“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.

These are best brownies I have ever tasted!

– Karen

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? 

✨ The dark chocolate version shown below was made with black cocoa powder. It gives a really dark, delicious chocolate flavor that I highly recommend (if you’re a dark chocolate lover!).

Both photos shown are the same recipe, just different cocoa powder.

stack of 3 dark chocolate brownies with melty chocolate chips inside.

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. If you want dark chocolate, use black 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. Adding chocolate chips to the batter also helps create the shiny, crinkly brownie crust.
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!

stack of dark chocolate brownies with a bite missing from one.

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!

dark chocolate brownie with a bite missing.
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
4.74 from 627 votes

Better Than Box Mix Brownies

Servings: 15 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
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!



  • Preheat oven to 350° F.
  • Line a 9×13 baking dish 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, until the sugar has dissolved. Don’t let the mixture boil.
    1 cup salted butter, 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • Pour the butter/sugar mixture into a large mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer bowl).
  • In another mixing bowl, while the butter mixture is cooling, add the eggs, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and vanilla. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until fully incorporated, approximately 1 minute.
    4 large eggs, 1 ¼ cups unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • Pour the egg mixture into the butter mixture and stir to combine.
  • Stir in the flour and chocolate chips until evenly distributed.
    1 ½ cups all purpose flour, 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center 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 parchment overhang and cut into squares.
  • Store in an airtight container.



Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to a week. 
Use a plastic knife for clean cuts.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour


Serving: 1g | Calories: 366kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 290mg | Potassium: 169mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 37g | Vitamin A: 470IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 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.

Did you make this recipe?

Tag me on Instagram @melissa_pplates so I can see!

Photos updated October 12, 2016

4.74 from 627 votes (518 ratings without comment)

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  1. This is my favorite brownie recipe! Do you think it would be possible to bake this recipe in mini muffin liners for “brownie bites”? I’m not sure if I would need to adjust the temperature or anything to make them so small instead of one sheet pan. Thoughts?

  2. 5 stars
    This is my go to website for brownie recipes everyone I have tried is amazing! We love this one and the coconut oil ones!

  3. 5 stars
    We made these.
    They are sooo good, moist & everyone ate them up. Added nuts cause we love those in brownies!
    Thanks for always creating amazing recipes & just being YOU. I can always count on your stories for a daily smile🤍

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I adding chocolate and caramel chips; as well as toffee. They were amazing. Next time, I’ll probably use less sugar because they were pretty sweet, but very good and flavorful.

  5. Sherrill

    These were delish. The thing I would like to know as getting ready for Christmas. My chocolate chips did not melt. Was still good bud Cho. Chips little hard to chew. We’re they supposed to melt?

  6. I only have Tollhouse chocolate chips and I saw another review that said they were hard to melt. Could you leave them out?

    1. I used Tollhouse because that’s what I had on hand and they did fine! I haven’t tried with the Ghirardelli yet to see if they make a big difference, but I had no troubles with Tollhouse.

  7. 5 stars
    These are absolutely the best brownies I’ve ever made! The recipe is very easy to follow. I like using the special dark chocolate cocoa, just because I love really dark chocolate. And of course Ghirardelli chips. I stick them in the freezer once they’ve cooled, and they stay chewy and delicious even frozen. I think I’ve made the recipe twice this month, because my kids (and I) cannot get enough.

  8. 5 stars
    So good! I’m about 2000 feet above sea level so made two adjustments for mid-elevation: 1 extra egg and 1 extra tablespoon flour. I also reduced the cocoa by 1/4 cup because I only had special dark on hand and worried the full amount of that would be too powerful. Definitely a keeper!

  9. I made these for a birthday treat and they were a big hit! I usually fail at brownies but these were simple and delish! I substituted gluten-free flour and nobody could tell. Delish!

  10. 5 stars
    Yum yum yum!! Wanted something simple and this fit the bill. We looove chocolate in our house. The kids went on and on about how chocolatey these are!

  11. 5 stars
    It’s so good you have to make it , super simple and the perfect desert for your sweet tooth. Definitely will make again and I strongly recommend.

  12. 5 stars
    This recipe has changed me! I never made brownies homemade and always froma box. Never again and I will probably make these weekly ..they were amazing and even a few family members love them. I’m making more this weekend for a party. Thanks so much.

  13. 2 stars
    I followed this recipe and made no adjustments. What a waste! These were dry brownies and I actually prefer the box brownies compared to the results of this recipe.

    1. You definitely didn’t follow the recipe, these are hands down the best brownies I’ve ever had/made! Will never buy box brownies again! Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful recipe!

  14. 5 stars
    I made these Brownies with my 8 year old grandson on July 7th 2022.They are the best chocolate Brownies I have made and tasted. Definitely impressed 😍🍫😊❤️