Want to know how to make box brownies better? These box brownie hacks make chocolate dreams possible! Try one (or more) of these out-of-this-world flavors to take your baking to the next level!
Chocolate lovers, rejoice. I mean sing it out! These box brownie recipe hacks will knock your socks off and feed your chocolate fix like nothing else.
The best part – you can make these in no time, with the fudgy, rich brownies from a mix.
Sometimes I just want to grab a box mix from the pantry and make those nostalgic tasting brownies. And sometimes I want that easy fix with a kick!
I came up with nine different ways to improve box brownies, and I'm completely prepared for mass amounts of thank you's and praise. Because these rock!
Are you on the fence? Homemade brownies or boxed mix brownies? I get to the bottom (of the batter bowl) and talk about the debate, just click here.
For the gourmet brownie variations in this post, I tested everything with a box mix. But you may try them with your favorite homemade brownie recipe if you'd like!
From fresh fruit and toasty coconut, to s'mores and mint, I souped up the mix and made history...well, I mean brownies. It's easy, you can do it in a flash.
How to Make Box Brownies Better
Before using these brownie hacks, you'll first need to line your pan with foil and spray it with cooking spray.
I find this helps with cleanup, but it also allows you to lift the cooled brownies out of the pan and cut them on a cutting board. That makes perfect squares, instead of squished mounds of deliciousness that you scoop out of a deep pan!
Once you've prepped your baking dish and have whisked together the brownie mix according to the package instructions, you can add the following mix-ins and toppings:
- Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies — These are swirled with sweetened cream cheese and fresh berries.
- Caramel Pretzel Brownies — Feature a salty pretzels and that brown sugar butterscotch topping. I melted butterscotch chips and put the meltiness in a little bag. Snip the corner and squeeze lines and squiggles on top of the brownies.
- Tropical Coconut Brownies — Have sweet, tangy dried pineapple and toasted coconut in them.
- Peanut Butter Brownies — Topped with a thick layer of peanut butter frosting.
- Ginger Spice Brownies — Have the most incredible molasses icing.
- S'mores Brownies — Have sweet bits of graham cracker and toasted marshmallows on top.
- Grasshopper Brownies — Andes Mints transform plain boxed brownies into mint chocolate brownies!
- Coffee Cake Brownies — Who doesn't like coffee cake? That crumb topping makes brownies even better.
- Cookies and Cream Brownies — Made with that classic Oreo crunch.
There you go, nine boxed brownie ideas using the same brownie base. These hacks truly make boxed brownies taste gourmet!
What's the Best Brownie Mix?
For each batch, I used a box mix for a 9-by-13-inch pan (I love this professional one with straight sides!). Often the box brownie mix is labeled "family size."
As for which brownie mix is best, Ghirardelli and Betty Crocker both make great box brownie mixes in my opinion. However, feel free to use whatever you have on hand or is your favorite.
If you absolutely love homemade brownies, but want to make one of the flavor variations I've listed, of course you can make my chewy, ultimate homemade brownie recipe.
Can Gluten-Free Brownie Mix Be Used?
Yes! These unique brownie toppings and mix-ins would work well with gluten-free box brownies too.
Even More Box Brownie Ideas
If you're looking for even more ways to improve box brownies, you could try adding a spoonful of instant coffee or instant espresso to the batter to enhance the chocolate flavor even further.
Or, add chocolate chips or chunks. Chopped nuts of any variety are also a good option!
And don't forget that brownie frosting is another quick and easy way to transform boxed brownies!
Tips for Baking with Boxed Brownies
- Underbaked is better than overbaked. If you accidentally overbake your brownies, they'll be dry and cakey in texture rather than rich and fudgy.
- Let the brownies cool completely. Unless specified in the recipe card below, you need to let the brownies cool completely before frosting or topping them. Plus, this gives the brownies time to firm up, which makes them easier to slice and serve.
- Get creative! These are just nine of countless brownie hacks you can try. If you come up with more DIY recipes using box brownies, please let me know if the comments below!
Tips for cutting brownies
I share more details on my classic brownie recipe post, but here are some quick tips.
- Let the pan of brownies cool completely. Lift brownies from pan using the foil or parchment. (this makes it easier to cut)
- Run a sharp chef or slicing knife under warm tap water and pat it dry.
- Press the warm knife into the brownies until it cuts all the way through.
- Wipe the knife carefully with a damp paper towel and repeat this process.
You can also use a plastic knife to cut brownies. Like the disposable kind you take on a picnic! It acts as a non-stick knife and cuts clean slices.
More Easy Brownie Recipes:
- The Ultimate Cookie-Stuffed Brownies
- Peanut Butter Brownie Cake
- Peppermint Cloud Marshmallow Brownies
- Fudgy Squash Brownies (Hide Your Veggies)
- Holiday Peppermint Brownies
Let me know how it went!
Scroll to the bottom of the page to rate ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ and comment on this recipe. Leaving comments helps other too!
Think Outside Of The Box Brownies
- 1 standard box brownie mix (plus ingredients called for on the box)
- Desired mix-ins and toppings (see instructions below)
RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE BROWNIES
- Mix together 1 teaspoon almond extract, 4 oz softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoon softened butter, ¼ cup sugar, 1 egg and 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour. Stir ½ cup raspberries into cream cheese mixture.
- Pour brownie batter in pan and dot with cream cheese mixture. Top with additional ½ cup raspberries. Get marble effect by drawing a knife through batter; bake until done.
CARAMEL PRETZEL BROWNIES
- Mix ½ cup broken pretzels and ½ cup chocolate chips into brownie batter. Pour into prepared pan and scatter surface with an additional 1 cup broken pretzels.
- Bake until done; allow to cool completely.
- Melt ½ cup butterscotch chips and transfer to a bag with a snipped corner. Drizzle over brownies.
TROPICAL COCONUT BROWNIES
- Mix ½ cup chopped macadamia nuts, ½ cup chopped dried pineapple and 1 teaspoon rum extract into brownie batter.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and scatter surface evenly with 1 cup coconut flakes or shredded coconut. Bake until brownies are done and coconut is toasted.
PEANUT BUTTER LAYER BROWNIES
- Mix ½ cup chopped peanuts into brownie batter. Pour into prepared pan and bake until done; allow to cool completely.
- Mix 1 cup peanut butter, 4 tablespoon melted unsalted butter, ¾ cup confectioners' sugar and ¼ teaspoon salt until smooth and spread over brownies. Sprinkle with ½ cup mini chocolate chips.
GINGER SPICE BROWNIES
- Mix ½ cup chopped crystallized ginger, 2 tablespoon molasses, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ½ teaspoon ground ginger into brownie batter. Pour into prepared pan and bake until done; cool.
- Mix together ¾ cup confectioners' sugar, ½ tablespoon molasses and 2 teaspoon water and spread over brownies. Allow glaze to set before cutting brownies.
- Mix 1 cup broken graham crackers and ½ cup chocolate chips into brownie batter. Pour into prepared pan and bake until done.
- Top warm brownies with 3 cups mini marshmallows and broil until golden. When cool, cut into squares using a lightly greased knife.
- Mix ½ cup chopped Andes mints into brownie batter. Bake until done and allow to cool completely.
- Melt ½ cup light green chocolate melts. Use a spoon to drizzle over surface of brownies.
CRUMB COFFEE CAKE BROWNIES
- Mix 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder and ½ cup chopped walnuts into brownie batter. Pour into prepared pan.
- Blend together 1 stick softened butter, ½ cup sugar, 1¼ cups all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; scatter crumb mixture over brownie batter. Bake until done.
COOKIES AND CREAM BROWNIES
- Mix ½ cup white chocolate chips and ½ cup broken Oreos into brownie batter. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle surface evenly with an additional 1 cup crushed Oreos. Bake until done.