The BEST Homemade Brownies are made with everyday ingredients like butter, oil, eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, flour, and salt. These super fudgy brownies have shiny crackly tops and a fudgy chewy texture. You’ll never go back to boxed mix again!
Best Brownie Recipe
Recently a reader (Hi, Linda!) emailed me with a request. She asked if I’d consider creating a new brownie recipe that used ALL cocoa powder as its base. The reason for this request, she explained, is that her husband – who’s a doctor and is working overtime right now – LOVES homemade brownies! She went on to share she typically bakes him between 3 and 6 batches of brownies a week. Always making plenty for him to work to share with co-workers and patients. How sweet is that!?
The issue? Most of the brownie recipes she was encountering call for a large quantity of high-quality chocolate. Which is very expensive and can be hard to find. Especially right now… given everything going on in the world!
I couldn’t have been happier to read this email and I basically ran into my kitchen to accommodate her request! And I didn’t stop until I had created the best brownies ever!
I also made a mental note: create more budget friendly recipes that’ll help keep us all happy and baking through these trying times! So from here on out, I’ll be sharing a few basic baking recipes a week, in addition to the regularly programed content!
Do you have any requests? Let me know in the comments below! Or email me!
Homemade Brownie Ingredients
- Flour: for best results, use all-purpose flour! I cannot suggest baking these with almond flour, coconut flour, or gluten free flour.
- Baking Powder: adds just a little lift to the brownies. Do not sub for baking soda!
- Salt: Enhances the taste and flavor while also balancing the sweetness.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: You can use natural cocoa powder or dutch-processed cocoa powder. Dutch cocoa will make the brownies darker and more rich. But both are delicious!
- 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: Canola oil, vegetable oil, or refined melted coconut oil may be used. In a pinch, olive oil will even work. But it will add olive oil flavor to the finished product.
- Sugar: The sugar is divided in this recipe, which means it’s used in two different areas. You’ll combine part of the sugar with the melted butter and oil. Be sure to stir this with a wooden spoon so that the sugar doesn’t clump up. The remaining sugar gets whisked in with the eggs.
- 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, right? Feel free to use milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, or even, peanut butter chips! And of course chocolate chunks would also make a wonderful replacement, especially if you want larger pockets of gooey chocolate. Sometimes I press extra chocolate chips on top of the brownies as soon as they come out of the oven… because who’s counting calories on brownie day? Not me!
- Vanilla Extract: Did you know vanilla enhances the flavor of chocolate? Crazy but true. Feel free to add a teaspoon or two if desired. Bourbon vanilla extract is especially delicious in these homemade brownies.
- Espresso Powder: Enhances the chocolate flavor! Don’t worry, it won’t make your brownies taste like coffee. But if you absolutely despise the taste of coffee, you may want to omit this ingredient.
- Nuts: A half cup of chopped pecans or walnuts make a great addition if desired! They’ll add crunch and vitamin like calcium, potassium, plus protein!
Bake Homemade Brownies with Shiny Crackly Tops
- 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.
- Whisk the Eggs: Secret #2 to crackly tops? Whisk the heck out of your eggs!
- Combine Hot and Cold: This might feel insane, but you’re going to 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.
- Add Dry Ingredients: Fold in the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder, and stir until JUST combined. Don’t over mix here! Over mixing = cake-y or dry brownies. Not fudgy brownies, which is what we want.
- Add Chocolate: Stir in the chocolate chips or chocolate chunks, again, making sure to stir until just combined. When in doubt, under mix!
What’s the Secret to Moist Brownies?
There are 3 secrets to achieving moist brownies:
- Use a combination of oil and butter. Does butter taste better than oil in brownies? YES!!! Does oil keep brownies moister? Also, yes. This is why we use both!!!
- Don’t over mix the batter. My top tip is to stop mixing your batter when you can still see the slightest trail of dry ingredients. This guarantees you don’t over mix! Over mixing is the number 1 way to create dry brownies.
- And finally, but maybe most important, do not over bake! You want to take the brownies 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.
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. If you want a warm brownie, you can heat it up for a few seconds in the oven or microwave.
This recipe yields about 9 large brownies! But I’ve successfully doubled the recipe by simply multiplying the ingredients by two and baking them in a 9×13-inch baking pan. If you do decide to double the recipe, you’ll want to increase the baking time by about 5 minutes, maybe a little more.
More Brownie Recipes:
- Brown Butter Walnut Brownies
- Baked Brownies
- White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies
- Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
- Raspberry Truffle Brownies
- Espresso Chocolate Chunk Brownies
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 #bakerbynature on instagram! Seeing your kitchen creations makes my day ♥
The Best Cocoa Fudge Brownies
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F) (175 degreed C). Line an 9x9-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 staring 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.
- 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.