15 ways to Jazz Up Boxed Brownies

Brownies. I love them. But, I LOVE brownies from a box. In fact, I’ve never tried making brownies from scratch because I’ve never had better brownies than the brownies I’ve made, or the one’s I’ve had that came from a box.

But sometimes I want  to add a little somethin’ somethin’ to my box brownies. So after trying a few things out here are some of my favorites and some other ideas I found online that sound equally delicious…

1. Top your brownies with frosting. After your brownies are done baking, and have cooled a little, add your favorite frosting to the top. Homemade or from a can, either way is a winner. (My favorites are plain chocolate or coconut pecan)

2. Top your brownies with white, chocolate or peanut butter chips. As soon as the brownies come out of the oven sprinkle chips on liberally, allow them to melt a little and then spread.

3. Add chocolate chips to the brownie mix. Instead of making a chocolate chip frosting, try mixing the chips in with the brownies. Try adding 1 cup of dark, semi sweet, milk, white chocolate, cinnamon, mint or peanut butter chips.

4. Add marshmallows to the brownie mix. Stir in 1/2 of a bag of small marshmallows into the prepared brownie batter. You could also wait to add the marshmallow till the brownies are almost done baking. Sprinkle the same amount on top and return the brownies to the oven to finish cooking and allow marshmallows to melt. To make “rocky road” brownies try mixing in the marshmallows and some chopped nuts, almonds, walnuts or pecans.

5. Add chopped nuts to your brownie mix. Chop up some nuts with a knife or a food processor and add them to your mix before baking. Try adding peanut, walnuts, pecans, cashews or almonds. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped nuts.

6. Add 1 TBS of vanilla extract to the brownie mix. Add the vanilla when you are mixing all the ingredients together.

7. Add crushed peppermints. Crush peppermint candy canes in a bag with a rolling pin or with a food processor. Add about 1 cup of the crushed candy pieces to the brownie mixture. Try adding 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract for an even stronger mint flavor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8. Add chunks of your favorite chocolate candy bar to the mix. Chop up 1 candy bar into 1 centimeter sized pieces and add them to your brownie mix. (My favorites are peanut butter cups for a chocolate peanut butter fix and milky-way for something caramely)

9. Add cookie pieces. Break or chop your favorite cookie into small pieces and add 1 cup of them into the mixture before baking. Oreos, Nutterbutters or Chocolate Chip Cookies are suggested. Try adding whole cookies to your brownies as well. Pour half of the batter, put a layer of cookies and then top with the rest of the batter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Add caramel syrup to the brownies. After pouring the brownie batter into the pan, pour caramel syrup over the batter. Swirl caramel throughout the batter with a knife. To make “turtle” brownies also add some pecans before baking.

11. Add  cream cheese into the batter. Soften 1 package of cream cheese in your microwave for maybe 30 seconds  and mix it with 1/2 cup sugar, 1 egg and 1 tsp of vanilla. Pour it into your brownie mix. The same as the caramel syrup, use a knife to swirl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12. Add 1 can of fruit to the brownie mix. Take your brownie mix, 1 egg and 1 can of fruit with juice (raspberry, cherry, etc) and mix carefully to keep the fruit pieces intact. This eliminates using oil in your brownies and makes them a little lower in fat. You could also try this with a boxed cake mix.

13. Make individual brownies. Do this by pouring the batter into a sprayed muffin pan instead of an 8×8 or 9×13 inch pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, checking them closely with a toothpick so they don’t turn out hard. (Try adding a piece of small candy or a cookie to the middle of the mix in each pan, rolos, kisses, oreos, etc.) Try bite sized brownies in a mini muffin pan.

14. Make brownie cookies. Get your brownie mix and add 1/3 cup oil, 1 egg and 2 TBS of water. Mix together to make a soft cookie like dough. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop mixture onto prepared cookie sheet by the teaspoonful. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes. You could still add 1 cup of your favorite favorite mix-in, chocolate chips, m&ms, nuts, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15. Try combining more than one of the suggestions to improve your mix brownies even more. Mix in candy chunks and add frosting. Try adding nuts and chocolate chips. Add cream cheese and fresh fruit.

Ps. Click on pictures for their sources.

And here are my sources for ideas. Source 1. Source 2. Source 3. Source 4. And my mind.

What do you do to improve boxed brownies?

51 Comments

  1. I love brownie mix! Thanks for the great ideas!

    1. Isn’t brownie mix the best? It takes like 2 minutes to throw everything together a little bit to bake and then you have the most delicious gooey and yummy brownies. :)

  2. Looks yummy. What a fun blog check out my blog if you get a min and have not already :).

    Have a great day

    http://thedailysmash101.blogspot.com

    1. Thanks! I looked quickly at your blog and I will definitely have to look around more, your recipes look yummy!

  3. Yes please! I will have them all :) I can’t get enough of brownies, especially when they are nice and warm and have melting ice cream on them.
    Cute blog!! I didn’t know you were a blogger too. I am a new follower of yours!!

    1. Thanks for following Crissa!! And yes hot and gooey brownies with ice cream are my favorite treat. Yum!

  4. Great ideas. My favorite way to add a little something to box brownies is vanilla or almond extract and cinnamon.

    1. Do you add vanilla and cinnamon together? That sounds like a yummy new twist. How much of each do you add?

  5. Great ideas, thanks, pinning it!

  6. I use left over coffee as my water substitute. You can’t taste the coffee but it helps to make the chocolate flavor pop! :)

  7. This post is just perfect! Thank you! And to answer your question, one might add a mashed banana to the mix.

    1. I’ve heard of adding bananas instead of oil, but would you add it in addition to everything else? Banana brownies sound delicious!

  8. Janet Farias · · Reply

    Just found your site and this post through Pinterest. I just made some brownies (boxed, of course!) and added peanut butter chips and made a frosting with melted chocolate and melted peanut butter. I’ll check back in to let you know how they tasted. :-)

    1. Yum, that sounds so delicious! Chocolate and peanut butter are my favorite combo!

  9. I hate using boxed brownies! Whenever I flip the box over to look at the label, there are WAY too many words I can’t pronounce. I will definitely use these ideas for homemade brownies though… they sound delicious! :)

    1. Thanks sandy. I just can’t help my love for them, they are so chewy and gooey and perfect. But… I made homemade brownies this week and they were REALLY good, so I’ll be posting the recipe soon and those might replace my need for boxed brownies. PS. let me know which mixins you try!

  10. If I am trying the cream cheese mixture with the sugar and extract, do I add that to the batter or swirl it in after the batter is in the pan? Are those extra ingredients in addition to the ingredients the box call for or do they replace it? Thanks

    1. Ashley, those extra ingredients get added to the cream cheese mixture, and they are extra, so you will still need all the ingredients called for on the box of brownies. If you want the nice swirled look like the picture, you will need to pour the batter into your pan and then add in the cream cheese mixture. Swirl it around with a knife when added. Let me know how it goes and if you have any other questions!

  11. Adrian · · Reply

    This is pretty great, since my dad buys a box of brownie mix almost every week. (I’m the baker in the family) This should help make things a little less monotonous around my place. Thanks for writing this up!

    1. I’m happy to help Adrian! Let me know which of these you end up trying out and how they go for you :)

  12. I’m a diabetic and I am in love with the Sugar Free Brownie mix that Pillsbury puts out…they are perfect for me…not super high in carbs like cakes or pies because of all of the flour. I love them plain or I like to take Pillsbury’s Sugar Free Chocolate frosting and just frost them….OR add a little bit of Polaner All Fruit to the frosting..this adds a little more sugar to them but I love it every once in a while…the frosting reminds me of those Chocolate Raspberry sticks…or I like to just slice up some strawberries and dump a handful on the warm brownies…OR some of the Polar Strawberries packed in light syrup and put a spoonful of that over one. I do miss the Caramel Icing that my grandma used to frost brownies with. I’m keeping my eyes out for a sugar free caramel recipe! Thanks for these other ideas…I will definitely be trying them out! :)

    1. Jennifer, I don’t know how this is but I remembered seeing it the other day when I was looking for something else… Hope it works!

      http://www.easy-sugar-free-recipes.com/sugar-free-caramel-recipe.html

  13. I pour 1/2 the brownie mix into prepared pan then crush 1-2 of the large Symphony candy bars with almonds & toffee pieces. (I have also used Heath & Skor bars but I prefer the Symphony bars.)
    Add the pieces then top with remaining brownie mixture. Bake using directions on the box. Sift powdered sugar over the top to make them even more decidant. Enjoy them while they last because that won’t be very long.

    1. Oh my goodness, Jodie, that sounds divine. I love symphony bars and that sounds like the perfect addition to brownies

  14. Just tried the brownie cookies with chocolate chips! SO GOOD.

    1. Brynn, I’m so glad they turned out for you. Yum! Thanks for letting me know!

  15. Kelly Murphy · · Reply

    I love mixing in vanilla and chocolate chips (always!) but when they come out, I frost em, crush up some graham crackers, and after sprinkling plenty of it on, I put on marshmallows and broil it for 15 seconds, Awesome smores brownies!

  16. I chop up a bunch of mint from my herb garden…Mint Brownies. At LEAST 1/4 cup chopped to get the flavor.

    1. Oh I love mint brownies, that sounds yummy. I will have to try that next year when we have our garden again!

  17. We love brownies from the box too but my brownies never seem to get baked all the way and the edges are always hard. Do you have any advice on how to make them complete and soft throughout? placement in the oven, adjust temp., adjust the ingredients. . .???

    1. Erica, I actually like the crispy edges of the brownies but of course you don’t want them burnt. Its possible your oven cooks high and the edges are finishing before the center, so you could try lowering the temp a little. Also, do you use a dark pan? That would cause the edges to cook hotter and faster than a light or glass pan

  18. I swirled dulce de leche on top of mine before putting in the oven.

    1. Mmm, that sounds delicious! How do you make your dulce de leche?

  19. I luv the brownies cookies they are really good an cheesy

  20. I love boxed brownie mix (especially DH Chewy Fudge)! Haven’t tasted a “from scratch” recipe as good as this. I am toying with the idea of cutting up a prepared cheesecake & folding the chunks into the brownie batter (for a 13″x9″ pan). Do you think this would be a success? Thank you! Love this site!

    1. Debbie, I think that would taste delicious! I don’t know what the texture of the cheesecake will be like when it is baked, perhaps for a second time, but I think it will be good and will add little delicious bites of cheesecake! Let me know how it goes, if you try it!

    2. Debbie S. · · Reply

      Aimee, thank you for your response. I definitely am going to try the cheesecake idea. I have already done Pecan Pie Brownies – absolutely awesome!!! You take a thawed 2 lb. prepared pecan pie, cut it into about 1″ chunks. Fold the chunks into the prepared box brownie mix (for a greased 13″x9″ pan) & bake @ 350 for 45-50 min. Let cool completely. Cut & enjoy!! I found this on Pinterest. I cannot take credit for this, unfortunately. ;-))

  21. Tia Ingram · · Reply

    I was planning to seperate my brownie batter 3 ways and make cream cheese, marshmallow, and white chocolate chips brownies because everyone wants something different. Is this possible? Please reply soon.

    1. What kind of pan are you planning on cooking them in? You’ll need to use really small pans if you are just doing 1 box of brownies and you’ll need to adjust your cook time to be shorter based on the smaller pans!

  22. I use dark chocolate brownie mix (whatever is on sale). Immediately upon removing from oven Poke holes with end of small wooden spoon. Let cool 20 minutes and drizzle good quality caramel topping or melted caramels over top. I make my own ganache or chocolate buttercream frosting to top it.

    1. Mmm, that sounds delicious!

  23. I think the cookie one is awesome

  24. And by the way good website for better brownies

  25. On my way to make some brownie cookies now.

    1. Let me know how they turn out!

      1. They were delicious! I topped half of them with hershey kisses. When my dad came home and tried them, he asked me when my mom bought them. He couldn’t believe they were just brownie mix! I’m definitely going start making them more often. Next time I’ll try modifying my home-made brownie recipe to make them!

  26. Love all the fun ideas! I tried topping the brownies with Nestle Toll House premier white morsels as soon as they came out of the oven. Those darn things never really melted much at all, certainly not anywhere enough to spread. Then I put a few in a mug & heated in microwave a few seconds at a time to see if I could get them to melt. I have made almond bark this way b4 but with the semi sweet morsels. The white morsels never melted. I just scraped them off the top, chopped them up to use mixed in to my next batch & covered with canned frosting. Any ideas on why they did not melt.

    1. White chocolate is a lot harder to melt than regular chocolate because it has a lower melting point causing it to cease up. But I have had a hard time with just different brands of regular chocolate compared to other brands. I’ve found the cheaper stuff usually melts better for me in the microwave than other brands. Next time I would recommend trying to melt it in a double boiler, but I haven’t dealt with the hersheys white morsels, so they might not work well ever.

  27. http://josdelights.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/sluttiest-brownies/

    I love brownies too, but I can’t eat another boring brownie since I created this.

  28. I just want to say that the carmel syrup doesnt work…it somehow ends up under the brownies…I’ve tried this a couple different ways with no success

    1. I have tried this as well and I haven’t had any problems with it. I haven’t tried it in a while, so I’ll try it again soon and let you know what I do to make it work.

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