The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (2024)

by Ashley Manila 354 Comments

Brownie lovers rejoice: your search for the best homemade brownie recipe is over! You’ll only need are a few simple ingredients like melted butter, granulated sugar, flour, eggs, and unsweetened cocoa powder. Plus, chocolate chips which give these chocolate brownies EXTRA chocolate flavor – and ensure they bake up with a shiny crackly top!

The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (1)

The BEST Homemade Brownies

Reader Imansays: The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (2)I make brownies periodically and am always on the lookout for a new recipe. I made these tonight and my wife said they were the best brownies I’d ever made and to keep this recipe!”

I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m OBSESSED with brownies. I have dozens of brownie recipes on my website – and even one in my cookbook. But these cocoa fudge brownies? They hold the crown as my all-time favorite brownie recipe!

I’ve been baking them for years… and will continue doing so for the rest of my life. They’re easy, indulgent, and basically foolproof. Prepared with basic ingredients and just a few bowls… you can whip up bakery-style brownies anytime the craving strikes. I have no doubt you’ll love this easy dessert recipe as much as I do!

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Unsweetened Cocoa Powder vs Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder

Although this recipe contains baking powder, it will work with both dutch processed cocoa powder and unsweetened cocoa powder. But the results will be slightly different depending on your choice. Unsweetened cocoa powder (aka natural cocoa powder) will yield a brownie with a lighter color and less intense flavor. Dutch-process cocoa – or black cocoa powder – will give you super dark brownies with an intensely rich and deep chocolate flavor.

Get the Most Chocolate Flavor

  1. Use Quality-Cocoa: No matter what kind of cocoa powder you use , it should be a quality-brand. A few of my favorite cocoa powder brands are Droste, Ghiradelli, and Guittard Rouge. In a pinch, I’ve even had good experience using Hershey’s cocoa powder. Just be sure your cocoa is unsweetened and never sub hot cocoa mix.
  2. Add some Vanilla: This is an optional ingredient. But you can enhance the chocolate flavor by adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Pure vanilla extract or bourbon vanilla extract works great. Don’t use artificial vanilla.
  3. Add some Espresso Powder: Another optional ingredient. But to enhance the chocolate flavor – and elevate the taste of the brownies – add a teaspoon of espresso powder. I suggest adding it with the flour mixture.
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Holy Grail Brownie Recipe

  • Flour:for best results, use all-purpose flour! I cannot suggest baking these with almond flour, coconut flour, or any other plant based flour. Some readers have reported good results using a 1 for 1 gluten free flour substitute. So that’s worth a shot to bake gluten free brownies.
  • Baking Powder:This ingredient adds just a little lift to these bars which. I find baking powder is essential because the lift helps them not be too fudgy. Do not sub baking powder for baking soda!
  • Salt:Enhances the taste and flavor while also balancing the sweetness. For a bakery-style touch, sprinkle flaky sea salt on the crackly tops of the chocolate brownies before serving.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder:You can use natural cocoa powder or dutch-processed cocoa powder. Dutch cocoa will make the brownies darker and more rich.
  • Butter:Melted butter adds flavor and moisture to the brownies. I suggest using unsalted butter to control the amount of sodium added, but salted will work in a pinch. Just omit the salt called for in the recipe.
  • Oil: For extra moist brownies, you’ll need to add a little oil. You can use canola oil, vegetable oil, or refined melted coconut oil. In a pinch, olive oil will even work. But it will add olive oil flavor to the finished product.
  • Granulated Sugar:Do not sub brown sugar in this recipe! Brown sugar will make the brownies too moist and add unwanted molasses flavor. Granulated sugar works best!
  • Eggs:You’ll use 2 whole eggs, plus one egg yolks, which adds richness without making the brownies cake-y. I cannot suggest an egg replacement and DO NOT suggest making them without eggs.
  • Chocolate Chips:Because you can never have enough chocolate flavor, right? Feel free to use milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or even, peanut butter chips! Chocolate chunks would also make a wonderful replacement, especially for larger pockets of gooey chocolate.

Secrets to a Shiny Crackly Top

  1. Melt the Butter:The secret to getting that gorgeous shiny crackly tops? Melting the butter with some of the sugar! Just be sure to keep a close eye, as you don’t want the sugar to clump up.
  2. Whisk the Eggs:Secret #2 to crackly tops? Whisk the heck out of your eggs!
  3. Combine Hot and Cold:This might feel insane, but you’ll slowly add the HOT butter mixture to the cold egg mixture. The secret is to whisk constantly while you’re adding, and only add a little bit of the butter mixture at a time.
  4. Add Dry Ingredients:Fold in the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder, and stir until JUST combined. Don’t over mix here because over mixing = cake-y or dry brownies. Not fudgy brownies, which is what we want.
  5. Add Chocolate:Stir in the chocolate chips or chocolate chunks. Make sure to stir ONLY until you have just combined the brownie batter. Over mixing will cause cake-y brownies. When in doubt, under mix your brownie batter.

The Best Baking Pan

  • This recipe requires a 9×9-inch baking pan. I don’t suggest using an 8-inch pan, but if you do, you’ll need to add at least 5 minutes to the bake time. And be prepared to have super thick brownies!
  • The BEST baking pan for this recipe is a metal or aluminized steel baking pan. These pans allow the brownies to cook quickly and evenly. My favorite brownie pan is this 9×9-inch USA pan.
  • If you must use a glass or ceramic baking pan, be prepared to bake longer than suggested. Depending on how thick your pan is, you’ll need to add anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes onto the bake time. Which is why I highly suggest a metal pan instead.
  • No matter what kind of pan you use, be sure to line the baking pan with parchment paper. Once your prepared pan is ready to go, simply set it aside while you make
  • To double this recipe, use a 9×13-inch baking pan and add a few minutes onto the bake time.
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Tips for the Best Chocolate Brownies

My Top 3 secrets to achieving the best moist brownies:

  1. Oil & Butter:Using a combination of oil and butter keeps this recipe moist and flavorful. Does butter taste better than oil in brownies? YES!!! Does oil keep brownies moister? Yes, that’s why we use both!
  2. Don’t over mix: My top tip is to stop mixing the batter when you can still see the slightest trace of dry ingredients. This guarantees you don’t over mix the batter! Over mixing is the number 1 way to create dry brownies.
  3. Avoid Over Baking:You actually want to slightly underbake the brownies. So take them out of the oven when they still have a little wiggle in the middle. Bake times are actually just estimates. So although I suggest baking for 27 to 30 minutes, this could vary depending on your oven and pan.

I suggest you place the brownies on a wire rack and cool completely in the pan before slicing. They usually come to room temperature within a few hours. To enjoy a warm brownie, you can heat it up for a few seconds in the oven or microwave.

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How to Freeze Brownies

  1. Before you freeze them, you must let them cool completely! They shouldn’t be even slightly warm when you wrap them. Cooling will take about 2 hours, so be prepared to be patient.
  2. Once your homemade brownies are completely cool, wrap them tightly with saran wrap. This will protect them from getting freezer burn. Make sure the plastic wrap completely covers the brownies.You can wrap them as a whole slab, or you can wrap individual brownies.
  3. Place them in a freezer-safe sealable plastic bag and squeeze out as much air as possible before sealing it.Air is the enemy of any freezer bound item!
  4. Label the bag and add the date, then pop it in your freezer.These will stay fresh in the freezer for up to 2 months.
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If you try this recipe for Cocoa Powder Brownies, let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it#bakerbynatureon instagram! Seeing your kitchen creations makes my day ♥

The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (9)

The Best Cocoa Fudge Brownies

Ashley Manila

Skip the boxed brownie mix and make The BEST Cocoa Fudge Brownies instead! Thick, chewy, fudgy, and so easy!

4.95 from 132 votes

PRINT RECIPE PIN RECIPE

Prep Time 10 minutes mins

Cook Time 28 minutes mins

Inactive Time 2 hours hrs

Total Time 2 hours hrs 38 minutes mins

Course Dessert

Cuisine American

Servings 1 Pan (9×9)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120 grams) flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (43 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons espresso powder (optional but enhances the chocolate flavor)
  • 1 and 1/2 sticks (170 grams) unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons oil (35 grams) (Canola, Vegetable, or Coconut will work)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (300 grams) granulated sugar, divided
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup (128 grams) chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) (175 degreed C). Line an 9×9-inch baking pan with parchment paper. Spray lightly with non-stick baking spray and set aside.

  • In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder, and espresso powder. Set aside until needed.

  • In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, oil, and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until butter is completely melted. Remove from heat.

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and remaining sugar. Whisk until well combined, about 30 seconds.

  • Slowly, pour the warm butter mixture into the egg mixture, adding it very gradually (a little bit at a time) and whisking constantly until completely combined.

  • Add in the dry ingredients and chocolate chips and, using a rubber spatula, slowly stir until just combined. *Do not over mix! Stop stirring when you see the last trace of dry ingredients. Over mixing will give you cakey brownies.

  • Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the edges are firm and the top is shiny and slightly cracked.

  • Place pan on a cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.

Video

Notes

  • For very gooey brownies, you’ll want to pull them out closer to 27 minutes. For more structured brownies, let the, bake 30 to 32 minutes.
  • Over mixing is the number 1 reason brownies come out cakey.

Keyword brownies, brownie recipes, homemade brownies, chocolate, chocolate recipes

Tried it and loved it?Snap a picture and share it with me on Instagram @Bakerbynature and by using the hashtag #BakerByNature

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Reader Interactions

Comments

    Leave a Reply

  1. The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (15)Rose says

    The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (16)
    I have been using your Brownie recipe for about a year now and it comes out absolutely divine each and every time! Moist, fudgy and just to die for! Thank you so much for sharing your recipe!

    Reply

  2. The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (17)Beth says

    Your recipe sounds divine! Will they still be moist if I don’t add any chips? Or are they a must?

    Reply

  3. The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (19)J says

    The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (20)
    why is it so essential to separate the sugar?
    if you have a 9 x 13 pan and need to double the recipe, how much longer is the bake time?
    i notice you don’t answer everyone on here, that’s a shame, other food bloggers do, and it’s nice. also i couldn’t find the how to video anywhere on instagram. it would be nice if you just imbed the video here, it would beat being bombarded by all these ads.

    there are a lot of questions as to which cocoa to use, I personally recommend Guittard, Rouge, it is red dutch processed. I did a side by side comparison with Navitas and the Guittard’s richness in colour alone sold me. It elevates the taste.

    I made these for the first time yesterday and they were snapped up in a heartbeat. excellent recipe.

    Reply

    • The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (21)Ashley Manila says

      Hi J. I’m so thrilled you enjoyed these brownies. They always get snapped right up in my house, too. Thank you for taking the time to let me know! Answering your q’s below:

      1) Cooking down part of the sugar helps ensure the brownies have that shiny cracked top people love on brownies. If you don’t care about that, you could skip that part.

      2) If you double the recipe, I would add 5 minutes, then if they’re not done, check every 3 minutes from there. *This is if you’re using a metal pan. If you’re using a glass pan or ceramic pan, you’d need to cook them much longer.

      3) I mention in the blog post that you can use 100% unsweetened cocoa or dutch-process, and that dutch-process will yield darker and richer brownies. Personally, I love Ghiradelli or Guittard rouge!

      4) I try to answer all questions, but I do give priority to questions that are not answered in the post and/or have not already been answered in another comment.

      5) There is a step-by-step video embedded in this post. I’m not sure why it’s not showing up for you! I will have my team look into this when they’re back in office tomorrow.

      Reply

  4. The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (22)Ellie says

    The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (23)
    Wow! Are these ever yummy!! I came here to tell every one how good these are. I’m staying to get more recipes. These are perfect and they don’t make a huge batch.

    Reply

    • The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (24)Ashley Manila says

      Awww thank you, Ellie! Let me know which recipe you try next 🙂

      Reply

  5. The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (25)Rose says

    The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (26)
    This is such a great fudge brownie recipe! I get raves all the time I make it. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! A+++❤️

    Reply

    • The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (27)Ashley Manila says

      Thank you so much for letting me know, Rose!

      Reply

  6. The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (28)Grammy says

    This 9is a question. Where, at what step, do you add the vanilla?

    Reply

    • The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (29)Ashley Manila says

      Hi! This recipe doesn’t call for vanilla, but if you’d like to add a teaspoon or two, add it in step 4 🙂

      Reply

      • The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (30)Grammy says

        Thank you for your prompt reply. Vanilla was listed as an “Optional Ingredient,” so I thought I’d try it. The brownies are in the oven as I’m typing this note. I can’t wait to try them. Your additional tips and descriptions of ingredients and how they contribute to the overall outcome was very helpful and appreciated for this as well as other recipes. .

        Reply

        • The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (31)Ashley Manila says

          Yes, you can definitely try it! I would add 1 teaspoon (or 2 if you really want the flavor to pop). Thank you so much for your kind words!

          Reply

  7. The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (32)Iman says

    The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (33)
    I make brownies periodically and am always on the lookout for a new recipe. I made these tonight and my wife said they were the best brownies I’d ever made and to keep this recipe!

    Reply

    • The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (34)Ashley Manila says

      That is the ultimate compliment! Thank you so much for letting me know 🙂

      Reply

  8. The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (35)Jennifer says

    The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (36)
    I have found over 20 different brownie recipes and they never come out just right until I found this one. They were the perfect consistency, just the right amount of chocolate, and even the edges were soft enough to eat. This is now my go to brownie recipe! It’s a little more work than the one bowl but it’s definitely worth it. I can’t wait to try even more recipes from you.

    Reply

    • The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (37)Ashley Manila says

      This comment truly made my day! Thank you so much for taking the time to let me know how much you enjoy this recipe, Jennifer 🙂

      Reply

  9. The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (38)Loe says

    The Best Homemade Brownie Recipe - Baker by Nature (39)
    I made these adding 1tsp vanilla, 1tbsp coffee (didn’t have espresso powder) and cocoa nibs instead of chips. Omg this is the best recipe!

    Reply

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