Classic Brownies

You’re gonna love these moist, thick, chewy, and slightly fudgy Classic Brownies. Seriously.

Classic Brownies

Classic Brownies

Brownies are one of my favorite treats ever. Brownies and cookies are what I would choose to eat if deserted on an island. While I love chocolate, when it comes to brownies it’s definitely a texture thing. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, I HATE cakey brownies. If you want cakey, eat cake! I also dislike nuts in my brownies.

My brownies need to be moist, thick, chewy, and slightly fudgy. Most brownie recipes provide great taste but bad texture, or visa versa. Or they go dry after a day. Or they are (god forbid) cakey. Up till this point the Baked brownie recipe has been my favorite, but it takes some time (and a LOT of chocolate, and therefore money) to produce. This brownie recipe is much better because it yields fabulous results with less ingredients and steps. So, thanks Cooks’ Illustrated, for developing a brownies recipe I can call my favorite.

What are your favorite brownie recipes?

Recipe Rundown
Taste: Deeply and sweetly chocolate.
Texture: Moist, thick, chewy, and slightly fudgy, just how I like it! Oh, and with the added bonus of the crackled, crinkled top.
Ease: Very easy.
Appearance: Don’t you just want to bite into that picture? I do. I want to make these again now.
Pros: Near perfect brownie.
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Absolutely (see above)!


Classic Brownies

Yield: 24 brownies

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes


1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) plain cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into six pieces
2 1/4 cups (15 3/4 ounces) sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoons vanilla extract


1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position; preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick spray. Line baking pan with parchment paper or foil and spray with nonstick spray again.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together until combined. Set aside.

3. Melt the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. Alternatively, in a microwave, heat the butter and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments until melted. When the chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove the bowl from the saucepan and gradually whisk in the sugar. Add the eggs, on at a time, whisking after each addition until combined. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, folding with a rubber spatula until the batter is smooth.

4. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan; using a spatula, spread the batter into the corners of the pan and smooth the surface. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 30-35 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, then remove the brownies from the pan. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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16 Responses to “Classic Brownies”

  1. #
    Kacey — April 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I tried to make this a while back, and I screwed something up, because they came out so bad I threw them out. I knew it had to by my fault since Cooks Illustrated has never failed me before. I forgot about them until you posted this, so I'm going to have to try again!

  2. #
    Melissa Bakes — April 25, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    These look awesome! I love anything by Cook's Illustrated!

  3. #
    Maris — April 25, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    These look mouth wateringly good! I love brownies witha tall glass of milk!

  4. #
    Alicia — April 25, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Those look deeelicious. and you've basically covered all the details of what I consider a 'perfect' brownie as well.
    No cakey brownies in my kitchen!
    I'm bookmarking this!

  5. #
    Goddess — April 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm

    Nice idea to post this brownie recipe! I really love to try making it. I love eating brownies but now I'd like to make it for me. Wanna join me? :)

  6. #
    rachsed — April 28, 2011 at 4:55 am

    Wow, you speak right to my soul- I feel the same way about brownies. In fact, I love both recipes you mentioned! I'm tempted to bake some now…

  7. #
    The Flour Sack — June 2, 2011 at 3:45 am

    I LOVE this recipe, too! It's been my go-to for a few years now. I'm so glad you agree… Cakey is for cake and cake only. Thick, fudgy, chewy, and chocolaty is for brownies :) Yum!

  8. #
    Traci — January 30, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    I am with you on the cakey brownies! I can't tell you how many brownie recipes I have tried trying to find that perfect one that would give me my chewy, fudgy brownie! I will try this recipe and keep my fingers crossed!

  9. #
    carole w — March 18, 2013 at 8:14 am

    What is a ‘stick’ of butter and could you please translate this to ounces for those of us across the pond?

  10. #
    Christina (Sisters Running the kitchen) — September 18, 2013 at 9:52 am

    these look great! i love the look and sound of the cookie dough ones too! have you ever tried the NY times recipe? i have it on my blog- soooo good. my favorite. my i have never tried cook’s illustrated ones! ill have to compare!

  11. #
    Katie — July 1, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    These are excellent- rich but not oily, fudgy to bite but not so gooey you need a spoon to eat them. Pleasantly chewy around the edges with a crackly top. I used World Market 99% chocolate and Plugra European style butter and was very pleased with the depth and roundness of flavor. This is the 4th brownie recipe I’ve tried, and it’s the best so far.

  12. #
    Anna — December 7, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    Will it work if I use regular All-Purpose flour? I don’t have cake flour

    • Tessa replied: — December 8th, 2014 @ 4:30 pm

      Yes but cake flour is best!

  13. #
    Cherry — April 1, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Hi! The recipe looks yummy! I would like to try it over the weekend. But i only have a 8×8 pan. How do i tweak the recipe for a smaller sized pan? Thank you!

    • Tessa replied: — April 2nd, 2015 @ 12:05 pm

      Just cut the recipe in half and decrease the baking time to about 20-25 minutes!

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