No matter how you put it, brownies are a delectable and crowd-pleasing dessert. However, some people may prefer a certain consistency over another. For example, it can be a bit tricky to get your brownies to be a consistency that isn’t akin to cake.
If this is a problem that’s familiar to you, keep reading to find out how to fix it.
Cakey Brownies and Their Causes
There may be a few reasons for your cakey brownies, but chances are that if you are getting cakey brownies, you are using too much flour or baking powder. This also means that you may not be using enough butter in your batter.
Cakey brownies are also a result of too much whisking. When you whisk your batter, you are aerating the mixture and thus creating a lighter crumb. Ultimately, a cakey brownie is caused by having too much air in your batter, which causes a fluffy and cake-like interior.
How to Make Fudgy Brownies
Although cakey brownies can be just as delicious as any other type of brownie, they may not be your specific preference.
In order to make the perfect fudgy brownie, you will need melted unsalted butter, cooking oil, superfine sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt.
To get started, make sure to preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. The next step is to grease your pan with cooking spray and then line it with parchment paper. If you don’t, your brownies will end up sticking to the bottom of your pan and will fall apart when you try to take them out.
In a bowl, you will want to combine your melted butter along with your oil and sugar, making sure that you are whisking along the way. When those ingredients are thoroughly combined, add in the eggs and vanilla extract.
Next up, be sure to mix in your flour, cocoa powder, and the pinch of salt. Instead of whisking, you will want to fold in your ingredients instead. Be sure not to overmix, however, as this could negatively affect the texture of your brownies.
Once all of your ingredients are mixed in, pour them into your pan, making sure that you are spreading the batter out as evenly as possible. If your oven is successfully preheated, put your brownie mix in for about 20 to 25 minutes.
You will know when your brownies are done if you stick a toothpick in the middle of it and it comes out clean.
How to Make Chewy Brownies
Some brownie lovers may prefer crispy brownies, while others may want theirs to be on the chewier side of things. If this is your preference, keep reading.
Believe it or not, but the type of chocolate you use to make your brownies affects just how chewy they end up. Cocoa powder mixed in with chocolate chips tends to be the best combination for chewy brownies.
For this chewy brownie recipe, you will need granulated sugar, unsalted butter, two eggs and an extra yolk, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, vegetable oil, flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, and semisweet chocolate chips.
The first thing that you want to do is to preheat your oven to 325 degrees F and then proceed to line a baking sheet with parchment paper or nonstick cooking spray. You will want your butter to be melted so in addition to the sugar, add the butter to a bowl and microwave until melted entirely.
Next up, you will need to whisk in the eggs, along with the extra egg yolk we mentioned earlier and the vanilla. Don’t forget to mix in the oil and cocoa powder as well.
After you’ve combined all of these ingredients, you can then stir in flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt along with the chocolate chips. Don’t be afraid to go overboard on these; keep in mind that we want chewy brownies at the end of the day.
When you’re done mixing, be sure to spread the batter into the prepared pan and make sure that it is spread out as evenly as possible. Bake for 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.
Be very careful not to let your brownies stay in the oven for too long; otherwise, they can overcook and become hard.
Common Mistakes Made When Baking Brownies
Unless you’re making brownies out of a box, it can be somewhat complicated to make the perfect brownie. However, avoiding these common mistakes will ensure that you end up with the best brownies you’ve ever made.
Before you do anything, make sure that the recipe you are reading is followed to perfection. Although the ingredients for a basic set batch of brownies may be the same, the amount that you use differs depending on how you want the consistency of your brownies to turn out.
Baking times, for example, tend to differ depending on the type of oven that you have.
Instead of going with the baking time provided with the recipe, use your own judgement and keep an eye on your brownies to make sure that they don’t overcook.
For the most part, it all boils down to how much butter and flour you use. It might sound crazy, but melting butter and sugar together will have a significantly different effect than simply blending in the sugar and butter, despite the fact that you are using the same exact ingredients.
The type of pan that you use to bake your brownies may also affect the way they turn out. If you want crispy brownies, be sure to lay down a thin layer of batter onto your pan, which should be relatively long and flat.
Brownies that are being cooked in a glass pan as opposed to a metal pan may also require different cooking times. Again, this also all depends on the type of oven that you have and how long you leave your brownies in there for. However when cooked in glass, brownies tend to cook a lot faster than they would in a metal pan.
If you are having a hard time telling whether or not your brownies are done, it is recommended that you take them out sooner rather than later. This way, if they aren’t done, you can always stick them back into the oven. Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about burnt brownies, however.
When making brownies, there’s a common misconception that you can use any type of chocolate to make brownies. The truth is that not all chocolate is created equal, which means that you have to be very careful when choosing the type you use for your batter.
Baking chocolate, for example, leads to a less decadent brownie. If you’re looking for a brownie on the sweeter side, you may want to use milk chocolate instead, although you may need to adjust the amount of sugar that you put in your batter. If you don’t, your brownies could end up being a bit too sweet.
The way that you mix your brownie batter may seem irrelevant and unimportant. But believe it or not, it matters more than you think. Most professionals like to use a method called “whipping,” which involves doing just that with your eggs and sugar. The result you want is a yellow hue in your batter.
The temperature at which your ingredients are set is also important when making the perfect brownies. Your eggs, for one, should always be at room temperature when baking with them. This is because cold eggs don’t mix as well, which could severely affect the way that your batter turns out.
Lastly, you want to make sure that your brownies are cooled all the way before you start cutting into them. It may be tempting to dig in right away, but slicing into them right after coming out of the oven will only cause them to disintegrate.
If you simply can’t wait until they are done cooling, you can always stick your hot pan into a cold water bath to cool your brownies down and to stop the cooking process all together.
Baking is truly an art form that not everyone has the skill to do. It takes a lot of practice, patience, and ability to follow directions. Not only that, but every once in a while you may even have to rely on your instincts too.
In order to prevent a cakey brownie, for example, be sure to avoid using too much flour and try not to whisk your batter as this creates air in it, which will in turn cause your brownies to be fluffy and cake-like.
You will also want to keep an eye on your cooking time and not always go with what the recipe tells you to do. Otherwise you may end up with a burnt batch of brownies.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.