Best-Ever 5-Ingredient Brownies are ultra fudgy with rich chocolate flavor and that classic crinkly top. All you need for this easy brownie recipe is butter, sugar, eggs, flour, cocoa powder, and less than 1 hour from start to end. They’re more delicious than a boxed mix – but completely unfussy!
Published – April of 2018. Updated January 2023.
You just can’t beat homemade brownies! Especially these ones – this recipe is delicious, easy, and completely fuss-free. They truly are the best brownies! Let’s dive in!
Why you’ll love this brownie recipe:
- Fudgy, Crinkle Top Brownies – These brownies are ultra rich and fudgy, with that crackly top we long for in a brownie recipe!
- Few Ingredients – You only need 5 simple ingredients to make these perfect brownies. But, you can also dress them up a bit if you’d like!
- Easy Brownie Recipe – These fudgy brownies come together in under an hour from start to finish, with minimal tools and ingredients! This easy recipe is sure to become a staple in your house.
- Butter – I always use salted buter for the best flavor, but feel free to use unsalted butter if you prefer. Some people make brownies with vegetable oil, but I prefer butter for the flavor!
- Eggs – Use large eggs.
- Sugar – If you want to keep this to strictly 5 ingredients, use granulated sugar. Otherwise, use a mix of granulated sugar and brown sugar for a little extra depth of flavor.
- Flour – Flour adds structure. Use all-purpose flour. Spoon & level your flour for best results, or use a scale. Scooping the measuring cup directly in will lead to too much flour.
- Cocoa Powder – This (obviously) brings the chocolate to the brownies!
- Vanilla extract – This technically takes you beyond 5 ingredients, but I always add vanilla to just about everything I bake. If you keep vanilla extract on hand, add it! If you absolutely can’t get your hands on any, or don’t want to make a trip to the store, these will still be good without it.
- Salt – This is the “sixth ingredient” – but I don’t know of a home that doesn’t keep salt on hand, so typically salt isn’t counted in an ingredient total.
- Gluten-free – I haven’t tested this recipe in a gluten-free version, but they theoretically will work with a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour. Let me know if you do try it!
- Dairy-free – Use your favorite dairy-free butter sticks to make this recipe dairy-free.
- Variations – See variations farther down in this post for ideas on customizing these brownies with add-ins.
How to Make this Recipe Step-by-Step:
Step 1: Make the Brownie Batter. Melt the butter in a large bowl, then whisk the eggs and vanilla extract into the melted butter. Continue whisking, or mix with a hand mixer, for 2 minutes – this will create the crinkly top on our brownies. Fold in the dry ingredients, and any mix-ins you may want to use (see variations below) with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
Step 2: Bake the Brownies. Spread the batter in a parchment paper lined 9×9 pan. Bake as directed in the recipe card below for best results.
That’s it – this is an incredibly easy dessert with just two steps! The hardest part of this simple recipe is waiting for the brownies to bake. I hope these become your new most-loved, all-occasion brownies! They’ve certainly solidified their place in my dessert repertoire – which as you know, is extensive.
Expert Success Tips:
- Don’t over bake – Follow the bake time and directions given in the recipe card below for best results. It’s better to have slightly under baked brownies with nice fudgy middles, than over baked ones.
- Baking pan – Glass is a poor conductor of heat – almost every baker will tell you this. Use a ceramic or metal pan here rather than a glass one.
- Can I double this recipe? Yes, double and bake in a 9×13 pan. Start with a similar bake time as in the recipe card below, adding a few minutes more at a time as needed.
- Can I halve this recipe? Yes, try baking it in a standard size loaf pan or a 6-inch round cake pan for brownies of a similar thickness to these, or in the same size 9×9 pan for a thinner brownie. Start with 18 minutes and go from there, checking for doneness in the same way.
- How do I get crackly tops on my brownies? Whisking the eggs into the melted butter & sugar for a few minutes adds air to the batter, which creates that crinkly effect on top.
- Are these brownies fudgy? Yes! These are fudgy and chewy – not cakey brownies.
- Can I use a different size or shape pan? Yes. You can also use an 8 or 9 inch oven safe skillet or a 8 or 9 inch round cake pan in a pinch.
Easy Brownie Recipe Variations:
- Mix-Ins – Feel free to add any mix-ins you like to these easy brownies! Try any of the following: chopped nuts, chocolate chunks, leftover holiday candy (think chopped reese’s cups, leftover Easter chocolate, Halloween candy, or Christmas candy), white chocolate chips, or caramel baking chips. Fold any desired mix-ins into the batter after adding the dry ingredients. Add 3/4 cup to 1 cup of chocolate chips or whatever mix-in you’re using.
- Frosting – This chocolate cream cheese frosting would put these to the next level! Just make 1/4 of the frosting amount. I know some folks love a chewy, frosted brownie, and others don’t – these are fabulous either way.
Serving + Storing this Recipe:
Let brownies cool at least 30 minutes to 1 hour before slicing. The longer you let them cool, the more easily they’ll hold a shape, but I do like to dive in while they’re still warm. Store cooled brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-4 days or in the fridge for 4-6 days.
- 9×9 Pan – A ceramic or metal 9×9 square pan is ideal for this recipe.
- Cordless Mixer – I love the flexibility of a cordless electric mixer!
- Offset Spatula – An offset spatula makes spreading batter a breeze, and I use it for tons of things – especially when frosting cakes, bars, etc.
More Brownie Recipes to Love:
- Gooey S’mores Brownies
- Fudgy Gluten-Free Brownies
- Black Forest Brownies
- Layered Mint Chocolate Brownies
- Salted Caramel Pretzel Brownies
Did you make this recipe? Snap a photo and leave a comment!
Best-Ever 5 Ingredient Brownies
- 1 cup salted butter, melted
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup all-purpose flour 135 grams
- 2/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract optional, but recommended if you have it on hand
- Make the Brownies: Preheat your oven to 350° F. Line a ceramic or metal 9×9 baking dish with parchment paper. Melt the butter in a large mixing bowl. Whisk in the sugar. Whisk in the eggs, and vanilla if using. Whisk for a full two minutes to develop a crinkly top – or use an electric mixer on high speed, if desired. Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt, and fold in until you have a thick batter.
- Bake the Brownies: Pour the batter into your baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes. The top will look set, and a toothpick inserted will have moist crumbs on it, but it shouldn't have runny batter. (You can also use the tip of a knife to lift up a little piece from the center to more clearly see the doneness, if you have a hard time judging when brownies are done).
- Serve + Store: Let brownies cool 30 minutes to 1 hour before slicing. They're amazing warm, but won't hold a neat shape. The longer they cool, the more easily you can slice and serve them. Store cooled brownies in an airtight container at room temp for 3-4 days or in the fridge for 4-6 days.
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