A true chocolate brownie recipe like the box brownies! These homemade brownies get a glossy skin, crispy edges, and are light and fudgy just like the box brownie mix everyone loves! Say goodbye to the store-bought brownies and make this brownie mix to have on hand anytime!

boxed brownie recipe

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Try our Cream Cheese Brownies for rich and decadent bars! Or if you love warm brownies, serve them with our homemade Vanilla Ice Cream! Enjoy with a glass of milk or eat by hand. These make the perfect dessert to take to a potluck, summer picnic, or party!

My brownie search is over. This is the best brownie recipe from scratch! It really does taste like the brownie box mix from the store and is light (not cakey) but fudgy, something you don’t always get with brownies from scratch.

brownie mix recipe

I came to this easy brownie recipe after I stumbled across a commercial formula for making brownies. Their formula was based on percentage and to my surprise the brownies consisted mostly of confectionery sugar according to the list. I tested these cocoa powder brownies until I got the desired glossy top and sweetness I was looking for. My first attempt turned out cakey and not as sweet as the boxed brownies. So, I decreased the flour and increased the powdered sugar…

The verdict: it’s true perfection, glossy, sweet, crispy edges, chewy, light, and fudgy! The kitchen smelled like I baked a boxed brownie mix but they were 100% from scratch! This could be a bad thing because they’re so close to Duncan Hine’s brownie mix, everyone might think you made boxed brownies…Oh well, at least you know what’s in them!

Healthy Brownies Variations:

This box brownie recipe doesn’t stop here. You can add healthier variations for some of the ingredients, here is how.

  • Gluten-free brownies- substitute ground oats or a gluten-free flour mix for the flour. You can also use soft wheat flour, which tends to have lower amounts of gluten in it. If using soft wheat flour add 2-4 additional tablespoons of flour to the brownie mix.
  • Make your own powdered sugar with healthier sweeteners like organic cane sugar or Sucanat. Simply blend it in a blender and add a tablespoon of potato starch or cornstarch.
  • Cocoa powder can be substituted for carob powder. You can also use raw cacao powder too.
  • Use palm fruit shortening it’s a trans-fat-free type of shortening.

Note: this recipe for brownies makes the perfect egg substitute for brownies! You don’t need any eggs here!

Homemade Brownie Recipe Ingredients:

The main ingredient in these brownie bars is powdered sugar! With the right flour-to-sugar ratio, you’ll get that shiny gloss you crave on brownies! Keep in mind that this is a brownie recipe with cocoa powder, so they will not be as dense. Here is everything you need to make brownies like the boxed mix! You can add a sprinkle of chocolate chips into the mix for more chocolatey flavor.

ingredients for a brownie recipe like the box brownie mix

  • Powdered Sugar- is what gives brownies the incredible shiny crust. When I used less of it I had less shine. It’s also a big flavor factor, if you want the mix closest to the boxed brownies you need to add the amount called for–nobody wants bland brownies.
  • All-purpose flour- a little is all you need. If using freshly ground soft wheat add 2-4 tablespoons more of flour. Pastry flour will work too, to make brownies.
  • Cocoa powder- Hershey’s is my preferred brand or use a good medium brown 10/12 natural cocoa with a 5.0-6.0 ph.
  • Shortening- has a shelf life vs butter so, if you want to make the mix months ahead you’re better off using shortening. I like palm fruit shortening which is a healthier option. However, use softened butter if you can.
  • Sea salt- is my favorite kind of salt to use for baking or cooking.
  • Vanilla extract- is best to use for making brownies right away, for making ahead the brownie mix you will need to use dry Vanillin.

Once you make the brownie mix you can add the wet ingredients which are water, oil, and eggs (just like the boxed brownies!)

How To Make Brownies:

The key to a fudgy brownie recipe is to not overmix the batter. Simply combine the dry ingredients followed by the wet ingredients. The batter shouldn’t be too thick and should look glossy from the sugar. If you use my favorite brownie pan (this non-stick 9x9 square pan) you can skip the parchment paper.

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients; flour, cocoa powder, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl.
  2. Rub the shortening into the dry ingredients or use a pastry cutter to work the shortening and flour together.
  3. Then add the wet ingredients of water, eggs, and oil and whisk together just until moist.
  4. Pour batter into a 9×9 square non-stick pan (if using a regular pan line with parchment paper to easily remove and cut later.)
  5. Using a rubber spatula spread the batter evenly over to all four sides of the pan.
  6. Transfer the pan to a preheated 350°F and bake for 22 minutes. For fudgy brownies insert a toothpick into the center, if you see moist crumbs attached to the toothpick it’s done, if it looks covered in brownie batter you may need to bake an additional few minutes.
  7. Cool completely before slicing otherwise your knife will have brownie batter all over it and it’ll get messy.

Store leftover brownies in an airtight container or zip-loc bag at room temperature for up to 3 days. Brownies also freeze well so you can transfer them to the freezer for up to 3 months.

How To Make Boxed Brownies Better:

See the step-by-step tutorial in the recipe card below to make the best brownie mix from scratch! We love this homemade box brownie mix!

  • Use leftover brownie bars in pudding desserts. Simply layer cubed brownie bites alternating with chocolate pudding and whipped cream. This is great for dried-out brownies that haven’t been eaten within a few days.
  • Make cosmic brownies by smearing a thin coat of chocolate ganache over the top and sprinkling with mini m&m’s.
  • Brownie in a mug: add 3.5 ounces of the dry brownie mix into a 12 oz mug. Add 3 Tbsp of milk and mix well. Microwave uncovered on high for 1 minute and 10 seconds or until the surface is mostly dried. Top with chocolate frosting if desired.
  • Make triple chocolate brownies (like Ghirardelli brownie mix) by adding 2 Tbsp of each into the dry mix; semi-sweet chocolate chips, bittersweet chocolate chips, and milk chocolate chips.
  • Whip up this quick brownie frosting! Mix together 6 Tbsp of shortening, 12 Tbsp of powdered sugar (heaping), 3 tsp of cream, and 2-4 tbsp of cocoa powder. Frost the top of your baked brownies!

How To Cut Brownies:

The key to even cuts is to let the brownies cool. For a non-stick hack use a plastic knife (it shouldn’t stick to the plastic silverware)! Another option for slicing brownies is to allow the brownies to sit for two hours then use a sharp knife to make even cuts and wipe the knife in between each cut to remove any chocolate residue. A bench scraper is also a great cutting tool. I love this serving spatula for brownies!


How Many Boxes of Brownie Mix for a Sheetpan?

This fudge brownies recipe is equivalent to a standard box of brownies. You’ll need four boxes of brownie mix to fit an 18×13 sheet pan or simply quadruple this recipe.

Can You Use Olive Oil in Brownies?

You could but you will taste the olive oil in brownies. Use a neutral oil like canola or sunflower oil.

How Long Do Brownies Last?

Brownies can keep up to 3 days at room temperature. Store in an airtight container so they don’t dry out.

Best Brownie Recipe Tips:

  1. Cut warm brownies with a plastic knife in a sawing motion. It’s the perfect non-stick cut ware!
  2. Wondering what to add to Brownie Mix? Add mini chocolate chips into the dry mix.
  3. Don’t overbake brownies, brownies should look semi-wet in the center but if looks too wet or jiggly give it some extra time. You want moist crumbs to come out with the toothpick if you are pulling up lots of wet batter then you need more time to bake. If your toothpick comes out clean you overbaked your brownies.
  4. Cool and slice your brownies with a chef’s knife for even cuts.
  5. Use a neutral oil like canola or sunflower oil. You will taste olive oil in the brownies if using.
  6. How to tell if brownies are done? Perfect brownies should look gooey in the middle (not too wet). They will firm up the longer they sit. So, if you press down the center you should be able to make moist indents, however, if you have sticky fingertips and pick up batter it’s not ready.
  7. Double the recipe to fit a 13×9 pan.

More Chocolate Desserts To Make:

How To Make a Box Brownie Recipe from Scratch:

Boxed Brownie Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 32 minutes
Servings: 16 bars
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
A true chocolate brownie recipe like the box brownies! This homemade brownie mix gets a glossy skin, crispy edges, and is light and fudgy just like the box brownie mix everyone loves! Say goodbye to the store-bought brownies and make this brownie mix to have on hand anytime!


  • 1 9x9 non-stick square pan (USA brand is what I used)
  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 fine sieve
  • 1 Wire Whisk


Brownie Mix:

Wet Ingredients:



  • dry brownie ingredients
    Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large bowl sift together the dry ingredients (powdered sugar, flour, cocoa powder, vanillin, and salt).
  • Whisk the brownie mix together and cut in the shortening. The mixture should look a little crumbly. You can store this dry brownie mix in an airtight bag for up to 3 months, otherwise proceed with the recipe.
  • Add the wet ingredients (3 Tbsp water, 1/2 cup oil, and 2 eggs. Whisk together the brownie batter until you see no more dry mix (do not over-mix even if it looks lumpy).
  • Pour the brownie batter into a non-stick 9x9 pan.
  • Bake brownies in a preheated 350°F oven for 22 minutes. Cool before cutting. Makes 16 square bars.


  • **Vanillin is a concentrated dry vanilla flavoring powder. You can substitute it with 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. If storing the dry brownie mix ahead of time add the wet vanilla extract to the wet ingredients when making.
  • Double the batch to fit a 13x9 pan.
  • Pro Cutting Tip: cut warm brownies with a plastic knife in short sawing motions. Plastic silverware is non-stick. 

Nutrition per serving

Serving: 1barCalories: 187kcalCarbohydrates: 20gProtein: 2gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 82mgPotassium: 53mgFiber: 1gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 30IUCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg





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    • Natalie

    Hello, can I substitute palm fruit shortening?

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Absolutely, use softened butter or any type of lard or shortening.

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