Simple Homemade Brownies From Scratch (Ditch the Box Mix!)

Simone spent a year working at a famous cupcake shop where she learned from the experts.

Mmm. Chocolate.

Mmm. Chocolate.

Fudgy Brownies With a Hint of Cinnamon

Brownies are one of my favorite desserts to make. Aside from being ridiculously easy to prepare, they can be cut into almost any size—from super-indulgent blocks of awesome to nibble-sized party pleasers.

This is my absolute favorite brownie recipe. It has a hint of cinnamon (which you're free to leave out, but I recommend including—it's amazing!) and includes a fudgy, indulgent frosting.

To make things super simple and to cut down on the number of measuring cups you get dirty, I've shared ingredients in weight (as well as traditional cup measurements), so if you have a scale, you can save both preparation and cleanup time by tossing ingredients directly into your mixing bowls.

I'll admit that I used to make brownies from mixes, and they can taste just fine, but these brownies are virtually just as easy to make, plus they're made from scratch and are far more delicious. This recipe requires only 30 minutes of prep time (including cleanup) and 35 minutes of baking time, so the entire project can be finished in just over an hour. I hope you give it a try—and never return to boxed mixes again!

Simple ingredients!

Simple ingredients!

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

10 min

30 min

40 min

12 average-sized brownies


For the brownies:

  • 120 grams / 1/2 cup / 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 180 grams / 1 scant cup sugar
  • 2 eggs (about 110 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 40 grams / 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 60 grams / 1/2 cup all-purpose wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I recommend Saigon cinnamon)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

For the frosting:

  • 45 grams / 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 15 grams / 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100 grams / 1 cup confectioner's sugar


For the brownies:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and stage your ingredients so you don't leave anything out by mistake!
  2. In a pan, melt one stick of butter (you can also melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl using your—you guessed it—microwave!).
  3. Stir in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Once those elements are combined, add the cocoa (saving a bit for the pan), flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder
  5. Grease your pan with the remnants of the butter from the wrapper (that's one of the major benefits of using a whole stick—you can use the wrapper, too!) and dust it with cocoa powder instead of flour.
  6. Bake the brownies for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not let them bake longer lest they dry out!

For the frosting:

  1. Combine the butter, cocoa, honey, vanilla, and sugar.
  2. Frost the brownies while they are still warm.


This recipe is adapted from the "Best Brownies" recipe by Angie on allrecipes.com.

I increased the cocoa powder ratio, reduced sugar slightly, added cinnamon, changed measurements to weight, and added the note about greasing and dusting pans with cocoa powder.


Janisa from Earth on August 20, 2018:

This recipe has a little too many ingredients for my definition of a simple recipe, but a frosting with honey must be delicious!

Karen Metz from Michigan on July 13, 2012:

Cinnamon? I've never heard of putting that in brownies...worth a try! Thanks for the recipe!!

Simone Haruko Smith (author) from San Francisco on January 30, 2012:

You can really choose whatever size pan you like. Sometimes I even make them in minimuffin-sized cups, so go for whatever you like!

Patty J on January 28, 2012:

Did I miss something? What size pan? Anxious to try the brownies. Getting tired of expensive brownie mixes.

Amber White from New Glarus, WI on December 09, 2011:

will definitely try this recipe!

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on September 29, 2011:

These look amazing and I think I actually have all the ingredients. I never would have thought to have added cinnamon and didn't ever think to sift the powder sugar to avoid lumps in the frosting. Great hub!

50 Caliber from Arizona on September 08, 2011:

Simone, looks like a winner, I got the munchies yesterday and holding back so I could eat some and blame my cooking on you, they turned out right and are tasty to boot, never would have added cinnamon on my lonesome, thanks, Dusty

rikabothra on September 06, 2011:

Great recipe and seems easy to make. However, could we make it without eggs? Is there any other substitute for it?

Kathy from California on September 06, 2011:

Got to try this one! Sounds like a perfectly tailored Brownie to me! Complete with the cinnamon which I always found nice with the chocolate.

anglnwu on September 06, 2011:

I've to confess I'm a reluctant baker and will often cheat by baking from mix. Yours sound simple and wonderfully tastier--will give it a try.

Susan Holland from Southwest Missouri on September 05, 2011:

This reminds me of the brownies my mother used to make. DELICIOUS!!

Voted up and useful!! :-)

Verlie Burroughs from Canada on September 04, 2011:

This looks so yummy! A tip on brownies, if you are stuck with a mix, try adding a cup or more of cherry pie filling (reduce the water and oil proportionately) it's really good!

Shelly on September 04, 2011:

I *love* me some brownies.

Can I just say that I wish everyone did everything related to baking by weight? When I switched to using my digital food scale a few years ago, life suddenly got much easier, and much more exact.

I'm definitely feeling some food scale love!

Brenda Barnes from America-Broken But Still Beautiful on September 04, 2011:

Yum. I love cinnamon and will add it to the next batch I make of...well, most anything. hehe

Since I am eating all things healthy, I must wait a while to make these, but they are on my list now. Thanks Simone.

SilentReed from Philippines on September 04, 2011:

I love to bake.One of the simple joys of life.Thank you,I'll give your recipe a try.

Andrew from Rep Boston MA on September 04, 2011:

You know Simone, you should have made the brownies we had at Hubcamp Boston. I bet yours would be awesome (and extra chocolaty.)


FloraBreenRobison on September 04, 2011:

I love brownies. I will have to try this recipe.

Rod Martin Jr from Cebu, Philippines on September 04, 2011:

Sounds yum! You're making me hungry. I'll have to try this.

Thanks, Simone!

Mishael Austin Witty from Kentucky, USA on September 04, 2011:

Love the pictures! I tried adding cinnamon to some cake mix brownies I made not too long ago, but I didn't measure it, so I ended up using too much! LOL

I hated them, but my husband and 2-yr-old seemed to like them. :-) Next time I will know!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on September 04, 2011:

I'll bet that touch of cinnamon really is good in your brownie recipe. I always loved my mother's recipe best of all the ones I have tasted...but yours sounds like one worth trying. Oh dear...guess I'll be buying more pants with elastic waists! :))

Shana from East Texas on September 04, 2011:

These really do sound good.

Simon Cook from NJ, USA on September 04, 2011:

Wow these sound so easy to make and look so good! When are Hubpages introducing the Scratch and sniff interface?

One question - what's the difference between 1 cup and 1 scant cup?

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