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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.

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 626 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

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  1. How thin or thick do these come out? I hate flat brownies but I don’t want cake like brownies haha. I need an in between!

  2. New to baking:

    added 226g butter and 396 sugar but this is taking forever to dissolve the sugar. should it be a thick slurry at first? seems like a tonnn of sugar

  3. 5 stars
    I love how these turned out! They are dense with a cakey crumb at the same time and super rich! Don’t worry about them being too sweet, they are perfect. Great recipe!

  4. Quick question- I had actually saved this recipe way back when and while it’s the same recipe the ingredients look a bit different. On your previous one you have it at 1 cup softened butter and 2 1/4 cups sugar. Have you just tweaked it some? Making these tonight so thought I’d ask! Thanks!

  5. 5 stars
    OH. MY. GOOD HEAVENS! I usually don’t comment on recipes that my family loves but THIS is the best brownie recipe we’ve ever made! It hits the right spots of craving the chewy, cakey, and just perfect brownie. Def going to be in our rotation of sweets in our house!

  6. 3 stars
    I’ve made this recipe for the 3rd time. First time I used fine flour instead of all purpose by mistake and it kept out perfectly. The other 2 times I’ve used all purpose flour as the recipe has called and it’s turned out disastrous…it does not rise and just seems hard. I don’t get it I’ve followed the recipe. Also I added one more egg the time I made because the consistency was so stiff.

  7. 5 stars
    Saved by the recipe!
    I’ve made this at least a dozen times and tonight makes a baker’s dozen. I needed a dessert for Christmas dinner when my plan didn’t go as planned. Always a hit! And I LOVE the Black Cocoa

  8. 5 stars
    Was worried about the thickness of the mixture, but when they were done Omgosh nice and fudgie and chewy. SAVED!!

  9. I don’t often comment on a recipe-but these were delicious! Just the right amount of everything! Thanks for the great recipe!😊

  10. Mine turned out super dry… they’re not terrible, but it taste almost like the coca didn’t fully mix in right? I used extra eggs because I had small home grown eggs- and when I was mixing about to pour I wanted to add milk because it was so thick… what did I do wrong?? 😢

  11. 5 stars
    I’ve never commented on recipes but this one is a winner, as is and with some tweaks. I had your older version written in my notebook of favorite recipes.
    The last time I made them I subbed a stick of butter with 1/2c of natural( no added sugar) applesauce and lowered the sugar to scant 2 c, closer to 1 4/5c. I increased the cocoa by 1/4c and added chopped pecans instead of chocolate chips. It was a thick batter that I had to spread into the corners of the pan.
    It baked up perfect, dense, chewy, rich and chocolatey without greasy fingertips. If anything, there was less of that shiny crust but still super satisfying.
    Thank you so much for a fearless brownie recipe for chocolate lovers!

  12. I haven’t made these yet, but my local store is out of 9×13 baking dishes and I don’t have one handy. Will this recipe work if I make them in a cupcake/muffin pan?