Best Brownies Ever

I know that most of you don’t know me very well.  Or you don’t know me at all.  But I need you to promise me something. Promise me that you will never make brownies from a mix.  Ever. Again.

Hear me out on this one…

You see, making brownies from a mix is just plain crazy.  Somewhere along the way a smart company came out with the best marketing ploy:  make baking seem really hard and time consuming by selling everything in a mix.  Well, I’m here to tell you that it is neither difficult or time consuming to make brownies from scratch.  And they look this good:

All it takes is 13 minutes, 6 common ingredients and 1 saucepan to get them into the oven.  I swear.

Plus, boxed brownie mix is bad for the environment.  (Okay, maybe I made that one up, but it seems to work everywhere else these days!)

But seriously, try this recipe.  If you swear it doesn’t contest with the brownies made from your mix of choice (and their vegetable oil after taste), then by all means, ignore me.

My mom made this recipe (slightly altered from The Joy of Cooking) throughout my childhood and it is has more than stood the test of time.  The two pickiest men in the world (my husband and father-in-law) request this treat regularly.  I think you’ll like these brownies, and how incredibly easy (and fast) they are to make.

Best Brownies Ever
(in my opinion)

1.5 sticks of butter (12 tablespoons)
3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (like Hershey’s)

2 cups of sugar
2 tsp of vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 cup of flour

Over low heat, melt the butter in a medium saucepan; remove from heat.  Then stir in cocoa powder.

This mixture will look delicious but it’s unsweetened, so resist tasting it!

Cool for a moment or two and stir in sugar and vanilla.

Add eggs and combine well.

Add flour and stir until just combined.

Place batter in a foil-lined, greased 9×13 pan (for easy clean-up).

Between finger licks, spread as evenly as possible and bake for 23-28 minutes at 350 degrees.

Test with a toothpick after 23 minutes and watch closely thereafter.  Take the brownies out when the toothpick has gooey crumbs.  A little underdone results in nice moist brownies, since cooking continues during the cooling process.

And to prove to you how quickly this can be done, I’ve documented my start and end times (from the beginning until the pan was ready to go in the oven).  The 13 minutes included me taking all of the above pictures.  And the clock changed from 3:16 to 3:17 as I was focusing the camera.  For real.  So, it’s truly more like 12 minutes.

So, what do you think?  Have I convinced you?  Any other from-scratch brownie bakers out there who can back me up!?

Want to check out some other staple recipes?  Check out Simply Modern Mom’s Over-Used Recipe Swap!
Over-used Recipes Swap


  1. Nicole says:

    You are a life saver. My husband just asked me yesterday to make brownies for a Habitat for Humanity bake sale. I said I have never made brownies from scratch but was willing to research a recipe and try. You have saved me some work and worry. I know that this recipe is delicious and has great results. I am going to use this as a basis for my brownies.


  2. Nicole says:

    Quick question: With the aluminum foil do the brownies just pop out of the pan and not stick to the foil? Does the foil cause them to cook differently (more quickly)?

    • Erin says:

      Hi Nicole,

      I am so glad that I could help! I do grease the foil, so the brownies come off quite easily. The foil isn’t completely clean or anything, but I’ve never had any serious sticking problems (I use the Pam baking spray with flour as my greaser of choice). As for the cooking time, I haven’t noticed that they need to cook longer with foil. That 23-28 minute time frame should work well, foil or not. I have found that using the foil creates less crunchy edges, which I prefer!

      Hope that this helps! I would love to hear how your brownies come out!

      – e

  3. Suzan says:

    I consider myself a “decent” cook, but an abysmal baker. So thank you for this recipe. My boys have never had brownies from scratch. I am going to give it a try.

  4. Lauren says:

    These look delish and SO easy! I may just have to make these right now. I love that I don’t have to dirty up my mixer and make a big mess for these. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Hey, friend. Just put these in the oven (after licking the wooden spoon clean). I’m so excited that I just make homemade brownies. =) I’ll have to let you know how they turn out, but I had the page opened for the recipe, so here I am. =) thanks again! My coworkers will thank you.

    • Erin says:

      Hi Kim!

      I am so excited to hear how they come out! If you guys are anything like us, you might eat half the pan tonight, leaving your co-workers quite disappointed!

      – e

  6. I’m stopping over from the Over-Used Recipe Swap at Simply Modern Mom’s.

    I love Brownies but I’ve given up sweet things for a couple of months to get my sugar craving under control! I’ll keep this bookmarked for the future though, they look amazing. I’ve never cooked Brownies from a packet, I didn’t even realise you cook. Home baked stuff always tastes much much better than anything you can buy already prepared.


  7. Amy E. says:

    i can’t WAIT to try this recipe!

    i’ve been hankering brownies and i recently discovered a whole container (just like yours) of cocoa powder that’s been sitting nearly untouched in our cabinet for who knows how long!

    this could be bad for my efforts to lose baby weight… but they look oh so tasty!

  8. Kamilla Vanilla says:

    This brownie recipe sounds yummy and your photos are fantastic, making the brownies look so moist, thick and chewy! Can’t wait to try your recipe! One thing, though: I choose to avoid using foil whenever possible, since learning that the aluminum in foil may be one of the contributing factors in getting Alzheimer’s. Just thought I’d pass this “food for thought” on to you because I care.
    Love your blog, keep it up!

  9. Carol says:

    told my daughter that we should make these. I mentioned that they are the best brownies ever, she questioned that statement and asked did someone make them and they told you this, i said no….it says so on the instructions. she laughed and said, they all write that!!!!!!


    we baked them and she agree’s


  10. Becky T says:

    Fabulous again! I saved it this time.
    Being only one of a few females in a male dominated industry (IT) when I can get the guys to do me a favor, like hauling around desktop computers from one wing of our building to another, food is always a great reward! I promised Brownies and brownies he’ll get!
    Becky T recently posted…Cool Cats BagMy Profile

  11. Tasha says:

    I just made these. They took me 35 minutes to bake and are no where near as good as my favourite store bought Betty Crocker brownies. They are very ‘cakey’ and I enjoy more fudge brownies. Not what I expected.

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