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These Fudgy Homemade Brownies are better than any boxed brownies mix. They’re dense, rich and fudgy with a flakey layer on top. If you’ve never made brownies from scratch, this easy recipe is the perfect place to start!
Fudgy Homemade Brownies
You guys, oh my gosh, the time has come! I’ve been on a mission to make the perfect, fudgy, from-scratch brownie recipe. I’ve poured my heart and soul into perfecting this recipe. Somewhere around recipe test #15 I started to lose count of how many batches we made to get here.
I loooove this recipe, and I will probably never make a boxed brownie mix again. This recipe has triple the chocolate. There’s melted chocolate in the batter, cocoa powder and chocolate chips on top. Plus I’m discovered the secret to achieving the shiny flakey layer on top that you often get with a brownie mix.
I’m a dark chocolate girl myself, but one of the best things about this recipe is you can make adjustments to suit your taste.
What Makes these Brownies So Good?
Out of the oven they’re melty, gooey, lick-your-fingers good. But once they’ve had time to set and cool, the texture is spot on.
- Gooey, fudgy and intensely rich
- The crackly and flakey top layer
- Triple the chocolate
- Simple to prepare
- Freezes well
- Small or large batch options
What Makes this Recipe Work
Much like a chocolate chip cookie, opinions about brownies are fierce and widely debatable. Are you team fudgy or cakey? Edges or middle? Chocolate chips or no chocolate chips?
In order to make the best brownie recipe, I made several popular recipes along with our favorite boxed brownie mix. Then I started testing variations. I used different kinds of cocoa powder, different kinds of chocolate and various pan sizes. So much testing went into this recipe guys!
In the end there were 2 clear winning variations, which went into a head-to-head tasting contest. The winner of that throw down is this recipe.
The Secret to Perfectly Fudgy Brownies
In all the testing I did, I determine that melted chocolate is the key to a fudgy brownie. Recipes that only use cocoa powder tended to be drier and a cakey texture.
Remember there’s both a chocolate bar and chocolate chips in this recipe. For the brownie batter, you need a chocolate bar. Then the chocolate chips are mixed into the finished batter and also sprinkled on top.
Use Dark Chocolate for the Batter
For the batter, I love using dark chocolate for it’s deep and rich flavor, but it’s really important that you buy high quality ingredients. A standard Hersey’s bar doesn’t cut it for me, sorry. I recommend buying a chocolate bar that is at least 60% cocoa or higher. Brands like Ghirardelli, Lindt and Guittard are probably the most readily available in the baking aisle.
Don’t Use Chocolate Chips for the Batter
I don’t like to use chocolate chips for the brownie batter because they generally have a wax-like coating. As a result, they don’t melt as smoothly and they’re oilier. However, you can make this recipe with chocolate chips if you don’t have a baking bar. To replace the 4-ounce chocolate bar in the recipe, use a heaping ½ cup of chocolate chips.
How to Get that Flaky Brownie Top
After lots of research and recipe testing, a flakey and crackly topped brownie is the result of beating the eggs for an extended period of time. Be sure not to skip this step. It incorporates air into the batter and it’s actually forms a meringue layer on top of the brownies which create the flakey and crackly layer on top.
There is a specific but easy way to prepare this recipe to achieve this effect. First the butter and sugar are well-creamed together. Then the eggs and egg yolks are added and beaten for at least two minutes. At this stage, the batter looks like a light and fluffy vanilla cake batter.
What You’ll Need
- 4-ounce dark chocolate bar: Use a high-quality chocolate bar, at least 60% cocoa or higher. Ghirardelli, Lindt and Guittard are all great options.
- Unsalted butter
- Granulated sugar
- Eggs & egg yolks- extra egg yolk add richness
- Pure vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Rodelle cocoa powder- after all my recipe testing, this was a clear favorite
- Baking powder- most recipes don’t have an leavening agent, but I found this was a real game-changer in achieving the type of texture you’ll find in a boxed brownie mix while maintaining the fudgy centers.
- Semi-sweet chocolate chips are mixed into the brownie batter
What Cocoa Powder is Best?
I tested this recipe with three different cocoa powders:
- Rodelle- a Dutch process cocoa powder
- Hershey’s Special dark– a blend of Dutch process and natural cocoa powder
- Hershey’s naturally unsweetened cocoa
Hands down, the winner every time was Rodelle cocoa powder. I don’t always bake with a Dutch process cocoa powder, but it has the smoothest, richest flavor of the three. It also happens to have some of the highest levels of cocoa butter on the market.
However, this recipe will work with any of these cocoa powders. If you prefer a more milk chocolate taste, I recommend using the Hershey’s naturally sweetened cocoa and opting for a milk chocolate bar for the brownie batter.
How to Make Fudgy Brownies
- Preheat the oven and grease your pan with cooking spray
- Combine the melted butter with the granulated sugar and beat them together until they’re nice and creamy.
- Beat the eggs for 2 minutes It’s REALLY IMPORTANT that you don’t skip this step as it is what makes the flakey top layer. Beat until the mixture if light and fluffy, it should resemble a cake batter texture.
- Add the melted chocolate and vanilla
- Sift the dry ingredients and combine with the wet ingredients
- Fold in the Chocolate chips then pour the batter in the prepared pan
- Bake & enjoy
Note that I don’t line my pan with parchment paper, because I like to edges of my brownies to be extra crispy.
How to tell when these brownies are done
Don’t over bake the brownies! Your toothpick will still be gooey but not too “wet” and glossy. You do not want your toothpick to be clean, this would be considered overdone, and may result in a drier texture.
There’re lots of ways you can make these brownies to personalize and suit your own unique taste:
- You can add a tablespoon of instant espresso powder for an even deeper, richer chocolate flavor
- Add chopped nuts or change the flavor of chips (white chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, etc).
- Add M&M or Reese’s Pieces
- Want to make them even more decadent? Add a layer of ganache on top.
- For a milk chocolate brownie, use melted semi-sweet or milk chocolate with regular (natural) Hershey’s cocoa powder.
Can I Use Other Pan Sizes?
This recipe is for an 8-inch pan, but I’ve tested it with several types of pans and sizes for your convenience.
- This can be made in an 9-inch square or round pan. The baking time is approximately 20-22 minutes depending on the type pan used. I use dark non-stick pans sprayed with cooking spray.
- Double the recipe for a 9×13 inch pan. Baking times are similar to the 8-inch pans.
- Glass pans will always require a longer baking time. After 22 minutes, I check my brownies every 1-2 minutes.
I sincerely hope that you’ll make these, as I know you’ll fall in love with them the same way I have. Now that I’ve perfected what I like to call the BEST brownies using my from scratch recipe.
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These gooey Homemade Brownies are better than any boxed brownies you’ll ever make. The middle is dense, rich and fudgy with a flakey layer on top. If you’ve never made brownies from scratch, you’re sure to love this easy recipe.
- 4 ounces dark chocolate, melted (see notes)
- ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup (190g) granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (70g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (55g) Rodelle cocoa powder, sifted (see notes)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup (135g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Chop the chocolate into smaller pieces and melt the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for approximately 2 minutes at 50% power. Stir every 30 seconds until completely melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
- Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl and combine with the granulated sugar; beat together until well combined.
- Next add the egg and egg yolk and beat for 60-90 seconds at a higher speed until the batter is fluffy (texture resembling a cake batter). Then add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate and beat until combined.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the batter and mix just until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula.
- Generously grease an 8-inch baking pan. Spread the batter evenly and bake at 350°F for 20-24 minutes. Toothpick should still be somewhat gooey but not wet in the center. Remove from the oven and allow to cool prior to cutting. Store in an airtight container.
- Melted Chocolate for the batter: I recommend using a high-quality baking bar such as Ghirardelli or Lindt. These are best with dark chocolate, but any type of melted chocolate will work. If you don’t have a chocolate bar, then you can use chocolate chips. 4 ounces of chocolate is equivalent to a generous ½ cup of chocolate chips.
- Beating the sugar: It’s important to beat the sugar into the melted butter to allow the sugar to dissolve.
- Whipping the eggs: Be sure to beat your eggs and yolk until the batter is really light and fluffy, resembling a cake batter. This ensures the flakey crust on top.
- Cocoa Powder: I recommend Rodelle Cocoa powder. It all my tests, it had the best taste and texture. It’s a Dutch-processed cocoa powder. However, any cocoa powder will work, this recipe has been tested using several varieties.
- Substitutes for butter: ½ cup of vegetable or coconut oil can be substituted for melted butter if needed, but melted butter produces the best results.
- Salted vs Unsalted butter: If using salted butter, reduce the salt by at least half
- Baking Pans: This can be made in an 9-inch square or round pan. The baking time is approximately 20-22 minutes depending on the type pan used. I use dark non-stick pans sprayed with cooking spray. Glass pans will always require a longer baking time. After 22 minutes, I check my brownies every 1-2 minutes. If you stick a toothpick in the center of the brownies, it will still be gooey but not as “wet”. The brownies will continue to bake for several minutes as they cool.
- For a large batch, double this recipe and bake in a 9 by 13-inch pan. Baking time is similar.
- How to store or freeze these: Store in an airtight container or freeze for up to 1 month. To freeze the brownies, first allow them to cool completely, slice and wrap the brownies tightly in plastic wrap and then again in aluminum foil before placing them in the freezer. Thaw prior to eating.
- Reheat the brownies if desired for 10-20 seconds in the microwave for that fresh-from-the-oven taste. Serve with vanilla ice cream.
- Category: Brownies
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: homemade brownies, best brownies, brownies from scratch, easy brownies