What’s The Best Boxed Brownie Mix In Canada?

The winner was rich and fudgy, proving there’s no shame in the boxed-mix game.
What’s The Best Boxed Brownie Mix In Canada?

Guilty pleasures are the best. Love is Blind? A balm. The Fast & Furious franchise? My medicine. Boxed cake mix? A godsend.

When it comes to unbridled enthusiasm about guilty pleasures, I’m also very suggestible. After reading Sohla El-Waylly’s breathless recommendation for Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Brownie Mix a few years back, I had an immediate urge to face plant into a batch. Can you blame me? She describes the edges as “a little crunchy and a lot chewy while the middle has just the right amount of soft doughy texture and melty chocolate.”

The problem is, this boxed brownie mix isn't widely available in Canada. I’ve tried No Frills, Loblaws, Sobeys, Costco—and the few options available on Amazon or at Costco run upwards of $30 for a pack of five boxes, which isn’t a level of commitment I’m willing to make for an impulse bake project.

So I did the next most impulse-y thing: I picked up every brand of brownie mix I could find at my local grocery stores, baked them all and asked my coworkers to pick their favourite.


One caveat: Some of our favourite options from when we initially conducted this taste test in February 2020 (such an innocent time!) are no longer widely available. Duncan Hines Decadent Double Fudge Brownie Mix and No Name Fudge Brownie Mix, two of our top original contenders, proved exceptionally difficult to find online and in stores. (If you spot one in the wild, please let us know.)

I opted for dark chocolate whenever possible, and baked every batch on the lower end of the instructions’ time frame to give them all a good chance at staying as dense and moist as possible. In every case, I mixed dry ingredients into wet. (You might have a different opinion about ingredient order; bake as you will!) It was quick work: most boxed cake mixes just require mixing in oil, water and a couple of eggs.

It also was, unsurprisingly, not that difficult to get a bunch of editors to line up for a brownie buffet. Everyone tried a bite of each and cast a vote for their first and second favourites.


In order from least to most favourite, here are the best boxed brownie mixes Canada.

Selection Chocolate Chunk Brownie Mix, $3 for 432 g

A bag of Selection brownie mix in a post on best boxed brownie mix Canada.

We're sorry, Selection: This mix did not get a pass from any of our taste testers. Whether it was the quality of the sweetener or the cocoa—or the binding agent used in the mix—this option did not rank high in either flavour or texture.

The Decadent Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix, $5

A box of President's Choice The Decadent Brownie Mix used in a post on best boxed brownie mixes.

This offering from President's Choice had a healthy ratio of chocolate chips to batter, but didn't rank high in terms of flavour. For every editor it landed solidly in middle-of-the-road territory.

Betty Crocker Chocolate Chunk Brownie Mix, $4

A box of Betty Crocker brownie mix, used in a post on best brownie mixes Canada.

Betty Crocker was most recognizable brand of the bunch—and the most widely available: it was in every grocery store we visited. This option was generally pleasing to most, but not quite enough to push it into the category of enthusiastic recommendation. The texture was more the cakey side, and some tasters noted they tasted more flour than chocolate in the mix.


Pillsbury Chocolate Fudge Chewy Brownie Mix, $3

A box of Pillsbury brownie mix used in a post on best boxed brownie mixes Canada.

This jolly and accessibly priced option really held up to its name in one regard: It was the most pleasantly chewy and fudgy brownie of the bunch; definitely the kind of mix you'd reach for if you happen to have one of those all-edges brownie pans. Where editors didn't fully agree was the depth of chocolate flavour.


Williams Sonoma Classic Brownie Baking Mix, $22

A box of Williams-Sonoma brownie mix used in a post on best brownie mixes Canada.

We know what you're thinking. Twenty dollars? For a boxed baking mix?! We could not agree more, but we're also going to give credit where it's due: This posh convenience product turns out a truly exceptional brownie. The recipe's hydration comes entirely from eggs and butter—no oil or water—making the result richer, denser and very chewy at the edges. It has that coveted shiny, crackly top. It's not too sweet. It's very good—and very expensive.


Compliments Deluxe Brownie Mix, $4

A box of Compliments Deluxe Brownie mix in a post about best brownie mixes canada.

Across the board, this Sobeys-brand boxed mix ranked No. 1 in terms of deep chocolate flavour. While it didn't have quite the shiny crackled top of Williams Sonoma's, it was still the right balance of dense and cakey, with a slight bit of chewiness. And at $4, it's easily our top pick.

Overall, though, the exercise was a lesson in what a boxed mix can do, and what it can’t. The carefully wrapped leftovers of this experiment dried out after two days, while a pan of homemade brownies usually tastes amazing for about a week (if it stays uneaten that long).


In an ideal world, everyone would have time to carefully melt chocolate with butter and make brownies from scratch. That doesn’t mean that those who are looking for a shortcut (or have a school bake sale to appease) don’t deserve brownies—and good ones, at that.

Prefer brownies from scratch? Here are 10 of our most decadent recipes.

How we select our products. We’re committed to finding the best and most accessible pantry ingredients, and that means being able to test and judge them fairly: in the same place, at the same time, under the same conditions. This means not every single brand available on the national market is going to make it to our Toronto-based kitchen. Some items are only regionally available in a specific province, while others are priced well out of the average grocery budget. Here’s what we guarantee: at least half of our picks will always be available nationally, we will always include selections from major grocery store chains. And if there’s a pick you really think we missed, we’d love to hear about it:

Originally published March 2020. Updated March 2024.


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