Brownies can be deceptively hard to cook.
If you’ve just cut into a gooey undercooked mess, you need a solution fast, so here it is!
To fix your undercooked brownies, put them back into a 350 degree oven and continue to bake them until they’re cooked. A toothpick stuck into the brownie should could out with only a few bits of brownie attached. You can also microwave individual slices of brownie to firm them up.
If your brownies are cooked, but a bit gooey you can salvage them by putting them in the fridge of freezer.
In this article I also cover some frequently asked questions, like if it’s safe to eat undercooked brownies, and how to ensure you get the perfect bake next time around.
How to fix undercooked brownies
Remember that brownies will continue to cook and firm up while they cool.
Don’t cut into the brownies until 30 minutes after you’ve taken them out of the oven. If you cut them too soon, you might think they’re underdone when they just haven’t set yet.
If you’re still sure that you’ve undercooked your brownies, keep reading.
In the oven
It’s totally fine to put undercooked brownies back in the oven, even if you’ve left them cooling on the counter for a few hours. Put the brownies back into their baking tray, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and cook the brownies until they’re done to your liking.
Check on the brownies every 3-5 minutes. You can use the toothpick trick to work out when they’re done.
I explain this in more detail here.
One potential issue with re-cooking the brownies is that the edges can become dry.
Brownies cook from outside in, so it’s often the case that the middle is undercooked but the edges are done.
By putting the cooked edges back into the oven, you risk overbaking them.
You have a few choices here:
- Accept this might happen and serve the brownies with ice cream or a drizzle of chocolate sauce to mask any dryness.
- Use foil to cover the cooked parts of the brownie. This will stop over-browning, and slow down the cooking process slightly but not by much.
- Cut the cooked edges off the brownie before putting the gooey center back into the oven.
If you’re worried about the top of the brownie burning, cover it with foil.
Pro tip: Alton Brown actually recommends taking brownies out for 15 minutes halfway through cooking, so you might find this is one of those mistakes you’re glad you made!
In the microwave
Nuking undercooked brownies in the microwave is a quick and easy way to save them. It’s a great option if you don’t have access to an oven. Microwave individual slices in 30-second intervals.
It’s best to microwave individual slices (rather than the whole brownie) because microwaves don’t do a good job of cooking things evenly. Large slabs of brownie may become burnt in some places but stay undercooked in others.
An advantage of the microwave over the oven is that it cooks from the inside out.
This means the center of the brownie will cook first, allowing the outside to stay moist.
By freezing them
Putting an undercooked brownie in the fridge or the freezer is another way to salvage it. This method is good for brownies that are cooked but are slightly too gooey for your liking.
There’s no extra cooking involved here, so if you’re not sure if the brownie is cooked enough to be safe to consume, go for the oven or the microwave.
The fridge temperature will firm up the brownie’s gooey center and give it a more chewy, dense texture.
The pictures below show an underdone brownie slice before (1st) and after (2nd) being refrigerated. The brownies maintain their fudgy and gooey qualities (yum!!).
The freezer will create a completely solid brownie that’s more like a chocolate bar. Frozen brownie pieces are the perfect addition to a decadent ice-cream sundae.
Use the brownies in a different dessert
Brownies don’t have to be eaten on their own. Brownies that have gone slightly awry can make a great ingredient for another dessert.
Are the brownies are a bit too soft for your liking? Or maybe you’ve overbaked the outside while trying to cook the inside?
Here are some great uses for your not-so-perfect brownies:
- Brownie milkshakes
- Brownie bread pudding
- Brownie truffles
- Brownie trifle
- Brownie sundaes
- Deep-fried brownie balls
- Brownie crumbs (these make a GREAT addition to a cheesecake base)
- Brownie cake pops
- Brownie chips
My personal favorite is brownie milkshakes. Brownies, vanilla ice cream, and my not-so-secret ingredient: Oreos!
Can you eat undercooked brownies?
The main problem with undercooked brownies is the egg.
Raw, unpasteurized eggs can carry salmonella which will give you horrible food poisoning.
Therefore, you shouldn’t eat seriously undercooked or raw brownies made with unpasteurized eggs. Brownies that are only slightly undercooked or made with pasteurized eggs should be fine to eat.
The CDC states that if your brownies (or any egg dish) have reached an internal temperature of 160°F (71°C) or hotter, then they’ll be safe to eat.
And the USDA states that in-shell pasteurized eggs are safe to consume without cooking. So even if they’re still raw, you can eat them.
Note: all eggs sold in the USA are required to be pasteurized by law.
Flour is also not recommended to consume unless it’s been heated to 160°F (71°C) or hotter. Most people don’t know that flour can also contain sickness-causing bacteria!
It’s worth noting here that the risk from eating undercooked eggs/flour is actually pretty small when compared to the risks you face from eating undercooked chicken or fish.
So if you’re reading this after eating a slice (or several) of some undercooked brownies, try not to worry too much!
Why are my brownies raw?
If undercooking your brownies is a common occurrence, there could be a simple fix.
Here are three of the most common reasons for undercooked brownies (and how to fix them).
Wrong temperature or cooking time
If the whole of the brownie mix is undercooked, the oven temperature is too low, or you’re simply not cooking the brownie for long enough.
But more commonly, people have a problem whereby the brownies are overcooking at the edges while still being raw in the middle. This is a classic sign that you have the oven temperature too high.
The edges of the brownie are cooking too quickly and the middle can’t keep up.
To fix this, turn the oven down by 25 degrees and see if this fixes the issue. If it doesn’t, turn the oven down by another 25 degrees on your next attempt.
If you have a convection (fan) oven, these always require an adjustment to the temperature. The fan pushes heat all around the oven resulting in dishes cooking faster than they usually would.
Sometimes recipes will only give a temperature for a standard oven, and you will need to remember to lower it by 25 degrees to account for your convection oven.
Also, make sure to preheat your oven before cooking the brownies.
Not preheating the oven can lead to uneven cooking. Rotating the pan halfway through cooking is another way to ensure even cooking.
Wrong sized pan
If you’re following a recipe, it likely calls for a certain sized pan.
That’s because the pan size you use will affect what temperature you cook the brownies at, and for how long.
If you use a smaller pan than what’s called for, the brownie mix will be thicker than it should be (and will cook slower). This often ends up in undercooked-in-the-middle brownies.
You may have to go through a bit of trial and error before you find the perfect cooking time for your exact pan.
But once you crack it, you’ll get batch after batch of perfect brownies! (as long as you use the same pan every time).
Another thing to note is that brownies take longer to cook in glass pans than they do in metal pans. This is because glass takes longer to heat up than metal.
Uncalibrated oven temperature
Quite often the temperature you set your oven to doesn’t accurately reflect the actual temperature inside the oven.
For example, you may have set it to 350 degrees, but it’s actually only heating to 325 degrees.
This might not matter much when you’re heating up a casserole, but it can have serious implications when it comes to baking.
To test this theory, get yourself an oven thermometer. Then you can tell exactly what temperature your oven is and adjust it accordingly.
How to tell if brownies are cooked
It can seem like an impossible task to take the brownies out of the oven at just the right time.
But here are some tips to help you.
The toothpick test
The toothpick test for brownies involves sticking a toothpick into the middle of the brownies and seeing how it comes out.
What you’re looking for depends on how you like your brownies cooked.
If you’re looking for cake-like brownies, you want the toothpick to come out mostly clean.
For fudgy brownies (the best kind) the rules are a little different.
- If the toothpick comes out completely clean, take the brownies out IMMEDIATELY. They’re likely a little overdone.
- If the toothpick comes out with a few moist (not wet) crumbs stuck to it, this is perfect. Take the brownies out and leave them to cool.
- If the toothpick comes out with brownie mix smeared on it, they need a little longer.
Toothpicks are better than knives for these tests because they’re more sticky. Knives can come out clean even when the brownie isn’t quite done.
Start the toothpick test a few minutes before you think the brownies will be cooked. This gives you a bit of leeway if they’ve cooked faster than you anticipated.
Brownies can go from perfect to overdone very quickly.
Got chocolate chips in the brownies? Remember that a smeared toothpick could just have hit a melted chocolate chip! To get around this, prick the brownie in 2-3 different spots for a more accurate assessment.
Katzie Guy Hamilton (Master Baker) says that a good visual clue of done brownies is cracking. As soon as you notice the first cracks appear on the surface of the brownie, they’re done.
The center of the brownie should be set and not wobble when you shake the pan. And the shininess of the wet batter should have dulled slightly.
Check the internal temperature
Another way of knowing when your brownies are done is by taking their internal temperature. This is easy with a cooking thermometer.
165-210 degrees Fahrenheit is the range you’re looking at when it comes to brownies. At 165 degrees Fahrenheit, they’ll be cooked but still nice and fudgey in the middle.
If you prefer a cakey texture, then wait until the brownies reach 210 degrees Fahrenheit.
Note that this is a rough guide, and it will depend on the exact recipe you used. Some recipes won’t be done until the internal temperature reaches 180, and at 210 they’ll still be fudgey.
I use a temperature probe to ensure the temperature has gone above the safe 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and the toothpick to see if I think the brownies are done or not yet.
How To Fix Undercooked Brownies [and tell if they’re done]
- 1 tray undercooked brownies
- Place your brownies back .n an oven proof tray.
- Heat the oven to 350°F and out the undercooked brownies in the oven.
- Leave them in oven until a toothpick comes out of the brownies with just a few bits of brownie on it.
- Check the brownies every 3-5 minutes.
- Alternatively, place an individual slice of brownie in the microwave for 30 seconds.