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!
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.
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!
BEST BROWNIES EVER 🙌🏼
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!!!
So glad you loved them!
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.
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?
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!
The brownies were fine, they didn’t bake very well and there was way too much sugar in it.
Hi, if you prefer a less sweet brownie, this recipe works great with 1 cup granulated sugar instead of 1 1/2 cups.
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.
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!
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!!!
Sounds delicious! So glad they were a hit.
Meant to rate this 5 star!! This will be our go-to always!
I’m so glad you loved them!
SUPER YUMMY! These are fudge, dense, rich deliciousness! Thank you!
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.
Anyone ever use substitute sugar for this one
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.
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
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 💞
So glad you love it!
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!
Thank you for your comment! Great to hear the recipe was a hit.
Could I use butter if I don’t have oil?
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!”
So glad the brownies were a hit!
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.
So glad you loved it!
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.
I’m so glad it’s been such a hit!
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
That sounds incredible! I’m so glad you loved them.
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.
So glad you love them!
I’ve made these twice now. Not sure why such a high rating… they’ve turned out either too hard or too gooey!!