Better Than Box Mix Brownies

For the longest time I did not think it was possible to make brownies from scratch that taste better than brownies from a box mix.  Box mix brownies are so ooey and gooey and fudgy and just plain perfect.  I also don’t believe in making something from scratch if it tastes just as good purchased, so I needed to come up with a brownie recipe that was just as easy as a box mix, but tasted even better. And I did just that.  These fudgy brownies are so ooey gooey and fudgy in the middle with that perfect crackly top that brownie dreams are made of.

Fudgy brownies on a piece of parchment paper on top of a marble surface

All you need is a bowl and a spatula. I love these silicone spatulas and they make baking and clean-up super simple! When starting the recipe, make sure the milk is hot.  It doesn’t need to be boiling, but cocoa powder won’t dissolve unless it’s in a hot liquid.  I don’t have a microwave so I put the butter and milk in a pot on the stove, and by the time the butter is melted, the milk is hot enough for the cocoa powder.  But a microwave makes it super easy to melt the butter and heat the milk.

Top view of fudgy brownies on the parchment paper on top of a marble surface

Using a combination of the melted butter and the vegetable oil helps make the insides of these brownies so chewy and gooey. The whites from the two egg yolks can be saved and used for so many other delicious recipes, so don’t toss those!  The espresso powder is optional.  They won’t make the brownies have a coffee-like flavor, but rather they enhance the chocolatey flavor.  If you don’t have it or don’t want to use it, feel free to skip it! And most importantly, the chocolate chips are optional, but honestly, why wouldn’t you add them? If you don’t have chocolate chips, you can use m&ms or chop up a candy bar, or use whatever delicious chocolate you have on hand! I promise you won’t regret it! 

Close up batch of fudgy brownies on parchment paper on top of a marble surface with the front right brownie pulled out at an angle with a bite taken out of it and some crumbs in front of the bite mark

If you think you don’t have the skills to bake from scratch, this is the recipe for you! This is also a great recipe to make with kids.  This recipe is truly as easy as a box mix, and they taste so good I promise you’ll never go back to the box! (Bonus: when you make these for other people and they rave about how delicious they are, you won’t be caught in an awkward position when they ask for the recipe, and you can proudly say you made them from scratch!)

Better Than Box Mix Brownies

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time40 mins
Servings: 24 brownies


  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 stick butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder heaping
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt Diamond Crystal
  • 1 tablespoon espresso powder (optional)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper.
  • Heat milk and butter in a microwaveable-safe mixing bowl for 1-2 minutes, till butter is melted and milk is hot.
  • Add cocoa powder and oil to the hot milk and melted butter and stir till well combined.
  • Mix in eggs and egg yolks.
  • Stir in sugar.
  • Add in flour, salt, and espresso powder until combined.
  • If using chocolate chips, stir in now.
  • Pour the mixture into the lined pan and bake for 30 minutes. The brownies will seem undercooked.
  • Let cool completely (uncovered overnight if possible) and cut into squares. Enjoy!


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