Recipe Review

I Tried the Internet’s Most Popular Brownie Recipe (It Has Over 10,000 Reviews)

published Sep 24, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Christine Gallary

Although I’m not a huge chocolate fan, I’ll never say no to a good brownie. Unlike other chocolate-y desserts, brownies offer sweetness and intense chocolate richness, but also have a nice array of textures. I love how the crunchy top gives way to a soft middle; bonus points if I snag a chewy corner piece. It’s also an easy treat to throw together when the craving for a baked good or chocolate hits, and I rarely see adults or kids turn one down.

There’s one brownie recipe I’ve always been curious to try, and that’s AllRecipes’ extremely popular recipe for Best Brownies, shared by user Angie. It’s the first recipe that pops up when you Google “brownie,” has upwards of 10,000 reviews, and a claim that “these brownies always turn out!” I knew I had to see if these were indeed the very best.

Get the recipe: Allrecipes Best Brownies

Credit: Christine Gallary

How to Make AllRecipes’ Best Brownies

This recipe was definitely simple enough, and I appreciated that everything was mixed together in a saucepan. You’ll first melt the butter, then mix in sugar, eggs, and vanilla (a whisk was the best tool here to make everything smooth) before adding in cocoa and flour. The instructions said to bake for 25 to 30 minutes, but there were no indicators on how to tell if the brownies were ready, so I just went with the top being set.

The frosting calls for mixing softened butter together with cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, and powdered sugar, but I didn’t want to break out an electric mixer, so I took the advice of commenters and melted the butter instead. It was easy to stir together and mixed up a little glossy and thick. I let the brownies cool 15 minutes before frosting them, but by then the frosting had set up a little and it was hard to spread an even layer on the brownies even though they were still warm. I think frosting the brownies while they were hot would have been a better move.

Credit: Christine Gallary

My Honest Review of AllRecipes’ Best Brownies

These thin (only about 3/4-inch thick before the frosting) brownies looked and smelled great, with a crackly top and fudgy, chewy texture. But were they the best brownies? Unfortunately, they were not. They were too sweet, and with just cocoa powder and no actual chocolate, they didn’t have the intense chocolate flavor that’s the hallmark of a good brownie; I just mainly tasted sugar. They were also pretty dense (I prefer my brownies to be slightly cakier).

While the frosting was not as sweet as I imagined it would be since it had both sugar and honey, the brownies didn’t need it at all, echoing some of the comments on the recipe. Eaten together, the brownies plus frosting were just a sugar bomb. Compared to my own tried-and-true brownie recipe, which is just as easy, or even compared to Kitchn’s favorite boxed brownie mix (Ghiradelli’s Double Chocolate), these brownies fell short.

Credit: Christine Gallary

If You’re Making These Brownies, a Few Tips

  1. Line the baking pan first. To make it easier to take the brownie slab out of the pan, especially if it’s covered in frosting, line the pan first with aluminum foil or a parchment paper sling. This also means you can skip greasing and flouring the pan.
  2. Melt the butter for the frosting. It’s easier to mix the frosting if you melt the butter before adding the cocoa, honey, vanilla, and powdered sugar.
  3. Frost the brownies right away. Make the frosting right after the brownies come out of the oven and frost while the brownies are still hot. It’s much easier to spread on an even layer before the brownies cool down.

Have you ever made Allrecipes Best Brownies? Tell us what you thought!