An answer I can believe in to the brownie debate

Let's just count the calories. A Betty Crocker brownie-mix box has two sets of nutrition facts on it--stats for just the powder inside of the box, and for the brownies after they are baked. That's all we need! It turns out that a box of brownies, after baked, has 3,200 calories. How much do the ingredients have?

Well, first, there's the brownie mix itself. It has 120 calories per serving, and there are 20 servings in the brownie box. 120 x 20 = 2,400 calories. Now, Betty Crocker asks you to add three ingredients to your mix: water, 2 eggs, and a 1/3 cup of vegetable oil.

  • Water = 0 calories
  • 2 Eggs = 70 calories apiece x 2 = 140 calories
  • 1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil = 5 1/3 tablespoons of vegetable oil = 16/3 tablespoons * 120 calories/tablespoon = 640 calories

Grand Total = 3,180 calories
This is 20 calories less than the brownie batter.

We > Me: Joe Morel's Blog.

Comments (10)
  1. Lauren Smith says:

    If the grand total of ingredient calories is 3180 and the total calories after baking is 3200, isn’t the baking adding 20 calories?

    Maybe I didn’t understand Joe’s analysis.

  2. Lauren Smith says:

    In other words, the brownie batter has 20 calories less than the baked brownies.

  3. MSDNArchive says:


    Yep…you’re completely right.  I was so wrapped up in finding out how many calories were in a 1/3 cup of canola oil that I mixed up the result.  It is indeed 20 calories less *BEFORE* baking the brownies.  I’ve updated my blog so the record’s straight.  🙂

  4. Lauren Smith says:

    Oh man!  Now my comments won’t make any sense!

    blookatonkatonkatonka rabbit forest tractor paradigm!

  5. Gavin Greig says:

    So you don’t think they just rounded up to the nearest 100 calories? 🙂

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