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Crinkle Top Brownies

You won't miss boxed brownies with these delicious, fudgy brownies... with the flakey crinkle tops.

brownies with shiny flaky tops cut into squares on white parchment paper
Achieving a crinkly, tissue thin top begins with properly combining the sugar and eggs in the beginning by hand.

There is one often very pronounced difference in homemade brownies vs. boxed brownies.

Homemade brownies often lack the shiny, flakey tops unless a certain step is followed.

The type of cocoa used is also the main contributing factor of the difference in taste, and if you are looking for a boxed brownie type of taste, you must used Dutch processed cocoa.

The Cocoa

Cocoa powders can be processed several different ways, and the result yields widely varying tastes.

In the homemade brownies and chocolate cakes we can get the best taste using Dutch processed cocoa.

Dutch processed, or double Dutch processed, or even Dutched black cocoa, (the latter being the kind used in things like Oreos) is a completely different tasting cocoa powder. 

pictorial display of the color differences in three types of processed coco powders
Dutch processed cocoas typically are darker, and have a smoother, less acidic flavor.

The difference has to do with the processing of the cocoa, and the resulting alkalinity.

Dutch cocoas lack the acidity of, for example, Hershey's cocoas and other regular cocoas.

This results in a smoother, more mellow taste like in boxed brownies. 

The Flakey Crinkle Top

Whisking the eggs and sugar together in the beginning until it lightens up, before adding the rest of the ingredients will guarantee that tissue paper top.

You must beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture lightens up in color.

Then you can begin folding the rest of the ingredients in.

This is a thick, spreadable batter.

Because of this, these are very dense, chewy, fudgy brownies.

Also try:

📖 Recipe

Crinkle Top Brownies

Chewy, fudgy brownies, with a tissue paper thin crinkle top
4.70 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: crinkle top, fudgy brownies
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 9 brownies
Calories: 539kcal
Author: Erin
Cost: $1


  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ cup cocoa powder dutch process
  • 1 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup optional semi sweet chocolate chips or coarse chopped chocolate of choice (optional )


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x9 inch square baking pan, or line with parchment paper.
  • Mix or whisk sugar, egg and vanilla for up to 10 minutes until lightened in color.
    eggs, sugar and vanilla being mixed until pale in color
  • Gently fold in remaining ingredients, just until mixed.
  • Spread into a 9x9 inch baking pan.
    brownie batter being spread into a square, parchment paper lined baking pan
  • Bake for 25-35 minutes until edges are set. The center should feel soft but will set as they cool.
    freshly baked brownies with shiny tops in a square pan
  • Cool for at least 30 minutes at room temperature before cutting.
    close up of brownies cut into squares


  • Pull the brownies out of the oven when the edges are set, and the middle is still gooey-they'll set as they cool. 
  • Be sure to beat the eggs and sugar until the eggs are pale yellow in color to create a flaky crinkle top brownie. 
  • Fold the ingredients together only until things are just combined and no further. 
  • If using a 9x9 inch square pan, you'll likely need to reduce cooking time by 4-6 minutes. 
  • If using a 13x9 inch rectangular pan, reduce cooking time by 5-7 minutes. 


Serving: 1g | Calories: 539kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 278mg | Potassium: 311mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 67g | Vitamin A: 68IU | Calcium: 36mg | Iron: 4mg
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Recipe Rating


Monday 3rd of January 2022

Made this recipe *exactly* as written and the end result, while delicious, isn't really brownies; it's more like gooey, chewy candy. Very sticky, like toffee, at the edges of the pan and more gooey in the middle, even after extra time in the oven. It doesn't firm up even after cooling. It's great with ice cream, but for a real fudgy brownie square, you need a higher egg to sugar/cocoa ratio (for this recipe, at least 2 eggs) and maybe even a bit more flour. As for the crinkle top, that showed up a little only in the gooey center, not at all at the edges. For that amount of work, you're more likely to get a pan of brownies with perfect crinkle tops and fudgy middles by creaming softened butter and sugar and beating the egg whites. Keep the generous 1/2 cup of Dutch cocoa for lovely flavor and fudginess.

Big Chef Rich BoiArdee

Sunday 13th of February 2022

I'm reading this comment as I'm putting the bownies into the oven 🤦‍♂️ I thought it was weird it was just 1 egg and no butter.


Thursday 28th of October 2021

Are we usingbonly 1 egg here?


Friday 29th of October 2021

Yep, makes for a fudgier brownie, but you can use two if you prefer them more cake like!


Sunday 16th of August 2020

What temperature should the oven be? The directions say 3 degrees....obviously an error. I'm wanting to make them now, so will set the temp at 350 degreee. Also....I'm not going to mix the first three ingredients by hand for ten doesn't matter to me if the top of the brownies is shiny and crackly, I just want them to taste good! To tell the truth. I've never thought box brownie mix tasted as good as homemade.

Amanda Lewis

Saturday 21st of August 2021

Instructions for a 9x9 pan say "Bake for 20-28 minutes until edges are set. Center should feel soft but will set as they cool"

Further down they say"If using a 9x9 inch square pan, you'll likely need to reduce cooking time by 4-6 minutes. " What should cooking time be?


Wednesday 19th of August 2020

Vicky, that's 350 degrees, thank you :)