Bars + Brownies

My Favorite Brownies

My Favorite Brownies

I know brownies are subjective.
Everyone has their own way of loving them, and you may not agree with me on texture here. I understand, we’re all unique individuals.

But every time I eat these, I nod my head with a smile, confident that my search for perfection is over. And they’ve led me to develop several other delicious brownie recipes.

My favorite brownies have a deep chocolate flavor, a slightly chewy texture (a nod to the boxed brownies of my youth), and a beautiful shiny top. 

Secrets To Great Brownies

  • Use good quality chocolate. I prefer bittersweet chocolate, and dutch cocoa powder. Since brownies are all about the chocolate, you want to like what you use!
  • Don’t overbake your brownies. Check them periodically throughout baking to ensure you catch them at the right time. If you overbake, the brownies will be dry.
  • Using both melted chocolate and cocoa powder will give you robust chocolate flavor and great texture.
  • That lovely, papery layer on top is the result of whisking the eggs and sugar very well, before folding in the other ingredients. So didn’t skimp on the whisking.
My Favorite Brownies | Sarah Kieffer | The Vanilla Bean Blog

Variations on this recipe:

1. Peanut butter brownies • Take ¾ cup of creamy peanut butter and drop it in circles over the brownie batter before baking. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, drag the peanut butter through the top of the batter, making swirls. Bake as directed.

2. Rocky road brownies • Add marshmallows, chopped pecans, and chocolate chips to the top of brownies before baking.

rocky road brownies close up photo

More Brownie Recipes:

My Favorite Brownies

Chewy, Fudgy Brownies

Servings: 12 large or 24 small brownies
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
These will always be my favorite brownies. A combination of the best elements – chewy, fudgy, and chocolate heaven.
Sarah Kieffer
4.84 from 42 votes
Print Pin Rate


  • 8 tablespoons 1 stick; 113 g unsalted butter, cold
  • 8 ounces 226 g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • ¼ cup 25 g Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons 160 g all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • cups 297 g granulated sugar
  • ½ cup 99 g packed brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  • Adjust an oven rack to the lower middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 by 13-inch baking pan and line a parchment sling.
  • In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter and the bittersweet chocolate until both are melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder, stirring until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, oil, sugars, and vanilla. Add the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Add the flour mixture and stir with a spatula until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 22 to 27 minutes, until the sides of the brownies have set, the top is beginning to crackle and look glossy, and a wooden skewer or toothpick inserted into the center comes out with crumbs. The batter on the skewer should not be wet, but should have a good amount of crumbs clinging to it.
  • Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Use the parchment paper sling to gently lift the brownies from the pan. Cut them into squares.
  • Reply
    Saturday, March 23, 2024 at 11:08 pm

    What brand of bittersweet chocolate and percentage of cacao are you using?

  • Reply
    Tuesday, July 11, 2023 at 4:27 pm

    5 stars
    Welp, these brownies are better than my go-to, favorite brownies. I’m a little sad about that but I shall get over it. I made the recipe as is but would like to add walnuts for the people who like them, any guess as to how much I can add? Thanks for the recipe- these are truly the best.

  • Reply
    Friday, June 16, 2023 at 4:29 pm

    5 stars
    OMG!! I made these brownies for a gathering tonight. Just snitching the crumbs left in the pan is making me swoon!! So moist, sweet but not too much and wonderfully chocolatey!! I hope the brownies make it to the party!! Sarah, this is a winner!!

  • Reply
    Tuesday, June 6, 2023 at 3:33 pm

    5 stars
    Hi, Sarah,
    I made the Marshmallow Peanut Butter variation of Forever Brownies from100 Cookies. Not quite as gorgeous as your photo, and tasted DE-LICIOUS. Moist and Pretty.
    Also, baked your Ginger Orange Carrot Bread from 100 Morning Treats. Oh-OH-OH! You and I are now Best Breakfast Buddies.

  • Reply
    Donna Lindsay
    Tuesday, June 6, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    Do you have anyway that this recipe can be altered so they’d make an 8×8 or 9×9″ pan? I don’t have the big one any longer, as I just wasn’t using it! I’d really not want to go and buy one. I know I can freeze them! I would be happier if I can make these in a smaller pan.
    Thank you,

  • Reply
    Monday, February 20, 2023 at 5:37 pm

    5 stars
    My husband said this was the best brownie I’ve ever baked and I’ve been making brownies for 30 years.

  • Reply
    Sunday, November 13, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    5 stars
    These brownies are trouble! I am supposed to be dieting, but I can’t leave them alone. Far better than a box mix. I don’t know that I can ever make a box brownie mix again!

  • Reply
    Friday, August 26, 2022 at 6:53 am

    5 stars
    I love these brownies and make them often! Have you ever attempted to freeze them? Thanks so much!

  • Reply
    Sunday, May 22, 2022 at 10:34 am

    5 stars
    Yep. These are the best brownies. Only with brownies is it a compliment when one says they are just as good as boxed. These are slightly superior. I cooked them for the full 27 minutes and found the middle perfect but the edges a little too done (not burnt) for my liking, but I am willing to sacrifice the perimeter. Thanks for an excellent recipe. I’ve tried many brownie recipes and these finally live up to the hype.

  • Reply
    Sunday, November 21, 2021 at 11:48 pm

    Does anyone know how well they freeze?

  • Reply
    Monday, September 20, 2021 at 7:45 pm

    5 stars
    I discovered you and this recipe from your 100 Cookies book! I am such a picky person when it comes too brownies. Can’t be too sweet, or too rich that I can only eat a bite or two, or too cakey, the list goes on. These though, these are IDEAL. They are everything I loved about boxed brownies growing up, but 100x more elevated. Chewy and fudgy, but not overly so, and the perfect level of sweetness. The thin crackly tops are my favorite. Soooo good. Finally found my holy grail of brownies.

  • Reply
    Kirsten M.
    Sunday, September 19, 2021 at 8:41 am

    5 stars
    I made these brownies and they were absolutely delicious!! So fudgy and perfect. I will definitely make these my go-to brownie recipe!

  • Reply
    Sunday, August 8, 2021 at 9:13 am

    Can I halve this recipe? Too big for me….

  • Reply
    Cristina Solomon
    Sunday, November 22, 2020 at 11:12 am

    These are probably the best brownies I have ever made. I tried the recipe for the first time last night and my bf had two, then told me to hide them because they’re dangerous. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Reply
    Niyatee Ravipati
    Friday, October 18, 2019 at 3:10 pm

    Hi can i use sunflower oil instead of canola?

  • Reply
    Niyatee Ravipati
    Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 3:50 am

    I cant find canola oil easily in india, is sunflower oil okay as a substitute?

  • Reply
    Jim H
    Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    I’ve made these a couple times now and my 27 year old daughter says, “These are the best brownies I’ve had in my life!” She’s a chocolate lover and these are terrific! Most recently, I tried freezing them, then cutting in half and using for an ice cream sandwich. They work extremely well, hold together (cut them frozen) and maintain a great texture and taste frozen. So good!!!

  • Reply
    Friday, February 9, 2018 at 8:44 pm

    Hi Sarah, these brownies look gorgeous, I’d love to make these. I have a question though, can I bake them in a 8*8 square pan coz I don’t have a 9*13 pan.


  • Reply
    Sunday, February 4, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    I made these with dark brown sugar because I didn’t have any light brown on hand…but definitely need to remake with light brown! The dark brown sugar really competes with the chocolate flavor. Otherwise amazing texture!! Excited to try these again.

  • Reply
    Friday, January 26, 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks for sharing this awesome recipe! It really has THE perfect texture out of all the brownies I’ve made in the past. LOVE these brownies 🙂

  • Reply
    Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 11:52 am

    I made these on Sunday and they are absolutely the best brownies I’ve ever eaten in my life. They are SO GOOD! I can’t wait to make them again.

  • Reply
    Hadley Hauser
    Monday, November 14, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    These look great, I can’t wait to sample the recipe! Brownies would hit the spot tonight 🙂

  • Reply
    Abby | Lace & Lilacs
    Sunday, November 13, 2016 at 11:56 am

    These brownies! That apron! So much love. <3

  • Reply
    Sunday, November 6, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Brownies are probably one of my favorite desserts and these look delicious! Your Book will be fabulous!

  • Reply
    Heidi Clark
    Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    The brownies look decadent and the apron is delightful. Do you have a no purchase entry?
    With thanks

  • Reply
    Emma Galloway
    Sunday, October 30, 2016 at 6:54 pm

    Yay Sarah! I can’t wait to see your book and also to convert this brownie to gf, it sounds perfect. Much love xx

  • Reply
    Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today
    Saturday, October 29, 2016 at 3:11 pm

    It sounds like so much fun! And Molly looks so pretty in the apron. I love brownies but I haven’t found the perfect recipe yet. I am excited to try out yours 😀

  • Reply
    Thursday, October 27, 2016 at 11:40 am

    Sarah, I am so excited for your book! I just preordered a copy and I can’t wait to bake everything from it. I’ve been following your blog for ages and I’ve made sooooo many of your recipes and they are always so fantastic and delicious. And….. I can’t believe we’ve never met in person. Hoping this will change one day soon 😉


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