The Best Brownies

** Recipe and post revised January 31, 2015. I was pretty new to blogging when this post hit it big and let’s face it… No one is perfect. Hopefully these edits will appease my critics. >insert wink face here<**

Let’s face it… Sometimes girls just needs chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate.

My go-to craving cure would have to be brownies. They are just a denser version of chocolate cake, and the only boxed mix baked good I have ever loved. But last week I wanted to try out a few homemade versions and find the best one for a late night sweet fix.

These brownies are going in the record book for the most moist and flavorful brownies I have ever made! Dax is a big fan of the boxed brownie (I don’t know who raised this kid), but even he gave them two thumbs up. I know it isn’t hard to please a four year old, but I like to think that mine has a sophisticated palate!


The Best Brownies


  • 1/3 cup Dutch cocoa
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 -1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 -3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoons salt


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13 pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper. Set the prepared pan aside for later use.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Combine your cocoa and hot water in a large bowl. Whisk until incorporated. Stir in the unsweetened chocolate until melted and smooth.
  4. Add the oil, butter, eggs, yolks and vanilla. Once the batter is smooth fold in the dry ingredients. Gently stir until just combined.
  5. Spread your batter into your prepared pan. Smooth out with the back of a spoon. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook


TIPS for perfect brownies:

1. For a crispy top try dividing the whole eggs. Add the egg yolks where the eggs are called for in the recipe. Whip the whites and fold into the batter before pouring into the pan.

2. Use room temperature eggs.

3. Use parchment paper in your pan. This helps with easy clean up and also prevents them from sticking to the pan.

4. Keep a watchful eye on the bars. You want to catch them at just the right time. They might not look completely cooked, but that is the secret to a perfectly gooey brownie.


If you want to get a little wild you could even throw in some extra chocolate chips or candy!

I’ve been slacking a bit on posts lately. Hopefully now that summer is here I can get caught up and provide you all with some great content. So stick around!

**It has come to my attention that some people have felt the need to leave negative or nasty comments about this recipe and it’s instructions. I have read over the recipe multiple times and want to clarify a few things… There is NO baking powder or soda in this recipe. It is not a typo. If you added either of those ingredients and were disappointed in the recipe it is user error. You add the sugar into the flour mixture. If you want a crispy top to your brownies you should whip your egg whites and fold them into the batter. This is NOT required. It is just a visual preference and a suggestion I gave to a reader. From this point on unnecessary comments will be deleted. **


      • Gena says

        Unfortunately, I did not read the comments before making the brownies. I used 2 egg yolks and 2 whites, I did not fluff them or know to do so. Personally I think you should add that into the recipe instead of at the bottom or in the comments. I hope they turn out okay….

        • Jesseca says

          If you followed the recipe they should turn out just fine. I’m sorry that you didn’t read the entire post before attempting the recipe. I did adjust to post a bit to reflect the changes in a more prominent area.

          • Jesseca says

            Gena, I just sent you an email with a more detailed apology but wanted to let you know that I am truly sorry that my comment came off as condescending. It was never my intention. I hope the recipe turned out and that future readers will be better informed thanks to the changes I made due to your suggestion.

  1. says

    These look delicious! I am always looking for a new recipe to try and what’s better than brownies? Just pinned this one and will try it asap. Thanks for sharing!!

    • Jason says

      But but but….how can you “add the sugar when you add the eggs and vanilla” in step 3 when step 4 says “combine flour, sugar, et al.?????
      Can’t say I’ve ever combined sugar and flour in baking so I’ll go with adding it at step 3.
      Also, if whipping the eggs is what makes this recipe special, maybe that instruction should have been included, not as a sidebar in comments.
      Recipe could use some editing.

  2. says

    Hi there,
    Sorry the measurements are a bot different here where you have a T is that teaspoon or tablespoon?
    I am looking for a fairly cheap brownie version as I have to make a lot but all the ones I have tried that just use cocoa turn out like chocolate cake. Do you have any budget friendly brownie recipies that actually turn out like brownies?

    • Jesseca says

      I will go into the recipe and change that in the next few days… the “T” is tablespoons and “t” is teaspoon.

  3. Cassie Roskom says

    If you’re using this in a stoneware baking dish should the temp or time be changed at all? Or just keep an eye on it? Looks delicious! :-) excited to try it!

    • Jesseca says

      I would just keep an eye in it. I’ve never had to adjust the temperature before, but I don’t use stoneware often.

  4. Wendy Sample says

    I have just mixed up these fabulous looking brownies and noticed that they did not have any baking powder in the ingredients list. Do they not need a leavened. I added a teaspoon just in case it was a mistake or an omission . Please respond. Thanks!

  5. Rae says

    These turned out to be amazing! After trying out so many recipes for brownies, i think i finally found the one!
    I made them yesterday and my family loved them. Thank you =)

  6. chrryb says

    Does it have to be dutch cocoa powder? Some of my family have problems with what is in cocoa powder, so we use an all natural one from sprouts.

    • Jesseca says

      I just happen to be a fan of Dutch, but you can certainly substitute other types of cocoa. Let me know how they turn out!

  7. Amy K says

    The directions could really use some tweaking. I consider myself pretty good in the baking department but the incomplete instructions messed these up twice. First, we turned down the heat instead of took it off the heat and burned the chocolate. So we had to start over. Then I was putting them in the pan and realized the instructions never say when to put the sugar in so we had to mix in the sugar at the last minute which left the consistency a little grainy. They are still tasty but I think some more complete instructions would make it a lot easier to try to make these again.

    • Jesseca says

      Sorry you had such a rough time with the directions. I went ahead and adjusted them to keep people from having trouble in the future. Sometimes I get ahead of myself when I write. Thanks for your feedback!

    • Jesseca says

      I suggest sticking pretty close to the actual recipe. Unsweetened chocolate is a vital part of the mix.

  8. Kimberly Woolridge says

    Does the sugar go in with the dry or wet ingredient . I’m confused from the reviews. Thank you,

  9. adityaa says

    Hey.!! I hv a it lyk 1/2 cup n 2 teaspoons of water..!!?? Or is it 2 tablespoons?
    Would be glad if u could help me.

  10. Yan says

    I tried this recipe but with black onyx cocoa powder! I’m wondering if it’s the same as what you used because my brownie came out not brown like yours but as black as night.

    And you mentioned in one of your replies
    “Thanks for catching that! Add the sugar when you add the eggs and vanilla.”

    But your recipe says
    “Combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a small bowl. ”

    So I’m curious to know which is correct since both would have different effects in the recipe.
    Hope you could enlighten me!

  11. Katie says

    Made these tonight after our Sunday dinner. Everyone loved them! I used your tip to whip the egg whites and our tops turned out perfect! I will be adding this to my recipe book to make over and over.

  12. Walter says

    Hey! I love brownies and I think I might try this out on the weekend. Just to be clear when you 3×9 pan, that’s inches right?

    You got a new reader from Brazil!

  13. shienshien says

    Hi Jess, this looks amazing, I want to try. But I have some questions:
    1. What do you mean by the dash symbol ( – ), in the “2 -1/2 cups of sugar” and “1 -3/4 cups of flour”? I’m sorry if this is a stupid question but I’m not American so I’m not familiar with US metrics.
    2. You said that we should add eggs into the mixture of cocoa and chocolate in the boiling water. Should we wait until the temperature of the choco mixture quite normal before adding the eggs? I’m afraid the eggs will be cooked when I add them while the mixture still warm.

    Please help me. Thanks Jess.


    • Jesseca says

      The dash symbol is basically an “and”. So two and a half cups of sugar.

      You can wait for the water to cool, but I whisk it enough beforehand that it isn’t warm enough to cook the eggs.

  14. Vickie says

    Hi Jess,

    Questions about getting the crispy brownie tops. You mentioned whipping the egg whites. Are those egg whites separated from the egg yolks that are in recipe itself? Also, did you whip them to soft or stiff peaks? Thanks!!

    • Jesseca says

      I just separate the 2 full eggs that are called for in the recipe. So mix in 4 yolks into the recipe and fold in the whites after you have beaten them into stiff peaks.

  15. Nevada White says

    So when it says “gently add” I’m step 4 I’m guessing the only thing you use an electric mixer in is whipping the egg whites? And you mix the rest by hand? So going to make these right after a shower and trip to the store of a couple ingredients. :)

  16. Ali says

    Jessica great recipe! I am a pastry chef and I think they are superb. I gotta say you have the patience
    Of a saint with some of these questions on here haha :)

  17. Pearl says

    Hello! I tried this today and it was mostly succesful haha. I was just wondering, if I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil will it be okay?

    And using less sugar will work too right?

    Thanks! :)

    • Anthony says

      I once made brownies with extra virgin olive oil. I ended up with olivey brownies. -_- So if you must use olive oil, I would use the light stuff.

  18. rayna says

    i love the way this recipe sounds, but i really don’t like separating my eggs. will it turn out right if i just use two or three whole eggs?

  19. Cheryl says

    Just made these today and they are soooo yummy!!! I whipped the egg whites and folded into the batter, like you said for a crispy top, but it didn’t come out as crispy as yours look in the picture… Any suggestions??

  20. Delea says

    so would I fold in the egg whites at step four? The recipe looks beautiful – sorry if this makes me seem like a dunce! :P

  21. Penny says

    I’m teaching my daughter to cook a bunch of different things and this week’s edition is your brownies. I’m VERY pleased with the outcome! My only suggestion, if your household is like mine, is to cut back on the sugar. The batter is VERY sweet based on the fact that we do not do “added” sugar and have cut back quite a bit on products with sugar. So to us, it’s a bit much. That’s not a criticism, just a bit of advice for the “lesser” sugar households. They just came out of the oven so we haven’t cut into them yet, but they look fabulous! Thanks for the recipe!

  22. Muni says

    Best brownies ever! I used dark chocolate chunks which gave it a really rich flavor. Made these twice this week and they’re sinful. Thank you.

  23. modman says

    looks delicious! if we only have semi-sweet chocolate would suggest backing off on the sugar a bit? and if so how much?

  24. Yaz says

    about the egg white for crispy top, do i have to incorporate it in the batter before spreading in the pan or i would just spread it on top of the batter in the pan? Thanks. This recipe looks very yummy and i would like to try this since i’m new 2 baking.

  25. Samantha says

    Your recipe title says it all – these are the BEST Brownies. Period. I have made these a number of times over the past year and never had an issue with the recipe. I also haven’t had to whip the egg whites to get a crispy top so I’m curious how it would turn out if I did that step. I can’t decide if these are better in their pure form, or with dried cherries, dark chocolate and pecans added. Both are ah-MAZ-ing! Thank you for this post

  26. Janet says

    I just used your recipe to t ach a 16 year old boy how to make brownies. And english is his second language, and they have a different measurement system here. They still turned out super!

  27. Kayleigh says

    I made these brownies yesterday to take to family dinner tonight! Can I just say that these are the most delicious brownies I have ever made. I’ve made from scratch brownies before that couldn’t even hold candle to these. My husband and I were eating them right from the pan. My 3 year old daughter has been enjoying them as well. I can’t wait to share them with the rest of my family this evening. I am an avid Baker and always arrive with something sweet, but these brownies are going to blow their minds! Thank you for this recipe!

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