How to Cut Brownies Cleanly

  • Do we have to tell you that brownies are killing it every time? They symbolize all the humans’ bad habits, or may we say, cardinal sins: from the gluttony and impatience to have the first bite even before your brownies cool down to the sloth after having the whole bunch of them!
  • We know how you love them and we have some essential knowledge to take your passion to the professional level. What not to do with them and how to cut the brownies?
  • In the article below, we share tips and tricks on how to cut brownies cleanly. Keep reading to discover the biggest baker’s secrets!

Beautiful brownies—what do we know?

Who doesn’t dream of perfect brownies? 

There are several recipes to prepare brownies. 

We usually eat them by hand and serve them with milk.

While making them taste delicious and look good is already an enormous challenge, providing them with clean edges is even tougher!

Brownies aren’t classified as cakes. Although their texture is like other cakes, they belong to the finger food category. They are also called cookie bars or potluck staples.

Cookie bars can be 

  • single-layered (brownies) or 
  • multi-layered—with cake-like or chewy textures;

These food products are made from a batter, or stiff dough poured or pressed into a baking pan or dish. After it’s baked and cooled, our brownie gets cut into 

  • bars, 
  • squares or 
  • diamonds; 

Baking brownies—mistakes to avoid

So what can go wrong? 

There are tips and tricks to keep in mind on the bumpy road to your best-ever batch of homemade brownies.

As Taste of Home puts it, these chocolatey squares make for a deceptively difficult dessert. 

From the cutting method, knife blade, to the room temperature, there’s a lot that can go wrong. 

Let’s see what brownie baking mistakes to steer clear of:

1. over mixing the batter

For fudgy, dense, and rich brownies, mix only until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined. 

With over mixing, you let more air into the batter, which leads to lighter, cake-like brownies. 

Tip: For a cakey brownie, beat the eggs more.

To avoid over mixing, skip the electric hand or stand mixer and use 

  • a whisk to combine the wet ingredients and 
  • a silicone spatula to fold in the flour;

2. wrong cutting method

Of course, it’s tempting to get to your brownies immediately as soon as they leave the oven, but it’s worth giving it a minute (or 30) to let the brownies cool if you opt for a perfect cut.

We’re describing the entire cutting methodology in the paragraph below. 

3. using a glass baking dish

While glass dishes are excellent for casseroles, they don’t work well with brownies. 

While the thick glass makes it harder for a brownie to bake, leaving it unevenly cooked and gummy, a dark pan absorbs heat faster, leading to the opposite problem.

Tip: You can still use dark metal pans, but reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees. 

A light-colored metal pan will be the best solution here. 

4. overcooking brownies

Don’t bake your brownies longer than the recipe indicates. Here’s how to check if they’re ready to go:

  • for fudgy brownies—take them out of the oven when the toothpick which you use for checking the doneness of your brownie turns up a few moist crumbs and streaks of batter,
  • for cake-like brownies—bake brownies until you see just a few moist crumbs;

Important: Don’t wait until there are no crumbs at all. Brownies keep cooking after you remove them from the oven. Consider using a special thermometer to adjust the temperature and avoid over baking.

5. using cold eggs

This one may surprise you.

Adding cold eggs to your brownie batter leads the other ingredients to firm up—and this is far from beneficial for your batter. 

Keep the eggs at room temperature instead of taking them directly from the fridge to prepare your brownie dough.

Tip: If you combine eggs with melted chocolate, butter, and sugar, add the warm chocolate mixture to the eggs a little at a time. Otherwise, it could cook the eggs!

6. using low-quality chocolate

We know what you’re thinking: it’s just chocolate meant to be melted. Why should I invest in the best or the most costly one? 

The truth is, it’s the highest-quality chocolate you can afford that actually makes your brownies delicious (it’s a chocolate cake, remember?). 

Invest in chocolate that is not only very tasty but also has minimal stabilizers and preservatives.

7. deviating from the recipe

Recipes are formulated in very specific ways. Sometimes a method will work in some circumstances but won’t in others. 

We mentioned using room-temperature eggs—some recipes may call to break this rule! Or if they tell you to whip eggs heavily with a stand mixer, cold eggs will suit the recipe better—the whipping is going to heat them up.

Final thoughts? Take all the suggestions with a grain of salt and always defer to your specific recipe.

8. sticking to the same recipe

It’s not wrong to stick to one tried-and-true recipe, but isn’t it so much better to constantly learn and try many different methods?

It will lead you to mastery in the art of making brownies. 

The art of cutting brownies

Getting to the heart of the matter—How to cut brownies?

Achieving super clean-cut brownies is one of the crucial goals in every brownie frenzy, and we know how to get there! 

Quite frankly, you’re already a winner!

The fact that you don’t just dig your fork right into the hot pan of brownies shows that you care.

You want to know how to cut brownies cleanly, and we’re here to help. You’ll just need to follow the easy steps below.

First off, let brownies cool completely. In fact, you can even freeze them. Believe us, we know how hard it is to give up this warm paradise in your mouth! 

Tip: If you want to store your brownies in the fridge, first, let them cool completely, then cover the pan with foil or plastic wrap and place it in the fridge or freezer. 

Before baking your exquisite brownies, line your baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil to take the brownies out of the pan easily later.

When brownies are ready to go, it’s time to let the brownies cool down in the pan before attempting to cut.

Freezing is also beneficial—it will ensure no mess when slicing through, making the cutting process quick and easy.

Now, remove the cooled brownies from the pan, grab your ruler and use it to measure out your brownies with top-notch precision.

After putting them into the freezer and slicing, let your brownies thaw at room temperature to help the flavor and texture return to normal.

Since we’re here, let’s slice these brownies using a few proven methods 

  • hot knife method—the equation is pretty straightforward, with baked goods, heat stands for easy cutting. Get some super hot water and put the knife in the vessel. Use the knife to cut. Then clean it, and heat your knife again before making the next slice.
  • plastic knife method—a plastic knife can work wonders on brownies. It’s because plastic knives are non-stick, so you can slice and dice neatly. Don’t forget to wipe it clean before every cut for the best results.
  • cooking spray method—use a regular knife chef’s knife, coating the blade with cooking spray to reduce stickiness and crumbling. Coat the tool before every slicing. The same rule as in the previous methods applies: wipe your knife off after each cut.
  • cookie-cutter method—regular brownies are square, but yours can take different forms. Consider using fun cookie cutter shapes! It’s best to heat cookie cutters in hot water before use. Clean them after each cut!

What cutting technique to use, whether you’re playing with a hot knife, a plastic one, or when it’s coated with cooking spray? 

First, press the blade into the brownie. 

Use the markers you made earlier with the ruler to decide where you should make your cut. 

Then, drag the blade back in a single motion. 

Avoid using the seesaw method cutting technique. It will only cause more mess to your brownies.

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Frequently Asked Questions

The six main kinds of cookies are molded cookies, usually round ‌and formed by rolling the dough with your hands, dropped cookies, the easiest cookie to make, rolled cookies, pressed cookies, refrigerator cookies, bar cookies, and no-bake cookies.
There are several options, from a chef’s knife (coated with cooking spray or heated in hot water beforehand) to a cookie cutter to a plastic knife.
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