the best fudgy homemade brownies, from scratch

The best brownies?  Really?  The BEST?

Yep.  I’m gonna go that far and call these the best.  Fudgy, Rich, Dark Chocolate, Homemade, From Scratch…  Perfect Brownies in my opinion!

perfect fudgy homemade brownies, from scratch | Sweet Anna's

***PSA for all you gluten-free folks, or those of you who love someone who eats gluten-free:  I have finally perfected my Perfectly Fudgy Gluten-Free Brownies, and you will NOT regret making them soon.  SO good!  (And no one would ever know they are gluten-free!) CLICK HERE if you’d like the recipe!***

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming:

This is not a new recipe to those of you who have been hanging around Sweet Anna’s for a while.  Some of you may already make these, often.

Here in Sweet Anna’s kitchen (yes, I really do call it that!) I make a lot of brownies.  A lot.  (I’m not joking: I’ll make a list for you at the end of this post!)

And they all originate from this base recipe.  This is the classic.

This is my tried (hundreds of times!) and true recipe that I could almost make with my eyes closed and one hand tied behind my back (or holding a baby!) and they have never failed to impress.

Make these brownies.  Get rid of that box and give these beauties a try.  Keep these simple, everyday ingredients on hand and you will never go back to boxed brownie mixes again.  You wouldn’t even think of it!

Homemade brownies are so incredibly worth the few, very easy, extra steps to make from scratch.  That box really isn’t saving you much time, and the end result is SO beyond compare!

You’re still only dirtying one bowl and one pan.  It doesn’t get much better than that!

And I have one little tip for those of you who like things extra extra chocolatey.  I learned this one from my aunt:

When the brownies come out of the oven, immediately scatter about 2 cups of chocolate chips over the top.  Let them sit there until they are all shiny and soft, and then carefully spread them out smooth over the top.  Let the brownies cool completely and enjoy these extra-chocolatey, extra pretty goodies!!


What does your ‘perfect’ brownie look like?

Mine is dense, rich, chewy, moist, über-chocolatey and just plain irresistible.

(No cakey brownies for me please.  I’ll save my cakiness for…  cake.)  ;o)

the best fudgy, homemade dark chocolate brownies from scratch


  • 3/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup butter, melted & divided (1/3 cup + 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cup flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9x13" baking dish and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the cocoa and baking soda. Stir in 1/3 cup of the melted butter until smooth. Stir in the boiling water until the mixture is smooth and thick.

Stir in the sugar and eggs with the remaining 1/3 cup melted butter. Stir in the vanilla and salt until just smooth.

Dump in the flour and chocolate chips at the same time, and stir until just combined.

Spread the batter into your prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the pan. (Always better to under-bake than to over-bake brownies!)

Cool completely in the pan. (Brownies freeze great for later if there are leftovers!)

**If you love these brownies as much as I do and want a source for GREAT dutch-processed cocoa powder in bulk so you always have it on hand, I have tried just about every kind there is, and this Pernigotti Cocoa is by far the best.  It is so pure and clean tasting, you could lick the powder off your fingers without any bitter aftertaste.  And the hint of vanilla?  Bliss.  Seriously you guys.  This stuff is the best!


Want to try some brownie variations?  Do any of these sound good??

chocolate chip cookie dough brownies

healthier whole wheat dark chocolate brownies

peanut butter swirled fudge chunk brownies

marshmallow chocolate chip peanut butter blondies

fudgy dark chocolate candy cane oreo brownies

festive mint chocolate truffle brownie bites

pumpkin-cheesecake swirled dark chocolate brownies

coconut mocha fudge brownies

toasted coconut Samoas brownies

mexican hot chocolate brownies

chewy lemon ‘brownies’

triple chocolate peppermint brownie bites

caramel peanut butter snickers brownies

fudgy york peppermint patty brownies

mocha fudge brownies

candy bar brownies

pink & brownies

fudgy Andes mint brownies

perfectly fudgy gluten-free dairy-free brownies

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  • Judy H

    Just a question…so in addition to the chocolate chips in the batter, there are additional chocolate chips that go on top after baking?

    • annaliseree

      Only if you want, Judy! Sorry that wasn’t clearer. I don’t do that on a regular basis, but sometimes I can’t resist kicking up the chocolate-factor even more! :o)

      • Judy H

        Thank you for your response. When reading your “preview” you had mentioned putting the chocolate chips on top after baking. So, what you’re saying is the adding of more chocolate chips on top to melt is optional. That sounds quite yummy!

        • annaliseree

          Exactly Judy! :) Thanks for the clarification, in case others are confused!!

          • Smoker

            I don’t see anywhere if someone asked this, and if you could answer tonight that would be great (I plan to make tomorrow). Do you salted or unsalted butter? I’m assuming unsalted, but just want to make sure. Thanks!

          • Smoker

            Sorry about my stupid name. I don’t know how to change that (and I’m not a smoker anymore, quit 83 days ago!!!!!!! :)

          • annaliseree


          • annaliseree

            I use salted butter “Smoker” ;o) But you can definitely use unsalted if that’s what you have… just add a little bit more salt to the batter!

  • Sarah Christopher

    Thanks for posting this! I’ve been making the plain version from the recipe for the peppermint version :).

    • annaliseree

      :) Glad I could help!

  • Sarah M

    Your butter measurement is a little odd; 2/3c is about 10.5 TBSP of butter, and 1/2c + 1/3c like you suggest is closer to 13 TBSP, which is it?

    • annaliseree

      Oh no! Sorry Sarah! That was a typo for sure. It’s fixed now. Thanks for letting me know! <3

      • annaliseree

        2/3 cup (about 10.5 tbsp) is the correct amount!)

  • Molly Douglas

    Gee thanks! Now I’m obsessed with these brownies! Thanks for sharing — so delicious!

    • annaliseree

      Any time! ;) Glad I could pass on my obsession!

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  • Shawna

    I just tried these brownies after craving something sweet, and they were a hit! I don’t keep pre-made sweets in my house most of the time, so I was excited to see that I had all the ingredients I needed! And everyone said they were bigger and better than the boxed kind from the store too, even without the extra chocolate chips melted on top! I will be sharing on and giving you major kudos for a great recipe. Thanks!

    • annaliseree

      Thanks for the kind words Shawna!

  • Shawna

    I tried these tonight and the entire family LOVED them, even without the extra chocolate chips melted on top! I shared on my site, and linked back to you for the full recipe. Thanks for such a yummy recipe!

    • annaliseree

      Thank you Shawna! I appreciate your kind words, and I’m SO glad you’re family enjoy them!!

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  • renee

    Can you use regular cocoa powder in place of the dutch processed cocoa cause thats all I have?

    • annaliseree

      Yes, you can Renee! They will turn out a tiny bit differently but still very delicious!

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  • Brittany Elizabeth Aston

    YOU ARE MY HERO. I was looking for AGES for a brownie recipe that I liked better than the Ghirardelli Double Chocolate boxed mix, and I’m SO ecstatic to have finally found it!!!

    • annaliseree

      Awww… you are so sweet! Thanks for the kind words! :o)

      • Brittany Elizabeth Aston

        I just wanted to drop another note and let you know that this is officially my go-to brownie recipe! I’ve developed a little secret with this recipe though… instead of boiling water, try making it with fresh coffee! It dries the recipe out a bit, so you want to add a few tablespoons of extra coffee, but IT IS SO GOOD. Thank you so much for this recipe- I hope to use it for years to come! XOXO

        • annaliseree

          I make it with hot coffee all the time too!! :) So glad you like these. And thank you for coming back and telling me… that means a lot!!

          • Kristen Johnson

            Hi ladies! Can you explain the details on the coffee revision just a bit more for me? I’m new to baking, but I love brownies and coffee, so this caught my eye! I want to make these this weekend! And eat them now.

          • annaliseree

            Hi Kristen! Just add a splash more coffee than you would use hot water. It won’t take much more… I actually use equal amounts often too! :o)

    • Beth@FabulousWon

      ME too! Ilove the Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate boxed mix! I, unfortunately, made these in a 8×8 instead so I’m not sure if they are going to turn out yet! Opps!

  • DanahD

    These are by far THE best brownies I’ve ever made and had in my life! I was looking for something gooey with a nice crust on top and it’s exactly what I ended up with! I substituted the other 1/3 butter for 1/3 cup of vegetable oil and added white chocolate chips and a tiny drop of mint extract…. So heavenly! My go-to brownies! Thanks for sharing xoxo

    • annaliseree

      I’m so glad you liked them! :o) Thanks for letting me know! (My husband would LOVE your white chocolate chips addition… I will have to try that soon!)

  • Mary Ramsey

    Delicious! Thank you for the recipe.

  • MrsKC

    I just made these!!! The brownie is great but I’m not a huge fan of the chocolate chips inside…are they necessary for the batter or can I omit them???

    • annaliseree

      Oh yes, you can absolutely leave out the chocolate chips. I’m sorry I didn’t see this to respond to it sooner!! (You’ve probably already figured that out by now!) :)

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  • Jeannie Marie Thomas

    I’m still learning this oven in our rental. 35 minutes is definitely overkill :(. I think 25 would have been better, because these were terrible. Not your fault!! I’m going to modify my baking time and try these again, checking at about 20 minutes to start, because those in the pics are EXACTLY what I want, LOL! I wish mine had turned out like the that!! Thanks for the recipe ^_^.

    • Jeannie Marie Thomas

      I remade these and checked them at TWENTY minutes and the fork came out way too clean. Over-cooked again by at least a minute or so, but this time SO much better! Next time is a charm, and this recipe is amazing. Even a minute or so over-cooked, they are the best brownies I have ever made. SO good. I used a full bar of Ghirardelli semi-sweet baking chocolate chopped up and added directly in, then when they came hot out of the oven I added another chopped bar to the top, waited for it to melt, then smeared it on as a topping. These are deadly!

      • annaliseree

        Oh wow! You must have a HOT oven! I have made hundreds of batches of these, in many different ovens, all within the 35-45 minute range (exactly 40 in my oven!). Glad they turned out ok, even with all the adjusting you had to do!!

        • Lori

          Hello! Quick question regarding the brownies … what type of chips do you use .. semi-sweet or milk chocolate? Thank you!

          • annaliseree

            Hi Lori! I usually use semi-sweet because that’s what I have the most of, but I have used all kinds! You can even leave them out if you need to.

          • Lori

            You are so sweet with your timely response…I’m thinking brownies and peppermint ice cream for Christmas!

      • amber

        I don’t know if anyone has suggested it, but I had problems with burning things & over cooking in the past & i got an oven thermometer. Made a big difference. My oven was almost 50° hotter than it was set to. You might want to turn down the temp rather than cook for a shorter time. I hope this helps!

  • Valentina

    whats special about the dutch-processed cocoa powder

    • annaliseree

      Valentina, it makes for a darker, richer brownie. But by all means, if you don’t have dutched, just use regular. It won’t be as dark, but it will still taste great!

  • mary

    These are currently baking in my oven and I can not wait to eat them. I did do a small moderation, I used 1 cup of chocolate chips and 1 cup of andes mint chips. Mmmmmm

  • Jdasty

    Hi Anna, came across this recipe on pinterest needing a new brownie recipe. I always read the comments before I bake something new. Just wanted you to know how sweet you seem and I’m very impressed with you fast you respond to your readers. It says a lot about you.

  • KimZhang13690

    Can you use Imperial vegetable spread instead of butter? If so, what would be the conversion?

    • annaliseree

      I would not suggest it Kim! If you need to use a butter substitute, I would suggest coconut oil, or even canola oil if you have to. Butter will taste best, though!

  • Laura

    do you se gluten free flour in the recipe? It does not say so. Can i just use regular flour?

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  • delicatefade

    I’m not sure if you will read this or remember me, but I just came to your blog from Gretchen’s blog. I was browsing through when I saw this recipe, which looked familiar. It turns out I pinned it the other day, and I had no idea it was yours! (I am Stacey, from the Mom Heart Conference… we got a ride with Gretchen)

    • annaliseree

      I do remember you Stacey! Hi!! :o) (And how fun that you found this recipe on Pinterest. It’s a small world for sure!)

  • Kristen Johnson

    Question… I was thinking about making these in heart-shaped silicone cupcake molds (like these: ). Would I change my baking time or ingredients, or anything? Thanks!

    • annaliseree

      Yes, you will need to watch them time wise. Everything else will be the same, but I can’t tell you exactly how long they will take to bake. Start checking around 20 minutes and every 3-5 minutes after until they are just set. Good luck!

  • Alannah

    Was super excited to make these last night so I got all the ingredients together this afternoon. Was looking forward to making some homemade fudgy brownies but was seriously disappointed in the texture. It was more cake like than fudge and I had even followed the recipe exactly.. ;( Good taste but will not be using this recipe in the future.

    • annaliseree

      I’m so sorry you were disappointed in the brownies Alannah! It sounds like they maybe overbaked a little? Every oven runs different, and you really want these to be just barely baked through… Always better to err on the side of underbaked for all brownies as they will set up a bit as they cool. Give them another try and bake them a few minutes less. Also make sure your flour isn’t packed too tightly. Either spoon it into the measuring cups or stir the flour really well in the container so it’s nice and light before measuring and mixing the batter!

      • Alannah

        Hmm okay. Perhaps I’ll give it one more chance. I don’t believe it was my flour but perhaps I will try less time on the brownies. I usually do the minimal baking time so I suppose next time will be under that. Thank you very much for responding and giving me the tips. :)

        • annaliseree

          I’m happy to try and help, Alannah! I have had another person tell me they found these brownies to be done at about 25 minutes… then later got an oven thermometer to check their oven and it was running quite hot! Just something to think about. Every oven is different! Another little trick with brownies… the minute you start smelling them, check them. They will probably be done or close to it! Good luck!

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  • Angie

    Wow these were so rich and delicious. I had to cut away the edges because they were a little dry. My oven tends to run hot so next time I will lower the temperature a bit. Even so, I have to say…these were the best brownies ever!

    • annaliseree

      Yes, please lower your oven temperature, or just pull them out a few minutes earlier. I always err on the side of underbaked, because even if I lose a brownie or two in the center that is too underdone (who am I kidding, I eat that gooeyness with some ice cream!) the edges stay just perfect! So glad you enjoyed them regardless!

  • Anastasia

    WOW – these are hands down the best brownies i have ever had! I had most of the items on hand and used high quality butter, Ghirardelli chocolate chips, and used Morenita sugar instead of white sugar. WOW. YOU MUST TRY WITH MORENITA SUGAR (in clear/green packaging)!! It needs less sugar than the 2 cups because it is sweeter than reg sugar(imo the brownies came out a bit too sweet for me to finish the brownie with 2 cups of morenita). These were a HIT with my friends, even at that sweetness and my boyfriend is THE PICKIEST MAN ON EARTH he hates fast food and is critical with all foods restaurant and homemade. He asked me to PLEASE make these more often – they were the best he will probably ever try. Another friend adored these (even better than his mom’s who before trying these had said were amazing) and asks me when he can buy a whole batch from me because he needs his CRACK! Thank you for putting this recipe up you have increased my confidence in baking and cooking!!! (I made these for my bf’s birthday. Amazing with Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla and homemade lasagna <3) Truly, you are a saint for putting this up! I'm making a batch as I type<3


    • annaliseree

      Thank you for such a sweet review of my brownies! I am SO glad you guys enjoy them as much as we do. You made my day, sweetie! (And I will remember your morenita tip, next time I get my hands on some!)

  • Melissa

    Hi Annalise,
    First of all i want to say your brownies look AMAZING!!!
    I bake them myself but the problem i had is that they didn’t rise much. I don’t know how much should they normally rise and if perhaps i use more baking soda it would help or why it happen if i followed your recipe exactly.
    Thanks for your help in advance! ☼

    • annaliseree

      Hmmm… Well, they won’t rise a TON, they are not cake-y, so they will stay pretty dense and chewy. I wouldn’t add more baking soda, but maybe make sure you have a fresh container open. Sometimes it gets old before we realize it! Also, you could add a few tablespoons more flour to see if that helps…

  • Barb Hoffy

    I made these last night. I was looking for a recipe that worked well in a mini muffin tin. These did the trick. They are so yummy…. just the way brownies should be. I’m going to try them using Pernigotti Cocoa next to see if there is a difference. I only changed one ingredient. I added 1/2 cup strong coffee instead of the water. They were delicious…. thanks for sharing this yummy recipe!

    • annaliseree

      I’m so glad you liked them Barb! I use coffee often. So good! :)

  • Smoker

    I hope you can answer this today, as I need to get the ingredients after work tomorrow. Do you use salted or unsalted butter?

    • Smoker

      Never mind, I see where you answered this awhile ago. Sorry!!!

      • annaliseree

        Glad you found the answer! How’d they turn out?

        • Smoker

          I ended up making something else, but this will be next on my list since I have everything I need to make it!!!! I will let you know when I do!!!

  • angry person

    theses were the hardest f***ing brownies to make they took forever to bake

    • annaliseree

      Wow. I’m sorry these were hard for you! I’ve never had a complaint about them being hard or taking too long before, and I regularly whip them up in about 15 minutes and then into the oven (so, brownies hot and ready in an hour!). If you have any specific questions or issues, I’d love to help you troubleshoot!

  • Samantha

    Is the batter supposed to be super thick?