Homemade Brownies from Scratch

Why is this the best brownie recipe ever? Simple. It is an easy recipe for basic, fudgy and deliciously chocolate brownies. Homemade brownies are easy… after you find the right recipe.

stack of fudgy brownies dripping with caramel sauce


 

Best Brownie Recipe

While cooking is more of an art form, baking is chemistry. I’m a not a chemist, so I generally need to start off with a base recipe for brownies and other baked goods. When doing my research, I came across some pretty interesting recipes.

Some folks might like a cake-like texture, I prefer a half baked, gooey, fudgy homemade brownie. Something with loads of real chocolate flavor and that makes me lick my fingers when I eat it. Total decadence.

overhead of brownies in a square pan

The best brownie recipe ever was developed after my sister gave me a new baking cookbook and Fleur de Sel for Christmas a few years ago. And these are some seriously fudgy ones.

Salted Caramel Topping

I became obsessed with salted caramel on everything and basically any dessert that was both sweet and salty. After 13 attempts, I finally landed on the the best brownie recipe ever.

Bourbon caramel and pecan (praline) caramel sauce are fun to switch things up too.

close up of a brownie with caramel drizzle

Tips for brownies from scratch:

  1. Less flour will produce a less cake-like brownie, if you want chocolate cake, make a chocolate cake!
  2. Bakers chocolate versus powdered cocoa makes for a more moist brownie because of the oils it contains, where as cocoa is dry so you’d have to add more fat elsewhere.
  3. Do not under bake- then you are just eating brownie batter, which is fine, but no need to bake it at all then! But don’t overbake either. Use the toothpick test to make sure they are cooked.
16 brownies with caramel

Ingredients

Brownie ingredients are pretty simple and straightforward. Most are pantry staples, which means you can make these whenever you’d like!

  • Unsalted butter- if you use salted, omit additional butter. Too much salt in baking can dry out the finished product.
  • Unsweetened bakers chocolate (not unsweetened cocoa powder)- This comes in a bar form and will need to be melted. It makes brownies moist and rich without the risk of drying them out but keep the rich chocolate flavor.
  • White Sugar– Since the chocolate is unsweetened, sugar is used to make them into the dessert we all know and love.
  • Dark brown sugar– gives a deeper molasses flavors and aids in the fudginess, you can also use light brown sugar. This is a secret ingredient not used in many brownie recipes, but gives ours an edge.

  • Vanilla Extract– The most common of flavorings to balance out the flavors. Almond extract can also be used. Use a good quality and not imitation or clear vanilla.
  • Eggs– Provides structure and contributes to the texture. We always assume you are using large eggs. Even using an extra large egg in a recipe such a brownies can result in a different texture.
  • All-Purpose Flour– Provides structure and loft. We have not tested this recipe with flour alternatives. If you have, please leave a note in the comments. There is no reason why it shouldn’t work with GF flours that use a 1:1 ratio.
  • Baking Powder– Our leavening agent, this is what helps them rise.
  • Fine Sea Salt– Salt brings out natural occurring flavors and balances sweetness.

I also drizzled my easy homemade brownies with homemade caramel sauce and a sprinkle of fleur de sel because I am a sucker for anything sweet and salty. Fudge sauce is another fun topping. And of course, you can grab vanilla ice cream and whipped cream to make a brownie fudge sundae.

Fruit toppings like strawberry topping or a fresh raspberry sauce are fun as well.

brownie with a bite taken out of it

How to Make Homemade Brownies

I don’t recommend doubling this recipe in one pan. Instead, make two batches. They don’t cook right if doubled.

  1. Preheat the oven and prepare a 9×9 baking dish. I find a glass pan works best. You can also line it with parchment paper for easy clean up.
  2. In small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the chocolate with the melted butter and stir with a wooden spoon. A wooden spoon is best when dealing with sticky items. After they have melted, set aside.
  3. Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Sifting is important for two reasons. The first being that it reduces clumps, and thus time mixing. Secondly, it evenly incorporates the baking powder and salt, neither of which you want pockets of in your brownie recipe.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the eggs and both sugars. Most people don’t do this for near long enough. It should take 3-4 minutes and adds air into the mixture, giving the cooked brownies more height. It needs to be done at this stage because overworking after the flour has been added can have the opposite effect and result in dry and brittle brownies because the gluten over activates.
  5. Mix the melted chocolate mixture into the wet ingredients until fully blended. In 2-3 increments, add the dry ingredients. Do not over mix.
  6. Spread the brownie batter evenly into the baking pan. Give it a few taps to release air bubbles and help the batter settle.
  7. Cook for 35-40 minutes. When the brownies begin to pull from the sides and and it passes the toothpick test, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. I like to set mine on a wire rack so air can circulate around the whole pan. If you want slightly more well done brownies, cook for another 2-3 minutes until they have crackly tops.
  8. After brownies have cooled cut into 9-12 squares using a plastic knife or a metal knife, but wiping it clean between each cut to get nice, clean cuts.
  9. If desired, top with caramel and salt and enjoy your best homemade brownies.
brownies on a serving plate

Variations

I encourage everyone to customize recipes! Try one of these to take these gooey brownies to the next level.

  • Swirl with 1/2 cup dulce de leche
  • Top with dark chocolate chunks
  • Fold in 1 cup chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, caramel chips or white chocolate chips
  • Stir in 1/2 cup chopped nuts like walnuts or pecans.
  • Top with candied nuts after baking.
  • Swirl 1/2 cup peanut butter into the batter.

Tips for the Best Brownies

  1. Use good quality ingredients. Good food comes from good quality. Don’t skimp on the butter, baker’s chocolate or vanilla here.
  2. Cream It Well– Most bakers don’t actually cream ingredients well. Creaming should take 3-4 minutes and make for a nearly smooth texture. Make sure you take the time to do this with your eggs and sugar.
  3. Sift– Sifting is another step commonly avoided. Sifting allows all of the ingredients (particularly salt and the leaveners) to evenly distribute within the batter so you don’t have any weird pockets and they bake evenly.
  4. Don’t Over bake– Take the brownies right before you think they are done, not after. You’ll get the fudgy center you are looking for.

How to Make Cake-Like Brownies

Making cakey brownies can happen with any recipe. All you need to do is add one more egg than the recipe calls for.

Storage & Freezing

Brownies are best stored at room temperature in an airtight container. Like most baked goods, they are best within 2-3 days.

If adding caramel topping, wait until you are ready to serve. If longer than 3 days, give them a quick whirl in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften.

two brownies stacked on a serving plate

Also, did you know you can freeze brownies? MIND BLOWN, I know! Yep, slice them and put them in individual plastic baggies and there you go” brownies on demand.

How to Keep Brownies Soft

Another quick hint for keeping your brownies fresh and moist, wait to drizzle with caramel and salt until ready to serve, take a few slices of plain white bread and set them on top of the brownies, cover tightly.

The moisture in the bread will keep the brownies fresh until you are ready to serve them.

More Brownies Recipes:

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie Recipe

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Flourless Avocado Brownies

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bite taken out of stack of two cookie dough brownies

Cookie Dough Brownies

These incredible Cookie Dough Brownies combine irresistible cookie dough with rich chocolate brownies and a decadent chocolate topping!
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stack of four fudgy brownies with sauce
bite taken out of a fudgy brownie

Homemade Brownies from Scratch

4.64 from 19 votes
The Best Brownie Recipe ever makes basic fudgy brownies from scratch. Add caramel and salt for sweet and salty brownie goodness.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 9 brownies

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray. Set aside.
  • In small saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add the chocolate and stir with a wooden spoon until fully melted. When melted, set aside.
  • Sift or whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the eggs and both sugars, beating until light and creamy. Add the vanilla.
  • Mix the melted chocolate mixture into the wet ingredients until fully blended. In 2-3 increments, add the dry ingredients.
  • Spread the brownie batter evenly into the pan.
  • Cook for 35-40 minutes. When the brownies begin to pull from the sides and it passes the toothpick test, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  • After brownies have cooled cut into 9-12 squares using a plastic knife or a metal knife, but wiping it clean between each cut. Drizzle with caramel and sprinkle with salt, optional.
  • If you've tried this recipe, make sure to come back and leave us a comment or a quick star rating!

Notes

I don’t recommend doubling this recipe in one pan. Instead, make two batches. They don’t cook right if doubled.

Nutrition

Calories: 431 kcal, Carbohydrates: 55 g, Protein: 5 g, Fat: 23 g, Saturated Fat: 14 g, Cholesterol: 91 mg, Sodium: 92 mg, Potassium: 181 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 40 g, Vitamin A: 505 IU, Calcium: 35 mg, Iron: 3.6 mg
Author: Jessica Formicola
Calories: 431
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best brownie recipe, homemade brownies
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
homemade brownie recipe for pinterest
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Jessica Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal and more!

Read More About Jessica

4.64 from 19 votes (11 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




Questions and Reviews

    1. Hi, I would think so, but I have not tried it personally. If you do, please come back and let us know how it went! Make sure to add it melted.

  1. 5 stars
    These were the best brownies I have ever made!!! These are the only ones I will make now, sooo delicious!

  2. 5 stars
    These look downright amazing! Never heard of the white bread trick, but you can bet I’ll be using it from now on! Thanks!

    1. Joanne, You aren’t blind at all! I wonder what happened there- this recipe has been up for a while. Let me look into it or retype them out. I’ll them up after I finish up making dinner for my family. Thanks for pointing that out!