! Great to hear the recipe was a hit.

  15. Theresa

    Could I use butter if I don’t have oil?

  16. PAUL

    5 stars
    My tweaks: used grapeseed oil, Droste Cocoa, Nestle semi-sweet chocolate chips, and added 3/4 tsp. instant espresso powder. Forty-three minutes were not enough; 48 were just right. My neighbor said, “It’s the best brownie I’ve ever had!”

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad the brownies were a hit!

  17. Nicky

    5 stars
    These brownies turned out perfectly! I have never had good luck making brownies from scratch, but this recipe nailed it! They are chewy on the outside and fudgy in the middle.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you loved it!

    • Chann

      This is my favorite brownie recipe. I have made it the last few holiday seasons and my family loves them. I love that it’s already dairy free (I’m allergic to diary and wheat), I substitute in GF Flour and they still come out wonderful. This has become a requested staple for me to bring to gatherings.

      • Jeanine Donofrio

        I’m so glad it’s been such a hit!

  18. Donna Goodrich

    These are wonderful made them for my husbands bday today. I did use only 1 cup of sugar and used orange olive oil wonderful taste and so moist
    Thank you

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      That sounds incredible! I’m so glad you loved them.

  19. Nusaiba

    5 stars
    Normally when recipes say BEST (…) It’s exaggeration.
    Not this one.
    I’m only a tween, and when I make things, they turn out bad, but these…😻
    I don’t understand all the haters, but you know what? I bookmarked this tab under favorites.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)

      So glad you love them!

  20. Hannah

    I’ve made these twice now. Not sure why such a high rating… they’ve turned out either too hard or too gooey!!

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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.