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.
I've always *thought* that I preferred the boxed brownies until I tried this easy & simple recipe for homemade brownies I am sharing with you today. I also want to share my family's favorite recipe for an easy dessert using the brownies! Whenever my kids want dessert it usually involves brownies topped with ice cream, hot fudge, and sprinkles.
I prefer brownie recipes that use cocoa powder because it's much cheaper than those expensive squares of baking chocolate. I love this recipe because it uses cocoa powder, it's only one bowl, and no mixer needed!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED TO MAKE THE BEST HOMEMADE BROWNIES
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, semi fudgy 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 fudgy 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 IDEA FOR HOMEMADE BROWNIES
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
- Peanut Butter Cup Brownies
- Sno Ball Brownies
- Cookies & Cream Oreo Brownies
- Andes Mint Cookie Brownies
- Easy Chocolate Chip Brownies
- Monster Cookie Brownies
- Candy Bar 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 be 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.
- ** If wanted, sprinkle some m&m's (I love using mini m&m's), sprinkles, chocolate chips, or peanut butter chips on the top of the batter before baking.
- 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!
Yum! Brownies are something I don't make from scratch much. I don't know why, because I love them! I need to try this recipe!
Together As Family
I know! I always grew up on the boxed brownies, but these changed me 🙂
Thank you for the nice recipe.
Together As Family
You are very welcome Liz. I hope you get a chance to make them. I love reading your comments, thanks so much 🙂
For the brownies , is the flour plain or self rising?
Together As Family
It's plain old regular all-purpose flour 🙂
It is so easy to do and I really like it. My family will love it too. It is so interesting and amazing, Thank you for your sharing. I will try it
I seldom leave reviews. I came across this recipe after googling “easy recipes to bake”. I have a carry In tomorrow, and just needed something that I could bake with the staples I had on hand. I always have problems with brownies setting up and ending up “cake-like”. I have never used a recipe from scratch and always relied on box mixes. Never again! This recipe was absolutely delicious! So rich and flavorful, and the brownies were set up and chewy! I baked them on parchment paper which allowed for easy clean up. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe! I was able to cut a strip and gave a few bites to my family and they all loved it!
Together As Family
This literally made my day! I am so glad you gave these brownies a try. My kids love these brownies with mini m&m's sprinkled on top, so I make them way too often around here 🙂 Thanks for being here and leaving your review.
I made this recipe and I'm not too thrilled with the results. I ended up sprinkling chocolate chips on top and baking an additional 10 mins. I'd recommend adding additional cooca powder to the recipe and cooking an additional 10-15 mins from the stated time.
Together As Family
So sorry to hear. They’re definitely not a gooey, wet brownie so the idea of chocolate chips on top sounds great.
Absolutely love this recipe. I did the half recipe in an 8 x 8. I added walnuts and dark chocolate chips on the top. Amazing! Thank you!
Tried your recipe today complete with mini m&m’s. Tastes great and so much better than store bought. Thanks!
Perfect. My husband has a sweet tooth,but not too sweet. fast and easy. Thank you
Together As Family
So glad to hear this! I just made a batch of these too and let my kids go crazy with the sprinkles on the brownie batter before baking 🙂 It's one of their favorite treats!
This recipe is so good! It's the right amount of chewy and tenderness. My new favorite brownie recipe!
I made these brownies for a dinner with family / friends. They turned out great! I was skeptical about the amount of sugar, but it actually turned out to be the perfect amount of sweetness with the proportion of flour that is needed as well (definitely not too sweet)! I would love to try to add a couple of tsps of instant coffee or something to mix it up. Hopefully that works out, lol. Thanks for the recipe!
These are amazing! Already a family favorite.
Very delicious! I would definitely make these again! 🙂
I love this brownie recipe it's easy to make and delicious. I don't normally bake in fact it's been years since I've made anything from scratch. I'll be make this again!
Nailed It!! Thank you for this recipe. My spouse has been showing me up in the baking arena Lately and these were the perfect contender, simple, moist and delicious. I added Walnuts and baked for a total of 35 minutes. Finished product was a success! Will keep this recipe on hand and play with added delights in the future (Chocolate, M&Ms, dried fruit, etc)