Homemade Brownies made with cocoa powder instead of expensive chocolate which makes these brownies budget friendly! Thick, chewy, soft-baked and you only need one bowl to whip up delicious homemade brownies.
Do you all just love brownies? For years and years I have always stood by the boxed brownies that you buy at the grocery store. They were always the best and the few times that I actually tried making them from scratch, they were awful!
I seemed to always try out the recipes that called for the baking chocolate squares. You know, that really expensive chocolate in the baking aisle!! So not only did the brownies not turn out good, I also just bought $10 worth of chocolate for them!!
That’s why I absolutely love these homemade brownies because they call for cocoa powder. I always have a container of cocoa powder in my pantry so whenever that chocolate brownie craving hits at my house we’re prepared 🙂
Butter – It’s best to use salted butter as the recipe does not call for additional salt. You can always add salt to your preference. I know lots of people like sea salt on top of their brownies and that would work just fine. But for the recipe, use salted butter to help with the flavor and for contrast to the sweetness.
Granulated Sugar – Yes I know it’s 2 entire cups of sugar. But as long as one person does not eat the entire pan I think it will be okay 🙂 If you want to, go ahead and experiment with using less sugar. I’ve never done it so I can’t even say for sure where to start. Remember that the cocoa powder is unsweetened so you do need the sugar in the recipe to avoid a really bitter taste.
Cocoa Powder – Be sure you are using unsweetened cocoa powder. They do make a dark chocolate cocoa powder that you can use in this recipe as well. I’ve never done it, but if dark chocolate is your thing then try using that.
Large Eggs – 4 eggs is the correct amount 🙂 I get questions all the time about “is it really 4 eggs?” Yes it is. Seems like a lot but the eggs provide so much moisture and texture to the brownies. I love a soft, cake-like, half fudgey brownie and 4 eggs will help with that. It’s also important how you mix the eggs into the batter. More on that below.
Vanilla Extract – I always buy the pure vanilla extract. Yes it is expensive (which kills me when I buy it) but the flavor you get from pure vanilla extract is worth it. Yes you can use imitation vanilla extract but for the best taste, stick to the pure stuff.
All-Purpose Flour – I always buy unbleached all-purpose flour but any type can be used. Bleached flour, gluten-free flour, just whatever you prefer or whatever you have in your kitchen. I would avoid whole wheat flour as that makes baked goods very dense and dry.
HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE BROWNIES
Everything gets mixed up into one bowl and no hand mixer or KitchenAid is needed. It’s very important to follow the recipe steps. I know it’s way easier to just mix all the wet stuff together and then add the dry ingredients, but it’s written the way it is for a reason.
- Stir together the melted butter and granulated sugar. This step is important because the key to a perfect brownie is to combine the sugar and the eggs separately. So make sure you really combine the sugar and butter well.
- Add in 4 eggs, one at a time, stirring the egg in completely before adding the next egg. This is so important. Each egg needs to be fully incorporated into the batter before adding the next. It provides volume to the brownie batter and makes perfect brownies each time. If you love chewy, soft cake-like, and fudgey brownies then the secret is in the eggs.
- Add the vanilla extract and unsweetened cocoa powder and mix well. Add the flour in and use a spatula to gently stir it into the batter just until everything is combined and no flour pocket/streaks remain in the batter.
- Pour the batter into the pan and spread out evenly. It is a thick batter so I recommend dropping large spoonful’s (I use a large cookie scoop to do this) all over the baking dish and then spreading it out. This makes it easier to spread a thick batter rather than one large pile of batter in the middle of the pan.
- You can top the brownie batter (BEFORE baking) with sprinkles, chocolate chips, peanut butter, chips, dark chocolate chips, mini m&m’s. We always end up topping ours with chocolate sprinkles or mini m&m’s.
EASY DESSERT RECIPE
Homemade Brownies are one of the easiest dessert recipes because they can easily be dressed up and served to guests or a fun ‘make-it-yourself’ brownie sundae bar at home.
When I make dessert for my family, 9 out of 10 times, it’s this easy dessert recipe that includes homemade brownies + ice cream sundae bar at home.
Make the brownie recipe and then cut it into squares. Set out lots of different ice cream sundae bar toppings.
- Magic Shell Ice Cream Topping
- Hot Fudge Sauce
- Strawberry Sauce
- Nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts, etc)
- Chocolate Chips and/or other small candies
- Ice Cream – We love using chocolate chip ice cream or vanilla. Chocolate ice cream is good, cookies & cream ice cream is great too. Use whatever you want!
Then everyone takes a piece of brownie, tops it with a scoop of ice cream, and then all the toppings 🙂
TRY THESE OTHER BROWNIE RECIPES
- Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Kisses Brownies – Together as Family
- Peanut Butter Cup Brownies – I Dig Pinterest
- Sno Ball Brownies – South Your Mouth
Homemade Brownies made with cocoa powder instead of expensive chocolate which makes these brownies budget friendly! Thick, chewy, chocolatey and the perfect easy dessert served with a scoop of ice cream, hot fudge sauce, and sprinkles. You only need one bowl to whip up delicious homemade brownies.
- 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, melted
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
Heat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9x13 baking pan and spray with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper or tin foil (spray the tin foil or parchment paper lightly if using).
Add melted butter and granulated sugar into a large mixing bowl. Stir with a wire whisk until the sugar is combined with the melted butter. It will look thick and lighter in color.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing the egg into the batter well before adding the next egg. You want the batter to look puffy and pale in color after each egg addition.
Add vanilla extract and unsweetened cocoa powder and stir well to combine. Add the flour in, and use a spatula to gently stir the flour into the batter just until no flour pockets or streaks remain in the batter.
Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan and spread out evenly. It helps if you drop large spoonful's of batter all over the baking dish and then spread it out. The batter is thick and that's how it's supposed to be.
Cook for 25-35 minutes. All oven cook at different temps so set the timer for 25 minutes and watch it from there. The middle should look done (not wet and shiny) and the brownies should look puffy in the pan. Pull them out and let them cool on a cooling rack (while still in the pan) for about 20 minutes. Cut into squares and serve!
Before putting the brownies in the oven you can sprinkle the brownie batter with sprinkles, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, dark chocolate chips, candy bar chunks, or mini m&m's. We love to use the chocolate sprinkles or mini m&m's when we make these.
It's best to not overcook these! The #1 tip is to make sure the brownies are not shiny or wet looking in the middle. If wanted you can insert a toothpick and make sure it doe snot come out with wet batter. The brownies will cook slightly more as they cool in the pan on the cooling rack.
To easily melt butter, place the unwrapped butter sticks into a microwave-safe bowl and cook for 1 minute. Stir together with a fork until it's all melted and combined. If needed, cook for an additional 30 seconds.
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