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

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Best Homemade Brownies

rate this recipe:
4.91 from 6839 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
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.

Equipment

Ingredients

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. Tamrah
    05.29.2023

    5 stars
    This recipe is so good. My husband loved it. I used 1 cup of sugar and avocado oil instead. Perfect!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.30.2023

      I’m so glad you both loved them!

  2. Becky Seay
    05.29.2023

    This recipe sounds good but I don’t want.to use chocolate chips. Can I use more cocoa powder or chocolate syrup instead?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.30.2023

      Hi Becky, you can skip them if you want.

  3. Andriele
    05.28.2023

    I really wish this recipe had measurements in grams, is so hard to change quantities and every time I try this recipe the results are different because I don’t think the measurements in my country work in the same way.

  4. Deborah
    05.28.2023

    4 stars
    The house smelled deliciously of chocolate for a few hours.
    These brownies were pretty good but too sweet for my taste.
    Next time I’ll omit half a cup of sugar but it’s definitely a keeper.

  5. Paul R Gormley
    05.27.2023

    Next, try swapping in a high-end bourbon for the vanilla (1:1), and you will find a new smooth aspect that is lightly added to the process and result (from a non-drinker – but the bourbon is cheaper than vanilla)!.

  6. Maryellen
    05.26.2023

    5 stars
    These brownies are perfect! I bring them to events all the time and get so many compliments. I have to watch the time in my oven (propane) — sometimes 40 min is enough, sometimes it needs 48. Go figure! Thank you.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.30.2023

      I’m so glad the brownies have been a hit!

  7. Naila
    05.26.2023

    Hi Liana, brownies in general don’t rise, they stay thick and dense. There’s no raising agent like baking powder or self-raising flour in this recipe, so I’m sure your brownies came out perfect!

  8. Katie
    05.25.2023

    3 stars
    I was very seriously questioning the canola oil but everyone was leaving such good reviews I left the recipe as is. I wish I hadn’t. Maybe my canola oil is bad or something but that’s literally all I can taste. It’s pretty gross.

  9. Sheri
    05.24.2023

    I only have milk chocolate chips. Will that work? I prefer dark chocolate, but this is what I have.

  10. Tiger
    05.23.2023

    Is the coca powder you are using ditched or natural? Does this choice of using either affect the end result in the recipe?

  11. Gail - Malawi
    05.23.2023

    5 stars
    Absolutely amazing! I was having chocolate brownie withdrawal!
    The taste is incredible, having some issues with sticking to the metal pan. I am cooking in a gas oven, am living in a rural area of Malawi which has great access to Cacao, but not so for parchment paper, oil sprays etc. I have tried double pan, better but still had to dig it out.
    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  12. Rosey
    05.23.2023

    I make these weekly lately! Perfect recipe 🙂

  13. Kate
    05.22.2023

    4 stars
    As a volunteer cook I have made this recipe many times for families and groups. I have doubled it for a 9 by 13 pan successfully. I make these changes. I substitute melted butter for the oil, I use only 1 cup of sugar, and sometimes add more chocolate chips. Rave reviews every time.

    • Emily
      05.27.2023

      Did it still only take 40 min or did you have to adjust the time?

  14. Barb boutilier
    05.22.2023

    5 stars
    OMG THE BEST BROWNIES I EVER TASTED!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.22.2023

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  15. Alyson Hunt
    05.21.2023

    These are the best brownies ever! They are soft and chewy and emu whole family loved them and said the same thing! Will be finitely be sticking with this recipe!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.22.2023

      I’m so glad they were a hit!

  16. Hailey
    05.17.2023

    5 stars
    I changed out the water for some cold coffee and it made these even better and richer absolutely recommend

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      05.19.2023

      That sounds amazing! Thanks for the tip.

  17. Gail
    05.16.2023

    5 stars
    Can these be made I a mini muffin pan. If so what would be the baking time be.
    I made the recipe ad is and they were a huge hit. Mini muffin brownies would be great for my granddaughters.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      05.19.2023

      Hi Gail, so glad the brownies were a hit! We haven’t tried making this recipe in a mini muffin pan, so I’m not sure what the timing would be.

  18. Veronica
    05.16.2023

    Just took these out of the oven and these look great. Doubled the recipe to take one yto work and have one at home… the recipe says it makes 16 brownies from an 8×8 pan. I am now seeing that these will be more brownie bites now that I’m seeing them in the pan. 😊😄 I opened for the 1cup sugar instead of the full 1.5 and added walnuts to one batch-but otherwise followed the recipe exactly and the raw batter so far tasted amazing. Can’t wait to try the cooled and cut brownies.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      05.19.2023

      Hi Veronica, I hope you loved them!

  19. kaylee
    05.14.2023

    5 stars
    made these exactly as written and they were super delicious!! 🙂

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      05.19.2023

      Hi Kaylee, so glad you 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.