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:
4.92 from 6574 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.

 

3608 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. spartychic
    11.19.2023

    Hi , My brownies are baking right now. Question, is the batter super dry? When is states to “pour” into a prepared pan, I was just crumbs and pressing them down to fill the corners. I’ll find out if I screwed up in about 40 min

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.19.2023

      yep, its thick (like the photos), but it shouldn’t be crumbs. Is it possible an ingredient got measured wrong or did you change anything about the recipe?

  2. Micah
    11.19.2023

    5 stars
    I got lucky, because I stumbled upon this recipe. I have been looking for a brownie recipe that was simple, moist and delicious for a while. This recipe delivered, I finally found my new recipe. This recipe was truly simple and I had all of the ingredients in my pantry already. Next time I will cut the cup of sugar back to 1 cup. Although I am not complaining about the sweetness, I am very pleased with them.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.19.2023

      Hi Micah, I’m so glad you loved them!

  3. Gabrielle
    11.17.2023

    4 stars
    This recipe is good — but I would echo what other people say in the comments. Way too sweet. When it’s too sweet, you loose the strong chocolate flavor.

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.17.2023

      Hi Gabrielle, glad you enjoyed the brownies! If you didn’t try it this time, I recommend reducing the granulated sugar to 1 cup for a less sweet result.

  4. Sonja
    11.17.2023

    I have not made these yet but plan on it for a teacher treat bar. Could I make these a week ahead and freeze?

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.17.2023

      Hi Sonja, yes! They freeze really well.

  5. Andrew
    11.16.2023

    5 stars
    Can u send me brownies recipe when u can

  6. Lynn k
    11.15.2023

    I love this recipe and it’s probably my most requested to make. This is mostly for myself to look back on later.

    I “double” The recipe and use a 9×13 glass Pyrex. I oil the pan, put down parchment paper and oil again.

    2 cups of sugar
    Substitute espresso chocolate chips (available at Walmart)
    and double of all other ingredients.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.16.2023

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

  7. Fabien
    11.14.2023

    4 stars
    Cut the sugar amount in half … for a more European and healthy style.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.16.2023

      Hi Fabien, see the note just under the recipe – you can reduce the granulated sugar to 1 cup. They’re definitely more of an indulgent treat – I suggest these zucchini brownies if you’re looking for something a bit lighter: https://www.loveandlemons.com/zucchini-brownies/

  8. Rosalind
    11.13.2023

    5 stars
    This is the best brownie recipe and it was so easy to make! Followed directions, but did half white chocolate and half dark chocolate, and used vegetable oil instead, and it came out perfect! Will be saving this in my list!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.16.2023

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  9. Lisa
    11.12.2023

    5 stars
    These brownies are amazing.
    I use a glass dish, so I bake mine about 10 minutes longer and they turn out perfect!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.16.2023

      I’m so glad you loved them!

  10. Becky
    11.11.2023

    5 stars
    These are my go-to when I need a dessert for a birthday, potluck, etc. I’ve made brownie sundaes with them using various ice cream flavours and berries and cream. Delicious! The only tweak I make is to use cold, brewed coffee in place of the water. Coffee accentuates the chocolate beautifully and with the vanilla is a perfect combo!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.16.2023

      Yum! I’m so glad they’ve been a hit!

  11. Diane
    11.11.2023

    5 stars
    I almost didn’t make these because of a negative review. So glad I trusted my gut. These brownies are chewy, fudgy and so good I can’t stop eating them.
    I followed the directions exactly, using the. canola oil. Thought about adding walnuts, but these are heavenly without them. Not sure how folks messed this recipe up. It’s incredibly easy. Making them again for a birthday party, with an extra panful for me.

    • Shawna
      11.11.2023

      5 stars
      Yummy. I used 1/2 c whole wheat and 1/4 white flour and added nuts. The recipe says they would taste better if left cooled. I could not resist, and somehow they didn’t make it to the cooling part. I don’t think they could be any better.

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        11.16.2023

        Ha ha, I’m so glad you enjoyed them.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.16.2023

      Hi Diane, I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

  12. Teri
    11.10.2023

    I’ve made these many times. My husband says they are the best brownies he’s ever had! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • Phoebe Moore (L&L Recipe Developer)
      11.10.2023

      Hi Teri, I’m so glad you both love the brownies!

  13. Oz baker
    11.09.2023

    It would be great if you can clarify what 1 cup equates to in grams. In Australia, 1 cup is 250grams and I know in other places it’s 150 or 125g.

  14. Kathy
    11.08.2023

    Can I sub out some or all of the oil for unsweetened applesauce?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.09.2023

      I don’t think that’ll work in this recipe.

  15. Laura
    11.08.2023

    5 stars
    I’m always hesitant to make home made brownies because they never taste the way I like. I made these today and the taste is spot on. Will be saving to make again!

  16. Annette
    11.07.2023

    5 stars
    Best Brownie recipe ever! My family really enjoyed this dessert.

  17. Niki
    11.06.2023

    5 stars
    This recipe is AMAZING! So easy but results in delicious fudgy brownies.

  18. Genesis
    11.06.2023

    Hi, what pan size would you recommend if doubling this recipe?

    • Christine
      11.13.2023

      5 stars
      I’m using 2 round cake pans and plan to put a glob of marshmallow in the middle… giant moon pie.

  19. Taylor
    11.06.2023

    10/10 !!! We finished the brownies in one day, we couldn’t stop ourselves ! They turned out so delicious. These are great to bring as a dessert for parties, when a couple has a baby, etc; I will use this recipe forever

  20. Lori
    11.05.2023

    5 stars
    I’ve been making these for awhile now and they are the only brownies my husband requests. I do use high quality ingredients (chocolate and cocoa) it’s worth it. I also love these using olive oil and make no changes to the ingredients or amounts. Perfect every time!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      11.06.2023

      Hi Lori, I’m so glad they’ve been a favorite!

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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.