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7 Secret Tricks to Make Brownie Mix Taste Homemade

Nothing beats the convenience of store-bought brownie mix, but it doesn't always have the most decadent flavor. Here's how to make brownie mix taste better, even as good as homemade.

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Basic homemade brownie or chocolate cake raw dough in baking pan. Cooking (baking) homemade chocolate cake or brownie.Mizina/Getty Images

Add Chocolate Chunks

Duh! The most obvious way to enhance brownie mix is to stir in extra bits of chocolate. Chocolate chips (our Test Kitchen recommends this brand) or chopped bar chocolate add texture and richness to the batter. Flavored baking chips are a fun way to add an accent flavor, too.

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Turkish Drink Ayran or Buttermilk. copy space. Organic Beverage concept.alpaksoy/Getty Images

Skip the Water

Some basic brownie mixes use water as a mixer. We’ve even seen mixes that use water as the only liquid! Replace it with a richer, more flavorful liquid. Milk, buttermilk or coconut milk add flavor and richness. Brewed coffee also works, adding great flavor without weighing down the dessert. Here are more ways to hack a box of brownie mix.

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Frosted Fudge BrowniesTaste of Home

Add a Topping

Want to perk up the brownies without interfering with the basic recipe? Add a topping. (This is fun for kids to help with, too!) Think a coat of frosting, cream cheese, peanut butter, sprinkles or chopped nuts.

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Ultimate Double Chocolate BrowniesTaste of Home

Add Cocoa Powder

Can’t get enough cocoa? Stir a little extra into the batter. This will make it more chocolaty and dense. It helps if you start with a good mix, too—our taste test uncovered the best brownie mix brands.

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Fudge Nut BrowniesTaste of Home

Add Nuts

Nuts and chocolate are a flavor combination made in heaven. Add any chopped nuts to the batter and bake the brownies as usual. Walnuts, pecans, almonds or peanuts will work beautifully.

Editor’s Tip: This secret is even better when you toast the nuts.

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Close-up of medicine being poured onto a teaspoonbrazzo/Getty Images

Add Extracts

Looking for a small improvement that doesn’t involve lots of added ingredients? Add a teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract. They’ll complement and draw out the cocoa goodness. (It’s easy to make homemade vanilla extract.)

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Ground coffee in spoon, natural coffee background, macroOksana Osypenko/Getty Images

Add Espresso

Coffee desserts are the best. Amp up your everyday brownie mix with a jolt of espresso powder. Stir it into the dry ingredients before adding the liquids, and bake as usual.

Kelsey Rae Dimberg
A former in-house editor at Taste of Home, Kelsey now writes articles and novels from her home in Milwaukee. She's an avid cook, reader, flâneur, and noir fanatic. Her debut novel, Girl in the Rearview Mirror, will be published in June 2019 by William Morrow.
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