Brownies are a staple baked good. Got a bake sale, potluck, or just crazing a chocolatey treat? It’s easy to whip up a batch of brownies from a store-bought mix— dump it into a bowl, add a few ingredients, put it in the oven, bake, and you’re done.
The hardest part to getting a nice warm batch of brownies onto a plate might be picking out what brand of mix to use. Which brownie mix is the best? I tested four brands of brownie mixes that you can get at most grocery stores and asked six people to try each one in a blind taste test. Here are the results:
Duncan Hines turned out to be the least favored brownie. Tasters said the texture was very chewy and dense, and there wasn’t a rich flavor. In my opinion, it tastes like a chocolate cake with artificial chocolate flavor. I also found that this brownie had the cleanest cut (that is, it was the least crumbly) and also the darkest color. Verdict: Duncan Hines is also a bit pricey so it probably isn’t worth what you paying for. The Duncan Hines brownie is more like a brownie cake than a fudge brownie.
Betty Crocker (Standard Fudge Brownie) got the middle vote along with Ghiradelli. The brownie is very moist and tasters found it a little too moist for their liking. The Betty Crocker brand has the biggest selection of brownie types. Other mixes include milk chocolate, dark chocolate, double chocolate, chocolate chunk, and more. Betty Crocker is the cheapest and can be found pretty much at any store. Verdict: This is your average brownie.
Ghirardelli is my personal favorite and was my go-to brownie mix before this taste test. Tasters ranked it in the middle with the Betty Crocker mix. This brownie mix is the only one out of the four that contains chocolate chips, making it a stand-out. However, you can always add chocolate chips to any mix. I find that it has the richest flavor and doesn’t taste artificial. It does, however, have a crumbly texture. Verdict: This brownie mix is the most expensive one but in my opinion, totally worth the price. Tasters ranked it in the middle with Betty Crocker.
Pillsbury was the ranked at the top of the four brands by the tasters. They say that it has a good balance of chocolate flavor and is very soft. In my opinion, this brownie tasted the most like a homemade brownie. I had underestimated Pillsbury since it wasn’t a very common brand, but after eating all the brownies, I could put the Pillsbury next to Betty Crocker, a more commonly used brand, and not even tell the difference. Verdict: Pillsbury is worth buying because you get more for your money since it contains more than the Betty Crocker mix. It is also the top ranked brownie among the six tasters.