Kicked Up Brownie Mix Recipes

kicked up brownie mix recipes

Chocoholics like me go crazy for brownies. They are one of my favorite desserts so we have them often in our house. Like most women these days, I don't have a lot of time for baking gourmet desserts from scratch so I've found many great recipes for chocolate brownies made from a mix - you just need to dress them up a bit to make them 'gourmet' and spectacular.

My favorite store-bought brownie mix is the Ghirardelli brand mix. Even before you kick them up, they don't taste like store bought brownies. Sometimes, I use Duncan Hines brownie mix as well. I hope you enjoy these gourmet chocolate brownie recipes as much as my family does!

Rocky Road Brownies

Rocky Road Brownies

This simple recipe is one of my favorites - perhaps that is because Rocky Road ice cream was my favorite when I was a kid.

  • 1 brownie mix (store bought 19.8 oz)
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 2 squares of unsweetened chocolate (1 oz each)
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 package powdered sugar (16 oz)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix the chocolate brownies according to the package directions. Then fold in the 1 cup of chopped pecans into the batter. Spread the batter mixture in a greased pan and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle the miniature marshmallows over the hot brownies so they melt a bit. Cool.

In a heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate, milk and butter together until combined (be sure to stir constantly). Remove chocolate mixture from the heat and add the vanilla. Then add the powdered sugar a little at a time, mixing with a hand mixer on low speed, until the frosting is the desired consistency for spreading. Spread over brownies with marshmallows. Cool and cut into bars.

Super Easy S'more Brownies

Super Easy S'more Brownies

One bite of these brownies will whisk you back to sitting around the campfire as a child. Those girl scouts really knew what they were doing when they invented the S'more back in 1927. And you thought they were all about cookies....

Bake 1 package of brownies in a 9" x 13" pan as directed on the box. Remove from the oven, evenly sprinkle with 2/3 cup of chocolate chips and 1 1/2 cups of miniature marshmallows while still hot. Put the brownies back in the oven for about a minute until the marshmallows and chocolate have begun to soften. Take 6 full sheets of regular graham crackers and break them into quarters. While the brownies are still hot, lightly press a layer a graham crackers on top of the marshmallows to form 'smores'. Cut into squares following the lines of the graham crackers.

My Tip - These brownies are best eaten the same day they are made. Otherwise the graham crackers get soft and they aren't as good. They are perfect for potlucks and family get-togethers where they'll all be devoured in short order.

Cream Cheese BrowniesCream Cheese Swirl Brownies

Great for the gourmet cheesecake and chocolate lover, these brownies combine two of my favorites in one delectable dessert! Photo Credit: via photopin cc

Prepare 1 package of brownie mix according to directions for cake like consistency. Spoon half the batter in a 9" x 13" pan.

Cream Cheese Swirl

  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 5 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 tsp. vanilla

Beat together all of the above cream cheese swirl ingredients until smooth. Drop by teaspoonful evenly over the brownie batter. Pour over the other half of the brownie batter. Take a knife and swirl the batter and cream cheese mixture to create a swirl-like pattern. Bake according to the brownie package directions (about 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean).

Cool and cut into chocolate brownie bites.

Brownie Trifle Recipe

Easy Chocolate Brownie Trifle

This dessert is ALWAYS a big hit at dinner parties and potluck events. Everyone loves the presentation and best of all, it tastes as good as it looks! photo credit: photofarmer via photopin cc

  • 1 box (19.8 oz) of fudge brownies made according to the package direction - baked, cooled and cut into small 1" square pieces
  • 3 boxes (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix made according to the directions, except use 1 cup less milk so it is a bit more stiff and you don't need to chill it
  • 1 large tub cool whip
  • 6 regular size Scor or Heath toffee bars broken into small pieces (place in large plastic ziploc bag and smash with hammer or rolling pin)

You'll need a large 3 quart trifle bowl to hold this dessert. Place 1/3 of the brownie mixture in the bottom of the bowl, top with 1/3 of the pudding, 1/3 of the Cool Whip and 1/3 of the candy Heath bar toffee bits. Repeat this layering process two more times ending with candy pieces on top. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours prior to serving. Makes at least 16 servings.

My Tip - A fun thing to do for dinner parties is to use 8 large hurricane style glasses and build individual trifle desserts in each one. That way each guest gets their own little dessert glass. Guests love it! I just halve the recipe when I'm doing the 8 dessert cups as opposed to the large trifle bowl.

Brownies with Coconut Pecan Frosting

Brownies with Coconut Pecan Frosting

A spin on German chocolate cake – these brownies are great for the coconut lover!

First off, you will need 2 packages of brownie mix baked in a 15” x 10” jelly roll pan according to the box directions.


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, evaporated milk, egg yolks and butter bringing to a boil over medium heat (be sure to stir constantly). As soon as it reaches a boil, time for 12 minutes and remove from the heat. Stir in the vanilla, coconut and pecans stirring until the frosting is cool and has a spreading consistency. Spread over cooled brownies and cut into squares.

Peanut Butter Frosted BrowniesPeanut Butter Brownies

A delectable layer of peanut butter sits between the chocolate brownies and a layer of chocolate frosting to create these tasty morsels. photo credit: mia3mom via photopin cc

Bake 2 packages of brownies in a 15" x 10" jelly roll pan as directed on the brownie mix package. While the brownies are still warm, spread 1-18 oz jar of chunky peanut butter on top of them. My Tip: The peanut butter spreads easier if you microwave it for 2 minutes at 50% power. Give it a vigorous stir and then spread it on top of the brownies. Chill the peanut butter covered brownies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 10 large marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1 package powdered sugar (16 oz)

In a large saucepan, cook the butter, milk and marshmallows over medium heat until they are all melted together. Remove from heat and whisk in the cocoa powder. Mix in powdered sugar a little at a time until the frosting is smooth and has a spreadable consistency. Spread chocolate over the peanut butter layer. Place pan back in the refrigerator and cool an additional 20 minutes before cutting into squares.

One of my friends loves the combination of peanut butter and chocolate so when she needs a bit of cheering up, I'll bake up a batch of these treats to create a rich chocolate gift that is sure to cure her blues.

Easy Homemade Brownie Making Video

Coconut Macadamia Brownies

Coconut Macadamia Brownies

Again these delicious morsels are made with a box of store bought brownie mix, but you wouldn't know it after tasting them!


  • 3 oz softened cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. softened butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (Guittard are my favorite)
  • 1 1/2 cups flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Using a hand mixer, combine the cream cheese, butter, sugar and flour beating until smooth. Beat in the egg. By hand, stir in the chocolate chips, coconut, and macadamia nuts until blended.

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions except also stir in a 1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips and 1/3 cup of chopped macadamia nuts into the batter. Pour batter into a greased 9x9" pan, spreading evenly. Spoon the topping mixture over the batter (as evenly as possible). Bake at 350° F for 35-40 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Remove to wire rack and cool completely.

To dress them up further, you can drizzle over more melted semi-sweet chocolate prior to cutting into squares. To do this, just melt 1 cup chocolate chips in the microwave for 20-30 seconds in a plastic Ziploc bag. Snip a tiny hole in the corner of bag and squeeze to create drizzles.

Mint Oreo Brownies

Super Easy Mint Cookie Brownies

Prepare brownie mix as directed on the package. Just stir in one sleeve of crushed mint chocolate covered cookies and 1 cup of chopped nuts into the batter. Bake as directed on the brownie package. photo credit: Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife via photopin cc

Another option is to stir in crushed chocolate Oreos and bake as directed on the brownie package. Then melt 1 cup of white chocolate chips in the microwave in a Ziploc bag for 20-30 seconds on 100% power. Cut a hole in the corner of the bag and squeeze to create drizzles over the top of the baked, but cooled brownies. You'll end up with what we call Cookies n' Cream brownies which are also fabulous!  Serve with ice cream and chocolate sauce for the ultimate treat.

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