How do you know when brownies are done? This handy guide will help you know exactly when your brownies are ready to come out of the oven! Some links below are affiliate links; when you shop, your purchase helps support this site at no cost to you.
How to Tell When Brownies Are Done
The first toothpick (on the left) demonstrates what underdone or underbaked brownies look like. Generally, if you take brownies out at this stage, they will be extremely wet in the center and will only be firm if refrigerated. They will be difficult, if not impossible, to cut neatly at room temperature.
Some recipes recommended underbaking for a “fudgier” taste. That’s up to your personal preference, but I find brownies at this stage to be too goopy to enjoy properly.
The center toothpick is from a batch of brownies that are completely baked but not overdone. There is still a smear of brown color on the toothpick- but NO wet batter- and there are a few moist crumbs sticking to the toothpick after it comes out. These brownies are done!
The final toothpick on the right was inserted in an overbaked pan of brownies. It is completely clean, with no brown color and no moist crumbs. It’s so clean that you can’t really tell that you inserted it in a pan of brownies.
One note of caution: If you use chocolate chips or pieces, or another mix-in that is melty or moist, you’ll have to be more observant when testing to see if you brownies are done. If you accidentally poke some melted chocolate, your toothpick will look wet no matter how thoroughly baked the brownies are.
In this case, I recommend getting a few toothpicks and poking several places in the center to get an idea of how done your brownies are.
Also check out how to tell when spaghetti is done!
My Favorite Cocoa Powder for Brownies
I’m really picky about the type of cocoa powder that I use in brownies. My absolute favorite is Guittard Cocoa Rouge for its smooth yet intense flavor.
I’ve been pleased with this cocoa powder in all kinds of recipes, but it particularly shines in brownies.
Try My Famous Brownie Recipe
If you’re looking for a great brownie recipe, my most popular brownie recipe is these decadent Flourless Brownies!
Now that you know how to tell when brownies are done, here are some more helpful articles I’ve written about brownies.
Kacey @ The Cookie Writer
I am so glad you posted this! I plan to post my brownie recipe in the next few weeks and I had a hard time describing when brownies were actually done. I prefer mine a tad underdone, but there is nothing worse than over-baked goods!
Amen to that. It’s finding that perfect moment when they’ve just set, but aren’t drying out.
Brownies are my obsession. And I love mine extra fudgy 🙂 Great tips!
Alisa @ Go Dairy Free
I love this visual guide! Though I often add chocolate chips, I usually sprinkle them on top, so this test should still work as long as I avoid those visible land mines.
Mmm… tasty little land mines. 🙂
This is a very helpful tip. I make brownies and they always turn out soggy in the middle. This will make a huge difference.
Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious
What a great visual tip on how to tell! Thank you!
Thanks for the tip if not my brownies would be hard as bricks lol
Ha! Glad I could be of help. 🙂
Thank you for the fantastic visual! Now I know why my brownies are always overlooked. I thought that the toothpick had to come out clean??♀️
Hooray! I’m so glad it helped. Do try my favorite brownies some time- they’re one of my most popular recipes! 🙂
Brilliant!!! This is exactly what I needed – I now have perfectly baked brownies thank you so much!
Yay! I’m so glad it was helpful. Thanks for visiting my blog!
Do you insert toothpick in the middle of the pan? The box I use says to insert toothpick 1 inch from edge of pan. Thank you. I have brownies in the oven right now. 🙂
Sorry I missed your question yesterday- I had already gone to bed. 🙂 To answer your question, I always test in the center. The center is the last part to get done, so if you test 1 inch from the edge and it appears to be done, the center may still be mushy. So testing in the center is usually the most accurate. Thanks for stopping by! Do try my decadent flourless brownies recipe some time, it’s my most popular.
This guide is so helpful! I like to think I’m an experienced baker, but every once in a while I bake a brand new recipe (usually with tons of substitutions, like flax eggs and coconut oil if I’m cooking for vegans) and it’ll come out either under or over done. Reading in the recipe to “bake until the toothpick comes out clean” never worked for me, finding your guide was so helpful! Thank you thank you thank you. Just made black bean brownies for breakfast! 🙂
Now that’s a breakfast of champions! 🙂