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
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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.
After trying this recipe, I will never buy a boxed mix again. They are THAT good!
Hands down, the BEST brownies I’ve ever had!!
I’ve made brownies my whole life from scratch and box versions. This recipe is hands down the best brownie recipe ever! I use 3 whole eggs instead of 2 and 2 and they come out perfect every time. They rarely make it through the night.
Hi, I’m going to make these but I wondered if they are very rich or dark chocolate tasting how you made them? I don’t want them so rich but more normal choclate tasting. (easy to eat up!)
Hi Jeanne, These brownies are definitely rich, but they aren’t dark chocolate-tasting. They are a homemade version of box-mix brownies with great texture: chewy inside, slightly crisp on the edges, with that gorgeously crackled top. I hope you enjoy them if you give them a try!
Excellent recipe and was chewy and delicious as promised! I even substituted flax eggs for real eggs as my son has an egg allergy and they worked perfectly into the recipe. I made two batches for a preschool potluck and they were gone within 5 minutes of the table opening up! Thank you!
Fantastic recipe, soft and moist. I added blueberries and chocolate chips to make it more fruity and moist, super delicious!
So awesome! Made these this past weekend. One of the best recipes I’ve used! Thanks :)
If I don’t have a 9×13 pan, how much batter should I pour? (e.g., an inch high)
Minimelts, I didn’t measure how deep the batter was in a 9 by 13-inch pan; however, if you have two 8X8-inch pans or two 9X9-inch pans (or even an 8X8-inch and a 9X9-inch…or even 2 9-inch pie plates), you can use those instead of one 9X13-inch pan. Or you could always just pour half of the batter into a single 8X8-inch or 9X9-inch and bake it, and then once it’s cooked and cooled, remove the brownies and bake the remaining half of the batter in the same pan. Or even just cut the recipe in half and use one 8X8-inch or one 9X9-inch pan. I hope this helps, and I hope you enjoy the recipe if you give it a try!
The recipe reads…
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
Does this mean two large eggs with their yolks? Or does it instead mean two large eggs with their yolks, then an additional two yolks without the whites?
Or put more simply, what is the total number of egg yolks this recipes calls for? *grin*
It’s 2 large eggs (the whole eggs with their whites and yolks) plus 2 additional large egg yolks (without their accompanying whites). Hope you enjoy the recipe if you give it a try!
Okay, I just found the mecca of made from scratch brownies. What’s funny is that, yes, I’m obsessed with box brownies! In the past, I wanted to try making it from scratch, but after reading so many people complain about trying so many brownie recipes and it never being as chewy/fudgy as they’d like, I figured I’d stay with box brownie. Hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it right? Well, recently I got in a baking mood (real baking) and decided to research brownies again. So many reviews on the brownie recipes were hit or miss. Then I found your site exclaiming how this is on par (if not better than) with box brownies and then I was sold. Followed the recipe to the T (sans the expresso) and it came out amazingly!!! I will make this again and again! Thank you so much! :-D
Jennifer Brown says
I don’t have the oil mentioned… would I be OK just using vegetable oil?
Jennifer, Yes, you can use vegetable oil instead of canola oil in this recipe…hope you enjoy it! :)
Hi ! These looked sooper doper yummy! but I don’t know why they didn’t turn out to be CHEWY :s
I baked for 30 minutes and when I inserted the toothpick it came out clean. Does it mean I baked a little too much ?
Minha, Yes, if your toothpick was clean instead of moist with a couple crumbs, the brownies were overcooked. If you left everything else the same (for example, didn’t cut the recipe in half or didn’t use a different sized pan), and they were overcooked in 30 minutes I would think about getting an oven thermometer because it’s not uncommon for built-in thermometers to be off. Oven thermometers are pretty cheap and can be found at most regular grocery stores; that way you’ll know exactly how hot your oven is. Hope this helps!
Hey there! Saw your tweet about my Vidalia onion vinaigrette. So funny that I feel the same way. It could go on just about anything. Anyway, I’m so glad to find your blog. It looks great and your photos are awesome. I’ve been looking for a homemade brownie recipe and this one is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks so much for sharing it!
Carol | a cup of mascarpone says
I need these today! They look absolutely delicious, Faith! xox
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says
Holy cow, I don’t know how these brownies taste (yet) but if they are anything like how they look, I’m in! I love brownies.
Can I use coconut oil instead of the canola?
Jena, I haven’t tried this recipe with coconut oil, but I think it should work. Just make sure your coconut oil is melted and cooled if you want to try it.
This needs to happen in my house soon!
ashley - baker by nature says
Chewy brownies are my true <3! Well, right next to a chewy bagel ;) xo!
Eat Good 4 Life says
I love brownies and these are looking awesome. I always use instant espresso powder as well for all my brownie recipes. So much better :-) Your brownies look awesome!!
Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious says
How did you know that I like my brownies oh-so-chewy?! Please pass me a plate of these with a cold glass of milk :)
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) says
I totally know what you mean about “window-shopping” in a cookbook lol. These brownies sound like my mom’s version – so decadent and delicious and you are right, a tiny square is usually enough to satisfy!
Stephanie @ Girl Versus Dough says
I firmly believe all brownies should be the chewy kind… and admittedly, some of my favorite versions are from a box. :) So I’m SUPER excited about this recipe — homemade but tastes like box mix? Yes please!
[email protected] says
Ha funny to see a gluntonous sweet here but I love it. This fat ratio theory is new to me.
dixya| food, pleasure, and health says
i never thought the ratio of fat content made all the difference. thanks for sharing brownie wisdom :)
Betty Bake says
looks AMAZING! so yum!
Brownies are not one of my favorite desserts, they always seem kind of…blah. But these look like they may shake that blah up a bit! Gotta love looking through old cook books. I have so many- totally need to do this!