Brownies & Bars

Gemma’s Better-Than-Boxed Brownies Mix

4.8 from 45 votes
Leave the boxed brownies at the store and make my Better Than Boxed Brownies recipe for an elevated chocolate experience.
A grid of brownies from my boxed brownies recipe.

Hi Bold Bakers!

There’s no shame in picking up a boxed brownie mix from your grocery store to whip up a quick, easy dessert for when your chocolate cravings hit — but my “homemade” boxed brownie recipe is just as easy, even more delicious, and (what I love most) you know exactly what you’re putting into your mix.

I have a lot of brownie recipes (everything from My Best-Ever Brownies, to indulgent Cream Cheese Brownies, to my 1-Minute Microwave Mug Brownie!), but these brownies have such a yummy flavor, and the texture is incredible! They have the fantastic crisp on top and an unbelievable chewy center.

If you noticed, the chocolate in these brownies looks especially melty. We took the photos of these brownies while they were still warm — we were too excited to wait to eat them!!

This recipe reminds me a lot of those boxed brownie mixes you can pick up, so if you have a hardcore boxed-brownies-only fan at home, give this recipe a shot. Have your own Bake Off! One person makes the boxed version, and one person whips this homemade version up. You will need an impartial judge, though I’m sure you won’t have to look very hard for someone willing to have at least two brownies.

A close up of my better than boxed brownies recipe, with melted chocolate.

What Are Better-Than-Boxed Brownies

My “Homemade” boxed brownie recipe is a lot like the boxed version from the grocery store. You know, the kind with all the pre-measured dry ingredients that you add some oil and an egg to. 

This recipe calls for a lot of similar ingredients, except we use butter, high-quality bittersweet chocolate, and zero palm oil, or corn syrup, or any other ingredient that makes you raise an eyebrow when you’re reading the back of the box. 

What You Need To Make Better-Than-Boxed Brownies

  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 8×8 inch pan
  • Parchment paper
  • Microwave safe bowl or a bain-marie
  • Mixing bowls

How To Make Better-Than-Boxed Brownies

Did you know Betty Crocker wasn’t even a real person?! The jury’s still out on the Pillsbury Doughboy… Anyway, here’s how you make easy “homemade” boxed brownies (and don’t forget to get the full recipe with measurements, down below): 

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) and prepare an 8×8-inch pan by buttering it and lining it with parchment paper.
  2. In a microwave or over a bain-marie, melt the butter and 1 ½ cups (9oz/255g) of the chopped chocolate together gently.
  3. Once melted, stir in the sugars, vanilla, and salt.
  4. Beat the eggs and whisk them into the chocolate mix until it is just combined.
  5. Sift over the bowl of the chocolate mix your flour and cocoa powder. Stir until it is just combined. Then, fold in the remaining ½ cup (3oz/85g) of chopped chocolate. Evenly spread the mixture into your prepped baking pan.
  6. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, or until the brownies are just set.

Two boxed brownies sitting on top of each other, showing texture and consistency.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips For Making A Better Boxed Brownies

  • I love to use salted butter for that extra flavor. Salt and chocolate belong together!
  • Don’t be shy with the vanilla extract! The more the merrier at this party!!
  • Use a good quality bar of bittersweet chocolate. I like to use something around 72% cocoa solids. The sugar in the recipe will balance out the bittersweet chocolate, giving you a perfect balance.
  • Make sure your cocoa powder is unsweetened! You don’t need extra sugar in this recipe.
  • If you don’t eat eggs, no worries! You can replace them with flax egg. Check out my Egg Substitute Chart for more info.
  • Use dark brown sugar for a lovely caramel flavor. You can make your own using my recipe!

How Do I Store “Homemade” Boxed Brownies?

These brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also freeze these brownies for up to 1 month. Be sure to let the brownies come to room temperature before serving! 

Get More Brownies!

And don’t forget to buy my Bigger Bolder Baking Cookbook!

Full (and printable) recipe below!

Watch The Recipe Video!

Gemma's Better-Than-Boxed Brownies Recipe

4.8 from 45 votes
Leave the boxed brownies at the store and make my Better Than Boxed Brownies recipe for an elevated chocolate experience.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 9 people
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Leave the boxed brownies at the store and make my Better Than Boxed Brownies recipe for an elevated chocolate experience.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 9 people


  • 2 sticks (8oz/225g) butter
  • 2 cups (12floz/340g) chopped bittersweet chocolate (divided)
  • 1 cup (8oz/225g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup (3 oz/85g) dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large room temperature eggs (beaten)
  • ½ cup (2 ½oz/71g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup (2 oz/57g) unsweetened cocoa powder


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper.
  • Melt together the butter and 1 ½ cups (9oz/255g) of the chopped chocolate. Do this gently in the microwave or over a Ban Marie.
  • Once melted and smooth, stir in the sugars, vanilla, and salt.
  • Briefly whisk the beaten eggs into the chocolate mix until just combined.
  • Sift over the bowl your flour and cocoa powder. Stir until just combined. Lastly, fold in the remaining ½ cup (3oz/85g) chopped chocolate before evenly spreading the mixture into the prepared baking pan.
  • Bake for roughly 30-35 minutes or until the brownies are just set. Allow cooling slightly before enjoying them warm with vanilla ice cream.

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16 days ago

Hello Gemma, God richly bless you for sharing your recipes with us🙏this recipe is everything 🥰. God bless you bosslady 🙏. Bigfun, from Ghana.

Rona Berntsen
13 hours ago

These brownies were the best and disappeared very quickly. I put the last 2 pieces in the fridge last night and just had one for breakfast and it was like fudge and delicious. Love your recipes Gemma and so easy. Thank you.

Faith White
Faith White
1 day ago

We added some crushed graham crackers and mini marshmallows to make it a s’mores brownie… sooo good! Thanks Gemma, great recipe! My grandkids enjoyed helping to bake it.

2 days ago

Hi Gemma,

I have been following your recipes ever since I started baking. And thank you so much for sharing your recipes and all the tips and alternatives! Big fan and much love from Philippines! ❤️

6 days ago

Hi Gemma, I absolutely love your best-ever brownies, but I think this is now my new favourite brownie recipe! Thank you so much for this wonderful addition.

I also wanted to ask if you would please consider doing a battenburg cake recipe? Many thanks for this wonderful new recipe.


Kimberly Pillman
9 days ago

So good! I could have kept them in my oven a tish longer but very good! Ran out of both vanilla and parchment paper so improvised with almond and wax paper. Did the job. 😊 Was going to take a pic but this is my first comment here so will figure that out for next recipe.

Last edited 9 days ago by Kimberly Pillman
9 days ago

Hi Gemma,
What can be substitute instead of eggs and as i don’t have oven can i use cooker instead?

10 days ago

Yes!! I can’t wait to try this recipe! Especially since I can’t get the boxed where I live, and I miss it so much.
Would I need to adjust baking time if using a disposable aluminum pan? Thank you!!

12 days ago

Hi Gemma! I love your “best ever brownies”. Now I’m excited to try this recipe! Is it possible to lessen the sugar? If so how much could i take out from the recipe 🙂

12 days ago

This bownies looks so yumm! thanks for sharing..

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, and I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere! No matter your skills, I have you covered. Sign up for my FREE weekly emails and join millions of other Bold Bakers in the community for new recipes, baking techniques, and more every week!