While basic chocolate brownies will never disappoint a crowd, it’s a treat to bake up a batch of something different. With a box of store-bought mix, a couple of quick stir-ins and a fantastic topper, you can take fresh-baked brownies from good to glorious!
Before You Start
When you’re hacking a boxed mix, you may not need to stir in the ingredients called for on the box, such as eggs, water or oil. To avoid adding too much liquid or cracking one too many eggs, read through the recipe first to make sure the instructions are clear.
Stir in a Fall Taste Twist
With the addition of pumpkin pie spice and canned pumpkin purée, we’ve transformed our Compliments Chewy Fudge Brownie Mix into super delicious Pumpkin Spice Fudge Brownies. The warming flavours of cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg amp up the chocolate batter, while pumpkin purée replaces the oil and water called for on the box. This recipe hack gives you dense, satisfying brownies with a hint of sweet spice—the ideal treat on a crisp fall day.
Add a Fun Topping
Whether you’re changing up a boxed mix or not, it’s easy to add a twist to brownies. All it takes is a sprinkle of something tasty on top. You can choose whatever flavour or texture suits you and complements the chocolatey goodness underneath. After spreading the batter evenly in the prepared pan, try adding one of these creative toppers and bake as directed.
- Nutty: 1 cup (250 mL) whole pecans
- Gooey: 1 cup (250 mL) mini marshmallows
- Crunchy: ½ cup (125 mL) pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- Fruity: ½ cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
Go ahead and combine any of the tasty toppers above. Our Pumpkin Spice Fudge Brownies recipe has four more delicious options, so check them out and experiment.
Tips for Baking Amazing Brownies
No matter what kind of brownies you like, there are some handy tricks for making a really good batch. These helpful hints will give your brownies the edge at parties, bake sales and potlucks.
How to Grease or Line the Pan
- With oil or shortening: Use a pastry or silicone brush to paint the bottom and sides of the pan with an even layer.
- With parchment paper: Cut the paper to fit the length of your pan, plus enough overhang to go up the sides. Remove the parchment and lightly grease the pan to help hold the paper in place. Press the paper back in, folding in the corners for a tight fit.
- With foil: Turn the pan upside down. Lay the foil over top, leaving about 2 inches (5 cm) extra on each side. Fold any excess around the corners to fit the shape of the pan and then carefully remove the foil to retain its shape. Turn the pan right side up and place the foil liner inside. Lightly grease the foil to prevent any sticking (unless it’s non-stick).
How to Test for Doneness
The clean toothpick test is great for cakes, but it may leave you with overcooked brownies. Watch for a nice crust on top and firm edges that pull away easily from the sides of the pan. Test the centre with a toothpick; it should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging.
A Cut Above
Lining your pan lets you lift the brownies out, making them much easier to slice. Once they’re completely cooled, grasp the parchment paper or foil overhangs and transfer the brownies onto a cutting board. Using a large serrated knife, cut the brownies into squares or fun shapes.