Easy From-Scratch Brownies

from-scratch brownies

I think I was in my 20s before I realized a person could make brownies without a mix. They were a dessert I fixed often in my teens, following the instructions on the back of the box. And they were good. Today’s boxed brownies are even better — a vast array of flavors, layer options, organic versions, you name it, somebody makes a mix for it. But as I worked my way to a real-food kitchen, one stocked with intentionally chosen staples like organic whole wheat pastry flour and raw cane sugar, organic pure vanilla and aluminum-free baking powder, I began to question why I would leave my brownie ingredients to somebody else. So, in case you’ve ever pondered how to create a homemade brownie, here’s the 411. Feel free to experiment and adapt. Add nuts if you like them. Drop the chips and instead sprinkle with powdered sugar. But know that you can stir these up nearly as fast as those boxed varieties. And know that they will be, hands-down, better for you.

Makes 2 dozen


  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
  • 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. aluminum-free baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips


  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 13×9 baking pan with butter.
  2. Melt stick butter in sauce pan over medium-low heat. Stir in sugar, then water and vanilla. Let sit until cool. Mix in eggs.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder and salt. Add butter and sugar mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
  4. Spoon batter into pan. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until a knife inserted comes out clean.
  5. Let cool in pan, then cut and serve.