This is our favorite, ultra-fudgy, ridiculously chocolate-y, insanely rich Brownie Recipe! Plus, I’m sharing all the tips and tricks to prepare you to be the ultimate brownie maker — you’ll never want a boxed mix again!
If you prefer gluten-free recipes, try these gluten-free brownies instead, or for a more nutritious recipe, these healthy brownies are very popular and so tasty!
What to expect with this Brownie Recipe
After working on this recipe (off and on) for over a year, it’s finally here — our ultimate Brownie Recipe! These brownies are rich, sweet, and extremely fudgy with that perfect crinkly top we all know and love.
While I’d like to call this recipe the “best brownie recipe” ever, I’m under no illusion that we all like the same type of brownies. So let’s start by telling you exactly what you’ll get with this recipe.
These bars are incredibly rich and very sweet. They are for a total chocoholic and sweets lover. This Brownie Recipe is also very fudge-y, a bit gooey, and fairly dense; they aren’t at all cakey. Each piece is speckled with chocolate chips — plenty in every bite.
If you like light, cake-like brownies, you’ll want to look for a recipe that uses cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate and a higher proportion of flour. If you prefer dense and fudgy, even slightly gooey brownies, the recipe will have more eggs, butter, and melted chocolate. And that is what you’ll get with this recipe — the maximum amount of melted chocolate, butter, and lots of eggs!
While these homemade brownies blow boxed brownies out of the water, there’s nothing like the ease of a boxed mix. So, while these aren’t *quite* as easy, they’re still pretty simple — they’re made in one bowl and require less than 10 ingredients. I wanted to optimize for making this recipe as easy as possible while not sacrificing flavor or texture.
Let’s chat ingredients
The difference between mediocre and incredible brownies comes down to the ingredients used — the better the ingredients, the better the brownies will taste! I recommend using good chocolate, pure vanilla extract, and always use real butter (not margarine).
- Eggs. We use four large eggs and one egg yolk in these brownies. The extra yolk adds a bit more richness and chewiness to the brownies. Use the leftover egg whites in this easy Egg Wrap.
- Unsalted butter. There is a lot of butter in this recipe! While boxed mixes use oil, we use butter in these homemade brownies for extra flavor! I recommend unsalted butter so we can perfectly control how much salt is in this recipe.
- Dark chocolate chips. One of the reasons these brownies are so fudgy and deeply chocolatey is the amount of actual chocolate in them. We’ve tested this recipe with dark chocolate and semi-sweet chips. Both are delicious, but dark chocolate was a bit more popular with taste testers. Semi-sweet chips result in a slightly richer brownie. When using dark chocolate, we don’t want a super dark/bitter chocolate, so I recommend using 53% cacao dark chocolate– which is actually still quite sweet. If you don’t love dark chocolate, use semi-sweet, but keep in mind, these brownies don’t taste bitter from the dark chocolate because of how much sugar is added in.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder. Regular unsweetened cocoa powder is what’s in these brownies. This recipe was tested with Dutch-process (also called “Special Dark”) cocoa powder and the two aren’t perfectly interchangeable. If you only have Dutch-process cocoa powder, you can use it, but you’ll need to add 1 teaspoon baking powder to the brownie batter. (Dutch-process cocoa powder has the acid stripped out, so the baking powder adds the needed acid back in.)
Brownie Recipe Ingredients, Continued
- Whitesugar. This Brownie Recipe was tested with brown sugar, but we preferred regular white granulated sugar.
- Vanillaextract. This contributes flavor!
- Flour. There isn’t a lot of flour in this recipe which ensures fudgy (not cakey) brownies. If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour and scoop, you will pack in way too much flour– which results in cakey brownies with less flavor. Avoid this by properly measuring the flour — see the “quick tip” below.
- Fine sea salt. This may seem like a lot of salt, but it helps enhance flavors and balance sweetness. Keep in mind, not all salts are the same. I use fine sea salt in this recipe; if using table salt, you’ll want to use only 1/2 teaspoon salt.
- Milk chocolate chips. We’re obsessed with loads of chocolate chunks in every bite, and we love good milk chocolate. That said, any chocolate works here — dark, white, semi-sweet, even peanut butter chips for a fun variation! Use your favorite. If you prefer less brownie sweetness, use semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips here. You could even use coarsely chopped (dry roasted) walnuts, pecans, or pistachios!
To properly measure flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup until it is overfilled, and then use the back of a table knife to level the measuring cup at the top. (Video visual here).
Let’s Chat Brownie Pans and Baking
There are so many variables to consider when baking these brownies– like the type of pan, the actual temperature of your oven, altitude, humidity, etc. So I recommend checking the brownies at least 5 minutes before the recommended time on the recipe. Better safe than sorry!
- Type of pan. The pan you used for this Brownie Recipe is very important to the end texture of brownies. Brownies baked in a metal pan cook faster than in a glass dish. Even the color of the pan can make a difference due to heat being reflected or absorbed (darker metal pans bake quicker).
- Here are the exact pans I use (and highly recommend) for this Brownie Recipe. I don’t recommend using a glass pan; light-colored pans will produce the best results because they conduct heat the most evenly. With dark-colored pans, the edges tend to over-bake or even burn before the center is finished.
- Oventemperature. A lot of ovens can get off temperature-wise. Even 25 degrees can make a difference, so make sure your oven is correctly calibrated. Wait for the oven to fully preheat before adding the brownies to the oven and place the pan in the center of the oven. I’ve also learned from experience that baking 2 trays at the same time is not a good idea; brownies need to be baked in the middle of the oven to cook through evenly.
- Linedpan. Lining the pan with parchment paper ensures even baking as well as easy removal and quick clean-up. I recommend lining the brownie pan with parchment paper (and leave an overhang) before adding in the batter. Don’t use wax paper or tin foil — it will negatively affect the baking.
How To Know When Brownies Are Done Baking
- Visual cues for doneness: The edges of the brownies should look baked through and the center should look set with a shiny, slightly crackling top. The center should not jiggle at all when moved.
- Physical cue for doneness: A toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies should come out with a few moist crumbs. The crumbs on the toothpick should be moist, but not wet. If it’s at all wet, the brownies need a bit more time.
Undercooked brownies have a shiny gloss while cooked brownies will look duller, darker, and matte.
Brownie Recipe Tips
- Microwave the chocolate chips and butter in large,sturdy, heat–safebowls instead of using plastic or melamine.
- To avoid burned chocolate and butter, microwave for 30 seconds at a time, and stir them for at least 20-25 seconds between each microwave burst. The chocolate is still melting even after it has been removed from the microwave.
- Add in the cocoa powder quickly. Once the chocolate and butter have melted, the mixture will still be warm and this is the perfect time to get the cocoa powder in. The heat helps to “bloom” cocoa powder; that will get this brownie recipe a richer taste.
When cocoa powder is “bloomed” it’s dissolved in a hot liquid which releases flavor particles within the cocoa. This helps bring out the best flavor and release its deep-chocolatey potential. Think of it like steeping a cup of tea!
Brownie Recipe Tips, Continued
- Don’t overmix. If the flour is mixed in too aggressively, it will over-develop the gluten and cause the brownies to be less chewy and soft. Mix until no streaks of flour remain and then stop.
- Wait for the brownies to thoroughly cool before removing them from the pan and cutting. Run the knife under warm water, dry on a kitchen towel, and repeat for each cut.
- Serve slightly warm brownies with a big scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and some hot fudge sauce or this tasty caramel sauce — I’m not sure it gets much better than that!
Brownie Recipe FAQs
1How do you make brownies from scratch?
This recipe is so simple! Here’s a quick break down of the steps:
- Melt chocolate and butter
- Add cocoa powder
- Add sugar
- Briskly whisk eggs and add those in
- Add in vanilla and salt
- Mix in flour and chocolate chips
- Add batter to pan and bake
- Cool completely before cutting
2What ingredients make brownies fudgy?
To get fudgy brownies, there needs to be a higher fat-to-flour ratio. So, in this recipe we use a lot of butter and melted chocolate and a relatively small amount of flour. We also do not use baking agents (baking powder or soda) in these brownies which further ensures the fudgy-ness.
Cakey brownies use less fat, more flour, and typically replace melted chocolate with cocoa powder. Cake-like brownies will also typically use baking powder to leaven the bars.
3What is the secret to good brownies?
There are a few “secrets” to good brownies:
- Using good-quality ingredients
- Baking in a light-colored metal pan until brownies are baking through, but not over-baked. The brownies should still be gooey and chewy when cooled — a few minutes too long in the oven and you’ll end up losing that gooey, fudgy goodness.
4What does an extra egg do to brownies?
The extra egg yolk adds richness and flavor to these brownies. It also contributes a slight softness in the end texture.
5What happens if I overbake my brownies?
If the brownies are slightly overbaked, add a chocolate frosting or ganache to top the bars and add that softness back in.
If the brownies are very overbaked, crumble them up and use them as an ice cream sundae topping, yogurt bowl topping, or mix them in this brownie batter ice cream.
6Why are my brownies too chewy?
To get really chewy, fudgy brownies, it comes down to bake time. You’ll want to slightly under-bake them for gooier bars. For less chewy bars, bake a little longer.
This brownie recipe is meant to be soft, fudgy, and a little bit gooey.
Brownie Recipe Storage
This Brownie Recipe is best enjoyed several hours after they’ve been baked. I know, they smell and look AMAZING right out of the oven, but they do need time to cool.
The texture (and flavor) of the brownies are best when they’ve cooled. They also cut out much nicer!
These brownies are best eaten within 3-4 days of being baked. Store any leftover (completely cooled) brownies in an airtight container at room temperature. Or, if you’d like them to be even fudgier, store them in the fridge!
Leftover brownies can be frozen, but they do lose flavor and texture upon being cooled.
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- 1 egg yolk
- 18tablespoonsunsalted butter(two sticks plus two tablespoons)
- 2cupsdark chocolate chips 53% cacao (or use semi-sweet chocolate chips — see Note 1)
- 1/4cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powderNote 2
- 2cupswhite granulated sugar
- 1tablespoonvanilla extract
- 1cupwhite, all-purpose flourNote 3
- 1teaspoonfine sea saltNote 4
- 2cupsmilk chocolate chipsNote 5
PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a light-colored 9×13-inch metal pan(See Note 6) with nonstick cooking spray. Line the pan with parchment paper (do not line with foil or wax paper — wax paper will melt, foil often leaves a metallic taste).
EGGS: Crack 4 eggs into a small bowl. Add 1 egg yolk. Discard the whites or save them for another recipe. Use a fork to briskly whisk the eggs and then set aside.
MELT CHOCOLATE: Add the 18 tablespoons butter and 2 full cups of dark chocolate to a large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds; then stir with a wooden spoon for 20 seconds. Repeat, microwaving for 30 seconds and then stirring for 20 seconds until chocolate is fully melted (this takes about 80-90 seconds in my microwave).
COCOA POWDER AND SUGAR: As soon as the chocolate and butter have melted and incorporated, add in the 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder. Mix with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated. Next, add in the 2 cups sugar. Stir until completely incorporated.
REMAINING INGREDIENTS: Use a spatula to scrape every bit of the whisked eggs into the bowl. Mix until fully incorporated. Add in the 1 tablespoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon fine sea salt (only use 1/4 up to 1/2 teaspoon if using table salt). Stir to mix. Finally, add in 1 cup flour and 2 cups milk chocolate chips. Stir until just incorporated, being careful to not overmix the batter. Use a spatula to scrape all of the batter into the prepared 9×13 pan and to smooth the top.
BAKE: Bake in a preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick when inserted into the center comes out with moist (not wet) crumbs. We like these brownies best very fudgy which is 40 minutes in my oven. Remove from the oven and let pan cool on a wire cooling rack at room temperature for 2-3 hours. They are very fudgy at this point and continue to firm up and set up more as they cool. (At about 3-5 hours out of the oven they are quite firm and set up.)
CUT AND SERVE: Using the overhang of parchment paper, lift the bars from the pan and use a sharp knife to make decisive cuts in the bars. Run the knife under warm water, dry on a kitchen towel, and repeat for each cut.
STORAGE: Store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature; store in the fridge if you’d like fudgier bars. Brownies are best enjoyed within 3-4 days of being baked.
Note 2: Be sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder, NOT Dutch-process (also called «Special Dark») cocoa powder. If you only have Dutch-process cocoa powder, you can use it, but you’ll need to add 1 teaspoon baking powder to the brownie batter (Dutched cocoa has the acid stripped out, so the baking powder adds the needed acid into the brownies).
Note 3: If you press a measuring cup into a bag of flour and scoop, you will pack in way too much flour, resulting in more cake-like brownies. To accurately measure the flour, spoon the flour into the measuring cup until it’s overfilled. Then use the back of a table knife to level the measuring cup at the top.
Note 4: If using table salt, reduce to 1/2 teaspoon.
Note 5: We love milk chocolate chips in these brownies, but know that these brownies are very sweet! If you’d like to control sweetness, use semi-sweet or even add nuts instead. This amount can be reduced to 1 cup if desired.
Note 6: Bake time will vary with a dark-colored metal pan or glass pan, so you’ll just need to keep an eye on the brownies. Light-colored, shiny pans will produce the best results (they conduct heat much more evenly).
Nutrition information is for 36 very small brownies. This is an appropriate size due to their richness.
We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.