How To Make Box Brownies Better?
Almost everyone loves a good brownie, and especially when they are homemade. It’s no secret that box brownies are a convenient, and often tasty, dessert option. There are so many recipes out there for brownies, but sometimes they can be a little bit daunting to make. However, there are ways to make them even better! In this blog post, we will show you how to make box brownies better than ever before! So keep reading to find out some tips and tricks.
What Exactly Are Box Brownies?
Box Brownies are like regular brownies, only they require the use of a metal container. They traditionally consist of fudge and nuts on top of a layer of chocolate cake batter. The traditional box brownie recipe calls for three ingredients: chocolate cake mix (usually Betty Crocker), oil (such as Crisco), and one small package of dry fudge instant pudding and pie filling (such as Jell-O). We tweaked this traditional DIY brownie recipe slightly to make them even healthier and tastier!
Box Brownies are reminiscent of “dump cakes,” which are also made with cake mixes, but dump cakes usually don’t involve any type of chocolate layer at all. The term “box brownie” was first used around 1934, but back then they were just called “brownies.”
Box brownies have been around for a very long time, so at least we know they can’t be that bad for us! Box brownies are considered a form of “poor man’s” dessert. They’re cheap, easy to make, and use simple ingredients. We found a version of the original recipe from Betty Crocker, which dates back to around 1960. While this recipe is much more fattening than our Healthy Brownie Recipe (which contains no oil), it’s still much healthier than most conventional boxed mixes.
How To Make Box Brownies Better?
Box brownies are usually made with lots of sugar, chocolate chips, oil, eggs, and sometimes butter. These ingredients are the base for a box brownies recipe.
Like most recipes that use buttermilk, this ingredient helps to activate baking soda. This, in turn, helps the brownies rise more than if you used regular milk. Taken alone, buttermilk has less sugar than most boxed mixes. It also contains lactic acid bacteria which are believed to have health benefits for our digestive systems.
- Chocolate Brownie Mixture
The chocolate brownie mixture is made from cocoa powder, flour, sugar (or honey), and salt. Cocoa powder can be rich in antioxidants called flavonoids which help protect cells against the oxidative stress that causes aging. Chocolate is also high in magnesium, iron, and manganese. It’s important to use unsweetened cocoa powder if you’re trying to cut back on sugar.
- Canola Oil
Canola oil is a great substitute for butter or margarine. You can try substituting it with another type of oil such as soybean, corn, grapeseed, etc., but we still recommend using canola because it’s considered the healthiest oil available and contains many antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids.
- Vanilla Extract
This ingredient is a must because it adds a rich flavor to the brownies. However, just like salt, be careful not to go overboard with this ingredient!
We used whole eggs in this recipe because that’s what traditional brownie recipes call for! This ingredient gives the box brownie recipe its richness and texture.
- Egg Whites
Egg whites add to the lightness of these brownies because they contain protein (which also contributes to their chewiness). Since you’re basically eating pure chocolate at this point, there really isn’t any reason not to make these healthier by adding an additional egg white!
- Baking Soda
This product helps our brownies rise and get nice and fluffy! It’s only used in small amounts so you don’t have to worry about consuming too much. As long as you mix your batter thoroughly, there should no clumps of baking soda leftover in your finished brownie mix!
We used sea salt for this recipe to add a hint of sweetness (but it will be ok if you only have table salt available). Sea salt contains many other nutrients that are great for our bodies! One thing to remember is that, just like with regular brownies, no one should consume more than the recommended serving size.
- Instant Coffee
This is for those of you who like the taste of coffee! Coffee brownies are more common than you may think, so why not give them a try? The addition of instant coffee provides a boost to your mood and brain energy. This ingredient also adds a depth of flavor that’s more distinguishable than using regular brewed coffee.
- Chocolate Chips or Chunks
The next group of ingredients included milk chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate chips! This is simply for added sweetness and flavor.
As we mentioned before, this brownie recipe calls for unsweetened cocoa powder. You can use milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips instead but it has been reported that dark chocolate (which contains more cocoa) may provide many benefits such as improved blood flow and lower blood pressure.
This sweetener is commonly found in most box brownie recipes. We used standard granulated white sugar because that’s all we had at home. You can try using different sweeteners if you’d like such as brown rice syrup, molasses, maple syrup, etc.
Also, it is recommended to use raw honey for this recipe because it contains an abundance of health benefits such as anti-viral properties! Raw honey can even aid in fighting off allergies. If you don’t have raw honey at home though it will be ok to omit this ingredient completely or replace it with brown rice syrup (which has similar properties).
- Standard Brownie Pan
Try not to use a nonstick pan unless your box specifically says it’s ok. We recommend using a standard-sized 9 x 9-inch pan with aluminum foil solutions painted on the bottom so that your brownies won’t stick after they’re done baking. Some people have been known to swear by adding a layer of parchment paper under their aluminum solutions but it’s also fine to skip this step if you don’t have any.
- Parchment Paper
The main purpose of lining your baking pan with parchment paper is to prevent the brownies from sticking at the bottom. Some people may also prefer using kitchen tongs to remove their brownies from the pan because it minimizes contact with water which can cause unsightly drips. You can also try placing a piece of clean wax paper on top of your brownie batter before adding them in the oven to reduce stickiness!
- Kitchen Tongs
Tongs are optional but if you’re very concerned about avoiding contact with hot surfaces then maybe give these a shot! They’re great for moving around food that’s too hot or heavy to pick up without the use of a spatula. Plus, it reduces your chance of burning your fingers!
One large and one medium-sized rubber or silicon spatula will be needed to thoroughly mix together all the brownie batter’s ingredients. Don’t forget to scrape the edge of your bowl occasionally to make sure you don’t leave any chunks behind!
- Rubber Or Silicon Mixing Bowls
This is optional but we found these very helpful for mixing up our brownie batters; utilizing two different bowls gave us better control over our mixtures. Also, this makes cleanup easier because you can just toss them into dishwater as soon as you’re done using them instead of having to wash off all the straggler crumbs that may have landed on the counter.
- Measuring Cups
These are used to measure out all your ingredients! Some people like to use their scales for this step (especially when it comes to flour because the density of different brands can vary). You need one cup measure for wet ingredients and 2/3 cups for dry ingredients.
A Step-By-Step Instruction: How To Make Box Brownies?
Box Brownies Recipe:
- 1 cup buttermilk.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- 2 cups sugar (or honey).
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder.
- 1/4 teaspoon salt.
- 4 teaspoons baking powder.
- 3/4 cup canola oil.
- 4 whole eggs + 4 egg whites.
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour.
How To Make Box Brownies?
Step 1: Combine buttermilk, vanilla extract, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Mix well until no lumps are found.
Step 2: Add oil slowly into the mixture while continuing to mix at medium speed. Once mixed together well, set aside for now.
Step 3: Separate your eggs into whites and yolks respectively. Transfer chocolate mixture onto the center of your stand mixer’s whisk attachment (or just use an electric hand mixer). Whisk on high speed until you’ve reached the stiff peaks stage – this should take about 5-7 minutes depending on how powerful your mixer is. This step will give our brownies their volume!
Step 4: Gently fold your egg whites into your chocolate batter. Take care not to break down the bubbles you’ve just created! Once mixed together well, add in your all-purpose flour and mix until fully combined. Transfer mixture into a lightly greased 8×11 glass dish. Make sure it’s cool before doing so!
Step 5: Bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until the knife inserted comes out clean. Let brownies cool to room temperature before removing them from the pan and cutting them up into squares (we cut ours into 16 pieces). Enjoy with milk (or coffee!) and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks To Make Box Brownies More Delicious:
These simple tips will ensure that your boxed brownie mix tastes just like homemade brownies.
1) Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. Chilly ingredients will affect the overall texture of your brownies so make sure to take them out at least 30 minutes before you start baking! If you forget, run some warm water over them to have them reach the same temperature as the oven.
2) Use Cake Flour instead of All-Purpose Flour in your brownie mix. This is an easy hack that makes a world of difference when it comes to moistness! We tried both cake flour and all-purpose flour with one boxed brownie mix recipe and found that using 25% Cake Flour made our brownie more flavorful while keeping its fudgy texture intact. Simply add 1/4 cup cake flour for every 1 cup all-purpose flour in your brownie mix!
3) Use the best cocoa powder you can find. Not all cocoa powders are created equal, and using a high-quality one will make all the difference in taste! We recommend using Callebaut or Ghirardelli Cocoa Powder (which you can find at Costco). If you want to be more budget-friendly, however, feel free to use Hershey’s or Nestle Cocoa Powder instead. Just make sure it’s unsweetened!
4) Mix everything slowly with a stand mixer to avoid bubbles forming in your batter. While these won’t affect the taste of your brownies too much, large bubbles can cause depressions in your brownies that prevent them from firming up correctly.
5) Bake your brownies at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 30-35 minutes only. This is one mistake some people often make when baking boxed brownies – overbaking them! Try not to bake them for more than 35 minutes so they don’t turn dry and crumbly. Make sure to check on them while baking by sticking a toothpick through the center – if it comes out clean, you’re good to go!
6) Cool your brownies completely. We understand if you can’t help but eat them while they’re hot and steamy – they look and smell so delicious! But be patient and let them cool down for at least an hour so the taste and texture of the chocolate are perfected.
7) Use eggs that are room temperature too. Once again, this goes back to keeping everything as close to room temperature as possible that it helps keep bubbles from forming in your egg whites when whisking them – which will affect how light and airy your brownie batter ends up being. To quickly bring eggs out of the fridge, run some warm water over them for a couple of minutes before cracking open the shell.
8) Mix together sugar and vegetable oil before adding it to the bowl with the chocolate batter. Once fully combined, add in one egg at a time and mix until just incorporated. It’s easier to do this slow rather than fast as you run the risk of creating bubbles from overmixing. Fold in your all-purpose flour into your chocolate batter as well before transferring the mixture into a lightly greased 8×11 glass dish – make sure it’s cool first!
What Can You Put In Box Brownies To Improve Them?
A few people have asked whether adding ingredients to their boxed brownies will make them taste better. The answer is yes! In fact, you don’t even need to add anything into the batter – just mix some Nutella or caramel sauce into your prepared brownie mix instead. Here are some other ideas on what you can add:
To make sure to chop up your nuts before adding them into the batter.
Use Different Mix-Ins
This is one of the easiest ways to jazz up your brownies that pretty much seems like cheating. Try adding some chopped peanuts, sprinkles, or any other kind of candy you see fit!
Add A Swirl
This step is also optional, but adding a swirl to your brownie mix will make the end result look more attractive. Simply spoon some of your brownie batters into another bowl before mixing in chocolate or caramel sauce for flavor – you don’t need much! From there, pour half of the plain brownie batter back into your glass dish before pouring your sauce-infused batter on top and swirling it through with a toothpick.
Add The Candy
See which candy you like best when it comes to brownies! Try chopped Snickers, Butterfingers, Kit Kats… the possibilities are endless.
This is my personal favorite idea – spread marshmallow fluff on top of your brownie batter before sprinkling graham crackers along the center of the batter. Press both down so they adhere before baking, and you have one delicious s’mores-inspired brownie!
Throw in a couple of teaspoons of instant coffee into the mix for an extra punch of flavor. This step is optional, but we love how it brings out the rich and chocolatey flavors in every bite.
If you plan to use vanilla extract, mix it into the sugar and vegetable oil mixture before adding it into the chocolate batter. You can also mix in some cocoa powder or coffee instead (1 teaspoon at a time).
Mix In The Cookie Pieces
The brownie is an omnipotent dessert. In most cases, people would use walnuts to add crunch and texture to a chocolate dish. But you can also try adding the cookie pieces from your Oreos! Or, if you have leftover brownies that have been cut into pieces, just crumble them up and sprinkle them over top for a quick fix!
Add Caramel Syrup
Spread caramel sauce into your brownie batter or mix in some hot fudge after baking.
Add Chocolate Chips
Mini chocolate chips will make your brownies more flavorful and bigger ones will add a nice crunch!
If you want to bring out the other flavors in your brownies, add a pinch of salt into your batter before baking. It’s not necessary but it’s always better to have too much rather than too little!
Add Pie Filling
Chocolate-cherry brownies are great for Christmas or you can even add something seasonal, like pumpkin pie filling.
Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries are all great options. Spread them evenly throughout your brownie mix so they bake through by the time they’re done baking.
Add Dried Fruits
Unsweetened dried fruit, like raisins and cranberries, should be added to any chocolate-based brownie mix because they add natural sweetness and help keep your brownies moist!
What Is The Key To Making Great Brownies?
For each individual, the ideal brownie is different. Some individuals enjoy soft, chewy brownies, while others prefer cakey, frosted brownies. There is no such thing as an incorrect response. However, no matter whatever type of brownie you choose, we have a few tricks up our sleeves for creating consistently great brownies.
Use High-Quality Ingredients
This should go without saying, but the quality of your ingredients definitely impacts the taste! Always opt for organic eggs whenever possible to avoid any salmonella. And if you really want to step up your game, use fresh dairy products instead of canned ones.
Using High-Quality Cocoa Powder
Just like with your ingredients, make sure you use high-quality cocoa powder for an extra rich taste! We love Droste 100% Cacao Unsweetened Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder. It contains no artificial ingredients or preservatives and the flavor is incredible!
The biggest mistake people make when baking brownies is overbaking them! Brownies are very moist by nature, which means they usually take a little less time to bake than you might think. To check if your brownies are done, always insert a skewer in the middle of the cake – it should come out with just a few crumbs sticking to it. If any batter comes out on your skewer, pop them back in the oven for another 5 minutes before testing again.
Let Brownies Cool
Make sure you always give your brownies enough time (a minimum of 20 minutes) before slicing into them. If you cut them too soon, they might collapse – which is why you should always slice brownies after it’s cooled off.
Using A Glass Baking Dish
Brownies are very moist by nature due to their high oil content (which often keeps them from burning). To help with that problem, line your baking dish with parchment paper or foil before sprinkling some flour on top – this will prevent your brownie mix from sticking to the bottom!
Start With Good Brownie Mixture!
This might seem obvious, but you should always start with a good brownie mixture to get the best results. Combine your flour and sugar before adding in all your wet ingredients – this will help ensure everything is incorporated evenly without any lumps!
Instead Of Oil, Use Melted Butter
If you want to make your brownies even richer, try using melted butter instead of oil when baking them. We love using salted butter when making our brownie recipes – it really enhances the flavor!
Instead Of A Whole Egg, Use Egg Yolks
Brownies are so moist by nature that it can be hard to get a good texture when you add in an egg. To help with this, try using the yolks from whole eggs in your brownie mix instead! Allowing the whites to just hang out on their own will give you a silkier texture – and no one wants a cakey brownie.
Instead Of Water, Use Milk Or Heavy Cream
Instead of using plain old water to bind your brownie mixture, try substituting milk or heavy cream instead. The extra fat will help give your brownies an even richer flavor!
Instead Of Water, Use Hot Brewed Coffee
If you want your brownies to be extra rich and chocolaty, try using hot brewed coffee instead of water when preparing them! You’ll get an even stronger flavor this way.
Use Vanilla Extract
When preparing your brownie batter, be sure to use a high-quality vanilla extract. It will really enhance the taste of your chocolate desserts and give them a dessert-like quality!
Add A Little Salt To The Box Brownies
If you really want to take your brownies to the next level, try adding a little salt when combining all the ingredients! The saltiness will bring out the sweetness of your dessert and make it taste even better!
Sprinkle Some Salt More On Top While Eating Brownies!
A little extra salt sprinkled on top of your brownies while you eat them can really enhance their flavor. It will bring out the flavors in your dessert and make them taste even better!
Add In Instant Coffee Or Espresso Powder
Brownies are already pretty chocolaty on their own, but if you want to take them up a notch try adding instant coffee or espresso powder to your batter! It will make your brownies even richer.
Keep Your Boxed Brownie Mix Batter From Over-Mixing
Another mistake people make while preparing boxed brownie mix is over-mixing the batter – which means you should really be careful not to over-mix it! It might seem like a simple step, but too much mixing can lead to a cakey texture and cause bubbles in your batter that could affect how your brownies bake.
Don’t Overbeat The Eggs
When Preparing The Brownie Batter: Another big mistake people make when preparing brownies is overbeating the eggs. This might seem like an obvious step, but it can really affect the end result of your brownies! Be sure not to overbeat the eggs before adding them into your mixture – this will ensure that they’re mixed together evenly and won’t cause bubbles that could affect how they bake.
Keeping Your Oven Clean
If there are crumbs or debris on your oven racks, it can affect how evenly your brownies bake. Make sure to clean the racks before baking any chocolate desserts to ensure even heat distribution.
For A Low And Slow Bake, Change The Baking Directions. This Makes An Extremely Fudgy Brownie.
People usually bake brownies at a pretty hot temperature, but to get an ultra fudgy texture you should take that down a notch. The kind of bake you want for gooey chocolate brownie success is about 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using The Right Temperature
Be sure to set your oven temperature correctly so your brownies bake evenly all over. We love setting our oven at 325 degrees Fahrenheit and cooking them for 25-30 minutes until they’re done!
What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Consuming The Boxed Brownies?
The boxed brownies are great for people who want to make some delicious desserts without having to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. It’s also perfect for people on the go that don’t have much time to cook, or even prepare something simple like a brownie fix. The boxed brownie mixes are very delicious and will surely give you an amazing dessert experience that everyone will love!
One of the best things about this product is that it’s perfect for all kinds of people – no matter their cooking skills or background. For example, if you really enjoy baking but you want to get more of a variety in your desserts it might be hard because baking can take so long! Well, with these products all you have to do is follow the directions on the box and you’ll have a delicious brownie treat with minimal effort! Also, if you’re extremely busy but love to bake it’s perfect for that as well – just mix all the ingredients together and you’ll have some homemade brownies in no time.
Finally, these products are great for people who are trying to lose weight because they don’t have any added sugars or fats so they can help speed up your metabolism without making you gain extra pounds. They also provide plenty of proteins so they will keep you satisfied for longer periods of time.
What Are Some Risks With Boxed Brownies And How To Minimize Them?
The risks associated with eating boxed brownies are very minimal. The only thing worth mentioning is checking the label on the back before drinking the container because you might be interested in purchasing a vegan or gluten-free option instead. It’s also important to check the label because you might find certain items that could irritate your skin or make it break out. For example, some people are allergic to nuts or chocolate so in this case, it might be worth checking to see if there’s an allergen warning on the product before consuming it.
Is It Possible For You To Frost The Brownies?
Yes, it’s definitely possible for you to frost your brownies in order to make them taste even better. To do this all you have to do is follow the directions on the box like normal but when it’s time to take them out of the oven you should immediately put some chocolate ganache between two cooled brownies and press very gently. Then, you can top it with strawberry slices or other fruits that complement well with the boxed brownie mix!
How To Store The Leftover Brownies?
After you’ve baked your brownies it’s important to store them in a sealed container so they don’t dry out. If they do end up drying out, then you can always add some condensed milk or chocolate syrup to moisten the treats and make them taste good again!
Is It Possible To Make The Brownies Healthier?
As we mentioned earlier, boxed brownies might not be the healthiest dessert option but it is possible for you to make them healthier if you want. For example, there are many low-calorie and fat substitutes that allow people with dietary restrictions (like diabetics) to still enjoy their special desserts without compromising their health. Also, if you’re interested in making your desserts healthier all you have to do is check the label and look for a healthier substitute – like water or skim milk instead of whole.
It’s important to mention that if you want to make these desserts healthier it might take a little more effort than just mixing the ingredients together, but it’s definitely not impossible! For example, you can bake your brownies so they’re less fattening by making sure they don’t have any added oils or fats. Also, you can use alternative sweeteners that are honey-based or fruit-based because those will provide better flavor and consistency compared to sugar alternatives.
How Many Eggs Should I Use In Box Brownies?
When making boxed brownies it’s important to follow the directions because if you use too many eggs you’ll end up with something that doesn’t look or taste as appealing as what was advertised. Using fewer eggs than required is fine but only if the recipe specifies that it’s okay to do so! For example, some recipes will call for one egg and then instruct you to add an additional yolk if you’re looking for a richer flavor.
Should I Bake Brownies In A Glass Or Metal Pan?
It’s best to bake brownies in a glass or metal pan because these materials will allow your dessert to cook evenly and consistently. If you use a different type of material like aluminum then the top will be done and the bottom won’t, which can make your boxed treats taste unappealing!
However, between a glass and metal pan, it’s up to you which one you’d like to use. While metal is more absorbent, glass tends to cook more evenly and for longer periods of time.
Can I Add Nuts Or Other Ingredients To These Boxed Brownies?
Of course, it’s possible for you to add other ingredients to boxed brownies in order to make them more appetizing. For example, if you’d like to have a stronger chocolate flavor then you can add nutmeg or some coffee powder to give your dessert that extra punch that it needs!
However, just because you’re adding different flavors doesn’t mean that the recipe will still yield the same result. If anything, this type of cooking requires patience and attention because while your brownie might be delicious by itself it might not turn out as good when combined with other ingredients.
More importantly, before adding any additional ingredients make sure all the changes are okay with the chef who created box brownies in the first place. This way they won’t be as likely to taste weird and you’ll end up with something delicious that matches your preferences!
How Do I Cut Brownies Cleanly?
When brownies are just out of the oven, they tend to be very soft and will sometimes bend or crumble when you try to cut them. To avoid this from happening, just let your dessert cool down fully before cutting into it.
Even if you want to serve your brownies warm after baking, it’s best for them not to be piping hot because that makes the texture less appealing while eating. After cooling down, you can use a knife to gently smooth away any uneven edges until all of your desserts look neat and uniform.
How Do I Freeze Brownies?
Freezing brownies is easy if you know how to do it properly. For example, before storing your dessert in a freezer bag or container, you can stack up a few pieces of parchment paper in between each brownie so that they won’t stick together when you try to eat them afterward.
Most importantly, just because boxed desserts freeze well doesn’t mean that they’ll taste the same once defrosted! In most cases frozen boxed desserts tend to have a different flavor and will require some time for them to thaw correctly so all their flavors blend together.
What About The Nutrition Values Of Boxed Brownies?
The nutrition values of boxed brownies usually depend on the ingredients used, which is why it’s important for you to read up on your dessert’s label.
Calories: When it comes to calories, brownies are similar to their baked counterparts in that they’re fairly dense and should be eaten in moderation. Boxed brownies can have anywhere from 100 to 300 calories per serving so watch out for any additional ingredients you might have added!
Sugar: The amount of sugar used in boxed brownies is usually based on the chef’s preference because some people prefer sweeter desserts while others don’t. Regardless, all recipes will list how much sugar they contain before baking so it should be easy for you to calculate whether or not your dessert fits into your current diet plan.
Fats: Most boxed brownies are high in fat because these types of desserts require butter or oil as one of their main ingredients. However, boxed brownies are usually healthier than their baked counterparts because they tend to have fewer calories overall.
Healthier Alternatives: Because boxed brownies are based on different recipes, there are also healthier alternatives that use ingredients such as applesauce or fruit purees in order to lower the amount of added sugar while increasing vitamin and mineral content. However, just because these desserts are healthy doesn’t mean you can eat them all the time!
Salt: Salt is typically used in boxed brownies to help bring out other flavors while baking but some people don’t like having it present. If you fall into this category then make sure your dessert isn’t adding any salt before enjoying your meal!
In conclusion, sometimes, you just need a little inspiration to make your food taste better. Box brownies are super easy to make and taste great, but there is room for improvement. With these new culinary tips and tricks mentioned above, we hope that you’ll be able to create the best box brownies ever!
I’m Lindsey Shaffer, and I love making cake, candy, and all sorts of delicious treats. It’s a passion of mine that I’ve been exploring for a while now, and I’m always looking for new ways to push the envelope.
I got my start in the culinary world as an apprentice pastry chef at a prestigious hotel in downtown Chicago. I worked my way up through the ranks, and eventually became the head pastry chef.
I’m currently working on opening my own bakery, and I can’t wait to share my creations with the world.