Like a Box Brownies

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This easy homemade brownies recipe makes wonderfully cakey, fudgy brownies with crave-able, crisp, crackly tops and chewy centers. They are just like the ones made from a box but even better.

The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe

For some time I’ve been searching for a way to make brownies from scratch without losing that brownie mix feel. It took a lot of brownie making and a whole lot of brownie testing (someone had to do it!) but I think I finally found it, and gosh am I excited to share it with you.

These simple brownies have a texture like “box mix” brownies but are actually made totally from scratch. There’s no crazy method here, you just whisk everything together in a bowl. And they are exploding with fudgy chocolate flavor and are just the right combination of cakey and fudgy/chewy. They even have that classic brownie “crack” on the top. Everyone needs a good, solid brownie recipe under their belt. This is the one!

Closeup of a brownie with a bight out of it. There are more brownies stacked behind it.

What Makes These Brownies So Good?

Boxed brownies are pretty delicious but these are even better. Here are some of the reasons you have to try them.

  • Texture. Making these brownies with oil (many homemade brownie recipes use butter instead) gives them a delightfully moist, fudge-like texture. They are the perfect combination of cakey and chewy and are an absolute dream to sink your teeth into.
  • Rich chocolate flavor. As brownies should be, these wonderfully fudgy treats are filled with deep, rich chocolate flavor.
  • Quick and easy. No fancy mixing method and no tricky twists and turns. This recipe is so simple and easy to throw together. You’ll only need to spend 10 minutes of active time in the kitchen before letting the oven do the rest of the work.
Ingredients for homemade brownies separated into bowls.

What You’ll Need

Here’s a list of ingredients needed to make these moist, flavorful brownies. Be sure to scroll to the recipe card below for exact measurements.

  • All-purpose flour – Feel free to use your favorite 1:1 gluten-free flour instead.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – I used to use Hershey’s special dark cocoa in these, but they changed it a few years back and now I prefer regular cocoa in these. The final texture is better.
  • Baking powder – For just a bit of rise, contributing to that cakey texture.
  • Salt – For flavor and always needed.
  • Vegetable oil – I have tried butter in these brownies and while it works, the oil definitely produces the more intended mix of cakey/fudgy texture.
  • Sugar – For sweetness and moisture.
  • Vanilla extract – Vanilla extract actually helps soften some of the bitterness of cocoa.
  • Eggs – For binding things together and adding chewiness.

How to Make Brownies from Scratch

In just 10 minutes you could be popping these amazing homemade brownies in the oven. What are you waiting for? Here’s how to do it. Don’t forget to scroll to the recipe card below for more detailed instructions.

  • Prep. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a 9×9 square baking pan.
  • Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
  • Combine the wet ingredients. Mix together the oil, sugar, and vanilla extract. Add the eggs and mix to combine.
  • Put it all together. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine.
  • Bake. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.

Tips for the Best Homemade Brownies

Are you prepared for some seriously tasty brownies? Pay close attention to these simple tips and tricks and you’ll be well on your way to making them from scratch.

  • Don’t over-mix. When mixing the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, mix just until incorporated. Over mixing the batter will cause the glutens in the flour to overdevelop, giving you a tough, dense brownie.
  • Make it mess-free. You can either grease your brownie pan or line it with parchment paper. Either way will do. If you choose to grease the pan, do so liberally. If you go the parchment paper route, I suggest using a piece that extends over the sides of the pan. This will allow you to easily remove the brownies from the pan for cutting when the time comes.
  • Oil, not butter. Many brownie recipes call for butter instead of oil. I promise you that oil is the best call here. It adds an incredibly rich, fudginess to the dessert that butter just doesn’t. Trust me. I’ve done all of the experimenting for you. So make these brownies without butter, please.
A stack of homemade brownies surrounded by chocolate chips.

Serving Suggestions

On their own, these brownies are some of the best you’ve ever tasted but with the addition of a scoop of ice cream, some whipped cream, and/or a delicious sauce they are out of this world fantastic. Here are some ideas to get you inspired.

Overhead of a stack of like a box brownies.

How to Store Brownies

Allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing and arranging them in a single layer in an airtight container. If you need to stack the brownies, separate any layers with parchment paper to prevent them from sticking. Alternatively, you can slice the brownies and wrap individual pieces in a double layer of plastic wrap. Store them at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

Can I Freeze These?

You can! Store the brownies just as you would if you were to keep them at room temperature or in the refrigerator (see the section above titled “How to Store”) except place them in the freezer instead. They will stay good for up to 3 months. Allow the brownies to thaw in the fridge before devouring them.

More Easy Brownie Recipes

I love brownies so, naturally, I have spent some time playing with recipes and developing new takes on the classic. Here are some of my favorite brownie recipes for you to try.

Print
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A stack of homemade brownies. The top one has a bite taken out of it.
Recipe

Quick and Easy Brownies

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12-16 Brownies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This easy homemade brownies recipe makes cakey brownies that taste like box mix brownies! With perfect crisp crackly tops and chewy centers, these brownies hit all the right notes.


Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (98g) all-purpose flour (measured properly)
  • 1/2 cup (57g) natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (310g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×9 square baking pan, or line it with parchment paper, leaving some over hanging on the sides for easy removal from the pan later.
  2. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt to a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the oil, sugar and vanilla extract to large mixing bowl and mix together until well combined.
  4. Add the eggs and mix until well combined.
  5. Add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined, but don’t over mix.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.
  8. Allow brownies to cool completely, then use the overhanging parchment paper to remove the brownie from the pan. Cut into bars. 
  9. Store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature. Best if eaten within 5-7 days. 

Notes

Recipe modified from AllRecipes.com

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Brownie
  • Calories: 203
  • Sugar: 18.9 g
  • Sodium: 50.8 mg
  • Fat: 11.5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 25 g
  • Protein: 2.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 34.9 mg

Keywords: homemade brownies, how to make brownies from scratch, easy brownies

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Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29