Basic Homemade Brownies Recipe

Calling all the chocolate lovers out there — this one's for you. There's nothing quite like enjoying a warm brownie or two with a glass of milk. These chewy little squares of fudgy goodness are hard to resist (and even harder to stop eating after just one). But baking the perfect brownie can be challenging even if you know your way around the kitchen. Fortunately for you, recipe developer Sher Castellano has taken the guesswork out of whipping up the ultimate batch of brownies.

With just five minutes of prep work and 40 minutes of bake time, you'll have a dozen decadent brownies that are undeniably perfect to serve at a gathering or enjoy all by yourself for a treat. And best of all, this is a "from scratch" recipe, so when you receive compliments for your delicious dessert, you can proudly accept them instead of questioning in the back of your mind, "Does it really count if I used a box mix?"

So, get out your mixing bowl, and keep that sweet tooth in check (for now), because your kitchen is about to smell amazing!

Gather your ingredients to prepare basic homemade brownies

In order to prepare these basic homemade brownies, you'll need the following ingredients: cane sugar, all-purpose flour, sea salt, olive oil, vanilla, water, and (of course) cocoa powder. Even though some brownie recipes call for three eggs (depending on whether you want your brownies to have a fudgy or a more cakey texture), Castellano says for this particularly recipe, it's important to only use two large eggs. And if you have any concerns that the eggs in your fridge have started to turn rotten, there are a couple of easy tricks to test them in order to avoid a culinary disaster.

Prepare your oven and baking dish

To begin your recipe, preheat your oven to 325 F. Next, lightly spray an 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray, and then line it with parchment paper. Yes, you read that right. To make evenly baked, perfectly textured brownies, both cooking spray and parchment paper are crucial. And if you're wondering why the cooking spray is essential if the brownies aren't making direct contact with the baking dish, Castellano explains, "Spraying the dish holds the parchment paper in place." And remember, there is a big difference between parchment paper and wax paper, which means they're not interchangeable.

Sift your dry ingredients

In a medium bowl, sift together the sugar, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder and the sea salt. While a sifter can be handy for this step, it isn't necessary. As Castellano explains, "Sifting is a process that breaks up any lumps in the flour and aerates it at the same time." With this in mind, you can also use a fine mesh sieve or a spoon for this step. But with that in mind, it's still important to sift your ingredients for this and other recipes, or you could ruin your culinary creations before they even go into the oven.

Whisk your wet ingredients

After you've sifted your dry ingredients, whisk together the two large eggs, olive oil, vanilla extract, and the water in a large bowl. A popular modern spin on classic brownies is swapping out the oil (and maybe some of the sugar) for applesauce. However, Castellano says it's important to not substitute ingredients for this recipe. "Baking is a science, and this recipe has only been tested as is," she explains. Yes, you can easily exchange the word "recipe" for "formula" when you think about things like the Maillard reaction and other chemical interactions that are involved in both baking and cooking.

Combine your wet and dry ingredients

Once your wet ingredients are fully whisked, transfer the dry ingredients into the large bowl with the wet ingredients, and fold everything together until well combined. A major concern when making brownies is over-mixing the ingredients. However, Castellano says while it is possible to mix your homemade brownies' ingredients too much, it is "not necessarily a concern" for this recipe.

Besides how people mix their brownies' ingredients, basic brownies have been tweaked over the years to include a number of additional ingredients. However, just as Castellano cautions against adding or changing ingredients in this recipe, you should also never add ground coffee to your brownies.

Bake your brownies

Spoon your thick brownie batter into the prepared pan, and bake for either 40 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test. (Note that when you poke it with a toothpick, the toothpick should come out with only a few crumbs attached.) 

Remember, it's important to let your brownies cool completely before slicing and storing them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. "Cooling time allows them to take shape," Castellano says. "Cutting before disrupts this process."

Once your brownies are cooled and cut, you can save them for later. Of course, you may want to enjoy your sweet treats sooner rather than later either as is or, as Castellano recommends, topped with some vanilla ice cream.

Basic Homemade Brownies Recipe
5 from 31 ratings
You'll want to keep this basic homemade brownies recipe on hand for when you're craving a sweet, chocolatey treat.
Prep Time
Cook Time
close-up of brownies stacked
Total time: 45 minutes
  • 1 ¼ cups cane sugar
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Lightly spray an 8x8-inch baking dish with cooking spray, and then line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, and sea salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and water.
  4. Transfer the dry ingredients into the large bowl with the wet ingredients, and fold together until well combined.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs attached.
  6. Cool completely before slicing and enjoying.
Calories per Serving 198
Total Fat 10.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.9 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 31.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 26.7 g
Dietary Fiber 2.1 g
Total Sugars 21.0 g
Sodium 91.9 mg
Protein 2.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
Rate this recipe