I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like a brownie! Rich and delicious with an intense chocolate flavor.
I have some great brownie recipes but there are those times when I’m just too busy to put together the ingredients and mix up the batter.
And then there are those days when my family is craving a batch of brownies but I’m missing one of the key ingredients, such as cocoa powder.
This is when a boxed brownie mix comes in handy.
But how to make box brownies moist and chewy, so they taste just as delicious as your favorite recipe?
Here are a few things you can do to ensure that no one but you knows that you used a brownie mix (and be sure to check out these 16 additional ways to improve your brownies as well!).
How to Make Box Brownies Moist
Moist brownies are so much better than ones that are more on the cakey side (although you can definitely make brownies cakey, if you prefer). But sometimes boxed brownies aren’t as moist as you’d like them to be.
When that’s the case, try these tips:
1 – Don’t Overmix the Batter
Once you’ve added the egg, oil, and water to the brownie mix, don’t overmix the batter. The denser the batter the moister your brownies are going to be.
Whether I’m baking brownies from a recipe or from the box I follow this rule: dry ingredients into the bowl – wet ingredients on top – mix just to moisten and combine the ingredients.
2 – Use the Right Size Pan
It’s important that you have just the right size pan to make box brownies moist. If the recipe calls for an 8×8 pan, make sure not to substitute with a different size.
Baking brownies in a pan that’s too small means that the batter will be thick in the pan and won’t be spread out enough. This can lead to brownies that are clumpy and under baked.
Baking in a pan that’s too big will spread the batter out too thinly. This can result in brownies that bake too quickly, causing them to be too dry.
3 – Use the Right Type of Pan
Boxed brownie mixes, just like brownies from scratch, can be a little finicky when it comes to the pan they’re baked in. Brownies bake best in glass or light metal pans.
Baking in dark, heavy metal pans can often lead to a faster cooking time which means you’ll end up with dry brownies to serve your family and friends.
One last tip on the right size pan – when pouring the batter into the pan be sure to spread uniformly and all the way into the corners. This way your brownies bake nice and evenly and are moist whether it’s a corner or middle piece!
4 – Bake at the Right Temperature
Boxed brownies need to be baked at just the right temperature. Baking in an oven that’s even a few degrees off can make a big difference in a moist, dry, or too-gooey brownie.
Invest in a good oven thermometer (link to Amazon) so you know if the internal temperature of your oven is the same as the temperature you set on the dial. Otherwise you may think you’re baking at 350 F for 30 minutes when your oven is really a higher temperature.
This higher temperature is going to overbake your brownies and cause them to be dry and crumbly.
Since oven thermometers are fairly low cost, it’s hard not to justify having one around. If you bake regularly at all, I highly recommend having one on hand.
5 – Never Ever Over Bake Brownies
One of my top tips for making boxed brownies moist is to never overbake them. It’s far better to under bake than to have brownies that have been overcooked.
Even though you set the timer, you’ll need to start checking your brownies at the 20-minute mark. Using your finger, gently press the brownies in the center of the pan to see how firm they are and then use a cake tester to see how wet the batter still is.
Your brownies won’t be baked yet, but you’ll have a good idea of how to measure for doneness when you check again in 5 to 8 minutes.
Keep checking your brownies every 5 minutes for the perfect bake. What are you looking for? A firm but still soft center and a cake tester that has moist crumbs sticking to it.
These are the sure signs that your boxed brownies are nice and moist.
How to Make Box Brownies Chewy
My family likes a brownie that is delightfully chewy. When I’m using a boxed brownie mix these are some of the tricks I use so they come out of the oven nice and chewy:
1 – Reduce the Egg
Most boxed brownie mixes call for two eggs. Reduce this to one egg to get brownies that are denser and chewier.
If you prefer, go ahead and make them without eggs!
2 – Use Yolk Only
Another way to encourage your boxed brownies to bake up nice and chewy is to use two egg yolks and omit the egg white. Egg yolks can give the batter that extra little bit of richness that can help give brownies a more chewy texture.
3 – Use Melted Butter
Substituting melted unsalted butter for the oil in the boxed brownie recipe will make for a richer and chewier brownie as well. Just melt the butter and use instead of the oil to get a rich and chewy brownie.
4 – Under Bake
If the last box brownies you made didn’t give you the chewy brownie you were looking for, try under baking them by just a bit.
Five minutes should do it, just enough to keep your brownie from baking too much and losing its chewiness.
Adding to the Mix for Moist and Chewy Brownies
Box brownie mixes are convenient and economical to buy. I always have some on hand, so I can surprise my family anytime with this baked treat.
I often add other ingredients to the batter before baking to make them even more special. And adding these extra ingredients can keep box brownies chewy and moist at the same time.
Extra Chocolatey Brownies
Add an extra 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder (or an alternative) to the dry mix. This gives your brownies even more of a chocolate kick.
You many have to experiment with this, so you don’t end up with dry brownies. Add a tablespoon or two of milk to keep the batter nice and moist.
Coffee Mocha Brownies
Instead of using water, substitute with brewed coffee for a different flavor that also brings out the richness of the cocoa in the boxed mix.
If you don’t have any brewed coffee, instant espresso powder will work quite nicely.
Add Something Special
Brownie batter, whether from the box or from scratch, begs to have something special tossed into the mix. Some of the special ingredients I’ve added include:
- ¼ cup of coconut flakes
- ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- ½ cup milk, dark, or white chocolate chips
Brownies are one of the easiest recipes to bake. Making box brownies makes it even easier! It’s getting the perfect moist and chewy brownie from a box that’s the challenge.
With these simple tips you’ll be baking the most delicious boxed brownies you and your family have ever tasted!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.