Classic Brownies - Handle the Heat
Filed Under: Brownie | Dessert

Classic Brownies

By Tessa Arias
April 25th, 2011
5 from 2 votes
5 from 2 votes

You're gonna love these moist, thick, chewy, and slightly fudgy Classic Brownies. Seriously.

Yield: 24 brownies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Deeply and sweetly chocolate. Texture: Moist, thick, chewy, and slightly fudgy, just how I like it! Oh, and with the added bonus of the crackled, crinkled top. Ease: Very easy. Appearance: Don't you just want to bite into that picture? I do. I want to make these again now. Pros: Near perfect brownie. Cons: None. Would I make this again? Absolutely (see above)!

Brownies are one of my favorite treats ever. Brownies and cookies are what I would choose to eat if deserted on an island. While I love chocolate, when it comes to brownies it’s definitely a texture thing. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I HATE cakey brownies. If you want cakey, eat cake! I also dislike nuts in my brownies.

My brownies need to be moist, thick, chewy, and slightly fudgy. Most brownie recipes provide great taste but bad texture, or visa versa. Or they go dry after a day. Or they are (god forbid) cakey. Up till this point the Baked brownie recipe has been my favorite, but it takes some time (and a LOT of chocolate, and therefore money) to produce. This brownie recipe is much better because it yields fabulous results with less ingredients and steps. So, thanks Cooks’ Illustrated, for developing a brownies recipe I can call my favorite.

What are your favorite brownie recipes?


5 from 2 votes

How to make
Classic Brownies

Yield: 24 brownies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
You're gonna love these moist, thick, chewy, and slightly fudgy Classic Brownies. Seriously.


  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) plain cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into six pieces
  • 2 1/4 cups (15 3/4 ounces) sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoons vanilla extract


  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position; preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Line baking pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with nonstick spray again.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together until combined. Set aside.

  3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Alternatively, in a microwave, heat the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments until melted. When the chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove the bowl from the saucepan and gradually whisk in the sugar. Add the eggs, on at a time, whisking after each addition until combined. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, folding with a rubber spatula until the batter is smooth.

  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan; using a spatula, spread the batter into the corners of the pan and smooth the surface. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 30-35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, then remove the brownies from the pan. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe Notes

From The New Best Recipe
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
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. #
    mrsmelbell — August 3, 2021 at 9:21 pm

    My 12 year old son wanted to make brownies and he found the perfect recipe!! We had fun making them and they were delicious! Super chewy and fudgy!

    • #
      Emily — August 4, 2021 at 8:48 am

      Sounds like the perfect afternoon baking together! So happy you loved this recipe!

  2. #
    Tasneem — July 14, 2021 at 7:49 pm

    Hey Tessa!!
    What if I don’t have cake flour?????
    Please reply

  3. #
    Rachael callison — April 30, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    These are delicious! Reminds me of my childhood!

  4. #
    Ana Gomes — December 14, 2019 at 9:08 am

    Can I use cocao powder instead of the chocolate?

  5. #
    Niyatee Ravipati — July 30, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    hi if i wanted to add corn syrup for it to stay moist longer, how much and when should i add it in the recipe?
    Will subbing 1/4th of the butter for vegetable oil add more moisture?

  6. #
    Judy — August 21, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Hi! I really love brownies and saw this recipe…i’ve tried a lot of other brownies recipe and this is the best so far…it has that crispy top and its not too sweet…im just a little bit bothered on how fudgy the inside…i dont know if i made a mistake or i made it too thick…but all in all i and my family love it!

  7. #
    Giovanna — February 15, 2017 at 11:21 am


    Can I freeze them?

  8. #
    zaza — January 19, 2017 at 9:05 pm you use white or brown sugar for this recipe? thanks!

  9. #
    Aop — September 10, 2016 at 8:35 am

    Dear Ms.Tessa,

    I live in Thailand and I just bought new oven. (I never baked before, people here use gas stove to cook).
    By the way, I would like to bake brownies for treat at the church. It was my first time to do, so I researched a lot of websites (more than 30 recipes) and I found your recipe!!

    I just baked it and it is super delicious!!
    It is the best brownie I have eaten !!
    Your recipe is AMAZING!! Thank you so much. I will bake it again for sure, and also your another brownies recipe.
    Can’t wait until tomorrow to show my first brownie to my friends!

    Thank you so much!

  10. #
    Maryam — July 15, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    hey can I add chopped hersheys semisweet dark chocolate and walnuts in the final mixture?

  11. #
    Cherry — April 1, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Hi! The recipe looks yummy! I would like to try it over the weekend. But i only have a 8×8 pan. How do i tweak the recipe for a smaller sized pan? Thank you!

    • #
      Tessa — April 2, 2015 at 12:05 pm

      Just cut the recipe in half and decrease the baking time to about 20-25 minutes!

  12. #
    Anna — December 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Will it work if I use regular All-Purpose flour? I don’t have cake flour

    • #
      Tessa — December 8, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      Yes but cake flour is best!

  13. #
    Katie — July 1, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    These are excellent- rich but not oily, fudgy to bite but not so gooey you need a spoon to eat them. Pleasantly chewy around the edges with a crackly top. I used World Market 99% chocolate and Plugra European style butter and was very pleased with the depth and roundness of flavor. This is the 4th brownie recipe I’ve tried, and it’s the best so far.

  14. #
    Christina (Sisters Running the kitchen) — September 18, 2013 at 9:52 am

    these look great! i love the look and sound of the cookie dough ones too! have you ever tried the NY times recipe? i have it on my blog- soooo good. my favorite. my i have never tried cook’s illustrated ones! ill have to compare!

  15. #
    carole w — March 18, 2013 at 8:14 am

    What is a ‘stick’ of butter and could you please translate this to ounces for those of us across the pond?

  16. #
    Traci — January 30, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I am with you on the cakey brownies! I can't tell you how many brownie recipes I have tried trying to find that perfect one that would give me my chewy, fudgy brownie! I will try this recipe and keep my fingers crossed!

  17. #
    The Flour Sack — June 2, 2011 at 3:45 am

    I LOVE this recipe, too! It's been my go-to for a few years now. I'm so glad you agree… Cakey is for cake and cake only. Thick, fudgy, chewy, and chocolaty is for brownies 🙂 Yum!

  18. #
    rachsed — April 28, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Wow, you speak right to my soul- I feel the same way about brownies. In fact, I love both recipes you mentioned! I'm tempted to bake some now…

  19. #
    Goddess — April 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Nice idea to post this brownie recipe! I really love to try making it. I love eating brownies but now I'd like to make it for me. Wanna join me? 🙂

  20. #
    Alicia — April 25, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Those look deeelicious. and you've basically covered all the details of what I consider a 'perfect' brownie as well.
    No cakey brownies in my kitchen!
    I'm bookmarking this!

  21. #
    Maris — April 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    These look mouth wateringly good! I love brownies witha tall glass of milk!

  22. #
    Melissa Bakes — April 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    These look awesome! I love anything by Cook's Illustrated!

    • #
      Ana Gomes — December 14, 2019 at 9:08 am

      Can I use cocao powder instead of the chocolate?

  23. #
    Kacey — April 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I tried to make this a while back, and I screwed something up, because they came out so bad I threw them out. I knew it had to by my fault since Cooks Illustrated has never failed me before. I forgot about them until you posted this, so I'm going to have to try again!

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