That’s right. You’d think it’d be easy, but more often than not you end up with an oily pile of brownie goo instead of delicious fudgey brownies. You’d think making something from a box wouldn’t be that hard, but think again! I recently discovered this trick after several failures in the past. The trick is simple…baking soda!
Of course, making your own brownies is much tastier, but sometimes I’m lazy. Or in this case, the boxed one’s were so cheap! Thank you Deals & Steals!
How to Veganize Boxed Brownies
– 1 box brownie mix (make sure ingredients are vegan)
– 1 tbsp. ground flax seed + 3 tbsp. warm water for every egg called for on the box
– vegetable, canola, etc. oil
– baking soda
Prepare the brownie mix according to the box. For each egg called for use 1 tablespoon ground flax seed to 3 tablespoons warm water. Mix this well beforehand and stir quickly and well until it thickens some. Set aside. For example, if the box says to add 2 eggs, you’ll put two tablespoons ground flax seed and 6 tablespoons warm water in a bowl and stir or whisk rapidly until combined. Add whatever other ingredients the box calls for as directed, usually just water and oil.
Now the trick, for each flax egg you use…add 1/4 tsp. baking soda. So if you used two flax eggs (like mine), then you’ll add a 1/2 tsp. baking soda. Throw it in when you add the brownie mix and stir until combined. I don’t know why or how this works, but it officially solved my box brownie problem! Perhaps because eggs also help things rise, or because the baking soda in some boxed brownies may have sat on the shelf so long it stopped working.
That, my friends, is how I turned this:
Magic! My life is forever altered. Although, I still prefer my go-to brownie recipe as far as taste is concerned…
Note: Based on the comments below it seems your mileage may vary depending on the brownie mix you use. I used Marie Callender’s All Natural Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix (you can buy a pack of 5 online on Amazon for about $20) and I’ve always had luck with it. I haven’t tested many other brands as that brand was always on sale at my local store for 99 cents.
Really Lazy? Here’s some totally vegan boxed brownie mixes so you can stock up for future cravings:
- Marie Callender’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Mix– ingredients list
- Cherrybrook Kitchen Fudge Brownie Mix with Chocolate Chips, Peanut Free! (mix is made for vegans, no alterations needed)
- Cherrybrook Kitchen Gluten-free Brownie Mix – for the lazy gluten-free lovelies among you
- Stonewall Kitchen Triple Fudge Brownie Mix
This is such great news! I’ve always been so disappointed in my hackneyed attempts to veganize boxed mixes that just call for eggs. Baking soda! So simple. Thanks for this.
The first time I tried to veganize brownies from a mix, I just substituted Ener-G Egg Replacer, and ended up with a hard crispy chocolate bar. My friends were nice enough to take a bite, but they were awful, and I was so embarrassed!
I’ve learned a lot since then, but this is really helpful!
I know, right? You’d think it’d be more complicated, but that really did it for me! I should mention that my brownie mix already contained baking soda, so I went with that. If yours used baking powder in the mix, maybe you’d want to use the same, but I feel like it’s such a small amount anyway that it’s fine.
I’ve never had a good experience with Ener-G Egg Replacer. I did the same as you, when I first went vegan, I just tried to replace eggs in everything with that stuff, it didn’t quite work! I’m sure it works in some things just fine, but I haven’t found them! I much prefer my flax eggs. 🙂
If the boxed brownie mix contains refined sugar, it’s not vegan even without eggs 🙁
Not all refined sugars use bone char.
It depends. You can always write the company and ask if bone char has been used to whiten the sugar. That said, even if it has been, not every vegan is that anal about it. I’ve veganized boxed brownies plenty of times. My main concern is that the ingredients do not inherently contain animal products, and they don’t. I’m also not adverse to eating dark chocolate that’s been manufactured on the same line as dairy products, I eat Oreos, and I don’t “lose my cookies” over how palm oil is processed. If you’re very picky over every little thing, you’ll just make yourself mentally ill. We don’t live in a vegan world, and even Peta says 99% vegan is better than not being vegan at all..but you do you. I see boxed brownies with no animal products as vegan. You’re free to see it however you choose. Just don’t be that militant vegan that accuses other vegans of not being vegan “enough” because they don’t adhere to your definition of the lifestyle. Peace.
I tried this with the Betty Crocker Fudge Brownies which calls for 2 eggs so I used the amount of flaxseeds fo 2 eggs to replace. It also calls for 2/3 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of water, but I used 1/3 cup of water and 1/3 cup of oil and 1/4 cup of applesauce. They came out very soft and cake like, very much like cake, but they were yummy and edible not like the usual oily mess I got from trying to veganinze boxed brownie mix.
Next time I think I’ll try the same recipe either without the flaxseed meal (but with the applesauce + 1 TBS of cornstarch to help the crumbliness) or I’ll try it with the flaxseed meal but without the applesauce. My third option I’m thinking of is to try the recipe with the flaxseed meal, no applsauce and without the water (yours didn’t use water).
Question, did the brownie mix you use originally call for water? How much oil did it call for? and how much oil did you end up using? did you use less than called for?
Thanks for reporting back @Christina!
I actually wrote this in 2010 so I don’t remember exactly what the brownie mix called for anymore! I’m pretty sure it was just the standard oil and water and then I added the flaxseed and baking soda. I used the exact amounts called for on the package and it worked out great. I don’t usually ever use less oil than called for in a recipe unless I’m replacing it with something else (applesauce?) otherwise it messes up the chemistry of it, and I’ve had some kitchen oily block disasters like that! I guess also since it was from a box I wanted it to be easy. 🙂
Thanks for letting me know! I’ve definitely got those “oily block disasters” too. I’ll comment whenever I try the recipe again
I used the Giardella chocolate brownie mix… boo…. did not work for me. I have flat greasy squares… I was SO excited to try this AGAIN…. I have to throw these brownies away too… 🙁 (maybe it was the brand?) Next time I will try the brand you used.
Oh no, I’m sorry it didn’t work out. It’s worked for me, but I always used the one above since it’s so cheap from the shop. However, if it is too oily, you could try halfing the oil the recipe or replace the oil with applesauce either totally or partially? Maybe that will help solve the grease problem! If you try it, let me know how it goes!
Applesauce RUINS brownies. We tried it twice, and both times it was an oily, bubbly glob. Flax did the same thing. I saw that could leave out the egg completely.
I highly recommend using a puréed tofu “egg”! It just takes about 1/4 cup of puréed firm tofu for one egg, and I haven’t had a problem veganizing box mixes since. HTH!
Hi Courtney, thanks for the tip! I am usually too lazy to blend the tofu, haha, okay really to clean the blender, but I’ll give this a try next time! 🙂
Mine turned into oily goo. Shame, I bought such expensive brownie mix too. Ill have to try something else.
Sorry it didn’t work for you! Not sure what it is, are you sure your oven is the temperature it says it is? I remember in my old place I bought an oven thermometer and it was 50 degrees off! For most stuff it doesn’t matter, but baking is a bit more like chemistry, hah. It’s worked every time for me, I’ll have to do some research and see what the problem is. Could also be an altitude issue?
It’s not healthy by any means but refined sugar is vegan. It’s just not part of a whole foods plant based diet if that’s what you mean – which is different than vegan – unless of course there is some way that sugar is refined using animal products that I am not aware of :b, if so let me know! 😉
That reply was supposed to be for the comment from “anonymous” above!
About half the sugar companies in the USA use a processing method of called “BONE CHAR” to whiten their product… yup, it’s bone from foreign cows!!! “Organic” doesn’t help either. Look it up… it is dreadful.
Pioneer Sugar Brand uses sugar that is refined from a different process not using Bone char. YEA! look for it. It is vegan.
Tried this last night with Betty Crocker and the edges rose and cooked but not the middle. Tried putting in back in but no luck…
What about adding some vinegar too? Vinegar and baking soda love each other
Also have you ever tried the water from canned chickpeas? It fluffs up great when whipped with sugar and vanilla but I was wondering If it helps with brownies.
I have not tried vinegar yet, but if you give it a whirl definitely report back and let me know! I also haven’t experimented with aquafaba just yet, still recovering from a massive sweets binge, but it will happen!
I just tried aquafaba with a Ghirardelli double chocolate mix -wish I had seen this site first. Even though I whipped the liquid a bit and made sure it was well mixed with the oil and water, it didn’t work. Came out almost done around the edges only -goopy everywhere else -hopefully better once they’re fully cooled but it’s not looking promising right now (I ate two pieces anyway, lol.) I also noticed the box said to use half as much water for thicker brownies.
I tried this with Glutino (gluten-free) double fudge brownie mix from a box. I tried your substitute for two eggs plus 1/2 tsp. of baking soda. I also threw in 1/2 tsp. of homemade apple cider vinegar because Gail above suggested it and i figured it couldn’t hurt. The brownies were great, but pretty deflated. That could have totally been my fault though. When i went to check them the first time i thought the middle wiggled, so i shook the pan a bit to check. They immediately went down a bit.
In the end, they didn’t look pretty but everyone raved about how great they were – and only one of the crowd is gluten free, and I’m the only vegan. I cooked them about 5 – 7 minutes past what the box suggested. The corners were a little crispier, but not burnt. I’m calling this a win! Thanks so much for these suggestions 🙂
I VEGANIZED A BETTY CROCKER BROWNIE MIX AND ALTHOUGH IT DIDNT COME OUT THAT GOOD IT TASTED REALLY GOOD. I LEFT OUT THE EGGS BUT DIDNT ADD ANYTHING ELSE BECAUSE I DIDNT DO MY RESEARCH. THE BOX COST ME A $1 SO IM HAPPY I TRIED IT AND WILL HOPEFULLY BE MORE SUCCESSFUL WITH ROUND 2.
I tried it with betty crockers classic brownie mix and i am happy to say that it came out very good.
I’m happy to hear that, thanks for coming by to let me know!
Just about to make these – I’ll do it exactly as you say and hopefully it turns out! But I was surprised that you said to use baking soda instead of baking powder. Wouldn’t that require me to add more acid to the recipe? Just wondering… in to the oven (with baking soda) it goes!
I just had to google it, but apparently baking soda is a base, not an acid! (If you’re curious: https://www.quora.com/Is-baking-soda-an-acid-or-a-base). Anyway, to be honest I did not do a ton of background research into why it works, it just worked for me. Hope yours turned out!
I’m a little late to the party as I just tried baking these today. Well, I had high hopes, but they were an epic fail.They ended up being an oily blobby mess. They didn’t seem to want to cook, so I’ll have to scoop it out, kind of like pudding cake. It’s the strangest thing, lol! I’ll let it cool, and then just serve it over some ice cream for my family. It’s nice that despite the fact they didn’t cook properly, they are vegan, and therefore edible as is. Always have to look for the silver lining. 🙂
I just started using vegan mayonnaise to replace eggs in recipes. Only made raisin bread so far but it worked very well. Maybe it will work in brownies.
Had really high hopes and unfortunately this was an epic fail!!
Sorry to hear that! There are so many variables of different mixes and ovens it’s hard to say why. Perhaps try a different mix or check that your oven temperature is really what the dial says it is.
Total flop for me with Betty Crocker fudge brownie mix. 🙁
I used this with the Duncan Hines Triple Chocolate and it worked really well!
For those wondering– this did not work for Annie’s Double Chocolate Brownie mix. Huge disappointment.
I had complete success with a Duncan Hines family size brownie mix. Here’s what I did: I made the egg substitute with the usual flax egg recipes (1 T ground flax stirred into 3 T warm water; I doubled this because the recipe called for two eggs). I let this sit while I stirred in 1/2 t baking soda and 1 T cornstarch into the brownie mix. I added the flax eggs, 1 t vinegar, 1/2 C applesauce (which is one of those treat cupfuls), 1/3 cup oil and 1/3 c water to the dry mix. I cooked these brownies in a 9” square pan but you could cook in an 8” or 13×9” pan. Bake according to package directions. They turned out superb.
Awesome, thank you for reporting back!
I found this recipe and they came out perfect! I used Ghirardelli Double Chocolate brownie mix.
1 Box Brownie Mix
1 Can 15 oz Black Beans
Drain and rinse beans. Place back in can, then fill can with water. Dump can in blender or food processer and puree. In a mixing bowl, mix together dry brownie mix with pureed beans. Pour in pan prepared per back of brownie mix. Be sure the mix is poured in as evenly as possible: because of the thickness of the batter, it will not level out during baking. Bake in oven according to directions on brownie mix. You may need to bake a little longer to cook through. Makes 16 servings.
I’m currently staring at a pan of “oily brownie goo” after attempting to replace the eggs with aqua faba. So much for satisfying my chocolate craving tonight. Needless to say I will be using your trick for next time!
Oh no! I’ve had a few aquafaba fails as well. I realized adding oil to aquafaba immediately deflates it so it’s best for things that just need sugar. I forget that every couple years and have another fail!
I finally had a chance to try this out on a box of Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate brownies. It worked perfectly! I even added 1/2 cup of vegan dark chocolate chips. YUM! So excited for a way to finally make box vegan brownies.
I made this following your recipe exactly. I used Duncan Hines Family Size Chewy Fudge Brownies. They turned out absolutely perfect! The brownies were delicious. They raised and baked perfectly and were done all the way through. Just a note: Don’t open the oven during the baking process when making brownies. I’ve found you can do that with anything else, but it’s best to leave brownies alone until your timer goes off. Also, let cool almost all the way before cutting. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!
Happy it turned out well for you! Thanks so much for sharing your experience! <3