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The Best Brownie Recipe

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If you’ve been searching for the ultimate homemade brownie recipe, look no further. This is it!

Three brownies on a plate with a glass of milk.

The best brownie recipes start with real melted chocolate, which is why store-bought brownie mixes made from cocoa powder lack the rich, fudgy flavor of homemade brownies. My all-time favorite brownie recipe comes from pastry chef Nick Malgieri’s cookbook Chocolate: From Simple Cookies to Extravagant Showstoppers. Made with melted bittersweet chocolate bars, the brownies are fudgy in the center, cakey on the surface, and just plain out of this world. The recipe has been around for decades and praised by top cooking publications such as The New York TimesSaveur, and The Splendid Table, to name just a few, so you don’t have to take my word for it—try for yourself and see!

“The name does not lie!! These are hands-down the BEST brownies I have made!!! My entire family devoured them.”

Liz

What You’ll Need To Make The Best Brownie Recipe

brownie recipe ingredients
  • All-Purpose Flour: The base of your brownies, providing structure. Be sure to measure it using the spoon and level method for accuracy.
  • Sugar and Brown Sugar: White sugar adds sweetness and a light texture, while brown sugar contributes to moisture and a deeper flavor due to its molasses content.
  • Eggs: Essential for binding the ingredients together. Eggs also add moisture and help create a rich texture in the brownies.
  • Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and flavor. Using unsalted butter allows you to control the amount of salt in the recipe.
  • Vanilla Extract: Complements the chocolate and adds depth of flavor.
  • Salt: Balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavors of the brownies.
  • Semi-Sweet or Bittersweet Chocolate: The star of the show. It’s crucial to use good quality chocolate, like Ghirardelli or Guittard, because the chocolate flavor is prominent in brownies. Opt for real chocolate bars instead of chocolate chips. Chocolate chips contain stabilizers and are designed to retain their shape when baked, making them less suitable for recipes that require melted chocolate.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

Begin by melting the butter in a microwave-safe bowl.

brownie recipe: melting butter

Add the chopped chocolate. (You can just break it apart with your hands; no need to dirty a cutting board.)

brownie recipe: adding chocolate to butter

Whisk until the chocolate is melted. The heat of the butter should be enough to melt the chocolate completely, but if not, heat the mixture in the microwave for 20 seconds or so and whisk again.

brownie recipe: melted chocolate and butter

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a large bowl.

brownie recipe: whisking eggs

Add the sugars, salt and vanilla.

brownie recipe: adding sugars and vanilla to eggs

And whisk to combine.

brownie recipe: whisking eggs and sugars

Whisk in the chocolate-butter mixture.

brownie recipe: whisking chocolate into egg mixture

Then add the flour.

brownie recipe: whisking flour into batter

Whisk until just combined.

Whisk in a bowl with brownie batter.

Line a 9×13-in baking pan with parchment paper, then either spray the paper with non-stick cooking spray or grease with butter. Be sure to leave an overhang; this makes it easy to lift brownies out of the pan before cutting. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan.

brownie batter in pan

Bake for about 45 minutes, or until the top has formed a shiny crust and the batter is moderately firm.

baked brownies out of the oven

Cool completely on a rack, then use the parchment overhang to transfer the un-cut brownies to a cutting board.

brownies on cutting board

Use a sharp knife to trim the hard edges (those are for the cook!).

cutting edges off of brownies

Cut the brownies into squares and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to store brownies? Can they be frozen?

To keep brownies fresh, store them in an airtight container at room temperature. They typically keep well for up to 4 days. Brownies can also be frozen for up to 3 months. After they are completely cooled, cut them into squares, wrap tightly in foil, and then place them in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.

Can I add mix-ins to my brownie batter?

Absolutely! You can customize your brownies by adding a variety of mix-ins. Popular choices include chopped nuts (like walnuts or pecans) or chocolate chips or chunks.

Why Do Most Brownie Recipes Call for Cocoa Powder and Not Melted Chocolate?

The main reason cocoa powder is often used in brownie recipes is due to its convenience and ease of use. Cocoa powder, being a dry ingredient, can be easily measured, and it eliminates the extra step of melting chocolate. However, in my opinion, brownies made with melted chocolate are far superior—fudgier, denser, and just much more delicious!

Three brownies on a plate with a glass of milk.

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Video Tutorial

The Best Brownie Recipe

If you’ve been searching for the ultimate homemade brownie recipe, look no further. This is it!

Servings: 24 2-inch brownies
Total Time: 1 Hour

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks (½ pound) unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I use Ghirardelli bars)
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with knife

Instructions

  1. Set the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Line a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan with parchment paper (bring parchment up sides of pan so there is a slight overhang) and grease with butter or nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place the butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl and melt in the microwave until bubbling. Add the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate is completely melted. The heat from the butter should be enough to melt the chocolate completely, but if not, place the chocolate-butter mixture in the microwave and heat for 20 seconds or so, then whisk again. (Alternatively, combine the butter and chocolate in a heat proof bowl and set over a pan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until melted.)
  3. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla; whisk until smooth (be sure no lumps of brown sugar remain). Whisk in the chocolate-butter mixture, then add the flour and whisk until the batter is uniform.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top has formed a shiny crust and the batter is moderately firm. Cool completely in the pan on a rack. If not serving right away, store them at room temperature, for 3 to 4 days. To extend their shelf life for a day or two, you can refrigerate them.
  5. To cut brownies, first lift them out of the pan using the parchment overhang and transfer them to a cutting board. Separate the parchment from the edges. Using a sharp knife, trim away the edges and cut the brownies into 2-in squares.
  6. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The brownies can be frozen for up to 3 months. After they are completely cooled, cut them into squares, wrap tightly in foil, and then place them in an airtight container or sealable plastic bag. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Serving size: 1 brownie
  • Calories: 212
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 7g
  • Carbohydrates: 27g
  • Sugar: 22g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Sodium: 66mg
  • Cholesterol: 51mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • Not the best brownie imho, these did not have enough chocolate flavour, nice fudgy texture, really good w/ice cream, add fudge sauce for the boost of chocolate that the brownie is lacking.

    • — Marnie Zorn on May 16, 2024
    • Reply
  • Best Brownies I ever had. Made them for my grandson’s graduation party. I received many compliments. I’ll never make any others again. Just perfect.

    • — Mary Oakley on May 15, 2024
    • Reply
  • I REALLY wanted to love these brownies, after all of the the amazing reviews! Unfortunately, I couldn’t taste the chocolate as much as I just tasted sugar. I’m glad so many other people had success with these. Thanks for all of the amazing recipes, Jenn!

    • — Heather on April 23, 2024
    • Reply
  • Perfection. This is the brownie recipe I’ve been looking for. Over the years I’ve tried different ones but they’re either too goopy or cakey PLUS they’re always like “use 5 egg yolks and 1.5 egg whites and a dash of your grandma’s magic baking dust” and I’ve always thought SURELY brownies don’t have to be this complicated! So — thank you for finally giving me a go-to brownie recipe! Your website never fails me.

    • — Suzanne on April 12, 2024
    • Reply

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