I'm wondering how to convert a cake recipe to make brownies. My intention is to use this recipe for Mexican Chocolate Cake With Mascarpone Frosting. The cake part calls for the following ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 Tablespoons vanilla

How can I convert that into a brownie recipe?

I'm thinking more oil/butter and less water would work, but I'm not sure of the ratios. I imagine I'd probably also cook brownies for a shorter amount of time.

What determines a cake's fluffiness and a brownie's dense chocolatey awesomeness? Is there a general formula you can follow for converting cake to brownies? (Since this question is about conversion, I suppose it could also apply to a boxed cake mix in case I'm too lazy to go to the store.)

  • 5
    There are many styles of cakes, and several styles of brownies, even if we assume you are interested only in chocolate brownies. If you really want a quality answer, you would need to provide your starting recipe, what you want preserve about it, and what kind of brownie you would like to achieve. However, you would essentially be reinventing a browning inspired by a cake. What is the motivation to do this? It is probably easier to start with a stellar brownie recipe of the style you desire, and adapt it for whatever missing quality you are looking for.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 20:06
  • @SAJ14SAJ The cake recipe I thought of was this, but that's a good point - I could adapt an existing brownie recipe to incorporate those flavors. The other reason for it would be if you had a box of cake mix and wanted brownies but were too lazy to go to the store...
    – pklz
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 20:15
  • @pklz I think if you edit your question to actually ask the question you elaborated about in your comment it would be a better question. As it stands it's too open-ended.
    – Jay
    Commented Jul 2, 2013 at 19:52

5 Answers 5


My personal results? Double the amt of oil and 1/2 the amt of water. Perfect quick fix for a mother on the run or any other given situation! :-)

  • Hello, and welcome to the site! We have strict rules about content, unlike a forum. We answer questions in a very straightforward manner, so the next reader will always see the proposed solutions without having to read through other matter. Complaints about rude or otherwise inappropriate content are handled through flags or a special "policy" site called Meta (accessible through the Help link on the top bar), but I don't think this case was bad, pklz was implying that he is feeling "lazy" himself, so I don't see it as an insult. "Thank you" is expressed by voting, which you will be (cont.)
    – rumtscho
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 5:41
  • (cont.) to do with some reputation, which you can get for both answers and questions. I edited your post so now only your proposed solution remains, not your opinion on the rest of the thread.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 5:42

Brownies are typically dense and less fluffy compared to cake. What you want to do is to make the cake recipe more dense to make it more like brownies. Here are a few factors that would effect density/fluffyness.

  • Number of eggs: Adding more eggs will make the cake more dense
  • Preparation of eggs: Beating the eggs will cause the cake to be more fluffy since you are introducing more air into the mixture. You should stir them lightly with a fork (not beat/whisk them) until just liquefied, to avoid a fluffy cakelike texture.
  • Addition of baking powder. Most cake recipes call for baking powder while many brownie recipes do not.

I suggest reviewing some brownie recipes and the comments to get a feel for a good starting point for the cake recipe modifications.

  • leaving out the baking powder was the supposed origins ... of course, like the pound cake, it's diverged from there, but it's a good first step.
    – Joe
    Commented Aug 8, 2013 at 16:16

1 box chocolate cake mix 1/4 cup canola oil 1 egg, beaten 1/3 cup milk 1 cup chocolate chips (optional) sprinkles for topping (optional)

Found on: http://girlmeetslife.com/2012/03/chocolate-cake-batter-brownies/

  • 1
    Bec, welcome. The question asks for the influence of various parameters, not one random recipe. This does not answer the question, even if the brownies might be delicious.
    – Stephie
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 8:44
  • I dunno, this is sort of a conversion - if you're starting from a cake recipe instead of boxed mix, you can just pretend that recipe (minus the liquids) is a box cake mix, then add the other ingredients listed here. So it seems to potentially address the "how do you convert?" title question and the "general formula" one in the body, even if it doesn't answer the general "what determines..." question. So, not a comprehensive answer, but appears to be an answer.
    – Cascabel
    Commented May 20, 2016 at 16:17

Personally, I often take our box brownies and add extra oil and egg. This makes a cake, so try the reverse, a box cake with less oil and egg.


Omit the baking soda and baking powder, switch butter to oil, cut the flour in half, and double the cocoa.

  • 2
    This answer assumes that the cake include all of these things... What about cakes with milk/buttermilk? You certainly wouldn't use milk in a brownie recipe. Your answer just can't be generally applied to all cake recipes, which is the general issue with this question in the first place.
    – Catija
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 23:21

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