better-than-box-mix-chewy-fudge-brownies

Bars & Brownies Chocolate

Better Than Box Mix Chewy Fudge Brownies

February 16, 2021

These better than box mix chewy fudge brownies are easy to whip up whenever the craving strikes. One bite and […]

These better than box mix chewy fudge brownies are easy to whip up whenever the craving strikes. One bite and you’ll never go back to boxed brownies again!

Surprise, surprise. I’m back with another installment of “things to make with everyone’s favorite ingredient.” That would be CHOCOLATE, just in case there was any confusion. Yep, our month long celebration of all things chocolate is still going strong. If I had it my way, this little love affair with chocolate that we commemorate each and every February would carry on the whole year through. Lucky for me, chocolate never goes out of season – and neither do brownies. Today I’m sharing my new favorite recipe for the best ever better than box mix chewy fudge brownies, aka brownies so good I cannot be alone with them in my own kitchen. They are impossibly easy to make, full of rich, fudgy chocolate flavor and have that shiny, crispy top that makes my heart skip a beat. Behold brownie lover’s, you’re in for a real treat!

What mades better-than-box-mix brownies so good?

I could go on and on {and on} about how ridiculously delicious these better than box mix chewy fudge brownies are, but you’ve got brownies to make so I’ll keep it short and sweet. These brownies are just like the tried and true box mix but waaayyyyy better. {sorry Betty}. First, they are made completely from scratch with simple ingredients so say buh-buy to any funky fillers and mystery ingredients you can’t pronounce. You get the same great texture and flavor as a box mix and who can resist those paper thin, shiny, crackled tops? 

S W O O N !

If you’re in the box mix brownie camp, you’re going to fall fast in love with these homemade brownies. They’re not too fudgy, not too cakey and perfectly chocolatey. They’re better than boxed and almost as easy. All you need is a bowl and whisk. Just mix, pour and bake. I promise you’ll never go back to boxed after one bite of these brownies!

Ingredients you need

Just a handful of pantry staples and a brownie pan stand between you and a warm batch of brownies fresh from the oven. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Flour. For extra chewy, perfectly fudgy brownies, we only need a small amount of regular all purpose flour. Nothing fancy. Be sure to weigh the flour on a digital scale or spoon and level the flour properly for best results. 
  • Butter. Be sure to use unsalted butter so that you can control the level of saltiness in the brownies.
  • Oil. This recipe calls for both melted butter and vegetable oil for the very best taste and texture. It’s that perfect combination of both saturated and unsaturated fats that gives boxed brownies their signature flavor. 
  • Sugar. Just a scoop of plain granulated sugar adds the perfect sweetness to these brownies and gives us those glossy, crackled tops that no one can resist.
  • Cocoa powder. Cocoa makes for a chewier brownie and also gives that boxed brownie flavor we all know and love. I use Dutch process cocoa powder for a richer, darker chocolate flavor.  
  • Eggs. The recipe calls for two large eggs but if you are going for an extra chewy, richer brownie, feel free to add an extra egg yolk. 
  • Chocolate. You can use high quality chocolate chips or a chocolate bar for this recipe. I like to use a mix of bittersweet and semi-sweet chocolate, but feel free to use whatever chocolate is your favorite.
  • Baking powder. Just a teaspoon of baking powder makes these brownies not too dense and not too cakey. They’re perfectly reminiscent of a box mix brownie.
  • Vanilla. Just a splash gives brownies extra flavor and dimension. Don’t skip it!
  • Espresso. A teaspoon of espresso powder or instant coffee goes a long way to enhancing the flavor of the chocolate in these brownies. You can omit it altogether if you wish but I promise your brownies won’t taste like coffee. They’ll just taste like reeaally good brownies!
  • Salt. A pinch of salt helps balance all of the sweetness from the sugar and chocolate. If you have some on hand, a sprinkle of flakey sea salt on top of the baked brownies is always a good idea too!

How to make the best homemade brownies

These brownies are a cinch to make whenever the craving strikes. No need to haul out the big mixer. All you need is two bowls and a whisk. No fuss, no frills, just perfectly chewy, chocolatey deliciousness. Turn up the oven and follow the easy step by step guide below for the best brownies ever. 

STEP 1: Melt the chocolate with the butter and oil.

Add the chocolate chips, butter, oil and espresso powder (if using) to a heat safe bowl over a double boiler and melt the ingredients together while stirring often. Alternatively, you can use a microwave and heat the mixture in 30 second increments, stirring between each cycle. Heat until the chocolate is smooth and shiny and then set aside to cool slightly. 

STEP 2: Whisk together the eggs and sugar and then add the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until light and frothy. No need to mix for more than 30-60 seconds as we do not want to add too much air to the mixture. Next, add in a high quality vanilla extract and stir to combine. 

STEP 3: Stir in the melted chocolate. 

Once the melted chocolate and butter mixture is cool to the touch, pour it into the egg and sugar mixture, stirring to combine well. Use a light hand – no need to over mix. Just make sure all of the chocolate is incorporated.

STEP 4: Sift in the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

I know exactly what you’re thinking …”is sifting really necessary?” Here’s the deal. It’s certainly not mandatory but I do suggest sifting the flour and cocoa powder for a silky smooth batter that bakes up without any lumps and bumps. No need to sift the ingredients into a separate bowl. Just place a sifter directly over the chocolate mixture and add all of the dry ingredients at once. Then fold the wet and dry ingredients together gently, being careful not to over work the batter. Too much stirring and you’ll be left with a flat, dense brownie.

STEP 5: Pour the batter into a parchment lined pan and bake. 

Transfer the batter to a parchment lined 8 x 8 pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cool the brownies to room temperature, slice and devour!

better-than-boxed-mix-chewy-fudge-brownies

Tips for the best brownies

  • Use high quality chocolate. Since this recipe calls for so few ingredients, you’ll want to use high quality chocolate and cocoa powder for the best flavor. I love Rodelle Dutch process cocoa powder and Ghirardelli chocolate chips. Now is not the time to skimp on the good stuff bakers!
  • Do not over mix. Less is more when it comes to mixing brownie batter. Once you have added the dry ingredients, fold the batter together gently only until you see that the flour and cocoa powder are barely incorporated. Stop there and pour the batter directly into the prepared pan. Now is a good time to taste test the batter – you know, for quality control. {wink, wink}
  • Line the pan with parchment. Lining the bottom and sides of your brownie pan with parchment paper allows for easy release of the brownies once baked. And those clean, sharp edges are so satisfying!
  • Watch the oven. The best brownies are ever so slightly under baked so keep a close eye on your oven. Since no two ovens are alike, baking times can vary Be sure to remove the brownies as soon as the edges are set and the center is baked through but still a bit fudgy. The brownies will continue to bake a bit once removed from the oven due to the residual heat from the pan. If a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out completely clean, the brownies are over baked. 
  • Cool completely. There’s nothing like diving into a pan of warm fudgy brownies fresh from the oven. I say go for it! But if it’s clean cuts and perfectly sliced edges you’re after, wait for the brownies to cool completely before cutting with a clean, sharp knife. Wash the knife under warm water and wipe with a clean towel between each slice. Believe it or not, allowing the brownies to cool will yield a richer, chewier brownie. It’s worth the wait my friends!

What is the best pan for baking brownies?

Not all pans are created equal when it comes to brownies. When you’re going for crispy, thick edges and chewy, gooey centers, the right pan can make all the difference. Some bakers swear by their glass (pyrex) dishes but I find that they have poor heat conduction and don’t bake evenly. Dark aluminum pans are a common choice but because the dark color of the pan absorbs more heat, it’s easy to over bake the brownies. Light color aluminum pans are my go-to for brownies. They are great heat conductors and they heat up fast and cool down quickly once removed from the oven. I use one pan and one pan only for brownies. It’s this one. And yes, it definitely gets {brownie} points for being relatively inexpensive and sturdy enough to last a lifetime. I see lots more brownies in my future!

How to store brownies

I don’t think any one can argue that brownies are best eaten the day they are made. They’re a real crowd pleaser and I dare you to find a treat that is more delicious fresh from the oven than a warm batch of fudgy brownies. They simply can’t be beat. If you do happen to have a few squares left over, keep these tips in mind to maximize their freshness long enough to enjoy every last crumb.

Slice as you go. If you are baking for a crowd, slice these babes up and watch as the rave reviews roll in. But if you have big plans to savor these brownies all week long all by yourself, consider slicing off each piece one at time. This will help prevent the brownies from drying out too quickly. I for one cannot be left alone with an entire batch of these homemade chewy fudge brownies so I often send half the pan off to a neighbor or friend. Sharing is caring!

Cover tightly. Keep the brownies tightly covered with a layer of plastic wrap and aluminum foil. You can store them at room temperature for about 3 days or keep them fresher in the fridge where they’ll last for closer to 5 days.

It’s all about the freezer stash. My love for a fresh batch of warm brownies runs deep but I think I have an even deeper love affair with frozen brownies. If you think that sounds odd, I’ll just say don’t knock it ’till you try it! Frozen brownies never actually freeze all the way through and they take on an extra chewy, almost fudge-like texture when chilled that I find completely irresistible. To freeze the brownies, wrap them tightly in two layers of plastic wrap or foil and then store in a plastic bag or covered glass container. Your freezer stash will never look better!

better-than-box-mix-chewy-fudge-brownies

I won’t pretend to know everything, but I do know you need these brownies in your life. I really should call them “love at first bite brownies” because there’s not a single person that can’t be won over by their chewy, fudgy centers and crispy, crackly tops. Happy baking friends – hope you love these brownies as much as I do!

If you love brownies, check out these delicious brownie recipes:

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
better-than-box-mix-chewy-fudge-brownies

Better Than Box Mix Chewy Fudge Brownies

  • Author: Browned Butter Blondie
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40
  • Yield: 16 squares 1x

Description

These better than boxed chewy fudge brownies are easy to whip up whenever the craving strikes. One bite and you’ll never go back to boxed brownies again!


Ingredients

Units Scale

1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed

1/4 cup neutral oil (I used canola)

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso (optional)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour, scooped and leveled (95g)

1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted (27g)

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar (200g)

2 teaspoon vanilla


Instructions

Adjust the oven rack to the center of the oven and pre-heat oven to 350˚ F.

Line an 8×8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and spray with a cooking spray. Set aside.

Melt the butter, oil, chocolate and coffee in the microwave or in a double boiler in a heatproof bowl on the stove. If microwaving, melt the butter and chocolate in 20-second increments and stir between each. Set aside to only slightly cool.

Create a double boiler by filling a saucepan with 2-3 inches of water, and place a heatproof bowl over it. The heatproof bowl should not touch the water in the saucepan. Gently heat the water (but do not boil or simmer) and stir until the butter, oil, espresso and chocolate are melted. Remove from stove once chocolate is melted.

While the chocolate mixture is melting, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, thoroughly whisk together the eggs and sugar until light in color and a little frothy. Mix in vanilla.

Once the bowl of melted chocolate and butter is lukewarm (it should no longer be too hot to the touch), add it to the egg and sugar mixture.

Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.

Scrape the batter into the greased pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula.

Place the pan in the oven for 25-30 minutes and begin checking the brownies at 25 minutes. They are done when a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached (but not completely gooey batter) and the edges are starting to crisp up. Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing them via the aluminum foil.

For sharp edges, cool completely before cutting with a sharp knife.


Notes

Store tightly wrapped at room temperature.

May be frozen.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    January 29, 2024 at 10:45 pm

    Way too sweet…there’s already sugar in the chocolate chips. Flavor was good but the sweet overpowered the chocolate. Tops came out crunchy and had to peel that off. Some tweaking and it might get there.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      January 31, 2024 at 1:22 am

      Sorry you felt the brownies were too sweet. Feel free to reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup (50 g).

  • Reply
    Julieann
    April 30, 2023 at 3:15 pm

    Finally!! I have tried a bunch of different box style brownie mix recipes and this is the first and only one that absolutely nailed it taste and texture wise! Followed the recipe exactly and these brownies turned out delicious and perfect!

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    January 17, 2023 at 10:02 am

    Hi the flavour was so good but mine didn’t have the shine crackle… any reason?

    • Reply
      Anonymous
      May 12, 2023 at 3:43 pm

      SO WHEN YOU WISK EGGS AND SUGAR YOU REALY HAVE TOWISK VERY WELL.

  • Reply
    Pia
    March 6, 2022 at 4:32 pm

    Love these brownies, especially the chewy texture and fudgy flavour. It’s sublime 🙂

    I’ve enjoyed many compliments when I serve these !!

    I usually mix half icing (powdered) sugar with caster (granulated) and that seems to help me get the shiny crinkle top!

  • Reply
    Christi
    January 31, 2022 at 12:39 pm

    Perfection! This is my new go-to classic fudge brownie recipe. They came together quickly – easy to bake on a whim. We enjoyed the warmed a bit with a helping of homemade vanilla ice cream on top. The combination was unreal.

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      January 31, 2022 at 5:33 pm

      I’m so happy you love these brownies as much as we do!!

  • Reply
    Mayanka
    November 8, 2021 at 3:34 pm

    Hi,
    The brownies are great but it seems to sink from the centre and the sides are baked well.
    Also I measure the oil as 63 grams.
    Any idea what could be going wrong .

    Thanks,
    Mayanka

  • Reply
    Cg
    October 5, 2021 at 10:29 pm

    Exactly what I needed today. Simple, perfect, and best of all… DELICIOUS. I made these with the help of two toddlers and it was wonderful! Thanks for posting:)

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      October 14, 2021 at 7:21 pm

      So happy you enjoyed them! They’re definitely a favorite with my kiddos too!!

  • Reply
    Emily Peers
    October 2, 2021 at 1:31 am

    These brownies are smooth and fudgy with the perfect crackly top! Will definitely make these again!

  • Reply
    Kenna
    July 30, 2021 at 2:27 am

    How much of the chocolate chips is it in cups? I bought a bag and it is hard to tell without a scale… thanks!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      August 14, 2021 at 12:28 am

      6 ounces is about 1 cup of chocolate chips.

  • Reply
    Kinda
    April 19, 2021 at 12:19 am

    how much is 1/4 cup of butter in grams?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      April 19, 2021 at 6:15 pm

      I would measure 57 grams for 1/4 cup of butter.

    • Reply
      Erika
      July 15, 2021 at 1:55 am

      Hi! May I skip the oil in this recipe? And replace it for butter?

      • Heather Mubarak
        July 15, 2021 at 5:12 am

        Hi Erika. The oil in the batter gives these brownies that signature “box mix” texture and flavor but you can substitute the same amount of melted butter. Keep in mind the texture and flavor will be slightly different.

  • Reply
    Natalie
    March 16, 2021 at 6:21 pm

    Please consider offering metric conversions as well it would be greatly appreciated!

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      March 17, 2021 at 5:44 pm

      Hi Natalie! We are in the midst of updating my website and will definitely be adding metrics to the recipes! Stay tuned….

  • Reply
    Sophie
    March 13, 2021 at 11:22 pm

    Perfect basic brownie recipe! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Susie Q
    March 3, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Excellent brownies. Perfect chewiness, light flake on top and the perfect chocolate taste. Easy to make and I will never use a box mix again.

  • Reply
    LuAnn
    February 21, 2021 at 8:00 am

    Thanks for posting this recipe. My question is. If doubling or tripling the recipe. Would you obviously need a bigger baking pan to accommodate the increased ingredients? Thanks

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      February 21, 2021 at 8:29 pm

      Yes, if doubling the recipe bake the brownies in a 9 x 13 inch pan. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star