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These better than box mix brownies are PERFECT. Ooey and gooey right out of the oven, soft and chewy after they cool with a light, delicate flaky crust.
Featured with this Recipe
There are two things I am an absolute perfectionist about: Chocolate chip cookies and brownies. I have probably tried hundreds of brownies throughout my life to find the best brownie recipe. These “better than box mix” brownies from scratch truly are the best I have had.
Ingredients in Homemade Brownies
- Butter AND Shortening – every home baker knows that butter gives a better taste while shortening gives a better texture. So why not have both! When you melt butter and shortening together it makes the perfect fat combo for this brownie batter.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- Vanilla Extract
- Large Eggs – for an extra smooth batter, thoroughly whisk eggs before adding to batter.
- All Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Kosher Salt
- Chocolate Chips
The Perfect Brownie Breakdown
- The Crust: The crust can never be dry and should never be “crunchy”. It must be chewy with a lightly crisp edge with very few crumbs.
- The Center: The center needs to be hot and gooey (perfect for adding a a scoop of ice cream). When they cool, they should be soft and chewy (even for the next day or two).
- The Top: The top of the brownies should have an ultra thin, delicate, flaky, crackly crust. Thinner than tissue paper. See image below to see what I am talking about.
- The biggest tip for making these brownies is to NOT OVER BAKE. They may seem slightly under-done when you pull them out and that is totally normal. When they cool, they will be soft and chewy. You want these brownies to fail the “toothpick test”, unlike cake. They don’t need to be “done” all the way through.
- Line the baking pan with parchment paper for easy serving.
- Use dutch-processed cocoa powder for the best chocolate flavor.
- Bake these brownies in metal pans instead of glass pans if possible. Metal pans allow for more even heating.
These really don’t need anything extra. They are perfect the way they are. If you want to swap out the dark chocolate chips for semi-sweet chocolate chips, that is totally ok. You can even use peanut butter chips or you want to switch it up. We have used mini-chocolate chips before and those work great too. Mint chocolate chips would be a fun substitution around the holidays. Chocolate chunks are also another great way to add gooey chocolate to your brownies. You can also add nuts like pecans or walnuts.
GLUTEN FREE Brownies:
Because there is only just a little over a cup of flour in this recipe it makes it SUPER easy to make gluten free. You can use pretty much any 1:1 flour blend and you will not even be able to tell they are GF. You can use Better Batter, Namaste Four (Costco), or your own flour blend with this recipe. Trust us, we have made them GF for friends and family before and no one even suspected they were GF!
Frequently Asked Questions
The four eggs in this recipe are the secret to moist brownies! Eggs add liquid and also help bind all the dry and wet ingredients together. While we think of eggs as a protein, they are used for their fat content in brownies.
The ratio of fat to flour is responsible for the fudgy or cakey texture. If you have more flour, then you will have cakey brownies and if you have more fat you will have fudgy brownies. This recipe is more fudgy – with butter and shortening in the batter.
Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature.
More Brownie Recipes
This is a recipe for good ol’ plain chocolate brownies. It is a no-frills homemade recipe. If you are looking to try some other brownie variations, give one of these a try:
- Pretzel Crust Cheesecake Brownies
- Almond Joy Brownies
- White Chocolate Peppermint Bark Brownies
- Red Velvet Brownies
How to Make the BEST Homemade Brownies
Better than Box Mix Brownies (aka BEST Brownies EVER)
- Preheat oven to 350-degrees.
- In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and shortening.
- Microwave for 15 seconds at a time until just melted together. Stir and set aside to cool.
- When butter mixture has cooled, add baking cocoa, sugar, vanilla, and eggs. Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and chocolate chips.
- Stir dry mixture into chocolate mixture until combined (it will be fairly thick).
- Pour mixture into a greased 9×13 baking dish (or 9×9 if you want them to be thicker).
- Bake for 30 minutes or until brownies just start to pull away from the sides of the pan (if you are using a 9×9 dish you may need to add a few minutes). Do not over bake.
- Cool at least 20 minutes before cutting. Enjoy!
- For Gluten Free Brownies: You can use pretty much any 1:1 flour blend and you will not even be able to tell they are GF. You can use Better Batter, Namaste Four (Costco), or your own flour blend with this recipe.
- The biggest tip for making these brownies is to NOT OVER BAKE. They may seem slightly under-done when you pull them out and that is totally normal.
- If you want to swap out the dark chocolate chips for semi-sweet, that is totally ok. You can even use peanut butter chips or you want to switch it up. We have used mini-chocolate chips before and those work great too.
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