Box brownies are a convenient and easy dessert to make, but they can sometimes taste a little too processed and artificial. If you want your brownies to taste more homemade and delicious, there are a few simple tricks you can try.
There’s no denying that boxed brownie mixes are great and quick, but they’ll never quite compare with homemade – until now!
If you follow our tips for making box brownies taste homemade, they’ll go from good to great, depending on how you change the instructions and add some additional ingredients!
It’s very easy to make boxed brownies taste better by making simple adjustments, such as substituting oil for butter, replacing water with milk, and increasing the number of ingredients.
As you prepare for these changes, you will spend less than two minutes more, which will be time well spent. Please let me know your thoughts after reviewing the results!
Different Ways To Make Brownie Mix Taste Homemade Or Even Better
Boxed brownie mixes are convenient for people who want the convenience of homemade brownies but crave their rich flavor and fudgy texture.
1. Check Your Pantry
Check out what you have in your pantry. If you’d like more chocolate, mix in a cup of your favorite morsels, such as dark, semi-sweet, mint, or peanut butter. Add some coconut flakes or chopped dried cranberries, cherries, or other fruits if you’d like.
Make a crunch by chopping up some nuts in your food processor. Alternatively, toast the nuts, mix them with dried fruit and chocolate pieces, and sprinkle the mixture over hot brownies right after they come out of the oven.
2. Add a Swirl of Sauce
Making a boxed brownie mix taste homemade can be accomplished using your favorite ice cream topping. In the pan, pour the brownie batter, drizzle the caramel sauce over the batter, and swirl the sauce through the batter.
You can make turtle brownies by topping baked brownies with caramel sauce and toasted pecans. You can use the same technique if you wish to add Nutella, peanut butter, jam, or anything else to the brownie batter.
The same things that can be mixed in can also be added as toppings, but there are many more topping options to choose from!
Adding sprinkles, chocolate and caramel sauces, salt, and mini M&M’s candies to the brownies after they have cooled is an excellent addition.
Moreover, the brownies taste great with great toppings when they are still warm. As the brownies are being baked, marshmallows will melt just enough to create a s’mores brownie.
The use of Andes mints or peppermint patties enhances the crumbly, gooey texture of a mint brownie. Once chocolate chips have melted, sprinkled on warm brownies can be used as a quick ganache by spreading it on.
4. Underbake, Just Slightly
There is no need to worry about raw brownies; I’m not telling you to eat them. Removing homemade brownies from the oven 4 to 5 minutes earlier than usual is important to get the decadent, rich taste.
You can achieve exceedingly gooey, melt-in-your-mouth brownies just by following this one tip alone. You can count on me!
5. Add Mix-Ins Like Cookies And Candies
Allow your creativity to shine in this part! Adding candies, cookies, and nuts to these recipes is especially fun.
Think of the possibilities: Oreos, peanut butter cups, candy sprinkles, Snickers bars, pecans, walnuts… there are so many things you can do! Gently incorporate these pieces into the batter you have mixed.
It wouldn’t be complete without swirls! Incorporate peanut butter, marshmallow fluff, Nutella, caramel sauce, or white or dark chocolate fudge into the batter to make it even more delicious.
To swirl brownies, make them as usual, pour them into a baking dish, and then spoon dollops of the sauce on top. Make a line by moving a knife gently through the circles.
6. Add Extracts Or Flavorings
Making your own desserts from scratch allows you to add “secret ingredients” that can become your signature flavor. Your grandma probably made a recipe that only tasted right when she made it, and you can probably picture it as you read this.
There’s a good chance that her secret ingredient was an extract or flavoring! An old-fashioned flavor will be added to your brownies when you add a teaspoon of almond extract.
An extra boost of holiday flavor can be achieved with rum extract. Vanilla extract will go well with pretty much anything else you add to it.
7. Use Milk, Flavored Creamers, Or Brewed Coffee Instead Of Water
Keeping the theme of richer flavored brownies in mind, milk should be used rather than water. Water cannot achieve the same flavor or texture as milk because of the fat it contains.
Use flavored coffee creamers instead of water or milk to add even more flavor. You might think of pairing a hazelnut creamer with a Nutella swirl mix-in or combining a Southern butter pecan creamer with toasted pecans. It’s impossible to run out of combo ideas!
Using coffee instead of water also enhances the flavor of the dark chocolate in the brownies because of its sharp, bitter taste. If you want to add coffee to your batter, ensure it is at room temperature.
8. Use Melted Butter Instead Of Oil
It is common for boxed brownie mixes to use vegetable oil, which gives brownies a lighter texture and a more neutral flavor. Try substituting butter for oil in equal proportions to make them taste homemade.
Butter adds richness both in flavor and texture to any dish and is my number one tip. No one doesn’t like decadent brownies, right?
9. Add Some Salt
You can enhance the sweetness of your brownies by adding salt. You’re wrong if you think salt makes brownies, or any chocolate, saltier. The salt brings out their sweetness. You can sprinkle it in the batter or add it to the brownies after they have come out of the oven.
Can Box Brownies Taste Homemade Or Even Better?
There is no better shortcut for baking than brownie mixes. With only a few additions, they have most of the ingredients you need to make a batch of brownies.
A boxed brownie mix calls for economical ingredients that you probably already have on hand, making the process as easy as possible. If you replace them with “more expensive” ingredients, it doesn’t cost much more but improves the taste.
Use these tips the next time you bring brownies to a party, family dinner, bake sale, or barbecue – people will be raving about your delicious brownies!
After you finish making the brownies, they will taste awesome and be perfect for a school bake sale or an after-dinner treat. Next time you entertain, serve your guests a decadent sundae with ice cream and hot fudge topping.
There’s no time better than the present to whip up a batch. It’s making me hungry just thinking about them again!
- 1 box brownie mix
- Add extra 4 TBS milk
- All ingredients listed on the box, but make these changes:
- Use milk in place of water
- Add an extra 2 TBS of butter
- Add 1 extra egg
- Use melted butter in place of oil
Note: An additional egg will make the brownies more cake-like. It is okay to leave out the egg if you want a more dense/chewy brownie.
Optional: I also like to add chocolate chips to brownies to make them even better. The best type of sweets is semi-sweet, and you can use either regular-sized or mini chocolate chips.
The cocoa taste is kind of diluted when using white chocolate chips, so you can try it if you want something different.
Instructions For Making Homemade Tasting Box Brownies:
- Ensure that the oven is preheated to 350°F.
- Pour brownie mix, eggs, milk, melted butter, and chocolate chips into a large bowl. Mix.
- Mix well but do not overmix. It is okay for the batter to have a few clumps.
Follow the instructions on the package when it comes to the baking time. If you use a different sized/type of pan, make sure that you follow the proper timing!
Powdered sugar can be sifted over your brownies after they have cooled. You can accomplish that by sprinkling confectioners’ sugar over the top using a small sieve or sifter.
The following are also delicious brownie toppings:
- Ice cream
- Caramel sauce
- Whipped cream
- Drizzled hot fudge
- Chocolate shavings
- Shredded coconut
- Marshmallow fluff
Choosing just one topping is unnecessary – you can mix and match them all! You can make box brownies better with any of them!
My Favorite Mix-Ins and Toppings For Box Brownies
A boxed brownie is endlessly customizable when it comes to mix-ins and toppings. It is a great recipe to mix in chopped nuts, mini chocolate chips, and coconut flakes.
To add even more flavor, I love adding caramel or peanut butter. A sprinkle of powdered sugar or chocolate sauce is always a welcome topping.
I top my brownies with fresh berries or whipped cream to give them a fruity twist. My sweet tooth is always satisfied with delicious and indulgent brownies, regardless of what mix-ins or toppings I use.
- Add pieces of mini Snickers to the batter
- Substitute whole milk for the water
- Add 1 tsp of vanilla extract to the batter
- Top baked brownies with extra pieces of mini Snickers and caramel sauce
Peanut butter brownies:
- Add in pieces of mini peanut butter cups
- Substitute French vanilla coffee creamer for the water
- Add some more mini peanut butter cups on top after they’ve cooled
- Add dollops of creamy peanut butter to make your peanut butter swirl
Pecan caramel brownies:
- Add in pecans and a tsp of rum extract
- Substitute southern pecan coffee creamer for the water
- After they cook, I like to add a little caramel sauce and pecans on top
There is no limit to how many or how few tips you can use. If you choose to dress up your boxed brownies however you like, there is no wrong way to do it!
We grew up eating boxed mixed cakes because they were cost-effective, quick, easy to prepare, and tasty if you chose a good brand. Don’t panic.
I suggest you grab that boxed brownie mix (that you bought for an occasion like this) and read on for our suggestions on making it taste homemade.
A brownie mix can be made even better by substituting or adding just one extra ingredient (and there are many to choose from).
The chocolatey treats will never be suspected of coming from a box. Let’s keep it a secret! No one will know the box was there afterward if you hide it.