The Best 15-Minute Brownies

These 15-minute brownies are simply the best! Not only do they mix up in minutes, but they’re super fudgy and easy to customize with your favorite toppings and mix-ins. (Post updated on February 10, 2022).

A side image of a white plate of 15-minute brownies on a wood board on a brown counter next to a knife, beige linen, and brown bowl of flour. In the background, a woman wearing a beige linen is dusting powdered sugar over the brownies.

Sometimes all I want is a Just a Brownie. You know the kind. Very fudgy, preferably with a glossy top, and definitely studded with nuts of some kind. When I get in these moods, I become a complete chocolate monster with no regard for whether anyone else wants to make brownies, let alone eat one. I also have zero interest in doing any kind of prep work, crazy amounts of mixing, or even dishes for that matter. And that’s when 15-minute brownies come in.

These brownies are my secret weapon. They come together so fast, they are fudgy AF, and every person who tries them becomes just as obsessed with them as I am. If ever I need a dessert like, right now, I turn to this recipe. When I’m sad, I make these brownies. I always have the ingredients on hand for any brownie-related emergency. They’re just the best ever. I really mean it.

The best 15-minute brownies

When you are in the mood for Just a Brownie, this is the go-to recipe. No need to go to the store and buy a boxed mix because odds are you already have the ingredients in your home, and these are so much better. They also only take 15-minutes to mix together (I timed it). After the batter is made, all you have to do is wash a bowl and watch an episode of Seinfeld, and the brownies are already done!

And in case you missed it, these are the fudgiest brownies ever. They’re not necessarily the prettiest, but that doesn’t really matter if you need Just a Brownie, you know? I love making them as a quick dessert for camping and get-togethers. If ever there is a last-minute “pizza night?” text, I can almost guarantee that I will be bringing these along with a bottle of wine.

So, let’s make them!

Various white and brown bowls filled with flour, sugar, chocolate, cocoa powder, vanilla, eggs, butter, and hazelnuts next to a few brown egg shells on a brown counter.

The ingredient list

In case I haven’t sold 15-minute brownies enough, they also are made up of only ten ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need to make this recipe!

  • Unsalted butter – we’re going to melt it and it’s going to be our main fat in this recipe. I like using melted butter over lots of oil because it’s richer but not as much work as creaming softened butter.
  • Semi-sweet chocolate – this will add plenty of richness to the brownies and help make them extra fudgy.
  • Cocoa powder – a lot of the times, cocoa powder is used in cakier brownies, but we’re going to use both melted chocolate and cocoa powder to add extra chocolatey flavor.
  • Neutral oil – ok, we’re also using oil in this recipe too. It’ll add a little moisture to the brownies so they last for days.
  • Sugar – it’s not brownies without plenty of sugar.
  • Eggs – three to be exact. Since we’re not using a ton of flour, using a few eggs will provide stability to the batter.
  • Vanilla – because I put it in every baked good.
  • Flour – just a little to add stability but keep things fudgy.
  • Salt – to cut the sweetness a little.
  • Add-ins – nuts, chocolate chips, M&Ms, coconut, toffee bits, powdered sugar for sprinkling, or whatever else you think up. Also, you definitely don’t need mix-ins, it’s just whatever you’re into.

Watch how to make them

Your mission this weekend, should you choose to accept it, is to make these brownies. Brownies are the perfect Sunday project without a huge time commitment and they come out tasting pretty much like fudge mixed with cake. Bonus: they’re also one-bowl so dishes are a minimum here.

  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate chips together until smooth.
  2. Next, add the cocoa powder and oil and whisk until you have a silky mixture.
  3. Whisk in the sugar followed by the eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Next, add the flour and salt. Fold in any mix-ins if desired.
  5. Spread the batter in a buttered 9×13” pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, until the top is set but still fudgy.
  6. Let the brownies cool completely. Use the edges of the parchment paper to remove the brownies from the pan. Slice and dust with powdered sugar if desired. Enjoy!

The secret to fudgy brownies

Brownies get that signature fudginess when the recipe has a higher fat-to-flour ratio. That’s why we’re using 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter and only a cup of flour. Also, we’re using melted chocolate which will add even more fat. And, we’re adding quite a bit of sugar which will dissolve into the batter, making the brownies soft in the center.

Cakier brownies have more flour and use cocoa powder which has less fat than chocolate. While we are using cocoa powder in this recipe to add more chocolatey flavor, they’re still fudgy and dense!

How to get that crinkle top

When you see a crinkly top on brownies, it’s essentially just a thin meringue. But there are a few other things that help make it crinkly!

  • Fat helps make the tops crinkly which we already have from the unsalted butter and chocolate.
  • Stirring the sugar into the butter-chocolate mixture while it’s still warm is a sure way to get a crackly top.
  • Lastly, whisking the eggs until they’re a meringue. You can either whip the egg whites until they’re stiff and then fold them into the batter or just vigorously stir the eggs into the chocolate-sugar mixture for 3-5 minutes before folding in the remaining ingredients.

While I love that crinkle top, I don’t do all this because 1. I’m too lazy to whisk for that long and 2. adding extra air makes the brownies a bit cakier. So, here’s what I do. First, I always make sure to whisk the sugar into the butter-chocolate mixture while it’s warm. Then, I whisk the eggs into the sugar-chocolate mixture for just a couple of minutes to make sure everything is very incorporated. Voila! The lazy girl’s method for a crinkle top.

Two side images; on the left, a stack of 3 brownies on a wood board dusted with powdered sugar next to a beige linen, vintage forks, and a white bowl. On the right, a closeup of a brownie with a bite taken out of it on a brown counter next to a wood board and chopped hazelnuts.

Mix-in ideas

While 15-minute brownies are great on their own, they’re also super delicious with a variety of mix-ins:

  • Nuts – hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, walnuts, or almonds
  • Fruit – shredded coconut, fresh raspberries, a little orange zest
  • Candy – M&Ms, chopped peanut butter cups, toffee bits
  • Chocolate chips – milk, dark, white, or butterscotch all work
  • Snacks – chopped pretzels, Oreos, or any other cookie you like
  • Extras – powdered sugar, sprinkles, or cacao nibs for sprinkling

Tips & tricks

  • To make sure the brownies taste their best, always go with good-quality chocolate and cocoa powder.
  • For thicker brownies, bake the batter in an 8×8 or 9×9 pan.
  • For larger brownies, cut them into 16 bars. Or for smaller treats, you can cut the brownies into 24 bars.
  • If the edges are getting too browned before the brownies are baked, tent the pan with tinfoil.
  • To test for doneness, insert a toothpick in the center of the brownies. Since these are pretty fudgy, you should see a few crumbs on the toothpick but not liquidy batter.
  • For clean bars, always wipe the knife in-between cuts, or the crumbs will leave ragged edges. To help make the cuts even cleaner, you can pop the brownies in the freezer for 15 minutes or so after they’re fully baked. Once they’re firm, they’ll be easier to cut!
A side image of a woman wearing a beige linen splitting a brownie in half over a plate of 15-minute brownies on a wood board. The plate of brownies is on a brown counter next to a tan linen, tan bowl of flour, and vintage forks.

More dessert bars you’ll love

The Best Strawberry Cheesecake Bars
Irish Coffee Brownies with Whiskey Ganache
Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats with Dark Chocolate & Pretzels
Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars [Vegan, Healthy, + No-Bake!]
Chamomile Lemon Bars

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A closeup image of a brownie with a bite taken out of it on a brown counter next to a wood board and chopped hazelnuts.

The Best 15-Minute Brownies

These brownies are fudgy, take just minutes to mix up, only need one bowl, and they are easily customizable with any of your favorite mix-ins! I love having this recipe on hand for any time I need to make a last-minute dessert. They're just the best!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 bars

Ingredients
  

  • 3/4 c unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3/4 c cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1/4 c neutral oil (canola, vegetable, etc.)
  • 2 c sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 3/4 c mix-ins (nuts, chocolate chips, etc.) (optional)
  • Powdered sugar, for sprinkling (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9×13'' pan with parchment paper and butter or grease any exposed edges.
  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate chips together in 30-second increments, stirring between rounds, until smooth.
  • Next, whisk in the cocoa powder and oil until you have a smooth, silky mixture.
  • While the mixture is still warm, stir in the sugar until combined. Then, add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until thoroughly combined.*
  • Lastly, fold in the flour, salt, and any mix-ins. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
  • Bake the brownies for 30-35 minutes, until the top is set and an inserted toothpick has a few moist crumbs.
  • Let the brownies cool completely. Using the edges of the parchment paper, remove the brownies from the pan and cut them into either 16 large or 24 small bars. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. Enjoy!

Notes

*A note on crinkle tops: Adding the sugar while the butter-chocolate mixture is warm will help get that crinkly top. To really ensure the top is crackly, whisk the eggs into the mixture for 3-5 minutes. Keep in mind, this will make the brownies a bit cakier.

Nutrition

Serving: 1brownie (without mix-ins)Sodium: 147mgCalcium: 13mgSugar: 29.2gFiber: 1.4gPotassium: 123mgCholesterol: 54mgCalories: 290kcalSaturated Fat: 7.6gFat: 15.5gProtein: 3.2gCarbohydrates: 38.3gIron: 1mg
Keyword baking, chocolate, dessert
Did you make this recipe?Tag @serendipitybysaralynn on Instagram!

XO Sara Lynn

*Song of the Day: Something Good This Way Comes by Jakob Dylan

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