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Easy Fudgy Brownies Recipe – Better-Than-The-Box

How to make the best fudgy brownies from scratch. These brownies are much better than the box, just read the reviews! Jump to the Easy 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.

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!

Brownie in a MugYOU 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!

How to Make Brownies that are Better than the Box

This recipe is perfect for boxed brownie mix 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. These brownies are rich and 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.

Easy Fudgy Brownies Recipe

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 Powder

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.

Easy Fudgy Brownies

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, 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.

How to Make The Best Chewy Chocolate Chip CookiesYOU 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 – Better-Than-The-Box

  • PREP
  • COOK
  • TOTAL

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.

Makes 16 Brownies

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, use slightly less if using fine sea or table 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

Directions

  • Prepare Batter
  • 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 the 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 the 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 thick). Beat vigorously here. You want to see the brownie 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 Brownies
    • 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 the 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 bit 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. Since the recipe calls for so much butter and so little flour, it is vital that the batter is beaten vigorously enough so that it 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.
  • Nutrition facts: The nutrition facts provided below are estimates. We have used the USDA Supertracker recipe calculator to calculate approximate values.

If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #inspiredtaste — We love to see your creations on Instagram and Facebook! Find us: @inspiredtaste

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 brownie / Calories 158 / Protein 2 g / Carbohydrate 21 g / Dietary Fiber 2 g / Total Sugars 16 g / Total Fat 8 g / Saturated Fat 5 g / Cholesterol 42 mg
AUTHOR: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

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1502 comments… Leave a Comment
  • Alex December 10, 2013, 11:58 am

    I always forget how easy it is to make brownies. Thank you for this lovely reminder.
    They were and are quite delicious. I’m making some right now! 🙂

    Reply
    • Alex December 10, 2013, 12:16 pm

      I ended up adding ground walnuts and some dried currants to this batch. Last time, I added chopped dried cranberries and subbed some of the butter for coconut oil = HEAVEN!

      Reply
  • Jessica December 9, 2013, 5:36 pm

    “Bittersweet” should be in the title

    Reply
  • Rose December 8, 2013, 6:59 pm

    Just made these with my little one. It was a special Christmasy experience this time of year = baking together. I tried the microwave as I don’t have a double boiler and they were fantastic! I just melted the butter in the microwave like others suggested and then I put the chocolate mixture in the microwave to heat it up just in case this was science magic. We cooked for 20 mins in an 8×8 because I like gooey.

    Reply
  • Victoria December 8, 2013, 6:09 pm

    Do you have the nutritional info so I can put it in my fitness app? They were super easy and are way better than any brownie mix!

    Reply
    • Adam December 11, 2013, 9:55 am

      At the moment we do not provide nutrition facts for our recipes. It is something we are considering, though. For now, a great resource is CalorieCount.com

      It allows you to copy the ingredient list of our recipe and paste it into the form. Then it outputs nutritional facts. Hope that helps.

      Reply
  • Pooks December 7, 2013, 7:03 pm

    Holy crap, these brownies were amazing. I made them a few nights ago, and my best friend and husband obliterated the entire pan. Making them again today for my birthday. Thanks for the recipe…phenomenally good.

    Reply
  • jaybay December 7, 2013, 12:21 pm

    Doubled the recipe, used a 9 x 13 pan. Think it is unnecessary to use the double boiler technique and microwave melting would be fine for future attempts. Used the Kitchenaid mixer instead of by hand and followed the ingredients as listed. The completed recipe was very thick and was difficult to spread in the pan. I was not exactly able to spread it to all the sides of the pan. Required double the cooking time and when they were still uncooked 45 minutes later, I increased the oven to 350 and went for another 10 minutes (my oven is one year old and I use it daily without strange results so I believe it performs at the accurate cooking temp). Finally, I decided to take them out because the edges were hard and the center was gooey. They are still very chewy and almost like pieces of fudge. The worst part to me is that they definitely have a terribly bitter aftertaste! I used common Hershey’s baking cocoa. Stars for a fairly easy recipe to create without many changes and easy ingredients to acquire, but loss of stars because of the bitter taste, endless cooking time, unnecessary steps (double boiler) and consistency failure. Would not make it again, but if I were going to, I’d try just the single recipe and not double it to see if the results are better. I would definitely try an adjustment for the overly bitter cocoa taste. It’s almost like unsweetened dark chocolate and actually quite unpleasant.

    Reply
    • Joanne December 9, 2013, 12:28 pm

      Others have found that adding a little sugar helped. These are more of a bittersweet brownie. We have edited the recipe to be more clear about that. Thanks so much for commenting!

      Reply
  • Jessica December 7, 2013, 11:08 am

    I just made these… but I added little marshmallows on the top and put it back in the oven for 2 minutes so they go all gooey.. they are sooo nice all my flat mates love them!! 😛

    Reply
  • Michelle December 5, 2013, 2:35 pm

    I made it – it was awesome – truly the best best brownie recipe I have made. You are so right forget melting butter and chocolate – use cacoa powder and just awesome. But sadly I can only ever make this when I am going to either have lots of guests who will eat it all or I will make it and take it – so that I don’t eat it all lol. I put it in the fridge overnight and the texture was so dense and chocolatey which I love but then I microwaved a piece for 15 seconds and the soft gooey fluffy melty chocolatey goodness was even better and all of this before 6.30 am this morning lol.

    Reply
  • selina December 5, 2013, 7:55 am

    I want to ask ..Can i use salted butter and not put in the kosher salt?? I want to bake this but i only have salted butter :/ Pls answer this. Oh..and one more question..can i use superfine flour instead of all purpose? will that affect the brownies?

    Reply
    • Joanne December 9, 2013, 12:15 pm

      Yes — we would probably still add a pinch of salt, but not the amount called for in the recipe when using unsalted.

      Reply
  • Carolyn December 3, 2013, 10:39 pm

    I made these this afternoon and did find I had to cook them an extra 10 minutes. I did not have any white granulated sugar and used raw turbinado. During the baking there appeared to be water on top of the brownies. It mostly disappeared, but instead of a crinkly top it was dark, and there was almost a sugar glaze. They had a rich, dense chocolate taste. Sophisticated, comes to mind to describe the chocolate taste.

    Reply
    • Pooks December 7, 2013, 7:03 pm

      I too had to bake these for an additional ten minutes.

      Reply
    • Alex December 10, 2013, 12:35 pm

      Turbinado is meant not to melt, that was the cause of the sugary glazed top.

      Reply

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