Incredibly Easy Brownie Recipes You Can Make From Scratch

Whether you prefer them dense and fudgy or light and cakey, everyone loves a good brownie. Brownie recipes have been around since at least the 1890s, when chefs at Chicago’s Palmer House Hotel created a treat for boxed lunches served at the World Columbian Exposition. Since then, the brownie has become an iconic American dessert. Brownies are also incredibly easy to make — even if you don’t rely on boxed mix. In fact, this from-scratch dessert is so simple to make you’ll wonder why you ever bothered with the pre-mixed stuff. Here are seven of our favorite easy brownie recipes.

1. Quick and Easy Fudge Brownies

stack of rich, chocolate brownies

Fudgy chocolate brownies | iStock.com

If you only have one brownie recipe in your arsenal, this one from King Arthur Flour should be it. The one-bowl prep keeps things simple in the kitchen, while the brownies themselves are moist and fudgy. Make these as a simple weeknight dessert, whip up a batch for a bake sale, or bring them to your next pot luck. Wherever you serve them, they’re sure to be a hit. This recipes makes two dozen 2-inch brownies.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup natural cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (use ½ teaspoon if using unsalted butter)
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) butter, melted
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch pan.

Put all of the ingredients into a large bowl in the order described. Stir, then beat the mixture until it’s smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the brownies for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they’re just barely beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan.

Remove the brownies from the oven; let them cool completely before cutting. Store any leftovers, well-wrapped, at room temperature for five to six days. Freeze for longer storage.

2. Cream Cheese Marbled Brownie Recipe

Chocolate Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Cream cheese marble brownies | iStock.com

Think a fresh-baked, from-scratch dessert in under an hour is impossible? It’s not if you make these yummy cream cheese marbled brownies from Nestle, which take 20 minutes to prep and roughly another half-hour to bake. The swirly final product will look pretty on a plate and tastes great too. This recipe makes 16 brownies.

Ingredients:

  • 2 (8-ounce) dark chocolate baking bars, broken into pieces
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ cup (2/3 stick) butter, softened
  • ½ cup milk

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.

Microwave chocolate in a medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on medium-high (70%) power for 1 minute; stir. If pieces retain some of their original shape, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until melted; cool to room temperature. Beat cream cheese and ¼ cup sugar in small mixer bowl until smooth. Beat in 1 egg and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.

Combine flour and salt in small bowl. Beat remaining ¾ cup sugar and butter in medium mixer bowl until creamy. Add remaining three eggs, milk and remaining teaspoon vanilla extract; beat until well mixed. Beat in melted chocolate. Stir in flour mixture until blended. Spread into prepared baking pan.

Drop tablespoons of cream cheese mixture randomly over chocolate mixture. Swirl mixtures deeply with spoon, pulling chocolate mixture up to surface.

Bake for 33 to 38 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Cut into bars.

3. Frosted Zucchini Brownies

frosted chocolate brownies on a white tray

Frosted brownies | iStock.com

You will love this easy zucchini brownie recipe from Spend with Pennies. Even the tasty, chocolaty frosting takes just 1 minute to prepare — you don’t even need to spread it on the brownies; instead, just pour and let cool.

Ingredients:

For the brownies:

  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2½ cups grated, undrained zucchini (about one large, unpeeled squash)

For the frosting:

  • ⅓ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup butter
  • 1½ cups white sugar
  • 1 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish, or line it with lightly oiled parchment paper to save on clean-up time.

In a large bowl, mix together the vegetable oil, egg, 1½ cups white sugar, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. In another large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the egg and sugar mixture until combined. Add the grated zucchini and stir to combine.

Spread the brownie batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean.

After you remove the brownies from the oven, prepare the frosting. Add the milk, sugar, and butter to a small saucepan. Turn heat to medium and bring to a full boil. Boil for 30 seconds, then remove pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips until fully melted and smooth. Pour the frosting over the warm brownies in the pan. Let cool, then slice into squares and serve. Store leftover brownies in an airtight container. Yields 24 2-inch square brownies.

4. Peanut Butter Stuffed Brownies

 peanut butter stuffed brownies

Peanut butter stuffed brownies | iStock.com

Chocolate and peanut butter is a winning combination, so why not bring these two flavors together in a brownie? This recipe from The Novice Chef does just that, stuffing rich, fudgy brownies with a delectable peanut butter filling for a dessert your family will love. This recipe yields 16 brownies.

Ingredients:

For the brownies:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons double Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant espresso
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 6 ounces (2 bars) Scharffen Berger Extra Dark 82% chocolate, chopped (or substitute another similar dark chocolate)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the peanut butter filling:

  • ¾ cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease an individual square cake pan or other pan of choice.

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, and instant espresso in a small bowl. Set aside. Melt the butter and chopped chocolate in a double boiler over medium heat, stirring frequently until everything is completely melted. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for 10 minutes.

As chocolate cools, beat together the peanut butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer. Scoop out 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter mixture and roll into a ball, then flatten into a 2-inch disc and set aside. Repeat with the remaining peanut butter mixture.

Whisk together the eggs, granulated and brown sugars, vanilla, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until combined. Beat in the flour, adding half at a time, until fully combined and there are no lumps in the batter. Fill each square of your cake pan half way with batter. Place a disc of the peanut butter filling in the center, then cover with additional batter. (Fill each square no more than ¾ full).

Bake brownies for 25 to 28 minutes, or until the centers are set. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before removing brownies from the pan and letting cool on a cookie rack. Brownies can be served immediately or stored in an airtight container for up to three days.  

5. Oreo Brownies

package of oreo cookies on a shelf

Oreo cookies | Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images

Everyone’s favorite cookie gets together with another iconic treat for a recipe that’s out of this world. Jacqueline at Go Go Go Gourmet layered creamy Oreo cookies with a moist fudgy brownie batter for a sweet snack that may soon become your go-to dessert.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 20 Oreo cookies

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan or line with parchment paper.

Add the butter and chocolate chips to a large, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted and combined with the butter. Add the eggs, sugar, salt, and vanilla to the bowl and mix to combine. Add the flour. Stir until thoroughly combined.

Pour ⅓ of the batter into the prepared pan, spreading to form an even layer. Layer about ½ of the Oreos on top of the batter. Pour ⅓ of the batter over the Oreos, then top with most of the remaining cookies (reserve a few to make a crumble topping). Pour the remaining batter over the second layer of Oreos, making sure all the cookies are completely covered. Crush the remaining Oreos in a plastic bag, then sprinkle on top of the brownies.

Bake brownies for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool before cutting and serving.

6. Brownie Drops

batter

Brownie batter | iStock.com

You don’t even need a baking pan to make this incredibly easy brownie recipe from Saveur. These one-bowl cookies are seasoned with cinnamon and vanilla, filled with walnuts, and bake faster than traditional brownies. Makes four dozen cookies.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces German chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup flour
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine chocolate and butter in a bowl and microwave until melted; set aside. In a bowl, beat sugar and eggs on medium-high speed of a mixer until thickened and tripled in volume. Add melted chocolate then add flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; beat until just combined.

Stir in nuts and vanilla, and using a teaspoon, drop small balls of dough onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets, and bake until cracked and just set, about 8 minutes.

7. Raspberry Brownies

Brownies with raspberry

Raspberry brownies | iStock.com

Raspberries are added to a traditional brownie base for a fruity spin on a popular dessert. Make sure you reserve some extra raspberries to serve on top of the finished bars. This recipe for All Recipes makes 24 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, for dusting
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups superfine sugar
  • 1 cup margarine, softened
  • 1 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9 x 12-inch baking pan and dust with cocoa powder.

Add eggs, sugar, margarine, flour, chocolate chunks, and ¾ cup of cocoa powder to a large bowl. Beat together with a hand mixer until smooth. Fold in raspberries, being careful not to crush the fruit. Pour batter into prepared dish.

Bake brownies for 40 to 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool completely before cutting. Serve with additional raspberries on top.

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