By Vanessa Greaves

Baking out of the box.

I'm not here to judge you for using boxed brownie mix instead of making your own brownies from scratch. I'm here to inspire you to lift it to a whole new level. Because let's face it: Sometimes shortcuts can take you to the best destinations.

1. Brownie Batter + Cupcake = The SECOND BEST Cupcake. Ever

From lovestohost, the mash-up maven who gave us Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough + Cupcake = The BEST Cupcake. Ever, comes this brownie-stuffed cupcake topped with fluffy peanut butter frosting. You know you'd eat that.

Here's how home cook Karen Dean Covington streamlines production: "I have made these twice and absolutely love them. I put the brownie mix in my piping bag with a large tip, than filled the cupcake paper up half way with the cake batter. Inserted the tip of my piping bag into each cupcake and squished me out some brownie mix into the middle of each one."

Photo by CookinBug

2. Brownie Cheesecake Cupcakes

Tina N says, "One word: amazing!" Then she adds a few more words: "I will definitely make these again but double my batch to 24 cupcakes. Made these for a bake sale and they sold in less than an hour."

Photo by Tanja

3. Death By Chocolate III

You're only four ingredients away from digging into this deep-dish dessert. The recipe calls for frozen whipped topping, but you could easily whisk up some real whipped cream while the brownies are cooling.

Allrecipes community member chellebelle raves, "This is so easy it is always a little embarrassing to hear all of the raves when I serve it to friends. To add even another chocolate punch, try drizzling hot fudge sauce from a jar between the whipped topping and brownie layers."

Photo by Allrecipes Magazine

4. Caramel Pretzel Brownies

Sweet, salty, chewy, crunchy...did I miss anything? You get it all in every bite. Karen Joy Allison loved them, saying, "The combination of salty and sweet is divine. Even my husband loved them and he is typically not a dessert kind of guy."

Photo by CoOkInGnUt

5. Caramel Popcorn Brownies

You'll want to make this for the next time you get your group together to binge-watch that show you love.

Home cook Kelly says, "These are fabulous!! It is a few additional steps from regular brownies, but those are so boring - these are awesome! I made them for a Super Bowl party and people LOVED them."

6. Brownie-Mallow Bars

Top tips for making this multi-layered treat: Underbake the brownie layer slightly before completely topping with marshmallows. Put it back in the oven for just a few minutes until the marshmallows start to puff up. Let the whole thing cool before topping with the final layer of chocolate/peanut butter/crispy rice cereal.

Photo by naples34102

7. Brownie Cones

The only thing that would make these better is to top them with cream cheese frosting. And sprinkles. Always say yes to sprinkles.

Photo by Christina

8. S'more Brownies

An easy way to get your s'mores indoors. Some reviewers used Teddy Grahams instead of graham crackers, which can only amp up the cute quotient, don't you think?

Photo by Dianne

9. Brownie Caramel Cheesecake

Be sure to bake this in a springform pan and underbake the brownie crust slightly before adding the cheesecake filling. It will continue to bake when you return it to the oven, and you don't want it to get overbaked and hard.

Photo by luvmykids

10. Brookie Pancakes

Recipe creator Julie Hubert describes these as "a chocolate chip pancake and a brownie in one." Note that you'll have extra brownie batter that you can go ahead and bake up into regular brownies.

11. Peanut Butter Cup Brownies

Brownies with a peanut butter cup pressed into the middle. So simple! Home cook naples34102 recommends that you follow the recipe directions on whichever boxed brownie mix you choose to use because they're all a little different.

Photo by kwolff