How to Make Brownies
Learn how to make brownies in less than 10 easy steps—really, brownies from scratch are not that difficult. These rich, fudgy desserts are surprisingly easy, plus they always turn out. Although these baking tips are based on a chocolate brownie recipe, they can easily be adjusted and applied to blonde brownies, fudge brownies, chocolate chip brownies, and more!
Step 1: Choose a brownie recipe
When searching for the best brownie recipe, first consider the texture you hope to achieve: Do you like fudge brownies or cakey brownies? The best part about making brownies from scratch is you have all the control. In many brownie recipes, the proportion of flour to other ingredients is significantly less than in other baked goods. Reduce the amount of flour to make your brownies dense, fudgy, or rich. If you prefer brownies with a cakelike texture, look for brownie recipes with more flour. Some cakelike brownies contain milk or buttermilk, making their texture more like rich, fluffy chocolate cake.
Step 2: Chop chocolate
Of course, you can't make chocolate fudge brownies without chocolate. Using a chef's knife, coarsely chop chocolate bars or squares on a cutting board. Chopped chocolate melts smoothly and evenly, and it won't scorch. Some recipes call for making brownies with cocoa powder. Both are delicious and easy ways to make chocolate brownies.
Step 3: Melt chocolate and butter
- Place the chopped chocolate in a saucepan.
- Cut up the butter and add it to the saucepan with the chocolate.
- Heat and stir over low heat until the chocolate and butter are melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the chocolate mixture cool. This mixture will serve as the chocolate base for your brownie recipe.
Step 4: Stir in sugar
Add the sugar to the melted chocolate and butter. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is completely mixed into the chocolate and butter. If you're lacking sugar or wanting to use a sugar alternative, do some research first. Maybe the amount stays the same, or maybe you'll use slightly less or more of your favorite sugar substitute. Like any baked good, making brownies sometimes takes some experimenting—especially when you're swapping in different main ingredients like sugar.
Step 5: Add eggs
Add the eggs one at a time. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon after each addition until the egg is completely incorporated into the chocolate mixture. Eggs provide structure and texture to your brownies, which is why boxed brownies often still require you to add eggs. They also add a bit of nutritional value—not that we recommend swapping in brownies for your usual omelet at breakfast.
After adding eggs, beat in the vanilla with the wooden spoon.
Step 6: Add flour
In a separate bowl stir together the flour and baking soda.
This is another time that you have some flexibility when making brownies from scratch. Perhaps you eat a gluten-free diet or you'd rather use whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. Try out a flour substitute like coconut flour or almond flour—just read the instructions and do some research before making a 1-to-1 swap.
Whichever flour you choose, add the mixture all at once to the chocolate mixture.
Step 7: Mix batter
Your chocolate fudge brownies (or whatever type of brownies you're making) are almost ready to bake. Gently stir the brownie batter until the flour is moistened.
Use a heavy-duty rubber spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the saucepan.
If desired, stir in your choice of mix-ins like chocolate pieces, chopped nuts, mint chips, etc. When making brownies from scratch, you can switch up the mix-ins every time.
Step 8: Bake, cool, and frost brownies
Grease your baking pan or, if desired, line it with foil for easy removal. Spread the batter in the prepared brownie baking pan.
Bake brownies as directed in the recipe. Most brownies bake at 350°F for 25 to 35 minutes.
After baking brownies, cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
If you want frosted brownies, wait at least an hour after baking to be sure the brownies have completely cooled.
Prepare the frosting for brownies. Chocolate lovers may enjoy brownies with chocolate frosting, but we also recommend a simple vanilla frosting, cream cheese frosting, or even rich peanut butter frosting. Use an offset metal spatula to frost the brownies while they are still in the pan. Cut the finished dessert into bars, serve, and enjoy!
More Brownies from Scratch