Best Ever Chewy Brownies Recipe - Handle the Heat

Best Ever Chewy Brownies

By Tessa Arias
March 15th, 2017
4.83 from 839 votes
4.83 from 839 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.

The Kitchn recently tested this Chewy Brownie recipe, with author Grace Elkus raving about how quick and easy this recipe is! She says the brownies “form a shiny, crackly top as promised. Each square is thick and decadent, with melty chocolate chips studded throughout.” Thanks so much to Grace Elkus and The Kitchn team for trying this recipe.

Bon Appétit also recently used this Chewy Brownie recipe as part of their research in their quest to create a perfect brownie. Thanks so much to Chris Morocco and the Bon Appétit team for including us!

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 & Cocoa Powder

Unlike my Ultimate Fudgy 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.

Since creating this video, however, Hershey’s has changed the formula of that specific cocoa powder to a Dutched cocoa powder. I recommend sticking with a natural cocoa powder, such as Ghirardelli Cocoa Powder or Penzey’s Natural Cocoa Powder, for best results. 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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Can I Add Nuts to Brownies?

Yes! You can add 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans. You can add them either in addition to the chocolate chips or in place of the chocolate chips. Just note if you remove the chocolate chips your crust on top may not be as shiny. For best flavor, try toasting the nuts on a lined tray in a 350°F oven for about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring once.

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. Learn more about the differences between Glass vs. Metal Baking Pans here.

comparison in height differences of brownies baked in a metal pan vs. a glass pan

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).

Tessa’s Favorite Tools for This Recipe

More Brownies Recipes:

4.83 from 839 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!


  • 5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (249 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 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


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 8 by 8-inch pan with foil or parchment paper 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 tester 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! Learn more about my monthly baking challenges here. 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. #
    Izza — May 25, 2023 at 3:54 am

    really love this kind of chewy brownies! thank you for the recipe.
    can you also please make this kind of chewy brownies but in matcha flavor?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 25, 2023 at 8:08 am

      Hi Izza! So glad to hear that you enjoyed these brownies! Tessa doesn’t currently have a matcha brownie recipe, but I’ll be sure to pass along your suggestion. Thanks again and happy baking 🙂

  2. #
    pato — May 19, 2023 at 2:08 pm

    my favorite brownie recipe 🙂 i thought i just didnt like brownies but clearly i was stuck in an endless cycle of cakey brownie recipes. cant go wrong with these and the glass-like crust that i get on the top is so inviting and it got me so many compliments! 🙂

    • #
      Emily — May 22, 2023 at 5:55 am

      Yay!! So happy to hear you found your preferred texture brownie! These are definitely a favorite of ours too 🙂

  3. #
    Erika — May 18, 2023 at 8:22 am

    Hello! Can you use canola oil if that’s all you have?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 19, 2023 at 8:16 am

      Hi Erika! Yes, any flavorless oil should work just fine 🙂

  4. #
    Valencia — May 17, 2023 at 7:04 am

    Too gooey. I followed the recipe to a tee and it was just too gooey for me. I cooked the brownies longer and it still wasnt the consistency I would have liked.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 17, 2023 at 9:08 am

      Hi Valencia! I’m sorry to hear these brownies didn’t turn out as they should. Did you bake these brownies in a light-colored metal pan? We recommend this pan, but something similar will work too! Using a glass or ceramic pan will change the baking process, as these types of pans conduct heat differently and less evenly – which could be the reason your brownies had an overly-gooey texture. Your oven also could be running too hot or too cold. Ovens are almost always lying to us about their real temperature, and when your temperature is off, it can give you the illusion that the brownies are baked through when they’re not. We recommend using an oven thermometer, to ensure accuracy, and make sure your baked goods are baking correctly! Tessa talks about the importance of oven temperature accuracy and using an oven thermometer, in this article here! Hopefully something here helped! Feel free to reach back out to us with any further questions – we are always happy to help!! 🙂

  5. #
    Arwa — May 16, 2023 at 1:23 am

    is it okay if I don’t choose chocolate chip cookies in this recipe?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 17, 2023 at 8:59 am

      Hi Arwa! You can skip the chocolate chips, but it will make the brownies thinner, less chewy and the shiny crust may not develop. Check out the pink tip box above the recipe for the reasons this happens! Let us know what you think after you give these brownies a try 🙂

  6. #
    Shannon — May 15, 2023 at 2:32 pm

    These brownies were super easy and quick to make, and they were wonderful; I will absolutely make them again. I enjoy and appreciate that Tessa shares tips, and backs them up with photos (e.g. glass pan vs. metal pan) to illustrate the point. I love this website and have recommended it to others.

  7. #
    Stigga — May 14, 2023 at 10:24 pm

    these are really good. I tried 3 other recipes and these are the best.


  8. #
    Angie — May 13, 2023 at 2:31 pm

    I haven’t made them yet but will definitely be trying it later this week. I am encouraged by Tessa’s enthusiasm and I love reading her comments, all the tips she shares, and the science behind all of it. Thank you for being so generous with your time, your talent, and your knowledge.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 15, 2023 at 7:56 am

      We can’t wait to hear what you think of these brownies, Angie! 🙂

  9. #
    Shannon Ash — May 13, 2023 at 6:26 am

    These make huge wonderful chewy brownies. I loved them. prefect amount of crispy on outside and moist in middle.

  10. #
    Mary Boyd — May 13, 2023 at 5:24 am

    I’ve used this recipe for years. My son in law and grandkids LOVE it. Thank you so much. I’ve tweaked it very little and they’re still great. I will now buy a metal pan and see if it truly makes a difference in the height. We live in Texas and humidity plays a huge roll in ALL my baking (ugh).

  11. #
    wmmie — May 13, 2023 at 5:20 am

    so we started making them but they are a sort of cakepops texture is that normal

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 15, 2023 at 8:10 am

      Hi there! I’m sorry, but I’m not sure exactly what you mean by ‘cake pops’ texture – but these brownies should be a little fudgy and perfectly chewy. How did you measure your ingredients? By volume (using cups), or by weight (using a digital kitchen scale)? When measuring by volume, it’s so easy to mis-measure ingredients (particularly flour) and throw off the entire chemistry of a recipe, resulting in a totally different texture. Check out Tessa’s article here, where she talks about how to best measure ingredients to ensure accuracy every time. Be sure to check out all the tips and information Tessa has packed into the pink tip box (above the recipe) for more details. Happy baking 🙂

  12. #
    Melissa — May 9, 2023 at 7:28 pm

    These were so good, but mine didn’t come out very chewy. I followed the recipe to the letter and even used a scale to weigh all ingredients, and the top was shiny and crackly but the brownies themselves were more cakey than chewy.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 10, 2023 at 9:55 am

      Hi Melissa! I’m sorry to hear that these brownies didn’t turn out as they should. Did you bake these in a light-colored metal pan? Glass pans can drastically change the texture of brownies. Did you use large eggs (56 grams in shell)? Different sized eggs can also impact the outcome of your baking greatly. What type of cocoa powder did you use? Some brands contain lower percentages of fat, and the higher the fat content, the better the texture and flavor. I recommend reading through all the tips and info Tessa has in the pink tip box above the recipe, for more info. I hope you give these brownies another try sometime – they really are so good! Happy baking 🙂

  13. #
    Emily — May 8, 2023 at 3:53 pm

    Do you let the melted butter/sugar mixture cool at all before adding the eggs? I’m a little worried about getting cooked egg pieces! Also, just curious, why do you add the sugar before microwaving? Thanks!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 10, 2023 at 9:43 am

      Hi Emily! You don’t need to wait for your butter/sugar to cool because we’re using cold eggs, so that will bring the temperature down quickly – but you can wait a few minutes before adding the eggs if you’re worried. You want to heat the butter and sugar together because this separates the butter’s water from its fat, and the water then goes on to dissolve the sugar slightly. When eggs are then added, the sugar further dissolves in the moisture that exists in the egg whites. Finally, during baking, this liquid sugar makes its way to the top crust, forming a beautifully crackly, shiny crust. I hope this helps! Happy baking!

  14. #
    Rae — May 6, 2023 at 8:42 pm

    Do you have a duck egg ratio?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 8, 2023 at 9:13 am

      Hi Rae! Typically, large chicken eggs in the US weigh about 56 grams in shell, or 50 grams out of shell (about 18.6 grams for the yolk) so you will need to weigh your duck eggs to ensure you have the correct weight of eggs. I hope this helps! Happy baking 🙂

  15. #
    Mike Garrett — May 6, 2023 at 2:29 pm

    I consider myself a brownie connoisseur. I have been baking them for the past 40 some years, and have 30+ different brownie recipes in my permanent collection. I tried these after reading Tessa’s e mail. Only 1 or 2 recipes in my permanent file call for oil rather than butter, and not one has as great a ratio of cocoa to total batter. Tessa does a great job of explaining the science behind each of her little tweaks. My final assessment is that this is as good as a brownie gets. You can trick brownies up with cream cheese, peanut butter, avocado, etc etc. For basic brownies, this recipe cannot be beat.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 8, 2023 at 8:24 am

      So glad these brownies were a hit for you, Mike! 🙂

  16. #
    Kiran — May 6, 2023 at 8:46 am

    These were okay taste wise, a bit too sweet for my liking. I was disappointed in the amount of chewiness, it wasn’t nearly as much as I was wanting, and more cakey. It had the crinkle top but I was really looking for a dense, very chewy brownie. So I was disappointed:(.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — May 8, 2023 at 9:01 am

      Hi Kiran! I’m sorry to hear that these brownies didn’t turn out as they should. They shouldn’t be cakey at all, and be perfectly chewy. It sounds like you may have accidentally added too much flour. How do you measure your ingredients? By volume (using cups), or by weight (using a digital kitchen scale)? When measuring by volume, it’s so easy to mis-measure ingredients (particularly flour) and throw off the entire chemistry of a recipe. Check out Tessa’s article here, where she talks about how to best measure ingredients to ensure accuracy every time. Were the brownies also baked in a metal pan? Using glass can be detrimental to the texture of the brownies, as Tessa explains in the pink tip box above the recipe, and in greater detail in this article here. As for the sweetness, I recommend using a darker or even bittersweet chocolate chip next time, to help offset the sweetness further. I hope this helps, and I hope you give these brownies another try – they really are amazing! Happy baking 🙂

  17. #
    Eileen — May 4, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    I made these today with a little bit of change. I used 2 tsp of vanilla bean paste and instant espresso. I also added about 1/2 cup of milk, and increased the cocoa powder to 1 cup. These are great cake style brownies, and they will be my go to brownies from now on.

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