How to make brownies from scratch that are better than the box.
Have you ever fallen in love with something all over again? We did and this brownie recipe made it happen. These rich, chocolate brownies with dense, fudgy middles and crinkly tops made us fall in love with brownies, made from scratch, all over again. They are so simple it’s silly and they taste amazing.
You May Also Like: These No-Fail Blondies are extra delicious and taste like deep, rich buttery caramel. They are just as easy, if not easier than this recipe!
Or, if you need a quick fix, try making our 5-Minute Brownie in a mug with coconut oil (or butter), brown sugar and if you like it, a splash of coffee!
Better Than The Box Homemade Brownie Recipe
This is perfect for boxed brownie lovers — the dense, moist and fudgy texture is not all that different from what you can expect from the boxed mixes. It get’s better, too. This recipe makes richer, more flavorful brownies — without any fuss. They are one-bowl and come together in minutes. There’s also a good chance you already have the ingredients on hand.
If you love this recipe, you will love our Salted Almond Brownies recipe. They use the same base recipe as this one, but have roasted almonds and sea salt on top. A nut lovers dream!
Forget Melting Chocolate, Make Cocoa Brownies
The recipe is slightly adapted from Alice Medrich’s Cocoa Brownies found in many of her cookbooks.
Medrich is a genius when it comes to chocolate. Search “brownie recipes” on Google and you’ll see that many recipes call for chocolate that’s melted into butter, then mixed with sugar, eggs and flour. (Not that they aren’t delicious, too).
This recipe is different — and smart.
Instead of using chocolate, Medrich calls for cocoa powder. In removing the chocolate (as well as the fat and sugar that goes along with it), she was able to fine-tune the brownies so that the middles were softer and moist and the tops were shiny and candy-like. The recipe is pure gold.
Since we’re using cocoa powder, these brownies aren’t overly sweet. If you are like us and find yourself reaching for dark chocolate over milk, these are most certainly for you.
You must give these brownies a try. We love them so much and make them often (maybe too often for two people).
You May Also Like These Recipes
- Try these Double Chocolate Cookies — they’re another great way to use up more cocoa powder.
- For more about cocoa brownies, take a look at Smitten Kitchen’s post about the same brownie recipe.
- For more inspiration, check out Brown Eyed Baker’s Top 10 Best Brownie Recipes.
- Here’s one of Alice Medrich’s cookbooks: “Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate.”
Feel free to use either natural or Dutch-processed cocoa powder for these. Both work well and will taste slightly different. If you get a chance, try both and see which is your favorite.
- 10 tablespoons (145 g) unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (65 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
- 1/4 rounded teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, cold
- 1/2 cup (70 g) all-purpose flour (we use Gold Medal unbleached all-purpose flour)
- 2/3 cup (75 g) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 325 degrees F (163 C). Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch (20cm) square baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. (This helps when removing the baked brownies from the pan, once cooled).
- Add enough water to a medium saucepan so that it is 1 to 2 inches deep. Heat water until barely simmering. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder and the salt in a medium heat-safe bowl. Rest bowl over simmering water (if the bottom of the bowl touches the water, remove a little water).
- Stir mixture occasionally until the butter has melted and mixture is quite warm. Don’t worry if it looks gritty, it will become smooth once you add the eggs and flour.
- Remove the bowl from heat and set aside for 3 to 5 minutes until it is only warm, not hot.
- Stir in vanilla with a wooden spoon or spatula. Then, add eggs, one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.
- When the batter looks thick, shiny and well blended, add the flour and stir until fully incorporated, then beat with the wooden spoon or spatula for 40 to 50 strokes. (The batter will be quite thick). Stir in nuts, if using. Spread evenly in lined pan.
- Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and come out almost clean (you want it to be a little moist with batter). Note: Some have found they need to bake an extra 10 minutes, so keep an eye on the doneness of the brownies and use the toothpick test as your guide.
- Cool completely then remove from pan. For the cleanest lines when cutting, place into freezer for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up. Cut into 16 squares.
After some time on the site, we've noticed a few commenters/reviewers have had issues with the batter being too thick. The brownie batter should be quite thick -- you will need to spread it into one layer in the pan. This recipe calls for very little flour, but just to make sure we're all on the same page, we use an American all-purpose flour (Gold Medal, usually).
This recipe is slightly adapted from Alice Medrich’s Cocoa Brownies found in many of her cookbooks. Here’s one of them: “Bittersweet: Recipes and Tales from a Life in Chocolate.” If you love dessert as much as we do, buy it. You won’t regret it.