Secret Ingredient for the BEST {Box!} Brownies

May 01, 2023

This secret ingredient takes box brownie mix to the next level!

I have a quick and AMAZING brownie recipe for you! A good friend of mine shared this easy addition with me a few years back and it makes for an even more delicious brownie. 

Now I like a good's just not always my pick for a dessert. If you offer me one, duh, I'm going to take it. But it's not one I'd pick to make on a whim. 

Until now. :) 

I must introduce you to the most amazing brownie...EVER. There is a special, secret ingredient that will rock your world. I asked my friend for the recipe, thinking it was some super special family tradition passed down through the generations -- and had to laugh when she told me she made them with a box mix

First of all, I didn't even KNOW about dark chocolate brownies. Um, hello. I didn't like dark chocolate till a few years ago and now it's my favorite. 

There's actually two secret ingredients but one didn't surprise me as much as the other...can you guess?: 
cinnamon chili powder brownies

The cinnamon wasn't a big shock, I mean, have you had chili with cinnamon? Next level stuff. 

But the kicker (literally) was the chili powder. Man oh man...these are DELISH. Hands down the best brownie I've ever tasted. 

You make them according to the box (she subbed coconut oil for vegetable oil and I do the same) and then add three teaspoons cinnamon and one to two teaspoons of chili powder. 

That's it! You'll notice something different, but it's not overwhelming -- just GOOD. I used one teaspoon of chili in my batch (I had to make one to, uhh, show you all) and it was perfect, but I will definitely try more. 

It's hard to describe why these are so good, you just have to try them for yourself. We were all standing around and oohing and ahhing over the flavor. So yummy. 

I wish I could give you all a sample. :)
Secret ingredient box brownies

I love to share simple, delicious recipes and this was one! You really must try it. 

Have you tried this trick in your brownies? I bet it would be good in chocolate cake or cupcakes as well...I'll have to try that next. 

You may like my easy banana bread recipe as well...
easiest banana bread recipe

thick crock pot chicken and noodle soup

And these delicious Mountain Dew apple dumplings are a perfect dessert: 

Mountain Dew apple dumplings

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  1. Thanks for this recipe! I can only make brownies from a box, it is my dessert I often take when I am asked to bring something. This will certainly spice it up! Thanks!

  2. I also like to doctor box brownies. Chili powder is good. Use milk instead of water. Add espresso powder or a shot of coffee too. So good!

  3. I've been adding cinnamon & chili powder for years. I think one of the chefs on "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" mentioned it once and I was hooked! Instead of oil you can also use butter. YUM!

  4. Brownies aren't my favorite either, but my husband and my kids love them. I will definitely try your friend's recipe next time I surprise them with a batch. Thank you for sharing and I hope you have a great weekend!!

  5. I was the same with dark chocolate! I actually love it now once in a while. Thanks for sharing this tip..would have never thought of it! x

  6. Thanks, this does look delicious.

  7. ooh, these look delicious!
    Aleeha xXx

  8. Do you think it would be good with the regular brownie mix or only with the dark chocolate?

    1. Yes I think it would be good. The point is that these spices are good with chocolate of any kind

  9. This is such a good idea! Sometimes I want to bake but don't have the time and I find box brownies quite boring but this is genius - thanks for sharing! :)

  10. I also use, for liquid, Baileys Irish cream. Use Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownie mix.

  11. I thought everyone knew that Ghiradelli chocolate brownie box mix is the BEST !!

    1. Absolutely the best brownies in a box! The caramel and nut ones are perfection!

  12. I realized last week that my oil had gone rancid so I used a pouch of apple cinnamon applesauce instead. The brownies turned out gooey and fudgy (the best kind!) and the cinnamon added just a hint of flavor. I'll forever use applesauce instead of oil in my brownies going forward. Now I'm going to try chili powder the next I make them.

  13. I gave this a try and would definitely suggest using less cinnamon than recommended here -- mine turned out overpoweringly cinnamon-y with 3 tsp. Using 1 tsp would likely work better. The flavor of the chili powder was a nice addition.

  14. Cinnamon and chili sounds great. I always also include one cup of chocolate chips. They come out perfect every time.


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