Out Of The Box Brownies: Magical brownie recipes that start with a box

Chewy Ginger-Lemon Blondies

December 10, 2012 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Blonde Brownie, Chilled, Cream Cheese, Decadent, Fruit, Holiday, Nut-Free, Off the Beaten Path


Christmas baking is so much fun, but why make ginger-bread (again) when you can make something that’s… ginger-better? This chewy, lightly lemony treat will be a way for you to “zag” at the Christmas cookie exchange, when everyone else is “zigging” with the typical peppermint or chocolate treats. Introducing… the Chewy Ginger-Lemon Blondie! 20121210-230317.jpg


  • 1 box lemon cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Lemon Supreme)
  • 1 cup butter or margarine, divided
  • 3 eggs, divided
  • 1 cup candied ginger, finely chopped (about 6 ounces)
  • 1 box cream cheese (8 ounces)
  • 3.5 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon zest (optional)



Microwave 1/2 cup of the butter for about 30-40 seconds, just until melted. Into a large mixing bowl, add lemon cake mix, 1 egg, and melted butter.


Mix on low to medium speed for about a minute, until it is thoroughly mixed. It will form a very thick dough, not a “pourable” batter. Next, measure out about a cup of candied ginger, pour it onto a cutting board, and get your best chopping knife. (Candied ginger often comes in bite-sized pieces, which is much too large for this recipe.) Cut the candied ginger into small pieces, about the size of a pinkie fingernail or smaller.


Put the minced ginger into the lemon dough and set the mixer on low for about 30 seconds, just until blended. Put the dough into a greased 13×9-inch pan and, using your hands, spread it into an even layer.


Back to the mixer! In a new bowl, whip the cream cheese on medium to high for 1-2 minutes until it is fluffy and creamy. Add the remaining 2 eggs. Microwave the remaining 1/2 cup of butter for 30-40 seconds in the microwave until melted, and then add that to the bowl.


Mix on medium until smooth, about a minute. Add the sifted confectioners sugar and mix completely into a rich, gooey batter. If you want a more lemony result, add 1 tsp of lemon zest to the batter. Pour batter over the bottom layer and spread evenly.


Bake at 350 F for 35-45 minutes. When it’s done, it should be getting toasty brown on the edges. It will still be fairly soft in the center, but not liquidy. I used a center-placed toothpick to check for doneness, making sure the pick didn’t come out “wet.” (You can eat it while it’s still warm or after it reaches room temperature. If you’re not going to eat it right away, store it covered in the refrigerator. It’s delicious right out of the refrigerator — or heated in the microwave for 10-15 seconds.)

When serving, you’ll see that the lemon cake has taken on a golden tan color, that your sweet topping batter has turned tender and rich, and that the pieces of ginger have retained their magical, zingy bite–the Chewy Ginger-Lemon Blondie is a Christmas miracle, for sure!


Gingerbread Fluff Brownie

December 21, 2011 By: Denise Leo, Global Brownie Ambassador Category: Blonde Brownie, Cream Cheese, Creative, Decadent, Holiday, Nutty


Get ready to share this recipe because your guests’ll want to know.

Look at all of that NorthPole Goodness atop this glorious holiday treat!



  • One box gingerbread mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened


  • 1 c chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • Half of a 10 oz tub of marshmallow fluff
  • 1/4 c confectioners sugar


In a medium bowl, stir together the gingerbread mix, egg, melted butter, and water.

Start your batter off by adding an egg.

Butter makes everything better. Even gingerbread fluff.

Add cream cheese and stir until smooth.

The cream cheese will help give your gingerbread a more brownie-like consistency.

Spread batter into a 9×9-inch pan (nonstick or greased).

This batter is rich and fragrant.

Bake at 350 for 28-35 mins, until a toothpick comes out almost clean. While your brownies are cooling, you can make your gorgeous garnish.

In a medium bowl, mix your chopped walnuts with the cinnamon and cloves.

Mix walnuts with those two Christmassy spices.

Take your tub of marshmallow fluff and scoop out about half, or about 1.5 to 2 cups, into a microwave-safe bowl. (I’m not using a specific measured amount because fluff is hard to measure — its volume changes when handled because the air puffs out of it.) Pop it into the microwave for 20 seconds, just long enough for it to be mixable. Stir nuts into the bowl of fluff until it’s evenly mixed together.

Stir with purpose. You are creating greatness here.

Pop the mixture back into the microwave for another 20 seconds so it is smooth enough to spread. Spread over gingerbread crust. Work quickly because the fluffy mixture will cool and stiffen.

I suggest doing this step while sitting down, just in case your knees buckle.

For a sweet, snowy North Pole effect, sprinkle your nutty gingerbread landscape with confectioners sugar. I used a sifter and it created a nice, thin layer. Don’t create a completely solid layer of sugar. If you allow some of the shiny fluff to be visible, it creates a “moonlight shining on snow” effect.

On behalf of Santa, elves, polar bears, and penguins, allow me to thank you for your artfulness as you execute this final step.

So cute… so festive! Based on experience, I suggest keeping these brownies in the pan until just before serving. Once you cut the brownies and plate them, the semi-stiff fluff likes to sloooooowly creep southward. After cutting, try to serve them within 15 minutes or so. 

Happy holidays to all of my brownie friends and family!


From OutOufTheBoxBrownies.com to your family -- I wish the finest and funnest of things for you during your holiday time together! Share the brownie love!