This is the best Chewy Brownie recipe with gooey, chewy inside and crispy outside brownies that have rich chocolate flavor. They’re even better than brownies from a box mix!
I recently happened on the best-ever homemade chewy brownies recipe completely by chance.
I wasn’t in the mood for dessert at the time. Surprisingly I didn’t have visions of chocolate beckoning to me, and I certainly didn’t think I needed a new brownie recipe. (Especially since the last brownie recipe I shared with you is not only a bit healthier than most, but still completely satisfying.)
I had about 20 minutes of extra time to kill and two bookcases full of cookbooks with which to waste time. I had been working on writing an article all day, so in need of a diversion from work, I turned to The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2011, a cookbook I’ve only peeked into maybe once or twice before.
As I flipped through the recipes, I stopped at the Easy Cheesy Quiche for Two to ogle it for a moment, then lingered a bit in the seafood chapter (boy do their Maryland Crab Cakes sound divine), and finally flipped to the back of the book. Of course, as any cookbook connoisseur knows, the desserts are lurking back there. I really wasn’t planning to make anything, just doing a little window shopping.
Let me just say, window shopping of any kind is a dangerous practice.
The Inspiration for the Best Chewy Brownies Recipe
I started reading the intro to America’s Test Kitchen’s Chewy Brownies recipe. The cookbook mentions how it was a “dicey admission” (and yes, I love that phrase too) to admit to loving box-mix brownies. Who can’t relate to that though, right?!
Brownies from a mix are always perfectly textured: chewy inside, slightly crisp on the edges, with that gorgeously crackled top. Oh yes, I could relate, and very well, thank-you-very-much.
And even though I wasn’t planning to make brownies, suddenly that’s all I could think about.
Of course I made my version of them the first chance I got.
What Makes Brownies Chewy?
Interestingly enough, the author of that cookbook says that the key to perfect chewy brownies is all about the fat. More specifically, the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fat.
Here are the ratios they give:
- Box Formula (chewy): 28% saturated fat; 72% unsaturated fat
- Classic Formula (tender, not chewy): 64% saturated fat; 36% unsaturated fat
- This Recipe (chewy): 29% saturated fat; 71% unsaturated fat
That’s why we use a combination of butter and oil in this brownie recipe.
I never would have thought that the key to the perfectly-textured brownies lies in its fat ratio, but there you have it.
This recipe for Chewy Brownies is my version, based on that recipe. And it’s everything a chewy brownie should be, this side of a box mix! Plus, this recipe comes together quickly and easily in a single bowl.
The Best Chewy Brownies Recipe
These cocoa powder brownies are rich, dense, and gooey with the perfect chewy factor inside and crispness outside. They have a deep chocolate flavor that’s enhanced with espresso powder and vanilla. And they’re sweet, but not too sweet! Also, you can add your favorite nuts for a little crunch.
If you’re a fan of the boxed variety, this recipe will be your new best friend. And you may never buy a pre-made brownie mix again!
- Unsweetened cocoa powder (natural, not Dutch-processed)
- Instant espresso powder
- Boiling water
- Unsweetened chocolate
- Unsalted butter
- Canola oil
- Egg yolks
- Vanilla extract
- Granulated sugar
- All-purpose flour
- Baking soda
- Walnuts (optional)
How to Make Homemade Brownies
- In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, espresso, and boiling water. Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until melted. Whisk in the butter and oil, and then cool until lukewarm. At this point, the batter will look separated and like something has gone horribly wrong! Don’t worry, keep going…
- Whisk in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla until smooth. Ahhh, that’s starting to look better.
- Whisk in the sugar. Oddly enough, whisking in the sugar makes the batter thin out.
- Stir or whisk in the flour, salt, and baking soda until just combined.
- If using, stir in the nuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared dish. Bake until a toothpick inserted inside comes out moist with a couple crumbs, about 30 to 40 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake! Cool completely before cutting (they will be gooey if they’re hot!).
How Long do Brownies Last?
Once the brownies are completely cool, wrap them well with plastic wrap.
Store them well-wrapped at room temperature for up to 5 days, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
More Delicious Brownies Recipes to Try
- Fudgy Sweet Potato Brownies
- Loaded Kit Kat Peanut Butter Brownies
- Fudgy Double Chocolate Brownies
- Turtle Brownies
The BEST Chewy Brownies Recipe
- Coconut oil spray
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder natural, not Dutch-processed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
- 10 tablespoons boiling water 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 10 tablespoons canola oil or other light-colored neutral-flavored oil (1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/16 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup walnuts chopped (or pecans)
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with a piece of parchment paper so that it hangs over 2 sides (so you can lift out the brownies later). Spray the inside with cooking spray.
- Whisk together the cocoa powder, espresso, and boiling water in a large bowl.
- Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until melted. Whisk in the butter and oil, and then cool until lukewarm.
- Whisk in the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in the sugar.
- Stir in the flour, salt, and baking soda until just combined. Stir in the nuts if using.
- Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake until a toothpick inserted inside comes out moist with a couple crumbs, about 30 to 40 minutes. Be careful not to over-bake.
- Cool completely before cutting (they will be gooey if they're hot!).
- Inspiration: Recipe adapted from the recipe for Chewy Brownies in The Best of America’s Test Kitchen 2011, Boston Common Press (2010).
- What Type of Cocoa Powder to Use: If you only have Dutch-processed cocoa powder on hand, you can use that instead, but omit the baking soda.
- What Type of Oil to Use: I’ve also tried this recipe with vegetable oil and avocado oil (instead of canola oil), and they both work fine.
- Storage: Once the brownies are completely cool, wrap them well with plastic wrap. Store them well-wrapped at room temperature for up to 5 days, in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for up to 6 months.
- If You Don’t Have Unsweetened Chocolate On Hand: You can substitute with 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder + 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil per 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate.
This post was first published on An Edible Mosaic on June 26, 2013. I updated it with more information and new photos on October 31, 2022.