The Best Brownie Recipe

If you love chewy brownies, this is the best Brownie recipe for you. A combination of butter and oil gives these brownies that chewiness you expect from a boxed mix – but made from scratch!

Brownie squares on a yellow circle plate.

Recipe ingredients:

Brownie ingredients arranged in individual bowls and labeled.

Ingredient notes:

  • Dutch processed cocoa powder. A brownie is only as good as the cocoa, so don’t skimp.
  • Instant espresso powder. The extra kick of coffee boosts the chocolate taste (omit if you want to).
    A bottle of instant espresso powder next to a bowl of the same.
  • Oil + butter. The trick to a chewy brownie is keeping the saturated fat (butter) low, but raising the unsaturated fat (oil, eggs). We still want a little butter for flavor, but oil in the brownie batter is a one-way ticket to Chewy Town.

Step-by-step instructions:

  1. Move the oven rack to the lowest position, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan with a foil sling. Before you pour in the batter, butter or grease the bottom and sides of the pan.
    A foil sling (foil lining a baking pan).
  2. To start, grab a large mixing bowl and add the cocoa powder and the espresso powder. Then pour in the boiling water and whisk until smooth. Next, whisk in the unsweetened chocolate until it melts smoothly into the cocoa/water. Then add the oil and the melted butter and whisk again. At this point it will look curdled, but don’t worry.
    Brownie batter in a bowl.
  3. After that, add the eggs, the extra yolks, and vanilla and whisk again until combined. Then whisk in the sugar, then the flour and salt. Once that’s all mixed in, fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
    Brownie batter in a bowl with chocolate chips on top.
  4. Spread the batter (it will be thick) into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and smooth the top a bit.Brownie batter in a pan.
  5. Bake the brownies at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating halfway through the baking. Bake just until a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean, with a few crumbs attached.
    Baked brownies in a pan.
  6. This is important! Once the brownies are finished baking, move the pan, with the brownies still inside it, to a wire rack and let them cool for 1 1/2 hours (yes, really!) before lifting them out of the pan using the foil sling. Then let them cool another hour (this will be hard, but do it!) before cutting into squares and pigging out.

Recipe tips:

  • Quality cocoa and chocolate means better brownies. Use the good stuff! I like any chocolate by Ghiradelli.
  • Definitely make a foil sling.  Cut two long lengths of foil that match the two sides of the baking pan: 9 inches and 13 inches. Next, place the sheets in the pan overlapping and perpendicular to each other, like a T, letting the extra foil come up over the edges. Press the foil into the corners of the pan, and smooth out the bottom. Then you can grease the foil with nonstick spray. Press the extra foil against the outside of the pan, but don’t trim it off – that’s what you’ll use to gently lift out the brownies once they’re completely cool.
  • Err on the side of underbaking. It’s better to take the brownies out a little too early, rather than a little late. This keeps them moist.
  • Let the brownies cool completely before cutting. COMPLETELY. You need to wait if you want them to be truly chewy.
  • Storing and freezing. Store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. These also freeze well. Slice them into squares and wrap in foil before freezing. Thaw out at room temperature or unwrap and pop in the microwave.

Brownie squares on a yellow circle plate.

Variations and substitutions:

  • Oil. You can use a neutral oil like vegetable oil, canola oil, but you can also use olive oil for a bolder flavor or melted coconut oil (for a “healthy” brownie) in the recipe.
  • Gluten free brownies. Of course! I like Bob’s Red Mill GF flour but try it with your favorite gluten-free baking flour.
  • No unsweetened chocolate? That’s okay! Use an extra 2 ounces of chocolate chips and take out 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar from the recipe.
  • Walnuts. Love nuts? Add 3 ounces toasted walnuts in place of half the chocolate chips in Step 3.

More bars to try:

Did you enjoy this recipe? Please leave a rating and a comment below!

Brownie squares on a yellow circle plate.

The Best Brownie Recipe

The easiest way to measure boiling water is to bring a full kettle to boil, then measure out the amount you need. For the chewiest texture, let the brownies cool completely before cutting. If using a glass baking pan, cool the brownies in the pan 10 minutes, but then left out (the glass pan may continue cooking the brownies when they are out of the oven).
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 24 brownies
Calories: 217kcal
Author: Meggan Hill

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder (1 ounce)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder (optional)
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted (1/2 stick)
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar (17 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate cut into 1/2-inch pieces (or semi-sweet chocolate chips)

Instructions

  • Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make a foil sling for a 9-inch by 13-inch baking pan. The first sheet should be 13 inches wide and the second sheets should be 9 inches wide. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other with extra foil hanging over the edges of the pan. Push foil into corners and up the sides of the pan, smooth foil flush to pan. Coat foil with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together boiling water, cocoa powder, and espresso powder (if using). Whisk in unsweetened chocolate until smooth. Whisk in oil and melted butter (mixture may look curdled).
  • Add eggs, yolks, and vanilla and whisk until smooth and evenly combined. Whisk in sugar, then whisk in flour and salt until smooth. Stir batter with a rubber spatula (scraping the bottom of the bowl), then fold in bittersweet chocolate.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into corners, smoothing the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted comes out clean with a few crumbs attached, about 30 to 35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking time.
  • Transfer baking pan to a wire rack and cool brownies for 1 1/2 hours. Using foil overhang, lift brownies out of the pan. Return brownies to wire rack and cool completely, about 1 hour longer. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares.

Notes

  1. Quality cocoa and chocolate means better brownies. Use the good stuff! I like any chocolate by Ghiradelli.
  2. Definitely make a foil sling.  Cut two long lengths of foil that match the two sides of the baking pan: 9 inches and 13 inches. Next, place the sheets in the pan overlapping and perpendicular to each other, like a T, letting the extra foil come up over the edges. Press the foil into the corners of the pan, and smooth out the bottom. Then you can grease the foil with nonstick spray. Press the extra foil against the outside of the pan, but don't trim it off - that's what you'll use to gently lift out the brownies once they're completely cool.
  3. Err on the side of underbaking. It's better to take the brownies out a little too early, rather than a little late. This keeps them moist.
  4. Let the brownies cool completely before cutting. COMPLETELY. You need to wait if you want them to be truly chewy.
  5. Storing and freezing. Store brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. These also freeze well. Slice them into squares and wrap in foil before freezing. Thaw out at room temperature or unwrap and pop in the microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1brownie (2" x 2") | Calories: 217kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 83mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 30IU | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 2mg
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