Fudgy Brownies From Scratch

4.97 from 28 votes

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These dense and fudgy from-scratch brownies are made with melted chocolate and without cocoa powder for a perfectly crackly top– ditch the box forever!

fudgy brownies cut into squares and one positioned to see the inside of the brownie

Nothing beats a warm Brownie From Scratch

It has been a very long time that I’ve been making brownies from scratch. In fact, even before I had a recipe site, I was making brownies from scratch, even though I was making a lot of other things from a box.

By way of something, I discovered long ago that the best brownies come from using ingredients I just about always have on hand, only a little bit more work than box brownies, and I haven’t grabbed a boxed brownie mix from the shelf in longer than I can remember.

sliced homemade brownies

It’s funny, I encourage you all over my website to make things from scratch. In fact, I LOVE teaching you how to bake things from scratch, but I do understand that making things like cake and yeast bread from scratch, while always worth it, does take a significant amount of time and planning ahead.

These perfect fudgy brownies? Not really too much more time, and I mean that honestly.

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While there is a bit of wait time once you melt your butter and chocolate before moving on with the rest of the easy brownie recipe, I promise once you finish your first batch of scratch brownies, you’ll ditch those boxed mixes forever.

sliced brownies sitting on a surface with parchment paper

I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s talk about the ingredients you’ll need for my favorite brownie recipe so you understand the science behind the whats and whys.

Fudgy Brownie Recipe Ingredients

The list of ingredients for these fudgy chocolate brownies is simple and this recipe is seriously the only brownie recipe I use. In fact, out of the 20+ brownie recipes on my site (and that collection is always growing!), all of those brownies start with this exact recipe. All of them. Cool, huh?

For these brownies, you’ll need:

UNSALTED BUTTER— this is the main fat source we’ll use for these brownies. While box mix brownies typically call for oil, which definitely equals moist brownies, I prefer the flavor that butter brings to the brownies, adding more depth of flavor to the brownies.

SEMI-SWEET CHOCOLATE— we’ll get all of the chocolate flavor for these chewy brownies from melted chocolate. We’ll use semi-sweet (as opposed to unsweetened or dark chocolate or even milk chocolate) for its moisture content. Do not use unsweetened, dark, or milk chocolate in this brownie batter. I have tested this brownie recipe and believe me, it matters.

BROWN SUGAR— I love using brown sugar to sweeten baked goods, since it’s full of deep molasses flavor and extra moisture. Remember how I said the chocolate matters because of the moisture content? The sugar matters for the same reason.

GRANULATED SUGAR— we’ll use just a touch of granulated sugar alongside the brown sugar. The granulated sugar is part of the key to that crackly top. As it melts, it combines with the whites of the eggs (coming next!) to form a very thin layer of meringue, which makes that beautifully shiny top that cracks upon slicing.

sliced brownies in a box

EGGS— aside from being a binder for the wet ingredients, the eggs are part of the journey to the ultimate fudgy brownies. By loading up with eggs, we’re avoiding dry brownies while also adding more fat which means more of a fudgy texture.

VANILLA EXTRACT— it goes without saying that we need some vanilla to round out the overall flavor of the pan of brownies. Don’t leave it out, ever!

ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR— we’re adding just a touch of flour here. It’s crucial to be sure you’re only adding ¾ cup of flour (90g) in order to keep the brownies dense and fudgy. If you add too much flour, you risk winding up with a cake-like brownie without the crinkly top. Since we’re using the perfect amount of flour in these perfect brownies, we don’t need any unsweetened cocoa powder. So leave it in the pantry and don’t even look at it!

SALT— last but not least, a little salt does wonders for balancing the sweetness of the chocolate.

How to make Fudgy Brownies from Scratch

The method for these easy homemade brownies is simple, but will require you to build in some waiting for cooling before finishing the brownie batter.

  1. To start, melt butter and chopped chocolate in a saucepan over low heat. This is the first step to the melted sugar crystals that will help make the tops nice and flaky.

2. Once that’s melted, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Allowing it to cool is crucial to making sure we don’t cook the egg mixture.

But by not allowing it to cool completely, we can use the retained heat to help dissolve the brown and granulated sugars that will combine with the egg whites to make that meringue we talked about to achieve the crinkly tops.

whisking sugar into brownie batter in a saucepan

3. After the sugar and eggs are all whisked in and the mixture is smooth, you’ll gently whisk in the flour. Don’t over-mix this batter to avoid tough brownies. Gluten works the same in brownie batter the same way it does cake batter, even if there’s only a little bit of it in the batter.

whisking flour into brownie batter in a saucepan

4. Once there are no more flour streaks, pour the brownie batter into a prepared square baking pan.

a whisk pulling brownie batter out of a saucepan before pouring it into a baking pan

5. You’ll bake these brownies for 25-30 minutes, stopping exactly at 25 minutes to test the center of the pan. You’re looking for moist crumbs on the tester, because the brownies will continue to bake a bit once removed from the oven and we don’t want to overbake them.

brownie batter in a pan ready to bake

Brownies from Scratch Recipe variations

COOKIE DOUGH BROWNIES: love cookie dough? These cookie dough brownies are for you! Made with safe-to-eat cookie dough swirled into the batter and in the frosting on top, these brownies combine the best of both the brownie and cookie world with every bite!

COOKIES & CREAM BROWNIES: another cookie + brownie mash-up, these cookies & cream brownies combine crunchy Oreos, creamy white chocolate chips, and of course, my favorite brownie base. So much texture and flavor!

COFFEE BROWNIES: my most popular brownie recipe is my coffee brownies, made with concentrated coffee and topped with a creamy coffee buttercream.

MINT CHOCOLATE BROWNIES: if you are a mint chocolate lover, my mint chocolate brownies should be next on your list! A layer of mint buttercream sits between fudgy brownies and a creamy chocolate ganache topping. So decadent!

NUTELLA BROWNIES: Nutella lovers, my Nutella brownies are for you! With Nutella swirled right into the brownie batter, these brownies have a hint of that hazelnut flavor that you love in every bite.

Looking for more? Here are all of my brownie recipes (20+ recipes in total)!

Tips for making this Brownie Recipe Without Cocoa Powder


Another key to a good brownie with chewy edges is using a metal pan vs a glass pan. Glass tends to bake things faster, so you won’t wind up with the same gooey brownies using a glass pan.

If all you have is glass, reduce the oven temperature by 25º and bake for the same amount of time.

You have to have these Fudgy Brownies

Over the years, I have had so many readers tell me that this recipe was the first one they’ve ever tried from scratch and they are now believers.

aerial photo of sliced homemade brownies

In fact, true story, I had someone tell me they follow me only to look at my mouth-watering pictures because they don’t bake much at all, but they have made these brownies and said it’s the best brownie recipe they’ve ever had.

Relatedly, and in conclusion/one last chance to convince you the same… I am here to shout from the rooftops that scratch brownies are my only way. Like, ONLY ONLY WAY.

And I will never stop telling everyone I meet who doesn’t agree that scratch brownies are so much easier than you think they are and they really are so super delicious.

a stack of sliced brownies

Many years ago, actually in the post for my Peppermint Pattie brownies, I suggested that I get something about “scratch brownies are better” engraved in my headstone, and I’m sticking by that one.

“Lynn April: wife, mother, baker, sprinkle enthusiast. SCRATCH BROWNIES ARE BETTER.”

I think it has a nice ring to it.

In fact, when I took some of my chocolate chip cheesecake swirl brownies to a party, someone said “I’ve never had brownies that taste better as you chew them.”

I MEAN. If that isn’t the best compliment?! 

So, please… Give this fudgy brownie recipe a try. I know you won’t be disappointed, and I know I have a pretty good chance of making you want “SCRATCH BROWNIES ARE BETTER” on your headstone too.

aerial photo of homemade fudgy brownies

Too much? Maybe. But maybe not, either.

Here are a few of my other recipes of brownies made with this exact same base. Enjoy my cherry brownies, funfetti brownies, cookie dough brownies, and fudgy Nutella brownies.

cut brownies with one on its side so you can see the inside of it
4.97 from 28 votes
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Brownies from Scratch Recipe

These dense and fudgy from-scratch brownies are made with melted chocolate and without cocoa powder for a perfectly crackly top– ditch the box forever!
Prep Time15 minutes
Bake Time25 minutes
Total Time40 minutes
Recipe Author Lynn April
Servings: 16 brownies


  • ½ cup (113g) unsalted butter cut into 6-8 slices
  • 8 ounces (227g) semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
  • ¾ cup (150g) firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup (50g) granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs room temperature preferred1
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup (90g) all-purpose flour be sure to measure properly
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177ºC). Line an 8" or 9" square metal baking pan2 with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chopped chocolate, stirring frequently until completely smooth. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
  • Whisk sugar into slightly cooled chocolate mixture until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after each addition until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the flour and salt and stir gently until completely combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake brownies for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs. Allow brownies to cool completely before cutting into squares.
  • When you are ready to cut the brownies, remove the brownies by lifting the foil overhang straight up. Peel back remaining foil and place brownie block onto a large cutting board. Store leftover brownies at room temperature up to 1 week. Brownies freeze well, up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator overnight.


  1. Room temperature eggs: these incorporate into batter much more easily than cold eggs, although this is not absolutely necessary.
  2. Metal pan: if all you have is a glass pan, reduce oven temperature by 25º and bake for the same amount of time.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @freshaprilflours on Instagram or tag #freshaprilflours!

Nutrition Disclosure

All nutritional values are approximate and provided to the reader as a courtesy. Changing ingredients and/or quantities will alter the estimated nutritional calculations.

Serving: 1brownie | Calories: 218kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 47mg | Sodium: 53mg | Potassium: 114mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 229IU | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. 4 stars
    Came out super cake-y and definitely not a brownie. I followed the recipe step by step and made sure to do everything right, but honestly it tasted super good and was the best chocolate cake I’ve ever had which is the only reason I’m rating this a 4 / 5.

    1. Hi, Hana– I can assure you these brownies are not cakey at all, so my guess is you did not measure the flour properly. Thanks for giving it a try, but I’d suggest weighing the flour as I explain in the recipe for best results.

  2. 5 stars
    It’s a my go to recipie love it. But off late the base is very oily when it comes out of the oven. Any idea why ? Thanks

    1. Hi, Monica– be sure that when you’re heating the butter and chocolate that you don’t do it too quickly. This can cause the fats to separate and make your brownies oily. Pay attention to that and let me know if you’re still having trouble!

    2. Can’t wait to try this today for my kids! Searching for the perfect brownie recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    The best brownies! I followed the recipe except for I did not have a chocolate bar so I used semi sweet chocolate chips. I used a glass baking dish and turned down the heat as suggested. My husband said the recipe is a keeper. And it is a 10 out of 10.

  4. 5 stars
    Super fudgy and delicious! This was so easy to make and it tastes amazing! I used 70% dark chocolate. A little bite goes a long way! This totally hit the spot.

  5. 5 stars
    Great recipe! I weighed the ingredients and they came out perfect and fudgey. Mine took about 5 minutes longer than stated, but that’s typical with my oven. Will definitely make them again!

  6. 5 stars
    Definitely fudgy and delicious!
    We prefer it less sweet so I reduced the sugar slightly, it still came out great. My friends loved it. I might try it again with dark chocolate. Thanks for the easy to follow recipe!

  7. Can’t wait to make these but was wondering what chocolate bar you were chopping up in the video?

    1. Hi, Felicia– I was chopping a Baker’s chocolate bar. They are my preferred brand of quality baking chocolate.

  8. 5 stars
    I just made these brownies, they were so simple and the minute they came out of the oven, my husband wouldn’t let them cool! They are delicious!! And she was right, they aren’t hard to make! I saved this recipe, and will make these over and over again! Thank you!

  9. 5 stars
    Just made these tonight and they are 10/10! I haven’t found a brownie recipe I’ve liked until now! I’m trying out several for my nieces wedding cookie/dessert table, but I think I can stop with these! Can’t wait to try out a few of your cookie recipes! Also, could I double this for a 9×13?

    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! 🙂 you can double it for a 9×13. Bake time will be roughly the same, but add 2-3 minutes at a time if they’re not done when you check them!

  10. 5 stars
    This is such an easy recipe and these brownies are the best ones I have ever made. Taste delicious too and will not last long.