How to improve boxed brownies: Simple tips and add-ins to make boxed brownies taste amazing!

Be honest: Have you ever had a bad brownie?

In my opinion, there are good brownies – and there are amazing brownies. 

Boxed brownies, in my opinion, fall into the category of good brownies.

But there are some very simple ways to make boxed brownies taste better!

So go grab your boxed brownie mix (any brand will do!). Scour your pantry. And make some delicious, taste-like-homemade brownies!

Brownie Mix Hacks

How to make boxed brownies taste better: EASY and cheap tips! Click through for instructions.

We’re going to start out by talking about the brownie mix. 

Any brand will do: Betty Crocker, Ghirardelli, Pillsbury, Duncan Hines, etc.

If you looking for a gluten-free, high protein brownie mix, I recommend Naked Brownie. This mix is sweetened with coconut sugar. It’s a great alternative for people who can’t eat common boxed brownies – or want a bit more nutrition in their brownies. Additionally, the mix only requires the addition of water.

You can either follow the instructions on the back of the box, or consider one of these adaptions:

  • How to make thicker brownies: If you are using a brownie mix meant for a 9×13-inch pan, make them thicker by baking them in a smaller pan. A 9×9-inch or 8×8-inch pan will work. However, you will need to adjust the baking time. Check the back of the box for instructions. If there are no instructions, start out by baking them for the recommended time – and check every 5 or so minutes after that until they are done.
  • For cake-like brownies: Adding an additional egg to the brownie mix will make for a lighter, cake-ier brownie.
  • Use coffee instead of water: Coffee brings out the flavor of chocolate,  and interestingly, doesn’t really add coffee flavor to brownies. Follow the instructions on the back of the box, subbing cooled coffee for the water.

What To Add To Brownie Mix

How to make boxed brownies taste better: Click through for simple and cheap ideas!

The sky is the limit when it comes to adding additional ingredients to a brownie mix. Here are some cheap ideas:

  • Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, pecans or hazelnuts (Toast the nuts for extra flavor)
  • Dried cranberries
  • Dried candied ginger
  • Chocolate chips
  • White chocolate chips
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Pretzels
  • Cacao nibs
  • Dried coconut
  • Raspberry or other flavor jam (up to 2 tablespoons)
  • Vanilla bean paste
  • Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, sea salt, black pepper
  • Heat: Sriracha sauce, Tabasco sauce, habanero hot sauce

How much to add? You don’t want to overwhelm your brownies with too many add-ins.

For nuts: 1/2 cup to 1 cup

For spices and heat: START OFF SMALL. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out. Think 1 teaspoon of sriracha sauce, or a pinch of salt, or 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper.

For chocolate chips: 1/2 cup to 1 cup

Pro tip: Mix most of the toppings right into the batter – but remember to save some for the top!

Add a Topping To Boxed Brownies

How to make boxed brownies taste better: Add a simple chocolate glaze.

Once the brownies are baked and cooled, you can add frosting, drizzle or glaze:

  • Melt 3/4 cup chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon coconut oil. Drizzle over cooled brownies. Move to refrigerator to cool completely. (Pictured above)
  • Make a batch of homemade caramel sauce and drizzle over brownies.
  • Top brownies with cooked chocolate frosting

Not Convinced? Try Homemade Brownies Instead.

If you don’t have a mix, or are feeling up for a challenge, consider making one of these show-stopping homemade brownie recipes:

And remember: Whether you’re making boxed brownies or homemade – you can’t go wrong! Brownies are cheap, delicious, and generally easy to make.

Learn cheap and easy ways to improve boxed brownies!