Everyone likes brownies, but there’s a lot that can go wrong when baking them, especially if you aren’t a regular baker.
You might follow the directions and recipe guidelines to a tee, but still end up with undercooked or overdone brownies.
If this sounds familiar, you’re in the right place! You’ll learn some of the ways to tell if brownies are done in this post (see also ‘Can You Make Brownies Without Eggs‘).
Whether you like gooey fudgy brownies, or prefer denser, cake-like ones, you’ll never go wrong with brownies again after reading our tips below (see also ‘How Long to Let Brownies Cool‘) .
How To Know When Your Brownies Are Done?
Before we can get into our tips, you need to think about what type of brownies (see also ‘How to Cut Brownies‘) you are baking.
Are you attempting to make gooier, fudge-like brownies, or thicker and cakier ones?
If you are trying to make cakey brownies, you can check if they are done by examining the way that they look.
If you notice that the edges of the brownies are drawing away from the pan’s sides, you’ll need to remove them from the oven.
The classic toothpick test also works well here. Simply stick a toothpick into the middle of the brownies, then remove it.
If the toothpick remains clean, they are done. If there is brownie mix left on the toothpick, they will need more time in the oven.
If you prefer fudgy brownies that are moist in the middle, you can use the toothpick test as described above.
The difference here is that you don’t want the toothpick to come out clean. If it does, this is a sign that the brownies are dry and overdone.
You should see a little brownie mixture on the toothpick once you remove it. These crumbs shouldn’t be wet, but slightly moist.
If the toothpick has gunky, wet batter on it, don’t take the brownies out, as you’ll get a wet batter that is impossible to cut into pieces. They will need more time in the oven.
Beware of chocolate chips here. Your toothpick might look wet and brown, but you might have pierced a melted chocolate piece with the toothpick instead of the batter.
If you have used a lot of chocolate chips in the brownies, you avoid this problem by sticking a few toothpicks into the brownie.
Very Fudgy Brownies
The toothpick method is slightly different again if you’re trying to make very gooey brownies.
Extremely gooey brownies will need more oil, so the toothpick will always have moist brownie crumbs on it when you remove it. This means that it is a little harder to check when the brownies are done, but it isn’t impossible!
Melted chocolate and cooked batter have a duller finish, while uncooked batter has a shinier one. You just need to examine how the crumbs look on the toothpick once you remove it from the pan.
If the crumbs are shiny, the brownies aren’t cooked and will need to be baked for longer. If the crumbs are matte and dark in color, they are finished and will need to be taken out of the oven.
Is Baking Time Reliable?
Baking time will give you a decent idea of when the brownies are done, but there are a lot of different elements that can affect it. You can still use baking time as a rough guideline, but don’t completely depend on it.
For example, your oven may be too hot or too cold. It’s best to check on your brownies two minutes before the advised baking time.
A different factor is how big or small your brownie pan is. If the pan is too small, the brownies will need more baking time. If it is too big, the brownies will bake quicker.
The pan’s material is also a factor. Brownies will cook faster in glass pans or darker-colored pans. Shinier pans and lighter-colored ones will conduct heat uniformly, so try to purchase these whenever possible.
Residual heat also matters. Your brownies will cook for a few more minutes once you take them out of the oven, so don’t worry about slightly undercooking them.
Most Precise Way Of Checking If Brownies Are Done
The most accurate way to check if brownies are done is with a digital thermometer. This tool works for both gooey and cakey brownies.
The brownies inside temperature needs to be above 136°F, at minimum. This is the point at which harmful bacteria, like salmonella, are killed off. Your brownies will be safe for eating after this temperature point.
Your brownies won’t set until they reach 144°F, so keep baking them until the temperature reaches this point. The best temperature for baking moist and gooey brownies is 165°F.
If you prefer cakier brownies, you’ll need to keep the brownies in the oven until their internal temperature reaches 210°F. This is the same inside temperature as typical cakes, so your brownies will be a thicker consistency at this point.
Tips To Bake Amazing Brownies
Here are some tips that can help you bake amazing brownies, every time.
Use Good Quality Ingredients
Use high-quality ingredients whenever possible as this will improve the brownie’s flavor. Examples include real vanilla pods and fresh butter. Chocolate is the main ingredient here, so opt for well-made bars instead of cheaper brands.
Keep Your Ingredients At Room Temperature
Using cold water and eggs is never recommended. Adding the hot chocolate will be too much of a shock, creating a mixture with a strange consistency.
Don’t Overbeat Your Eggs
Overbeating delivers too much air into the matter, making the brownies cakier in texture.
Wait Before Adding The Melted Chocolate To The Eggs
Doing this step too quickly can result in scrambled eggs that taste like chocolate. Wait until the chocolate cools down slightly before mixing the two.
Always Grease Your Pan Beforehand
Use cooking spray, butter, or margarine to thoroughly grease your pan. Skipping this step may result in the brownies sticking to the pan, making it harder to remove them later.
The Bottom Line
It can be hard to know when brownies are done, but the advice above can help you get around this.
Whether you want fudgy, cakey, or very gooey brownies, the toothpick test can help you get the brownies you want every time.
There’s always the possibility of sticking the toothpick in melted chocolate, so use a few of them to avoid this from occurring.
If you want a more accurate way of checking whether your brownies are done, you can purchase a digital thermometer to do so. Just remember to bake your brownies past 136°F, as this temperature will kill off any dangerous bacteria.