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The desire for brownies can strike fast. When the cravings hit, the goal is to get your brownies in the oven and on the table as quickly as possible. While there are plenty of indulgent homemade brownie recipes out there, times like these call for cutting to the chase—and these delightful brownie mixes are here to save the day.
The best brownie mixes are satisfyingly chocolately and easy to make. If you have a hankering for rich, fudgy brownies, you don’t have to look further than any one of these boxed mixes to whip up a treat your whole family will love. Most require little more than an egg or two and some vegetable oil, which you probably have on hand already.
Whether you have special dietary restrictions or are partial to a specific type of chocolate, you'll find the perfect mix on our list.
Best Overall: Ghirardelli Chocolate Triple Fudge Premium Brownie Mix
Made with high quality chocolates
Full of chocolate chunks
Fudge sauce for the ultimate fudginess
Longer baking time than some other mixes
When you think of the best brownies you’ve ever eaten, you probably think of a rich, chewy chocolate square that practically melts in your mouth. That’s exactly what you’ll get when you bake with this brownie mix by the famed Ghirardelli chocolate company.
The mix has a simple list of ingredients that will please purists, yet has a triple threat of chocolate—bittersweet, semi-sweet, and milk chocolate—to ensure each bite is bursting with flavor.
You’ll love that the process is just as easy. Simply combine the powdered mix with a handful of pantry staples—water, oil, and eggs—then pop in the oven. In less than 50 minutes (even for big 13 x 9 inch family-size trays), you’ll have the perfect chocolate treat at your fingertips.
Best Value: Betty Crocker Delights Triple Chunk Supreme Brownie Mix (Two-Pack)
Filled with chocolate chunks
Easy to mix
Not available in all grocery stores
Though highly rated, this two-pack boasts a very desirable price tag—a cost that’s even more impressive once you consider what you’re getting. The mix yields rich brownies studded with chocolate chunks and chocolate chips for maximum goodness in each and every bite.
Like our top pick, this brownie mix is easy to put together, too. Simply combine the mix with water, vegetable oil, and an egg. Then, choose from one of three tray sizes, and bake. Less than 40 minutes later (even quicker than our top pick!), you’ll have that decadent chocolate square you were craving.
Best Gluten-Free: Simple Mills Almond Flour Brownie Mix
Gluten-free with no artificial ingredients
Easy ingredient swaps listed
Lower carbohydrate option
Doesn't work for those with almond allergies
More expensive than traditional mixes
This great boxed brownie mix has something to prove: You don’t need to sacrifice delicious treats just because you have special dietary requirements or restrictions.
The almond flour-based mix yields moist, fudgy brownies that will fool even your most discerning gluten-devouring friends. Still, they’re suitable for an impressive array of sensitivities—the resulting dessert is gluten-free, dairy-free, grain-free, cholesterol-free, and soy-free. As an important added bonus, the mix is also non-GMO project verified.
Best Organic: Foodstirs Organic Chocolate Lovers Brownie Mix
Lower sugar content
Quick bake time
Can be difficult to find
If there’s one thing Buffy the Vampire Slayer knows, it’s delicious organic desserts. Each product in this line, founded by Sarah Michelle Gellar, is filled with just six to 10 ingredients that are vegan, non-GMO, Kosher, and USDA-certified organic, so you can snack smarter.
There’s no sacrificing on taste, though. The 16 servings of brownies that this mix yields are all top-quality treats that would give any from-scratch recipe a run for its money. What’s more? They bake to perfection in just 30 minutes (great for anxious little ones!).
Best Dark Chocolate: Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix
Great for dark chocolate lovers
Easy to mix
Full of chocolate chips
Longer bake time
Here's another winning pick from Ghirardelli, but this time for those who covet that bittersweet goodness you get from quality dark chocolate.
It’s no surprise this mix has a decadent dark chocolate taste in every bite, as it’s made with real Ghirardelli chocolate and studded with even more dark chocolate chips. When you combine that with water, vegetable, oil, and an egg, the result is a deep, yet smooth chocolate treat that’s the perfect marriage between moist and chewy.
As a bonus, this mix is great for novices in the kitchen. The box includes plenty of tips for nailing the recipe, including alterations for thicker brownies and high-altitude baking.
Best Milk Chocolate: Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate Brownie Mix
Easy to mix
Less of a chocolately kick
If you prefer your dessert to be a little sweeter, you’ll love this milk chocolate brownie mix by go-to baking brand Betty Crocker. The chocolate flavor is slightly less intense, but that doesn’t mean you’re sacrificing on taste. The mix yields a delicate, smooth chocolate brownie that reviewers call amazing.
It’s a great base recipe, too. Since the chocolate flavor doesn’t overwhelm, it creates the perfect blank canvas for fun add-ins, like peanut butter, caramel, or even potato chips or pretzels. Not entirely sure where to start? Flip the box over for three great suggestions straight from the professional bakers themselves.
Best for Cookies: Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix
Perfect crackly paper-thin top
Additional flour required for high altitude baking
Did you know you can make rich chocolate cookies from brownie mix? That’s right—using the same box, you can skip right on over the bars and make cookies instead. There’s just one caveat: You’ll want to use brownies specifically labeled as “fudgy” if you’re going this route. This particular mix will help you create just what you’re envisioning—a nice, moist cookie with a rich and complex flavor profile. Of course, this box also makes great regular brownies, should you ultimately decide to go in that direction instead.
Best With Whole Grains: Madhava Organic Ooey-Gooey Chocolate Brownie Mix
Fudgy or cakey brownie instructions
Ancient grains instead of highly processed flours
More expensive than other mixes
Longer bake time
This brownie mix by Madhava delivers on two very important things: real ingredients and a delicious treat. Yes, it really is possible to have both. This brownie mix is comprised of just eight ingredients. And each one, including sustainable organic coconut sugar and ancient whole grains, is all organic and non-GMO to yield a dessert worth indulging in.
You’d really never know it, though. They’re rich and chocolatey, but not overly sweet. If you’re looking for a vegan treat, follow the advice of one customer's review: Replace the eggs with flaxseed and water.
Best for Celebrations: Pillsbury Funfetti Chocolate Fudge Premium Brownie Mix
Festive funfetti included
Instructions for baking a double batch
Great for involving kids while baking
More oil required than other mixes
Who ever said you have to have a birthday cake for your celebration? Go ahead: Surprise your favorite chocolate lover with a delicious tray of brownies instead. This boxed mix makes it easy to make the chocolate treat a little more festive (and, thus, suitable for the special occasion), thanks to the addition of colorful sprinkles.
It’s not just a gimmick, either: These brownies are just what you’d expect from Pillsbury. They’re rich, moist, and full of that chocolate flavor you’re looking for.
Best Individual Serving: Duncan Hines Mug Cakes Caramel Flavored Brownie Mix
Incredibly fast results
4 packets for multiple mugs
Great for colleges students
Letting it cool requires patience
What if we told you that you don’t have to make an entire tray every time you want to have a brownie? That would make it a lot easier to justify the time and the effort, right?
That’s exactly the case with this individual-sized brownie mix. Each box comes with four 2.6-ounce pouches of brownie mix to yield a single mug-sized brownie. There’s no fiddling with extra ingredients—simply add two tablespoons of water and stir—and you never even have to turn on your oven—just microwave on high for 55 seconds. In less than a minute, you’ll have a rich chocolate brownie studded with decadent swirls of sweet caramel. Now, that’s a special treat.
For a truly indulgent brownie with next to no effort, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Triple Fudge Premium Brownie Mix is our best overall pick (view at Walmart). If your chocolate cravings tend to come on fast and without warning, pick up a few boxes of Betty Crocker Delights Triple Chunk Supreme Brownie Mix for a fast and ultra-fudgy brownie experience (view at Amazon).
What to Look For When Buying Brownie Mixes
If there’s a special kind of chocolate you like, there’s a brownie mix out there to make you happy. On the other hand, if you want all of the chocolates, several mixes have you covered there as well.
For a more chocolate-forward experience, shoot for a mix that includes chocolate chunks, a fudge packet, or both. Mixes that contain only cocoa powder will have a more subtle chocolate flavor but can be great for mixing in your own additions like Nutella, peanut butter, nuts, or marshmallow fluff.
Baking Times and Instructions
Only you know how long you can reasonably wait for your brownies to cook. If you have infinite patience, you may be comfortable waiting close to 50 minutes for your brownies to bake. If you need your brownies quickly after the craving strikes, look for brownie mixes that cook in about 20 minutes. If you have absolutely zero patience, opt for the 55-second microwave mug brownie.
Additionally, most brownie mixes include baking times and instructions for brownie pans in different sizes and materials. Typically baked in metal or glass pans, the box will give you specific times and temperatures to fit your pan.
Nearly everyone loves brownies, and these days there is a brownie mix tailored to every preference. If you eat gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, or another special diet, there is a mix for you! Most brownie mixes contain the same essential ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa powder, leavener, egg, oil, and water. Some of these ingredients are tailored to specific diets straight out of the box, and some give instructions for simple ingredient swaps.
It’s often more convenient and cost-effective to buy a specialized and tested brownie mix than to search for an iffy recipe that might require a long list of expensive ingredients and complicated mixing instructions.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
This roundup was written by Brigitt Earley, who has written and edited hundreds of articles in the food space for various publications over the course of the last 10 years. Brigitt also attended the French Culinary Institute in NYC.
Jenny Kellerhals is a professional pastry chef and freelance food writer, based in Queens, NYC. She's mixed-up hundreds, if not thousands of batches of brownies—always trying to capture the magic of that perfectly fudgy, sweet, and indulgent brownie you fell in love with from your very first bite. Out of the box like her mom used to make, or from scratch, Jenny thinks baking a batch of brownies is the ultimate act of love.