Upgraded Box Mix Espresso Brownies to Trick People Into Thinking You're a Good Baker

I feel like a lot of the recipes that I use are over the top and require a lot of work and effort. I personally don't mind because I love baking and actually look for recipes that require even more work. However, I understand that a lot of people probably don't want to put in as much effort as I would.

Sometimes you just want a quick and easy recipe that will impress everyone. This is the recipe that you should use.

These espresso brownies sound fancy and taste delicious, but in reality they're simply dressed up box mix brownies. 

Despite being from a box, most people eat them and think that they're homemade, so if you wouldn't consider yourself a good baker, this recipe will trick people into thinking that you are actually good one. The only addition to this recipe is some espresso powder or instant coffee in the batter as well as an espresso glaze that takes about 5-10 minutes to make.

Full disclosure: this is not my recipe. This recipe was created by Giada De Laurentiis and found on the Food Network, but has quickly become one of go-to recipes given how easy and classy these brownies are, so I decided to share it.

Espresso Brownies


Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons espresso powder or instant coffee
1 box brownie mix (I recommend Ghirardelli brownie mix!)
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Spray a baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. To make the brownies: Whisk 1/3 cup of water, oil, eggs, and 2 tablespoons espresso powder in a large bowl to blend. Add the brownie mix. Stir until well blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. 
  4. Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 35 minutes.
  5. While brownies are baking, make the espresso glaze: dissolve the remaining 2 teaspoons of espresso powder in the remaining 2 tablespoons of water in a medium bowl. Whisk in the vanilla. Add the powdered sugar and butter and whisk until smooth. 
  6. When brownies are cool, pour the glaze over the brownies. Refrigerate until the glaze is set. 


  1. The brownies were a hit with my coworkers. It was easy to make and tasted really good. Best of all, it looked impressive, like I made it from scratch.


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