Better Than Box Mix Chocolate Brownies

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“Better Than Box Mix” Chocolate Brownies really are better than the box! Why make a box mix brownies when I’ll bet you have everything on hand to make these?

Chocolate Brownies are the iconic dessert you crave! Learn how to make "Better Than Box" Chocolate Brownies with our amazingly simple brownie recipe!

Better than Box Brownies

 The other night, after we finished our bourbon chicken, I wanted dessert. I checked the cupboard for a brownie mix but I didn’t have any. 

Chocolate Brownies are the iconic dessert you crave! Learn how to make "Better Than Box" Chocolate Brownies with our amazingly simple brownie recipe!

I glanced over this recipe I had pinned last month, realized how simple it was, and decided to give it a shot. I’m really glad I did.

I had never made chocolate brownies from scratch but I’ll never go back now.

Now all my brownies are homemade – coconut oil brownies, simple chocolate brownies, zucchini brownies, cream cheese brownies.

Chocolate Brownies are the iconic dessert you crave! Learn how to make "Better Than Box" Chocolate Brownies with our amazingly simple recipe!

Why Choose This Chocolate Brownies Recipe?  

This recipe is so simple & really good. They’re very dense and chocolaty and even better when served warm topped with vanilla ice cream.

You probably have all the ingredients on hand so you should give it a shot, you’ll be happy you did.  It is just as simple as that.  

What other reason do you need to make our chocolate brownies? 

Equipment you’ll need

Better than Box Brownies Ingredients

Below is a list of the ingredients you’ll need to gather to make this recipe. Scroll all the way down for the full recipe card.

  • BUTTER – I use salted butter but unsalted will work just as well.
  • SUGAR – Granulated white sugar. This recipe calls for a lot of it, but they’re a treat.
  • EGGS – Large eggs, at room temperature.
  • COCOA POWDER – Unsweetened cocoa powder. Some people question the amount but it’s not a typo, they really need all that cocoa powder.
  • SALT – For balance and to amplify the chocolate flavor.
  • BAKING POWDER – For rise.
  • VANILLA – Pure vanilla extract (not imitation) for the best flavor).
  • FLOUR – All purpose white flour is all I’ve tested with.
  • CHOCOLATE CHIPS – An optional mix-in, but I find them required. I use Ghirardelli baking chips because they’re my favorite.
Chocolate Brownies are the iconic dessert you crave! Learn how to make "Better Than Box" Chocolate Brownies with our amazingly simple recipe!

How To Serve These Chocolate Brownies 

This recipe for chocolate brownies makes what would be a “family size” of the box mix – a 9×13 pan, which is about 15-18 good sized brownies.  That means you don’t have to fight anyone for your serving.  

It also means if you are careful, you can sneak a few out of the pan to save for later before anyone sees them!

I recommend serving by themselves, or as a brownie sundae with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of hot fudge on top!

Don’t forget a few extra chocolate sprinkles or chocolate chips!

Can I freeze them?

Yes, they will freeze well. Individually wrap the brownies in plastic wrap or foil and place in a freezer bag. Press out any air and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

When ready to enjoy, move the brownie to the counter and let thaw at room temperature.

Want to try more brownie recipes? Try these:

Click here to view my entire collection of bars and brownies.

Chocolate Brownies are one of the most iconic desserts of all time.  Using this simple but delicious recipe is ideal.  Especially if you are like me and don’t always plan for dessert.  Keep ingredients on hand for this recipe and you’ll never be stuck without a chocolate fix when you need it!

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Why make a box mix brownies when I'll bet you have everything on hand to make these? They really are "Better Than Box Mix" brownies! | Persnickety Plates

Better Than Box Mix Brownies

Melissa Williams
Why make a box mix brownies when I’ll bet you have everything on hand to make these? They really are “Better Than Box Mix” brownies!
4.69 from 238 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 15 servings
Calories 366 kcal


  • 1 cup butter at room temperature
  • 2 ¼ cups granulated white sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips I use Ghiradelli baking chips


  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Line a 9×13 baking dish with foil or parchment paper, allowing it to hang over the edges. Spray with non-stick spray and set aside.
  • In a small pot, melt butter over medium low heat. Once completely melted, add in the sugar and stir together. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring continually. Don’t let it boil.
  • Pour the butter/sugar mixture into a large bowl (or your stand mixer bowl). Add in cocoa powder and mix to combine.
  • Add in eggs, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Beat until fully incorporated.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add in flour until just combined.
  • Stir in chocolate chips and make sure they are evenly distributed.
  • Pour the batter into your prepared pan and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with moist crumbs attached.
  • Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
  • Once cool, lift the brownies out of the pan using the foil overhang. Peel back the foil and cut into squares.
  • Store in an airtight container.



Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to a week. 
Adapted from King Arthur Flour


Serving: 1gCalories: 366kcalCarbohydrates: 52gProtein: 4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 77mgSodium: 290mgPotassium: 169mgFiber: 3gSugar: 37gVitamin A: 470IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 47mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional information is an estimate and provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Tried this recipe? Tag me!Mention @melissa_pplates or tag #persnicketyplates!

Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying/pasting and/or screenshots of full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Content and photographs are copyright protected.

Photos updated October 12, 2016

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  1. Judy says

    Ohhh, these brownies look divine. I bet they are better than the box version.

  2. Dulce fresa says

    I’m sure this is better than the box version.. I never use them!
    Your brownie looks yummy!

  3. april marie says

    these are some of the best brownies I’ve ever had!! 1,000 times better then the last brownies I did from scratch, and much better then box!!

  4. Six Sisters says

    They look so moist and delicious! We loved having you join us for “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” Hope to see you again soon! -The Sisters

  5. Nicole @WonkyW says

    The next time I make brownies … I am making These brownies! Yum!!!

  6. Amanda says

    I wish I could include a picture. I’ve made these so many times already and they’re a huge hit every time and take no time to make. This is definitely my go to recipe from now on

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yay ❤ feel free to drop a pic on my Facebook page – I’d love to see them 🙂

  7. Cynthia says

    I found that the second I stopped mixing the batter, it started to “harden” like fudge. Taste was average, not bad but not over the top.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hmm, I’ve made these many, many times without any hardening. I wonder what happened…

    • Eleanor says

      I’m having the same thing happen and I can’t figure out why. How long do you heat the butter and sugar for? And do you stir the butter and sugar constantly?

    • Melissa Williams says

      “In a small pot, melt butter over medium low heat. Once completely melted, add in the sugar and stir together. Continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring continually. Don’t let it boil.”

    • Eleanor says

      Right, I’ve experimented with 1 or 2 min, and with stirring continuously or just frequently and I’m still getting the same thing. I really want to figure out why this is happening because the first time I made them they were delicious and perfect and had that great crumbly kind of topping. And the next few time they did not and I just don’t know what has changed! Any ideas?

    • Melissa Williams says

      I’m sorry, that’s frustrating. I’ve made them many, many times with the same results – on gas & electric stoves. I always stir constantly for about a minute. I wish I could be in your kitchen to help troubleshoot!

  8. May says

    Are you using brown or white sugar?

  9. Dara says

    Is the cocoa powder sweetened or unsweetened? Sorry I’m not much of a baker!

    • Dara says

      Thank you!!!

  10. nancy says

    Ok this may sound kinda funny but the problem i had with these brownies, well most i have ever tried to make is that they are actually wayyy too chocolatey. i know…. brownies, too chocolatey…. unheard of right? Well i actually hate a super intense brownie! regarless of the fact i slightly overcooked them this recipe had a great chewy texture, but the intese chocolate flavor was there! i honestly didnt enjoy eating them past the first bite. Anyone else have the same issue? Any suggestions on how to fix it? Would leaving out some cocopowder alter the end result much ? could i use milk chocolate rather than cocopowder?

    • Melissa Williams says

      If you think this & other brownie recipes are too chocolatey, maybe a blondie is more your speed? I have a few but here’s one: //www.persnicketyplates.com/peanut-butter-blondies/

  11. Ally says

    What kind of sugar

  12. David says

    Has anyone cut the sugar ..that’s a lot of sugar

  13. Suzzette says

    They took much longer to bake than 30 minutes. They were also a bit bitter. More like dark chocolate brownies.

    • Melissa Williams says

      Which type of cocoa powder did you use?

  14. Cathy says

    Is it 1 cup butter which is 2 sticks or 1 cup PLUS 2 sticks?

    • Melissa Williams says

      It’s one cup (2 sticks) – they took out my () – thanks for pointing it out, I’ll fix it!

  15. Carrie says

    5 stars
    These are delicious moist brownies and so easy to make!

  16. Jessica says

    5 stars
    I made this and they came out yummy my issue tho is I followed the recipe step by step and baked at recommended time but they came out more cakey then a brownie any idea why?

    • Melissa Williams says

      I described them as “cake like” brownies 🙂

  17. Shelly says

    5 stars
    These brownies are the best that I have ever had or made! My family loves them. This recipe is a definite keeper.

  18. Rebecca says

    I didn’t like the brownies. Too dense and bitter. Maybe I was off with the recipe or something BUT luckily, the crowd I was making them for are teenagers so they told me the brownies were bad but then they ate them all so it worked out lol!

    • Melissa Williams says

      It definitely sounds like you missed something – I’ve made them many (many, many) times, as well as others, and I’ve never had our heard they were bitter.

  19. Kimberly says

    Mine are in the oven now!
    However my batter did not pour. It hardened and I had to scrape it out the bowl. I hope they still turn out great cause the photo of them look so great! 😬😬
    Overall the recipe was very easy to make. My 5 year old loved helping!

  20. Marie says

    These brownies are in the oven baking right now. The batter was silky and luscious. I can’t wait to eat them! I will let you know how they turn out.

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