How to Tell if Brownies are Done

Brownies are one of the easiest baked treats to make. But taking them out at the right time can be tricky. A few minutes off, and you might end up with something far from what you intended to make. 

Of course, how well done you want your brownies to be is a personal preference. Generally speaking, you should be able to tell if your brownies are done from the way they look, by timing it, or by performing the toothpick test.

I’m Angie, I’m a self-taught baker who’s been baking for over 10 years. Brownies are a specialty of mine, peanut butter, s’mores, cheesecake swirled, I’ve baked them all. In this article, I’m going to share with you a few ways to tell if your brownies are done. 

Ready for perfectly baked brownies? I know I am!

How to Tell if Brownies are Done

Here are the main ways you can tell if your brownies are done.

1. Visuals

One way you can tell if your brownies are done is by looking at it. Open your oven door, look for hardened crust formed on the edges. The center of your brownie may still jiggle very slightly, but the edges should be completely set and just starting to pull away from the pan. 

The top of your brownie should be matte and no longer shiny, at which point you should also see a thin film formed on the top of your brownies that have cracked. 

2. Time

Depending on the size of your tray, baking time for brownies can vary. For brownies baked in an 8-inch square pan, you should set your timer for about 40 minutes. 

Personally, I like to split my baking time in half, taking the tray out after 20 minutes to sprinkle on some salt and drop the pan on a flat surface a few times. This will help your brownie bake more evenly throughout and leave some beautiful cracks on top.

3. The Toothpick Test

To make sure your brownies are done, you can also perform the trustee toothpick test. We use this a lot in baking, to check the doneness of different baked goods. 

Simply take a toothpick and give your brownies a poke. This should be done twice, once closer to the edge of your brownie and once in the center. When you slowly remove your toothpick, there should be no residue coming off from the edges. 

When removing the toothpick from the center of your brownies, you will see a smear of chocolate goo on the toothpick. This is if you’re looking for a chewy or fudgy brownie. 

Don’t worry about it being undercooked because there will still be residue heat cooking your brownie after it’s been removed from the oven. 

4. Check Its Temperature

Using a digital thermometer, check the temperature in the center of your brownie. The temperature should read somewhere between 165 and 210°F, for perfect doneness. If your temperature is higher, you will get a cakier brownie. 

Different Brownie Textures

Depending on how you prefer your brownies, things to look for will also vary. Check the following for a detailed guide. 

Cakey

The ingredients in cakey brownies are quite different from that of a regular brownie. It’s drier and fluffier, and you may not see a crust form on top at all, rather, a thin soft film similar to what you’ll find on a chocolate cake. 

Cakier brownies generally require less wet ingredients and therefore take less time to bake. You can start checking for its doneness after 20 minutes in the oven. 

When performing the toothpick test, expect to pull out your toothpick with some crumbs on it. That should tell you that it is done. 

Temperature-wise, your cakey brownie should reach an internal temperature of 210°F.

Chewy

Chewy brownies are my favorite type of brownies. It’s not too moist but it is still tender and super decadent. 

To see if your chewy brownies are done, poke a toothpick in your brownie and your toothpick should come out clean from the edges and slightly gooey from the center. 

An eight-inch chewy brownie should take around 45 minutes to be fully baked, with an internal temperature of between 165 and 210°F. Make sure to check on it when it’s around 30 minutes. 

Fudgy

Fudgy brownies are the moistest out of the three. Take your brownies out, with mittens on, of course, give your brownies a little wiggle. Your fudgy brownies should still wobble slightly in the middle. The top of your fudgy brownie should be matte with a thin, cracked film.

Similar to a chewy brownie, a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownie should come out gooey but expect a wetter consistency compared to a chewy brownie.

Your fudgy brownies should also take between 30-45 minutes to bake. Once the center of your brownie has reached 165°F, it should set properly and can be taken out of the oven. 

FAQs

Here are answers to some commonly asked questions regarding ways to tell if brownies are done. 

How to tell if brownies are overcooked?

You’ll know your brownies are overcooked if you can poke a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. Once you take out your brownies, it will keep cooking from the residual heat and the result is a very cakey, dense, and unenjoyable slab of brownies. 

Of course, you’ll also know your brownies are overcooked when it starts to turn black from brown and it starts to smell burnt. 

Can undercooked brownies make you sick?

When it comes to brownies, many of us prefer them to be a little bit undercooked rather than overdone. Eating slightly undercooked brownies is generally fine, you just need to make sure not to get salmonella poisoning from raw eggs. 

That said, because the setting temperature for brownies is 144°F, which is higher than 135°F, the temperature high enough to kill salmonella, you shouldn’t have to worry too much unless your brownies are visibly wet and raw. 

Can you put brownies back in the oven if undercooked?

Yes you can! Simply set your oven to the same temperature you initially baked them at, it should be around 350°F, place your brownies back in its tray or directly on a baking pan and cook until it reaches your desired doneness. 

Final Thoughts

Simple? I think so. Now that you know four ways to tell if your brownies are done, I hope you’ll have less trouble making brownies that’s the perfect consistency for you.

How do you like your brownies? Cakey, chewy, or fudgy? And how do you tell when they’re done? Share your tips and tricks with us 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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