The BEST All-American Chocolate Brownies

This is my classic go-to American brownie recipe made from simple ingredients and using simple techniques. Whip these up for family gatherings, after school snacks, or anytime the urge for a decadent chocolate dessert hits!

Easy Chocolate Brownies

There’s something about sinking your teeth into fudgy brownies that brings back memories of childhood and cozy gatherings. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a newbie in the kitchen, this blog post is your ultimate guide to baking the most delectable, mouthwatering homemade brownies that will leave everyone asking for seconds.

This recipe was inspired by Pauline’s Brownies from the cookbook A Family Raised on Sunshine. They’re a variation on that vintage recipe, updated for today’s day and age, but with all of the budget-friendly simplicity still intact!

Feel free to eat these plain, but these classic brownies pair well with vanilla no-churn ice cream to create the most decadent brownie sundae around.

​Why you want this recipe: 

  • easy technique
  • simple ingredients
  • perfect for beginning bakers
  • no melting chocolate
  • fudgy, decadent texture
  • the best way to get delicious brownies!

What do I need for all-American brownies? 

Ingredients for Classic Brownies

Butter or Margarine

This is the foundation of any homemade brownie recipe. Creamy, rich butter adds a luxurious depth to the brownies, infusing them with a delectable flavor, extra moisture, and tender texture. For this recipe, I recommend unsalted butter. If you choose to use salted butter, just omit the salt listed in the recipe. 

Margarine is your other option, and this recipe has been tested with both. Margarine provides a slightly lighter and airier consistency to your brownies. If you’re looking to keep this more plant-based or to cut down on fat, this is an excellent option for you.

Cocoa Powder

This recipe doesn’t use any melted chocolate at all, making it very beginner-friendly. Instead, we use unsweetened cocoa powder to get that rich chocolate flavor. Dutch-process cocoa powder and non-dutched (or natural) cocoa powder both work in this recipe — the only difference is the flavor. Dutched has a more intense chocolate flavor, while natural is sharper. 

Granulated Sugar

A necessity in any brownie recipe, granulated sugar not only adds sweetness but also contributes to the tender texture and caramelization during baking. 

Eggs

The binding agent that brings the brownie batter together, eggs play a crucial role in the recipe’s structure and texture. Large eggs, when beaten into the mixture, create a smooth and velvety consistency, resulting in brownies that hold their shape while remaining wonderfully moist and chewy.

Flour

The stabilizing element in the brownie recipe, flour provides the necessary structure to hold everything together. Using just the right amount is essential—too much can lead to a cake-like texture, while too little might result in overly gooey brownies. Strike the perfect balance, and you’ll achieve that coveted fudgy yet firm consistency that makes brownies so irresistible. This recipe has only been tested with all-purpose flour. 

Salt

A seemingly small addition with a significant impact, salt enhances the overall flavor profile of the brownies. Just a pinch can elevate the chocolate taste, balancing the sweetness and intensifying the richness. Don’t underestimate the power of salt—it’s the secret ingredient that makes your brownies pop with flavor.

Vanilla Extract

This is that little touch that completes the brownie experience: a splash of vanilla extract heightens the overall taste and aroma of the dessert. Its sweet and comforting notes harmonize with the chocolate, creating a more complex and satisfying flavor profile. A tiny addition that makes a big difference, vanilla is the finishing touch that takes your brownies from ordinary to extraordinary.

How do I make fudgy chocolate brownies?

How to Make Fudgy One-Bowl Brownies

Step 1 | Melt the Butter

You can do this one of two ways: 

1. On the Stovetop: In a medium-sized saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon to avoid burning your butter. If you are doing this method, you will transfer the butter and other ingredients to a mixing bowl later.

2. In the Microwave: In a large heatproof bowl, cover your butter and microwave for 1-2 minutes or until butter is completely melted. If you are doing this method, you can make the entire recipe in one bowl. This makes for an easy claenup!

Step 2 | Add the Sugar and Cocoa

Stir in the granulated sugar and the cocoa powder until you have a smooth chocolate mixture. Resist the urge to eat the whole thing right now!

Step 3 | Make the Batter

If you used the stovetop method, pour your chocolate mixture into a large bowl. If you used the microwave option, you can continue using the bowl you started with. Now add your eggs, vanilla, flour, and salt. Using an electric mixer, mix until you get a smooth batter. If you want to add extras, like ,chopped chocolate, chunks of chocolate, or chocolate chips, mix those in as well.  

Step 4 | Bake

Line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper, then use a rubber spatula to pour the batter into the pan. Smooth your batter so that it’s even in the pan, then bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Step 5 | Cool and Enjoy!

Allow your brownies to cool for several minutes. The warmer they are when you serve them, the gooier they’ll be. For best results serve with a glass of milk or a scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Decadent Brownies

Substitutions

Sugar Substituions

Brown Sugar: You can substitute brown sugar for up to half of the granulated sugar. This gives your brownies a lovely hint of molasses. Be aware that it does make them more moist and dense, so depending on climate, you may need to adjust your flour to  compensate. 

Honey: You can also substitute 1/2 cup honey for 1 cup of granulated sugar in the recipe. Do not sub more than 1 cup of sugar, though, or your brownies will not come out!

Cocoa Powder Substitutions

As mentioned before, you can use either dutched or non-dutched cocoa powder with no issues. Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Cocoa Powder is also an excellent option if you want to make dark chocolate brownies! If you use the dark chocolate powder, reduce your powder to 8 Tbsps instead of the original 10.

Vanilla Substituions

You can think of these are flavor variations as well. Each of them uses a 1:1 ratio with vanilla extract, so use the exact same amount as noted in the recipe!

Espresso Powder: Espresso flavoring has the powder to deepen the chocolate flavor in your brownies. Some bakers swear by this combination!

Almond Extract: Almond extract will add a nutty flavor to your brownies. This would pair well with some crushed almonds mixed into the batter.

Butter Extract: Who doesn’t need more rich buttery-ness in their baked goods? This is an excellent option if you’ve run out of vanilla, as vanilla and butter compliment each other.

Maple Syrup: Yep — maple syrup is a go-to sub for vanilla. It intensifies the sweetness of the brownies while adding those extra notes of flavor.

All American Brownies

Variations

Triple Chocolate Brownies

Use Hershey’s Dark Chocolate cocoa powder to create a dark chocolate base, then add milk chocolate and white chocolate chips to your brownie batter. Bake as usual for an easy triple chocolate brownies recipe. 

Marbled Peanut Butter Brownies

Add peanut butter chips to the batter, the use this marbling technique to create a gorgeous peanut butter chocolate frosting!

Lunch Lady Brownies

Make the brownies as directed, then use this recipe to make chocolate buttercream to spread over the fully cooled brownies. Just like you used to get in elementary school!

More Brownie Recipes

Storing, Freezing, and Thawing

To store leftovers, just cover the pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. They will keep at room temperature for 3-4 days like this. If you’d like to store them longer, place them in an air-tight container. They’ll keep for a week like that.

To freeze your brownies, leave them uncut in the pan, then you can freeze them slightly — just hard enough to be a block — then remove them from the pan and wrap tightly with plastic wrap and foil. Finally, you can put it in an airtight freezer bag. If the brownies are cut, you can wrap each brownie square in plastic wrap, then foil, then place them in an airtight freezer bag.These will keep for up to 3 months in the freezer.

To thaw, place the frozen brownies on the counter until thawed.

The easiest fudgy brownies!

FAQs

My brownies are too gooey. Help!

​These brownies are meant to be very fudgy and not at all cake-like. That said, if yours are coming out too gooey, you can try baking for another five minutes. These also set up more the longer they cool, so if you want your brownies to transport well, do not cut them until they have full cooled to room temperature. 

How do I get nice clean cuts on my brownies?

The secret is plastic knives. No joke. Using a plastic knife to cut full cooled brownies will give you the cleanest cut possible. Wipe the knife after each cut to keep your edges sharp!

Can I add mix-ins to the batter? 

Absolutely! The rule of thumb is, if you can add it to a cookie, you can add it to this recipe. Nuts, various types of baking chips, chopped candy, and crushed oreos will all work.

Easy Chocolate Brownies
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Classic All-American Brownies

Simple and quick brownies with a rich chocolate taste!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 16
Calories 250kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 10 Tbsp cocoa
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 ½ cup flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  • In a saucepan, melt butter or margarine. Add sugar and cocoa and mix well.
    1 cup butter or margarine, 2 cups sugar, 10 Tbsp cocoa
  • Transfer to a mixing bowl, then add eggs, flour,, vanilla and salt.
    4 eggs, 1 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp vanilla
  • Mix well, then spread in a lined 13×9. If you are using mix-ins, add them to the batter before spreading it in the pan.
  • Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.

Notes

Adding an extra 1/4 cup flour will make these more cake-like.
If you want a more fudgy texture, underbake by a minute or two.
Adapted from A Family Raised on Sunshine by Beverly K. Nye.
Tried this recipe?Mention @homanathome or tag #homanathome

Nutrition

Calories: 250kcal
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3 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Our family has loved these brownies ever since I discovered Beverly’s book in 1988. We used to add Hershey’s Raspberry chips. They’re not making them anymore. I’d love to hear how other people dude up these brownies.

5 from 1 vote

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