“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. 3 stars
    I made these today for a school reunion tomorrow. We found these to be to much like cake. Good flavor but we prefer a more fudgy brownie. Also, after cooling, when I peeled the foil (which was greased) away from brownie to cut them the outer 1/2″ cracked off so you really need to grease foil well or use parchment or waxed paper.

  2. 5 stars
    Made these yesterday and since its just the rwo of us now, I cut the recipe in half and baked in an 8×8 pan. Kinda wish I had made the full recipe. They are the best I have ever made, and I have been baking for over 40 years. Give this recipe a 10 plus

  3. 5 stars
    Simply the best…will not go back to box. Added pecans and drizzled caramel on top with ice cream. Best brownie sundae EVER!

  4. They are VERY cake-y. I like brownies to be gooey so these will probably end up in the trash. The flavor is fantastic, I just don’t like cake-y brownies. Super bummed

    1. 3 stars
      My exact thoughts! Flavor is ok, just not my thing! My family will eat them with ice cream! Should’ve titled it “best cake like brownies ever!”

  5. 5 stars
    Very good recipe with good flavor. To make it less ‘cake-y’ as some wrote, I used 1/2 cup of butter & 1/2 cup of oil. This made the chewy and more fudgy. I also added 1 tablespoon of corn starch.

  6. 5 stars
    This is a first time making brownies from scratch and they’re delicious. I had medium sized eggs, so I added 5 eggs. This recipe didn’t disappoint. I made a batch for my brother-in-law, he’s a chocoholic and he needs some comfort food about now… after his father’s passing. My husband loved them as well.

  7. 5 stars
    These are amazing!!
    I only use 1 cup of the cacao!
    And they are still so goooood!!!
    They do not last long at all!!

  8. 5 stars
    Made it last night, it was Awesome! I recieved a new KitchenAid Stand Mixer and this was the first recipe I tried. We are a large family of 6, so it made a huge amount for everyone. Will use thid again!!! Great with ice cream too, we made sundaes. I will be back to see new recipes, this was great!!!

  9. 5 stars
    These are the best brownies I have ever made and eaten. They are incredibly moist and decadent. This will be the only recipe I use for brownies from now on. I’m going to try peanut butter chips in them next time and peppermint chips another time too! Delicious!

  10. 5 stars
    Read all the comments before trying these, most said they come out too cake, so I only used 3 eggs but followed everything else. These brownies are chewy, gooey and full of chocolate. Just love them. I’m not a big fan of brownies, but I will stick with this recipe from now on. Awesome

  11. 5 stars
    These turned out amazing! When I took it out of the oven, it was at such a perfect chewy and moist state, I didn’t want it to continue to cook. So I rested the pan on the wire rack for about 10 minutes, then lifted the batch on foil out to place directly on the rack to cool down the rest of the way. Will definitely make again.

  12. 5 stars
    This is my go to brownie recipe. I don’t know where people are getting it’s cake like because mine are always super fudge like. I use a baking spray without tin foil and I never have issues with cracking or getting them out of the pan. The ends are crispy and the middles are gooey. I will admit though I will add mini and regular choc chips. I have also added mms or even peppermint in lieu of vanilla to give them a more festive taste. These are always a crowd pleaser.