Best Chocolate Brownies

The Perfect Chocolate Brownie! All from scratch. EASY to make and so much better than a box mix! Super chocolatey.

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 16 to 25 brownies


  • 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks, 140 g) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (85 g) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 cold large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (65 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup (90 g) pecan pieces


1 Preheat oven and line baking pan: Preheat oven to 325°F (160°F), with a rack in the lower third of the oven.

Line the bottom of an 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper in such a way as there is an overhang on two opposite sides to make it easy to lift the brownies out when they're done.

2 Heat butter, cocoa, sugar, salt in a bowl over simmering water: Place the butter, cocoa, sugar, and salt in a medium-sized metal bowl. Fill a large skillet halfway with water and bring to a bare simmer. Set the bowl of the butter cocoa mixture in skillet of simmering water.

Stir the butter cocoa mixture until the butter has melted and the mixture is smooth and hot to touch.

Remove the bowl from the skillet and let it cool down a bit, from hot to warm.

3 Stir in almond extract, eggs, flour, beat with spoon, add pecans: Stir in the almond extract. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, beating strongly after each addition.

Once the batter is well mixed and shiny and thick, stir in the flour. Beat for 40 strokes with a wooden spoon.

Mix in the pecans.

4 Pour batter into lined pan: Pour the batter into the prepared lined pan and smooth the surface evenly.

5 Bake: Bake 20 to 25 minutes at 325°F (160°C), until a bamboo skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes still a little moist with the brownie batter. Cool completely on a rack.

6 Cut: When cooled, lift up the sides of the foil or parchment liner to remove the brownies from the pan. Place them on a cutting board and cut into 16 to 25 squares or rectangles.

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  • April

    These look promising! I love trying new brownie recipes. I have a couple favorites! I can’t wait to try yours out!

  • MG

    Would like to make these tomorrow! But could you please clarify step 2–it says to heat the bowl of ingredients OVER simmering water, but then goes on to say you put the bowl of ingredients IN a in skillet of simmering water. Not sure if this should be like double boiler or should the bottom of the bowl touch the bottom of the skillet filled with water (ie, a more direct heat)? Thank you!

    • Emma Christensen

      Hi, MG! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes. You can set the bowl of ingredients right in the skillet of simmering water. It’s ok for the bowl to touch the water in this case. Hope this helps!

      • MG

        Thank you! That melting process was much easier than I expected. Brownies are in the oven now! And like others, my batter stayed somewhat grainy, but was much better after the addition of eggs.

  • Lisa McGregor

    amazing. First time I’ve ever made brownies. Don’t even need to look for another recipe. This is the one.

  • Actrid

    Brownies came out really runny…. help!

  • Chris G

    Made these today for some coworkers. They were a hit. Substituted vanilla for the almond. Thank you for a fool-proof recipe.

  • Clara

    Hi, Elise. I baked these brownies today and found the texture fantastic (soft and fudgy, really everything you’d want a brownie to be), but the cocoa and almond extract flavors were a bit too strong for me. If I wanted to incorporate milk or cream into the recipe to soften the taste a bit, how much should I add and when, if it can even be done? Thanks!

  • Bernie

    Made these for our annual family camping trip. They were q big big hit. Everyone thought they were the best! Three and four year old grandaughters thought they were “yucky”. Maybe have never eaten something with such dense chocolate flavor. Left out nuts and used vanilla.

  • Debra

    After placing dish of brownies on the table I overheard this comment while walking away, “This brownie is amazing!” My first bite totally agreed! Moist, rich, enough chocolate to satisfy any chocolate craving.
    Will definitel add recipe to my fav group of desserts.
    Baked as directed my batch was complete in 27 minutes. I tested once at 20, again at 24, dry cake tester at 27.


  • Lawrence

    Really good! Very cocoa-y and none of that weird boxed after taste sweetness.

  • MaryAlecia

    I reduced the sugar to 210 grams and enjoyed the level of sweetness. Baked for almost 40 minutes, 25 at 325 and 12 minutes at 350. They turned out wonderfully! This is a great recipe as is with room for modifications – always a plus in my book. Thanks, Elise!

  • dipti kalkonde

    Hi! tempting pics! I wanted to know if you have used self-raising flour? As you havent mentioned using baking soda or baking powder. I definitely ned to try this. Nothing better than a great brownie sans soda and baking powder, right?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Dipti, the recipe just uses eggs for leavening, not baking soda or baking powder. As such, the resulting brownies are very dense and fudge-like. Super chocolatey!

  • C

    Too much chocolate. There was no baking powder add it to the recipe. I wouldn’t recommend making that recipe.

  • Elishai

    This is the third recipe I try here, after banana bread and chocolate banana bread that were very good. But this one didn’t work out for me. I used coconut oil instead of butter. The brownies did not bake :(
    Does coconut oil can not replace butter in this specific recipe?
    What else could I have missed?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Elishai, you can’t usually swap out essential ingredients and expect the recipe to work.

      • Elishai

        Hi Elise, I was under the impression that butter and coconut oil are always interchangeable. I’m looking forward to retry the recipe with butter. Thanks!

      • Elishai

        Update: With butter this time, the brownies came out fine. A little less sweeter and with a less denser texture they would have been perfect.

    • Maria

      My batch didn’t bake either. I used butter. Baked them at 325 degrees for 25 minutes but they weren’t cooked. Going to raise the temperature to 350 for the last bit and see if that helps. Anxious to try them out! :)

  • Tony

    I made these brownies last night and I can’t stop eating!

  • Chad

    Since these are almost the same as my wife’s I will agree with your crowd of well wishers and add a hearty well done as well. She almost always uses Van. extract though. Looking at Wendy’ s comment reminds we we have had to sub almond extract a few times as well.

  • Fuuka

    These brownies were awesome. I’ve tried a lot of recipes but the recipes from simplyrecipes c/o Elise are fail-proof. Thank you for always making me look good!

  • Emma Butchers

    Thank you so much for this recipe. It’s fast and it still tastes yummy!

  • Maureen Butler

    I made these brownies twice in the last week. My husband took the first batch to work and everyone raved about them. The 2nd batch we took to a party. I got a hug for making them and people are still talking about them. I made a few modifications though. The 2nd time I made them, I just melted the butter on low in a saucepan and then added the cocoa and sugar. I found this a much easier process and the brownies turned out fine. I used vanilla extract and split the cocoa evenly with 1/2 of it unsweetened cocoa and 1/2 of it unsweetened dark cocoa. This made them a little richer but fantastic! Hands down the best brownies!

  • Yoko

    I’m from Japan and always wanted to make the chewy and moist brownies that has a crispy top and a great flavor. I followed what this recipe exactly says and it turned out perfect!!! I also have a recipe blog in Japanese and I am absolutely sharing this recipe with your website link on my website if it’s okay for you. Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  • nearoffutt

    I do not want to need a chemistry degree to read ingredients, so I gave up on boxed food-like substances. This looked good! As the ingredients cost $8 in 2014, I was not going to fool around improvising and followed the recipe exactly. I used unbleached and unbromated all purpose flour, real almond extract, and pure cane sugar as I prefer healthy ingredients. I measured very carefully and timed stuff with a timer. Yummy! The almond flavor is strong. I liked that. These were moist, easy to frost, and this was a perfect quantity of nuts. I may try agasin using either almonds, or use pure walnut extrct and walnuts. Thanxfor sharing!

  • Kimberly

    I don’t know why but mine turned out more fudgy and wouldn’t cook in the middle and I had them in the oven for over 40 minutes, is it my flour.? Or maybe my oven needs set a little higher.?

  • Tricia

    I made these today and my husband can’t stop eating them. They are simply amazing!

  • Michelle

    Best brownies I’ve ever made. Thank you!!!

  • Jyotika

    The brownies were quite amazing! although I made a few changes. a bit of cinnamon,semi sweet chocolate, coffee powder and milk to make the batter less dense. I found the sugar to be little less even after adding more.
    They were great anyway.:)

  • Alia

    I can never make good brownies but I tried these and they turned out amazing! I subsituted vanilla extract for the almond extract and put in 1 tsp of it, which worked out fine. I did have to bake them for about 30 minutes before they were done, though.

  • Jennifer L

    Elise, I think you’re single-handedly responsible for me winning over my in-laws. I’ve used several of your recipes and they’ve been impressed every time.

    I made this for everyone today and they LOVED it. I doubt we’ll have any left by dinner time.

    I would probably add more cocoa next time and less sugar, but that’s a personal preference, everyone else loved the sweetness. I ended up using vanilla instead of almond and walnuts instead of pecans (just because that’s what I had on hand), but it still turned out beautifully! Thank you for another success!

  • Sharleen

    First time I ever made brownies and I wasn’t sure if these would be good but they were so addictive! I made them yesterday and they’re all gone! I really love this. C:

  • Jennifer

    AMAZING THANKYOU FOR THE RECIPE! I put chocolate chunks on one half and white chocolate chips on the other half (my family members aren’t too crazy about chocolate) and they came out spectacular. However they took 30 minutes to cook but it was worth the wait

  • Chelsea Marta

    1) I used a muffin tin with cups: great consistency!
    2)I used a 1/2cup of canola oil instead of butter (the approx substitute equivalent) and layered the top with chopped Godiva Dark Chocolate-raspberry bar.
    3)I limited the sugar to 1 cup.

    I think the chocolate pieces on top may have made the brownies a tad more dense than I would have preferred. Perhaps if I add water they will be less dense?

    Still yummy!

  • Valerie Tillia

    I too had the trouble with it turning sandy. Doesn’t affect the flavor but its most likely due to a drop of water or steam getting into the mixture. It is shocking how much water can ruin the texture of chocolate.

  • Lauren

    These were truly the best brownies I have ever made. I used one teaspoon imitation almond extract and found that it was not at all overpowering; instead, it intensified the richness of the flavor. I also used Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips in place of the pecans, and they made the brownies even more dense.

    I tried cooking the brownies in a muffin tin in cupcake wrappers. This method was great for portion control, but the brownies tended to stick to the wrappers. They sure looked cute, though. My husband suggested that I sprinkle confectioners sugar on top to cut some of the richness, which I did, but I think they were great either way. I had the same experience as some posters in that the cocoa mixture seemed sandy, but the brownies still came out tasting delicious. I used Hershey’s cocoa and cold butter, so perhaps this had something to do with the texture, but everything turned out great in the end (and I thought that the hint of almond was fabulous).

  • sharonc

    I, too (at this very moment actually) am using Kerrygold butter (not unsalted in my case) and my chocolate mixture is not melting but staying like wet sand, it has been about 15 minutes of trying to get the mixture to melt.

  • farrah

    Hello! Can I use this as a base for rocky road brownies? I’m planning to add marshmallow and nuts on top. Thanks!

    I don’t see why not. If you try it that way, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  • Aileen

    Thank you for sharing the recipe. This is definitely the best brownie recipe ever! It was a huge hit with the women at work!


  • Alicia*

    To echo Wendi P’s comment above: This is THE BEST basic brownie recipe. It’s rich and chocolately and everyone who ate them (14 former co-workers and 16 biker dudes) raved about them. Not to mention my mom and my boyfriend, but they’re biased! If using an 8×8 pan, you’ll want to cut these into 16 pieces. Use a good Dutch process cocoa. I used Clabber Girl (!?) as it was on special and I’m on a budget, and had great results. Sorry Hershey!

    Like everyone else, I modded mine too! I added cinnamon and instead of vanilla I used Kahlua Mocha. Instead of chili powder, I added finely chopped poblano chili (felt the need to go Aztec). Omitted nuts because one of the biker dudes has a nut allergy. No one missed the nuts.

  • Wendy

    Thank you for the recipe. I am shipping these to my dad for his birthday. I sampled one before packing them up and they are perfect! (had to use vanilla extract instead of almond)

    They are the perfect chocolate flavor, sweetness, texture – everything.

    Thanks again.

  • pedro

    I made these on Friday night but substituted the nuts with chocolate chips. Also I used a muffin pan and they were perfect, rendering a moist center with the hard edges. No leftovers. Thanks for this recipe!

  • Wendi Pedersen

    FINALLY! A truly decadent, delicious brownie recipe you can use to make YOUR idea of the “perfect” brownie! This is a great recipe BUT I’m just not crazy about the smell or taste of almond extract, so that got tossed immediately. To increase the intensity and complexity of the chocolate flavor, and make them a bit healthier (lol), I did the following:

    – reduce the sugar by 1/4 cup
    – add 1 oz. high quality unsweetened
    OR bittersweet chocolate to the “melt”
    – omit the almond extract and use 1/2 tsp.
    – add 1/8 tsp. of ground chili pepper
    – add 1/2 tsp.ground cinnamon
    – add 1/2 tsp. instant coffee
    – use white whole wheat or whole wheat pastry
    flour instead of regular flour
    – toast the pecans before adding them

  • GoneVeg

    Maaaan, this is the reason why I will never be a permanent vegan. I can go for a really long time without having butter and eggs, but then I remember that things like this exist and it’s all over.

    These are DELICIOUS. They’re labor-intensive (now I understand why brownies in a box exist) but boy are they worth the trouble! Yum!

  • Angel Arnold

    Great brownies! Very rich, fudgie and sweet.

  • Anya

    Beautiful brownies! Was bemoaning lack of something chocolatey last night, so decided to make these. I’ve been looking for a half-decent brownie recipe for months now – all the ones I’ve made turned out too cakey and dry, not at all fudgey, melt-in-your-mouth delicious like these did. Made a few adjustments – didn’t add any nuts, and substituted 1/2 tsp vanilla for the almond extract (not my favorite flavor). Also added a splash of half & half to make them a little less intense chocolatey (bf prefers “milk choc flavors” and it dilutes them just enough to register on his taste buds).

    Anyway, THANK YOU! I thought I’d NEVER find what I was looking for…I

  • Christina B

    Very easy brownies and very tasty. I thought the almond extract was a bit strong (so did my husband), so I may try half almond half vanilla extract next time. I will make these again for sure! They baked perfectly as well, they were evenly cooked, the edges were no more baked than the center, so no burned corners in order to get the center right.

  • Cynthia

    I made these brownies last night and they were awesome!! Thanks so much Elise! :-)

  • Tatti

    I made this brownie today for dessert and everybody just love it! I’ll make it again! Thank you, Elise!

  • Sarah

    Thank you Elise for yet another wonderful recipe! These brownies taste rich and moist, and go perfectly with vanilla ice cream. I used slightly less than one cup of sugar, added 1/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, and two pieces off a Ghiradelli bitter chocolate (non-sweet).

  • Britt

    I made these brownies last night for my graduation potluck and they were a huge hit. The entire pan is gone, and there were only six girls!
    I made a ganache and spread it on top and made fresh whipped cream that I left fairly bitter in order to balance the richness of the brownies and ganache. Cut into inch by inch squares and topped with a dollop of whipped cream, the brownies lookedvery elegant, almost like a flourless chocolate cake. Next time I will add some fresh berries. I can’t wait!

  • Matthew Wei

    Hi Elise,

    I experimented with the bake time and the results and I have to say I found my new favorite way to bake brownies! It’s really good if you are a fan of edge pieces. At 350 a the outside turns all chewy while the inside stays moist and gooey. Sort of a single serving pan brownie with everything all in one muffin sized portion. The time is shorter. A usual 45 minute bake (gooey, moist and dense in the middle) took about 20 minutes to achieve the same results in a muffin pan. Yum!

    Love this idea, thanks for trying it out and reporting back! BTW, if you like edges, there’s also the Baker’s Edge Brownie Pan that several friends of mine use and love. ~Elise

  • Matthew Wei

    Great Recipe! I do have one question. Have you ever tried baking brownies in a muffin tin? Do you have to change the bake time?

    I have not tried baking brownies in a muffin tin. I suspect that the baking time would be a little less. If you try it, please let us know how it turns out. ~Elise

  • Purvis

    Oh, man. These are the best brownies I have EVER tasted. They are just the perfect consistency–dense and very, very moist. They are extremely chocolatey, but not at all bitter. I love that they aren’t too sweet, either. The flavors are nicely balanced. Altogether, it’s a bit like fudge. I, too, melted the first ingredients in the microwave. All in all, this was a very easy to make recipe. But I have to say, the cherry on top, so to speak, is the almond extract. What an unexpected and wonderful extra flavor! I am afraid to make these again, because I polished off the pan in a very short amount of time.. Pretty much by myself. :(

  • Just a Plane Ride Away

    Elise, these brownies are soooo good and surprisingly easy to make! I used vanilla (didn’t have almond extract on hand) and added a dash of cinnamon because yum–chocolate and cinnamon! As usual, thank you for another outstanding recipe!

  • Meenah

    Umm..why no baking powder?

    • Elise

      Hello Meenah – in this recipe the eggs are used for leavening.

  • Cari Hill

    I made theses brownies for my daughter who LOVES brownies. I tasted the batter, and thought it may have been not sweet enough, so I also decided to add some Hershey’s milk chocolate chips, and OOOOOOHHHHHHHH my goodness! These are wayyyyy to addictive!!!!

  • Ryan

    I just made these brownies, and they are quite good. Instead of using a bowl with simmering water, I microwaved the mixture and stirred it every 20 seconds or so. Also, I used vanilla extract, and because I had no pecans, I decided to use chocolate chips. The chocolate ended up melting in the warm batter making them even MORE chocolatey, but they still were delicious!

  • Anna

    I just baked this, and they were really delicious. My little brother and his friend (I’m 17, btw) gobbled them up! Very chocolatey! I put brazilnuts instead of pecan, and it worked brilliantly! :) Great!

  • susan

    I’ve been making these since I first found the recipe on Epicurious a few years ago. Soooo good, and easily adaptable. I sometimes use a bit less sugar or butter and it turns out fine.
    However, the quality of the cocoa makes a huge difference. Hershey’s cocoa is OK, but the brownies are ever so much better w/ Guittard or Scharfen Berger. Didn’t like the Hershey’s Swiss–much too dark, w/ a weird aftertaste. In addition to the almond extract, I throw in some cherries (either dried or canned/drained.) Almost like a flourless cake.

  • obsoletepostergrrrl

    I loved the texture of these brownies but they turned out way too sweet for me and not nearly chocolately enough. Any ideas on how to modify the recipe for a stronger chocolate taste without sacrificing the texture?

  • Lander

    I actually printed the recipe about a month ago and refused to make them because they looked so good in the picture that I knew I would eat too much. But my daughter has been asking me to make brownies for her birthday party so I decided to do a test run. I made these yesterday and only have 2 pieces left which goes to show how good they are.

  • katie

    I made these but I had to substitute a lot of things and this is what I did:

    10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
    1 1/4 cups sugar
    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cunched till powder oreo cookies with the cream taken out
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    2 teaspoons lemon extract
    2 cold large eggs
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour

    They were soo good!!!!! Try them just follow the rest of the directions and substitute that stuff then email me.

  • Colleen

    I made these last night and they are FABULOUS!! I added mint and vanilla instead of almond (I ran out) and it was pretty good. Next time I’ll try the almond.