How to make brownies that are better than the box. Jump to the Easy, Fudgy Brownies Recipe or watch our quick recipe video showing you how easy it is to make them.
Have you ever fallen in love with something all over again? We did and this 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. These are just as simple as our No-Fail Blondies recipe so if you’re in the mood for something a little less chocolaty, they are definitely for you!
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How to Make Brownies that are Better than the Box
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 them richer, more flavorful — 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, Use Cocoa
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 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.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: If you need a quick fix, try making our 5-Minute Microwave Brownie in a mug with coconut oil (or butter), brown sugar and if you like it, a splash of coffee!
Since we’re using cocoa powder, they 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 this recipe a try. We love them so much and make them often (maybe too often for two people).
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: These Easy Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are one of my favorite cookies on Inspired Taste – a must make!
Recipe updated, originally posted August 2013. Since posting this in 2013, we have tweaked the recipe to be more clear and added a quick recipe video. – Adam and Joanne
Easy, Fudgy Brownies Recipe from Scratch
These rich and chocolaty brownies have dense, fudgy middles and crinkly tops. They aren’t overly sweet. If you are like us and find yourself reaching for darker chocolate over milk chocolate, these are most certainly for you. They are one-bowl and come together in minutes. There’s also a good chance you already have all the ingredients on hand.
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.
You Will Need
10 tablespoons (145 grams) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (80 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process
1/4 rounded teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large cold eggs
1/2 cup (65 grams) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (75 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans, optional
- Prepare Batter
- Bake Brownies
Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 325 degrees F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch 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 the 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). Beat vigorously here. You want to see the batter pulling away from the sides of the bowl (if you do not have the strength to do this by hand, use a hand mixer). 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.
Adam and Joanne's Tips
- These are on the bittersweet side – we like that, but if you are more into milk chocolate than semi-sweet or dark, these may be a little bitter for you. Some readers have had success with adding a little more sugar to accommodate.
- This recipe is slightly adapted from Alice Medrich’s Cocoa Brownies found in many of her cookbooks. Here’s one of them: “Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts” If you love dessert as much as we do, buy it. You won’t regret it.
- Some readers have had problems with the fat separating during baking. This is a common problem with baking brownies. Since the recipe calls for so much butter and so little flour, it is very important that the batter is beaten vigorously enough so that the batter emulsifies. Otherwise, you risk the fat seeping out when baking in the oven. Just after adding the flour, you should be beating for about 40 strokes until the batter becomes very thick and begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If you are not strong enough to stir a heavy batter by hand, use a mixer.
- Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.