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Better Box Mix Dairy-Free Brownies

Brownies: the ultimate in rich, fudgy, chocolatey deliciousness! The simple ease of box mix brownies cannot be beaten. And honestly…some of the best brownies I’ve ever devoured are from a box. With a few extra ingredients that I know every kitchen will have, I’ve leveled up and created these amazing better box mix dairy-free brownies and they will not disappoint!

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An ultra rich brownie with a crinkly top and chocolate fudge frosting swirls around the border. There are three slices cut out of it.

Better Box Mix Dairy-Free Brownies

Thick, fudgy, and oh so totally decadent. Everything a brownie should be, right?! Baked in a round cake pan, this better box mix brownie recipe is a step up in rich flavor and presentation. A crown of chocolate fudge frosting swirls will leave everyone speechless when they find out these brownies weren’t made from scratch.

A circular brownie with a chocolately crinkle top and coverede in chocolate fudge frosting swirls around the border.

Extra Ingredients For Better Box Mix Brownies

Every box mix brownie requires 3 things: water, oil, and an egg. Pretty simple, right?! I’ve kept the egg and oil which both create the needed moisture in the brownies, and added a few different ingredients.

The first ingredient is hot coffee. Coffee is a fabulous pairing with chocolate and serves to enhance the depth and richness. And the heat from it helps the cocoa powder in the mix bloom or deepen so to speak.

Second ingredient is vanilla extract. A little added splash is all that is needed to give a subtle flavor boost to this doctored-up box mix brownie recipe.

Last, but not least is salt. Salt is like caffeine in the baking world. It perks up the flavors and enhances the depth of each element. And much like the vanilla, I added a dash of extra salt. Just a half of a teaspoon of coarse sea salt to jolt these box mix brownies to the next level.

A circular brownie with chocolate fusge frosting swirls around the top border. There are three slices cut out and one slice in leanikng against the front slice showing the texture of the brownie.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

While we are leveling up a standard box brownie mix, let’s add the extra step and take it over the top, shall we?! A quick and easy homemade chocolate fudge frosting adds an element of pure decadence.

Much like the chocolate fudge buttercream in my S’Mores Cake, this whipped frosting is made with a healthy helping of cocoa powder added in with the icing sugar. This buttercream is rich, luxurious, and will take these better box mix dairy-free brownies to the next level.

A close up picture of a brownie slice with a bitye taken out of the tip of it. There is a chocolate fudge frosting swirl on the brownie.

How To Bake Box Mix Brownies

I baked these dreamy delicious box mix brownies in an 8 inch round cake pan. It presents stunningly as a single-layer brownie cake. That said, no need to get all fancy. Grab an 8×8 pan just like the brownie box directions tell you to and bake it just like that.

Dairy-Free Better Box Mix Brownies

Brownies are delicious. There’s no questioning the ease, simplicity, and downright deliciousness of a box mix brownie. I challenge you to swap in these super accessible extra ingredients next time you make a box mix brownie. Without a doubt, it will bake up the richest decadent and fudgiest better box mix dairy-free brownies you will ever eat. No one will ever guess they came from a box!

An ultra rich brownie with a crinkly top and chocolate fudge frosting swirls around the border. There are three slices cut out of it.

Easy Dessert Square Recipes

Life gets busy and there’s not always a ton of time. I’ve got a few easy dessert squares recipes that I think you’ll enjoy:

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A circular brownie with a chocolately crinkle top and coverede in chocolate fudge frosting swirls around the border.

Better Box Mix Dairy Free Brownies

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5 from 4 reviews

  • Author: Katie Stymiest
  • Total Time: 50 Minutes
  • Yield: 12 Brownies 1x
  • Diet: Low Lactose


No one will ever guess these decadent, rich, and fudgy brownies were made from a box mix. A few simple extra ingredients and you’ll even surprise yourself with these better box mix dairy-free brownies.




  • 1 box (450g) dairy-free brownie mix * (can sub for gluten-free brownie mix too)
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • ⅓ cup (80g) vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup (60ml) hot coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt


  • ½ cup (120g) dairy-free salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cups (180g) icing sugar
  • ¼ cup (20g) cocoa powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon dairy-free milk, room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract



  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF and prepare an 8 inch round cake pan or 8×8 inch baking pan with non-stick baking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add in the brownie mix and sea salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Add in the egg, vegetable oil, hot coffee, and vanilla extract and mix until just combined. Be careful to not over mix the brownie batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out slightly fudgy.
  5. Allow to fully cool in the pan on a cooling rack before frosting and cutting. **


  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter with the paddle attachment on high speed until light and fluffy. This should take approximately 10 minutes.
  2. Add in the icing sugar, cocoa powder, and salt and mix on low until fully incorporated.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract and milk and mix on low until incorporated.
  4. Turn the mixer up to high and allow to cream for 5 minutes.


  1. Remove the fully cooled brownie from the pan and place it on a plate, cake board, or cake turntable.
  2. With a Wilton 1m piping tip, pipe simple rosette swirls around the entire edge of the brownie. Enjoy!
  3. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days or frozen for 3 months.


* Duncan Hines Chewy Fudge brownie mix is dairy-free but you can use any brownie mix (450g) if you are not concerned about dairy.

** If you are having a hard time removing the brownies from the pan run a butter knife around the edges. You can also cool the brownies in the fridge if you would like to chill them faster.

  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 Minutes
  • Category: Squares
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 1 Brownie
  • Calories: 271
  • Sugar: 29 Grams
  • Sodium: 268 Miligrams
  • Fat: 12 Grams
  • Saturated Fat: 7 Grams
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4 Grams
  • Trans Fat: 1 Grams
  • Carbohydrates: 37 Grams
  • Fiber: 1 Gram
  • Protein: 3 Grams
  • Cholesterol: 64 Miligrams

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  1. I saw you post these in instagram and knew I had a box of brownies in my cupboard. I don’t regret turning my oven on in the afternoon heat. Worth every delicious bite of brownie heaven.

    1. Some might call that fate Sandra! I’m so glad you baked these brownies up and enjoyed them. I pretty much inhaled them myself.

  2. Take the extra 30 seconds it take to make this instead of following the box directions. It’s soooo much better then a boxed brownie! And the icing is perfection- I added a bit of instant espresso powder to mine and it turned out great !

    1. Aw yay! That makes me the happiest baker ever Marissa! Let’s put espresso powder in all our chocolate bakes, shall we?! ?

  3. I served these up to friends and family at a get together and no one knew they were from a box. I even had a lady ask me for the recipe.

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