These homemade fudgy brownies are a boxed brownie knockoff, and they are even more delicious and decadent and fudgy than any boxed mix!

As promised, here is the all-cocoa powder fudgy 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.

A white plate with two stacks of different kinds of brownies. The stack on the left is lighter brown than the stack on the right.

And I can’t bring myself to buy them (nothing against the boxed brownies – there is a time and a place, but I’m always on a quest to get a homemade version!).

Which means these fudgy 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 decadent, fudgy brownies are so delicious, they easily gain access to The Best Recipe list.

A blue and white designed tupperware turned upside down, with three brownies stacked on top.

Fudgy, dense and downright decadent and addicting, the 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.

It makes for a slightly more mild chocolate flavor that isn’t as sharp as natural, unsweetened cocoa (but is still decadent and rich).

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?

Two stacks of brownies on a white platter, the left stack says natural unsweetened cocoa powder, and the right stack is darker and says dutch-process cocoa powder.

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

4.57 stars (360 ratings)


  • 10 tablespoons (142 g) butter
  • 1 ¼ cups (265 g) granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup (79 g) plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup (71 g) all-purpose flour


  • 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Doubling: this recipe doubles wonderfully for a 9X13-inch pan. Just keep an eye on the baking time and adjust accordingly.
Serving: 1 Brownie, Calories: 157kcal, Carbohydrates: 21g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 8g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Sodium: 145mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 16g

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen originally from Alice Medrich’s Bittersweet