Easy Chocolate Brownies

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This super simple chocolate brownie recipe is rich and chocolatey with a perfect flaky crust and they whip up in no time. Made from scratch with cocoa, this quick recipe will become a favorite!

stack of homemade dark chocolate brownies on a red plate

Small Batch Brownies

You ever get in the mood where you feel like going to the gym but you don’t feel like going? Yea, I’m in that mood tonight.

Instead, I’m making brownies. I’m always in the mood for brownies.

I love that these Simple Dark Chocolate Brownies mix up in about 5 minutes (not even kidding) and they make the perfect small batch. Just 9 brownies so I’m not tempted with a family size pan.

They went a bit viral on Instagram, see them up close and personal here.

I love this brownie recipe so much that I use it as the base in my popular Halloween Swirl Brownies.

sliced chocolate brownies on tin foil


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.

  • Sugar – The base of these brownies is granulated sugar.
  • Flour – All purpose flour. I haven’t tested with others.
  • Cocoa powder – I like to use Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder, but you can use your favorite unsweetened brand.
  • Salt – Salt provides balance to the sweet and enhances the chocolate flavor.
  • Baking powder – A leavening agent, baking powder helps give rise to the brownies.
  • Chocolate chips – I suppose chocolate chips are optional, but I find them mandatory. I like to use Ghirardelli baking chips, which are larger than standard chocolate chips.
  • Eggs – Two large eggs, preferably at room temperature.
  • Vegetable oil – Oil gives the brownies a moist, tender texture, and helps them rise.
  • Vanilla extract – I know that vanilla extract has went up in price (there is a vanilla bean shortage), but please please use vanilla extract and not imitation vanilla. I like to buy it at Sam’s or Costco, which makes it slightly more affordable. Without it, your brownies will be bland – it really helps enhance the chocolate flavor.

How to make basic Chocolate Brownies

Making brownies from scratch is super easy. Dangerously easy, you might even say.

First, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and chocolate chips in a bowl. Be sure that the chocolate chips get coated with the mix.

bowl of cocoa powder, flour, and chocolate chips

Next, in a measuring cup, combine eggs, vanilla and oil. Mix up wet ingredients with a fork.

measuring cup with oil, vanilla extract, and egg

Then, pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

brownie batter in a baking dish

Finally, spread the brownie batter into a greased 8×8 square pan. You can line the pan with parchment paper or foil for easy removal.

Bake at 350° F for 25-30 minutes. The top should be crackly and a toothpick inserted into the center should come out cleanly.

stack of three brownies on a red plate

Equipment you’ll need

  • 8×8 Baking Dish – This is a small batch of brownies. If you need a family size, I’ve got you covered with my Better Than Box Mix Brownies.
  • Mixing bowl – You only need one for this recipe. I love this set.
  • Measuring cup – I like to mix the wet ingredients right in a measuring cup – that way you only dirty one mixing bowl. Two birds, one stone.
Super simple homemade brownie recipe that makes rich, chocolatey brownies with a perfect flaky crust | Persnickety Plates


How to store them

Leftovers should be stored covered at room temperature for up to a week.

Can I freeze them

Yes, brownies freeze well (though this small batch never has leftovers for me). Wrap them in parchment paper, drop them into a freezer bag, and store in the freezer.

How to keep the chocolate chips from sinking

Have you ever made cake or brownies and had all your chocolate chips sink to the bottom? If you have, I have a solution for you.

Toss the chocolate chips in the dry ingredient mixture so they’re fully coated.

That’s it. It helps suspend the chocolate chips in the batter. (p.s. it also works with berries (like in my blueberry muffins), nuts, fruits, etc.)

More brownie recipes you might like:

Click here to view my entire collection of bars and brownie recipes.

If you MAKE & LOVE this recipe, share it on Instagram and tag me @melissa_pplates and/or #persnicketyplates so I can see it. I LOVE seeing what you make & I’ll share it in my stories!

It is VERY HELPFUL to me and other readers if you leave a review after you make my recipe. Please come back & let me know how it turned out!

Super simple homemade brownie recipe that makes rich, chocolatey brownies with a perfect flaky crust | Persnickety Plates

Easy Chocolate Brownies

Melissa Williams | Persnickety Plates
This super simple chocolate brownie recipe is rich and chocolatey with a perfect flaky crust and they whip up in no time. Made from scratch with cocoa, this quick recipe will become a favorite!
4.84 from 30 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9 brownies
Calories 289 kcal



  • Preheat oven to 350° F and line an 8 x 8 baking dish with parchment paper and lightly spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, add the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and chocolate chips and stir together. Be sure that the chocolate chips get coated with the mix.
  • In a measuring cup (or a small bowl), add the eggs, oil, and vanilla. Mix with a fork until well combined.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until just combined.
  • Pour into the prepared baking dish and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool then slice.
  • Enjoy!


Store leftovers covered at room temperature for up to a week. 


Serving: 1gCalories: 289kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 3gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 38mgSodium: 151mgPotassium: 81mgFiber: 2gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 75IUCalcium: 26mgIron: 1mg

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.

Originally published October 18, 2012

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  1. Dee says

    Yum! I like that you used dark chocolate. I’m sure it deepened the flavor a bit. Thanks for sharing this recipe with your friends!


  2. stephanie says

    I like the picture! also what is it that every day I got to the gym and then instantly sit down and look at your blog haha.

  3. Sarah E. says

    Oh my word! Those look so so so good! I’ve only made one homemade brownie recipe, so I definitely want to branch out and try a ton 😉

    Thanks for linking up to Tasty Thursday!

  4. E says

    Can I just say that pictures like this, make it very difficult to not drool, and make me slightly question my way of eating… and avoiding these devilish treats.
    PS: I hung two prints in my kitchen, and one in my bathroom (the breathe one)… I have the pink one left, and not sure where to put it… since hubs isn’t a pink fan. Well, me neither, but still.

  5. Maryanne says

    I tried these and they’re amazing!! Crusty on the outside (after a day) and soft & chewy in the middle. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yay =) Thanks for letting me know! They really are one of my favorites.

  6. MW says

    My favorite brownies!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Me too – & I love that it only makes a small pan =)

  7. Cari says

    So why are my brownies from this recipe coming out cake like? I made them back to back thinking I made an error by over mixing the first time. Decided to try a second time ( was very conscientious to stir only till combined and comes less time) and still came out with the same result. . . CAKEY like not even close to brownie texture. So sad and frustrated because I was really looking forward to these and am sad with the cakey texture!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Hi Cari – Sorry these didn’t turn out as you hoped. I wish I could be in the kitchen with you to help troubleshoot.
      Here are some questions –
      Did you use all purpose flour? Anything else can affect how dense they are.
      Are you using XL eggs? Large eggs are standard & if you’re eggs are too big, that can affect texture.
      Are you leaving them in too long? You’ll want them to look a touch under-baked, but a toothpick should still come out clean.

  8. DeAnna says

    5 stars
    Love them! Perfect size for a small household, chewy and wonderful!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yay 🙂 I agree, I love that they don’t make too many.

  9. Carol says

    5 stars
    7/14/20 These are more cake-y than chewy. My friends loved them. Thanks 🙏

  10. Carol says

    Oops ignore the other comment I made on here. I made this recipe first to take to a friend’s house but they came out very flat – maybe ½” thick. So I made more brownies from another recipe and those are the ones that were cake-y. I love the dark chocolate flavor of these but mine came out flat and tasted like the AP flour. I don’t know what I did wrong – I thought I followed the recipe to T. I baked them in a clear glass 8”x8” pan.

  11. Lisa Ashby says

    5 stars
    These brownies were DELICIOUS!!!! My family LOVED them! These brownies will be a regular dessert at my house! The recipe was super easy and hassle free, and the brownies were moist, chocolaty, and delicious!

    • Melissa Williams says

      Yess, thank you for reporting back! I make these all the time but they don’t get the attention they deserve.

  12. April C says

    5 stars
    This is my new go-to brownie recipe. Every time I see the box brownie mix in the store, I know I have this recipe in my back pocket to make instead. Absolutely perfect!

  13. Beeba says

    5 stars
    This is by far my favorite and most consistently great recipe for moist and gooey brownies. I love that it used dark chocolate!

    • Melissa Williams says

      I’m so happy to hear that! Thank you for reporting back =)

  14. Lucinda M says

    5 stars
    I reviewed the recipe and ingredients and this should be mouth-melting yummy brownies

  15. Lateva says

    This recipe is so fun and easy! It’s my girls and I go to when we want something sweet! They only last one day because we eat them all!!!

    We keep the ingredients on deck!

    • Melissa Williams says

      I may have eaten most of the last batch by myself… oops

  16. JC says

    Why are these so flat ? poured recipe in an 8×8 pan and the batter barely went up 1/4 of way of pan ? HELP!! Usually boxed mixed come up more than 1/2 way up side of pan before baking. Suggestions ? PLEASE !! Mix looks delicious

    • JC says

      The brownies were not as high as i would have normally liked, and also, it seemed as though they needed more than 30 minutes. They tasted great, just a bit too fudgy and not cake-y at all. In fact, I am making another batch this morning !

  17. Nikki says

    5 stars
    These are really delicious! So moist and a little chewy. Great rich chocolate flavor. I used dark chocolate chips. This will absolutely be my go to brownie recipe!

  18. Michelle says

    5 stars
    All I do is keep making this! It’s so good. Just have to exercise more lol. I do use butter instead of oil. Thank you so much

    • Melissa Williams says

      ha! I try to keep a good brownie/exercise schedule, too 🙂

  19. Veronica says

    How long do you wait before you cut them? And when I used a toothpick, some of the middle was clean and some of it was wet. How long do you usually cook them for? Thanks so much for your help!!

    • Melissa Williams says

      I usually dive in without 5-10 minutes. 25-30 minutes is my usual bake time in a glass pan 🙂 If some of the middle was very wet, they needed more time. A moist crumb is ok, but not liquid.

  20. Rima says

    4 stars
    I tried the recipe it is so good crusty and fudgy in the same time

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