This easy brownie recipe makes the perfect fudgy brownies. Homemade brownies have a crinkly brownie top, and can be made in under an hour. These fudgy brownies are made with both cocoa and chocolate for the perfect fudgy brownie texture and rich chocolate taste. Give this quick and easy brownie recipe a go - it may well become your new best brownie recipe. They are amazing as is, or served with a big scoop of ice-cream.
Hi hi! I am just popping in to share this brownie recipe with you. I realised recently I only have fun variations on brownie recipes, and recipes which have a brownie base such as my brownie caramel slice and my peanut butter brownie bars. I didn't have a plain old, easy, back pocket brownie recipe, and that needed to change ASAP.
I know that there are a bunch of brownie recipes online, all claiming to be the 'best brownie recipe', and while I don't claim this to be the best brownie recipe, it is certainly my best brownie recipe.
To me, perfect brownies should be nice and fudgy rather than cakey, only just baked so that the centre is nice and gooey and the outsides are a little chewy, and be a full chocolate explosion. I know some people are partial to a crinkly top on a brownie so I added that in as a factor when developing this recipe. I've got all the top tips and tricks for you to make super easy homemade brownies.
If you would like a cream cheese brownie version of this recipe, check out my cheesecake brownies recipe! I also use this recipe as a base for my homemade cosmic brownies, and my easy brookie recipe, as well as my fudgy brownie pie!
In this guide to easy homemade brownies, we will cover:
Ingredients in Homemade Brownies
The ingredient list for my brownie recipe is fairly standard. What gives you variations in texture is the ratio of ingredients in brownies - chocolate to butter, flour to wet ingredients, etc. Here's what I use in my fudgy brownies:
- Butter. I use unsalted butter, if you only have salted that is fine, just reduce the quantity of the salt in the recipe. It goes into the brownies in the form of melted butter - along with the chocolate.
- Chocolate. I use 72% dark chocolate, semi-sweet or bittersweet would work well. It is important to use a chocolate that is something that you would be fine eating as is when you are making chocolate brownies, as it is a main flavour component.
- Dutch process cocoa powder. I use just a little cocoa powder for texture and chocolate flavor in these brownies (unlike my dairy free brownies which are a cocoa only brownie recipe). Because brownies do not have leavening agent (baking powder or baking soda) in them, you can use either regular unsweetened cocoa powder or dutch cocoa powder in this recipe interchangeably.
- Eggs. Eggs play an important role in brownies, both as a binder in the batter and to help get that crinkly top.
- Sugar. I use a ratio of 2:1 caster sugar to brown sugar. Caster sugar helps with texture, and brown sugar gives flavour.
- Salt. Super important to balance out the chocolate and the sugar in the recipe.
- Vanilla. I use vanilla bean paste, vanilla extract works great too as a 1:1 sub
- Flour. These brownies have only 100g all-purpose flour. Just enough to hold the batter together to give the perfect fudgy brownie texture.
How to make easy fudgy brownies
Here is a step by step on how to make super fudgy, delicious homemade brownies:
- Line your baking pan with a parchment paper sling for easy removal.
- Melt the butter and chocolate together. You can either do this in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure that the water does not touch the bowl), or do it in 30 second increments in the microwave, stirring between each.
- Add the cocoa to the chocolate mixture. Make sure you sift it in - lumps are hard to get out here.
- Whip together eggs and sugar. This part is important - set a timer. You need to whip them for 3-4 minutes until they are thickened and lightened in colour.
- Add the chocolate and butter mixture and mix until just combined. A few streaks are ok here. Add the vanilla and mix in.
- Add flour and fold in by hand with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
- Transfer the brownie batter to the lined baking pan. Bang a few times on the counter, then leave to sit for a few minutes and bang again just to remove any bubbles.
- Bake until set and a skewer inserted comes back with a few moist crumbs.
- Leave to cool, remove from the pan, cut with a sharp knife, and enjoy!
The secret to a crinkly brownie top
While I am not particularly bothered by whether a brownie has a crinkly top as long as it is a nice texture and tastes good, I know that it is very important to some people, so I wanted to make sure my brownie recipe has a crinkly top, just in case that is important to you.
The way to get a good crinkly top, based on my recipe testing, comes from a mixing technique rather than a specific ingredient ratio or combination. Using chocolate in the recipe can help, but the main secret to the the crinkly flaky brownie top comes from whipping the eggs well with the sugar. I have used this technique in cocoa only brownies to get a shiny top too which is how we know that the whipping of the eggs plays a huge part.
The crinkly top on a brownie comes from dissolving the sugar properly in the egg mixture / in the brownie batter and aerating the egg mixture by whipping the eggs with the sugar for 3-4 minutes. This gets the mixture really light and fluffy, but also gives the sugar a good chance to dissolve in the egg, giving you that super thin, crackly, meringue like topping on top of your brownies.
Top tip - if you want a crinkly top on your brownie, make sure to whip your egg and sugar mixture until it is thick, light, and fluffy.
Why is Caster sugar used in brownies?
Using caster sugar in brownies also helps to get a super crinkly top. Caster sugar has a smaller grain size than granulated sugar, so it dissolves better in the egg mixture, to give that nice crinkly top.
If you only have granulated sugar on hand it will still work fine particularly if you are in the US. US granulated sugar is typically a lot finer than NZ sugar (from what I have experienced anyway), so will dissolve well in the egg mixture. If you are in NZ and want that crinkly top, caster will work best.
This is another reason why using a scale is so important, as something as insignificant as the grain size of your sugar can throw off a recipe - one cup of finer grained sugar is going to weigh a lot more than a cup of slightly coarser sugar due to how much more of a fine sugar can fit into a cup measure. Grams for the win.
What Chocolate is best for brownies?
Because the chocolate flavour is so strong and prominent in fudgy brownies, it is important to use a high quality chocolate - something that you like to eat on its own. I used a 72% cocoa solids chocolate. Something around that would work best for these homemade brownies.
Can Brownies be made without a mixer?
I made these fudgy brownies using a hand mixer. You don't need to use a stand mixer if you don't want to and can just make these in a bowl, but if you want that nice crinkly top on your brownies you will need to mix with an electric mixer of some sort. If you want to make these with just a whisk that should work well too, but you will need to make sure that the mixture is thick and fluffy before adding the chocolate.
How to tell when brownies are done
If you over bake your brownies they won't be as fudgy. It's not the end of the world, but not over baking them is key to that perfect fudgy brownie. You are better off slightly over baking your brownies than under baking.
To tell when brownies are done you can look for a few things:
- The edges of the brownie are slightly firmed up and the surface on the middle of the brownie is set
- When a knife or toothpick is inserted, it comes back with a few fudgy crumbs attached.
This particular brownie recipe puffs up a little in the middle when it bakes and the top might crack slightly as it bakes - don't worry, this sinks back down when you take it out of the oven.
Can this recipe be made into thin brownies?
Yes, I have used this recipe as the base of some other bar recipes and it works well scaled back to make a thinner but still super fudgy brownie. Make a ⅔ batch of the recipe, and bake in the same 9" pan for 15-18 minutes (check after 15 for doneness). This variation is extra good if you put it in the fridge for a few hours or overnight before cutting into it as it makes them super fudgy.
How to make frosted brownies
If you would like to finish off these fudgy brownies with a quick and easy brownie icing, you can wait until the brownies are cool, then make my super easy brownie frosting recipe to add to the top.
Make sure your brownies are at least room temperature (I like to chill mine) so that the brownie frosting does not melt when you add it to the brownies.
Brownies with frosting are a super quick and easy way to fancy up a recipe if you like - making the frosting for brownies takes about five minutes and you can add sprinkles, nuts, whatever you like to the top!
How do you store brownies?
Store brownies in an airtight container either at room temperature or in the fridge, depending on what texture you prefer. Brownies kept in the fridge will be much denser and taste a bit richer than those kept at room temperature.
Brownies will keep at room temperature for 3-4 days and in the fridge for about five days.
Can you freeze brownies?
Yes - these fudgy brownies freeze very well. Once the brownies are cooled and sliced, put into an airtight container lined with parchment paper and freeze in the airtight container.
To defrost brownies, take out and defrost at room temperature before serving.
What is the best pan for making brownies?
It is important to use a metal pan when you are making brownies. Glass is a poor conductor of heat, so your brownie will not bake evenly. I use a nonstick pan lined with two pieces of parchment paper for easy brownie removal.
How to line a pan for brownies
When you are making a brownie recipe or something similar that you want to be easily removed from the pan, it helps to use a parchment paper 'sling' to line the pan. To do this I use two pieces of paper, cut to the size of the pan, then clip the extra paper to the sides of the pan to stop flapping.
If you like you can also lightly butter or grease the pan to help the parchment paper stick.
Best Brownie Recipe Tips
Here are my top tips for making the best brownies:
- Don't skip the salt. It is important in there to help balance out the sugar and chocolate in the recipe. Use less salt if you are using unsalted butter.
- Use good quality chocolate. This will make a huge difference to the taste and texture of your brownie.
- Try not to over bake your brownie. Check on them after 20 minutes. Mine generally take between 25-27 minutes, but remember that all ovens bake differently.
- Incorporate your dry ingredients with a spatula. Stirring the flour in by hand reduces the chance of over mixing your brownie.
- Whip the egg mixture well. If you are after a crinkly top, don't skip this step. It makes a huge difference.
- Use a metal pan. Glass is a poor conductor of heat.
Frequently Asked Questions
What tools and equipment do you use?
You can see a full list of the products and equipment that I use on my products page.
Can I add nuts or chocolate chips to my brownies?
Yes, if you like, you can add either chopped nuts or chopped chocolate / chocolate chunks to your brownies. I haven't personally tried it so feel free to experiment with quantities and let me know in the comments if you do so other readers can try too if they like. I don't usually add nuts to brownies, but toasted pecans or toasted walnuts might be nice. Either dark or milk chocolate would go well in these brownies.
Can Brownies be made ahead of time?
Brownies are great to be made ahead - in fact I almost prefer them once they have had a day or two to sit and let the flavours really develop. You can either cover the pan and store the whole thing at room temperature or in the fridge, or cut into pieces and store in an airtight container.
Is it possible to make gluten free brownies?
I haven't tested it, but in general, brownies don't rely on the gluten in the batter - in fact you want to avoid over mixing the batter when you add the flour. Gluten free flour would probably work great as a 1:1 sub in the recipe - I will give it a go and report back!
For more Brownie Recipes, check out:
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This easy brownie recipe makes the perfect fudgy brownies. Homemade brownies have a crinkly brownie top, and can be made in under an hour. These fudgy brownies are made with both cocoa and chocolate for the perfect fudgy brownie texture and rich chocolate taste.
- 200g dark chocolate (I used 72%), coarsely chopped
- 180g unsalted butter, cold from the fridge is fine
- 15g dutch process cocoa, or regular unsweetened cocoa, sifted
- 3 large eggs (about 150g not including shells), at room temperature
- 200g caster sugar
- 100g light or dark brown sugar
- 2g (½ tsp) kosher salt
- ½ tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 100g all-purpose flour, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c. Grease and line a 9” (23cm) square pan with parchment paper, making sure the parchment extends over the sides of the pan to form a ‘sling’. Clip down with binder clips if desired.
- In a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (make sure the bowl does not touch the water), combine the dark chocolate and butter. Heat, stirring frequently, until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth. Alternatively you can do this step in the microwave - microwave for 30 second increments, stirring well after each until the mixture is smooth and combined.
- Sift the cocoa powder over top of the chocolate and butter mixture and stir until well combined.
- In a large bowl, combine the eggs, granulated sugar, and brown sugar. Mix on medium to high speed with an electric handheld mixer for 2-3 minutes until the mixture has lightened and increased in volume. This step can also be done in a stand mixer using the whisk attachment.
- Add the chocolate mixture and mix to combine. Add the salt and vanilla and mix until incorporated.
- Add the flour and incorporate by hand until the mixture is smooth and does not have any lumps.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, and tap the pan on the counter a few times to ensure there are no air bubbles. Leave to sit for a minute or two then bang again to ensure there are no bubbles.
- Bake the brownies for 25 to 28 minutes, checking after 20. You are looking for the edges and top of the brownie to be set, and when a skewer is inserted into the middle, it should come out with a few moist crumbs attached. You are best to lean toward under baking than over baking.
- Remove the brownies from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Leave to cool in the pan then remove using the parchment paper sling. Slice into squares using a sharp knife.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature or in the fridge.
If you want the crinkly top on brownies it is very important to whip the eggs and sugar for a full 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy. If your granulated sugar is on the coarser side, using caster sugar will help (see blog post copy for notes on caster sugar)
Keywords: brownies, fudgy brownies, chocolate brownies