Boxed brownies are a quick and delicious treat, but sometimes basic chocolate just doesn't do the trick. There's good news, though: chocolate brownies are the perfect base for adding decadent ingredients to create an elevated treat - or to substitute some for a healthier version. Here are 15 brownie mix hacks that will take this dessert to another level.

1. For the Peanut Butter Lover 

Add 1/2 cup of creamy or crunchy peanut butter after adding the eggs and oil. Stir in 1/2 cup of peanut butter chips. Spread half of the batter into the pan. Layer whole Reese's Cups and spread the rest of the batter on top. Crumble more Reese's Cups on top before baking.

2. For the Chocolate Extremist

Stir in 1/4 cup each of milk chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, and white chocolate chips. Frost the baked brownies with chocolate frosting and drizzle with hot fudge sauce.

3. For the Fruit Fanatic 

Stir 1/2 cup of your favorite raspberry jam into the batter. Spread half of the batter, then layer fresh raspberries, and top with the rest of the batter.

4. For the Kid at Heart 


Stir in 1 cup of your favorite candy bars, chopped, into the batter. Some suggestions are Kit Kats, Snickers, Twix, Heath Bars, Butterfingers, M&M's, 3 Musketeers, and Milky Ways.

5. For the Wild Child 

Chop 1 cup of nuts - pecans, almonds, walnuts, cashews - and stir into the batter. Feeling fancy? Use honey roasted peanuts or cinnamon-coated almonds.

6. For the Sweet and Salty Lover

Add 1/2 cup of chopped pretzels to the brownie batter. Before baking, top with 1/2 cup of regular popcorn. After baking, drizzle the warm brownies with 3/4 cup of caramel sauce. 

7. For the Cake Aficionado 

Bake brownies as usual. Once cooled, top with your favorite frosting - homemade of store bought - and sprinkles.

8. For the Camper

Layer graham cracker sheets on the bottom of the pan and pour the brownie batter on top. Combine 1/2 cup of crushed graham crackers, 1/2 cup of marshmallows, and 1/2 cup of chopped Hershey's chocolate bar. For the last 5 minutes of baking, top brownies with the s'mores mixture.

9. For the Oreo Eater 

Split the batter in half. Layer full Oreo cookies between the layers. Top with more crushed Oreos before baking.

10. For the Cookie Monster

Crumble homemade or refrigerated store bought cookie dough on top of the brownies before baking. Drizzle with chocolate sauce after baking for an extra treat.

11. For the Health Nut 

Replace the oil with applesauce. Make a healthy brownie sundae with Greek yogurt, granola, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of honey.

12. For the Caffeine Connoisseur

coffee, espresso, cappuccino, mocha
Jocelyn Hsu

Add 2 tablespoons of instant coffee to the dry mix. Stir in chocolate-covered espresso beans before spreading the batter into the pan.

13. For the Beach-Goer 

mango, pasture, apple, juice
Gabby Quintana

Stir 1/2 cup of chopped dried mango, 1/4 cup of chopped crystallized ginger, and 1/2 cup of chopped macadamia nuts into the batter. Sprinkle with coconut before baking.

14. For the Pumpkin-Loving Basic

Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Brownies


Mix together 1/2 cup of softened cream cheese, 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin, and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour half of the brownie batter into the pan, then spread the pumpkin layer on top. Drop the remaining brownie batter by spoonfuls and use a knife to swirl the cheesecake and batter.

15. For the Adult in the Crowd 

Add 1/4 cup of stout or other dark beer and 1/2 cup of dark chocolate chunks for an adult treat at the dessert table.

Next time you reach for brownie mix, think about adding a twist to the basic chocolatey treat using on of these brownie mix hacks.