Are Homemade Brownies Better & Healthier than Box Mix?

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Many people have questions about whether it’s worth the extra time and effort to make homemade brownies or if they should just head to the store and purchase a box of brownie mix. If you’ve been wondering the same thing, you’ve come to the right place!

As a general rule, homemade brownies tend to be healthier and better than box mix brownies. Box mix might have questionable ingredients and additives. When making brownies at home, you can incorporate healthy ingredients such as Greek yogurt to make it better.

In this article, I’ll be answering some of the most common questions people have about making brownies, some interesting facts about box mix brownies as well as whether brownies are always considered unhealthy.

Are Homemade Brownies Healthier Than Box Mix?

Yes, homemade brownies can be healthier than box mix brownies. By incorporating healthier ingredients like Greek yogurt, unsweetened applesauce, and avocado oil, homemade brownies can be a healthier alternative to box mix brownies.

Most of the time, I think that homemade baked goods tend to be healthier, simply because you can adjust the ingredients and make healthier substitutions as needed.

  • Butter can be replaced with lower calorie margarine
  • Vegetable oil can be substituted for olive oil
  • Sugar can be replaced with a low-calorie sweetener

As a home baker, you are in total control of what ingredients you use in each batch of baked goods. Typically, I enjoy creating more decadent desserts around the holidays.

After all, no one is particularly concerned about counting calories during the holiday season!

Brownie squares
I Made A Batch of Healthy Homemade Brownies!

*By the way, to save even more time, I found this amazing brownie pan that pre-cuts your brownies! The Non-Stick Brownie Baking Pan with Dividers cuts my time down AND prevents any of my brownies from breaking! You can find them on Amazon!

However, I try to make healthier substitutions in my baked goods during other times of the year. While it’s important to allow yourself to indulge every once in a while, it’s really important to try to make better choices in order to keep your health and weight in check.

On the other hand, boxed brownie mixes will often contain preservatives to extend the life of the product on the shelf. While not all preservatives are harmful, there are some that have been shown to cause significant health problems if they are consumed too often.

For example, nitrates which are found in cold cuts and lunch meats can cause significant health issues if you eat them often.

*Side Note: I recently wrote an article about If Homemade Cakes are Healthier than Store-Bought Cakes. This article talks about if homemade cakes are actually better while breaking it down in detail. You can check out this article here!

Overall, a boxed brownie mix can be an okay option if you don’t have the time to make brownies. However, you aren’t nearly as able to make healthier swaps for boxed brownie mixes, and some mixes are extremely high in sugar and calories.

Do Homemade Brownies Taste Better Than Box Mix Brownies?

Generally speaking, homemade brownies typically taste better than box mix brownies. Box mix brownies tend to be bland and ordinary in order to appeal to most consumers. Homemade brownies are created using fresh ingredients that are higher in quality and can have extra flavors added.

In the past, I’ve used boxed brownie mixes when I’ve been pressed for time and needed a dessert in a hurry. But I firmly believe that homemade brownies are much more flavorful and delicious than boxed mixes.

If you are creating a batch of homemade brownies you have the power to use fresh ingredients that are far superior in quality to what’s in a boxed mix.

You can also add flavorful substitutions and experiment with unique toppings to create your own personal recipe. If time allows, I will always prefer to make my own batch of homemade brownies.

*Side Note: I recently wrote an article about The Best Ways To Fix Undercooked Brownies. This article breaks down how to correctly fix underbaked brownies in different places. You can check out this article here!

Are Box Mix Brownies Cheaper To Make Than Homemade Brownies?

As a whole, box brownies can be cheaper to make than homemade brownies. One box is cheaper than using home ingredients for a single batch. However, if you are planning to make several batches of brownies over time it is actually cheaper to make homemade brownies instead.

Initially, the price of ingredients that are used to create brownies can be higher than just buying a box of brownie mix.

But if you plan on making several batches of brownies throughout the season, it can make more sense to create homemade brownies instead of box brownies.

Good brownie recipes usually call for ingredients like high-quality chocolate, butter, flour, salt, and sugar.

*By the way, I recently came across the perfect Brownie Pan that slices the brownies into pieces without the hustle! This Metallic Professional Slice Solutions Brownie Pan is 9 inches by 13 inches and will help get your brownies out of the pan much easier! You can check out this Brownie Pan on Amazon!

Big Batch of Brownies
More Homemade Brownies = Cheaper Cost

Many of these ingredients can be used for recipes other than brownies, making homemade brownies the more economical option.

However, the choice is always up to you, and if you’re running short on time, you may just want to pick up that box of brownie mix anyways.

*Side Note: I recently wrote an article talking about If Homemade Cookies Healthier than Store-Bought Cookies. This article discusses the similarities and differences of how both of these are made and which is better. You can check out this article here!

Why Do Box Mix Brownies Taste So Different From Homemade Brownies?

As a general rule, box mix brownies taste much differently than homemade brownies because homemade brownies are made using fresh ingredients. Box brownies also contain preservatives and lack any additional ingredients that could spoil on the store shelf.

I think that the freshness and high quality of the ingredients that go into homemade brownies make them much more delicious than boxed brownies.

Box mix brownies often taste bland because food companies try to make their products appealing for most people and therefore don’t take much of a risk with their flavor profiles.

I have found you can often doctor up boxed brownies to make them taste better.

Try using syrup, vanilla extract, or even broken-up pieces of your favorite candy bars to make bland box brownies more interesting and delicious!

*Side Note: I recently wrote an article about How To Freeze Brownie Batter The Right Way. This article talks about How Long Brownie Batter Lasts. You can check out this article here!

Are Homemade Brownies Considered Processed Food?

Generally speaking, homemade brownies are considered processed food for several reasons. A processed food product is any type of food that has been altered in any way. Since brownies go through a baking process the food is altered and, therefore, considered processed food.

You may be wondering if homemade brownies are bad for you. If you enjoy a brownie or two on occasion they are not inherently bad for you or damaging to your health, unless you have certain health conditions that require you to abstain from sugar.

Brownie Slab
Altered Brownies Are Considered A Processed Food!

However, if you eat them on special occasions, I don’t think they’re any more detrimental to your health than other common desserts.

*Side Note: I recently wrote an article about Freezing Baked Brownies The Right Way. This article talks about the steps you need to take to freeze your brownies to make them last longer. You can check out this article here!

Are Box Mix Brownies Considered Processed Food?

As a whole, box mix brownies are considered processed food. Box mix often contains a significant amount of preservatives to keep the mix from spoiling. Because the content of the box mix is altered, it is considered to be a processed food item.

Like most things in life, you should always practice moderation. That goes for the sodas you drink, the sweets you eat, and other things you may do that have an impact on your health.

Most food products you’ll find lining the supermarket shelves will be considered processed food.

Processing is often necessary in order to keep food from spoiling during transportation or while sitting on store shelves.

Brownie mix from the store is not bad for you, but it’s doesn’t usually taste as good as homemade brownies. But if you’re craving something sweet and chocolatey and all you have is a box of brownie mix, you should definitely pull it off the shelf and get baking!

*Side Note: You might also want to know Why Your Brownies Crack On Top after baked. I recently wrote an article that talks about How To Prevent and Fix Cracks On Top Of Brownies, you can check it out here!

Final Thoughts

Brownies are one of my favorite desserts of all time! They are so easy to make and are quite decadent.

When short on time, it’s fine to use a boxed mix, but after many years of baking, you can’t go wrong with homemade brownies!

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My name is Fainna! I've been baking desserts ever since I was 10 years old with my grandma passing her baking wisdom down to me with every passing day. I hope you find these tips and tricks helpful here at my little Baking Nook!

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