When it comes to baking, I often hear people refer to using a box mix or other pre-made ingredients as cheating. A box mix is an ingredient, it is not cheating. In fact, there is no such thing as cheating in baking. These super simple Red Velvet Brownies use just 3 ingredients, one of which is red velvet cake mix, and they take just a couple minutes to prep and not much longer to bake!
This recipe makes the perfect easy-to-make Valentine's day treat, or adds the best pop of color to your Christmas dinner. They're even perfectly colored for the 4th of July! Looking for other fun brownie recipes? Check out these Double Chocolate Cherry Brownies or these Red Wine Brownies.
Why this Recipe Works
Red velvet is most commonly made as a cake, and originally did not use red food coloring. The type of cocoa used would react with an acid, often buttermilk or vinegar, resulting in a red colored cake. Nowadays, red velvet is still made with an acid and the red color comes from red food coloring.
This recipe doesn't need the vinegar or the red food coloring because the red velvet flavor and color both come from the red velvet cake mix. But we use the cake mix, not to make red velvet cake, but to make soft, fudgy, rich red velvet brownies.
Ingredients and Notes
Red Velvet Cake Mix - This recipe calls for the dry boxed red velvet cake mix. Do not prepare the cake mix according to the instructions on the box. The unprepared cake mix will serve as the dry ingredients in this mouthwatering brownie recipe, as well as the red velvet color and flavor in this recipe.
Oil - The ratio of fat to flour is what makes brownies chewy and gooey. This easy brownie recipe uses oil because in addition to making this cake mix into dense, fudgy brownies, it also keeps them extra moist.
Eggs - The eggs add moisture to these soft brownies, and the yolks increase the fat content, again contributing to the perfect fudgy brownie texture.
Oil - A stick of melted butter can replace the oil in this recipe. While it will add fat for the fudgy texture like the oil does, it doesn't add moisture in the same way, but it will make up for it by adding a rich flavor.
How to Make this Recipe
Step 1: Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl until incorporated. Fold in white chocolate chips, Oreos, or other mix ins, if using.
Step 2: Bake in a parchment lined 8x8 pan at 350° for approximately 10-15 minutes. Cool completely. Top with cream cheese frosting or white chocolate drizzle, if desired. Cut into squares and enjoy!
Red velvet is a light chocolate flavor. While it does contain cocoa powder, it doesn't use as much as a regular chocolate cake would. The velvet is descriptive of the soft texture of the crumb in traditional red velvet cakes, and though this recipe is for red velvet brownies, that same soft, velvety texture is still present.
Both serve as forms of fat in a brownie recipe, which is key in making rich, fudgy brownies. However, butter will contribute to a rich flavor whereas oil will contribute a moist texture. You can't go wrong either way!
Fat makes brownies fudgy whereas flour makes them cakey. This simple fudgy brownie recipe incorporates fat though both the oil and the egg yolks. For cakier brownies, some of the oil can be replaced with water to reduce the fat to flour ratio while keeping them moist.
Tips & Tricks
Tip #1: Mix in one cup of crushed Oreos or white chocolate chips, or top with cream cheese frosting or a white chocolate drizzle for an added pop of flavor! For a marbled effect, swirl in melted white chocolate to the top of the batter before baking.
Tip #2: Making these for valentines day? Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to serve heart-shaped red velvet brownies.
Tip #3: Once fully cooled, chill the brownies before slicing to get neat, clean edges.
Tip #4: Using a metal pan instead of a glass pan will give your red velvet brownies straight edges and a more even bake.
- Red Velvet Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days.
- If topped with a cream cheese frosting, these brownies must be stored in the refrigerator.
- To freeze, wrap brownies in plastic wrap, then in foil, and store in an airtight freezer bag for up to 2 months.
Did you try this recipe? Leave a review below, and tag @flourdeliz on Instagram!
Red Velvet Brownies
- 8x8 pan
- Mixing bowl
- silicone spatula
- 15.25 oz box red velvet cake mix
- ¾ cup oil
- 2 eggs
- Preheat oven to 350° and line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper.
- Combine the cake mix, oil, and eggs, until fully incorporated.
- If adding any mix-ins, fold those in now (see notes).
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake approximately 10-15 minutes, or until the edges look set and the center has just a slight jiggle. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out with a thin layer of batter.
- Cool completely.
- Once fully cooled, top the brownies if desired (see notes).
- Cut in to squares (or hearts!) and enjoy!
- 1 c. white chocolate chips, or
- 1 c. crushed Oreos (plus more for topping)
- Cream cheese frosting (beat together 1 8oz block cream cheese, 1 stick butter, and 2 cups powdered sugar until desired consistency; thicken frosting by adding additional powdered sugar or thin frosting by adding a splash of milk)
- White chocolate drizzle (melt white chocolate chips or melts, put in a piping bag or zip-top bag, cut off a corner and drizzle melted chocolate over top of cooled brownies)
- White chocolate swirl (melt white chocolate chips or melts, spoon on top of batter in the prepared pan before baking, using a butter knife, swirl the white chocolate into the brownie batter)