Best Ever Chewy Brownies

By Tessa Arias
  |  
March 15th, 2017
4.85 from 712 votes
4.85 from 712 votes

The BEST Chewy Brownies are just as chewy as the boxed brownies but packed with way more chocolate flavor. One bowl recipe made in less than 1 hour!

Yield: 9 large or 16 small brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Just the right amount of chocolate and sweetness.
Texture: CHEWY, of course 🙂
Ease: Super easy. One bowl, no melting chocolate, and no electric mixer.
Appearance: You can just see how gooey and moist these are!
Pros: Better than boxed and almost as easy.
Cons: None.
I make this again? Absolutely.

I have shared a whole lot of brownie recipes over the years. Almost 40 to be exact!

Between all that brownie baking and completing my Ultimate Brownie Guide I’m pretty much your go-to brownie expert for the best brownie recipe. Really, I should put that on my business card.

But what I realized in looking at all those brownie recipes is that I’ve never shared a CHEWY brownie recipe. Sure, my Ultimate Brownies have a good level of chewiness. But they’re also very rich and fudgy. So these Chewy Brownies have been a long time coming. If you love box mix brownies, you’ll love these both for their chewiness and for how easy they are. Much quicker and easier than my Ultimate Brownies!

Ultra chewy brownies on parchment paper with crinkly crust on top. Better than box mix!

I think if you read some of the comments for these best homemade brownies below you’ll want to make this recipe ASAP. Just see what Susan said:

These are the BEST brownies ever! My husband says that in the 31 years we’ve been married and I’ve been baking these absolutely his favorite of all time.

How to Make Chewy Brownies

Ultra chewy brownies better than box mix!

Let me explain exactly what makes these brownies so chewy and easy. You can skip this if you don’t care WHY these brownies are the way they are and you just want the printable recipe asap.

Chocolate

Unlike my Ultimate Brownies, which utilize two types of melted chocolate, these brownies get their main chocolate flavor from cocoa powder with semi-sweet chocolate chips stirred into the batter. Cocoa powder definitely yields a chewier brownie and has a flavor reminiscent of boxed brownies.

The photos on this post show what the brownies look like if you use regular unsweetened cocoa powder. In the recipe video, I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder. It gave the brownies an ultra dark chocolaty appearance with a little less sweetness. Learn more about the differences between Dutch-process cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder here.

Feel free to fold in any kind of chocolate chips you want from dark chocolate or milk chocolate, but semisweet is my favorite. Whatever you do, don’t skip the chocolate chips! They help to develop that shiny crust on top of brownies.

Fat

With any cocoa powder-based brownie recipe, we need quite a bit of fat to prevent the cocoa powder from drying the brownies out and making them crumbly. In looking at what makes box mix brownies so chewy, it appears that the combination of saturated (solid) fats and unsaturated (liquid) fats is the winning answer. According to Cooks’ Illustrated, boxed brownies have the saturated fat component covered which is why you add oil (unsaturated) to the mix. I opted for a combination of melted butter and vegetable oil for the best marriage of taste and texture.

Make sure your vegetable oil is fresh to avoid any off flavors and use unsalted butter so you can fully control the level of saltiness. I haven’t tested these brownies with canola oil.

For a full breakdown on these two types of fats and how they affect flavor, tenderness, and texture, check out my Butter vs. Oil in Baking article. There are lots more side-by-side comparisons like this one (and not just with brownies!):

sliced brownies on a pan comparing whether oil or butter is better in baking

Sugar

I stuck with granulated sugar here because although I love the taste of brown sugar, I didn’t want to add any more moisture (brown sugar contributes more moisture due to the molasses that’s added in) to these already very moist and rich brownies. Too much moisture creates brownies that have lots of holes on top instead of that shiny tissue thin crust.

Eggs

2 large eggs is pretty standard for an 8 by 8-inch brownie recipe, but I just had to add in an egg yolk for the extra dose of chewiness and richness it gives. The protein and the fat in the egg yolk helps achieve those textures. We use cold eggs, instead of room temperature, to prevent the brownies from doming and to increase moisture with a tighter crumb texture.

Flour

All-purpose flour is the way to go here, cake flour makes these brownies way too tender and light. We can achieve enough chewiness without having to use bread flour, which can prevent an extra trip to the store for a lot of people. To make chewy AND fudgy brownies, we only need to use a little bit of flour. Any more flour will create drier or cakier brownies. If you want to be super accurate and weigh your flour, 1/2 cup equals 63 grams or 2.25 ounces. Check out my How to Measure Flour article for step-by-step instructions for weighing dry ingredients using a digital scale.

If you live in a very humid environment, or really dislike any kind of “greasiness,” you may want to add an extra 2 tablespoons of flour to your brownie batter mixture.

Leavener

With my brownie recipes, I usually prefer a very small amount or no chemical leavener (baking soda or baking powder). The reason is because I like brownies to be very rich and on the denser side, not even remotely cakey. Since they lift and give a lighter airier texture to baked goods, we’re only using 1/8 teaspoon baking soda here for just enough leavening to get a nice thick texture.

Cornstarch

This little secret ingredient really helps to improve the texture of these brownies so they’re that much closer to the box mix kind. 1 tablespoon of cornstarch makes the brownies thicker and improves that crust on top.

Make sure to measure correctly, and don’t skip this ingredient! When shooting the photos for my article on how to make brownies with a shiny, thin crust, my food photographer captured the shocking differences between a batch made with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch vs brownies made with an accidental amount of 1 teaspoon cornstarch. The bottom brownies also had no chocolate chips. Take a look:

overhead comparison of brownies made with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch vs 1 teaspoon of cornstarch

How long to bake brownies:

Bake these brownies in a 325°F oven for about 30 minutes to avoid overbaking. There will absolutely be moist crumbs attached to a tester by the end of the baking time. That’s what we want. Even after 30 minutes if the middle still seems too moist, just remove the brownies from the oven. Carry-over cooking, the residual heat of the oven and pan, will continue to cook the brownies.

Some readers have said their brownies were really undercooked after 30 minutes. I’m guessing they used a glass baking pan, which I DON’T recommend for this recipe. I recommend a metal baking pan like this one lined with foil or parchment paper. Also, you might want to check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer as many home ovens run cold (especially when they say they’ve just preheated).

For best results, allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing and serving.

How to store brownies:

The brownies definitely taste best the day they are baked, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge. They are even more fudgy when they’re chilled.

Brownies substitutions:

This brownie recipe is written exactly the way it is for very specific reasons, as noted in the explanations above. If you can’t use one of the ingredients listed, take a look at my extensive brownie index for other options (including coconut oil brownies). If you try to reduce the sugar, use a sugar substitute, use a butter substitute, or make this recipe vegan the results will NOT be the same. Feel free to add in nuts, chips, toffee bits, or anything else to the batter (1/2 cup to 1 cup, depending on how much you’d like).

More Brownies Recipes:

4.85 from 712 votes

How to make
Best Ever Chewy Brownies

Yield: 9 large or 16 small brownies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
The BEST Chewy Brownies are just as chewy as the boxed brownies but packed with way more chocolate flavor. One bowl recipe made in less than 1 hour!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups (249 grams) granulated sugar
  • 5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (128 grams) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 8 by 8-inch pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, add the butter and sugar. Microwave for about 1 minute, or until the butter is melted. Whisk in the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Stir in the oil and cocoa powder.
  3. With a rubber spatula, stir in the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spread the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the brownies are set and a cake tested inserted into the center has moist crumbs attached. Do not overcook. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.
  5. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

To double this recipe, use a 9x13 pan and bake for the same amount of time.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brownies, chewy brownies

May 2021 Baking Challenge

This recipe was the May 2021 pick for our monthly baking challenge! Every month you can join the challenge by baking the recipe and snapping a photo for a chance to win prizes! Click here for full challenge details. Check out everyone’s brownies:

This recipe was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2021 with more tips and new photos. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Christine — May 23, 2022 at 10:30 am

    I did not see to not bake them in glass pan. What can I do so they will cook?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 23, 2022 at 11:43 am

      Hi Christine! I would suggest that you lower the oven temperature by 25°F (so 300°F for this recipe). Watch the brownies carefully in the oven, and be prepared to have to bake much longer than stated in the recipe. Remove from the oven when the middle is set and a toothpick inserted into the center has moist crumbs attached. Good luck! 🙂

  2. #
    Samantha — May 22, 2022 at 4:24 pm

    These brownies are AMAZING! My friends always make me bring them some when I make them. They’re so rich and perfectly gooey.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 23, 2022 at 7:47 am

      I’m so excited to hear that you love these brownies, Samantha! We love them too, but we might be a little biased 🙂 Happy baking!!

  3. #
    Victoria S Kinnally — May 20, 2022 at 8:36 am

    This may be my favorite brownie recipe so far! I try lots of different ones. It had the best flavor and texture.
    I love reading all of the science behind the ingredients. thank you!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 20, 2022 at 1:56 pm

      Woohoo, so thrilled to hear this, Victoria! I’m so happy you enjoy all of Tessa’s science-backed tips and explanations! We love the technical side of baking here at HTH, too! Happy baking 🙂

  4. #
    Sarah — May 17, 2022 at 10:05 am

    I was craving chewy brownies, and these were so easy to make and have the best chewy edges. I have to control myself from eating the whole thing! I used half 70% dark choc chunks, and half butterscotch chips. Turned out perfect! Will be making again with walnuts.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 17, 2022 at 10:22 am

      So excited you loved this recipe, Sarah! 🙂

  5. #
    Stephanie — May 14, 2022 at 12:01 pm

    THE best brownies EVER! 🙂

  6. #
    Terri — May 13, 2022 at 8:12 pm

    OMG! I have never made brownies from scratch..I’m a box brownie fan….and…I’m not real good in the kitchen..I was craving chocolate so I googled chewy brownie recipe..thought this one sounded pretty easy..
    Let me tell you…. I am eating one now…and they are absolutely delicious! I used Hershey Dark cocoa and sugar free dark chocolate chips as that was all I had. These are perfect! That crispy top and chewy inside… I will definitely be making these again! Thanks for such a great easy delicious recipe!!!!!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 17, 2022 at 7:26 am

      Hi Terri! I’m SO happy you loved this recipe! It’s one of my favourites, too 🙂 I hope you continue to explore our recipes and experiment further! Happy baking 🙂

  7. #
    Janine — May 12, 2022 at 7:07 am

    I declare these the best brownies ever! I only had semi sweet chocolate chunks so I used those. Also, I ran out of Hershey’s cocoa powder and had to use some Dutch processed cocoa powder. So I probably had 1/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa powder and 1/2 Dutch cocoa powder. Amazing! I will definitely make these again and am excited to try the recipe as-is when I have the correct ingredients. I would 100% make with my “oops” substitutions again in a heartbeat!

  8. #
    chinachef — May 10, 2022 at 6:52 pm

    Wow, these brownies are AMAZING, and I’ve made a LOT of brownies. Somehow, the combo of using both butter and oil gives it taste and moistness. The cornstarch and adding chocolate chips seems to gives it a more even structure. Most recipes call for baking powder but a pinch of baking soda was perfect to give it just a bit of rising without making it cakey. After cooling, refrigerating for 30 minutes helps to give nice clean cut edges to each piece. I left out the extra egg yolk. Baking time of 25 minutes in a parchment paper-lined metal pan was perfect! I did not use any cooking spray.

  9. #
    Alyson — May 9, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    This was the BEST brownie recipe I have every made. The whole thing was literally gone in a day. Will make these again FOR SURE! Thanks so much for the recipe ❤️❤️

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 16, 2022 at 8:37 am

      Hooray – so happy to hear that, Alyson!!!

  10. #
    Rebecca — May 5, 2022 at 2:59 pm

    Any high altitude tips?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 13, 2022 at 2:11 pm

      Hi Rebecca! I’ve never baked at a higher altitude myself, but King Arthur Baking has an article here, which might help give you some pointers! I hope that helps!
      – Kiersten @ HTH

  11. #
    Linda Butler — May 4, 2022 at 8:00 pm

    If There were 5 more stars I’d give them to you. I have been a big fan of Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge Brownies for years as have all the people I give them to. I tried your Best Ever Chewy Brownies today and all I can say is “WOW”. As a kid I used to make the Cooked fudge from the recipe on the back of the Hershey’s Cocoa can. When I made your brownies today I used Hersey’s Cocoa and one of the things I loved about the brownies is that they have that fudge taste from my childhood but they are chewy brownies. Love, Love, Love them. I’m such a chocoholic as you probably have guessed and I plan to start trying lots more of your chocolate recipes. My two favs are cookies and chocolate. I have been a cake decorator, cookier, and confectionery Instructor for almost 50 years and they are wrong when they say that “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” It’s amazing what I’ve learned in a few months from your website, your magazine, and your cookbook. You are an amazing young lady and I’m looking forward to whatever you have to share in the future.

    Sweetest Regards, Linda Butler

    • #
      Emily — May 12, 2022 at 8:46 am

      Thanks so much for your rave review, Linda! I’ll be sure to pass along your comment to Tessa, it’ll make her day! So happy you love this recipe 🙂

  12. #
    Brianna G — May 4, 2022 at 9:44 am

    This was the first time I ever made non-box brownies…HEAVEN! I can’t stop eating them. My hubby said they’re the best brownies he’s ever had! I think I have to agree…next time I’ll make a double batch. I used EVOO because I don’t like the flavor of vegetable oil. I used 1/2 semi-sweet morsels & 1/2 semi-sweat chunks and baked for 34 minutes. They’re perfect, thank you for sharing!!

    • #
      Emily — May 9, 2022 at 8:31 am

      So happy to hear your brownies were such a hit! Thrilled that you tried this recipe over boxed brownies and loved them 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

  13. #
    VG — May 2, 2022 at 9:34 am

    Chocolate and easy! Soooo yummy!

  14. #
    Betty — May 1, 2022 at 11:55 am

    Everyone raved best ever for sure. Used as base for mud hen brownies. I doubled receipt so cooking time obviously increased. Also let cool and sit over night. Hard, but I resisted

  15. #
    Ann — May 1, 2022 at 10:53 am

    Amazing and so very chewy! Exactly what I was looking for. Thank you for this recipe. Only brownies I will now ever make.

  16. #
    Robin — May 1, 2022 at 8:55 am

    Great recipe!! Brownies are delicious. Can they be frozen?

    • #
      Emily — May 9, 2022 at 8:56 am

      Yes, you can freeze these! After making and cooling the brownies completely, cut into squares and wrap each square separately in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container. To thaw, let come to room temperature on the counter, though brownies also taste delicious frozen! Feel free to cut into mini squares and add to ice cream as another option! 🙂

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