Better Than Box Mix Brownies

In general, I prefer homemade treats to those made from a mix. But brownies are the one thing I could never get right. In fact, I didn’t really care at all for homemade brownies until I tried the Cocoa Brownies from Joy of Baking, and Whole Grain Brownies from King Arthur Baking. I was still missing the shiny top that box mix brownies effortlessly provide, though. I recently watched Adam Ragusea’s experiment where he discovered that fully dissolving the sugar is the key (and this process can be helped along by using powdered sugar). He based his experiments on Mark Bittman’s recipe, which was never one of my favorites, so I searched around to find something a little different that would give me a chewy brownie with a fudgy top. The Better Than Box Brownie Mix Recipe are the ones I tried. They are just what I was looking for. I did not use chocolate chips (just don’t like them in brownies). They were perfectly baked for me at 22 minutes.


  • 2 large eggs (100g) at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp (5ml) pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (150g) salted butter
  • ½ cup (60g) icing sugar
  • 2/3 cup (56g) cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup (71g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (85g) dark chocolate chips or chopped from a chocolate bar optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang at all sides.
  2. Place eggs, granulated sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes, until creamy and lemon-coloured.
  3. Meanwhile, heat butter in a saucepan until completely melted and very hot (it will start crackling). Remove from heat and whisk in icing sugar, cocoa powder and salt until smooth.
  4. When the eggs are pale and thick, add the warm cocoa mixture and beat for 30 seconds until smooth and shiny. Add the flour and mix it in. It should be smooth and glossy, like thick hot fudge. Fold in chocolate chips if using.
  5. Pour the batter into your prepared pan bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Make sure you do not over-bake these or they will be dry. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let brownies cool completely in the pan. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before lifting out and cutting into squares.


May 5, 2023: I made these today for tomorrow’s Death Hike. They came out perfectly at 21.5 minutes on rack 2.