Last Updated on May 5, 2022
If you're looking for how to make brownies soft again, we have 6 easy and effective techniques to use! They can also help prevent hard brownies!
Today, we will look at what causes brownies to become hard to choose the best technique how to make brownies soft again. And, our techniques are all tried and tested by us! So, what are you waiting for? Read on to learn exactly how to do this!
How Are Brownies Made?
Brownies are one of the easiest baked desserts that you can make today. While they do take roughly 20-40 minutes to bake, they are incredibly easy and quick to prepare. These treats often consist of fat (butter, shortening, or oil), sugar, eggs, flour, leavening agents (often usually baking powder), cocoa powder, and flavoring ingredients.
They are made using a creaming mixing technique. The solid (yet softened) fat is creamed together with the sugar and flavoring ingredients. Then, the eggs are added individually to ensure that they are fully incorporated. Next, the dry ingredients are sifted into the wet ones.
The brownies are then baked in a preheated oven between 320-350ºF (160-180ºC) for 20-35 minutes.
How To Make Brownies Soft Again
Why do they go hard in the first place?
Despite being one of the easiest treats you can make, there is still a lot that can go wrong. The problem people struggle with the most seems to be brownies going hard.
Now, this can occur at two stages in a brownie's shelf life. Brownies can either become hard immediately when they come out of the oven or as they cool. The other time where they go hard is after they have been cooled and stored (usually after a day or so).
First, you will need to determine where your problem lies. If your brownies were soft (or at the very least the texture that they should be) when they were completely cooled and initially stored, then your problem lies with the storage method you have chosen.
Why do brownies go hard immediately after being baked?
If your problem lies in the recipe, it could be that your brownies contain too many dry ingredients. If they don't have enough wet ingredients, the brownies will become instantly dry, lose flavor, and go rock hard.
This also happens if the recipe contains too much granulated sugar. During baking, the sugar granules will melt. However, once they cool, they become hard.
If you got the recipe from a trusted source with a bunch of good reviews, then the problem may have been with your mixing method. You would be shocked to learn how many people simply throw all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix. This will never create the texture that you need because! Always follow the recipes' instructions.
And finally, it happens when you overbake brownies. This causes them to lose too much moisture and become dry and hard.
Why do brownies go hard after being stored?
If your brownies were perfect when they completely cooled down, but a couple of hours later they are hard and dry, it is because you stored them incorrectly.
Once your brownies have been cooled, you should immediately cut and store them. Place them inside an airtight container or bag. Make sure to keep them away from sunlight, drafts, and hot spots.
How To Make Brownies Soft Again
Even if your brownies did come out hard, there are a ton of ways you can rectify the problem. Here are some of the easiest methods how to make brownies soft again.
Now, these tricks will all work for brownies that became dry because of incorrect storage methods. But, not all of them will work if the recipe or mixing method is at fault. We still recommend trying them!
1. Use the oven to make them soft
If your brownies became hard inside of the fridge or after a couple of days, the oven will revive them in no time! Simply place the cut brownies onto a lined baking tray and heat them in a preheated oven for 2-3 minutes at 300ºF (150ºC).
But, you need to serve them almost immediately. Otherwise, they will cool and become hard again.
2. Store brownies with a slice of bread
We know it sounds extremely strange, but trust us. We've tried this technique ourselves and it works! You can place a slice of fresh white bread over the hard brownies and store them in an airtight container. Allow them to sit overnight. The next day your brownies will be soft and as good as new!
3. Soften using a microwave
This method works in a similar way to the oven. But, be careful to use very high heat. They could cause the brownies to dry out even more.
How to make brownies soft again using a microwave requires a low heat setting or the reheating microwave setting. Wrap each brownie in a damp piece of paper towel.
Then, reheat them in 5-second intervals. The moisture from the towel will help soften the texture.
4. Use milk
If you have heard of this trick but it still has you wondering how to make brownies soft again using milk, here's how it works! Simply pour about ½ cup of milk over the baked brownies. Try to get as much to absorb as possible.
Then, bake them in a low-heat oven - roughly 300ºF (150ºC) for 5 minutes. The brownies will absorb the milk and become softer.
5. Do not overbake
This is more of a preventative trick than it is a fix. But, it works wonders! Reduce your baking time by 5 minutes and remove the brownies early. This way they will be super moist and chewy. And, because they weren't overbaked, they will retain their moisture when being stored.
6. Only cut cooled brownies
If you cut brownies while they are still warm, it could cause them to become super hard and dry. So, always wait for them to be completely cooled at room temperature and then only cut them.
Wrapping Things Up
The exact way how to make brownies soft again may not be as straightforward to choose. However, now you have 6 amazing options to try for your specific recipe. Let us know which worked best for you and what you think in the comments below!
Why did my brownies turn out hard?
There are many reasons for hard brownies. The most common one being incorrect storage method. The oxygen will dry the brownies out and make them hard. Another reason is if the recipe doesn't contain enough wet ingredients, or contains too much sugar.
How to make hard stale brownies soft again with milk?
Simply pour about ½ cup of milk over the brownies and reheat them in the oven for a couple of minutes. The milk will help soften the texture of the brownies and make them lose their hardness and dryness.
How to keep brownies from getting hard?
The best way to prevent brownies from getting hard is to first allow them to completely cool before being cut and stored. Then, also store them in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Do not store brownies in the fridge - it will make them hard and stale quickly.
Do brownies harden as they cool?
Brownies contain a lot of sugar. As they are baking, the sugar melts which makes the brownies soft. Then, once they cool down again, the sugar crystals re-solidify. This makes the brownies hard again.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.