Ditch the boxed brownie mix and try these rich and chocolaty homemade brownies! These brownies have a crackly top with a dense and fudgy center.
* This post was updated with new photos 🙂
Who can pass up on a batch of dense and fudgy brownies with a crackly top??
I definitely can’t.
These brownies are so easy to make, you won’t even miss boxed brownie mixes!
This is the brownie recipe I always come back to because it never fails me. It produces brownies that are perfectly dense, with just a hint of airiness thanks to the baking soda. I hope you give give this recipe a try and love it as much as I do!
What Pan You Bake Brownies In:
The pan you bake your brownies in can really impact your brownies’ texture and doneness. Darker pans and metal pans heat up much more quickly than glass pans. When you bake anything in dark and/or metal baking dishes, they’ll cook much faster because of how quickly they absorb heat.
Glass baking pans are thicker, so they take longer to heat up. What this means is that whenever you bake using a glass dish, it’ll need to bake for longer than if you were baking in a dark or metal pan.
How Long To Bake Brownies:
How long to bake brownies depends on your pan. My brownies took around 30 minutes to bake fully in my clear, glass baking dish. If you’re baking using a metal or dark pan, you should start checking on your brownies at around 20 minutes just to monitor the browning and baking so your brownies don’t burn/dry out.
You’ll know when your brownie is ready when the edges are dry and crackly, but the center is still a little moist looking on top. The brownie is done when you insert a skewer into the center and it comes out with just a few crumbs on it, but no wet batter.
When you do use a skewer to test your brownies, if you used chocolate chips, you may have areas where your skewer will come out wet just because of the melted chocolate. So just make sure you try your skewer test in more than one place.
Mixing Brownie Batter:
If you want denser brownies, you’ll want to avoid beating too much air into your batter while you’re mixing. The more you mix, the fluffier your batter will be, so you’ll end up with a more cakey brownie. Nothing wrong with that! But it just depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a dense brownie, make sure you only mix until your ingredients are just incorporated.
Pay extra care when mixing your batter after you add in flour. The more you mix flour, the tougher your dessert is going to be. If you want a tender brownie, make sure you fold your flour in slowly just until you no longer see dry ingredients. I also like to add in my chocolate chips (or whatever else I’m adding to my brownie) before I fold in my dry ingredients. This helps me make sure I don’t over mix
I always recommend mixing brownie batter by hand because you’re just less likely to over mix when you don’t have electric beaters.
How to store brownies:
To store brownies at room temperature, transfer the brownies to an airtight container to prevent having them dry out. Brownies can last for 3 to 5 days at room temperature, or up to 1 week if you refrigerate them.
Can Brownies Be Frozen?
Yes! If you want to freeze baked brownies, place them in an airtight, freezer safe container or plastic bag, and store frozen for up to 2 months.
When you want to serve frozen brownies, let the brownies defrost at room temperature for a couple of hours or in the fridge overnight beforehand. If you do defrost your brownies in the fridge, make sure you let them sit at room temperature for a bit otherwise the butter in the brownies may be too firm.
How To Reheat Brownies:
If you’re like me, then you also love a warm brownie. Try as I may, I can’t finish all the brownies I make right after they come out of the oven. So I have a little trick for heating brownies again in the oven.
I like to wrap brownies in a layer of parchment paper, followed by a layer of tin foil, and warm them in a 350°F oven for about 3 to 5 minutes. The parchment paper does two things here. One, it prevents the brownie from sticking to the tin foil. And two, it keeps moisture sealed in the brownie so it doesn’t dry out in the oven. The tin foil also helps keep moisture in because it can seal better than the parchment paper.
You can also reheat brownies in the microwave. Place your brownies on a microwave safe plate and heat in 10 second intervals until warmed through.
Can Brownies Recipes Be Doubled?
This brownie recipe doubles, triples, and quadruples perfectly! You can even halve the recipe if you wanted a small batch of brownies.
Brownie Substitutions and Add-Ins:
I decided to add some semisweet chocolate chips in my brownie because I believe you can never have too much chocolate. Ever. But you definitely have a lot of different choices when it comes to additions to this basic brownie recipe.
You can add white or dark chocolate in place of the semisweet. You can skip the chocolate and make your brownie with nuts like walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts.
You can swirl in some cream cheese to make cheesecake brownie bars. You can make your brownie with peanut butter, caramel, or Nutella incorporated into the batter to add some extra flavor. You can also fold some unsweetened coconut flakes into the brownie batter.
My personal favorite way to enjoy brownies is with ice cream and chocolate. But there are really so many ways you can make these brownies your own!
If you love brownies as much as we do, check out these similar recipes!
- classic blondies
- chocolate chip cookies without eggs
- chocolate cupcakes
- fudgy chocolate cake
- small batch chocolate buttercream frosting (perfect portion for these brownies!)
- chocolate ganache
- chocolate truffles
Best Brownie Recipe
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips or chocolate chunks, (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment paper leaving some overhanging parchment paper to make it easier to pull brownies out of the pan.
- Place butter in a large bowl and heat in your microwave or on a double broiler until melted. You can also melt the butter in a pot on your stove top. Add your brown sugar and granulated sugar to the butter while it's still hot. Whisk to incorporate.
- Add your room temperature eggs and vanilla extract to the butter / sugar mix. Whisk until everything is incorporated.
- Add flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda to the wet ingredients along with any add-ins you’d like (I added chocolate chunks). Fold the ingredients together until everything is fully incorporated and you no longer see any dry ingredients.
- Pour your batter into your prepared baking dish. Place your baking dish into the center of a preheated 350°F oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean of batter, but with a few wet crumbs.
- Allow the brownie to cool in the baking dish for 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Slice your brownies. Serve plain or top with some ice cream, melted chocolate, chopped nuts, or whatever else you like!
I would love to hear any tips you’d like to add to this post and how your brownies turned out in the comments below. Have any questions? Any ideas to improve this recipe? Feel free to comment for that as well.
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