Best Ever Chewy Brownies Recipe - Handle the Heat

Best Ever Chewy Brownies

March 15th, 2017
4.85 from 928 votes
4.85 from 928 votes

The BEST Chewy Brownies are just as chewy as the boxed brownies but packed with way more chocolate flavor. One bowl recipe made in less than 1 hour!

Yield: 9 large or 16 small brownies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook: 30 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Just the right amount of chocolate and sweetness.
Texture: CHEWY, of course 🙂
Ease: Super easy. One bowl, no melting chocolate, and no electric mixer.
Appearance: You can just see how gooey and moist these are!
Pros: Better than boxed and almost as easy.
Cons: None.
I make this again? Absolutely.

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I have shared a whole lot of brownie recipes over the years. Almost 40 to be exact!

Between all that brownie baking and completing my Ultimate Brownie Guide I’m pretty much your go-to brownie expert for the best brownie recipe. Really, I should put that on my business card.

But what I realized in looking at all those brownie recipes is that I’ve never shared a CHEWY brownie recipe. Sure, my Ultimate Brownies have a good level of chewiness. But they’re also very rich and fudgy. So these Chewy Brownies have been a long time coming. If you love box mix brownies, you’ll love these both for their chewiness and for how easy they are. Much quicker and easier than my Ultimate Brownies!

Ultra chewy brownies on parchment paper with crinkly crust on top. Better than box mix!

I think if you read some of the comments for these best homemade brownies below you’ll want to make this recipe ASAP. Just see what Susan said:

These are the BEST brownies ever! My husband says that in the 31 years we’ve been married and I’ve been baking these absolutely his favorite of all time.

The Kitchn recently tested this Chewy Brownie recipe, with author Grace Elkus raving about how quick and easy this recipe is! She says the brownies “form a shiny, crackly top as promised. Each square is thick and decadent, with melty chocolate chips studded throughout.” Thanks so much to Grace Elkus and The Kitchn team for trying this recipe.

Bon Appétit also recently used this Chewy Brownie recipe as part of their research in their quest to create a perfect brownie. Thanks so much to Chris Morocco and the Bon Appétit team for including us!

How to Make Chewy Brownies

Ultra chewy brownies better than box mix!

Let me explain exactly what makes these brownies so chewy and easy. You can skip this if you don’t care WHY these brownies are the way they are and you just want the printable recipe asap.

Chocolate & Cocoa Powder

Unlike my Ultimate Fudgy Brownies, which utilize two types of melted chocolate, these brownies get their main chocolate flavor from cocoa powder with semi-sweet chocolate chips stirred into the batter. Cocoa powder definitely yields a chewier brownie and has a flavor reminiscent of boxed brownies.

The photos on this post show what the brownies look like if you use regular unsweetened cocoa powder. In the recipe video, I used Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder. It gave the brownies an ultra dark chocolaty appearance with a little less sweetness.

Since creating this video, however, Hershey’s has changed the formula of that specific cocoa powder to a Dutched cocoa powder. I recommend sticking with a natural cocoa powder, such as Ghirardelli Cocoa Powder or Penzey’s Natural Cocoa Powder, for best results. Learn more about the differences between Dutch-process cocoa powder and natural cocoa powder here.

Feel free to fold in any kind of chocolate chips you want from dark chocolate or milk chocolate, but semisweet is my favorite. Whatever you do, don’t skip the chocolate chips! They help to develop that shiny crust on top of brownies.


With any cocoa powder-based brownie recipe, we need quite a bit of fat to prevent the cocoa powder from drying the brownies out and making them crumbly. In looking at what makes box mix brownies so chewy, it appears that the combination of saturated (solid) fats and unsaturated (liquid) fats is the winning answer. According to Cooks’ Illustrated, boxed brownies have the saturated fat component covered which is why you add oil (unsaturated) to the mix. I opted for a combination of melted butter and vegetable oil for the best marriage of taste and texture.

Make sure your vegetable oil is fresh to avoid any off flavors and use unsalted butter so you can fully control the level of saltiness. I haven’t tested these brownies with canola oil.

For a full breakdown on these two types of fats and how they affect flavor, tenderness, and texture, check out my Butter vs. Oil in Baking article. There are lots more side-by-side comparisons like this one (and not just with brownies!):

sliced brownies on a pan comparing whether oil or butter is better in baking


I stuck with granulated sugar here because although I love the taste of brown sugar, I didn’t want to add any more moisture (brown sugar contributes more moisture due to the molasses that’s added in) to these already very moist and rich brownies. Too much moisture creates brownies that have lots of holes on top instead of that shiny tissue thin crust.


2 large eggs is pretty standard for an 8 by 8-inch brownie recipe, but I just had to add in an egg yolk for the extra dose of chewiness and richness it gives. The protein and the fat in the egg yolk helps achieve those textures. We use cold eggs, instead of room temperature, to prevent the brownies from doming and to increase moisture with a tighter crumb texture.


All-purpose flour is the way to go here, cake flour makes these brownies way too tender and light. We can achieve enough chewiness without having to use bread flour, which can prevent an extra trip to the store for a lot of people. To make chewy AND fudgy brownies, we only need to use a little bit of flour. Any more flour will create drier or cakier brownies. If you want to be super accurate and weigh your flour, 1/2 cup equals 63 grams or 2.25 ounces. Check out my How to Measure Flour article for step-by-step instructions for weighing dry ingredients using a digital scale.

If you live in a very humid environment, or really dislike any kind of “greasiness,” you may want to add an extra 2 tablespoons of flour to your brownie batter mixture.


With my brownie recipes, I usually prefer a very small amount or no chemical leavener (baking soda or baking powder). The reason is because I like brownies to be very rich and on the denser side, not even remotely cakey. Since they lift and give a lighter airier texture to baked goods, we’re only using 1/8 teaspoon baking soda here for just enough leavening to get a nice thick texture.


This little secret ingredient really helps to improve the texture of these brownies so they’re that much closer to the box mix kind. 1 tablespoon of cornstarch makes the brownies thicker and improves that crust on top.

Make sure to measure correctly, and don’t skip this ingredient! When shooting the photos for my article on how to make brownies with a shiny, thin crust, my food photographer captured the shocking differences between a batch made with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch vs brownies made with an accidental amount of 1 teaspoon cornstarch. The bottom brownies also had no chocolate chips. Take a look:

overhead comparison of brownies made with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch vs 1 teaspoon of cornstarch

Can I Add Nuts to Brownies?

Yes! You can add 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans. You can add them either in addition to the chocolate chips or in place of the chocolate chips. Just note if you remove the chocolate chips your crust on top may not be as shiny. For best flavor, try toasting the nuts on a lined tray in a 350°F oven for about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring once.

How Long to Bake Brownies:

Bake these brownies in a 325°F oven for about 30 minutes to avoid overbaking. There will absolutely be moist crumbs attached to a tester by the end of the baking time. That’s what we want. Even after 30 minutes if the middle still seems too moist, just remove the brownies from the oven. Carry-over cooking, the residual heat of the oven and pan, will continue to cook the brownies.

Some readers have said their brownies were really undercooked after 30 minutes. I’m guessing they used a glass baking pan, which I DON’T recommend for this recipe. I recommend a metal baking pan like this one lined with foil or parchment paper. Learn more about the differences between Glass vs. Metal Baking Pans here.

comparison in height differences of brownies baked in a metal pan vs. a glass pan

Also, you might want to check your oven temperature with an oven thermometer as many home ovens run cold (especially when they say they’ve just preheated).

For best results, allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing and serving.

How to Store Brownies:

The brownies definitely taste best the day they are baked, but can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or up to 5 days in the fridge. They are even more fudgy when they’re chilled.

Brownies Substitutions:

This brownie recipe is written exactly the way it is for very specific reasons, as noted in the explanations above. If you can’t use one of the ingredients listed, take a look at my extensive brownie index for other options (including coconut oil brownies). If you try to reduce the sugar, use a sugar substitute, use a butter substitute, or make this recipe vegan the results will NOT be the same. Feel free to add in nuts, chips, toffee bits, or anything else to the batter (1/2 cup to 1 cup, depending on how much you’d like).

Tessa’s Favorite Tools for This Recipe

More Brownies Recipes:

4.85 from 928 votes

How to make
Best Ever Chewy Brownies

Yield: 9 large or 16 small brownies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
The BEST Chewy Brownies are just as chewy as the boxed brownies but packed with way more chocolate flavor. One bowl recipe made in less than 1 hour!


  • 5 tablespoons (71 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (249 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk, cold
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup (75 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (128 grams) semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 8 by 8-inch pan with foil or parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

  2. In a microwave safe bowl, add the butter and sugar. Microwave for about 1 minute, or until the butter is melted. Whisk in the eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Stir in the oil and cocoa powder.
  3. With a rubber spatula, stir in the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Spread the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the brownies are set and a cake tester inserted into the center has moist crumbs attached. Do not overcook. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

  5. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

To double this recipe, use a 9x13 pan and bake for the same amount of time.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : brownies, chewy brownies

This recipe was originally published in 2017 and updated in 2021 with more tips and new photos. Photos by Ashley McLaughlin.

May 2021 Baking Challenge

This recipe was the May 2021 pick for our monthly baking challenge! Every month you can join the challenge by baking the recipe and snapping a photo for a chance to win prizes! Learn more about my monthly baking challenges here. Check out everyone’s brownies:

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. #
    Lesley — November 19, 2023 at 7:40 pm

    Can you freeze these brownies?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 20, 2023 at 8:54 am

      You sure can! Check out the pink tip box (above the recipe) for instructions and tips for this 🙂

  2. #
    Danah — November 18, 2023 at 8:21 am

    I’d like to try this recipe but inwant to throw in some caramel popcorn and pretzels. Do you advise that i throw it in before baking or put them on top after it’s done baking?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 20, 2023 at 9:27 am

      Hi Danah! We haven’t tried adding pretzels or popcorn, so we can’t say for sure how that will work – but these brownies should develop a nice shiny crust on top, so it won’t be easy to add these after baking. You could experiment and try adding it to the batter pre-bake, or alternatively, add an icing or ganache to the baked, cooled brownies, and add your pretzels and popcorn to the top of the icing/ganache! Let us know how it goes if you give that a try 🙂

  3. #
    Audrey — November 17, 2023 at 4:48 pm

    Literally best brownie recipe ever! Better than any box recipe I have ever made! It was so fudgy, chocolatey, so good! Even had the crinkle on top!

  4. #
    Sandra S — November 17, 2023 at 9:53 am

    Exceeded my expectations! Moist with a delicious light crisp top. I used bittersweet chocolate chips and they came out great.

  5. #
    Lauren — November 15, 2023 at 4:51 pm

    I looked through quite a few recipes before coming across this one. The recipe just made sense – not to mention the raving reviews. I’m so glad I tried it! Probably the best homemade brownies I’ve ever made! Thanks for sharing your delicious recipe!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 16, 2023 at 10:23 am

      Woohoo! So glad to hear that, Lauren! 🙂

  6. #
    Renee — November 13, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    Eureka! I’m always on the lookout for the best brownies ever. These win the prize. I’ve made them several times and told all my friends about them. Yum! To die for brownies. Thanks!!

  7. #
    Kristine Castro — November 10, 2023 at 12:58 am

    another idea for my brownies thank you

    • #
      Maria Grace Bayot — November 17, 2023 at 11:22 pm

      I ‘ve been searching for a rich, decadent and easy brownie recipe, then I came across your recipe and tried it today. My son and sister-in-law gave 2 thumbs up for the recipe. This will be my go recipe for my upcoming coffee shop. What I love most is, you sharing the science of baking, learned a lot.

  8. #
    Oliver Royal — November 8, 2023 at 12:23 pm

    Wow Tesa Arias! “I’m so glad you finally shared your chewy brownie recipe! I’ve been a fan of your Ultimate Brownies for years, but I’ve always been on the lookout for a chewier version. These brownies are absolutely perfect! They’re so rich and decadent, and they have the perfect chewy texture. I can’t wait to make them again and again!”

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 8, 2023 at 1:39 pm

      So happy to hear these were such a hit for you, Oliver! 🙂

  9. #
    Mindy — November 8, 2023 at 8:19 am

    This is an excellent brownie recipe. I have made it twice (without nuts or chips). In addition to the rich taste and texture, it does not dry out quickly so I do not feel obligated to eat the whole pan in the first two days.

  10. #
    Mayu — November 7, 2023 at 11:45 am

    I made these exactly as the recipe states and used a scale. I added 1/2 cup of toasted walnuts. Texture is nice. Great recipe. My only complaint is that it’s way too sweet. i’ll try to use less sugar next time.

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 7, 2023 at 2:48 pm

      Hi Mayu! We really recommend sticking with the original quantity of sugar in any recipe, for many reasons. Sugar doesn’t just sweeten baked goods; it moistens, provides tender structure, assists with gluten formation, extends the shelf-life (meaning it will be fresh and moist longer), and assists in creating a taller and lighter finished product – just to name a few things! Reducing the sugar content in a recipe doesn’t just lower sweetness; it messes with the recipe’s chemistry and creates a totally different baked good. Learn more about this here. If you wish to reduce the sweetness here, we recommend using darker (bittersweet or even unsweetened) chocolate chips, and try using a little more salt too. I hope this helps! Happy baking!

  11. #
    Heather — November 7, 2023 at 10:54 am

    I want to substitute the vegetable oil for apple sauce like I do with cakes.. mostly because i never have vegetable oil available.. would this mess the whole thing up?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 7, 2023 at 2:50 pm

      Hi Heather! Feel free to experiment with this if you wish, but it will change the texture of these brownies greatly, and it may alter the flavor too. We really recommend making the recipe as written at least once, so you have a baseline to compare it to, and then feel free to tinker as you wish from there! Happy baking 🙂

  12. #
    Mel — November 4, 2023 at 12:29 am

    Hi ! Ina really have bread flour on hand. Could I sub the bread for AP or do a combination ?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 6, 2023 at 9:21 am

      Hi Mel! We have never tried these brownies with bread flour, but it may work just fine – just note that it will likely made the brownies a little more dense and heavy. A combination would be better, if you can, but all AP flour will still be your best bet here. To use up your bread flour, check out these recipes: Homemade Hawaiian Rolls or Ultimate Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies 🙂

  13. #
    vic — November 4, 2023 at 12:02 am

    Why would my brownie goes very cakey? The first time was a success but after that I wasnt able to make it anymore

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 6, 2023 at 9:33 am

      Hi Vic! How do you measure your ingredients? By volume (using cups), or by weight (using a digital kitchen scale)? When measuring by volume, it’s so easy to mis-measure ingredients (particularly flour, cocoa powder, and such dry ingredients) and yield inconsistent results. Check out Tessa’s article here, where she talks about how to best measure ingredients to ensure accuracy every time. I also recommend checking out the other tips and info Tessa has on this page, in the pink tip box above the recipe. I hope this helps, Vic, and I hope you’re able to nail these brownies again 🙂 Happy baking!

  14. #
    Adaline — November 2, 2023 at 9:24 pm

    Love this recipe! Used a scale and followed instructions and they came out perfect! I did use a glass pan lined with foil, which seemed to add time when I cooked the brownies. It took about 30-35 minutes for them cook. The only substitution I made was with the chocolate chips. I used dark chocolate melting wafers! Turned out awesome, please try this recipe if you want a dense, decadent, fudgy brownie!!!

  15. #
    Fia — November 2, 2023 at 9:05 pm

    Sadly this still left a bitter/overly chocolate taste since it overpowered the sweetness, but it was hard to tell it it was done in the middle, I cooked for 30-32 minutes since I used a circle 8-inch.

    But what should the texture feel like when touching/holding the middle pieces? Underbaked feeling or nice and sturdy?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 3, 2023 at 7:36 am

      Hi Fia! The middle texture will feel a little less sturdy while still warm (or if they’re underbaked), but pop the brownies in an airtight container in the fridge for sturdy, fudgy and super chewy brownies 🙂 As for the flavor, brownies should have a deliciously chocolatey flavor. If you’re looking for more sweetness, try using milk chocolate chips instead! Otherwise, if you’re really just not a big cocoa/chocolate fan, give this recipe a try: Blondies Recipe!

  16. #
    Izzy — October 31, 2023 at 9:20 pm

    Very good brownies!! The batter was a lot thicker than some of the other brownies I’ve made, but they still turned out good! I used Olice oil instead of Veggie oil, and I’m wondering if that made the batter thicker?
    Altogether, I loved this recipe and will be making it again 🙂
    Thanks, Tessa!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — November 1, 2023 at 12:17 pm

      Hi Izzy! So glad to hear that you enjoyed these brownies! I would recommend giving them a try with vegetable oil, for the best taste and texture, but the batter will still be fairly thick, to yield a perfectly chewy brownie 🙂 Happy baking!

  17. #
    Arabella Z — October 29, 2023 at 7:42 am

    If I were to make these brownies a the night before an advent and wanted to eat them the next day but wanted them to still be fresh and warm. Could I put them in the fridge then heat them up again and for how long and what temperature?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — October 30, 2023 at 9:05 am

      Hi Arabella! These brownies will keep perfectly for at least a few days if stored covered (and we actually like to store them in the fridge, as cold brownies are even more fudgy and chewy!) but I don’t recommend reheating them in the oven as this will likely overbake them by the time the center is heated through. You can either bake as directed, and then microwave slices individually to warm through before serving, or prep the batter and place it in your metal pan, cover it tightly with plastic wrap, and then just bake as directed in the recipe the next day, adding a couple minutes to the bake time. This would be your best bet if you want warm brownies! I hope that helps! Happy baking 🙂

      • #
        Arabella — October 30, 2023 at 9:51 am

        Thank you very much!!

    • #
      Maria Grace Bayot — November 17, 2023 at 11:24 pm

      I ‘ve been searching for a rich, decadent and easy brownie recipe, then I came across your recipe and tried it today. My son and sister-in-law gave 2 thumbs up for the recipe. This will be my go recipe for my upcoming coffee shop. What I love most is, you sharing the science of baking, learned a lot.

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