Do Brownies Rise?

Brownies are one of those baked treats you must have under your belt as a baker. It’s one of the first things we learn to bake because *ahem* you can only mess up chocolate, butter, and sugar so badly. 

While taste is a big part of why we love brownies, texture matters a lot as well. I think I’m speaking for the majority of people out there that the very best brownies are fudgy, moist brownies. 

Sure some people prefer brownies that are cakier or chewier, but nobody likes a flat brownie. Brownies always rise, and if they don’t, what even are they?!

I’m Angie, I’m an avid baker who’s been baking brownies for over ten years. In this article, I’ll explain if brownies rise, what makes them rise and how you can make them rise more. 

Before further ado, let’s get baking!

Do Brownies Rise?

The answer to this question is yes, Yes, YES. 

If brownies didn’t rise, all you’ll get is a dense chocolate brick. It might not rise as much as other baked treats like chocolate cakes, but it most definitely rises. How much it rises depends on the recipe and your preference. 

What Makes Brownies Rise?

In baking, the component that makes our baked goods rise and expand in size is referred to as the leavening agent. The five most common leavening agents are:

  • Air
  • Steam
  • Yeast
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda

The rising of brownies rely on steam, air, and sometimes baking powder. 

Eggs + Sugar

Topping my list is the combination of eggs and sugar. My brownies rely entirely on eggs beat with sugar to rise and I can’t be any happier with the results. 

When beating your eggs with sugar, lots of air is incorporated into the mixture. The air expands when your brownie is baking in the oven which helps it rise. I usually beat my egg and sugar for up to 10 minutes to ensure enough air is incorporated!

Butter + Sugar

For a cakier brownie, you might find that the recipe asks you to beat together your butter and sugar. Creaming butter and sugar helps incorporate air. When you’re using softened butter instead of melted butter as you would for a fudgy brownie, water in the butter evaporates when heated in the oven which creates steam. Steam helps lift your brownie which makes it rise.

Sugar is just as important as butter in this equation because sugar interferes with the coagulation of proteins. This prevents a strong protein bond to form, and the result is a brownie that’s more tender and lifted. 

Baking Powder

Baking powder can be added to your brownie to help it puff up. Baking powder is added as a dry ingredient and is activated in the oven. The acid and the base in baking soda react when it touches liquid and when it’s heated which creates carbon dioxide.

This is far from my preferred way to make brownies, but it does give your brownie the most lift and volume.

How to Make Brownies Rise More?

Beating your eggs with sugar until it reaches a pancake batter consistency will ensure that your brownies rise more. Alternatively, you can also add a little bit of baking powder to your dry ingredients to make your brownies rise more. 

Another possibility of why your brownies are flatter than you want them to be is because you’re using a pan too large for your recipe. Try using a pan that is slightly smaller than what the recipe calls for and you’ll end up with a thicker brownie. 

FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions related to the topic. I’ve answered them below in case you want to know more. 

Why has my brownie sunk in the middle?

Similar to cakes, over-mixing your batter can result in a sunken brownie. You want to beat your eggs and sugar together for ten minutes or until it looks like pancake batter, but once your fat and flour are added into your batter, try not to beat the mixture too much as the weight of the butter and flour can deflate the air you’ve incorporated. 

Also, too much air in your batter will make your brownie rise rapidly when it’s in the oven but collapse when it cools down. 

Why are my box brownies flat?

As mentioned before, eggs and sugar are crucial in giving brownies the perfect lift. If your box brownies come out flat, it might be because sugar is already in the dry ingredients and you’re not able to beat your eggs and sugar separately. 

When you’re mixing everything together instead of going in a particular order, you risk overmixing your batter which will lead to your brownies collapsing. 

Why don’t my brownies rise?

Generally speaking, brownies don’t rise too much because it is supposed to be dense and fudgy. Not seeing a huge increase in volume is normal. That said, if your brownies didn’t rise at all, it’s probably because you haven’t beaten your eggs and sugar together for long enough. 

Final Thoughts

Brownies are hard to get wrong, but they’re just as hard to get perfect. I’ve broken down for you what makes brownies rise and what you can do to make them rise more so that you can make those thick delectable brownies as well. 

Do you think that brownies should rise? Or are you team flat brownies? Let us know in the comments below!

About Angie
I am a self-taught baker. I’ve been baking for over 10 years and started my own home baking business as a side hustle. I was born in Hong Kong and spent a pretty big chunk of my life in Canada. If you’re ever looking for me, I am probably there whisking vigorously away in the kitchen.

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