How to make Brownies from Scratch

Dense, decadent and rich brownies go perfectly with an ice cold glass of milk! Whip up these easy and delicious From-Scratch Brownies for your friends and family. No one can say no to a homemade brownie! 

Brownies stacked on top of each other on a plate with nuts

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2023 Update: This recipe was originally shared in March 2013. I have simplified this recipe. It also now includes measurements by weight. The post has been updated to include new photos, as well as more tips and tricks. I hope you love them!

Easy Homemade Brownie Recipe 

Brownies were the go-to baked good of my childhood, and as an adult, I took a serious step back from them because I’d had enough. Or so I thought.

Surprisingly, I’ve been craving brownies lately. They sounded good to me, someone who wasn’t interested in brownies anymore. I do love my Guinness Brownies, but only, like, once a year!

Recently it seemed appropriate to whip up some sort of baked treat for visiting family (since that’s kind of my thing).

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    I was slightly nervous about making brownies again, but I got more excited after they came out of the oven smelling divine.

    Everyone loved them, but more importantly — I even liked them! Which is saying something, especially since I clearly believed I had brownie fatigue.

    And it’s safe to say I’m hooked again. They’re pretty much my all-time favorite brownies now.

    This is a solid brownie recipe that has both walnuts and chocolate chips. Both are optional, but they add some serious flavor.

    They are RICH and dense and wonderful! Everyone in our household loves these from-scratch brownies — even me. And as you know, I’m not a huge brownie lover, so this is a big endorsement.

    Why I love this recipe:

    This recipe might just be your new favorite brownie recipe for a few reasons: 

    • Like chocolate chip cookies, it’s always a good idea to have a great brownie recipe in your back pocket. 
    • These are pretty fudgy brownies. Very dense and so, so chocolatey! (If you like cakey brownies, I have tips for you below!) 
    • You can customize this recipe in so many ways. Candy, frosting, mix-ins are always a great idea when it comes to brownies. 
    • No boxed mix required!

    I have been bringing these delicious brownies along with us for all kinds of house parties and get-togethers. Every time we visit my cousins, I bring them because my cousin-in-law said these were his all-time favorite brownies.

    Brownies are delicious all year long. You can make them for bake sales or just make them for yourself.

    In the spring and summer, they’re great for bringing to cookouts or any kind of gathering. In the winter, you can add them to holiday treat boxes or a hot chocolate board

    Want to try more brownie recipes?

    Some of our family favorite brownies include Dr Pepper Chocolate Cherry Brownies, Chocolate Chip Brownies with Bourbon and Pecans and Skillet Brownie with Oreos. These Olive Oil Brownies also sound unique and so tasty, as do these Zucchini Brownies!

    Ingredients to make brownies in bowls on a pink terrazzo countertop

    What you need to make this recipe:

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    Let’s talk ingredients!

    In addition to the tools above, you’re going to need some ingredients to make this recipe, too! Chances are, you might already have some of them in your fridge or pantry. Scroll down to the recipe card for the full measurements and instructions.

    Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy brownie recipe:

    • Chocolate — since we add plenty of sugar to this recipe, I recommend using bittersweet chocolate. You could also use a combination of two kinds of dark chocolate, an 85% dark chocolate and a 62% bittersweet chocolate. 
    • Unsalted butter — salted butter can work, but you may need to tone down the added salt. 
    • Unflavored oil — any neutral tasting oil works, like olive oil, canola oil, avocado oil or vegetable oil.
    • Granulated sugar — granulated sugar is regular white sugar. Don’t use brown sugar. 
    • Eggs — use your favorite kind of eggs. We like cage-free ones from the farmers market. 
    • Vanilla extract — a high-quality vanilla extract will pay off in spades. You can also use an equal amount of vanilla paste.
    • Salt — kosher salt is my go-to.
    • All-purpose flour — we like to use unbleached AP flour in our household, but the regular kind works, too.
    • Chopped walnuts — walnuts can be purchased already chopped or you can chop them yourself. Think small, crunchy pieces. 
    • Semisweet chocolate chips — chocolate chips are stirred in at the end to create melt-in-your-mouth pockets of chocolate throughout the brownies. You could also use milk chocolate chips or white chocolate chips, if desired.

    Customizations and substitutions

    Gluten-free brownies: I have not tried this with a gluten-free flour blend, but in theory you should be able to replace them with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend such as Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour. (Comment below if you try it!) 

    Switch up the chocolate: You can use a combination of 85% dark chocolate and 62% bittersweet chocolate in this brownie recipe. (I recommend using 3 oz. of the 85% and then 7 oz. of the bittersweet for balance.)

    Candy brownies: Top them with chocolate chips, M&M’s, peanut butter cups or your favorite chocolate candy before baking. 

    Mint chocolate brownies: Add 1 teaspoon of peppermint extract to the batter. Top it with mint chocolate chips or mint chocolate candies. 

    Fruit brownies: add fresh fruit, like raspberries, blueberries or blackberries, to make a berry brownie. These Raspberry Brownies sound fabulous.

    Peanut butter brownies: Stir a heaping tablespoon of melted creamy or crunchy peanut butter to the batter. Top with peanut butter chips before baking or a layer of Peanut Butter Frosting

    Frosted brownies: Top the brownies with your favorite frosting and some sprinkles or chopped candy. Here are a few favorites: 

    How to make brownies from scratch

    Let’s take these brownies step by step. 

    First, preheat your oven to 350°F.

    Next you’ll want to prepare a pan. Spray a square, 9×9-inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray. Line with parchment paper. Set aside.

    If you want to use a 9×13-inch pan, you will have slightly thinner brownies. You should subtract a few minutes from the bake time and keep an eye on them. 

    Melt the chopped chocolate, butter and oil together. You can do this in the microwave, heating in 10 second intervals and stirring in between until everything is melted OR you can melt these ingredients together using a double boiler.

    Stir vigorously until combined, then let the chocolate mixture cool for 10 minutes. 

    Add the sugar to the chocolate mixture. Mix vigorously with a whisk or an electric mixture.

    Note: Mixing all the wet ingredients REALLY WELL is important.

    Beat in the eggs well, then stir in the vanilla extract, mixing until incorporated. 

    Want a crackly top on your brownies? It’s all about how the ingredients are combined. The wet ingredients (specifically, the sugar and egg) need to be beaten REALLY well into the chocolate mixture so that everything sets up.

    Next you’ll measure in the dry ingredients (the flour and salt) and stir until just combined. Don’t do any more than that or you will risk over-mixing. 

    Finally, gently fold in the walnuts and chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

    Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan, and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through. (If you’re a fan of gooey brownies, check this around the 25-minute point.)

    Let cool slightly on a wire rack, then slice into 9 or 12 brownies, or even smaller pieces if you prefer. 

    Enjoy with a glass of milk while the brownies are warm!

    Cakey brownies vs. fudgy brownies

    This recipe is for a very fudgy brownie. It’s dense, moist and rich — full of chocolate flavor. When you insert a toothpick into them, it should come out with a light layer of chocolate batter on it. 

    For gooey brownies, check the timer around 25 minutes. 

    If you prefer a cakey brownie, I suggest adding 2-3 minutes to the bake time. When you insert a cake tester into the batter, it should come out totally clean for cake-like brownies. 

    How to store & freeze 

    Brownies can be stored in a food-safe, airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days and for a week in the refrigerator. 

    If you’d like to freeze them for later, wrap individual brownies in plastic wrap then place them in a freezer-safe zip top bag in the freezer.

    You can thaw them on the counter for about 30 minutes, then rewarm them in the microwave. 

    What to do with leftover brownies 

    If you have leftover brownies, who even are you?! Just kidding, I have lots of ideas for using up leftover brownies if you are brownied-out. (And I get it. I really do.)

    You could break them up and mix them into homemade ice cream. We love this Guinness Brownie Ice Cream.

    Another idea is to put them underneath scoops of ice cream for the ultimate ice cream sundae. Don’t forget the hot fudge sauce and sprinkles! 

    We also like to make brownie pops, which are made with crumbled brownies for the “cake.” These Red Velvet Brownie Pops are always a hit. 

    And, you could always freeze them for later. (Scroll up just a little bit for my tips.) You could always make ice cream sandwiches with them!

    A sliced brownie leans against others in a pan after slicing

    Erin’s Easy Entertaining Tips

    This is the best brownie recipe for sharing!

    Here’s how I recommend entertaining with the best brownies:

    • Cut them into smaller pieces for a bigger party. Think five rows of five for 25 brownies, or six rows of six for 36 brownies. And you could always make two batches!
    • Plan a Chocolate and Wine Tasting Party with lots of chocolatey treats and your favorite wines.
    • Add brownies to a treat box or wrap them individually and tie them with ribbon for a cute favor. 
    Sliced brownies on a rectangular plate with glasses of milk and a cream-colored linen

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What makes brownies fudgy vs cakey?

    Brownies will be more fudgy or cakey depending on the fat to flour ratio. Less bake time can also result in a gooier brownie.

    Are homemade brownies better than box?

    Homemade treats are almost always better than boxed ones since they contain real ingredients, not ones with preservatives that are designed to be shelf-stable. 

    What are the three types of brownies?

    Brownie recipes can vary in texture, and there are three main types: chewy, fudgy and cakey. There’s also gooey brownies, which are just slightly underbaked brownies. 

    One brownie with a bite taken out of it sits on top of another brownie on a plate

    Quick tips and tricks to making the best homemade brownies

    • A crinkly top on your brownies comes from how the ingredients are combined. The wet ingredients (specifically, the sugar and egg) need to be beaten REALLY well into the chocolate mixture so that everything sets up.
    • Melt the chocolate slowly in the microwave or in a double boiler. Burnt chocolate is not salvageable. 
    • Use very dark chocolate bars for the melted chocolate. The sugar and semisweet chocolate chips added will give lots of sweetness, whereas the melted chocolate bars will bring richness. 

    More recipes for chocolate lovers:

    Looking for breakfast? My entire family is obsessed with Chocolate Chip Muffins and Nutella Pancakes. (Rightfully so!)

    Want a dessert? These Chocolate Butter Mochi are like intensely chocolatey brownies… but with mochi texture. We also love Chocolate Cheesecake Dip and Strawberry Chocolate Cake.

    Just want to bake this recipe? Scroll on down to learn my best brownies…

    Brownies stacked on top of each other on a plate with nuts

    The Best Homemade Brownies

    Erin Parker, The Speckled Palate
    Dense, decadent and rich brownies go perfectly with an ice cold glass of milk! Whip up these easy and delicious Classic Chocolate Brownies for your friends and family today!
    4.63 from 8 votes
    Servings 12 brownie squares
    Calories 386 kcal
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 25 minutes
    Total Time 45 minutes


    • 10 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate
    • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into cubes (56.5g)
    • 2 tablespoons unflavored oil 30g
    • ¾ cup granulated sugar 180g
    • 3 eggs
    • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract 8g
    • ½ teaspoon salt 4g
    • ¾ cup all-purpose flour 90g
    • ¾ cup chopped walnuts 95g
    • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips 90g

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    • Preheat oven to 350°F.
    • Spray a 9”x9” square baking pan with nonstick baking spray. Line with parchment paper. Set aside.
    • Melt the chopped chocolate, butter and oil. Stir vigorously. (You can do this in the microwave, heating in 10 second intervals and stirring until everything is melted OR you can melt these ingredients together using a double boiler.)
    • Let the chocolate mixture cool for 10 minutes.
    • Add the sugar to the chocolate mixture. Mix vigorously with a whisk or a hand mixer. (Note: Mixing all the wet ingredients REALLY WELL is important.)
    • Add the eggs and vanilla extract, mixing until incorporated. 
    • Measure in the flour and salt, stirring until just combined.
    • Finally, mix in the walnuts and chocolate chips. Stir until evenly distributed. 
    • Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 25-28 minutes or until cooked through. (If you're a fan of gooey brownies, check this around the 22-minute point.)
    • Enjoy with a glass of milk while the brownies are warm!


    Recipe is adapted from Lindt Chocolate Passion


    Serving: 1 brownieCalories: 386kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 7gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 113mgFiber: 5gSugar: 17g
    Keyword baking recipe, bar dessert, brownie, brownie dessert, brownie recipe, brownies, chocolate, chocolate dessert, chocolate recipe, dessert, dessert bars, dessert recipe, easy dessert, easy dessert recipe, easy desserts, fudgy brownies, gooey brownies, guinness brownies
    Course Desserts & Sweet Treats
    Cuisine American
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
    A woman with dark curly hair wearing a black tank top in front of a white wall

    About the Author:

    Erin Parker is a Southern gal living in Texas with her husband and two daughters. She started The Speckled Palate to share what she was cooking as a newlywed… and over the years, it’s evolved to capture her love for hosting. Specifically, the EASIEST, lowest key entertaining because everyone deserves to see their people and connect over good food. Learn more about her

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      1. Thanks, Kelly! They’re really, REALLY delicious, and even if you aren’t a chocolate person, I don’t think a small one of these would hurt you since you aren’t normally a huge chocolate fan. 😉 And I feel you. They really are whole-pan-eating worthy.

    1. Oh yes… these brownies sound incredible! Anything with Lindt –> superb. I can’t say I will ever have brownie fatigue but I did have Fillet O Fish fatigue. That was the only burger I’d have as a kid. Only recently did I try it again. Oh, and durian fatigue. haha.. I had a bit to much once when I was young and now, it’s just meh. I can have one or two seeds and that’s about enough for me.

      1. They really are delightful, Jayne. And that’s too funny that you had Filet-O-Fish fatigue. Those were my FAVORITE as a kid, and I sometimes still have a hankering for one, as strange as that is since I generally stay away from fast food all together. 😉 And I’m gonna have to look up a durian because I’ve never tried one!

        Glad I’m not the only one who has suffered some kind of food fatigue.

    2. This looks like a magical chocolate brownie that I need to make ASAP! I need these brownies in my life so I am totally picking up Lindt bars this weekend so I can make em!

      1. I know I’m a little behind in commenting, so did you make these lovely little treats last weekend? If so, what’d you think?!

    3. Erin, Erin, Erin !
      As your mother and originator of the “go-to baked good of your childhood”, I love this new recipe. Remember that the “go- to” had many versions (fudge pie, best brownies, peanut butter topped brownies, blah,blah,blah)and this new recipe is one more version. Gotta love chocolate! xo, mom

      1. Yes, that is very, very true. And it’s also true that I will sometimes throw peanut butter into these brownies because I love that combination from childhood. And the love of chocolate comes from you, so I’m glad we share this. XO!

      1. Sorry about that, Kathleen! Good catch! You’ll add the applesauce to the chocolate mixture when it’s melting. I’ve updated the recipe to capture this. Happy baking!

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