My mom is a really good cook, but she’s an excellent baker. The woman whips up layer cakes with abandon, turns out batches of flaky croissants, has the best brownie recipe on the planet, and of course, who could forget the almond kringle we all look forward to every Christmas morning? True, her skill comes from decades of practice, but you know what I think the real secret sauce is? Her passion not only for baking, but for eating the fruits of her labor infuses her creations with a deliciousness that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

They are truly baked with love. My mom is a sensualist when it comes to delicious pastries and desserts, breathing in the aromas and savoring the tastes of every fresh-from-the-oven treat that comes from her hands.

Almost all of my favorite desserts are ones that my mom has made for us for as long as I can remember. Italian cream cake, buttermilk pie, and these brownies. In all honesty, I think that I took their glorious simplicity for granted until I grew up and tried many other brownie recipes that couldn’t hold a candle to these. I finally realized these were something special.

When I recently asked her for the recipe, mom texted me a faded, oil-splattered photo of an old typed recipe that she’d torn from her old McCall’s cookbook, along with the words, “I’ve made these dozens of times, and keep a little Pyrex pan for when I want to make a half recipe. It’s dangerous to have the whole batch around!”

What is it about these that makes them so good?

For one, the texture is almost soufflé-like — a lacy crisp cocoa top that shatters into blissful shards the moment you bite into it.

The fact that these only have 8 ingredients that are always in my pantry is another plus. And did I mention it’s a one-bowl wonder? Most importantly, there’s something about the simplicity of the bitter unsweetened chocolate that yields the most satisfying, food-gasm-inducing flavor.

A few good things to know about the best brownie recipe I’ve ever made (or eaten): 

  • These freeze beautifully. Just let cool completely, slice, then pop into a ziploc freezer bag for up to a couple months. When you’re ready to eat, gently warm in the oven or microwave at medium power.
  • Feel free to add nuts. The original recipe calls for chopped toasted walnuts. I leave them out because Adam prefers his brownies “pure,” but feel free to stir in a cup of chopped nuts of choice as the final step if you like.
  • For a thinner brownie, use a 9×9″ baking pan. Just reduce the cook time by 5 minutes or so.
  • Dress them up for a dinner party. Add whipped cream and chocolate shavings, or crumble and layer them in a glass with whipped cream and fresh raspberries.

Scroll on for the recipe, and I’d love to hear in the comments if you give these a try!

Camille's Mom's Best Brownie Recipe Ever

Serves 12 brownies

Camille's Mom *Finally* Shares Her Best Brownie Recipe

By Camille Styles
Prep

20 minutes

Cook

30 minutes


Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 ounces melted unsweetened chocolate, cooled slightly
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • flaky sea salt, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line a 8x8" baking pan with parchment paper, then spray with nonstick spray.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat butter and sugar at medium high speed for about 3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then beat in chocolate and vanilla.
  3. Add flour, baking powder and salt, and use a fork to gently combine them. Turn mixer on low speed and beat just until combined. Scrape down sides and turn on mixer on low for just a quick few seconds to totally combine.
  4. Transfer mixture to prepared pan, and spread top evenly. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in center comes out dry (a few crumbs sticking to it is good, you just don't want it to be wet.)
  5. Lift brownies out of pan using parchment paper, sprinkle with flaky salt, and let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting. It will be tough, but be patient! Eat warm or at room temp.
24 comments
  1. 1
    Kelly Krause | May 5, 2020 at 8:32 am

    YUM, thanks Mom!!!!

    Reply
  2. 2
    Katherine Fluor | May 5, 2020 at 10:38 am

    I can attest to the WOW factor of these brownies … it truly made my whole week when you dropped off a couple on my porch a few weeks ago!! Funny how quarantine really does make you appreciate the little things so much more. Can’t wait to make these for my Mom this weekend for Mother’s Day… thanks for sharing this wonderful oldie but goodie recipe!

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | May 6, 2020 at 7:16 am

      So glad you loved… and on that note, I may have to whip up another batch today. 😉

      Reply
  3. 3
    Anne Campbell | May 5, 2020 at 12:38 pm

    Holy mackerel. Need NOW!

    Reply
  4. 4
    Roger | May 6, 2020 at 4:44 am

    2 chocolate squares are 25 grams of chocolate?

    Reply
  5. 5
    Amandla | May 6, 2020 at 6:28 am

    Sounds delicious- please can you advise on what the grams would be on 2 Squares of chocolate?

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | May 6, 2020 at 7:13 am

      Yes, sorry about that Amanda (and Roger below.) I’m updating the recipe to make it more exact — 2 squares = 2 ounces. Which equals about 56 grams.

      Reply
  6. 6
    Patti | May 6, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    Are these so delicious that no icing is required?

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | May 6, 2020 at 8:57 pm

      Ooooh yeah, definitely no icing needed. 🙂 If you really want to go crazy, a scoop of vanilla ice cream would be nice though.

      Reply
  7. 7
    Justine | May 6, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    So excited to try these!! Can you use almond flour or do they need to be made with all-purpose? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | May 6, 2020 at 8:57 pm

      Hi Justine! I wouldn’t sub with almond flour because it’ll change the texture, but you can totally use a gluten-free all purpose substitution, like Bob’s Red Mill or Trader Joe’s 1 to 1.

      Reply
  8. 8
    Hannah Zahner | May 7, 2020 at 10:20 am

    These are GOOD. I made one pan for my husband and to give to some friends, and another with some subs (my exclusively bf little one has some sensitivities), but they worked pretty well! I subbed gf all purpose flour, Mykonos vegan butter & swapped the eggs for flax eggs. They came out just a bit more dense & fudgy than the others, but delicious! I’ve almost eaten the whole pan…

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | May 8, 2020 at 7:14 am

      Yesss so happy to hear that you were able to make GF and Vegan substitutions to these with success! Thrilled that you loved ’em, thanks HZ.

      Reply
  9. 9
    Lani | May 14, 2020 at 9:31 pm

    Oh my. Best brownies ever. Ingredients list is super simple but don’t let that fool you. These will be a mainstay in my household.

    Reply
  10. 10
    Robin | May 17, 2020 at 8:24 pm

    I made these tonight! They were very good and gobbled up quickly by my teen-aged kids! Thank you so very much for sharing the recipe. xx

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | May 17, 2020 at 8:48 pm

      I’m so thrilled you loved them!! Thanks Robin!

      Reply
  11. 11
    Danielle Jandial | May 18, 2020 at 10:14 pm

    These are the best brownies, bar none, that I have ever tasted. Kids have requested them multiple times in one week. I didn’t have unsweetened chocolate squares just unsweetened cocoa powder so substituted 1T canola oil with 3T cocoa powder per 1 oz. Double the recipe. An 8×8 pan goes quick!

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | May 19, 2020 at 6:52 am

      What a great sub – thank you for sharing!! And I’m SO thrilled that your family is loving this recipe. I’ll pass on your compliments to my mom. 😉

      Reply
  12. 12
    roberta | May 23, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    hello from Italy! i would love to try these but i do not know what quantity is two square of unsweetened chocolate. the weight could help even in ounces. thank you!

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | May 24, 2020 at 7:30 am

      Hi Roberta! It’s 2 ounces. Hope you love them!

      Reply
  13. 13
    Terry | June 7, 2020 at 1:32 pm

    Made them and devoured them!

    Reply
  14. 14
    Sarah | July 1, 2020 at 3:35 pm

    I made these and my family LOVED them!! They fulfilled every chocolate craving!

    Reply
    • Camille Styles | July 1, 2020 at 3:38 pm

      Thank you Sarah, I’m so glad that y’all loved them as much as we do!

      Reply
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Photography

Michelle Nash