Best Brownies

Best Brownies

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 25 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
353 Calories
18g Fat
47g Carbs
5g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 353
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 10g 51%
Cholesterol 77mg 26%
Sodium 130mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 33g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 28mg 2%
Iron 4mg 20%
Potassium 88mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Who can resist brownies? The chocolatey treat is a classic for good reason, starring in bake sales, dessert tables, and parties everywhere. A good brownie is moist, fudgier than it is cakey without being too decadent, and full of chocolate flavor. While boxed mixes are convenient, making homemade brownies is almost just as easy with no surprise ingredients.

This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to throw together and only dirties a couple of bowls. Those few extra minutes end up really paying off—boxed brownies don't hold a candle to these rich, flavorful brownies. They're right in between cakey and fudgy, like a boxed mix but so much better. They even have a nice crackly top.

For best results, use great cocoa and chocolate. Dutch-processed cocoa is preferred since it has a pronounced chocolate flavor without any bitterness. You can leave out the chocolate chips if you like, but they add extra moisture and level up the chocolate even more. Customize these brownies with chopped, toasted nuts, different kinds of chocolate chips, or a sprinkle of flaky salt.

For brownies that look professional when sliced, let them cool completely and then chill them before cutting. But if you can't resist digging in while they're warm, we can't blame you. Try topping with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

  • 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Best Brownies ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease an 8x8 or 9x9 pan.

    greased baking pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. Combine the butter and sugar in a medium heatproof bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments, stirring each time, until the butter is melted. Alternatively, stir in a pot on the stove over medium-low heat. Let cool a bit while you sift together the dry ingredients.

    butter and sugar mixture in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

    sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Add the butter and sugar mixture, eggs, vanilla, and espresso powder (if using).

    butter and sugar mixture, eggs, vanilla, and espresso powder in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Mix together just until well-mixed.

    brownie batter in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined.

    chocolate chips and brownie batter in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes for a 9x9 pan or 23 to 30 minutes for an 8x8 pan, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle (avoiding a chocolate chip) comes out clean or with a moist crumb or two attached but no liquid batter.

    Best Brownies in a baking pan

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  9. Let cool completely. For very tidy-looking brownies, refrigerate the cooled brownies for about an hour before cutting with a sharp knife.

    Best Brownies on a plate

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

How to Store and Freeze

  • To store cooled, leftover brownies, cover and leave at room temperature for up to three days. If you prefer them cold, they can be kept in the fridge for up to five days.
  • Brownies can also be frozen. Let cool, slice, and wrap individual brownies in plastic wrap. Place in a zip-top freezer bag and freeze for up to two months. Defrost in the fridge before enjoying.

Tips

  • To ensure your brownies are tender and fudgy and not dry and cakey, be sure to measure your flour and cocoa powder properly.
  • Don't over-bake brownies. This helps keep them nice and moist and fudgy. Use the toothpick test and take them out when there is no liquid batter coating the stick. A few moist crumbs are okay.
  • Note that a glass baking pan can affect the cook time, so keep a close eye on the brownies. We recommend a metal baking pan for this recipe.
  • This brownie recipe can be made using an 8x8, 9x9, or even a 9x13 baking pan. An 8x8 pan will make thick brownies, while a 9x13 will make very thin brownies. Because of the batter thickness, the 8x8 pan will take the longest to bake, while the 9x13 will take as little as 15 minutes.

Recipe Variations

  • Add up to one cup of chopped, toasted nuts like walnuts or pecans.
  • Add up to another 1/2 cup chocolate chips for extra chocolatey brownies.
  • Add up to 1/2 cup dried fruit like sweet cherries.
  • Top the brownies with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.

What's the Difference Between Fudgy Brownies and Cakey Brownies?

Everyone has their own brownie preferences. Some like fudgy brownies, which are extremely moist thanks to plenty of butter and/or oil and perhaps melted chocolate, while others prefer cakey brownies, which have more flour and cocoa, making them more cake-like. This recipe is somewhere in the middle, closer to fudgy than cakey.