Last Updated on March 18, 2023
Brownies are a favorite dessert among many people. Knowing how to tell when brownies are done is key to getting the recipe just right. Though it can be hard waiting for them to bake, you don't want to pull them out of the oven too soon.
The amount of time you cook a brownie will also depend on how you like your brownies. Some people prefer a gooey, fudgy brownie, while others like cakey brownies with a finer crumb. No matter what kind of brownie you like, you don't want the batter to still be wet from being underdone or the brownies dry from being overcooked.
Types of Brownies
When it comes to brownies, there are three main types. The main types are chewy, fudgy, and cakey. These types of brownies will often bake for different times as they have different consistencies.
Fudgy brownies are famous for their gooey centers. Compared to cakey brownies, they contain more fat, such as butter and chocolate. They also have a lower amount of flour. Fudgy brownies are very chocolatey and rich. They have a dense, moist interior and are often served when they are still warm.
Cakey brownies have a similar consistency to a cake. They have a moist crumb and a slightly fluffier interior. They contain a lower amount of fat and a higher amount of flour compared to the other types of brownies.
Chewy brownies are the classic type of brownies and they are also the most popular. They have a lovely chocolate flavor with a chewy exterior. They are slightly gooey in the middle, but not as much as fudgy brownies do.
Chewy brownies are less dense than fudgy brownies while having a moist, tender crumb. They are the middle ground between fudgy and cakey brownies.
How to Tell When Brownies Are Done?
The best way to tell if your brownies are done is by using a toothpick or metal skewer. Baking brownies for too little or too long can result in an undesirable consistency. The brownie toothpick test is the most popular way to see if your brownies are ready.
For fudgy brownies, the toothpick should have some streaks of chocolate along with some moist crumbs. They will often cook for a couple of minutes less than the other types of brownies.
Cakey and chewy brownies are done baking when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out with a few moist crumbs. If the toothpick has streaks on it then it needs to be baked for longer. If the toothpick is clean after being inserted into the middle, the brownies are overcooked.
Another way to see if they are done is to look for a crack on top. Cracking, which you have a shiny and set appearance, means that the brownies are ready to come out of the oven.
Another way to tell if cakey brownies are done is to look at the edges. If they are beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan they are finished.
For best results, bake brownies for the time recommended in the recipe. It is often a good idea to bake them on the lower end of the suggested time. If they aren't yet done, simply bake them for a couple more minutes.
Be sure to bake the brownies at the temperature the recipe says. You don't want to bake them at a too-high or too-low temperature, as this will affect when they are done.
If you are making brownie bites, the baking time will be much shorter. However, the method for checking if they are done is the same.
Best Way to Bake Brownies
When baking brownies, it is best to bake them in a light-colored metal pan. Using a glass pan will take several minutes longer and won't ensure an even bake. Though glass is alright to use if you have nothing else, it is best to go with metal instead.
Most brownie recipes will call for an 8-inch square pan, a 9-inch square pan, or a 9 x 13-inch pan. It is always best to stick with the size your recipe calls for to ensure an even bake.
In addition, it is best to line your baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil before pouring your brownie batter. This will prevent the brownies from sticking to your pan and make them easier to remove. It is a simple hack that will make cutting and serving them much easier.
Before slicing into your brownies, you should wait 30 minutes or up to four hours. This will give you a clean cut and allow the chocolate flavor to further develop.
For best results, store your brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for about five days. In addition, they also freeze well for up to three months. Wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil or instead place them in a Ziploc bag.
Delicious Perfectly Baked Brownies
No matter what type of brownie you make, you will want to know if they are properly baked. You don't want brownies where the center is still wet or ones that are dry and overdone.
Using a toothpick is the easiest and most accurate way to tell when brownies are done. If the toothpick has wet batter on it, it will need to be baked for longer. If the toothpick has some streaks and moist crumbs, your fudgy brownies are done.
For the chewy and cakey types, they are done when there are a few moist crumbs. If there are no crumbs and the toothpick is clean, they are overbaked. In addition, you can also look for cracking as a sign they are done.
Once done, let your brownies cool for at least half an hour before digging in. This will help ensure the best-tasting brownie.
How to Tell if Brownies Are Done Without a Toothpick
There are many ways to tell whether your brownies are done. While using a toothpick is usually the most effective way, it is certainly not the only method. Let's take a look at some other popular options you may like to try.
- Reusable Cake Testers. This is a tool that was made to check when your baked goods are ready. What's great about cake testers is that you can reuse them as many times as you'd like - you just need to wash them after use! You can usually pick cake testers up for a few dollars, and simply use them the same way you would a toothpick for your brownies.
- Skewers. While skewers are wider than toothpicks, if you're in a pinch, they'll be just fine to check whether your brownies are baked. However, as they are thicker, they may leave a larger hole in one of your brownies!
- Thin Knife. Try and choose a blade that is as thin as possible and insert it into one of your brownies. It works the same way as the toothpick method.
- Fork. It's important to not use a normal fork, as traditional forks simply aren't wide enough to test your brownies properly. A carving fork is ideal, as there is a wide space between the tines.
- Appearance. Sometimes you can tell simply by looking at them. If the brownie is no longer jiggly in the center but has a slight shine, then it's sure a sign your fudgy brownies are ready. Other types of brownies, will start to come away from the sides of the baking pan.
- Touch. If when you touch your brownie, it doesn't dent, then it's a sure sign your brownies are ready to remove from the oven.
What to Do With Overbaked Brownies
If you realize that you've overbaked your brownies, there are still ways to use them up and enjoy them in the process. Here are some of my favorite things to do with them.
- Make Brownie Crumbs. Simply blitz your brownies in a blender and then sprinkle them over desserts and milkshakes for a delicious extra topping.
- Topping. Use the brownies as they are to top your favorite hot chocolate with whipped cream, brownie affogato, milkshakes, and even ice creams.
- Add Cream. Simply pour cream over your overbaked brownies. It'll help to soften your brownies and add extra flavor.
Center of Brownies Not Cooking
So, the outside of your brownies is baked, but the center is a gooey mess. There are a few ways to fix your brownies in the future if you find they're not cooking in the middle. Let's take a closer look.
- In the Oven. The temperature of the oven is important to baking the center of your brownies. Try lowering the temperature of your oven by 25 degrees. If you choose to do this, you should cover the outside of your brownies with foil to prevent them from burning. They may also take longer to bake if you do this.
- Cutting. If you cut your brownies too soon, before they've had a chance to firm up, they will no doubt be uncooked in the center. Try to wait a few hours before cutting into your brownies, for the best results.
- Check. When the recommended baking time is almost over, check your brownies with a toothpick. That way, you'll know when they're ready to remove from the oven.
Are Brownies Supposed to be Gooey?
It all depends on how you like your brownies to be. Typically, it's okay for your brownies to be slightly gooey in the center; but you need to know the difference between gooey and underbaked. Eating underbaked brownies can be dangerous, and they should only be slightly gooey in the middle, as opposed to runny or raw.
I hope this post has helped you to become more familiar with how to tell when brownies are done; no matter which type you're looking to bake. Do you have any questions on how to tell when brownies are done? If so, please ask them in the comment section down below along with any questions on how to get a perfectly baked brownie.
Read more about How Long Do Brownies Last?
Ever since she was a young girl, Anna has been a lover of desserts. As an adult, she enjoys
baking a variety of desserts from cakes, cookies, brownies, bread, and more from scratch. She
enjoys sharing her passion for baking with others who also have a sweet tooth. From properly
measuring ingredients to making sure they are the correct temperature, Anna knows the
importance small details can make in baking. She wants to share her experience with others in
hopes they can make the most delicious baked goods. When she’s not busy blogging, Anna
enjoys trying new recipes in the kitchen.