Candy Bag Brownies
When using candy, we like to chop the fun-size bars into thirds, mini Reese’s peanut butter cups (my personal favorite!) in half, and use plain M&Ms and/or Reese’s Pieces as a colorful topping. Feel free to experiment with candy of choice. I have not used the non-chocolate category of candy that would include Skittles, Swedish Fish, etc., thinking these would likely be too hard or chewy.

When doubling the batch, bake in a greased 9 x 13-inch pan and add a few minutes to the baking time.

Yield: 12 servings


  • 1/2 cup (112 ml) safflower or vegetable oil of choice (may substitute melted butter*)
  • 1 cup (192 grams) white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (63 grams) all-purpose flour (may use gluten-free substitute**; weights will vary)
  • 1/3 cup (27 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt or a slightly-rounded 1/4 teaspoon flaky sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped candy***, divided use (Reese’s peanut butter cups, Hershey bars, fun-size Snickers, Milky Way, 3 Musketeers, M&Ms, etc.)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking dish or a 9-inch round cake pan. (If the pan is dark-coated metal, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.)
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the oil and sugar until well blended. Beat or whisk in the eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, and stir until just combined. Fold in 1 cup of the chopped candy. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan, and then evenly distribute the remaining 1/2 cup candy over the top.
  4. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until the brownies begin to pull away from edges of pan but still appear the slightest bit undercooked in the middle. All ovens vary, so check a few minutes early and know that it might take a few minutes longer.
  5. Allow the brownies to cool, and then cut and enjoy. For easier cutting, chill the freshly cooked brownies in the refrigerator. Once cool, cover the brownies with foil or plastic wrap. You may store at room temperature, but to prolong freshness, you may wish to tightly wrap the brownies and store in the refrigerator.


  • *I have done side-by-side batches of these brownies, one using melted butter and the other using vegetable oil. The taste difference was nearly imperceptible. Over several days, however, the butter version dried out more quickly.
  • **If needing the gluten-free option, make sure to check candy labels and use only those that don’t contain gluten. Also, when using GF flour blends, I find it helpful to let the batter sit for 15-20 minutes before baking. This gives the rice flour (a common ingredient in GF flour blends) time to absorb additional moisture and reduces any graininess than can be found in some GF baked goods.
  • ***In my standard brownie recipe, I omit the assortment of candy and instead sprinkle 1/3 – 1/2 cup chocolate chunks or chips over the batter before baking. The brownies may be made plain, if preferred, and/or with a similar amount of chopped nuts stirred into the batter.

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