When I was a young girl I loved baking brownies from box mixes that my mother would occasionally buy. The instructions on the back of the box were straightforward and simple. Mix the dry mix with a couple eggs, vegetable oil, and some water. Pour the batter into a prepared pan and bake. My efforts were rewarded with a pan of fudge brownies in under an hour, which made me feel like I had accomplished something really great. Not bad for being only nine years old.

Fast forward to today and I’m still baking brownies from a mix. But this time the boxed mix isn’t a box at all. In fact, it’s a sealed bag of homemade DIY brownie mix I pre-make using the same method as the commercial mixes. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, stir, and bake.

It only takes a few minutes to pour all the dry ingredients into a ziplock bag. I seal the bag and label it with instructions to make and bake the brownies in the future, just like the boxed mixes.

Brownies don’t always need to come from a box to be convenient and good. Instead, kids and parents can feel great about baking from scratch without a lot of fuss.

My kids love helping me pour ingredients into bags, and later preparing batter. This is a great activity the whole family can do together, and it also satisfies the sweet tooth.

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  • http://www.thescramble.com Aviva Goldfarb

    I love this idea! I’m going to share it in my FB page today. I think these would make a great gift, too.

  • Nicole

    Love this idea, Alice!

    Aviva, I totally agree that this mix would be a great gift idea.

  • Ann-Marie

    Another way to make this a great gift is to layer the dry ingredients in a big glass jar. It is easy to seal and makes for a beautiful presentation.

  • Margie Kelly

    I think these will be delicious!! Thanks!

  • Alice Currah

    Thanks everyone for your great ideas. In the past I’ve given these away as gifts including hostess gifts as well as party favors. I’ve seen people layer these in mason jars and tie a beautiful ribbon around the lid but haven’t done so myself, but love the idea.

  • AKR

    Why are people so surprised to discover that box mixes are just a pre-packaged/pre-measured combination of what you probably already have on the shelf? In fact, you have a lot more control over the ingredients and can keep things a little more wholesome (no trans fat, high fructose corn syrup or preservatives) if you make your own.

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  • KJ

    How long will this mix be good in the sealed bag? Do the mini-chocolate chips limit the length of time you would want to leave the mix on the shelf?
    Thanks!

    • Alice Currah

      Hi KJ: The mixes will last a few months on the shelf. Mini chocolate chips have a long shelf life as the rest of the dry ingredients. Hope this helps.
      -Alice

  • TransRapid

    I have yet to try this, but it sounds about right. Looking forward to this one. Thanks!

  • beeinkansas

    I made these last night and they were really dry. Next time I will add more oil or try a different recipe!

  • CrazyMama

    I have no longer buy box mixes, I just don’t see the point. I don’t mind making cake/brownies etc., from scratch. So that’s what I do.
    Since I haven’t found a recipe I LOVE, I thought I would give this one a try.

    My 5 yr. old and I, made a few batches up, to have on hand. I put the dry ingredients into quart sized jars. They just barley fit, I had to tap the jar on the table to settle the flour down to fit the last of the ingredients in. (Maybe if I omit the choc. chips, they would fit better.)
    I mainly decided to do this, for my Daughter (who is 10 yrs old). She likes the convenience of adding just a few ingredients.
    I tested the mix today. We discovered while mixing the “wet” ingredients was not enough to mix the dry together.
    The batter was extremely dry.

    For lack of a better choice, and 3 impatient kids. I simply added a little more water.
    While putting in the oven, I thought oil may have been a better choice.
    I did not measure the amount of water we put in. I added a little at a time, until the batter looked thick, but mixed.

    They cooked fine, but did not get that brownie crust on top. It is a bit more cake-like. I like my brownies fudgy and with the crumbly brownie crust. But everyone is different.
    So Far, I have had very few cook up this way. So sad I can not remember which ones did…

    I did some research to compare this recipe to other brownie recipes. I found most seem to call for at least 1 cup of “liquid” (not including the eggs)
    But also noticed the dry ingredients did vary a little from this one, many have LESS flour.
    One thing that I liked about this recipe, as it calls for brown sugar, many do not.

    For anyone else that has tried cooking this recipe, what were your results?