The Best Fudgy Brownies

As promised, here is the all-cocoa powder brownie recipe I used when judging the difference between natural and dutch-process cocoa powders. This is the closest homemade recipe to rival the boxed brownie mixes I’ve found – which means a lot in my family since Brian adores the boxed brownie variety. And I can’t bring myself to buy them. Which means these brownies are a very happy compromise, especially considering that this simple homemade recipe takes maybe two minutes longer than the boxed mix. Ok, three. The brownies are so delicious, they easily gain access to The Best Recipe list.

The Best Fudgy Brownies

Fudgy, dense and downright decadent and addicting, the brownies’ chocolate flavor comes exclusively from cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate in the batter, which means using natural or dutch-process can vary the chocolate flavor (see this post for more details). Either way is delicious, but I have to admit that because I love my chocolate dark, the dutch-process cocoa in these brownies is heavenly to my dark chocolate loving palette. Test it out and see decide for yourself. It may take two or three batches, but seriously, what’s so wrong with extra brownies laying around, right? (Actually on second thought, I’d rather not let my postpartum thighs dwell on that question…)

One Year Ago: Blueberry Fool
Two Years Ago: Perfect Corn on the Cob
Three Years Ago: Cookie Dough Topped Brownies

The Best Fudgy Brownies {Think: Homemade Brownies Like The Boxed Mix!}

Yield: Makes 16 brownies

The Best Fudgy Brownies {Think: Homemade Brownies Like The Boxed Mix!}

Note: This recipe doubles wonderfully for a 9X13-inch pan. Just keep an eye on the baking time and adjust accordingly.

Ingredients

  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks or 5 ounces) butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (9 7/8 ounces) sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 7/8 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (2 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour

Directions

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides. Lightly grease with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium microwave-wafe bowl. Microwave for one minute intervals, stirring in between, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Set the mixture aside until it cools slightly (is warm to the touch not hot). It will look gritty but it will become smooth once the other ingredients are added.
  3. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Add the 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 you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack. After the brownies are cooled completely, I like to throw the pan in the refrigerator - cold brownies cut much easier and taste heavenly. Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into squares and serve.
http://www.melskitchencafe.com/the-best-fudgy-brownies/
Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen originally from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet

158 Responses to Fudgy Brownies {Think: Homemade Brownies Like The Boxed Mix!}

  1. Mary says:

    These are amazing!!! I made them not knowing what to expect and I’m so glad I did. I Love boxed brownies but I actually think I like these more. They are perfect. So decadent. They are very fudgey. I ate then with my husband and his friend and we ate them all the day of. Yikes!

  2. Sandy says:

    How do you get the cracked, shiny look with this recipe? I tried them tonight. They tasted good, but lack the “boxed-brownie” look.

    • Mel says:

      Sandy – not really sure of the secret – they get a bit crackly on top while baking so I’m not sure what would have happened with your batch. Keep in mind they aren’t quite as crackly and shiny as the boxed mix so maybe they turned out just fine.

      • Suri says:

        The crackly, shiny tops come from the sugar melting into the butter (step 2 in the recipe). Make sure your sugar is completely dissolved and you’ll have crackly tops!

  3. Sara says:

    Absolutely the BEST! Can you tell me how many calories are in one brownie please?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Sara – I don’t keep track of the nutritional info but you could use an online nutritional calculator to figure it out if you wanted. Glad you loved them!

  4. Suzie says:

    G’day Mel! I just stumbled across your blog this morning and had made these by noon! I added 1/2 cup of dried cranberries, 1/2 cup of prunes and increased butter ever so slightly to 150g. Ended up taking longer to bake (30 mins on 160C), but I’m wondering if that’s because I opted to not use fan-forced? Thanks for the recipe.

  5. Gitte says:

    After searching Google for a good half hour, I decided on this recipe (based on the pictures, the recipe’s simplicity, and I barely had a 1/2 cup of flour left in the pantry). I made them with natural unsweetened cocoa powder since I don’t have dutch processed. These brownies ARE amazing! I’ve tried so many different brownie recipes over the years and none of them ever came close to how they taste out of the box. IMO this recipe surpasses box brownies as far as taste and quality is concerned, because I made it and I used ingredients I trust. Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Tab says:

    I am so excited to eat these! I have a craving for brownies and was so sad to find that I didnt have any boxed mix in the house. I seen I had Cocoa powder and I instantly Googled! Thank you for blogging this amazing looking recipe!! Its in the oven baking right now and I cant stop thinking about them HaHaHa XoXo-

  7. Sara says:

    I love this recipe and make them all the time. One thing I do different is I pour the batter into mini-muffin pan tins and bake for the same amount of time. They come out perfectly when sprayed with oil, but bite sized! Awesome.

  8. UnsatisfiedBaker says:

    Wow. These brownies are freaking disgusting. I like, they were REALLY gooey and bad. I think these are the antichrist of all brownies.
    Damn you. You vile, vile, Mel’s Kitchen

  9. Julie says:

    Hi Mel,

    These brownies look great, but I’m looking for a really thick brownie (as in tall). Do you think it would work to double the batch or 1.5 the batch and still cook it in a 8X8 square pan? Or would it never cook/the edges would cook too fast before the middle?

    Thanks!

    • Mel says:

      Hi Julie – I’m worried your idea might result in the middle of the brownies being seriously gooey while the edges are overcooked. I guess the only way to know is to try it – good luck if you do!

  10. rosalee neal says:

    I made the brownies just used a Muffin pan so its easier to just grab and go no mess. They turned out good .

  11. Monique says:

    I just whipped these up and they are delish! I LOVE box brownies as they are my guilty pleasure but I wanted to make something i would feel better about my two year old eating! And these are not only easy but very tasty! Can’t wait for dessert! Thank you!

  12. Jennie says:

    Hi I did not use unsalted butter…
    would that take out the bitterness? To me it wasnt sweet enough and to bitter. Maybe the powder wasnt right? I just used kroger baking cocoa. But everything else was exactly as directed.

    • Mel says:

      Jennie – if they were too bitter to your taste buds, using Dutch-process cocoa will help as it has a less acidic taste than natural cocoa powder.

  13. Jennie says:

    I just wanted to add that the texture is heavenly. I may just need to try a different cocoa.

  14. Holly says:

    I just made these today. I hate to say this but they were not that great. They definitely did not remind me of a yummy boxed brownie mix. If you pair this brownie with ice cream and whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate, it helps soften the strong taste of the brownie. I LOVE chocolate and could not eat the brownie on it’s own….that’s saying A LOT!

  15. Tamara says:

    I made these just a week ago, and they were an absolute hit! My husband said they were the best he’s ever eaten… And my two boys agreed. Word of their deliciousness traveled so fast that I have been asked to bring a few batches to Thanksgiving dinner. :)

    LOVE the taste and texture of these fudgy brownies, and especially the fact that we are cutting out a bunch of those mystery ingredients in the boxed stuff. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe!!

  16. Sarah says:

    This recipe is not my friend. I’ve tried it twice now and haven’t been thrilled either time. The first failure was, granted, my fault. I did the butter conversion in my head instead of using a conversion tool. Of course I did it wrong, which then yielded dry brownies. (I live in Asia where butter comes in blocks of 454 grams with no handy measurement markings on the wrappers.)

    The second batch was better, but came out too cake-like for my taste. Again, this is undoubtedly my fault. I only had medium eggs left (I used the large ones in the first batch – which I doubled) so I used three eggs instead of two.

    I really wanted this recipe to work, but I am officially giving up on it. :(

  17. Angelica Garcia says:

    Is it just me or is 20-25 minutes not working? They have been in for 40 minutes now and still not close to being ready.

  18. Naomi Olivia says:

    Just made these! They’re so rich & fudgy! I used part vegetable oil & self raising flour (all i had) and they weren’t in the slightest cakey. They are actually so fudgy that i’m having a hard time cutting them into neat squares cause they stick to the knife! Thanks for the recipe :)

  19. Lindsey says:

    these are delicious & so easy to make!

  20. Veronica says:

    Wow! I made these today using a cupcake pan since my 8×8 was in use. I baked them at 325 for 30 minutes and they are absolutely delicious! Also boyfriend-approved :)

    I made 8 but probably could have gotten a full dozen if I’d scooped less batter per cupcake.

  21. Janie says:

    Very delicious and easy to make! I used Hershey’s cocoa and 1 stick of real butter (salted) and 2 TBSP Crisco shortening. They turned out perfect.

  22. Kelly H says:

    These turned out completely divine! I added some cayenne and pecans to mine. Thanks for the lovely recipes!

  23. Nita says:

    I made these brownies this morning using Valrhona Dutch Cocoa. It was my first time baking with Dutch Cocoa. I thought they were by rich and dark and yummy but they weren’t my favorite. My kids didn’t like these as much as I was hoping they did. I’ve made many brownies from your site and my go to brownie is your easiest brownies recipe. We all love the easiest brownie recipe and I make it at least once a week and sometimes more. I’ve even made it with less eggs or butter and they still turn out delicious. So while these were good , but I think I’ll be sticking to the easiest brownie recipe.

  24. Rhiannon says:

    Found this recipe today and i tell you what, the mixture tastes amazing! Was so excited to get them out of the oven. Theyre so rich, crisp on the top and fudgy in the middle. A bit flat, but will definitely be making these again!

  25. Laurie says:

    I just made these for the first time. I too thought the mix didn’t taste as sweet as boxed brownies so I did add about a quarter cup more sugar and I usually make peanut butter frosting which is to die for . I will try not to eat them all before my hubby gets home. Love them with a glass of cold milk.human

  26. Irfan says:

    Dear Mel,

    I am one of those who love baking and I must say these brownies have been a favorite. The aroma and the taste is unequivocal to any as yet tasted. A 2 thumbs up!!

  27. Gen says:

    Made this for desser tonight. My family loved it! It didnt rise as much as the boxed brownies but thats to be expected since there’s only 1/2 C of flour and no added unknown ingredients. This is a keeper! So moist, chewy, fudgy and best of all crunchy on top like what our family likes. Go ahead and make it! :). Thanks Mel! :)

  28. adriana says:

    If you think, store bought brownies never have melted chocolate in them, so makes sense to use cocoa powder. I will use powdered sugar though as that what it is usually in a box from store. But I also noticed on a box from store that they use corn starch and baking powder. Can you tell me why? Thanks

    • Mel says:

      Adriana – I have no idea why boxed mixes include the ingredients that they do. It is probably all to do with the texture of the brownies. Good luck.

  29. Heidi says:

    I went to the link for the original recipe on smitten kitchen and she said her baking time was actually more like 35 minutes. You might want to add a note about longer baking times. Mine took over 40 minutes to bake! And I know it is not my oven or ingredients. I am an avid baker. I weighed all of my ingredients and know that my ovens’ temperature is spot on. Just thought this might help others!

  30. Molly says:

    I am sitting here with one of these brownies in hand because I didn’t want to wait to finish it to say thank you. These are unreal.

  31. Lex says:

    I can’t say enough good things about these brownies! I’ve been searching for years for a homemade brownie recipe that beats out the box. THIS. IS. IT. I fed them to a house full of people and they were gone practically before I’d taken them out of the oven.

  32. adriana says:

    I have made these and they were very good. But still I did not get that nice crinkly top and then I read about beating the eggs with sugar and I have to say they had the best crinkly top ever. Thanks!

  33. Sharon says:

    Just made these for the first time and it definitely won’t be the last. They are amazing and taste just like a box mix . . . only better, of course. I even used gluten-free flour in place of the regular flour and they turned out perfectly. Thank you for an awesome, easy brownie recipe :)

  34. Stevie says:

    These brownies were so delicious. i have been searching for a fudgey brownie for a long time and i think i’ve found the one! thankyou :)

  35. Samantha says:

    I added crushed walnuts and chocolate chips. They turned out AMAZING but I did have to increase the cooking time because they didn’t want to set. So happy :)

  36. mitpuc says:

    This is the best brownie I ever had. It is most and fudgy! However, Is there anyway I can make it less sweet? I am a bit concerned that if I reduce a sugar it would change a texture.

  37. Samantha H says:

    These were so easy to make and were absolutely delicious! I was out of dutch cocoa powder so i just used regular and they were amazing! Thanks so much for the great brownie recipe; it’s definitely one of my favorites.

  38. Linda F says:

    Would be helpful to know at what altitude you are baking. I am in Colorado – mile high, and do not know if I should adjust for the altitude. I think many people do not realize the effect that altitude and humidity have on our baked goods, including baking times. I have lived all over the U.S, and my recipes show conversions of my favorite recipes for each location. Thanks for providing the altitude info. Am dying to make this recipe.

  39. ally says:

    does the butter need to be softened?

    • Mel says:

      Ally – The butter gets melted. Here is step #2 in the instructions. “Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for one minute intervals, stirring in between, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.” Good luck.

  40. Mickie says:

    Ahh Mel, how I love thee, let me count the ways… Is it creepy of me to write you a love note over a brownie recipe? My pregnant chocolate craving self couldn’t wait another minute to eat something divine. Since I don’t keep any sort of sweets in my house for this very purpose I was eating and handful of semi sweet chocolate chips when I thought, BROWNIES! So of course, you have my go to recipe. Keep on keepin’ on my dear friend. You’re a life saver.

  41. Lindsay says:

    First time posting but have been following for awhile- ♡ your site!
    That being said been doing more indepth research on using diff cocoa powders and their uses and bs vs bpowder and why you use one vs another in regards to cocoa pwdr. Is there a reason you left these ingredients out in this recipe?

    • Mel says:

      Hi Lindsay – not all brownie recipes need a chemical leavener like baking soda or baking powder – this recipe does great without them. :)

  42. Michelle says:

    These brownies are absolutely phenomenal! Our family loves fudgy brownies, and these are totally fudgy and amazing. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe! :)

  43. Lexy says:

    So much praise means a real winner here for sure. I’m having trouble finding “bittersweet” chocolate. Could only find Ghiradeli “bittersweet cho. chips”. Are chocolate bars marked
    60 or 70 etc. percent bittersweet or must it say bittersweet on the wrapper.

    Thanks for a great sounding (at this point, hope to come back with experience to say “great tasting”) recipe.

    • Mel says:

      Lexy – I use the Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips for this recipe and they work great. I’m not sure if candy bars are labeled bittersweet but baking chocolate should be (usually located above the chocolate chips in the baking aisle).

  44. jodi says:

    I tried this recipe last night. Your recipes never fail me! However, this one was a bust. I did forget the 2 T of cocoa, but I don’t think that should have made enough difference to ruin them. They were just sooooo gooey. I cooked them in a glass pan. Maybe that was it? Oh well, at least I tried something new from my standard brownie recipe :)

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